Archive for category Law and Order

The Selective Melting Pot

In the America of respectable conservatives, the term “undocumented worker” is perfectly accurate. In a paper country, why should one person be allowed to work on one side of the border and another not? To respectable conservatives, there is nothing racial or inherited or even cultural about Americans. To conservatives, being an America is entirely a matter of paperwork.

Why should one Julio get five times the wages of another Julio because he has papers?

When the Immigration and Naturalization Acts were passed in 1921 and 1923, it was decided that America was made up of a certain people, and immigration would keep that identity. Calling something illegal immigration made sense, since those laws followed a racial and cultural policy.

But for a melting pot, where the choice of citizens is openly random, no one can really take the word “illegal” seriously. In terms of American policy today, nothing about you matters except the papers.

The documents.

The term “undocumented worker” should be “undocumented citizen.” A bumper sticker ought to say, “I’m not a citizen, I’m just documented.”

Our borders are collapsing because we have declared they no longer make any sense.

A melting pot cannot be selective.



Copyright Law and the Bible

I hope you don’t think I’m on a sermon jag this Sunday. Pain made a comment that made think in this direction. I hope no one takes my theology seriously. I am illustrating the development of Wordism and copyright law, which I have some qualifications to do.

I have not been elected Pope, though I came within a hundred votes every time.

So on to copyright law.

Almost anyone who does a lot of writing, as I hope you will, has concerns about copyright law. One of the jokes I tell goes this way:

“The Bible is the best selling book, by far, in all of history. In fact it is by far the best-selling book on earth every single year.”

“If the Jews are such great businessmen, why the hell didn’t they COPYRIGHT it?”

In other words, the idea of copyrighting the Bible was a joke to me.

Which shows how little I know about lawyers.

I found out recently why there are so many honest differences about the wording in the Bible Back when I was a by and snakes still had feet, “the Bible” where I came from meant the St. James Version. There was also a CATHOLIC Bible. But these were both far too old to have any copyright.

Then came The Revised Standard Version of the Bible, which my conservative kin referred to as “The Communist Bible.” The Revised Standard Version came with a copyright. Strictly speaking, when you quoted it you were in violation of the law.

The law allows you what is called the “fair use” doctrine, which allows you to quote text without permission up to a certain number of words. “Fair use” makes provision for reviewers and so forth, but like all legal concepts, it is not nailed down specifically. You can’t just take a chapter out of a famous author’s book and use it to sell your anthology, for instance.

In the case of most copyrighted books you get permission or you get sued. But all over the web you will find comparisons of huge slabs of the Bible from different versions, most of which are still copyrighted. The fact is that the people holding the copyright COULD sue but they DON’T. After all, the ostensible purpose of retranslating The Book is to spread it.

All this is fairly recent news to me. It may be to some of you.



The Blessings of Diversity

This e-mail gave me lots of info in one place, with pictures, so this one time I’ll pass it on:

More clear evidence of the blessings of diversity!

This link is the FBI’s wanted list, for violent crimes – murders:

And this is the FBI’s wanted list for violent crimes, additional (meaning other than murder, I guess):


Please note that the mot waned include one who comitted “Murder with a Deadly Weapon” and one who is charged with”Murder and Failure to Appear.” I wonder if anyone but me finds anything to mull over about these?



To End Terrorism, Let Permit Holders Carry Guns on Planes

Every time I take off my belt at airport security, I keep thinking that the terrorists should send the security personnel a letter of thanks. If they didn’t do that, the terrorists would like to.

What all that airport security guarantees is that if a terrorist wants to take over a plane, everyone on board is absolutely helpless against him.

The hundreds of thousands of people who have held concealed weapons permits for over a decade now have a MUCH better record with their guns than ANY police agency does. If you ever saw one permit holder do something stupid with his gun it would be on the front page coast-to-coast.

How many times have you seen or seen it reported the POLICE used their guns recklessly?

Why is this true?

Police work often destroys the nerves. A permit holder is not subject to the constant pressure a policeman is.

Ask any police psychiatrist whether every policeman he knows is fit to be armed twenty-four hours of every day.

They are all REQUIRED to be so armed. Look at THAT before you panic over “Letting citizens carry guns.”

If terrorists are enough of a threat to make strip-searching grandmothers and all the rest necessary, the simple fact is that permit holders are demonstrably FAR less dangerous than that.

And even the possibility of ONE permit holder with a gun would destroy all the plans a terrorist can make.



International Law

When I took my first course in international law, I assumed there was no such thing. I thought it meant taking the League of Nations or the UN seriously.

I was, as everyone always does, taking it from the wrong end.

In the real world courts must decide on cases which involve more than one country. They have no choice. There is nothing theoretical about it. The courts in each country must pick its own precedents. American judges use a lot of British precendents and vice-versa, since both have a basis in the Common Law.

It had not occurred to me before I took the course that such cases HAVE to be decided, and the result is called international law, thought it is not international.

We have a similar problem with regard to interstate relations in the United States. The Constitution requires each state to give “full faith and credit” to the laws of other states. In other words, if one state allows homosexual marriage every other state must recognize it.

But they don’t. Since the beginning states have refused to extradict people convicted of criminal acts to the states where they were convicted.

There is the provision for full faith and credit, but there is no ENFORCEMENT mechanism. “Full faith and credit,” like international law, is a guideline, not a law.

If the Supreme Court told the president he had to use force to make one state extradict to another he would do it. Today the courts rule absolutely. But historically that was not the case.

When America extradicts a murderer from abroad, it has to guarantee the country extradicting that the nice guy will not face the death penalty here. Massachussetts can and probably will do exactly the same for murderere who escape there.

In Massachussetts the state supreme court decided that it didn’t like the state law that required that people cannot be married unless they are of different sexes. No other state accepts that.

In the United States you can be legally married to two different spouses. About 1945 North Carolina decided it would not accept Nevada’s easy divorce law. In fact until 1948 there was NO divorce law in SOUTH Carolina.
The court had no way to force North Carolina to accept Nevada divorces. So a man who was divorced and remarried in Nevada remained married to his original wife when he was in North Carolina but he was also legally married to his new wife in Nevada and states that accepted Nevada law.

As a matter of fact tens of thousands of people were and are legally married to two different partners in the United States. If any of them contracted a gay marriage in Massachussetts, they would legally married to three different people.

Under international law, America in general did not accept the easy Mexican divorces, even Nevada. So you could have your fourth spouse down there.

In case you think this is pure theory, remember that a person married to an American citizen has the right to permanent residence in the United States.

Here is a person married to an American citizen in half the states but not in the other half. If both wives are foreigners, which one gets the permanent visa?

Which gives you an idea of what international law looks like.