Perspectives: It’s the unnecessary laws, stupid

OPINION – George H.W. Bush should have been a shoo-in for the 1992 presidential campaign. But Bill Clinton and his strategists vaulted past the incumbent war hero who had just presided over Operation Desert Storm by directing the voters’ attention to the faltering U.S. economy.

Their blunt, albeit effective slogan: “It’s the economy, stupid.”

Diplomacy has its place, but sometimes things need to be said without equivocation.

The death of Eric Garner at the hands of the NYPD portends yet another occasion on which the American people could desperately use some straight talk. What they most need to hear falls well outside of the media’s artificial boundaries of approved opinion.

This means that we cannot be distracted by opportunistic race-baiters and their enablers into thinking this is a social justice issue requiring more government. Nor can we allow his death to be framed as a police matter requiring better chokehold training, more body cameras, and more government.

Incidents of police brutality and predatory prosecution are merely symptoms of the larger problem afflicting virtually every corner of our land. The real problem is unnecessary laws as a result of too much government. Period.

The suffocating rules and regulations that control and regulate virtually every aspect of our lives – including perfectly peaceful behavior – have reduced us to serfdom. None of us can say with absolute confidence that we are not violating some criminal law or another.

Not only is our system of law in a constant state of flux, thanks to new legislation and case law, but there is also an increased likelihood that the state can find a reason to interact with us should we be unlucky enough to attract its attention.

Our ever-expanding list of laws serves as legal cover for authorities to harass us and assert control over us when no actual crime has been committed.

Like a homeless man wielding a squeegee at an urban intersection, excessive government forces its unwanted services onto us and then becomes threatening when we balk at its demands for payment. Of course, we have the option of simply driving away from the squeegee man as soon as the light changes. Government will kill you if you refuse to submit.

Think about it. The ultimate penalty for refusing to submit to the decrees of the state is death.

It doesn’t matter what started it. If you spit out your gum on the street and catch the eye of an agent of the state and then refuse to submit, things will only escalate. No matter how small the perceived offense, if you resist, the state will introduce greater and greater levels of violence until you have either submitted or you are dead. It’s that simple.

This is why it is so important to carefully consider whether the laws and regulations being enacted actually square with the proper role of legitimate government. A good rule of thumb might be to ask ourselves, “Would I be willing to kill in order to enforce this rule or law?”

If we are serious about curbing the excessive use of government-directed violence against otherwise peaceful people, then we need to start with determining which laws on the books are actually worth killing over.

This is where we can finally begin to see the traditional Left-Right paradigm begin to break down. Statists on the left and the right clamor for the use of government power to punish peaceful individuals over drug laws, economic regulations, asset forfeiture, permits and licenses, draft registration, and minimum wage laws, to name a few.

They forget that every new law requires enforcement and that violence is a possibility whenever an act of enforcement takes place.

When questioned as to whether arbitrary or unnecessary laws should exist in the first place, defenders of the status quo predictably default to accusations that the questioner must be against all laws and would probably be happier in Mogadishu.

Just because something is legal doesn’t automatically mean that it is good or that we should refrain from questioning it.

Good laws begin with the recognition that they are enacted for the purpose of protecting our natural rights. That’s why laws addressing criminal acts that cause measurable, objective harm to a person or his or her property are not the same thing as administrative rules.

Eric Garner was likely violating an administrative rule when he drew the attention of the state. He was not harming another person in any objectively measurable way as he disposed of his personal property. When he tried walking away from the confrontation, the state flexed its muscles.

If you still cannot comprehend the role that excessive regulation played in his death, then you are part of the problem.

Ed. note:  “Shoe-in” corrected to “shoo-in.”

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Bryan Hyde is a news commentator and opinion writer in Southern Utah. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @youcancallmebry

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2014, all rights reserved.


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  • Big Guy December 15, 2014 at 8:53 am

    Bryan almost lost me with “shoe in.” The phrase is spelled “shoo in.”

    On a more substantive note, virtually any citizen could comb our laws and regulations and find a large number that he or she would eliminate immediately if given the power. Of course which ones we’d choose would be different depending on our social, economic and political leanings.

    But Bryan does lose me when he escalates the most trivial offense into one that allows the state to kill the perpetrator. That’s far too shrill for my taste. Like most of us, I was shocked that Eric Garner’s death did not result in an indictment where the police officer could defend his actions in court. (Michael Brown was a far different story.) But if there is a message lost in the Garner tragedy, it is this: Do not resist arrest in any circumstance: you’ll have ample opportunity to prove your innocence later. While it in no way justifies his death, Eric Garner would be alive today if he hadn’t resisted arrest.

    • Joyce Kuzmanic December 15, 2014 at 10:47 am

      That’s my fault, Big Guy – I misread our stylebook and edited that. Bryan had it right, and correcting it is a shoo-in. 🙂
      Sorry about that and thank you for keeping me on my toes.
      Joyce Kuzmanic
      Editor in Chief

      • Big Guy December 15, 2014 at 10:51 am

        As always, I appreciate your candor. Love the St. George News. Keep up the good work.

    • Bert December 15, 2014 at 12:35 pm

      So I guess “innocent until proven guilty ” is out the window now?

    • Shoal Creek December 15, 2014 at 6:10 pm

      Like the guy who was choked to death for selling untaxed cigarettes? Turn a blind eye if you wish, but St. George cops were ready to escalate violence over dancing on Halloween. I think he’s spot on and all y’all on here that are blaming the messenger for pronouncing hard truth are the nanny-state lovers that are going to get theirs first when all h*ll breaks loose.

  • modigliani December 15, 2014 at 9:08 am

    You are an irresponsible and ill-informed rabble rouser, Mr. Hyde, using inflammatory and exaggerated statements to make some completely obtuse point on an issue that IS about social justice. Your opinion in this piece is not about too many laws. It is about something entirely other. And your thinking is, as usual, presented with an undercurrent of dangerous prejudice and arrogance. Enough is enough. Why this newspaper – in print or online – continues to publish your rattled ramblings is beyond me, but fortunately as a reader, I have a choice. And I’m making it today.

    • Joe Smith December 15, 2014 at 11:38 am

      I’ve predicted in the past that someone might take the nutty ramblings of old Hyde as a personal attack, and old Hyde might end up getting hurt. That’s yet to be seen, but in the real world the things a person says have repercussions. I guess we’ll see how long old Hyde is able to continue with his hate speech.

      • mo ferguson December 16, 2014 at 10:02 am

        Mistaking Mr. Hyde as a potential victim of “personal attack”, would quickly turn very ugly for the “would be ” attacker. You state , “that’s yet to be seen”…..don’t count on ever seeing it. Those of you who do not know Bryan, would be underestimating him if you even thought you could/would harm him or his family. Please don’t make THAT mistake.

        • Joe Smith December 16, 2014 at 2:59 pm

          You forgot the part about hiding the guns when Obama comes to town… Anyhow, I’m not sure old Hyde could get away with saying the things he does, if say we had more than 5 or 6 black people in town… not sure folks would be willing to put up with his bigotry and racist undertones. Just stating a fact.

  • Koolaid December 15, 2014 at 9:17 am

    Not sure about the other 18 laws listed on this list, but #10 is spot on and needs to be eliminated from the books.

  • All In Call December 15, 2014 at 9:29 am

    From a Armchair Quarterback- A good, excellent and to the point article. All I can add is Hear, Hear. But, I’m sure someone will throw a red flag in protest onto the field.
    So lets wait for a hearing from the masses on the ruling from additional comment.
    OK ‘hate batters’ now’s your chance.

  • Native born New Mexican December 15, 2014 at 9:46 am

    This is a very good article Bryan. You are absolutely correct in your statements. Law is force -law enFORCEMENT. If you have a law there will be people who are willing and able to enFORCE it untill they cause the death of the offender.

    • My Evil Twin December 15, 2014 at 10:54 am

      You will undoubtedly find this harsh, but the reality is this, if you do not like or agree with a law, then work through your lawmakers to get it changed. If enough people are vocal enough about it, the law WILL get changed.
      Now as to the death of the offender, yeah, sometimes LEOs, who after all are human too, (whether or not you want to believe it,) make mistakes. And sometimes there are cops who have slipped by all of the safe guards that are in place to keep unfit people out of the job. But the simple fact is, that if you don’t want to have a negative interaction with cops, then DO NOT BE AN OFFENDER.
      I know that is a tough concept to understand, but there it is.

      • Toe Jam December 15, 2014 at 3:33 pm

        Lol thats funny were supposed, to accept a concept of reality from someone that Shelly calls a troll that lives in his mommy’s basement.. LOL. now thats funny right there. Get er done..!

      • Joe Smith December 15, 2014 at 3:43 pm

        “But the simple fact is, that if you don’t want to have a negative interaction with cops, then DO NOT BE AN OFFENDER.”


        “But the simple fact is, that if you don’t want to have a negative interaction with cops, then DO NOT BE AN AFRICAN AMERICAN MALE”

      • Teacher December 16, 2014 at 2:27 pm

        So, if a cop runs someone off the road for speeding a few miles over the speed limit, it’s justified because you are an offender.

        • My Evil Twin December 16, 2014 at 4:11 pm

          Of course not. Don’t be stupid. OTOH if the person driving refuses to stop for the cop, when the cop is clearly trying to get him to stop, it is a different story. At that point the cop has no way of knowing why that driver is not stopping.
          It is not the cop escalating the situation there, but the offender.

  • jc December 15, 2014 at 10:45 am

    People still want to blame Law Enforcement for these laws, they don’t write them. We need to stop blaming them and look at ourselves. Utah has some of the nations lowest voter turnout. If we’re truly cared, we would vote. Stop killing, assaulting and blaming law enforcement because of lazy voting.

  • Billy Madison December 15, 2014 at 10:48 am

    I too agree with what you have written here. It takes courage to write what most people are thinking but are afraid to put into words in a public way. I used to admire the Men in Blue, now I fear them even though I uphold the laws the best I can.
    Police brutality has increased and when you add that rogue cop who has a chip on his shoulder, it can be devastating.
    Just driving across town can put you at risk of being stopped, tazered, and having your face ground into the pavement by the very people who have sworn to protect you. Do I support law enforcement? Yes, but not as much as I once did. Respect has been replaced by Fear.

  • The Rest Of The Story December 15, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    I see what you did there.

    “This means that we cannot be distracted by opportunistic race-baiters and their enablers into thinking this is a social justice issue requiring more government.”

    I highly suggest you check out the website “Derailing for Dummies”, especially the page called “Derail Using Distraction”. I’ll quote a bit of it here, for you.

    “By using this one you at once distract from the topic at hand at the same time as confirming just the sort of bigotry you really, truly believe (like they didn’t already know!). Additionally, it demonstrates the height of your privilege – that you are so distanced from reality you are incapable of perceiving how marginalization objectification and social ostracization may have contributed to internal issues as the marginalized group struggle to get by in a world that treats them like property or aberrations.”

    If you still cannot comprehend the role that racism played in Eric Garner’s death, then you are part of the problem.

    • Joe Smith December 15, 2014 at 3:39 pm

      If anything, Hyde is a master derailer. He’ll derail a conversation so far off track it won’t even be coherent, it’ll just be slopped together paragraphs of random words that’ll leave you wondering ‘what the heck!”

  • Dave Rabbitt December 15, 2014 at 12:07 pm

    Once again, we have an individual who believes that a police officer should “gently” arrest someone, or perhaps not touch them, at all?

    Eric Garner was 6’3″ tall and weighed 350 lbs. It has been said that Mr. garner had a criminal record dating back to 1980 on charges such as Assault, Resisting Arrest and Grand Larceny.

    A 6’3″ 350lb. man, acting aggressively by waving his hands when saying “I’m tired of it. It stops today”. The video transitions into the police attempting to arrest Mr. Garner, while he pleads “Please don’t touch me”, with his hands up in a defensive position. And even though he did so with open palms, I believe that it was because of his verbally and physically aggressive behavior, that he was taken down forcefully.

    Isolated incidents such as these gain more attention throughout the media, then the multitude of videos which glorify activities such as the recent “Knockout Game”. It would seem that most people have absolutely no clue as to what a police officer actually refrains from doing, before they deem it necessary, to use force.

    It doesn’t matter what you do or do not believe is “justified” when an officer requests you to comply with his/her instructions. It is NOT your “civil right” to challenge that officer’s request. As a responsible law-abiding citizen, you are expected to show the same level of respect, that you would expect in return.

    Simply put – “Causality. Action, reaction. Cause and effect. Choice is an illusion created between those with power and those without”. You have no choice, when an officer instructs you to comply with their request – other than that you should not resist arrest and are entitled to your Miranda Rights… If you do not resist arrest, you chances of being taken down in a chokehold, tasered, or shot are reduced to zero.

    Aggressively refuse your parents requests, both verbally and physically: Backhand / Grounded.
    Aggressively refuse your teachers requests, both verbally and physically: Suspension / Expulsion.
    Aggressively refuse your employers requests, both verbally and physically: Termination.
    Aggressively refuse your local, state or federal officer’s requests, both verbally and physically: Smackdown / Incarceration.

    You’ve been taught SINCE BIRTH, to be respectful and compliant. Yet there are still those who have some kind of *I don’t know…?* – “Learning Disability”? Or maybe it’s just that there is a majority of people who think that we should live in a society of anarchy, pay no taxes, have no I.D. and just live off whatever it is that you can acquire, by whatever means you deem necessary?

    It is unfortunate that Mr. Garner perished from the result of this incident. But I do not blame the police officers OR “unnecessary / stupid laws”, for his demise. I (for one) am sick-and-tired of people feeding into whatever excuse they can, to blame the stupidity of an individual – on the law enforcement officer who is attempting to correct the individual’s stupidity.

    I was just beginning to respect and admire you, Mr. Hyde. What happened this weekend? – Did Ed slip you one of those Matrix blue pills?

    • My Evil Twin December 15, 2014 at 2:37 pm

      Come on Dave, come into the real world as it is today. Perhaps you and I were raised in an atmosphere of taking responsibility for our actions, but time has long since passed.
      I think it started in the public schools and with affirmative action, when teachers were forced to dumb down their classes to the slowest learners, then to pass even the ones who obviously would not try. And employers were forced into hiring people who were unqualified, and to keep employees on who were detrimental to the operation of the company, just to keep their quotas of racial or whatever else flavor of the day minority up to snuff.
      People no longer expect to have to take responsibility for their actions, whether it is being a fat slob, (sue McDonalds,) or using dope, or driving like idiots, or living “alternate lifestyles,” (and suing the crap out of anybody who dares to disagree with them.
      This whole current attitude of “If I want to do it, it is all right. But if you want to do it, it is wrong,” is getting worse and worse each day. And of course the media feeds on it, not because it is news particularly but because they can sensationalize it, and grow their ratings.
      It is just sickening where the mentality of the residents of this country have gone to.

      • Joe Smith December 15, 2014 at 3:24 pm

        Wow, it always seems like twin just said something half-way rational…

        • Joe Smith December 15, 2014 at 3:47 pm

          oops *almost, not always…

      • Toe Jam December 15, 2014 at 3:43 pm

        All Is can do is laugh at this comment I never read such a load of bushwah in my life. I mean really join the real world… You have no clue off what’s going on. and thats the reality of that

  • Joe Smith December 15, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    Problem with lot of cops is they act like thugs, brutes, and bullies and they make all the good cops look bad. And the militarizing of cops is way out of hand. And that cop that put the choke on that big black man had several complaints against him already, so that white cop was probably just a thug hiding behind a badge. I don’t see it so much as a race issue as an issue of cops acting like paramilitary and like they’re ready to start enforcing marshal law at any minute…

  • Joe Smith December 15, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    And what’s the deal with old Hyde generalizing “big gubmunt”. Notice how Hyde never states facts or explanations to go with his loony rants, only how “big gubmunt regulation” is always the problem. If the site could get a writer to replace Hyde that uses fact-based opinions and not just nutty tirades that would be fantastic.

  • Native born New Mexican December 15, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    May I recommend a simple exercise. On a blank sheet of paper write those laws about which you are so certain they must be followed that you are willing to compel me to obey by force. Then write those offenses so abhorrent that you would prohibit me from committing those acts by force. If you are honest and thoughtful you will discover who you really are. An attorney once told me that the worst jury for a defendant, guilty or innocent was all male, white, Republican and conservative. His reasoning was that they are in their hearts devoted statists.

  • Roy J December 15, 2014 at 5:13 pm

    You know, I am beginning to recognize a pattern with Bryan’s tirades. Anytime he slings around words and notions that smack of somebody else’s ideas, I check to see what articles Bryan’s linked to his own article. Lo and behold! Here’s another one from Lew Rockwell! I like how Bryan referenced a free online dictionary this time, but changed the term ‘law’ in the definition of ‘mala prohibita’ to his more favored term of ‘administrative rules’. The dictionary fortunately ignored this assault on its’ sagacity. I looked up ‘administrative rules’ for kicks, and it appears that the definition is something like this:
    Administrative rules are officially promulgated agency regulations that have the force and effect of law. Generally these rules elaborate the requirements of a law or policy. Each state has its own set of administrative rules which are passed by the state legislature.

    For example, Oregon Administrative Rules Compilation (OAR) is the official compilation of rules and regulations having the force of law in the U.S. state of Oregon. It is the regulatory and administrative corollary to Oregon Revised Statutes, and is published pursuant to ORS § 183.360 (3). A rule is defined by the Oregon Revised Statutes as “any agency directive, standard, regulation or statement of general applicability that implements, interprets or prescribes law or policy, or describes the procedure or practice requirements of any agency”. [ORS § 183.310]
    I get the feeling that perhaps Bryan’s understanding the term ‘administrative rules’ is more broad than the generally accepted one, maybe I’m wrong. But judging from his apparent dislike of precedent stemming from case law, I don’t think so.

  • Roy J December 15, 2014 at 5:18 pm

    Here’s more:

    Approximately one half of Utah’s codified law is written by state agencies. Statements written by state agencies which have the effect of law are called administrative rules. Unlike statutes, which change only when the Legislature is in session, administrative rules change throughout the year. The Division of Administrative Rules received 1,422 rule filings for processing between July 1, 2012, through June 30, 2013, for an average of 5.7 rule filings each business day.

    An agency cannot just go out and start writing rules. It must be authorized to regulate. Every year, the Legislature enacts over 400 laws to resolve problems that society is facing. In many instances, the Legislature assigns responsibility to oversee a new program to an administrative agency. During the 2013 General Session, 428 bills became law. Of those, Legislative staff identified 64 bills (15%) that required rulemaking.

    Dual Purpose of Administrative Rules
    An administrative rule serves at least two purposes. First, a properly enacted administrative rule has the binding effect of law. Therefore, a rule affects our lives as much as a statute passed by the legislature, restricting individuals AND the agency that issues it.
    Second, an administrative rule is a messenger of sorts. It informs citizens of actions a state government agency will take or how a state agency will conduct its business. It provides citizens the opportunity to respond — whether by providing public comment, or becoming involved in some other way.

    Direct, Binding Effect
    By their very nature, administrative rules have a direct effect on YOUR life and business. For example, there are administrative rules that govern:

    restrictions on burning, including the fire in your fireplace (Rule R307-302)–visit the Division of Air Quality to find out today’s conditions;
    the quality of the eggs you eat for breakfast (Rule R70-410);
    smoking in public places (Rule R392-510);
    used oil disposal requirements (Rule R315-15);
    lunch and break requirements that employers must follow (Section R610-2-3 (dealing with employment of minors), see also Subsection R610-3-2(H) (definition of “Hours employed”)); and
    sales tax requirements (Rule R865-19S).

  • villager December 15, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    The problem is lack of common sense. From both ends. Following protocol at every breath you take is just stupid. Many of us are used to follow every instruction, guidance given to us; we decide to follow it or not. Unfortunately, big bull wins. Unless we go back to the French Revolution. Nah, that’s too much us anyways.
    Laissez-faire. Just be careful not to get caught. If you do, don’t resist.
    Thanks, my friends. Have a good one.

    • Roy J December 15, 2014 at 5:55 pm

      Going back to the French Revolution wouldn’t help at all, Villager. De Tocqueville exhaustively researched that in ‘The Old Regime and the French Revolution’ and pretty much pounded home the truth that, though the figureheads may have changed, the bureaucracy ground on…XD

  • All In Call December 15, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    This opinion of Mr. Hyde on the burdensome laws dreamed up by the government to put around the neck of the citizens for their own good, really brought out the stupidity of some neighbors of the area. Some say, oh, that law doesn’t affect me at the moment, must be alright then. Until I’m told it affects me- no problem.
    And the EPA smiles and says, ‘Pay no attention to man behind the curtain’ He loves you. And by the way,, ‘ We’re here at your door to verify if your using the correct type of light bulb and to see if your using the approved brand of underwear, Sir.

  • Roy J December 15, 2014 at 6:06 pm

    And just for kicks, anybody else read the Lew Rockwell article? Maybe somebody ought to have informed him that ‘loosies’ was, and probably still is in some places, the call that somebody selling dope would shout.In New York City, Hell’s Kitchen, down around the Port Authority, ‘got 2 Newports’ got you 2 Newports and a joint. Oh Lew Rockwell, how little you really know about the underworld! LOL

    • Roy J December 15, 2014 at 7:08 pm

      Correction: apparently the support article was written by one paleolibertarian whatchmacallit Ilana Mercer, not Lew Rockwell, but posted on his website. Hem.

  • Shoal Creek December 15, 2014 at 6:12 pm

    Two words merged into one: Footloose.

    If you don’t think SGPD was ready to escalate to deadly violence on a given Halloween night, you are all lost in your own heads.

  • Joanna December 16, 2014 at 8:00 am

    Hahaaaaa…I love how the whole article was punctuated by a misspelling of “shoo-in”. That sums it up nicely. Perspectives Guy continues to show his ignorance with help from absolutely no one.

    • Teacher December 16, 2014 at 2:30 pm

      That’s it Joanna. Fight the battles you have a chance at winning!

  • 375ultra December 16, 2014 at 8:51 am

    Utah as well as every other state needs to enact a similar law to Indiana.

    • All In Call December 16, 2014 at 11:39 am

      Excellent post 37Ultra.
      Here in Utah, most people think that way but political correctness prevents most folks from standing up. Bryan shows his political correctness ‘be damn’ on occasions.
      St. George News has the ability and guts to probe and ask folks ‘ what on your mind neighbor? At the same time, they keep the area up to date with news.

      • 375ultra December 16, 2014 at 6:33 pm

        Once the penalty is the same to defend yourself from all intruders regardless of occupation, the police will make less mistakes

  • mater December 16, 2014 at 5:07 pm

    you people need life’s! of course then i couldnt laugh at you. and don’t bother with your replys on my grammer i dont care what you have to say

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