Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Slippery Slope

Another council has been caught using surveillance laws designed to combat organised criminals - this time to catch dog owners whose pets foul the grass. One MP accused the council of playing at "Dick Tracy" detectives. Brian Binley, Conservative MP for Northampton South, condemned his local borough council for employing the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (Ripa), which is intended for use "in the interests of national security", saying "some semblance of sanity" needed to be restored.

We trust public officials to maintain public order. We also pass laws for specific purposes. Laws, however, can be abused by overzealous prosecutors. Here's a good example of that. If anyone thinks that prosecutors don't have too much power, all you have to do is look at the Duke lacrosse players incident. When you abuse the law as a public official, you cause people to lose respect for authority. Do you really think that the people in North Korea respect the leaders? Or are they just intimidated by them? What comes around, goes around in this world. Elliot Spitzer comes to mind.

We pass anti-terror laws to protect us against terrorists. Do this kind of thing with the law, the public will demand the law be repealed, and then the real criminals will eventually kill someone.

All this, just to clean up some dog poop?

Reminds me of this...

Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.

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