Heed Well The New Law Of The Kingdom: Ignore The Old Law


Mere 'Trifles' Of Infractions Don't Matter, If Done By Friends

July 07, 1991|By Jeff Griffith

The Editor heaved his vast bulk forward, hunched over his goblet, and attempted to appear thoughtful.

He rubbed his chin as he spoke.

"The triumvirate hath amended the laws of the kingdom -- or at least decided to ignore some of them."

"Indeed," said the Dead Politician, considering the innovative policies of his successors.

"Here's the deal, oh Great One. If Don Donaldo decrees that a law is a bad one, he may order that his liegemen ignore the violators of that law. 'Tis a most creative notion."

"Creative? How so?"

Thunder crashed in the distant sky, blending imperceptively with the crashing sounds of fevered music penetrating the thin walls of their clandestine meeting place. The Dead Pol considered his fearless leader's query.

"Because the decree hath such great flexibility and unpredictability. 'Do not enforce the law unless someone complains,' says the Don.

"Think what that means for speeders: No more speeding tickets unless someone complains. Everyone in the kingdom speeds. Either no one will turn anyone else in for fear of retaliation -- or, better yet, each of us can smite our enemies by reporting them to the Radons.

"This is a mighty tool. And think of the chaos -- newspapers love chaos. We shall have copy for eons."

The thunder had abated, but the thumping from beyond the thin partitions continued. The Dead Pol leaned closer, fearing that his words would be swallowed in the din.

"There's more," he whispered confidentially. "Don Donaldo hath decreed that those he hath known for many years, especially the agriculturists, are to be immunized from 'trifling issues,' as he styles them. In future elections we must elect former journalists who will protect usfrom laws we consider unimportant. All that stuff about the right toprivacy, for example. Who cares about that?"

"Hmm . . .," murmured the Great One. "Let me see if I have this right. The Don's knights and officials will not enforce the laws of the kingdom unless a citizen complains?"

"You have captured the essence of the innovation, oh Great One," purred the Dead Pol.

"And if, for some strange reason, some deranged citizen thinks the law should be enforced and complains, if I am a friend of the Don or another powerful personage, I will not be punished. We will simply declare the law 'trifling' and refuse to apply it."

The Editor's small eyes glowed a lustrous red, and his breath came in great heaving gasps.

"There's more. Don Donaldo hath decreed that the citizens should be able to do what they wantwith their property without government interference.

"His friend had used his land as an arena for the riding of the ever-present ATV.Don Donaldo reasons that the friend did the rest of us a favor, evenif the use was unlawful. To require permits 'to do the things they felt they should be free to do' is too great a burden on the Don's friends."

The Dead Pol considered.

"Perhaps we should turn our offices into a combination pub and gambling parlor," he mused. "That would be a useful combination that would do our fellow citizens a great boon. Why should they be required to ride the gray buses to the Plazaof the Trump in the faraway kingdom of Jersey just to do that which they 'feel they should be able to do'?"

"Of course," insisted the Editor. "These trifling laws merely infringe on the freedom of the citizenry. These laws must not be enforced."

"That's right," concurred the Dead Pol. "Consigliare Hickman hath counseled Don Donaldo thathe must enforce those ordinances already enrolled on the books -- orchange them lawfully.

"But, to change these foul ordinances wouldbe too great a task for Don Donaldo to undertake. Such a process would require the dreaded public hearing -- perchance more than one. Then the citizens who supported these trifling laws in the first place would gather together in protest. To imagine the prospect is to shudder."

"Indeed. 'Tis far, far better to rely on the private wisdom ofthe Don. He hath long thought upon the mysteries of due process and fairness," concluded the Editor.

The Editor and the Dead Pol quaffed their beverages cheerfully, anticipating the golden day when the laws of the Kingdom of Carroll would be controlled by their cronies.

What's your opinion? Write: Letters or Guest columns, The Carroll County Sun, 15 E. Main St., Westminster, 21157-5052 or fax us at 876-0233. We must receive them by 5 p.m. Tuesday for Sunday's paper.

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