You’re Going to Jail

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

Stossel takes on overcriminalization. The “wetlands” case at around the nine minute mark is just devastating.

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40 Responses to “You’re Going to Jail”

  1. #1 |  Wiregeek | 

    Ahh, I’m quivering in fury. THAT is the mark of a good Radley post.

    I love this guy’s attitude. Lots of good info, very nice overview of the same crap cake that the Agitatortariat has been smelling for years.

  2. #2 |  BamBam | 

    in Oregon today, SWAT team used to serve arrest warrant for minor charge; neighbor gets shot and is in critical condition

  3. #3 |  BamBam | 

    ugh, strike my comment about “arrest warrant for minor charge”, I read the article wrong. should be “search warrant for serious charge”. it still seems like overkill to use SWAT team and have a tank.

  4. #4 |  Personanongrata | 

    “Whatever crushes individuality is despotism.” ~ John Stuart Mill

    Tyranny is the name and your unfailing, unquestioning obedience is the game, serf.

    “There is a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can’t take part; you can’t even passively take part, and you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop. And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all!”

    ~ Mario Savio

    It is time for all men/women of conscious to cast off the repressive yoke which binds us to the criminal state.

    Revolt slaves, revolt

    “It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people’s minds.”

    ~ Samuel Adams

    Let us the clog the courts and fill prisions/jails (The US prision system puts the Soviet Gulag Archipelago to shame) with non-violent political activists exercising their collective natural law rights of assembly and redress of grievences.

    In closing, as Anthony Hopkins character, Colonel Ludlow, from the movie Ledgends Of The Fall, so elequently spoke it:

    “Fuck the government.”

  5. #5 |  John C | 

    Caught most of this Sunday morning while getting ready for work… heart was racing like I did an hour on the treadmill.

  6. #6 |  Nancy Lebovitz | 

    I thought the wetlands case was going to be one that got a long article in the WSJ– a bureaucrat did something which was routine practice but was considered to affect a wetland. IIRC, he was acquitted, but it was potentially a prison sentence. Anyone remember the story?

  7. #7 |  Lorenzo | 

    Wendy Murphy has it right. We need to remove these girls from disease and violence and put them in jail, where there is no disease or violence. And imagine the chutzpah of these girls, trying to decide for themselves whether they are happy or not. Wendy knows best.

  8. #8 |  pichachu | 

    The part I hate is the fear. I hate living in fear of the government. I hate being afriad to go outside if I see a cop driving slowly through the neighborhood.

  9. #9 |  primus | 

    And this is different from the pre revolutionary era, when the king of England used laws at his whim against anyone he pleased, HOW? and the complicity of the media is different from Pravda of communist days HOW? and the gulag of the soviets was worse than this HOW? and the people bend over, over and over and over again. OUCH.

  10. #10 |  Anthony | 

    I made it to 10:02 and had to rage quit.

  11. #11 |  Maria | 

    “There’s a lot of fanatics.” Indeed.

  12. #12 |  Bart | 

    I wish I could say the wetland story was shocking, unfortunately it is not.

    The rules change all the time. What could be developed 10 years ago, is not today.

  13. #13 |  EBL | 

    You have to understand, the people who join the EPA enforcement division make the guy from Ghostbusters look like…well a libertarian. They are the true believers and are out to destroy people…for a greater good.

    I am all for saving wetlands and the environment, but the EPA is out of control and needs to be reined in.

  14. #14 |  whidby | 

    According to a the Stossel video, all the Idaho landowner did was remove some logs that were blocking a ditch.

    According to a 3 second google search, the landowner filled in a wetland with dirts and rock. (!OpenDocument)

    I wonder what really happened.

    I don’t know who’s more sleazy, Stossel or the EPA>

  15. #15 |  nigmalg | 

    Oh man, I got to the part at around 30:30 when the previous whitehouse drug czar encourages “kicking in more doors”.


    Every human being needs to watch this. The video encapsulated most of what I find myself bitching about the last several years.

  16. #16 |  nigmalg | 

    Whoops, that drug czar was closer to 30:00

  17. #17 |  Radley Balko | 

    According to a 3 second google search, the landowner filled in a wetland with dirts and rock.

    Actually, that’s according to the EPA. And of course we’ve never known a government agency to lie.

    In any case, it’s their own damned property.

  18. #18 |  PermaLurker | 

    A longtime acquaintance of mine works for the EPA’s enforcement division. He’s not a true believer. He’s an insufferable ignorant know-it-all with verbal diarrhea and zero empathy. I’ve seen him peg poor unsuspecting newcomers at our history club for hours in one-sided conversations that they desperately squirm to exit. People who know him just walk away..this in no way deters him from continuing to talk. He is pathological in his adherence to rules though. Even if they’re labyrinthine, contradictory and defy all common sense, he will loudly and endlessly insist that they be followed to the letter. We tolerate him because this trait is a bit of an asset in a club treasurer, but is a living hell if it you have to interact with him in his official job..

  19. #19 |  Onlooker | 

    Hmmm, why is our economy sluggish and struggling? I just can’t imagine. And why is unemployment so high? Hard to figure.

    This crap is maddening beyond belief. We’re on the road to Greece.

  20. #20 |  Jozef | 

    Heinlein was right in The Moon is a Harsh Mistress: It should take a 2/3 majority to pass any law, but only a 1/3 minority to repeal anything.

  21. #21 |  Nick T. | 

    #14 “I wonder what really happened?”

    Hmm, if only the case had been judged by a small group of random people with no connection to the government or the landowner. We could call them a “jury” perhaps. Then, in a perfect world, they would hear facts and information and testimony (we might call this “evidence”) and then they would sit and think about what they’d heard and decide who was right. If that happened, that might HELP us figure out what really happened. But, of course nothing like that happened here so I guess we will just have to toss a coin.

    Aside from that, “free society” and “don’t put rocks on a wetland that YOU own or we will destroy your life unilaterally” go together like coffee and donuts.

  22. #22 |  Bart | 

    “What really happened” I don’t know.

    But I will tell you that it is quite common for man-made drainage canals and ditches built by the government alongside roads to create wetlands on adjoining property.

    The wetland wouldn’t be there if the government hadn’t built the ditch or maintained it properly, but that doesn’t matter once they classify your land as a wetland. You’re sunk.

  23. #23 |  Marty | 

    the army corps of engineers is one of the ugliest monstrosities in govt.

  24. #24 |  Jack Dempsey | 

    @#23 Right. As is the BLM.

  25. #25 |  Maria | 

    @#14 So what happened was that they cleaned up something the government didn’t want to clean up. This stopped the flooding of their property. This enabled them to level and grade their land so they could build and farm on it? Yep. Sleazy.

  26. #26 |  Highway | 

    It would be interesting to find out if the land actually meets *all* of the criteria for a wetland. It’s supposed to before they declare it to be one. It’s not just whether there’s water there, or the ground is soggy. There are (subjective) tests for hydrology, correct soils, and plant life that are supposed to work together to determine both the presence of a wetland and the quality of that wetland.

    And if it does meet those criteria, then yes, the act of unblocking the drainage pipe and draining the surrounding areas was against the rules. It doesn’t matter why there was a wetland there. It obviously existed prior to their ownership of the land, and was removed by their actions. You can argue “Well, they just unblocked the pipe, they just cut a ditch, they just put in a pipe” when discussing wetland drainage, but they’re a reality that you have to work with.

  27. #27 |  Bart | 


    If understand you correctly it is not a crime if the original state of the property is highlands (no wetlands). Then someone builds a drainage system adjacent to your property, and over time, due to poor maintenance the drainage system floods your property. (No crime here.)

    it however is a crime if you then do the required maintenance on the drainage system, removing the floodwaters and then develop your land – which was originally highlands.

  28. #28 |  PeeDub | 

    I think I just found a way for the government to create a lot more wetlands. Faulty drain installation for everyone!!

  29. #29 |  Highway | 

    Bart, that’s exactly right. A lot depends on how long the condition has been present, and that’s due mostly to the biological processes for the soil conditions. If an area is flooded due to a blocked or incorrectly designed or installed culvert, it may get wet immediately, and it may provide habitat for some aggressive colonizing wetland plants, like cattails or common reeds, within a few months but it’s still not technically a wetland. But if it stays like that for a decade or two, it’s possible it can develop the soils and become a ‘true’ wetland. Or for whatever reason, you could get some really high value wetland plants or other habitat in there. So if you get to it before 1) anyone notices and/or 2) before the soil conditions develop or the other plants or animals move in, then you’re able to ‘fix’ the ‘drainage’ problem without repercussion.

    Also, unfortunately, it depends a lot on who actually does the work to ‘fix’ the ‘problem’ (I put ‘fix’ and ‘problem’ in scare quotes, because these are not problems to be fixed from the perspective of the environmental agencies). If the county or state were to have cleared the blockages from that culvert, it’s likely that the agencies would have tut-tutted them, maybe even fined them one time, and then dropped it. Maybe they’d have required a future mitigation somewhere else, or even right there, but that would be the maximum extent of it. And in the context of a municipality or government agency, that’s a hardship, but not a huge one. But because this was a private owner, and they don’t really have much clout, they get put through the ringer.

    PeeDub: That’s exactly how lots of wetlands have been created, intentionally and unintentionally. And they count just like ‘natural’ wetlands, most of the time.

  30. #30 |  Juice | 

    This video is very well put together and would be a great wake-up tool for democrat types, if only it weren’t done by John Stossel. If someone else were to do this exact expose and not be John Stossel, it would wake a million people up.

  31. #31 |  Kevin | 

    That this type of non-sense is democratically popular boggles my mind.

  32. #32 |  fwb | 

    Remember, the lemonade stand issue is often caused by local businesspeople who don’t want competition.

  33. #33 |  fwb | 

    The fight will be long. 99% of all federal criminal laws are UNCONSTITUTIONAL. Don’t believe me? I ask you, why are Article I, section 8, paragraphs 6, 8, & 10 and Article II, Section 3, Paragraph 2 EVEN in the Constitution if the federal government has the legitimate authority to criminalize activities of all types WITHOUT any grant of power? IF the “necessary and proper” clause grants police power, why are the first mentioned paragraphs in the Constitution in the EXACT same section are the N&P clause?

  34. #34 |  fwb | 

    In Las Vegas, NM, the town is unable to fix a dam that contains water for the town. The dam leaks and formed a “wetlands”. The feds say it cannot be fixed. And of course, no one in the state has the balls to tell the feds to F.O.

  35. #35 |  Howard Norris | 

    Did you see Stossel’s report on DUIs? It makes statistics on such arrest seem all the more suspect:

  36. #36 |  Not Sure | 

    Hmm, if only the case had been judged by a small group of random people with no connection to the government or the landowner. We could call them a “jury” perhaps. Then, in a perfect world, they would hear facts and information and testimony (we might call this “evidence”) and then they would sit and think about what they’d heard and decide who was right.

    From “Roughing It,” by Mark Twain

    I remember one of those sorrowful farces, in Virginia which we call a jury trial. A noted desperado killed Mr. B., a good citizen, in the most wanton and cold-blooded way. Of course the papers were full of it, and all men capable of reading read about it. And of course all men not deaf and dumb and idiotic talked about it. A jury list was made out, and Mr. B.L., a prominent banker and a valued citizen, was questioned precisely as he would have been questioned in any court in America:
    “Have you heard of this homicide?”
    “Have you held conversations upon the subject?’
    “Have you formed or expressed opinions about it?”
    “Have you read the newspaper accounts of it?”
    “We do not want you.”
    A minister, intelligent, esteemed, and greatly respected; a merchant of high character and known probity; a mining superintendent of intelligence and unblemished reputation; a quartz-mill owner of excellent standing, were all questioned in the same way, and all set aside. Each said the public talk and the newspaper reports had not so biased his mind but that sworn testimony would overthrow his previously formed opinion and enable him to render a verdict without prejudice and in accordance with the facts. But of course, such men could not be trusted with the case. Ignoramuses alone could mete out unsullied justice.

    When the peremptory challenges were all exhausted, a jury of twelve men was empaneled — a jury who swore they had neither heard, read, talked about, nor expressed an opinion concerning a murder which the very cattle in the corrals, the Indians in the sagebrush, and the stones in the streets were cognizant of! It was a jury composed of two desperadoes, two low beerhouse politicians, three barkeepers, two ranchmen who could not read, and three dull, stupid, human donkeys! It actually came out afterward that one of these latter thought that incest and arson were the same thing.

    The verdict rendered by this jury was, Not Guilty. What else could one expect?

    The jury system puts a ban upon intelligence and honesty, and a premium upon ignorance, stupidity, and perjury. It is a shame that we must continue to use a worthless system because it was good a thousand years ago. In this age, when a gentleman of high social standing, intelligence, and probity swears that testimony given under solemn oath will outweigh, with him, street talk and newspaper reports based upon mere hearsay, he is worth a hundred jurymen who will swear to their own ignorance and stupidity, and justice would be far safer in his hands than in theirs. Why could not the jury law be so altered as to give men of brains and honesty an equal chance with fools and miscreants? Is it right to show the present favoritism to one class of men and inflict a disability on another, in a land whose boast is that all its citizens are free and equal? I am a candidate for the legislature, I desire to tamper with the jury law. I wish to so alter it as to put a premium on intelligence and character, and close the jury box against idiots, backlogs, and people who do not read newspapers. But no doubt I shall be defeated — every effort I make to save the country “misses fire.”

  37. #37 |  Robert L | 

    … when a government makes war on its people (or should that be “subjects”?)

  38. #38 |  Pam | 

    “watcha ya doin’ pigs?” lol

  39. #39 |  Hal_10000 | 

    Oh, man. Making Wendy Murphy look like a fool is so sweet.

  40. #40 |  DavidST | 

    The taxi medallion thing makes me furious to think of it.