By Mary W Maxwell, PhD, LLB
Recently, Gumshoe News has been concerned with the way laws are being revised to make leaders less accountable, and to extinguish many long-held rights. There are also hot cases in which the role of law is critical, such as smart meters and Steve Marsh’s GMO canola case.
Do the powerful have respect for the law? I hear you say, “The top dogs can be as lawless as they please. They can charge you falsely with a crime, plant some evidence on you, and top it off by bribing jurors. You are stuck, no matter what.”
That may be true, but it still pays for them to get the legislature to put things in writing. This will make life easier for the top dogs in two important ways.
It will help police arrest people for acts that policepersons might not have considered worthy of the label ‘crime.’ And it will make the society side with the law – because society naturally does that, more or less unthinkingly.
Two Sides to Law
In English, we lack words to distinguish between good law (including due process of law that assures your cases will be handled properly) and law that is meant to be oppressive — law that is inherently cruel, predatory, whatever.
I suppose the reason we don’t have separate words for those two types of law is that we pretend the law is always a good thing! A community may decide to lower the speed limit on a winding road where accidents have occurred. This clearly protects people. A law may prohibit discrimination by employers on the basis of marital status. (I kid you not, in my day a girl could be fired as soon as she got married, and that was in Massachusetts!)
“Good law” may even establish high principles and rights. It may limit the powers of the ruler. A Constitution specifies what government can and cannot do. And there have been marvelous court rulings to uphold even the most abstract rights, such as the right to political representation.
But there are laws that are just plain nasty. I feel handicapped when trying to discuss this, as we’ve never had a well-established category to identify them. Some ‘historical” ones come to mind: the Soviet Union’s exit laws that prevented people from traveling, the Nazi laws that expelled Jews from the professions, and the Jim Crow laws that mandated racial segregation in the US’s southern states.
In our time, an example of oppressive law, one that has led to the suicide of many Australian farmers, has to do with lending. If a farmer can’t pay the mortgage, a bank is legally able to force the sale of his land at a ridiculously low price, such that the farmer may get no money from the sale.
Recently there has been a blitz of legislating (known as anti-terrorism law but come on, be serious), with a suspicious similarity in many countries. In 2014, for instance, bills were passed in the parliaments of Japan, Australia, and South Africa, to crack down on journalists who tattle on government.
The pathetic excuse given for those pieces of legislation was that a tattling journalist may harm national security. The real reason is to spare the powerful from public censure, or prosecution. As you see, it would be handy to have a name for the category of “bad law”!
We should at least contemplate the duality of law, recognize that law includes both lovely stuff and cruel stuff. That way, we can resist the temptation to let the word “law” – a very powerful word – make us feel we should approve of law-in-general, even laws that oppress the nation.
Bill Windsor As the Lone Ranger
So we need a category in which to put bad law (I don’t have a name to propose for it). We also should make subcategories. For two years I have been watching the remarkable work of Bill Windsor. He almost exactly fits the image of ‘the Lone Ranger.’ He drives his car around the US collecting stories from individuals who have been mistreated in the courts. (You can see Bill’s interviews on Youtube.com.)
His findings almost make you believe – in fact they do make me believe – that many laws are straight-out intended as harassment. (Note: some of them are only administrative regulations, not laws.) They are Kafkaesque. Oh! There! I inadvertently found a name for this sub-category of nasty law. Thank you, Franz Kafka.
Here is a Kafkaesque case from Windsor’s study. This interviewee’s name is John Lobianco. State law prescribes the appointment of a guardian for persons who are no longer competent. John is fond of his father and has worked with him for years, so he’s the natural choice to be Dad’s guardian. The state, however, gave that job to someone else.
By law, the guardian can make all decisions for the person. She can say that it is not in the person’s best interest to receive visitors at the nursing home. Thus, the son is deprived of any contact with his aged father. Lobianco’s problem has been going on for years. Unbelievable!
By the way, Bill Windsor himself has recently emerged from 53 days in jail. His Youtube exposés of these legal problems are causing a lot of concern to the authorities (Yay!). They tried to find the means to incarcerate 66 year-old Windsor. It worked for a while, but he forced his way out of jail with a powerful weapon – the law. I’ve written about that here and here.
To summarize so far: there is good law and deliberately oppressive law. It behooves us to be aware of that fact.
Sherman Skolnick and Court Corruption
Another hero is the late Sherman Skolnick, who was self-taught in law, down to the finest points thereof. Skolnick investigated cases in which judges had cheated on good law. For example, a judge might prevent a valuable witness from testifying in a Mafia case. Skolnick’s target was court corruption. He managed to put several Chicago judges behind bars – no small feat!
I’m mentioning Skolnick not because he belongs in my discussion of the duality of law, but because he doesn’t. There will always be persons in the judicial area who do their jobs wrongly. Granted, they should be hunted down. But I am addressing the subject of law’s “duality,” particularly the existence of bad law, not the corrupting of good law.
Admittedly, Lone Ranger Bill Windsor’s also worked on some cases that boil down to law-breaking by a judge. What if the guardian in Lobianco’s case diverts some of the elderly man’s money to herself, and pays a kickback to the judge? That would be ordinary corruption.
But from many of Windsor’s cases we can see that there is a law that must have been written with the intention of doing nasty things to the public. A clue here is that when the aggrieved party and his attorney try to get the problem straightened out they are threatened with worse outcomes.
What Is the Antipodean Situation?
Gumshoe News has published articles about the new laws that threaten freedom of speech. I shan’t go over that ground again here. But other laws have been passed by states in Australia that should make the public very worried. ‘Smart meters’ are mandatory in Victoria. Dalia Mae Lachan has told us about the bullying she has endured for refusing to install a Smart meter in her home in Melbourne.
Let’s have our eyes open, regarding the new phenomenon of someone wanting to impose a ‘brilliant new invention’ that may be blatantly unhealthy or even lethal. A case can be made that smart meters (replacing good old electricity meters) have the possibility of doing damage to the brain.
Also, given Oz’s apparent lack of independence of globalistic control, its not enough to be alert for bad law as such. We should ask ask why such laws are appearing at all. Who thinks them up? Is much legislation now a product of World Government? Aha, that’s interesting.
Look at the how farmers are being disadvantaged by GMO crops such as canola. (GMO means genetically modified organism.) Seeds can now be altered as to their DNA. A crop planted on one man’s land may disburse such seeds to a neighboring farm. The receiver of that contamination may hope to get help from the law.
“Everybody knows” that new agricultural laws are sponsored by the big corporations, especially Monsanto. (See Steve Marsh’s ‘canola’ case in Western Australia. here) Note how we unthinkingly make the assumption that if a boss is big, big, big, we are bound to succumb.
Are we really? Or are we just doing the cringe?
As I said, we need to be able to acknowledge the plain fact that there is such a thing as oppressive law. Government cannot be assumed for example, to have checked out the effect smart meters will have. Thus government is being negligent, at least, and maybe a party to malice.
Also, for reasons of Australian sovereignty, we should have a system for routinely indicating the genealogy, as it were, of proposed new laws. If the source be World Government (as it often is), that must automatically raise the question “Does this law have a specific benefit for Australia?”
If it does not, why is Parliament passing it?
— Mary W Maxwell is a graduate of Adelaide Law School. She talks the talk and walks the walk at her Youtube channel: maryWmaxwell.com.