by James Corbett, The International Forecaster:
Quick question: Do you think of yourself as a criminal? Of course you don’t. But are you a criminal? Of course you are.
That’s the surprising conclusion of Three Felonies A Day by Massachusetts-based attorney Harvey Silverglate. His thesis: that the federal criminal code has become so over-bloated with broad, vague, ill-defined laws and injunctions that the average American commits three felonies a day without even realizing it. It is only by virtue of the fact that the feds aren’t after you that you aren’t behind bars.
The examples of these daily breaches of federal law are as plentiful as they are outrageous. For example, did you know that it is illegal to:
- receive lobsters shipped from Honduras in clear plastic bags?
- tell your company’s customers about a vital security flaw in your software without your boss’ consent?
- get lost on your snowmobile in a National Forest Wilderness Area?
- link to a website that is deemed to be too “extremist” by the government?
Does this all sound a little too far-fetched? Well every single one of those examples has been prosecuted in real life.
- Lobsters in plastic bags? Check.
- Illegal whistleblowing? Yup.
- Getting lost on a snowmobile? You better believe it.
- Linking to an “extremist” website? Don’t even think about it.
And that’s just the tip of the top of the iceberg. Think about the number of laws, rules, regulations, injunctions, orders and penalties contained in the 73,954 page long (and counting) American federal tax code. Or the millions of arcane laws from centuries past that are still on the books in cities across the US (and around the world).
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