I’ve been summoned – for jury duty.
Back in the Middle Ages, the Church ran a lot of the courts. If you were found questioning the church’s stance on how many angels could dance on the head of a pin, you might be liable to imprisonment, fines, torture, or that old favorite, burning at the stake. The problem was – it wasn’t just the angels and pin question – there were countless grievous misthoughts that could put you on the road to smoked jerky, and the only people who knew what all those misthoughts were- were the abbots and bishops that charged, prosecuted, judged and sentenced you.
like that evil heretic, Galileo
No matter how innocent you tried to be – the church could get you on something.
Then a bunch of folks thought – “hey! why not punish only the people who hurt other people, or take/destroy other people’s stuff?” It was such a great idea that a lot of people became teriyaki sticks just for bringing it up. Some of these folks avoided being bar-b-que long enough to write these ideas up in our Constitution, but unfortunately jerks who wanted to own other people screwed with it and the lawmakers and the judges got to it before it finally caught on.
Just imagine how we might have rejoiced – law books would be in Reader’s Digest condensed form, and words like freedom, liberty and justice might mean something.
With a government like that, lawyers wouldn’t get enough work, and seeing as how lawyers make the laws, judge the laws, enforce the laws, prosecute the laws, and even defend people against those laws – pretty much anything lawyers want – lawyers get.
So if you blow your nose while watering your tulips on a Wednesday without a permit, you better hope there’s no law against it because with City, County, State and Federal law codes are racing against reality TV for the most inane and useless verbiage, there are laws against almost everything.
Such as that farmer in the Midwest that got arrested for stocking fish in a fish pond on his farm. Or the guy that lost everything because he made silver coin that he called Bicky Bucks. How about the 56 yo woman who was thrown to the floor and handcuffed for not allowing airport security to handle her breasts?
So with so many laws, everybody has to have broken a few hundred without even knowing it. That means we ALL are criminals. Any abbot or bishop, (I mean lawmaker or judge) that doesn’t like our lifestyles, philosophy, religion, politics, or the way we look can just point us out to one of the hundreds of thousands of badge and gun carrying civil servants, (the Federal Department of Education has a SWAT team, you know,) and they can detain us indefinitely. Faster than you can say - suspend habeas corpus, we’ll be sitting in detention wondering what we did wrong, and what exactly they are bar-b-queing out on the lawn.
If I get empanelled on a jury, do I dare try to nullify a stupid law? It feels risky. There’s already a law against telling people about their rights to do it.
Too serious - sorry, I'll try to be more stupid next entry -like this video