A while back, I pointed out an argument made by Glenn Reynolds, that given the combination of an exploding number of laws, regulations, etc. and the concept of virtually unlimited prosecutorial discretion, there is essentially no real rule of law at all. What there is, is a rule of keep your head down and try to escape governmental notice, which in turn keeps you from doing much of anything, which is just how the folks in control want it, thanks — if it was really important, they’d be doing it for you, right?
Seriously, no matter how innocently you may be trying to live, do you really want to bet that you aren’t breaking some local, state, or federal law, particularly when the stakes are such that a government hack with a grudge can ruin your life, bank account, or other thing you value? I wouldn’t want to.
And on that note, Ace shares a story from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. It seems that a gentleman named Anthony Brasfield released a dozen helium-filled Mylar balloons as part of a Valentine’s Day treat for his girlfriend. Naturally, he’s been charged with a felony.
Brasfield was charged with polluting to harm humans, animals, plants, etc. under the Florida Air and Water Pollution Control Act.
He’s now facing up to five years in the Greybar Hotel. For helium @$#!$&% balloons.
Let’s face it — we’re all criminals now, walking around at the sufferance of whoever deigns not to notice us. Anything you do can be used against you.
But that’s just paranoid, isn’t it? Government’s just the stuff we do together, right?
Until it does “something together” to you.