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Cheers - AE

Thursday, 9 September 2010

You there! Yes, you with the bomb!

Bomb? What bomb? I haven't got a bomb.

Well, no. No you haven't, but you have got a vehicle with a tankful of diesel outside, and we noticed that you've got a few of sacks of fertiliser in the back.

Well? I'm a landscape gardener. I buy fertiliser all the time.

But this is too much fertiliser, you see. What you have here is the precursor to a bomb.

A what?

A precursor, which is as good as the same thing as far as your sworn-to-protect-you-from-all-ills government is concerned, you psychopathic bastard. Now if you'd could just lie face down while we rough you up a bit....

Here, hang on a mom-arrrrrrrgh.
Ridiculous? Why? The Yanks already assume you're going to make meth if you stock up on Sudafed and treat you as a drug dealer. And by 'stock up' they mean buy four boxes at three locations. Personally we like to have plenty of stuff around for when we feel shit and tend to stock up when we're hale and hearty. We're not dumb enough to exceed the dosage significantly and we find nanny state legislation that assumes we are that dumb offensive and patronising, so we would naturally hit two or three different stores and have a decent amount of 'medicine' on hand.* And we would strongly object to any assumption that our desire to not be in a position to have to go to the fucking pharmacy and spread whatever lurgy we have to everyone in the shop to somehow be an indication that we're part time drugs manufacturers. Now for all I know this woman may well have intended to make meth out of four boxes of Sudafed, but did she actually do it? And if not since when did having stuff that can be misused become equivalent to actually misusing it (and one day I will get around to blogging how ridiculous the whole drug law thing is, but I'm glossing over that for now). What the fuck happened to the presumption of innocence? Negated by statute - possession of a given quantity of a substance that could be used in a way the state does not approve of is all that is necessary for the prosecution to prove. No mens rea and not even any fucking actus reus. It's strict liability, the great gift to lazy investigators and prosecutors the whole world over.

Think it can't happen in Britain or Australia? Really? But you can already attract unwarranted attention for carrying a knife in both countries, even if you have nothing but peaceful intentions. So when you're surrounded by armed cops for having enough metal to manufacture a .50 cal machine gun don't be tempted to argue that you had no intention of doing anything more than making some weird modern art sculpture because it won't make any difference.

H/T Mises blog.

* In the same way that the Fremantle Doctor isn't a doctor but a sea breeze in the Exile house 'medicine' may refer to anything from Beecham's Powders and aspirin, to chicken soup and tubs of Cookies & Cream ice cream (which has just made me think of another Thing I Don't Get About Australia), to new videogames and DVDs. It doesn't have to be literally medicinal to be 'medicine' - it just has to make you feel better.
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