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Read This Horrifying George Will Column and You Will if You Have any Decency
Townhall.com ^ | August 1, 2012 | Daniel J. Mitchell

Posted on 08/01/2012 5:12:43 PM PDT by Kaslin

I periodically provide mind-blowing examples of individuals who have their lives turned upside down by evil bureaucrats.

You may think “evil” is too strong a word, but it sticks in my mind after perusing these examples of abusive actions by the federal government.

Now we have a George Will column that will get you very angry. At least if you’re a good person.

Will starts by describing the federal bureaucracy’s attack on an innocent woman for a non-crime.

…our unhinged government, with an obsession like that of Melville’s Ahab, has crippled Nancy Black’s scientific career, cost her more than $100,000 in legal fees — so far — and might sentence her to 20 years in prison. This Kafkaesque burlesque of law enforcement began when someone whistled. Black, 50, a marine biologist who also captains a whale-watching ship, was with some watchers in Monterey Bay in 2005 when a member of her crew whistled at the humpback that had approached her boat, hoping to entice the whale to linger. Back on land, another of her employees called the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to ask if the whistling constituted “harassment” of a marine mammal, which is an “environmental crime.” NOAA requested a video of the episode, which Black sent after editing it slightly to highlight the whistling. NOAA found no harassment — but got her indicted for editing the tape, calling this a “material false statement” to federal investigators, which is a felony under the 1863 False Claims Act, intended to punish suppliers defrauding the government during the Civil War.

But it gets worse, because the federal jack-boots then raided her office (I don’t even know what “jack-boots” are, but they signify government thuggery, and that’s definitely a good description of what happened).

…after this bizarre charge — that she lied about the interaction with the humpback that produced no charges — more than a dozen federal agents, led by one from NOAA, raided her home. They removed her scientific photos, business files and computers.

This unfortunate woman has also been charged with another non-crime.

She has also been charged with the crime of feeding killer whales when she and two aides were in a dinghy observing them feeding on strips of blubber torn from their prey — a gray whale. To facilitate photographing the killers’ feeding habits, she cut a hole in one of the floating slabs of blubber and, through the hole, attached a rope to stabilize the slab while a camera on a pole recorded the whales’ underwater eating. So she is charged with “feeding” killer whales that were already feeding on a gray whale they had killed. She could more plausibly be accused of interfering with the feeding.

As an aside, Will notes that the NOAA bureaucrats have little regard for the Constitution.

Six years ago, NOAA agents, who evidently consider the First Amendment a dispensable nuisance, told Black’s scientific colleagues not to talk to her and to inform them if they were contacted by her or her lawyers. Since then she has not spoken with one of her best friends.

Most important, he concludes with the key point about how all of us are threatened by Leviathan.

In 1980, federal statutes specified 3,000 criminal offenses; by 2007, 4,450. They continue to multiply. Often, as in Black’s case, they are untethered from the common-law tradition ofmens rea, which holds that a crime must involve a criminal intent — a guilty mind. Legions of government lawyers inundate targets like Black with discovery demands, producing financial burdens that compel the innocent to surrender in order to survive. The protracted and pointless tormenting of Black illustrates the thesis of Harvey Silverglate’s invaluable 2009 book, “Three Felonies a Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent.” Silverglate, a civil liberties lawyer in Boston, chillingly demonstrates how the mad proliferation of federal criminal laws — which often are too vague to give fair notice of what behavior is proscribed or prescribed — means that “our normal daily activities expose us to potential prosecution at the whim of a government official.” Such laws, which enable government zealots to accuse almost anyone of committing three felonies in a day, do not just enable government misconduct, they incite prosecutors to intimidate decent people who never had culpable intentions. And to inflict punishments without crimes. …The more Americans learn about their government’s abuse of criminal law for capricious bullying, the more likely they are to recoil in a libertarian direction and put Leviathan on a short leash.

Utterly disgusting. As Glenn Reynolds periodically suggests, “tar, feathers” would be an appropriate way of dealing with these hyenas.

By the way, government thuggery is not limited to the crowd in Washington.

P.S. For the second time, I feel compelled to apologize to Hyenas. They’re part of the natural ecosystem. Thuggish bureaucrats, by contrast, are a malignant and artificial force. \


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Editorial
KEYWORDS: federalbureaucracy; georgewill; noaa; ofmensrea
the entire title is: Read This Horrifying George Will Column and You Will – if You Have any Decency – Become a Libertarian
1 posted on 08/01/2012 5:12:45 PM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

The title is silly. It’s like saying, “Watch this horrific video of a drug-addicted mother trying to sell her child as a sex-slave to buy drugs, and you’ll become a totalitarian nanny-stater.”


2 posted on 08/01/2012 5:19:26 PM PDT by Tax-chick (Live in such a way that your life would not make sense if God did not exist.)
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To: Kaslin

Medicare has been criminalizing coding ‘violations’ for years and it as only going to get worse with 0-care. Low reimbursements and rationing are bad enough to encourage doctors to drop government insurance, but the threat of criminal prosecution for not exactly following archane and ever changing Byzantine rule will cause doctors to leave.


3 posted on 08/01/2012 5:22:32 PM PDT by grumpygresh (Democrats delenda est; zero sera dans l'enfer bientot.)
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To: Kaslin
Since then she has not spoken with one of her best friends.

I suddenly feel like sending her a card or something.
4 posted on 08/01/2012 5:24:13 PM PDT by Ellendra ("It's astounding how often people mistake their own stupidity for a lack of fairness." --Thunt)
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To: Kaslin

There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.
- Ayn Rand


5 posted on 08/01/2012 5:30:01 PM PDT by TexasKamaAina
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To: Kaslin

Six years ago, NOAA agents, who evidently consider the First Amendment a dispensable nuisance, told Black’s scientific colleagues not to talk to her and to inform them if they were contacted by her or her lawyers. Since then she has not spoken with one of her best friends.
...........................................................

I have news for you honey, That person is not your friend.


6 posted on 08/01/2012 5:31:51 PM PDT by Venturer
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To: Ellendra

This a very alarming story of Nazi like persecution for an idiology. The problem is that our only hope was the Court. Now that is gone. Roberts is now a joke. We have no where to go but the ballot box and hope it is not rigged with illegal alien votes and dead people not, to mention. computer rigging. These are dark days.


7 posted on 08/01/2012 5:34:02 PM PDT by marygonzo
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To: Kaslin

Direct Link To George Will Column:

“Blowing The Whistle On The Federal Leviathan”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/george-will-blowing-the-whistle-on-leviathan/2012/07/27/gJQAAsRnEX_story.html


8 posted on 08/01/2012 5:34:54 PM PDT by Iron Munro ("Jiggle the Handle for Barry!")
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To: Kaslin

screw George Will


9 posted on 08/01/2012 5:38:08 PM PDT by bigbob
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To: Kaslin

This is the actual, 2004 text of the Libertarian Party Platform on immigration.

COMPLETE PLATFORM TEXT
INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS AND CIVIL ORDER

IMMIGRATION:
The Issue: We welcome all refugees to our country and condemn the efforts of U.S. officials to create a new “Berlin Wall” which would keep them captive. We condemn the U.S. government’s policy of barring those refugees from our country and preventing Americans from assisting their passage to help them escape tyranny or improve their economic prospects.

The Principle: We hold that human rights should not be denied or abridged on the basis of nationality. Undocumented non-citizens should not be denied the fundamental freedom to labor and to move about unmolested. Furthermore, immigration must not be restricted for reasons of race, religion, political creed, age or sexual preference. We oppose government welfare and resettlement payments to non-citizens just as we oppose government welfare payments to all other persons.

Solutions: We condemn massive roundups of Hispanic Americans and others by the federal government in its hunt for individuals not possessing required government documents. We strongly oppose all measures that punish employers who hire undocumented workers. Such measures repress free enterprise, harass workers, and systematically discourage employers from hiring Hispanics.

Transitional Action: We call for the elimination of all restrictions on immigration, the abolition of the Immigration and Naturalization Service and the Border Patrol, and a declaration of full amnesty for all people who have entered the country illegally.


10 posted on 08/01/2012 5:38:31 PM PDT by ansel12 (Massachusetts Governors,,, where the GOP goes for it's "conservative" Presidential candidates.)
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To: Kaslin

I just received my tax return for 2011 back from the IRS. It puzzles me!!! They are questioning how many dependents I claimed. I guess it was because of my response to the question: “List all dependents?”

I replied: 12 million illegal immigrants; 3 million crack heads; 42 million unemployed people on food stamps, 2 million people in over 243 prisons; Half of Mexico; and 535 persons in the U.S. House and Senate.”

Evidently, this was NOT an acceptable answer. I KEEP ASKING MYSELF, WHOM DID I MISS?


11 posted on 08/01/2012 5:47:16 PM PDT by Don Corleone ("Oil the gun..eat the cannoli. Take it to the Mattress.")
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To: Don Corleone

The president?....or was he already included in one of those groups?


12 posted on 08/01/2012 6:04:41 PM PDT by Girlene
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To: Kaslin

“Six years ago, NOAA agents, who evidently consider the First Amendment a dispensable nuisance, told Black’s scientific colleagues not to talk to her and to inform them if they were contacted by her or her lawyers. Since then she has not spoken with one of her best friends.”

Six years ago was during the administration of George W. Bush.


13 posted on 08/01/2012 6:19:34 PM PDT by Soul of the South
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To: Don Corleone

ROTFLMAO’’’’’

I love it.

I read that to my wife and she busted up laughing.

Thanks for the laugh, it’s always good to look at a sad situation and make fun of it.


14 posted on 08/01/2012 6:24:24 PM PDT by OneVike (I'm just a Christian waiting to go home)
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To: Soul of the South

-——Six years ago was during the administration of George W. Bush.-——

Well for once it really was “ Bush’s fault”....


15 posted on 08/01/2012 6:47:04 PM PDT by Popman (In a place you only dream of Where your soul is always free)
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To: Kaslin
This is exactly why we must not bend on our RKBA. These power-mad bureaucrats would not hesitate to apply the same insanely fanatical "logic" to the application of "gun crimes."


16 posted on 08/01/2012 6:48:41 PM PDT by Travis McGee (www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com)
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To: Kaslin
Reminds me a story from 20-25 years ago about a bomb that was mailed to an IRS office somewhere. It detonated and caused considerable damage, but nobody was seriously injured.

There was a comment from either a police representative, an ATF spokesman, or an FBI spokesman about the follow-up investigation, in response to a question about leads, suspects, etc. The quote was a classic (as I best remember it):

"We don't even know where to begin with this one. We're looking for someone who doesn't like the IRS."

17 posted on 08/01/2012 7:15:28 PM PDT by Alberta's Child ("If you touch my junk, I'm gonna have you arrested.")
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To: Kaslin

Ping.


18 posted on 08/01/2012 7:21:36 PM PDT by Chainmail (Warfare is too serious to be left to the amateurs)
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To: Don Corleone

That’s good!

(I just stole it, too.)


19 posted on 08/01/2012 7:31:07 PM PDT by 2111USMC (Aim Small, Miss Small)
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To: Kaslin

This is the way Marxists are. They are viscious and power hungry. Our Federal government is way too big and has way too much power.


20 posted on 08/01/2012 8:00:06 PM PDT by SaraJohnson
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To: TexasKamaAina

“Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them.”

Cocaine free base (crack) vs cocaine hydrochloride is a good example. The only difference is route of administration, the active molecule is the same. You have a lot of blacks from the projects in jail for smoking crack but very few upper scale whites for snorting crystal coke.


21 posted on 08/01/2012 8:05:31 PM PDT by A Strict Constructionist (We're an Oligrachy...Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God. Thomas Jefferson)
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To: A Strict Constructionist
You have a lot of blacks from the projects in jail for smoking crack but very few upper scale whites for snorting crystal coke.

A distinction that was initially pressed by the Congressional Black Caucus -- who wanted to dissuade the 'hood from using crack by instituting a more severe penalty.

Actually, I'd favor evening things up by extending the crack penalty to powder cocaine.

22 posted on 08/01/2012 8:09:57 PM PDT by okie01 (The Mainstream Media: IGNORANCE ON PARADE)
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To: Don Corleone
Evidently, this was NOT an acceptable answer. I KEEP ASKING MYSELF, WHOM DID I MISS?

All government employees

23 posted on 08/01/2012 8:32:37 PM PDT by zeugma (Those of us who work for a living are outnumbered by those who vote for a living.)
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To: Alberta's Child
"We don't even know where to begin with this one. We're looking for someone who doesn't like the IRS."

Too funny. Guess they'll just have to take us all in for questioning.

24 posted on 08/01/2012 8:34:08 PM PDT by zeugma (Those of us who work for a living are outnumbered by those who vote for a living.)
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To: Alberta's Child
"We don't even know where to begin with this one. We're looking for someone who doesn't like the IRS."

Too funny. Guess they'll just have to take us all in for questioning.

25 posted on 08/01/2012 8:34:36 PM PDT by zeugma (Those of us who work for a living are outnumbered by those who vote for a living.)
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To: Don Corleone

Outstanding


26 posted on 08/01/2012 8:34:39 PM PDT by WhirlwindAttack (Out in the country spring fed water. Off grid now. Sat internet. Gone Galt and loving it.)
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To: grumpygresh

Excellent point. Innocent errors are not criminal offenses. Mens rea is one of the reasons to hate administrative law. The other is the Constitutional separation of powers violations when the Executive is the plaintiff, prosecutor and judge.


27 posted on 08/02/2012 1:11:40 AM PDT by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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To: Kaslin

“Government is not reason, nor eloquence. It is force. And like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearsome master.”
— George Washington


28 posted on 08/02/2012 5:06:43 AM PDT by silverleaf (Every human spent about half an hour as a single cell)
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