Without Law

justice-2060093

 

When I was little, my favorite folk hero wasn’t even from my culture — the one my region had that was somewhat similar was an out and out villain, who might have robbed from the rich to suborn the poor, but didn’t have the same streak of nobility — it was Robin Hood.

And no, I didn’t love him for the same reason the left does. They seem to think he’s some kind of Bernie Sanders in tights (pauses to try to make image go away) deciding who has earned too much (Oh, sorry, as Mr. Obama said, “made enough money”) and equalizing it with those who weren’t willing to not make that.  Or perhaps a male Occasional Cortex giving money to those unwilling to work.

What they don’t know about the middle ages…

Anyway, mostly what Robin Hood did was keep the boot of the powerful — which isn’t the same as rich, even if they often coincide — from the neck of the people barely struggling to survive. And he did it with elan and aplomb and — in the serials I read — a good deal of pulpy trickery which is the equivalent of magic.  I liked him the way I later liked the Saint (the Leslie Charteris one. Though the movie was very well done, it was not the same person.)

The reason Robin Hood needed to do that is that the king had gone on the crusades and not come back, and with him had gone the law, since in those pre-magna carta days the king was the law.

Yes, in real history there was a lot more going on there, and Richard himself was an almighty pain in the neck, as kings tend to be.

But it wasn’t who the king was in theory. In theory the king was supposed to be in charge of making sure the hereditary noblemen didn’t exploit the poor.  Sometimes it even worked in the sense that the king didn’t really want the noblemen to become so big they challenged him and that meant making side-pacts with the peasants, to keep the noblemen in check.  This De Haute en Bas strategy was used more often by the French kings, who frankly had “vassals” who had more power than them until they managed to concentrate the power in the Sun King. (Though Henri IV, with his concession that Paris was worth a mass, had started that concentration.)  There are some historians who think it was the attempt at using that strategy by the admittedly inept Louis XVI that misfired and blew up into the French Revolution.

At any rate, at least in the serials of Robin Hood, the king was the law, and the regent or the governor of Nottingham were not the law, and allowed the noblemen to run rough shod over the peasants and take their last groat for unspecified purposes.  It wasn’t so much a matter of giving people what they hadn’t earned as of giving them what they’d earned that had been expropriated by the powerful.

In real life, of course, the unjust taxes of John Lackland were to save Richard’s skanky ass from prison in the land of one of his nominal allies. Never mind that, though. This far back, it’s the symbology that matters.

As we all know Robin Hood — or at least I know, because I fell down that rabbit hole for a month and a half at one time, in all my spare time — is mostly mythical and conflating him with the time of King Richard is nonsense, as he seems to go much further back, perhaps to some mostly-forgotten Celtic myth.

Which is a great pity because I’m starting to think we need a figure like that.

Because Judges have gone insane and think they can overthrow the very law under which they were sworn.

It started to become really obvious when that moron Judge Posner decided to diss the Constitution of the United States, but now it’s gotten truly ridiculous.

Do these idiots think they’re kings by Divine right and that the law is what they say it is, so they can chop away at the very law that gave them their position?

Do they imagine by destroying the rule of law it will be the rule of them?

They wouldn’t be the first nor the last to think so. And usually the result of this is that they end up dead. Unfortunately, usually, so does their land.

Because laws are what we have instead of the word of a king and of a king protecting the less powerful from the more powerful. You chop away at that, and you leave it to the supposed, self-proclaimed elites to try to “rule” over those they presume have no power.

Oh, they think it will be all lovely and the way they wish. To the extent they already ignore the laws and engage in crony capitalism, and deplatform those they disagree with and — if you please — brag about it in the public sphere, it’s no wonder they think so.

But they could benefit from reading some history. They won’t. The truth is like Louis XVI they understand very little about people.  At least pour Louis was born to it and was trying to be the best he could, not a rapacious little know-nothing trying to grasp power he wasn’t prepared for.  And yet their fate will his his.  Oh, and the fate of many of the revolutionaries that toppled him.

The genius of the American system is that we can dispense with a king only so long as the Constitution is supreme.  As long as its respected and its rule inflexible, we have no need of a king applying some De Haute en Bas strategy just to allow us to breathe when that boot is lifted from our necks a little. In fact, the law allows high and low to cooperate, mingle and prosper together.

Which is altogether too bad, as it’s been subverted, ignored or outright prostituted for more than a hundred years. And now the idiots are trying to call it outdated.  When they aren’t outright trying to use it in the service of their unlawful intents.

Idiots? But it gives them so much power!

Sure it does. Except it never stays that way. Without a really wily king — say Louis XIV — the whole thing tends to explode, as it did in the French revolution.  And even Louis XIV, it could be said sowed the most distant seeds of that.

The only way for men to work and live together without boots on necks or, eventually, the owners of the boots adorning lampposts (and it wouldn’t be only that. Why, we can do even more high tech than the guillotine. More satisfying too.) is for the law to apply to everyone, and to be inviolate and respected.

Once there is a law for the “high” (and boy, are they. That Oxacan ditchweed must be a special crop.) and one for the low, the time when high and low grapple and the cries of aristo, aristo a la lanterne are heard throughout the land are as inevitable as Fall following summer.

Only a moron or someone blinded by utter greed to the point of foolishness would forget that.

But they’ve been forgetting.  And there’s more of them every day.

And if we don’t fight back for the law now, we’ll all be wading through blood later.

Be not afraid. Keep your principles, and your ideals in mind.  The sea is about to get rough.

But in the the end we win they lose. Because no matter how many times it sinks, civilization always rises again.

And equality before the law IS civilization.

331 responses to “Without Law

  1. Amen, Sister! Preach it some more.

    I’d like to come up with something witty to add here, but it seems to me you pretty much said all that needed to be said.

  2. I liked him the way I later liked the Saint (the Leslie Charteris one. Though the movie was very well done, it was not the same person.)

    Which movie? 1997 or 2017? And what do you think about the Roger Moore 1962 TV series version?

  3. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    “Rule By Men (not By Law) is Great When You Are One Of The Men Who Rule”. [Sarcastic Grin]

    And yes, such “Good Men” (or Good Women) should be taken down as soon as possible.

  4. Usually the powerful are the ones who enforce the law the way that they want. What mechanism is there in American society to keep it equal for all?

    There are so many instances throughout history about how the less powerful are not treated equally by the law, yet civilization still marches on.

    Robin Hood is a story, a myth, just as the idea that the law is made to be equal to everyone. It just doesn’t work that way, no matter how much we would want it to.

    • Just because a goal isn’t reached, or is imperfectly realized, doesn’t make it an unworthy goal. And what mechanism in American society is there to keep it equal for all? First, there’s the Constitution. There are aspects of the Constitution that give powers to the states and to the people that haven’t ever been used; they need to be used. Second, there’s the power of elections, which allow us to remove elected officials who subvert the rule of law.

      Yes, I know, both of these mechanisms are somewhat in disarray these days. But unless we manage to rehabilitate them and return them to their proper function the third mechanism will be our only recourse, and that’s rebellion. As Sarah has said repeatedly, this isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon–we won’t return our country to its intended form, or reach our goal of equality of opportunity for all, by just one action, one throw of the switch. But by the same token, we won’t give up, succumb to totalitarian rule by the overweening administrative state by one action or throw of the switch either. In fact, if the administrative state attempts to throw that switch, it will have a fight on its hands it evidently can’t imagine.

    • Oh, pfui. The mechanism is that the law didn’t use to be a respecter of persons and there were checks and balances.
      Now? Forget it Jack.
      And no, the law isn’t an instrument of the powerful.
      Someone done sold you a bill of goods, sir.

    • Timothy Harris

      With enough care and attention we can get close to equality under the law. Consider that 4 of the last 7 Illinois Governors ended up in prison.
      Admittedly it’s worse at the Federal level right now – but some of the more corrupt DOJ officials have now been fired and I suspect more will be forced out in the next two years. Give it time.

      • Before the Brazillians decided that yes, this time unicorns would poop socialist rainbows, back when the Real was almost 1:1 with the dollar, the great sign of hope was seeing powerful politicians, businessmen and judges being arrested for their crimes.

        Mrs Hoyt us spot on, on this one.

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

      “The Law Is An Instrument of the Powerful” has IMO been true in plenty of periods of history and plenty of places.

      However, that idea has been in exception in the US not the rule.

      Of course, IMO plenty of people who claim to believe that idea appear to want to be the “Powerful Using That Instrument”.

      • Indeed – the appropriate rejoinder to such claims as “The Law Is An Instrument of the Powerful” would seem to be, “And your point is?”

        Our system was established to play the powerful against one another, not to pretend that the powerful would not attempt to rule. Relying on the powerful to benevolently restrain themselves is akin to the lamb relying on the kindness of wolves; far better to play the wolves against one another to buy time to arm the lamb.

        Giving power to unelected bureaucrats seems a poor solution to such complaints.

          • And of course who is “powerful” in a free society with free enterprise is mutable. Even people who inherit wealth in many cases will lose it (this of course is the reason for spendthrift trusts being so prominent). As long as everyone is equal under the law, then everyone at least gets treated the same way regardless of their circumstances. What the left desires is the exact opposite of the rule of law. They want laws to expressly favor some groups of people over others, in the name of social justice, which of course is not justice in any sort of meaningful way, but is rather injustice, because it punishes people because of who they are.

      • most of them, in fact. Because they’ll do it right. Or perhaps “they’ll do us right and proper.”

        • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

          Nod.

          I have a similar opinion about those who claim to believe in “the winners write the history”.

          There is a slight element of truth in that “chestnut” but those who believe it often want to be the “winners who write the history that everybody else must believe”.

          Oh, the real problem with the “winners write the history” is that no “winners” have had the power to prevent other versions of what happened from being written.

          Heck, one “loser” wrote a history that said that he actually won a certain battle because the “winner” of the battle didn’t have the power to prevent him from writing his account.

          Oh, the loser was one of the Pharaohs who lost a battle against the Hittites but was able to return home to “publish” a version of the battle that showed him as a winner. 😈

          • Two minor points”

            1. i have long believed that a primary reason Jews are hated is that we keep our own set of books.

            2. Saddam Hussein claimed – and was accepted (locally) – to have won Desert Storm because he was left in power in Iraq. It is difficult to win wars against a people who insist that, because we did not commit genocide, they were not defeated.

            Well, not difficult so much as awkward by the West’s standards. As Col. K would be quick to point out, committing genocide is actually an easier way to win a war.

            • Amsel, Matthew

              Same goes for the Palestinians

              “They didn’t wipe is out, so they haven’t won!”

              Whereas the Israelis are thinking “guys, we *really* don’t want to do that”

              • But if you finally make us decide we HAVE to, you’ll have no one left to complain about us.

                • You do not want to push a culture that has as its cultural mythos things like Masada and Sampson in the Temple to the wall. Especially when they’ve taken up a martial “never again” attitude. You just don’t.

                  • Closer to the modern day, you really don’t want to get into a to-the-death fight with a people whose roots come from the survivors of the Death Camps. That was the Palestinians’ core mistake; they sided against the new State of Israel, thinking that a bunch of Arab nations that didn’t get along with each-other too well would beat people who had been forged into steel by the Holocaust.

                    And. They. Never. Learn.

                    • and they got their asses handed to them by a bunch of people using barreled Mauser rifles and secondhand M48 tanks.

                    • *rebarreled

                    • The Israelis didn’t have secondhand M48s. They had a dozen Hotchkiss light tanks (two man crew, 37mm gun), two Cromwells, and a Sherman.
                      And they still beat all comers except the Jordanians, who they fought to a draw.

                    • I was specifically referring to the Six Day War

                    • The Egyptian forces, IIRC, had been highly trained and well-equipped by the British, so their utter frustration by the “Palestinian Rabble” was a terrible embarrassment.

                      For a fun bad film about the war of Israeli Independence, try Kirk Douglas’ biopic Cast A Giant Shadow (1996) about American ex-pat Col. David ‘Mickey’ Marcus, about whose role in organizing the fledgling nation’s army Wikipedia writes:

                      In 1947, David Ben-Gurion asked Marcus to recruit an American officer to serve as military advisor to the nascent Jewish army, the Haganah. He could not recruit anyone suitable, so Marcus volunteered himself. In 1948, the U.S. War Department informally acquiesced to Marcus’ undertaking, provided he disguised his name and rank to avoid problems with the British authorities in Mandatory Palestine.

                      Under the nom de guerre “Michael Stone”, he arrived in Palestine in January 1948. Arab armies surrounded the soon-to-be declared State of Israel.

                      He designed a command and control structure for the Haganah, adapting his U.S. Army experience to its special needs. He identified Israel’s weakest points in the Negev south, and the Jerusalem area.

                      Marcus was appointed Aluf (“general”) and given command of the Jerusalem front on May 28, 1948. As no ranks were granted to Israeli high command at that time, he became the first general in the fledgling nation’s army (see Israel Defense Forces). (Aluf was then equivalent to Brigadier General. Since 1967, Aluf is equivalent to major general.)

                      He participated in planning Operation Bin Nun Bet and Operation Yoram against the Latrun fort held by the Arab Legion, which blocked the road from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which was under siege. Both attacks failed, but Marcus then built the “Burma Road to Jerusalem” – a makeshift winding road through difficult hill terrain, nicknamed after the World War II supply route to China. The “Burma Road” was opened to vehicles on June 10, breaking the siege of Jerusalem, a day before a United Nations cease fire took effect on June 11.


                      With cameos by Frank Sinatra, Yul Brynner, and John Wayne this is not the sort of film Hollywood cranks out these days.

                  • *raises hand* I’d be right there behind them.

                    But then, I’m the sort that thinks the proof there’s no timetravel is that nobody started shipping weapons into the Nazi death camps.

                    • dan Hamilton

                      Sorry, would not have worked. Even in the Warsaw Ghetto they had a terrible time because people barely knew which end the bullet came out of.

                    • I’ve been on site for showing a lady who had never TOUCHED a gun, and had only seen them in movies, get up to target shooting level.

                      Japanese wife of an Australian.

                      Her husband was slightly more familiar, her son was less.

                      They were all comfortable enough to try out target shooting in less than two hours.

                    • i disagree. A bunch of SMGs and some quick training…

                      (the only reason to use SMGs instead of assault rifles so so they can just grab MP40 stick mags to get ammo)

                    • Eh. Bouncing Betties, grenades, C-4, LAWS… And training vids on battery-powered handhelds.

                      If you’re going to steal a time machine and run arms to the Warsaw Ghetto, have some fun…

                    • My take on this idea has been the dropping of an Israeli parachute battalion on the 1934 Nuremberg Rally. With complete air and arty support.

                      Would have made Triumph of The Will a much more entertaining movie.

              • “They didn’t wipe is out, so they haven’t won!”

                The “Palestinians’ are SO DAMN LUCKY that their “enemy” is one with the history., memory, and restraint such has. I rather suspect anyone else in the region would have line up armored bulldozers long ago and drove the lot into the sea just to be done with them and their nonsense.

            • Desert Storm was one of those unwinnable things. The choice was between what we did, leaving Saddam in power. Which as you pointed out wasn’t a “win” because he could (and did) thumb his nose at us in front of the world, claiming victory. Or, spending the extra time, money, and lives to find Saddam and depose him (or kill him), which would have made us “just as bad as Saddam” (and therefore not a “win”).

              It’s debatable, but I think we chose the wrong road. We ended up going back in to finish the job anyway, and I think Iraq was a softer target the first time. Also, by waiting (and “W” giving them “fair warning” again and again and again) Iraq had time to prepare. Quite possibly also moving incriminating evidence out of the country, although that also is debatable.

              • I thought at the time that leaving Saddam in power was a calculated move. We had gotten suppport from Middle Eastern nations that normally would not have attacked Iraq (because Saddam was one of them), and allowed them to persuade us to not follow through…so WHEN he acted up again we would be in a position to say “Last time we did it your way and it didn’t work. This time we finish the sonofabitch.”

                The problem being that such a policy would have needed a continuity of vision that our system doesn’t sustain.

                • Leaving Saddam in power the first runaround was practically guaranteed by UN resolution and a Democrat congress. The UN mandate was to liberate Kuwait. We did that. It was not to overthrow Saddam and replace the Iraqi government. If Bush had directed the troops to keep going, impeachment would have followed, along with outrage, I tell you, outrage from the international community.

                  That’s why the buildup to overthrow Saddam was carefully built up. And justified. And even went to another vote in Congress after Democrats DEMANDED a vote. Ooops- they got one.

                  I did some dot connecting, and all the reason we went into Iraq to overthrow Saddam are valid, but they’re not the reason we went IMHO. Saddam’s entire bloodline was wiped out. All his children, grandchildren killed. Shortly thereafter- Qaddafi became really eager to cooperate and show he had no weapons of mass destruction. This was not a coincidence. 2nd Gulf War began MAR 2003. Qaddafi renounced nukes and WMDs DEC 2003.

                  The anthrax attack was in late 2001. Do you really think the military didn’t immediately identify where it came from?

                  • TheOtherSean

                    if they did know, somebody should have let the FBI know, rather than letting them run rampant for years destroying researchers’ lives in the process.

                    • What makes you think the FBI did not know? Surely nothing we’ve learned of their recent performance supports such a contention.

                    • Yes, but well,—– No. The FBI leaks like a sieve. There was a purpose served by the FBI going around looking like bumbling fools. It would hide the fact that we knew where the anthrax came from. The government can NEVER admit the anthrax came from Iraq. Our published response to ANY WMD attack on the U.S. is dropping nukes on the offender. If we said “The anthrax came from Iraq.” and subsequently didn’t drop nukes, the deterrence becomes like an Obama line in the sand- a laughable concept. Someone likely whispered in Qaddafi’s something about we can’t prove that Saddam was responsible, but we think he may have been, and look what we did. You don’t want to ever think there might be reason to think you did something like that, do you?

                      But like I said, this is just IMHO. I have no proof. The number of people who would KNOW is small. And they would be serious professionals who don’t leak.

                  • Before some one said Iraq either never had chemical weapons, or was able to get rid of them during/before the second war. OR yes Iraq never had chemical weapons, BUT Saddam & company believed he did, because he’d order them created & cached. But, those tasked to do so, never did. But told their boss they had, or they created very little. Either through incompetence. Or because they were setting up their financial get the heck out of dodge, for when the house of cards came tumbling down. Or maybe should be embracing the “and”. Regardless, Saddam said he had them. Why wouldn’t the relevant agencies believe him?

                    AND what has been found, has been destroyed, but never reported to the public, under security acts.

                    • Funny, I remember reading in REASON that we found the following;

                      • Chemical shells (kinda puny but still WMDs, by definition)

                      • Heavily contaminated radiological labs. HIDDEN labs.

                      • Hidden chemical and biological labs.

                      • Massive quantities of precursor chemicals

                      • Large quantities of biological research feedstock.

                      • Delivery systems that, by treaty, Saddam wasn’t supposed to still have

                      • Several tons of yellowcake uranium, whether it came from Niger or not.

                      Now, REASON regularly beats the “We had no reason to invade Iraq, and Bush lied to us” drum, so I don’t think they are making the above up.

                      What does this mean? It means that anybody who says “We didn’t find any WMDs” is either a liar or a fool. It also means that at east some of what was found is public knowledge, even though a large portion of the public doesn’t seem to know it. We didn’t find any nuclear tipped missiles, field and ready to go. If we had it would be a sign that we have waited to goddamned long to invade. It also means that, at base, we invaded Iraq because we were STILL at war with Saddam’s government. When one side doesn’t eve TRY to meet the terms of a surrender, that means the war is still on.

                    • Pfui. REASON is an extremist right-wing reactionary “news” source and should not be relied upon.

                    • “Pfui. REASON is an extremist right-wing reactionary “news” source and should not be relied upon.”

                      A) Reason is a Libertarian news,source, and like all news sources has a point of view that informs their particular bias. As they are (or were, at the time) anti-Iraq war, and anti-Bush II, material they print that runs counter to that Narrative probably belongsmto the category of “this in inconvneient, but if we don’t admit it we will get caught”.

                    • “It also means that at least some of what was found is public knowledge, even though a large portion of the public doesn’t seem to know it.”

                      Raises hand; portion of public that doesn’t know specifics. I’ve always been “pretty sure” that WMD of one kind or another were found, or at minimum traces (which is the same thing). But not in an immediate condition to directly threaten anything other locally or their neighbors. But never could point to a specific source, so I tend to state it as I did. Fuzzy. Nice to see a more specific, part list, of what is publicly known.

                    • Amsel, Matthew

                      “concentrated agricultural chemicals” was the nomenclature use by news sources.

                      And what, exactly, do they think that nerve gas is?

                    • Their minds are made up, don’t confuse them with facts … to paraphrase an old-time Hollywood magnate.

                    • kenashimame

                      Umm, cspschofield, did you forget that sarcasm is RES’s mother tongue?

                    • I’ll just leave this here, after saying check the date. These bastards lied about not finding WMD. Lots of it. Which is why I’ve been saying Democrats are too dishonest to share a country with since 2003.

                      Five years after President George W. Bush sent troops into Iraq, these soldiers had entered an expansive but largely secret chapter of America’s long and bitter involvement in Iraq.

                      From 2004 to 2011, American and American-trained Iraqi troops repeatedly encountered, and on at least six occasions were wounded by, chemical weapons remaining from years earlier in Saddam Hussein’s rule.

                      In all, American troops secretly reported finding roughly 5,000 chemical warheads, shells or aviation bombs, according to interviews with dozens of participants, Iraqi and American officials, and heavily redacted intelligence documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

                    • “These bastards lied about not finding WMD. Lots of it. ”

                      Of coarse they did. Didn’t I imply that “soft” enough? Guess not.

                    • Yup, and their syncophants (their pr department?) in the news media are cooperating with it. There should have been an edgy investigative report circa 2006 that was a total expose on how the Democrats are lying about there being no chemical weapons in Iraq…

              • Also, had we overrun the Iraqis in the early 90s, the Iranians would have been in a much worse position to try and muck around, since they were still recovering from the Iran-Iraq war.

            • On your point 2 RES I always felt that George Bush the elder’s stopping the ground war at 100 Hrs and particularly letting the elite unites escape up the highway of death was a mistake. But that’s easier to see in retrospect and I suspect President Bush was having a heck time keeping that bizarre coalition stuck together. But without the Republican Guard Saddam Husseins fate would likely have been closer to that of Ceaucesciu or other strongmen at the end of the cold war. I fear my view of war tactics is far closer to General Sherman’s than modern types.

    • What mechanism is there in American society to keep it equal for all?

      It’s in the constitution.

      Twice.

      After the bar on titles of nobility was insufficient, they went with the 14th.

      • Amsel, Matthew

        And, in extremis, the 2nd.

      • certain senators still think they have a title of nobility….

        • I’d offer a rude gesture, but they aren’t worth it.

        • Same with some members of the House (Occasional Cortex, I’m looking at you).

        • Given the behaviour which has been characteristic of nobility across history, there is a certain … propriety to their thinking.

        • tregonsee314

          And Presidents and Governors who want their (ex) title used drive me insane. When In office you are President Smith or Governor Fubar. Once you leave the office you are Mrs. Smith or Mr. Fubar, no more, no less. Similarly any access to classified material should be curtailed as of the moment you leave office. This nonsense of courtesy clearances is clear violation of need to know.

        • Make that three Amendments; there are whole volumes from the Founders that show they intended the Second to be a recall provision.

          “As civil rulers, not having their duty to the people before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and as the military forces which must be occasionally raised to defend our country, might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow citizens, the people are confirmed by the article in their right to keep and bear their private arms.”
          – Tench Coxe, Philadelphia Federal Gazette, June 18, 1789

    • You say that the powerful have more power, well, duh.  This is true wherever you go, can’t help but be, as it lies in the meaning of the word powerful itself.

      What would you suggest as a solution?  

      The United States is not perfect.  Perfection is myth, a pipe dream, an illusion in this world because it is made up of many people and people are not perfect.  Whatever the faults of the United States, and they are many, I would argue that it has generally been lurching unsteadily towards the ideals on which it was founded.  I prefer its track record to the track record of any nation that has attempted socialism.  

      • Something I’ve been hearing from over here is, the Aborigine people have a king. They elected him. I am not sure what they do to get his attention or what he’s supposed to get into King mode for, but apparently his example would likely not suit the grievance mongers.

        Dude lives up in the Northern Territory, and either heads or works at a sanitation plant. Laid back, no-nonsense, subtle humor sort of person. His remarks regarding having a baby was a very laconic “When I work, I get to deal with shit all day. Now, I get to deal with shit at home too.”

        This is one of those things I’d rather not look up, because the story is too nice to spoil if reality isn’t what the tales make it out to be.

      • Perfection is beyond even myth.

  5. Do these idiots think they’re kings by Divine right and that the law is what they say it is, so they can chop away at the very law that gave them their position?

    To a certain extent, I blame Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. for this. In his “The Common Law” he put forward that the law was not the law until it was “interpreted” by the courts. This was the flap of the butterfly wing that gave us “the law is whatever the courts say it is–regardless of either wording or intent” that we have today. 😦

    • If it’s not fixed, it’s not law.

      I guess they don’t see it’s the same law that gave them legitimacy in the first place…

      • Anybody incapable of recognizing that tautological error is lacking sufficient intellect to be entrusted with enforcing law. The Law and the Courts are not legitimate because they’re legitimate, they’re legitimate because they represent the polity supporting them. And if once a judge forgets that he is making the only necessary argument for barring lifetime appointment to the bench.

        Clearly, we need a broadened authority of impeachment. If we cannot recall such arrogant fools by impeachment we are left as sole* recourse the recall by the rope.

        *”sole” in this instance refers to the metaphorical rope, of course; it is not meant to preclude recall by tar, by feathers, by fire nor by rail.

        • And the polity supporting them is legitimate because of the power behind it. In the US, that’s the economic and military power of the middle and working classes.

        • There was a brief (all too much) shining moment of Rule of Law in California when the chief justice (Rose Bird, [spit]) and two others were defeated in re-confirmation by the voters. Didn’t last, but it made things better for the while.

    • And it’s the most absolute of bullshit.

    • And it’s BULLSHIT. Tyrannical bullshit.

      • There’s a reason why, in one of my stories in the series that shall not be named, I had Holmes undergoing eternal torment.

        • “Three generations of imbeciles are enough.”
          That alone earns him a special place in hell, barring some major repentance on his part.

          • TheOtherSean

            The only good thing associated with Holmes that comes to mind is that there’s a good restaurant (Caelco’s) in St. Louis where Holmes’ law office used to be. I had an amazing breakfast there once.

    • Holmes had it exactly backward (surprise, surprise, surprise) of course: once it has been “interpreted” it is rule by interpreter — not law.

      • Without knowing his context, I can see a point to it– basically, a devil’s advocate type job. “Oh gosh look at the pretty law we made…oh holy cow HOW DID THEY INTERPRET IT THAT WAY?!?!” thing.

        Ironically enough, can be used in a looooot of ways.

    • Holmes has a point. Courts are where law and reality intersect. The legislature can put whatever they want into the legal code, but if a court won’t impose a punishment on the violators the words don’t mean a damned thing. If nobody actually gets punished for letting a donkey sleep in the bathtub, is it really illegal?

  6. Robin Hood is my favorite folk hero too. What the left doesn’t understand is that if RH was around, they would be the targets.

    • THAT!

    • The money he took was taxes, and gave it back a to those it was collected from. He’d be stealing aoc’s burger from her.

      • Yup. He took from the government, and returned to the Payer. Reagan Hood.

      • Yep. I think AOC is starting to channel her inner tyrant.

        • Starting? I think she crossed that bridge last November.

        • Also, to be fair to reality, Occasional-Cortex should be the preferred nomenclature. 🙂

        • naah, she’s the boss and we’re not smart enough to write a better plan… see?

          I think the DNC is going to need to rachet her down really fast…

          • *eyes the latest news about a ‘rebellion against Pelosi* There may just be something along that line being prepped for, because even I don’t think the average Democrat is a howling social justice warrior 24-7.

          • What she doesn’t realize is that there are better plans than hers written in crayon and posted on refrigerators.

          • They might not realize there’s anything wrong, hon. They’ve lost their fargin minds.

            • It’s not even that they don’t realize that there’s anything wrong; they don’t care, because whether the plan is workable or not is irrelevant; the goal is power, and the plan gives them that. Everything else is a distant second.

              • Seerious issues … but mmmmmm-mmm! Ah loves me some sweet potater peel! Baked, with a dab o’ butter and some salt ‘n’n pepper — Deeeee-licious, ah gawrentee!

                Gas-guzzling car rides expose AOC’s hypocrisy amid Green New Deal pledge
                Freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wants to save the planet with her Green New Deal, but she keeps tripping over her own giant carbon footprint.

                “We’re like, ‘The world is going to end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change,’ ” the progressive darling said in January, speaking of herself and her fellow millennials. “And, like, this is the war; this is our World War II.”

                Last week, she ratcheted up the rhetoric: “It is basically a scientific consensus that the lives of our children are going to be very difficult” due to climate change.

                The guiding principle of her eco-vision is to bring about “a full transition off fossil fuels and zero greenhouse gases” within 10 years.

                To achieve this, the GND fact sheet says, the nation must “totally overhaul transportation by massively expanding electric vehicle manufacturing, build charging stations everywhere, build out high-speed rail … create affordable public transit available to all, with goal to replace every combustion-engine vehicle.”

                But the woman who boasts of a “razor-sharp BS detector” seems to have trouble sniffing out her own.

                Since declaring her candidacy in May 2017, Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign heavily relied on those combustible-engine cars — even though a subway station was just 138 feet from her Elmhurst campaign office.

                She listed 1,049 transactions for Uber, Lyft, Juno and other car services, federal filings show. The campaign had 505 Uber expenses alone.

                In all, Ocasio-Cortez spent $29,365.70 on those emissions-spewing vehicles, along with car and van rentals — even though her Queens HQ was a one-minute walk to the 7 train.

                The campaign shelled out only $8,335.41 on 52 MetroCard transactions.
                see also
                Ocasio-Cortez’s home cooking video contradicts address claims
                Ocasio-Cortez’s home cooking video contradicts address claims

                “Everyone — top to bottom — used the MetroCards,” Ocasio-Cortez spokesman Corbin Trent told The Post.

                [SNIP]

                “I knocked doors until rainwater came through my soles,” she tweeted last June, famously donating her worn-out campaign shoes to the Cornell Costume Institute for an exhibit about women and empowerment.

                But Ocasio-Cortez and her staff appear to have done much less walking after she vanquished Crowley in the party’s June 2018 primary.

                Instead, her campaign embraced the friendly skies, logging 66 airline transactions costing $25,174.54 during campaign season.

                The Democratic firebrand or her staff took Amtrak far less — only 18 times — despite high-speed rail being the cornerstone of her save-the-world strategy.

                Most of the flights came after her primary win gave her superstar status and Ocasio-Cortez spent weeks jetting around the country, burning fuel to support her fellow Dems.

                [SNIP]

                Ironically, the Uber-loving politician took a tough public stand against the conveyance after a New York City taxi driver committed suicide in February 2018.

                “Yellow cab drivers are in financial ruin due to the unregulated expansion of Uber,” she tweeted on March 21. “What was a living wage job now pays under minimum.”

                Her campaign billed only seven rides in yellow cabs in a year and a half, federal filings show.

                [SNIP]

                In a Feb. 24 Instagram video filmed in her kitchen, Ocasio-Cortez railed against plastic grocery bags — then appeared to toss two of the sacks, which can be recycled, into the trash.

                In the video, Ocasio-Cortez peeled a sweet potato while calling for a “universal sense of urgency” to save the earth.

                But she discarded the vegetable scraps into the same receptacle she had just used for the plastic bags, rather than setting the food waste aside for compost.

                Trent refused to answer when asked whether his boss tossed her organic material in the trash.

          • That girl’s got issues.

            Ocasio-Cortez’s home cooking video contradicts address claims
            Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is still spinning tales about her home.

            Her spokesman on Sunday insisted she moved to new digs in mid-February.

            But the kitchen seen in a cooking video Ocasio-Cortez posted to Instagram Sunday night matches the one in other cooking videos she posted on Nov. 9 and Dec. 27.

            So how could she have moved to her new place two weeks ago if she was apparently already living there last fall?

            [END EXCERPT]

            • yeah, and the postal worker says that the mail there gets picked up about once a month, and no one in the building seems to know her.

          • At which point the Democrat party leadership is going to find itself in the same position with a large chunk of it’s base that the Republicans did after they shut down the Tea Party candidates: “We don’t trust you, we know you hate us, and we’re going to show you the results.” That got the Republicans Trump, who whatever his other flaws actually loves America.

            That is not anywhere close to what the Democrats will get.

        • Insane(?) Conspiracy Theory Time: AOC is a plant by the Illuminati (or whoever) to insure a Democrat loss in the next election.

      • He’d be stealing her boyfriend’s money and giving it back to the people.

  7. Robin Hood was always one of my favorites, too.

    When I was a kid I always viewed it all as a rich guy who’d been stolen from, stealing it back. I mean, sure, he gave some back to the peasants and got cover from them in return, but he wasn’t upset about the poor being stolen from, he was upset that HE had been stolen from.

    But then I always get him conflated with Ivanhoe, so there’s that.

    • I remember seeing the 1950s series with Richard Greene on TV at my grandmothers’ house – it must have been in constant reruns when I was a kitlet. The series was sponsored by the company which made Bandaids – the opener to the show featured one of Robin’s arrows thwacking into a tree, and a box of Bandaids spinning out. Kind of fitting, that.

      • I remember it as a young-un. Heavy rotation: one week, RH meets Richard, and the next, he’s starting out again. I would have been 6 or 7.

        • The Richard Greene version was my favorite TV show. Followed closely by Crusader Rabbit. I didn’t like Disney’s animated film because it wasn’t true to the TV show. Only later did I see Errol Flynn. Kevin Costner and his Muslim magic black man. WTF?!?! Men in tights was fun. There is a rumor they redid it last year. Wouldn’t know. Didn’t see it.

          • The first appearance of the Muslim merry man was in the 80’s series Robin of Sherwood, and he was supposed to be a one off but proved so popular that he was kept in the series. Was named Nasir, was a white guy, was played by an English actor. Popularity may have been mostly due to “fought with two swords, mysterious because didn’t talk much” -> cool. The “didn’t talk much” was possibly because the actor couldn’t do a believable accent.

            But after that a Muslim merry man seemed to suddenly be a requirement, and by now it seems people think there has always been one.

            • I actually kind of like that addition, although it annoys me that they tend to have Friar Tuck reduced to make room.

              ….hm, could be a really good teaching method, honestly. Make the Muslim character a Spaniard, do some basic theology arguing….

            • Well, Allan-a-Dale was non-existent before the Victorian era.

              Friar Tuck and Maid Marian were only introduced during the fad for Robin Hood May games. (Maid Marian, actually, appears in the written record before Robin Hood, but in a completely distinct tradition.)

              The originals were Robin himself, Much the miller’s son, Little John (which may have been nothing more than “John, Jr.”), and Will S. (You never get a ballad with both Will Scarlett and, say, Will Stutely, and in fact, you may get the same ballad in two forms, one with each name.)

              • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                IIRC There were also different places that he “haunted”.

                Sherwood Forest was only one of his “haunting” grounds.

                • Well, really, only Barnsdale is a serious contender (it’s really serious, owing to the ballads there being much more geographically accurate). Most are obviously later ones.

            • Probably for the same reasons there was a Saracen Knight of the Round table in Malory’s Morte de Arthur. Palamedes is a Knight of the Round Table in the Arthurian legend. He is a Saracen pagan who converts to Christianity later in his life, and his unrequited love for Iseult brings him into frequent conflict with Tristan. Palamedes’ father is King Esclabor. His brothers, Safir and Segwarides, also join the Round Table.

              It lent a touch of the exotic, and it also provided an example of how the chivalric virtues could unite even religious enemies.

              • Except that King Arthur’s knight gallivanted about all over the place and deal with all kind of marvels. Robin Hood is rather more bound in space and time, and also the figure was added after more concern for history was prevalent.

      • The series was sponsored by the company which made Bandaids…

        That company is Johnson & Johnson.

    • Eh, the legends drifted about a bit. In the oldest recorded ones, for instance, we have him assisting a knight financially. And a good number of the ballads have him trying to rob a poor man and getting thrashed.

      • And even then, the reason he helped the knight was because the knight’s bride had been basically kidnapped by either the Sheriff or Prince John to be awarded to a crony.

  8. Zorro seems to be the same, more or less. Always liked Zorro, too.

    • Vatertortuga

      Yes, growing up in the supposed stomping grounds of Zorro, I always imageined him riding about present day and doing his daring deeds.

    • I have read that when very young Bill Mumy was also a big fan of Zorro.  So much so that as a preschooler he broke a leg playing he was Zorro.  The one upside of this to him at the time, as he couldn’t go out and play he got to watch more of his TV heroes.   He was initially very pleased when he got to work with with the man who had played his hero Zorro.

    • tregonsee314

      Yup Reruns of the Mickey Mouse club and the Black and white Disney Zorro Episodes (and much time wasted with D&D in high school 🙂 ) are what headed me down the fencing path. And Yeah basically just a California retelling of Robin Hood. But darned fun…

  9.  I later liked the Saint (the Leslie Charteris one.  …

    Oh the memories, good ones, thank you. 

    Years ago there was a wonderful used book store in one of the pocket neighborhoods surrounding one of the two universities in town. It was walking distance from where I lived and I often hung out there for hours, sifting through the books.  One of the things which I discovered there was Leslie Charteris’ Saint.

  10. The NC constitution is unconstitutional, and the NC legislature is illegitimate. Because reasons. Shut up! Respect my authority, granted by the NC constitution!

    • I am picturing Hizzoner sitting on a branch, and sawing at it.
      Hizzoner ain’t on the tree side of the branch.
      Poppetycorn, anyone?

    • If it’s all illegitimate, doesn’t that mean they’re required to throw the bums out and elect a new one?

      • This is why the Supreme Court desperately wants to avoid getting involved in gerrymandering cases — and why partisan legislatures will push the boundaries of what can be done.

        It would be mean-spirited to note how the Democrats and Gaslight Media were not merely okay but positively bragging about successful Democrat gerrymandering (Illinois, California) that helped hold the House within reach of Democrats in, IIRC, 2000. Ironically, NC has had far more egregious districting, most notably the 12th district which, between 1990 and 2010 was known as the I-85 District …


        … for its stretch along that interstate from the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area through Greensboro/High Point into Charlotte/Gastonia, often scant yards wider than the highway connecting those cities.

        The district boundaries, stretching from Gastonia to Durham, were so narrow at some points that it was no wider than a highway lane. It followed Interstate 85 almost exactly. One state legislator famously remarked, after seeing the district map, “if you drove down the interstate with both car doors open, you’d kill most of the people in the district.”
        Wikipedia

        The district was originally home to Mel Watt (currently under investigation for sexually harassing an employee while director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency.)

        • so did the redrawn districts fix that? and that is what this judge is whining about?

          • tregonsee314

            The redrawn districts used in the 2018 midterm can be seen here
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Carolina%27s_congressional_districts
            certainly that weird skinny one shown in magenta (District 12) is gone.
            The 2018 redistricting is still under contention (though was used for 2018 due to a stay order). Truthfully it seems far more reasonable than the one RES posted. Mind you living in one of the towns from the original Gerrymander (Middleton Ma.) I have a nostalgic love of the creatures. I suspect if you looked at the oddball 12th district it was probably formed to fulfill 1965 Voting Rights act issues. Some of the counties in NC seem to be in the constrained special provisions of that act. Of course one could argue that 54 years later it may be time to let those provisions pass. Because one hates to have towns split across congressional districts you’re always going to end up with some oddities in borders especially in the Eastern US where town boundaries are, shall we say, nearly random.

            • As I recall the issue, the 12th was one of many districts drawn to comply with the minority/majority law, concentrating minority (Black) voters into a district that allowed guaranteed them representation by “one of their own.”

              Like most Progressive ideas, this one blew up in the Dems’ faces when concentrating enough minority voters in a district proved that there were not enough liberal voters in neighboring districts to protect Democrat seats. The Republicans were quicker to learn that one 90% liberal minority/majority district was better than four 55% liberal districts.

              Yet one more instance of giving Progressives what they’d demanded has proven unjust.

            • yeah i looked, and there’s no way that district wasnt a gerrymander.

  11. It’s one of the more fundamental breaks between one of my best friend’s philosophies and my own–he’s very open about the fact that what he wants is The Right People to be able to do The Right Things, and anything that gets in the way of that is Bad. (He… took it very badly when Bernie Sanders lost the Dem nomination, to further clarify the position.)

    And I really don’t know how one gets there *without* getting tripped up on images of cattlecars and mass graves. Obviously these aren’t accomplished by The Right People Doing the Right Things, but… what do you really have to ensure you only get that, beyond a talisman of wishful thinking?

    (Add the tendency to shut down and refuse to have the conversation–which somehow still involves repeating the original point a few more times–when presented with the idea that a particular policy proposal tends to have unintended consequences and I *really* don’t think you’ve got a shot.)

    …er, anyway. I’m with you. And… while I’ve never really been a Robin Hood girl (I didn’t run into this way of thinking about him until Atlas Shrugged), I can definitely come to appreciate the man you’ve outlined here.

    • Old Russian proverb:
      Best form of government is good Tsar. Worst form of government is bad Tsar. Trouble being, there are more bad Tsars than good Tsars.

      I suspect your friend is incapable of considering the possibility that her concept of “The Recht Pipple” may differ from other folks’ concept of “The Recht Pipple” — and that, absent some impartial mediating mechanism the wrong right people are apt to win election power.

      Sadly, as you note, the people committed to the idea of “putting the right people in charge” (on both sides of that debate) are also the ones most prone to doing the “Neener, neener” dance when the flaw in their plan is pointed out.

      Which is one reason I firmly agree with them, declaring “You’re absolutely right! We need Komerad [Insert Here] in charge of setting people straight, and anybody who attempts to impede the Actions of the People needs to be sent to work camps for reeducation! That’s why I voted for Trump, a man who knows how to get things done!”

      • Reminds of Soviet comedian Yakov Smirnoff’s joke when he was doing commercials for, of all things, Smirnoff vodka:”In America you can always find a party. In Russia, the party always finds you.”

    • (Add the tendency to shut down and refuse to have the conversation–which somehow still involves repeating the original point a few more times–when presented with the idea that a particular policy proposal tends to have unintended consequences and I *really* don’t think you’ve got a shot.)

      Argh, I know that one.

      “I don’t want to talk about it. Repeat claim. Why do you keep arguing with me? Repeat claim. Let’s agree to disagree. But I’m still right, repeat claim.”

      • Inorite!?!? Like, let it rest *or* defend. I’m okay with either, I swear! But “I’m right and were not talking about this anymore” is just childish x_x

        • I’ve had a little luck with “A man convinced against his will/ is of his own opinion still” and then a suitable grin and we’re just wasting time statement.

        • What am I missing?

          “I know I am right about X, but I understand you disagree and “know” you are right. So let’s not talk about it, because … [assorted reasons] okay?

          “Great.”

          …THREE HOURS LATER…

          “And that’s why we painted the dog blue, because [That ridiculous thing I believe]”

          “But [thing] isn’t true!”

          “I know you think that, and I do. Let’s not argue about it.”

          “Fine. But you’re wrong, you know.”

          Seems reasonable. I just went through the above with a friend who loves Convos w/Cordy. But we both love each other more than the Real Reason the book sucks/is made of awesome.

          How can you expect people who believe Wrong Things not to say said things betimes? Would you want to be similarly constrained?

          • What am I missing?

            One, no time gap, and two, way too reasonable on the agreeing to disagree.

            K…. something like this:

            “Macs are the best because they are immune to viruses!”
            “No, they’re not, here’s a list of big Mac virus scandals.”
            “Well, their security is broken through less often than PCs.”
            “That’s because there aren’t as many of them.”
            “Macs are more secure. We should just agree to disagree.”
            “But they’re not more secure, and if you don’t want to fight why did you try to get the last word in?”
            “You just won’t let it drop when you’re wrong, and MACS ARE TOTALLY SAFE!

            • and Mac laptops are better built than PC laptops… and Macs perform better than PCs… and Macs are more suitable for video editing than PCs… and macs are better for audio than PCs… and Macs are better for/used for animation more than PCs… I hear all of it, constantly.

              • Hey, it was true, a score of years ago!

                • not the performance one and not the animation one.. but anyway.

                • and Mac laptops are only ‘better built’ than PC laptops with the same hardware specs… which cost hundreds less. if you compare Apples to the same price PC laptops, they are built the same (and things like motherboards are made by the same company, FoxConn.)

              • Yet businesses use Windows PC or Windows Servers on a variety of hardware produced by many different companies. Components by many more. With only few components are whittled down to only 2 or 3. Yet Apple products have one provider. It is not just cost because business Windows based PC can be as expensive as Apple’s. Plus the repeating need to protect the windows hardware from software terrorists …

                Just saying …

                • yes but if you need to run, say, 3d studio max on your Mac, what is the first thing you need to do?

                  install boot camp so you can install Windows.

            • Got it. Makes sense now.

          • Contrast with:
            “Macs are the best because they are immune to viruses!”
            “No, they’re not, here’s a list of big Mac virus scandals.”
            “Well, their security is broken through less often than PCs.”
            “That’s because there aren’t as many of them.”
            “Well, we’re clearly not going to agree, so let’s just stop arguing.”

            (that is, they actually DID stop arguing, as they have requested)

            • Incidentally, at this point I’d probably say something like “but I’m actually interested in this discussion– if you just like them better, they work better for you, whatever, but security is an objective measure and if you’ve got information that they’re more secure, I’d like to have it!”

              (example chosen because IIRC they are more secure…if the big issue is someone installing everything and its malware cousin, which I found out by poking until someone gave information)

          • Foxfier got it on the nose; there’s no time gap, just an insistence that we shouldn’t talk about it followed by the initial premise being restated.

            “Look, I don’t want to argue this with you, I know you spend your life looking into all this stuff and have a lot of ideas about how it works. I don’t want to talk about it. I just think things need to be fair for *everyone*.” (or whatever glittering generality we’ve been trying to say doesn’t necessarily have the outcome he’s proposing.)

            Now, yes, my husband’s and my inability to let it go at that–to accede to the not-talking-about-it following a “but you’re wrong and you should know it”–is probably a weakness. But not talking about it means not talking about it, not planting a victory flag and walking away. -_-

    • you mean The Left People, don’t you?

  12. John Patterson

    My favorite was maid Marian.
    Ah, the Saturday afternoon dreams, in black and white!

  13. It’s scary that this judge demonstrates those in very real power don’t think very well at all…

    • No. The flaw in his reasoning is huge, enormous, gigantic, large, massive, titanic, gargantuan… Nigh unto a super-massive gravitational singularity of poor thinking.

      • Question: can he be disbarred for what he’s pushing?

        • He should at the very least be impeached.

          • You mean like Clinton. Impeached, disbarred and still re-elected.

            • Well, impeached, convicted, and a law passed barring any impeached public official from standing for an election.

              • I believe that we already have that law. I’m not sure whether it’s automatic.

                • It’s not. It’s part of the maximum punishment that can be imposed. Even if found guilty- removal from office isn’t automatic. Exact words: Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.

                  So after being found guilty, there should be a vote on the judgement. I can’t imagine that if found guilty, the legislature wouldn’t impose the max punishment.

                  • “disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: ”

                    That doesn’t apply to elected officials, only appointed ones such as Cabinet officials, military officers, etc., or so the courts have held; the Emoluments Clause uses the same language, and it’s why suits claiming Trump is violating it haven’t gone anywhere.

                    Ironically, it WOULD apply to Hildebeeste while she was SecState, which makes the 150 million sent to her foundation by the Russians for uranium, and the half-million they paid Bill for a speech, reason enough to remove her from office then.

    • tregonsee314

      It’s scary that this judge demonstrates those in very real power don’t think very well at all…

      There fixed that for you

  14. Jeff Greason

    This ties in to a long essay which I keep researching but haven’t written yet on space law and why the U.S. and Europe keep wildly different interpretations of it.

    The U.S. and the U.K. retain vestiges of the common law — the idea that there exists a society, which has rules of conduct, that emerges “bottom up” from customary relationships between people, and is then codified and regularized by courts and precedent. This had to be the case, because the tradition emerged during long periods of weak or absent central government.

    Europe and “Academic Elites” in the U.S. and the “Never Brexit” types in the U.K. are part of the Napoleonic Code tradition, only reinforced by Lenin, Stalin, Mussolini, & Shickelgruber, that law is a “top down” enterprise, a creation of the state, dispensed by the state, administered by the state, which requires that any local customs and traditions be swept aside, because if administering the law requires an official in Paris to understand conditions in Vienna, that’s obviously impractical. Therefore, law must not account for local conditions, and those in Vienna must reorder their lives to live the way that would be understood in Paris (and if this all sounds familiar to one today, so it should).

    The tales of Robin Hood are tales of “ancient custom” and common-law being usurped by distant rulers. That common-law tradition is very important and one we are not doing a great job culturally curating.

    • Funny how they belittle “trickle down” whilst enshrining it.
      And R. Reagan had the good sense to call what he “Bubble UP economics.”

    • I almost wonder if it came from a combination of the Germanic idea of weregeld—every person has a cash value, no matter how slight— and Christianity. People have a legally defined cash value and a soul that is valued by the Most High. From there you get the idea that the ruler is, in some ways, no different from everyone else, even if he or she was predestined to rule. From there it is not so far to Magna Charta, and the idea that there are rights all men have by virtue of being born children of G-d. The king can’t take those away without the permission of G-d, and the Church looked rather dimly on mere monarchs who claimed to know the divine will better than the Church did.

      I have no idea if any of that really worked that way, but it’s a hunch of mine, and a theory. YMMV, IANA historian of ideas.

      • Yes. Ethical Monotheism is the cornerstone of any idea of the Rights of Man, human dignity, you name it. Ultimate ownership doesn’t devolve onto the tyrant during jour.

    • Shickelgruber

      I somehow managed to never hear that name before.

      How… well, goes with that trope complaining about the seasons of IRL being unrealistic.

      • *boggle*

        I hereby declare thee youthful.
        You’re welcome.

        • ‘Bout to say. I’m younger than Foxfier, and I’ve heard that one.
          OTOH, I’ve also read a lot of ’40s and ’50s era stuff, so…yeah.

          • I don’t much care for reading about the Nazi personalities as people– mostly focused on what they actually DID, and anything family related wouldn’t do much. Was familiar that he had (presumably) Jewish ancestry on the mother’s side, that’s about it– always thought it was kind of a silly thing for folks to fixate on.

            Still, that name….

            • One of the great “What Ifs” is What If his step-father had not adopted him? Becuase “Heil Shickelgruber” just doesn’t have quite the same oompf… Silly? Yes. But stranger things have happened.

    • your example would sound better if you said Brussels instead of Paris.

  15. Sebastian Haffner, who grew up in Germany between the wars, wrote chillingly of what he observed at the Prussian Supreme Court (where he was working as a young lawyer) immediately after the Nazi takeover:

    “It was strange to sit in the Kammergericht again, the same courtroom, the same seats, acting as if nothing had happened. The same ushers stood at the doors and ensured, as ever, that the dignity of the court was not disturbed. Even the judges were for the most part the same people. Of course, the Jewish judge was no longer there. He had not even been dismissed. He was an old gentleman and had served under the Kaiser, so he had been moved to an administrative position at some Amtsgericht (lower court). His position on the senate was taken by an open-faced, blond young Amtsgerichtsrat, with glowing cheeks, who did not seem to belong among the grave Kammergerichtsrats…It was whispered that in private the newcomer was something high up in the SS.”

    The new judge didn’t seem to know much about law, but asserted his points in a “fresh, confident voice.”

    We Refendars, who had just passed our exams, exchanged looks while he expounded. At last the president of the senate remarked with perfect politeness, ‘Colleague, could it be that you have overlooked paragraph 816 of the Civil Code?’ At which the new high court judge looked embarrassed…leafed through his copy of the code and then admitted lightly, ‘Oh, yes. Well, then it’s just the other way around.’ Those were the triumphs of the older law.

    “There were, however, other cases–cases in which the newcomer did not back down…stating that here the paragraph of the law must yield precedence; he would instruct his co-judges that the meaning was more important than the letter of the law…Then, with the gesture of a romantic stage hero, he would insist on some untenable decision. It was piteous to observe the faces of the older Kammergerichtsrats as this went on. They looked at their notes with an expression of indescribable dejection, while their fingers nervously twisted a paper-clip or a piece of blotting paper. They were used to failing candidates for the Assessor examination for spouting the kind of nonsense that was now being presented as the pinnacle of wisdom; but now this nonsense was backed by the full power of the state, by the threat of dismissal for lack of national reliability, loss of livelihood, the concentration camp…They begged for a little understanding for the Civil Code and tried to save what they could.”

    • > The new judge didn’t seem to know much about law, but asserted his points in a “fresh, confident voice.”

      Funny, we seem to be seeing a lot of that nowadays…

      • “Funny, we seem to be seeing a lot of that nowadays…”

        Yep. For example:

        “The new Congresswoman didn’t seem to know much about energy, but asserted her points in a fresh, confident voice, stating that here the details of budget and technology must yield precedence; she would instruct her co-congresspersons that the overall goal was more important than these trivial details…Then, with the gesture of a romantic stage hero, she would insist on some untenable decision. “

        • As recently noted, I am currently listening to the Audible edition of The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Vol. 1, 1929–1964. I cleared “The Little Black Bag” the other day and Kornbluth’s depiction of “folk what am smart” was eerily prescient.

          • tregonsee314

            I actually listened to the same audible edition a short while back. Some of the stories do poorly (the world has changed far to much). But “Helen O’Loy” and “Little Black Bag” are like punches to the gut. Also the Weapon Shops one (forget its name).

    • How very familiar.

      Very, very familair.

  16. Because Judges have gone insane and think they can overthrow the very law under which they were sworn.

    Two North Carolina constitutional amendments were tossed on a questionable basis. The argument that Wake County Superior Court Judge G. Bryan Collins affirmed was that the state is so terribly* gerrymandered that the lawmakers were not representative, should not have been holding office, and therefore had no right to propose the amendments is creative.  The people of the state, in a record turn out for an off year election, had passed both of these amendments with better than 55% of the vote in favor. 
     
    Two other amendments passed in the same election stood, but they were not being challenged in court.

    It will be interesting to see how the case progresses.  One can only imagine that if it withstands review the next move would be to suspend any business that had been done by that legislature.  All in all, were this this to succeed, it would mark North Carolina’s second coup.

    *terribly — as in the ‘wrong’ party had been in charge of the government and therefore profited by the age old exercise this time.

    • Poppetycorn. SO MUCH poppetycorn!

    • riteturn/ Mac'

      How can two amendments be rejected over who passed them and two by the same people pass? This is raving lunacy.

      • How? Because those who had filed the challenge had only done so regarding the two amendments (voter ID and tax-cap).  Welcome to the three right circus that our government (executive and legislative) and courts are becoming.

        The two remaining amendments that passed were a victim’s rights amendment and a right to hunt/fish/harvest wildlife amendment.  I am surprised that someone did not challenge the latter, because guns…

  17. I do not recall how old I was when I realized Robin Hood was a bad guy, increasing peasants’ the oppression. Certainly it was before ever I heard of, much less read, Ayn Rand. It simply dawned on me that Robin’s thefts from the rich were replenished by higher taxes and greater force used to extract those taxes and to protect them.

    “We’re sorry to have to increase your taxes, but with that robbing hood about we need to replenish the treasury of those stolen funds and now we’ve extra security costs to fund, as well.”

  18. And equality before the law IS civilization.

    That is one of more profound things I have read.

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      Law is a process for normalizing resolution of disputes.

      Resolution of disputes keeps them from staying around forever and festering. See Balkans, too much history.

      Disputes are constantly generated. Cultural customs and traditions drive the limits of what is worth handling in which ways. Some things are worth escalating, some worth resolving. But culture can change, and the results of legal processes are one thing that can inspire change.

      Law is a necessary but not sufficient precondition for civilization. Culture is a necessary but not sufficient precondition for law.

  19. BobtheRegisterredFool

    This is related to my ‘lawyers have screwed up the management of their profession’ argument.

    This was inspired by being hearing a law prof lecture on litigation, mediation, and arbitration as being alternatives. There is a fourth alternative for resolving disputes, the knife. When the knife alternative is forgotten, there is less incentive for lawyers to keep the first three alternatives to an affordable cost in complexity. (And because lawyers and judges work with this crap all the time, do not grok how complex it seems to others.)

    It’d be bad for lawyers not to have that blind spot. If they spent half or more of themselves thinking about murdering the opposition as a means of conducting business, no civilization. But that blind spot directly leads to the likewise harmful assumption that they can do any arbitrary complex process, and we have no choice but to choke down their bullshit.

    See Cardshark on my absurd proposal for abusing RICO pro se lawsuits.

    • I have a friend of mine whose father was a lawyer. He predicted the downfall of the profession when the law was finally changed to allow lawyers to advertise. Before advertising, T. C. Mits didn’t know the names of any law firms unless for some reason he had had to do business with one.

      I think everyone in my area who listens to radio of watches television can recite the phone number of Cellino and Barnes. And probably to the tune of the jingle.

      • We’ve got two here like that, one in solo practice and the other a firm. Let’s just say their commercials are memorable for reasons that have nothing to do with the practice of law.

  20. I note with considerable interest that with Washington state having passed a whole new set of rather draconian gun control legislation over half of the county sheriffs have publicly stated their refusal to enforce them.
    In a similar vein in Illinois, something like half the state’s county authorities have declared as sanctuary areas specifically as regards new gun control legislation in that state. Some bright bulb figured out that if cities can refuse to enforce laws against illegal immigrants, then by golly that tactic can work both ways.

    • IIRC, when New York recently passed a slate of asinine gun laws — including magazine limits that made the standard issue cops’ guns illegal — the state’s sheriffs did a similar “Hell no, that won’t go” position and effectively voided the law.

      • And that’s why elected sheriffs by county is a good idea. I’m waiting for a court decision that says one man one vote doesn’t allow county governments….

    • “Some bright bulb figured out that if cities can refuse to enforce laws against illegal immigrants, then by golly that tactic can work both ways.”

      Yes. Oregon Legislator has taken some notice of that. Some gun laws have been passed here. But no counties have declared publicly for gun sanctuaries; that I’m aware of. Lane County sure in hell hasn’t. As it is counties are all threading a needle. Currently if someone anonymously reports someone as unstable that owns guns, & the county doesn’t investigate & confiscate county will be sued if something happens. OTOH if county investigate & confiscate, county is going to be sued & lose against the person targeted.

      So far state hasn’t taken away guns. But state is making it darn difficult to sell, give to another individual, or inherit, any firearm. For example I know mom gave away all the guns when daddy passed away … my story & I’m sticking to it.

      • Ah yes, those oh so effective red flag laws, dear to SJW everywhere.
        With no regard that they raise doxing to an entirely new level.
        Fight with your boyfriend? He has guns and I don’t feel safe. Cops confiscate every firearm he owns in a New York minute. The procedures for getting his guns back and restoring his constitutional rights, well we’ll figure that out eventually. Or for that matter your crazy neighbor who hates you because you drive a better car, or you don’t mow your lawn as often as they’d like sees you occasionally load a gun case for a range trip. Drop a dime (yeah I’m old enough to know where that phrase comes from) to the Five-O and bang, you’re rendered defenseless.
        Side note, there are still rusted lumps of metal that were once quality firearms stuck in non climate controlled storage from back when law enforcement confiscated all firearms they found in the possession of residents of New Orleans. Taking them was easy, particularly when backed with a squad of National Guard troops, but to recover your property after the fact you supposedly had to produce a bill of sale or other proof of ownership. Only fair don’t you know.

        • How optimistic. Woman decides to murder her husband, reports his guns and red flag, murders him secure in the knowledge that he can’t shoot her.

          • Same as the “take your guns because we think you might be depressed and commit suicide” thing. So you’re gonna take my guns, but leave me a bathtub and a box of razor blades? The bottle of oxycodone? The car keys? What about the upper-story windows?

            Maybe suicide prevention isn’t their objective… (note: suicide isn’t even a crime in about half the states)

            • To be just, removing a means of suicide does decrease suicide. When Great Britain used coal gas, one half of all the suicides in that country were committed by turning on the gas and letting the carbon monoxide build up. As they switched over to natural gas — not enough carbon monoxide — the suicide rate declined by a third.

              Apparently suicides are not well-thought out.

      • Yes, I was quite surprised at just how deep the local lakes are. It was hell getting back in the boat, too.

      • If the Democrats get their way, a person who gives a gun to another person at a shooting range so that person can try the gun to see if they like it, will be committing a felony, as even short term temporary transfers like handing a gun to someone for five or ten minutes to try it out will require a full comprehensive background check.

        • So every firearms owners needs a carry permit, which (less Constitutional Carry states) shows such check has been done?

          • Even if you have a permit, you could not let another person, who also has a permit, borrow your gun, even for a couple of minutes, without a full background check, and failure to have such a check done would be a felony.

        • The current anti-gun fever-dream in Oregon is a bill to outlaw firearms capable of handling more than 5 rounds, including revolvers. I suspect the author didn’t realize that 5 round revolvers actually exist, or it would have been 4 rounds.

          • Yes. Outlawing any gun that takes a clip that is easy to fast reload, regardless of capacity. What also they don’t know about revolvers is that you can get fast easy loaders for those too. For some, is faster than clips.

            My main complaint about revolvers is I’ve never been able to physically unload one. Not quite the same difficulty with clips. I mentioned that to someone with a lot more knowledge of firearms & they just waved me off with the notation of the revolver quick loader. Never seen one. Just was told about them.

            Oregon is also making it difficult for you to purchase bulk ammunition & stash it. Not sure how they are handling those that make their own ammunition; most everyone I know, not only makes their own ammo, but usually family members too. But then that was when daddy was reloading, & he’s been gone for 10 years, not reloading for a lot longer than that because of his stroke.

            • Speed loaders for a specific revolver should be available at your friendly gun shop.

              FWIW, $SPOUSE has small hands, but has found the Ruger LCR suitable. We’re considering another in .22LR for practice. Me, I want a semi in .22. Sold off too many firearms years ago because of finances, including some that never should have been sold.

      • So what? Those guns you don’t have are now paperweights. You will not be able to legally maintain them, purchase ammunition for them, and most importantly practice with them nor train others in their use. If you use them to defend yourself, you will be committing a felony automatically and you will be arrested, one at a time.

        The confiscation is here; most people are deceived by form as opposed to effect. Just like allowing banks to close the accounts and payment processors to refuse to process payments for wrong thinkers won’t involve anything visible, but “no man may buy or sell unless he have the Mark” of anti-Christian approval.

  21. Rich Rostrom

    Until about 1966, there was very considerable vote suppression in NC and indeed through most of the South. This included voting for Federal offices. Does that mean all Federal laws enacted before 1966 are invalid?

    Or only those laws for which Southern votes were required for passage?

    What about laws that were not passed due to votes of allegedly illegitimate legislators?

    I have never heard of any action of a legislature being reversed because some of the members were improperly seated. Bear in mind that on many occasions, the US House and Senate have overturned a member’s election. But the votes cast by that member (if any) were not rescinded.

    • “I have never previously heard of any action of a legislature being reversed because some of the members were improperly seated.”

      FIFY.

      If this judicial ruling is allowed to stand you will hear of it time and again, be assured. Note that this ruling was not predicated on the premise that some legislators were improperly seated; it was based on the argument that the legislature as a whole was improperly seated.

      And yes, the logical conclusion of this ruling is that EVERY. Single. Act. by that legislature was illegitimate and must be unmade — including apportionment of budget and (presumably, if the Senate was similarly corruptly seated) confirmation of judges — under the rule of corrupt in part, corrupt in whole, judicial claim to be limited only to the issues of the case brought before it on the two amendments approved by a vote of the entire electorate, not withstanding.

      • I looked up Wake County Superior Court Judge G. Bryan Collins at Ballotpedia and found that he was elected in 2012 — which strongly suggests his judicial district was apportioned by the same “corrupt” gerrymandered legislature which he has ruled invalidly formed.

        Of no surprise is this revelation: “In 2005, he became the Public Defender for Wake County. He was then elected a superior court judge in 2012.”

        • I looked up the districting problems in NC and found that this judge is trying to play chicken with the Supreme Court, in an opinion written by Kagan.

  22. This all flows from the omnipotence claimed by the lawless Warren Court in the late 1950s, 1960s, and early 1970s. They ruled according to whim, then faked up a legal rationale for it.

    I think part of the cure must be to humble the courts. You have a massive building for Congress. A magnificent house for the President. The Supreme Court? Demolish that palace of arrogance they occupy today and house them in a nondescript office building. They are the JUNIOR branch of the Federal Government, and need to be reminded of it.

    Then move the courthouses of the Circuit Courts of Appeal. The Ninth Circuit, in particular. Get them out of San Francisco, and you might see some sensible rulings from them. Especially if you move them to somewhere like Palmdale…or Inyokern, CA.

    • The Supreme Court isn’t a junior branch of the government, it’s co-equal to the President and Congress. Its powers are constrained by the other two branches, just as they’re constrained by its powers.

      • Not since Marbury v Madison, they aren’t. That is the ACTUAL state of affairs, because it’s been deemed legitimate for so long. Don’t bother.claiming otherwise.

        • Marbury v. Madison was nothing new, it simply reaffirmed the role courts had played in Common Law since time immemorial.

  23. I had to look a long way into these comments before I saw Zorro mentioned. Now, there’s a hero. My crush hero.

  24. Bernie Sanders in tights

    I’ll have my therapist bill you for whatever needs to be done to treat that image.

  25. Anyway, mostly what Robin Hood did was keep the boot of the powerful — which isn’t the same as rich, even if they often coincide

    I have often wondered how much honest disagreement (as opposed to AOC types) about what the government should and shouldn’t fun is tied to how much of human history “the rich” and “the government” has been synonymous.

    America has been historically the nation that broke that tie the most and the longest. Given that I think a lot of fights over things like arts funding, charity work, and so on amount to “Okay, we have separated wealth and political power to a degree unique in history. What goes where in terms of things the politicalrich used to do.”

    In fact, phrasing it this way has been a useful test in seeing if I am dealing with honest disagreement in the broad liberty based framework of US thought or some kind of Marxist.

    • The old British Imperils used to see government as something to keep the idle rich property owners busy and out of trouble- though they saw it as a noble obligation & literal civil service.
      It wasn’t a bad system, yielding such men as Winston Churchill, Lord Salisbury, Gladstone, and many others.

  26. What they don’t know about the middle ages…

    Heck, all you need to “get” Robin Hood is a very basic understanding of that scene in the Bible where Jesus meets with Zacchaeus, the tax collector, who repented of taking more than he was supposed to.

    You don’t even need to READ it, the scene is hugely popular because you get to have a little short, fat guy, usually in a poorly fitting robe, scrambling up a tree– I can’t rememberwhere it’s from, but my favorite version has him getting at his store of money in his house by having to hop up on tippy-toe before he can present it to Jesus. ^.^

    (Might hit spam, I just posted this on an old article, somehow.

    • tregonsee314

      Roman Tax collectors, lovely folks. Closer to modern extortionist thugs (Be a shame if your vineyard burned down, just pay the tax…). My understanding is basically they were required to pay a certain amount per period to the Romans. Anything else they gathered was theirs. And gather they did. Jesus already was hanging out with tax collectors, Matthew was also a tax collector. I suspect tax collectors were about as socially popular as MS13 drug dealers would be today and only slightly less vicious.

      And there is a great Sunday school song (Zacheus was a wee little man and a wee little man was he) that goes with it. Motions and the whole nine yards

  27. Which is a great pity because I’m starting to think we need a figure like that.

    Batman? His ancestor (per dad’s old radio shows), Zorro?

  28. analytical-engine-mechanic

    What’s most amazing about this decision as reported in the article (above and beyond the “mere” fact it *happened*) is the all-embracing, go-for-broke nature of its underlying conceit — that *everything* this legislature has done is invalid (for Reasons) and therefore subject to (selective) reversal.

    It’s like he thinks he’s invented some kind of legal Universal Solvent that he can use, henceforth, to dissolve away any action of the legislature he doesn’t like. No need to find (defensible) legal or constitutional fault with the details, this idea (if upheld) would simply let him strike down *anything* he pleases, or let stand anything he likes too much to use his Patented Sunday Punch.

    Surely this *cannot* be lost on (any of) the courts of appeals who are (by the article) sure to get this case. So unless they’re willing to hand this guy the judicial equivalent of a +50 Vorpal Keen Demonslayer Smiting Sword of Ten Hits Per Round and Cure Critical Wounds at Will — this also *cannot* stand.
    Because, game balance?!?

    But it’s not just the legislature that did this — it’s the voters of an entire *state*, who *did* vote both proposals into the N.C. Constitution; and unless he thinks the *state’s* boundaries were somehow subject to evil gerrymandering, even his Ever So Clever Argument can’t make *that* event magically vanish.

    The people have, literally, already spoken on this, *at the polls*. Obviously, neither this judge or the group(s) who started this much care about that, but still… it’s been traditional (for obvious *actual* reasons) to care about it, a lot.

    Start a fight with the legislature, okay, that’s bold.
    Start a fight with the electorate, that’s… uh, something else.

    And in Late Breaking News, same judge has refused to stay his decision pending appeal… doubling down on the crazy. The next step seems to be an emergency appeal to the appeals court, just to get a stay on invalidating a *statewide vote* on *two* parts of the state’s *highest* law (subject to Federal precedence).

    Wow. Just wow.

    To misquote the Andrews Sisters — pass the popcorn, and then pass the ammunition (hopefully always metaphorical).

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      This novel legal principle seems like it could be used to overturn the thirteenth and fourteenth amendments to the national constitution.

    • Does he really want to remove that “small, insignificant stone” at the base of the dam?

      The cascade might be… impressive.

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        I think we are looking at another one of these sorts whose view of social phenomena is that they are all normally static and always uncoupled. Where the only motion is what you deliberately cause.

        • The man of system, on the contrary, is apt to be very wise in his own conceit; and is often so enamoured with the supposed beauty of his own ideal plan of government, that he cannot suffer the smallest deviation from any part of it. He goes on to establish it completely and in all its parts, without any regard either to the great interests, or to the strong prejudices which may oppose it.

          He seems to imagine that he can arrange the different members of a great society with as much ease as the hand arranges the different pieces upon a chess-board. He does not consider that the pieces upon the chess-board have no other principle of motion besides that which the hand impresses upon them; but that, in the great chess-board of human society, every single piece has a principle of motion of its own, altogether different from that which the legislature might chuse to impress upon it. If those two principles coincide and act in the same direction, the game of human society will go on easily and harmoniously, and is very likely to be happy and successful. If they are opposite or different, the game will go on miserably, and the society must be at all times in the highest degree of disorder.

          ― Adam Smith

  29. Here’s a serious question. Suppose a group of citizens from North Carolina dragged this tyrannical judge out of his home, carried him over to the nearest lamppost with some rope, and did some assembly.

    Would you react “OMG, How could they do this?” or “It’s about f—–g time someone did this?”

    I’d go with the latter. And would be unable to vote Guilty! on any charges they might be drought up on.

    • I wait and watch to see what will finally push the people to do that.

      • The problem is that once that door is opened it’s damned hard to close again, and all kinds of people can walk through it. The United States has been freakishly lucky (the closest I come to religious belief is when I read American history) in having people who can and will bar that door both times it’s been opened.

      • It will be something small and weird. And it will cascade. when? Could be tomorrow
        Could be ten years from now. These things are hard to predict. People will swallow big things then revolt over something tiny.

        • Yeah. The thing in my head, sadly, these days is; “They’re not going to revolt over that big thing, and that liberty being taken away, and that other thing over there that removes yet another of their civil rights, or the very obvious way that eventually there’ll be an assassination of a non-liberal public official or figure, or the open pushes for sedition and civil war… but they’ll revolt over something very, very small. And the bloodbath will rival the French Revolution’s Terrors. Or there won’t be much.”

      • Again: The ‘Last Straw’ is unknown until the poor camel’s back breaks. Some will be astonished at the seeming triviality of that straw, ignoring all the other straws it was heaped upon.

    • I will take the fifth.

  30. elainethomp

    California threw out Rose Bird decades ago, but we couldn’t do anything about the judge(s) who threw out the marriage laws. The state who was supposed to defend them, didn’t. There were discussion around about what can we citizens could do, but no one came up with anything that worked.

    We should have impeached the judge, but the voter can’t. I keep trying to vote the idiots out, but more get voted in, and the corruption gets worse.

    native Californian, here, sad to see what’s become of the place.

    • The state who was supposed to defend them, didn’t.

      *desire to cry*

      Yeah. That.

    • Please, for the love of heaven, call back the idiots who are turning CO into CA. Then come here.

    • I keep trying to vote the idiots out, but more get voted in…

      You have described Minnesota as well, alas.

      • And Oregon, unfortunately. Worse, with judicial (locally anyway) most the time only one person is running …

        • kenashimame

          In Maricopa and Pima County in Arizona superior court judges, plus statewide appeals and supreme court justices, are initially appointed by the governor and every four years or appear on the ballet with the option to retain or expel them.

          To my knowledge expulsion rarely or never occurs.

    • Sometimes I’m reminded of Frank Herbert’s “The Dosadi Experiment”… except I don’t think California’s eventual outcome is going to be even that good.

  31. The lesson the Democrats take from Robin Hood is that there were insufficient bow, sword and knife control laws.

  32. Douglas R Chandler

    “..an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth..” was actually a law to prevent private feuds from escalating . “…a stolen chicken, an eye lost, a several generations later two tribes doing the Hatfield’s and McCoy’s feud. .

  33. Perhaps the president can take money from the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities to create and establish a major open air art gallery displaying some of the finest of America’s visual arts. With a combined budget for the NEA & NEH of $155 billion, a meagre 3% of their funding ($4.65 billion) added to $1.4 billion of other appropriated funds, could establish over 200 miles of permanent display panels along our southern border.