The Most Revolutionary Act

Diverse Ramblings of an American Refugee

Dr Stuart Jeanne Bramhall

Dr Stuart Jeanne Bramhall
New Plymouth, New Zealand
December 02
Retired psychiatrist, activist and author of 2 young adult novels - Battle for Tomorrow and A Rebel Comes of Age - and a free ebook 21st Century Revolution. My 2010 memoir The Most Revolutionary Act: Memoir of an American Refugee describes the circumstances that led me to leave the US in 2002. More information about my books (and me) at


NOVEMBER 11, 2012 11:19PM

Everything is Illegal in America

Rate: 6 Flag

Never in my wildest did I imagine I would ever post a news clip by Fox New commentator John Stossel. Well I guess it pays to keep an open mind. What follows is a clever and tragic account of the extreme over-policing that categorizes contemporary US society.


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John Stossel is right about a lot of things
so is this guy:
I saw this a while ago, randomly. Unfortunately, the sight of John Stossel is something I find vomit enducing, so I only was able to skip around, but I got the basics of it (no one is allowed to have a lemonade stand...the end of freedom).

It was a good analogy for more important stuff...probably the best thing he'd done.
I saw this a while ago, randomly. Unfortunately, the sight of John Stossel is something I find vomit enducing, so I only was able to skip around, but I got the basics of it (no one is allowed to have a lemonade stand...the end of freedom).

It was a good analogy for more important stuff...probably the best thing he'd done.
Interesting link, Herr Rudolphus. I'm not sure I agree. I think the Republicans have the same problem as the Democrats - they abandoned their base for corporations.
Of course it is. Excessive/idiotic legislation in America serves the big money and/or keep the peasants on their toes. R
As much as laws frustrate what should be permitted, to generalize that all regulation, such as fire laws, electric safety laws, laws demanding that employees should be paid properly for work done, that mines are properly designed and run to protect miners, that defective automobiles be kept off the road, that drivers pass tests for competence, that meats are safe to eat etc., etc. are all bad is a major mistake with a rather evil agenda. This is a ploy for corporations to divest themselves of government regulations which are necessary for a decent working society. Not all regulation is sensible but much is basically necessary to have a working society. Total rejection or acceptance is abysmally stupid and it is the necessity for government to make intelligent choices in the matter which is the major problem. Since many government officials as well as many businessmen can be stupid and incompetent something has to have intelligent control. That's a major problem.
Stossel and many others can pick and choose their targets and when they do they get no argument from me... there's still a strong streak of Libertarian in my political philosophy, but Stossel and many of the others of his ilk have a strange delusion about the "free market" and "meritocracy" which simply doesn't bear out in a tax free, flat tax or unregulated market... Enron is but one dark example.
When I was a boy (maaaaaanny years ago) one could safely assume that anything not illegal was legal. Not so in this world of today. The only way to be even a bit safe is to assume that, unless there is a law requiring you to do - or not do - something, then doing - or not doing - it is probably illegal.

It's been said before; it bears repeating, "The Law Is An Ass!" and, "Any justice that emerges from the practice of law, is purely coincidental."
On the whole, I side with libertarians on social issues. If it doesn't hurt anybody between two consenting adults, why bother? Of course the other 50% of this libertarian screed is to allow the rich and corporations the freedom to do any damn thing they want to.

On the whole, Stossel is pretty laughable. This is a piece of TV fluff.
You make a rally important point, Jan. However to be fair to Stossel, he seems to stick to ways in which citizens are over policed in this video. I honestly don't see him making free market, pro-corporate generalizations here.

jmac and ONL, I'm fully aware of Stossel's other flaws. I myself have a strong libertarian streak when it comes to personal liberties. I also have a long time allergy to argumentum ad hominem fallacies - that's where you condemn a person's viewpoint because you dislike their viewpoint on other issues. This was the main reason I posted the video. I honestly can't find fault with anything he says here.

I think it's important to recognize who Stossel is. This man is richly rewarded by his corporate backers to spout his neoliberal free market bullshit. The same cannot be said for grassroots libertarians. I think we need to actively seek areas in which we share common ground with them - in my view this is the only way forward in building a viable anticorporate movement.
One further comment. In most of these cases the problem is essentially not the law, it is the behavior of the police. It is the nature of the police to punish any questioning of their authority, whether or not that authority is authorized by actual law. This is a reality that is accepted by the general public since the police take it for granted that, even in the ordinary enforcement of their legitimate duties they are permitted to behave with the utmost brutality, slamming people to the ground and manhandling them in a sadistic manner. And since it is general practice that even in the case of outright murder whether it is mistaken or not, the police are rarely punished. The absolute arrogance of the police cannot be questioned without frequently disastrous results. Until this basic misbehavior is corrected the public is at the mercy of what can only be termed legal bullying and I have seen no serious efforts to even modify it, much more to hold the police to account for basically uncivil actions.
Excellent point, Jan. Until police face prosecution for arbitrary police violence, their brutal and sadistic treatment of the public will continue.
Since local laws might vary on police supervision it might be possible to create a federal supervisory office with agents locally to make video recordings of police procedures to assure that the police do not distort evidence on important occasions of public control. Also, any civilians on the spot could record police misbehavior and submit it to neutral officials for possible evidence of police brutality and any police interference with such civil recordings should be prosecutable. Civilians are already attempting such recordings but they are frequently frustrated by illegal police behavior. This interference also should be made prosecutable to keep the police in line. Videos so submitted should be made legal official evidence and not to be placed in the hands of the police who could destroy them.

This concept would, undoubtedly, be fought by police authorities and not a simple thing to be put into operation but, in the long run, would not only correct bad behavir, but also result in much more respect for the police who most frequently are punished for whistle blowing on bad behavior.