Montréal, 3 mars 2001  /  No 78
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David MacRae is a software consultant who works out of his home in St. Laurent, Quebec.
by David MacRae
          Yet another law made by our masters in the Supreme Court. In the case of R. vs. Burns and Ray, they have decided that the government of the day has no right to extradite these two men to Washington state unless given assurances that they will not be sentenced to death for the murders they have confessed to.
Inventing outrageous assaults 
          Ever since Pierre Trudeau gave us the Charter of Privileges and Obligations in 1982, this rogue court has repeatedly invented laws. Occasionally, the court’s decisions have been sensible, say in the Little Sisters pornography case. Occasionally, they have simply been meddlesome, as the M. vs. W decision on gay marriage. 
          Far too often, though, their decisions have been simply outrageous assaults on our liberty. You can start with anything linked to Indian affairs or relations between the sexes. There have been so many horrible decisions in these areas that it’s hard to pick one out as being especially atrocious. 
          My personal choice is the Larry Ewanchuk case wherein our unelected rulers have added a new twist to the meaning of « thought crime », one that even Orwell never imagined. According to this particular piece of lunacy, you can be jailed for the irrational thoughts of another person, thoughts of which you weren’t even aware. That’s right. Somebody goes bonkers. You don’t know about it. But it’s your fault anyway. 
          The McLaughlin Court appears to be somewhat less lunatic than its predecessors, but this is certainly not a complement. 
          Now it so happens that, for once, the court is right. The government of Canada should not be an accomplice to murder. It also is obvious that the law itself is inconsistent. Canada has abolished the death penalty. Why would it give up a prisoner to a foreign power which would impose this sentence when it wouldn’t do so itself? 
          Still the question remains, what business do McLaughlin and her cronies have making this decision? The answer is clearly none. They have arrogated it to themselves. 
Let's ban all government crimes 
          Since they have seized this power, let me make a small proposition. From now on, let’s ban all government crimes. Naturally, we would want to start with those it commits thousands of times every day in the normal course of its operation, instead of those which are based on the judgement of a jury of the accused’s peers. 
          Theft from taxpayers. Kidnapping of children from their parents. The protection racket called policing. Expropriation of people’s property. Extortion of companies whose products happen to be politically incorrect. Violation of the right of freedom of association by so-called Human Rights Commissions. Destruction of the Rule of Law by corrupt courts. 
          Why do we allow the government to perform acts which we properly view as criminal if committed by anyone else? If Timothy McVeigh bombs a federal government building in Oklahoma, he is convicted of murder and will probably hang for the deed. When Bill Clinton bombs an aspirin factory in the Sudan to deflect public attention from his sordid little scandals, he is given a pension and an office. At the time of the bombing, more consideration was given to the obvious hypocrisy involved in his timing than to the fact that he had just committed murder. 
          In the last century, governments have murdered more than one hundred million of their own people. From the killing fields of Cambodia to the fire bombing of innocent children at Waco, governments have murdered far more people than all other criminals and crime syndicates put together. In fact, it’s probably about one hundred to one. Yet somehow we think that these people are there to protect us from criminals and we willingly give up our means of self-defence to them. 
     « If Timothy McVeigh bombs a federal government building in Oklahoma, he is convicted of murder and will probably hang for the deed. When Bill Clinton bombs an aspirin factory in the Sudan to deflect public attention from his sordid little scandals, he is given a pension and an office. » 
          Every day, they steal and extort far more money than all other criminals do in the course of a year. They do it in so many different ways that it is impossible to know how much they take, deliberately so. I doubt there exists even one Canadian who is able to say how much money the government wrings from him. Yet somehow we accept this quietly. 
Extorsion, the public way 
          Consider a small example of government extortion – parking tickets. Here in Montreal, the laws on parking are absurdly complex. Three and sometimes four signs can be on the same pole and it can be far from clear which one is supposed to take precedence. Recently I parked my car downtown outside a hotel and went to fill the meter. To my good fortune, the concierge came over to explain to that, despite the meter and the sign beside it, I was parked in a diamond lane. The penalty: a $125 fine with a $12 « administration fee » thrown in. The no-parking sign, believe or not, was on the pavement. In other words, it was underneath my car! 
          Thanks to my Good Samaritan, I escaped this time, although it is impossible to drive in Montreal for long without getting caught in the scam sooner or later. And woe be to the person who should actually dare to contest this swindle. Going to court adds more fees. Once they have decided you are guilty, they will send a couple of letters demanding payment, each time upping their fee by another $25 or $50. Should they lose track of you, they simply put a warrant out for your arrest. By this time, the price has gone up by several hundred dollars. To put the icing on the cake, you can’t even protest your treatment in the time-honoured way – by going to jail. No they simply take your belongings and sell them at cut-rate prices. 
          If a private company tried any of this in order to attempt to obtain payment of a freely incurred debt (as opposed to a rip-off), consumer protection groups would be up in arms. Companies are expected to lay out the conditions clearly beforehand, to charge a reasonable amount of interest for the overdue debt (say 18% per annum) and to take some responsibility for finding the people who owed it money. All this is completely normal in a civil society. 
          Yet when the government pulls a far worse stunt, these so-called people’s advocates simply shrug their shoulder and say that you broke the law so you have to pay. Or, in the rally cry of bureaucrats everywhere, c’est comme ça qu’on fonctionne. In the bureaucratic mind, this explains all manner of injustice. 
Corruption rising 
          One hundred and fifty years ago, Frédéric Bastiat observed: 
          Par malheur, il s'en faut que la Loi se soit renfermée dans son rôle. Même il s'en faut qu'elle ne s'en soit écartée que dans des vues neutres et discutables. Elle a fait pis: elle a agi contrairement à sa propre fin; elle a détruit son propre but; elle s'est appliquée à anéantir cette Justice qu'elle devait faire régner, à effacer, entre les Droits, cette limite que sa mission était de faire respecter; elle a mis la force collective au service de ceux qui veulent exploiter, sans risque et sans scrupule, la Personne, la Liberté ou la Propriété d'autrui; elle a converti la Spoliation en Droit, pour la protéger, et la légitime défense en crime, pour la punir.
          Bastiat would be horrified to find how much further the Law has been perverted since he wrote these memorable words. Even the very language has been corrupted in this topsy-turvy world in which liberals advance the cause of socialism and where human rights tribunals penalize innocent citizens for the crime of wanting to be left alone. 
          Bastiat should be required reading for every justice of any court. Perhaps Beverley McLaughlin and the rest of the Supreme Court would then strike down the true crimes of government – the theft, extortion and kidnapping which are part of its everyday operations. Yeah, right. 
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