Right Thinking From The Left Coast
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If You’ve Ever Stored Sodium…

... you just might be a criminal.  Brian Walsh has just a little look at how the Feds have set up a tripwire maze of laws so dense that they can basically find something to convict you of if they don’t like you.  Here’s a story that is not atypical.  I’ll quote the whole thing

Consider small-time inventor and entrepreneur Krister Evertson, who will testify at today’s hearing. Krister never had so much as a traffic ticket before he was run off the road near his mother’s home in Wasilla, Alaska, by SWAT-armored federal agents in large black SUVs training automatic weapons on him.

Evertson, who had been working on clean-energy fuel cells since he was in high school, had no idea what he’d done wrong. It turned out that when he legally sold some sodium (part of his fuel-cell materials) to raise cash, he forgot to put a federally mandated safety sticker on the UPS package he sent to the lawful purchaser.

Krister’s lack of a criminal record did nothing to prevent federal agents from ransacking his mother’s home in their search for evidence on this oh-so-dangerous criminal.

The good news is that a federal jury in Alaska acquitted Krister of all charges. The jurors saw through the charges and realized that Krister had done nothing wrong.

The bad news, however, is that the feds apparently had it in for Krister. Federal criminal law is so broad that it gave prosecutors a convenient vehicle to use to get their man.

Two years after arresting him, the feds brought an entirely new criminal prosecution against Krister on entirely new grounds. They used the fact that before Krister moved back to Wasilla to care for his 80-year-old mother, he had safely and securely stored all of his fuel-cell materials in Salmon, Idaho.

According to the government, when Krister was in jail in Alaska due to the first unjust charges, he had “abandoned” his fuel-cell materials in Idaho. Unfortunately for Krister, federal lawmakers had included in the Resource Recovery and Conservation Act a provision making it a crime to abandon “hazardous waste.” According to the trial judge, the law didn’t require prosecutors to prove that Krister had intended to abandon the materials (he hadn’t) or that they were waste at all—in reality, they were quite valuable and properly stored away for future use.

He spent two years in prison.  Notice that there is something legitimate here—sodium is dangerous and the package should have been properly labelled.  But SWAT teams?  Intrusive searches?  And then an almost comical fumbling for something anything to convict this guy of to justify the effort?

Now imagine what’s going to happen when the Feds control health care and energy production.  Imagine especially what’s going to happen when the gang of bullies currently occupying the White House (see my note below on the attempts to silence the CBO) are in control of health care and energy production.

The true idiocy of conversations like the Maddow-Edwards chat Contrarian links below is that they fail to see any downside to increasing federal involvement with society.  It’s all good to them.  It’s so good that it can’t even be questioned.  The only reason we’ve waited 61 years is because of evil special interests (as opposed to the good special interests, like Walmart, that support the bill).

Any government expansion is good—if you’re rich or famous or powerful or connected like Maddow and Edwards are.  The rest of schlubs are going to end up like Krister Evertson --- surrounded by federal laws, at the mercy of federal agents and powerless to so much as get a boil lanced in our own country without permission.

Don’t think so?  I remind you that Hillarycare would have punished doctors and patients for getting unauthorized care.  I refer you to this list of power-grabbing provisions in the healthcare bill.  Even if we assume half of what he claims is bullshit, that still leaves many intrusive provisions that will have to be enforced by federal agents.

Government is force.  It is not persuasion, it is force.  The more you mandate, the more you authorize federal agents to enforce, to arrest, to fine, to jail.  And the more tools you put into the hands of federal agents to go after someone because they don’t like that look on his face.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 07/27/09 at 07:01 AM in Politics Law, & Economics • Permalink

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