Government

Let's All Disobey Stupid Laws

Many freedoms we take for granted exist because of lawbreakers.

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Charles Murray, already controversial for writing books on how welfare hurts the poor, on ethnic differences in IQ and on (less controversial, but my favorite) happiness and good government, has written a new book that argues that it's time for civil disobedience. Government has become so oppressive, constantly restricting us with new regulations, that our only hope is for some of us to refuse to cooperate.

Murray's suggestion—laid out in By the People: Rebuilding Liberty Without Permission—will make some people nervous. He argues that citizens and companies should start openly defying all but the most useful regulations, essentially ones that forbid assault, theft and fraud.

He writes, "America is no longer the land of the free. We are still free in the sense that Norwegians, Germans and Italians are free. But that's not what Americans used to mean by freedom."

He quotes Thomas Jefferson's observation that a good government is one "which shall restrain men from injuring one another (and) shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits."

But our government today tries to do much more.

While we try to invent new things, government constantly seeks new ways to control us. The number of federal crimes on the books is now 50 percent larger than back in 1980—a time when many people mistakenly thought the U.S. would cut the size of government.

Murray says, correctly, that no ordinary human being—not even a team of lawyers—can ever be sure how to obey the 810 pages of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, 1,024 pages of the Affordable Care Act or 2,300 pages of Dodd-Frank.

What if we all stopped trying? The government can't put everyone in jail. Maybe by disobeying enough stupid laws, we can persuade judges that only rules that prevent clear, real harm to individuals should be enforced: "no harm, no foul."

Law is not always the best indication of what is good behavior. Riots in places such as Ferguson and Baltimore remind us that even cops sometimes behave badly.

No one wants to see law break down so completely that people get hurt, but historian Thaddeus Russell reminds us that many freedoms we take for granted exist not because the government graciously granted liberties to us but because of lawbreakers.

Bootleggers, "robber barons" who did things like transporting ferry passengers in defiance of state-granted monopolies and tea-dumping American revolutionaries ignored laws they opposed. Sometimes these scofflaws loved liberty more than our revered Founders did. George Washington led troops against whiskey makers to enforce taxes.

More recently, Uber decided it would ignore some cab regulations. It's good that they did because Uber usually offers better and safer service. Today, Uber is probably too popular for government to stamp out.

Edward Snowden knew the legal consequences he'd face for revealing NSA spying on American citizens but did it anyway. I'm not yet sure if he did the right thing, but conservatives and leftists alike should admit that sometimes laws ought to be bent or broken.

Instead, each political party defends civil disobedience unless the people doing it are people that faction doesn't like. The right loves ranchers who resist federal land managers but doesn't like people who flout immigrations laws. The left likes pot smokers but whines about corporations ignoring ridiculously complicated environmental regulations.

Maybe most of these laws should be ignored by most of us.

Politicians themselves don't always play by the rules. My last column was about how the Clintons get away with breaking rules. But I made a mistake that I must correct: I said the Clinton Foundation donated only 9 percent of its money to charity. Sorry, that was wrong. The Clintons and their flunkies were worse than that.

In 2013, the Foundation collected $144 million but spent only $8.8 million on charity. That's only 6 percent.

When Bill and Hillary say they want to "help people," they're talking about themselves. I don't want to be forced to obey such people.

© Copyright 2015 by Creators Syndicate Inc.

NEXT: Warrantless Snooping Goes Far Beyond the NSA's Phone-Record Dragnet

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  1. They can’t arrest us all, but they’ll get an “A” for effort.

    1. +1 gagillion brown shirts and helpful citizens. They aren’t sure how many it will take to beat and arrest us all, but they know how many they’re going to use!

    2. My fellow Americans, before we embark on this path I urge all of you to recognize that certain forms of inappropriately deadpan satire are classifiable as an insidious fraud perpetrated on our society. Once can only imagine, for example, the chaos and confusion that would ensue if large numbers of citizens began tweeting and emailing the most ignoble “confessions” to educators and students in the “names” of our nation’s distinguished academic department chairmen. See the documentation of America’s leading criminal satire case at:

      http://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com/

      1. Marred again by the usual typo! One can only imagine.

      2. They will just build more, for profit, prisons. Then they have figured out a way to damage more people’s voting rights! It will not help, IMHO.

        1. Those who stir up controversy with offensive speech-triggers, and above all those who cross the line into course criminality with deceitful “tweets” and “Gmail parodies,” certainly belong in our nation’s prisons! I believe we can all agree on this simple proposition: there is no greater danger to our great American system of ordered liberty than the threat posed by fake confessions distributed in the names of religious figures, local politicians such as the revered Jim Ardis, and distinguished academic department chairmen! This is a scourge that must be defeated at any cost! I urge all Americans to reflect upon the danger facing our country, before embarking on a reckless path, fraught with unforeseen consequences!

  2. I know Stossel must be right bc this is exactly the opposite of what Tulpa says.

  3. What Murray is advocating, and Stossel seems to agree with, is essentially the agorist position. Most of us live this way already, to more or lessor of an extent; Murray simply wants more of us to do more of it.

    Of course, this will drive the Statists bananas, but fuck them.

    1. We can’t live any other way now. It is impossible to know all the laws, yet statists still believe that “ignorance of the law is no excuse”.

      My opinion is that anyone who says that should have the entirety of the law printed out and then dropped on their head.

    2. Oh, please. I don’t even want to TOUCH them, much less mate with them.

      1. That’s a great big hole you dug there, but I feel I would get the reputation as the token woman who made the dick jokes if I went there. Someone else?

    3. People also have to get over the fear of being caught. Imagine if people just stopped slowing down when a cop car is parked in the highway median. The cops would write probably about the same amount of tickets but would be outraged by people’s refusal to be obedient.

    4. Statists ignore laws all the time themselves. Statists believe laws are for other people.

  4. “In 2013, the Foundation collected $144 million but spent only $8.8 million on charity. That’s only 6 percent.”

    b-b-but its a nonprofit

    1. A double-degreed activist friend went to work for an educational non-profit as their fundraiser. Imagine her surprise when she discovered “non-profit” just meant the overage was poured back into salaries and bonuses and bigger petty cash funds for more fundraising.

      1. C’mon, HoD, you can’t put a price on good intentions.

        1. Nonsense. 38k starting salary with full benefits and two days of five out of the office should just about do it for most people.

          1. I WANT TO GO TO THERE

      2. LOL!, OH thanks, I needed that!

    2. Lenny Bruce went to jail for the charity that he founded, and he only kept half.

  5. “The government can’t put everyone in jail.”

    But they’ll sure try their hardest. I don’t believe there really are “FEMA camps” ready to take in hordes of the “disobedient”, but ask any Japanese-American over 70 if the government is capable of something that heinous.

    You know who else wanted to fence in large groups of people…

    1. The communists from Red Dawn?

      1. AVENGE MEEEEEEEE

      2. National Football League owners?

    2. Yea man, who says those border fences the RuthugliKKKans want are supposed to keep people OUT?!?!?

    3. Mid-80s English soccer stadium owners?

    4. President McBain? (“I was elected to lead, not to read.”)

    5. Hannibal?

    6. The Werhmacht?

      1. Ugh. Edit button plz.

        1. I wasn’t sure wehr you were going with that…

    7. If they take in that many, at some point it doesn’t matter whether you’re fenced “in”, or “out”?both the jailors & the jailed can be said to be in the same predicament. If they go beyond that point, eventually it’s just the jailors who are left in jail.

    8. Seattle Riot Police?

      Baltimore Mayor?

      Andrew Jackson?

      Tell MEE!!!!

  6. He argues that citizens and companies should start openly defying all but the most useful regulations

    There are no “useful regulations”. All “regulations” are designed or eventually co-opted to be for the use of the regulator to increase their power. That’s it.

  7. “even cops sometimes behave badly. ”

    Historically, the State’s enforcers has ALWAYS behaved badly. The British ideal, which neither we nor Britain follow to any great extent, is the exception rather than the general rule.

    Government should fear the people. Otherwise it gets grand ideas, and we all know who ends up paying – and bleeding – for those.

  8. Aren’t Uber and AirBnb basically already doing this?

    1. They’re trying – and not succeeding very well IMHO, certainly not here in NYC.

  9. Sure, but who’s gonna go first?

  10. The government can’t put everyone in jail

    …Challenge Accepted.

    Actually since it would involve everyone getting free housing, food, and medical care this is probably a dream scenario for most of our gracious overlords.

    1. But then the overlords would be homeless & foodless, since they’d’ve given it all to the overlorded.

  11. Side note:
    Regulation was a topic on this week’s ‘Silicon Valley’, when Pied Piper tries to set up a server farm in their garage, and the disabled guy next door says he’s going to report them to the city inspectors. Then they catch him raising ferrets in his back yard and tell him they’re going to turn him into the fish and wildlife commission if he tells on them.

    1. God I love that show.

    2. Yeah, that was an interesting development, and Erlich handled it with his usual…aplomb? You know, like when he slapped the 12 year old kid around to get Adderall.

      It’s amazing how well the writers of the show know their tech and their startup culture/experience. I’ve never seen a show be so accurate. Guilfoyle’s whole explanation about why they should house the servers themselves was 100% spot on; I’ve actually had the same fucking argument about almost entirely the same thing before, and came to the same conclusion.

      I really, really like this show. And Amanda Crew.

      1. Yeah, I started watching it just because it comes on after GOT, and I got immediately hooked.

        1. A random unrelated show starting after another show? What spoor of madness is this?

          1. Crazy, I know.

      2. Of course you like her.

        She’s CANADIAN.

        1. I’m fully aware she’s from BC. She’s also somehow adorable, even being from BC. I believe Richard is also a Canuck. BC as well.

          1. Yeah. She’s cute.

            Cuter than that Elizabeth chick from TNR Warty seems to be enraptured and enamored with.

      3. They have a character named Guilfoyle? Does he jaunt?

    3. SPOILERS, dammit. (I kid)

  12. I don’t see how you can gripe about the Clinton Foundation or what it has to do with any of this. They are not an organization focused primarily on charitable grants, but rather does its own humanitarian work with its own staff.

    You bitch about the Clintons making money as capitalists and for running one of the world’s foremost private humanitarian organizations. That seems more laudable and more libertarian a use of former politicians than when they go straight to K Street to make gazillions advocating for rent-seeking.

    1. SLLUUUUURRRRRRRP!!!!!

    2. “You bitch about the Clintons making money as capitalists and for running one of the world’s foremost private humanitarian organizations.”

      No, you lying sack of shit, we bitch because they’re hypocritical rent-seekers, selling access and influence to those offering the largest bribes.
      Doesn’t all that spinning make you dizzy?

      1. Exactly. There is very little that is capitalist about the influence peddling they sell in the guide of a ‘not-for-profit charity’.

      2. Precisely.

      3. Could be. But that’s considered standard operating procedure for Republican ex-politicians. Ex-presidents not so much–I’m not sure what the Clintons have to gain by doing that.

        1. Tony|5.13.15 @ 1:08PM|#
          LOOK OVER THERE!

        2. When you choke, Tu quoque!

      4. Actually, even if you were willing to ignore the obvious and pretend that this money was for genuinely charitable purposes, you still don’t get to a pretty place. To arrive at the conclusion Tony is pushing you have to pretend that getting rich by soliciting donations for humanitarian purposes and pocketing the money is something other than fraud.

        1. What are you supposed to do if you can’t park cattle futures or get campaign contributions from the Chinese Military? Make speeches?

    3. Capitalism? That’s what they’re up to?

    4. Holy shit, I didn’t think even ‘Tony’ could actually get his tongue so far up the Clinton’s asses!

      1. He’s another Gene Simmons.

    5. Tony, there is absolutely zero way to view what they are doing as anything but a fucking racket.

      1. What could possibly motivate the Clintons to engage in a giant secret money-making scheme in the guise of a humanitarian org? Don’t you think by now they’re more concerned with legacy than with making more money?

        1. Hard to believe this is said by anybody as actually serious and not sarcasm. Don’t ever change, ‘Tony’.

          1. So evidence-free conspiracy theorizing it is.

            1. Hey Tony.

              Knock Knock.

        2. Tony|5.13.15 @ 1:05PM|#
          “What could possibly motivate the Clintons to engage in a giant secret money-making scheme in the guise of a humanitarian org? Don’t you think by now they’re more concerned with legacy than with making more money?”

          This really needs to see more exposure than it gets at H&R, but I’m not sure those who aren’t acquainted with our resident brain-dead would accept that it wasn’t sarc.
          It’s just right at the edge, even for me!

        3. BTW Tony, it’s only “secret” if you keep your eyes closed; the rest of us see quite easily.

          1. It never occurs to Tonyderp that perhaps, just maybe, just perhaps the Clintons are greedy, amoral, wretched little creatures who think themselves above the law?

        4. LOL. you give “legacy” far too much credit.
          lots of people get greedy and do all sorts of schemes to rake in much more money than they ever need.
          the Clintons are PROVEN to be dishonest,it’s much more believable that they are illegally taking foreign money for gov’t favors and influence,than that they are “humanitarians”. I suspect their “humanitarian” org contributes a minimal percentage to actual humanitarian purposes,the rest going to exorbitant salaries and perks for their executives and “friends”.

          ISTR that an independent org that monitors and rates charities actual charitable contributions found the Clinton Foundation was only putting out ~5% of their yearly intake to actual charitable purposes.

          1. Correction;it was a whopping TEN percent.

        5. Legacies are pretty expensive these days.

    6. Re: Tony,

      They are not an organization focused primarily on charitable grants, but rather does its own humanitarian work with its own staff.

      Written in a filthy truck-stop restroom somewhere: For distinctions that make no difference, call Tony

      You bitch about the Clintons making money as capitalists[…]

      The Marxian idiot still conflates “capitalism” with “corruption.”

      Call it Post-Modernism, if you will. I just call it what it is: the little Marxian is a dishonest fuck.

  13. Okay, let me see if I’m getting this – The Stoz expects a population filled with lard and entitlement to turn into brave, selfless (getting busted for the benefit of everyone who isn’t is pretty damn selfless), hardened revolutionaries to bring down The Man.

    I usually don’t comment on Stossel’s articles since he’s such a simplistic moron. But I have to give him credit for the pure genius of this stupidity.

    1. I usually don’t comment on Stossel’s articles since he’s such a simplistic moron.

      *Gets up quietly and moves slowly to the saloon doors before the shooting starts.*

      1. ah yee ah ee ahh…wahh wahh wahh

        1. Hey, I’m neither agreeing or disagreeing. I’m just getting out of the firing line.

          1. lol. I’m not necessarily making a statement about his being right or wrong about anything, just that, in general, his articles usually sound like the ranting of an adolescent. Most of the regulars here have nuance and depth and Stossel…doesn’t.

            1. True. I wonder how much of that comes because his target audience seems to be mostly those who are enamored of state power?

              1. I wouldn’t know, the only audience of his that I’m aware of is here.

            2. Be nice to Stossel! He’s not writing for Reason, he’s out there in the trenches of Fox News and ABC, fighting a lonely war.

              He must use small words and speak slowly, otherwise mainstream audience won’t get it.

            3. Nah. He’s just in TV script mode.

            4. Stossel may or may not be as simplistic as his articles. I’m guessing not. But his articles and writing style are clear, concise, easy to follow, and use a certain amount of appeal to emotion. In other words, they are the perfect vehicle for introducing ideas to people who don’t otherwise think about this stuff.

              And if people’s level of understanding never got beyond Stosslevel, we’d be in much better shape than we are now.

                1. You just hate the fact you can’t have a beautiful mustache like him. Mustache envy…

    2. No, I think he’s just expecting people to cheat. I expect them to cheat on both entitlements & taxes. Get & keep all you can, whether you’re allowed or not.

  14. Charles Murray once wrote a book about race. Therefore this is a racist idea.

  15. So I guess it’s okay for me to get as drunk as I want and drive around town at 100mph, randomly shooting my machine gun out the window? All while stealing money from the government by cheating on my taxes?

    1. Sounds pretty good to me. Is the machine gun full auto? And how much cocaine have I consumed, and how many hookers are in my car? Both dead and alive count.

      1. Dead hookers in your car, Epi? Alkaline hydrolysis. Transport is a risk and the liquefied product helps produce some excellent heirloom tomatoes.

        Rookie.

        1. Rookies worry about getting pulled over. I don’t.

          (pats flux capacitor, guns DeLorean)

          1. *lowers eyes to ground in chastisement*

          2. Cloudbuster: *Snickers as DeLorean stalls and sputters to a stop*

            Episiarch: “Doc! Doc! Help!”

      2. When they’re dead they’re just…. Never mind.

      3. Is the machine gun full auto?

        By definition; there is no other kind.

  16. […]
    My estimate is that probably $2 trillion goes unreported each year and that means there is a $400 to $500 billion tax gap, which is the amount of taxes the government could be collecting if there were full compliance.

    What’s really important is the estimated non-compliance today approaches what it was during World War II when we had strict price controls and rationing and consequently the largest underground economy on record. … We are a little bit below that now, but the estimated tax gap has increased in absolute terms.
    […]

    Off-the-Books Work and a $500 Billion Tax Gap: An Interview with Edgar Feige

    1. Thank you for that link.

  17. It has definitely occurred to me that everyone should just start doing what they want, run their businesses however they want, and just plain ignore the stupidity, because it’s way beyond reasonable at this point.

    The government can’t control 300 million people who don’t want to be controlled.

    1. Oh, but they can try. So many people will get away with it, but they’ll enforce randomly and very harshly on those that do get caught. I guess just don’t get caught.

      1. “. If punishment is at all proportionate to the offense, then power becomes watered. The only way you generate the proper attitude of awe and obedience is through immense and disproportionate power.”

        – Mormon Nailer

        1. “47 years old. Do you know how I stayed alive this long? All these years? Fear. The spectacle of fearsome acts. Somebody steals from me, I cut off his hands. He offends me, I cut out his tongue. He rises against me, I cut off his head, stick it on a pike. Raise it high up in the streets so all can see. That’s what preserves the order of things. Fear.”

          I think John Adams said that.

          1. The Butcher

      2. “Oh, but they can try. So many people will get away with it, but they’ll enforce randomly and very harshly on those that do get caught. I guess just don’t get caught.”

        So, the WoD, writ large.

        1. The poor and minorities hit hardest.

          “Look, we understood we couldn’t make it illegal to be young or poor or black in the United States, but we could criminalize their common pleasure. We understood that drugs were not the health problem we were making them out to be, but it was such a perfect issue…that we couldn’t resist it.” – John Ehrlichman, White House counsel to President Nixon on the rationale of the War on Drugs.

    2. The government can’t control 300 million people who don’t want to be controlled.

      Fatal flaw in this argument: maybe 300 million people don’t want to be controlled (although I would dispute that), but most of those 300 million would be quite happy to at least partially control almost everyone else.

      1. “The government can’t control 300 million people who don’t want to be controlled.”
        Silly Goose-
        U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) intends to solicit offers to Request for Proposal (RFP) HSBP1015R0025 for .223 Remington (.223 Rem) Caliber Training Ammunition for Department of Homeland Security (DHS) locations nationwide, including those in the continental U.S., Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, the Northern Marianna Islands, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands. HSBP1015R0025 is scheduled to be issued on, or about, April 30, 2015.Estimated quantity is approximately 12,600,000 (12.6 million) rounds of .223 Rem training ammunition per year, totaling 62,500,000 (62.5 million) over the life of the contract.

      2. “Fatal flaw in this argument:”

        It’s more a quip than an argument.

        It’s a statement of what could happen, rather than what’s actually going to.

    3. ” who don’t want to be controlled.”

      I think I found the problem.

      1. Yes, and no.

        Very few people will take the first steps, no question about it.

        But more and more will as the idea grows.

    4. everyone should just start doing what they want, run their businesses however they want, and just plain ignore the stupidity

      What?! You mean, behave like the *government*?!

      1. Sure, except as a free people, we have the right to. The government, being composed of laws, doesn’t.

    5. No, they can’t.

      Instead, the government makes examples of high profile entities. For example, the feds slapped Ripple Labs Inc recently with a $700K fine, alleging vague criminal violations of vague financial regulations, to keep other virtual currency companies in line.

      1. The revolutionaries do face the gallows first.

  18. “Nyah, nyah, Pig! I’m not wearing my seat belt!”

  19. The left likes pot smokers

    I don’t see much evidence of that.

    1. “Don’t look to Governor Jerry Brown for support on legalizing recreational marijuana in the state any time soon.
      […]”How many people can get stoned and still have a great state or a great nation?” Brown said. “The world’s pretty dangerous, very competitive. ”
      http://laist.com/2014/03/02/je…..ng_mar.php

      1. This has to be the stupidest human being drawing breath in California today. It takes real talent to be wrong about literally everything.

        1. KY, he might have a point:
          Here we have a governor who I know for a fact is no stranger to dope, and look what he’s done to the state!

      2. Moonbeam’s position is that if it weren’t for drug laws, everyone would be high as a kite all the time. How surprising.

      3. The SoCons got to Jerry Brown! ZOMG!

      4. And meanwhile pot legalization is moving forward IN TEXAS.

    2. Both Bo & MNG seemed to get hung up on this idea that the left is so much *better* on the drug war….

      …because they respond slightly differently to polling about the subject.

      The fact is that most of the adult progs (w/ kids) i know are very anti-drug-legalization… because blah blah children and blah blah (hushed tones): “‘poor people would no nothing but get high all the time’, and we can’t just let people do whatever they want”

      Its notable that weed legalization/decriminalization has mostly been in areas where there’s a comparative lack of ‘minority population’ – while in the big cities, cops still insist on racking up pot arrests at record levels… even though its ‘declining’, the arrest rates are still 4-5X higher than they were in the 1990s.

  20. Is the machine gun full auto?

    It wouldn’t be a “machine gun” if it weren’t, would it?

    1. What’s the proper term for a gun that fully automatically fires machine pistols that are all firing on full auto?

    2. actually,”select-fire” firearms,that fire 3-round bursts are considered to be “machine guns” by F-Troop (ATF) and current firearms laws. but they are not “full-auto”.
      current M-16 and M-4 rifles have no “full-auto” position on the selector,but ARE machine guns.

      1. Only the M-16A2, M-16A4, and M-4 have the 3-round burst mode. The M-16, M-16A1, M-16A3, and M-4A1 are all full-auto.

    3. Sorry, didn’t mean to be redundant.

  21. Black markets have always been where markets breathe, and the Internet (and whatever follows after the state successfully wrecks this iteration) makes the formation of black markets easier, more anonymous, and safer than they would be otherwise.

    Murray’s as good a person to spread the gospel as anyone, but the truth is that we’re going to circumvent regulation because it’s in our best interest as traders to get the best deal, not because we’re selfless Rothbardians bent on bringing down the state.

  22. Sure, but who’s gonna go first?

    “Pssst- Dude, you should totally toss that trash can through that window.”

  23. I’m quite fond of openly violating local laws like park hours and jaywalking, and when some nag comes up to start lecturing me, I knowingly say, “Oh, it’s OK. I’m a libertarian!”

  24. Too funny. Recently the local news reports the police are installing camera boxes that sport bright blue flashing lights that annoy the hell out of residents at night. Of course the all-0knowing PD defends the necessity of the atrocious light pollution ad expressed intent to install more. My initial thought was it’s time to encourage paint-ball enthusiasts to start their engines.

    1. …time to encourage paint-ball enthusiasts…

      Paintball the lights? That’s weaksauce. The dye in the markers isn’t even waterproof.

      Pellet rifles, at least.

  25. So something along the lines of the Gandhi led Dandi march to the sea(the salt march)?

  26. most of the adult progs (w/ kids) i know are very anti-drug-legalization… because blah blah children

    Why do you hate developing brainz!

  27. If were gonna do this now is the time. IRS Has been broken for years. But It’s peaking now.

  28. it took a lot more than civil disobedience to gain our Constitutional rights. it took outright revolution against the incumbent government of Britain. Even our Founders recognized that revolution or violence might have to be done again in the future,as noted in their Declaration of Independence and the inclusion of the Second Amendment in the Constitution.
    IMO,to get our legislators and Federal judges to return to Constitutional operation,it’s going to take some nasty,targeted violence to get their attention and show that we are serious,and that their unconstitutional acts have SERIOUS consequences beyond losing the next election. As Henry Bowman said in Unintended Consequences,”it’s time to feed the hogs.”.

    I do not believe we need another Revolution,not yet.
    But we ARE edging closer and closer to that point.

  29. “Maybe most of these laws should be ignored by most of us.

    ***

    Politicians themselves don’t always play by the rules. My last column was about how the Clintons get away with breaking rules. ”

    Worst segue ever between right-wing boilerplate about corporations having to obey pesky environmental laws to right-wing boilerplate Clinton hysteria. I just figured out that I’m clearly in the wrong career since all you really have to do to get the big bucks is become Barbara Walters’ house boy and then get a job on foxnews telling rich people how much burden they have to carry.

    1. And it doesn’t even come with the nobility of sucking the jizz straight out of Stalin’s cock.

  30. Riots in places such as Ferguson and Baltimore remind us that even cops sometimes behave badly.

    The rioters in Ferguson weren’t rioting about cops behaviing badly. They were using the excuse of violent thug Michael Brown to act out their violent impulses and take five-fingered-discounts from local businesses — a fitting homage to Brown, who had robbed a store only minutes before his death.

  31. What could possibly motivate the Clintons to engage in a giant secret money-making scheme in the guise of a humanitarian org?

    Tony just kills me sometimes.

  32. America is definitely headed towards fascism. I wonder how Rand Paul feels about this…

    1. Well we kept fascism out for the time being by voting in Obama. Rand Paul is definitely not a fascist and would be a better vote than Hillary or Jeb. What scares me is that the GOP surrounds themselves by fascists it makes me concerned it may rub off on the few good ones in the party.

  33. Government has become so oppressive, constantly restricting us with new regulations, that our only hope is for some of us to refuse to cooperate.

    Charles Murray seems to have discovered what ?tienne de La Bo?tie already figured out 500 years ago – that the power of the State resides sorely in the willingness of the people to accept it. The very moment people stop giving their consent to the State, the State collapses.

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  35. My biggest problem with this is most libertarians refuse to vote with their feet.
    Go to New Hampshire for the free state project, or if you are of a more western bent, Wyoming.

    OTOH, Susan B Anthony and Elizabeth Katy Stanton, instead of going to Wyoming where they would have been able to legally vote (1869, “The Equality State”), worked to impose Wyoming values on all the states by passing a constitutional amendment.

    So in keeping with the suffragette’s principles, I’m only trying to do the exact same thing today – impose the very low taxing and regulation and similar values Wyoming has upon the entire USA.

  36. Last week I was issued a citation for cell phone use while driving. When I refused to sign the officer’s hand held computer he snidely informed I would be arrested and my car would be impounded if I failed to follow instructions. I signed.

  37. Fine idea.

    You go first.

  38. Stossel’s idea is wonderful – except for the fact that most of us have loved ones and careers that would be, at best, severely impacted and, at worst, destroyed by arrest, incarceration and criminal/federal records – and all for a news media that wouldn’t give two shits about reporting such defiance.

  39. In fact, those are excuses, we should not mention it rebellious Law, to be strict with themselves.

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  41. I came to my adult libertarianism from my teenage anarchism, and I still consider myself to be an outlaw. I do not mean to say that I am lawless or reckless, merely that- in my conception of liberty, I (that which is me, the value of X, the protagonist) exist in a space that is outside of the law. I imagine that my freedom space surrounds and includes the law (as a factor for consideration, one of many; situationally dependant), and I will not accept that the law can define my freedom space. Setting aside laws that are invalid (for whatever reason), even valid laws exist mainly to protect the Innocent (again, situationally defined) against the actions of the Evil or the Stupid (insert bogeymen here). Being neither stupid or evil, I fail to see how most laws apply to me.

  42. “Hi, I’m Paul (Berror)- and I’m addicted to parenthetical insertations.”

    “Hi, Paul”

    But aren’t they the best (kind)??

    *applause*

  43. Such a long strange trip to have lived through urgings for Civil Disobedience against the power of the government as a youth only to see it justifiably return in my dotage from the other side of the spectrum. I’d like to say it’s all in our collective imaginations except I am reminded daily of the stupidity of over regulation. For 30 years a volunteer tree has grown from my neighbor’s yard and hangs entirely over the fence at a 35 degree angle. Any attempt to trim the tree will kill it. The problem? The tree is a protected Coastal Oak. It doesn’t matter that the owners and I jointly determine the tree is doomed to will fall naturally once the fence gives way or that it drops crap and debris into my yard and pool. Neither the owner of the tree or we may touch this thing (bless its heart) as we must receive the blessing and permit of government and provide evidence and photographic justification to remove the tree, and pay the permit fee. Most importantly the fee. Common sense is toast.

  44. Can we recheck the definition of robber baron? I’m pretty positive that they disregarded laws, but they did it in a way that increased their own wealth at the expense of others. Robber barons paid extremely low wages, gained influence in government to better exert their influence, and created monopolies as opposed to flying in the face of them as this article claims.

    1. Please don’t refer to the Cluntons that way.

  45. This article pairs well with the one where Matt Welch attempted jury service. ‘Cause we’re gonna need back-up, and if they can’t get convictions…

    Everybody (here) should just serve on juries.

  46. Mr. Stossel, Welcome to what we are already doing whether it’s making a right on red at 3am when no other car is on the road or smoking weed instead of getting wasted on alcohol. The problem is for even these minor infractions the police enforcement department have noticed this pattern of people not carrying about useless laws and have determined they are now the judge and jury and are killing us. It is the same people who you usually support that shout well if they hadn’t broken the law they would be alive, cold crass juvenile concern for their fellow Americans.

    Is this a new Stossel coming out or should we only disobey the laws that you feel are unnecessary? I do agree with you that many laws need to go and disobeying them is sometimes the only way to get those laws changed, my concern is who gets to choose which laws are useless, the people (doubtful)? Is it just those in power, those who cannot understand anything beyond the circle of wealthy influential people they surround themselves,so that the poor and under-served are still disenfranchised by laws designed to keep them down?

    Until I see you actually advocate for the disenfranchised this piece is just another piece written because you have to write something to get paid. At this time we live in right now words carry little meaning and value, action is what is needed. John where do we begin?

  47. I violated some in-home daycare regulations (exceeded number of children allowed) to help out some close friends in a childcare bind ONE day out of 8 years in buiness. 1st offense, and I had 100% support from the parents. Maryland revoked my license. Talk about excessive punishment and a use of power! My life is ruined because I have a license revocation involving childcare on my record. Probably will lose my house eventually. I have a young child myself. But I am working to change regs. Not much hope of legislators seeing reason, though.

  48. Nathaniel . although Stephanie `s rep0rt is super… I just bought a top of the range Mercedes sincee geting a check for $4416 this last four weeks and would you believe, ten/k last-month . no-doubt about it, this really is the best-job I’ve ever done . I actually started seven months/ago and almost straight away started making a nice over $79.. p/h….. ?????? http://www.Jobs-Cash.com

  49. Nathaniel . although Stephanie `s rep0rt is super… I just bought a top of the range Mercedes sincee geting a check for $4416 this last four weeks and would you believe, ten/k last-month . no-doubt about it, this really is the best-job I’ve ever done . I actually started seven months/ago and almost straight away started making a nice over $79.. p/h….. ?????? http://www.Jobs-Cash.com

  50. Nathaniel . although Stephanie `s rep0rt is super… I just bought a top of the range Mercedes sincee geting a check for $4416 this last four weeks and would you believe, ten/k last-month . no-doubt about it, this really is the best-job I’ve ever done . I actually started seven months/ago and almost straight away started making a nice over $79.. p/h….. ?????? http://www.Jobs-Cash.com

  51. Be careful what you praise! Uber is a surveillance system; all passengers’ movements ar etracked. If Uber replaces today’s taxis, which you can use and pay for anonymously, we will have lost a vital
    freedom.

    I also criticize Uber for knocking down drivers’ wages, putting them in poverty with so many other Americans. Regulations can serve useful purposes. But even if Uber paid well, I’d consider the tracking intolerable. I will never be a customer of Uber, and I urge you to reject it too so that anonymous taxi services continue to exist.

    See stallman.org/uber.html.

  52. Nathaniel . although Stephanie `s rep0rt is super… I just bought a top of the range Mercedes sincee geting a check for $4416 this last four weeks and would you believe, ten/k last-month . no-doubt about it, this really is the best-job I’ve ever done . I actually started seven months/ago and almost straight away started making a nice over $79.. p/h….. ?????? http://www.Jobs-Cash.com

  53. If Americans understood that tyranny/communism where implemented over time through the creation of government beaucracy, they would rise up.
    We are repeating history and have crossed the threshold of tyranny!
    I almost wish I had not been awakened to what is transpiring today! The lack of self identity, the lack of American and world history among the American people is appauling!
    Forget about the woman who went to jail for owning a citrus tree, or the man who was arrested and sentenced to jail for collecting rain water, or the family whose property was confiscated due to their property being declared, “wetlands.” Forget about small business owners whose bank accounts accross this nation are seized by the IRS b/c their deposits where under $10,000.00 a day. Forget that over 1,500 American citizens have been murdered/killed by illegals on American soil in just the last several years.
    I’d need a book to continue listing the human/civil right violations against the American people over the past 10 years by the last two administrations and its endless beaucracies!
    This government is so out of control that its beaucracy DHS, now claims that conservatives are terrorist while at the same time refusing to secure our southern border! Its pure communist insanity!
    Things are getting worse every day and the only thing Americans can look forward to if they don’t find their identity and courage, is a holocaust!

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