Friday, February 10, 2012

'No Victim, No Crime' Bemuses NH Authoritarians

It would seem a simple concept: That which does no harm to another shouldn't be the purview of a servant government -- established expressly to secure our natural rights -- to criminalize. Not in a free society, anyway. Not even under this Constitutional Republic, really. If there's no aggrieved party, then it's none of the state's damned business.

So here we have HB1531, "relative to prosecution for victimless crimes" -- or, the "No Victim, No Crime" bill -- before the NH House Criminal Justice Committee, 2/9/2012. A bill restating the intended relationship between master and servant, and establishing that the lack of an actual victim is a positive legal defense against laws that thus overstep government's expressly limited delegated authority to interfere in peaceful lives. An explicit "jury nullification" opportunity. No victim? No crime. Here's MSM's take.

But somehow, that government fails to see the logic. So tell me: Who should win that argument, the government or the People who authorized it, whose consent is required? Will arrogant government finally read its charter and agree to replace its chains and get back in its box?

You know what's comin', don't ya? For the jaw-dropper, head for the 5-minute mark, where bill sponsor Rep. George Lambert is stepping the Committee through NH Constitution (a document they've all sworn to uphold) Part First, Articles 18, 2, 3 and 15 (as well as Part Second, Article 5) -- you know, only the entire basis for the committee's claimed authority:
18. [Penalties to be Proportioned to Offenses; True Design of Punishment.] All penalties ought to be proportioned to the nature of the offense. No wise legislature will affix the same punishment to the crimes of theft, forgery , and the like, which they do to those of murder and treason. Where the same undistinguishing severity is exerted against all offenses, the people are led to forget the real distinction in the crimes themselves, and to commit the most flagrant with as little compunction as they do the lightest offenses. For the same reason a multitude of sanguinary laws is both impolitic and unjust. The true design of all punishments being to reform, not to exterminate mankind.
2. [Natural Rights.] All men have certain natural, essential, and inherent rights - among which are, the enjoying and defending life and liberty; acquiring, possessing, and protecting, property; and, in a word, of seeking and obtaining happiness. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by this state on account of race, creed, color, sex or national origin.
3. [Society, its Organization and Purposes.] When men enter into a state of society, they surrender up some of their natural rights to that society, in order to ensure the protection of others; and, without such an equivalent, the surrender is void.
15. [Right of Accused.] No subject shall be held to answer for any crime, or offense, until the same is fully and plainly, substantially and formally, described to him; or be compelled to accuse or furnish evidence against himself. Every subject shall have a right to produce all proofs that may be favorable to himself; to meet the witnesses against him face to face, and to be fully heard in his defense, by himself, and counsel. ...
The point he's in the midst of making being that to require you to surrender up your right to, say, peacefully put whatever (or whoever) you want into your own body (without harming anyone, without creating a "victim") -- the purpose, the necessity of such surrender being "to ensure the protection of other" rights (on this particular point, Rep. Lambert and I disagree) -- the state must provide you with "an equivalent" in protective services -- protection of other rights -- for the loss of that right. If the state, your servant, provides you no such equivalent benefit, then you don't have to consent to the surrender. "The surrender is void." It's right there in the state government's founding charter.

And in as much as a victimless "crime," by definition, harms no one, and therefore no one's rights need "protecting," there is no equivalent of "the protection of other" rights to be provided by the state to citizens in exchange for surrendering, for example, their natural right to consume whatever they damn well please.

One might be excused for presuming this to be mere basic review within the halls of the institution charged with understanding and upholding the document. But sadly, one would presume in error, nevertheless.

Still listening?
This bill does not say "a Constitutional lesson." It says "victimless crimes." You're reciting the Constitution to us. I wanna know what you're gonna do in the bill.
Yeah, you heard that right: Rep. Pantelakos of the "justice" committee is confused as to the pertinent relationship between the Constitution(s) authorizing the very existence of her committee and defining its purpose and lawful boundaries, and the administration of justice; between the People and the government they established to protect their rights. Committee Chair Rep. Swinford shares her confusion:
How much more do you have?
In my best 'indignant royal highness,' "You are trying our patience, young man, and we are not amused...!" Apparently the NH Constitution is considered only tangentially relevant to the NH government that it authorizes.

And if you suffer through long enough, you'll hear the committee chair, after she closes the hearing, pontificate on the impropriety of new(er) residents participating in the NH political process. Nasty, troublesome people incessantly demanding the rule of law an' such, cramping government's "creativity." Can't they all just submit...? What was that classic from our own "King George?" "A dictatorship would be a heck of a lot long as I'm the dictator...heh...hehe.heh"

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