Sunday, January 12, 2014

Just How Much Law Is There?

Given the consternation and debate in our islands over the innumerable laws that we are supposed to follow, I think the video below could be instructional. In it, you will hear a law school professor say that there are approximately 10,000 federal criminal statutes, but no one really knows for sure ... not even the federal government keeps track of the precise number any longer because there are just too many. I know an attorney who sums up our situation by saying that "between getting up in the morning and starting your car to go to work, you've probably broken three federal laws."

The entire video is 48 minutes, but I find it compelling. It presents the perspective of both a criminal defense attorney followed by a lifelong policeman.

This drawing is to scale. The dot (barely visible) shows the amount of San Juan County shoreline affected by the Mar Vista "clearcutting" relative to the total amount of shoreline in San Juan County (blue circle).


  1. One of the most used tactics frequented by proponents of an ever stricter CAO is to imply that our environment is unprotected. They ignore the thousands of federal and state environmental laws that already make it illegal to harm the environment. The CAO is about control and being able to trap people in nonsense administrative legal minutia, not about protection.

  2. One of the most used tactics frequented by proponents of property rights is minimization. The same graphic used regarding mar vista relative to the entire shoreline could be a close approximation to "total US population in 2013" and "number of murders in 2013". Such a small fraction, why even bother investigating?

  3. One of the most used tactics frequented by opponents of reality is irrelevant comparisons, such as comparing Mar Vista to murder.

  4. @2:35

    I believe the point lost on you is that there is harm when there is a murder. At Mar Vista, what was the harm. I'm sure you can explain how the activities conducted there decimated our salmon population. Tell us who or what was killed, except for a few alders and willows? Were alders and willows murdered? Is it an alder and willow murder investigation?

  5. @2:35

    lol. Minimization? We hear endless diatribes about the imminent collapse of the ecosystem in the San Juans, but you don't seem to have any "maximization" concerns.

  6. @2:35

    Funny. Like the attorney in the video reading the murder report that didn't mention shooting, the TH didn't say anything about minimizing Mar Vista. Mar Vista being minimal is a conclusion you drew for yourself.

  7. Wow, if the dot graphic and subsequent footnote is not viewed as "minimizing" of the situation, well, then I understand the group POV quite well.
    I thought I would try to have a discussion but I can clearly see how stacked and biased things are.
    I will remove myself from even trying to comment any more.
    Good luck.
    Keep up the active management.

  8. @3:01

    Placing events in the right context and scale is not minimization. "Minimizaton" is the conclusion you drew from the graphic. Your ink blot reaction is representative of your psychological state, not the facts.

    If you have facts, I'd like to know what they are, but if you just want to act hurt, then there are better places to get help for that. Good luck.

  9. And now a word from our sponsors ...

    In response to a comment on an earlier post, I can confirm that the TH is most definitely not for everyone. I hope the level of discourse improves from recent levels, but it seems obvious to me that certain recent regular commenters are deliberately trying to lower the level of discourse.

    This too shall pass. In the meantime, TH will upgrade this year to a new platform with increased functionality in several key areas, including new functionality related to comments. We will always allow anonymous comments, but we will provide additional forums for people to converse in a more congenial atmosphere, should they so choose.

    We will also provide additional sections for data and information. We'll add one or two new columnists as well.

    Stay tuned, and thanks for putting up with the growing pains.

  10. TH - that was a terrific video. Thank you.


  11. Deputy Menjivar being sent to Orcatraz for enforcing the law?
    So not fair. Shaw, and its gentle and like minded folk, would seem to be a better fit.
    Steph knows how it feels to be crucified for doing what's right for herself.
    A candle and rocks in a circle heals all. Oh, and also a paycheck.

  12. To 2:31 AM:

    Menjivar was kicked off Lopez by the citizens a few years ago because of his anger management problem. If he gets booted off San Juan to Orcas, its only a matter of time before his lack of professionalism and instability cause another incident. Where will Nou send him then? Waldron?

  13. And why did Felix not get fired? Where can we send Randy?

  14. There was once a deputy in S.J. County who shot two people in the back. Why? Well they did not halt when told to do so. Two separate incidents, one while swimming when shot. The other was walking by the side of the road
    He was kept on the payroll for many years and did tile work on the side. Retired and got his pension/benefits. Moved away.
    No county employees get fired, no matter what they do or don't do. They stay until they retire or leave for greener pastures.
    How many deputy's do we have anyway? How much does it actually cost? Does more deputy's, armed park rangers, fish and wildlife, home land security, customs and border patrol really make you feel safer?
    This must be a dangerous place to live or visit.

  15. The SJ County Council controls Rob Nou's salary and budget. PLEASE contact, in writing, you Council members.

    Bob Jarman - District 1
    Rick Hughes - District 2
    Jamie Stephens - District 3

    The witnesses to the Christmas eve event are not coming forward because they fear retaliation from the Sheriff and from Felix. MANY people were present - why aren't we hearing from ANY of them? Retaliation.

    Please get the Council involved. It's the only way to rein in the lawmen.

  16. "The witnesses to the Christmas eve event are not coming forward because they fear retaliation from the Sheriff and from Felix. MANY people were present - why aren't we hearing from ANY of them? Retaliation."

    OR - because there is an active investigation and they've been told to keep their mouths shut by their attornies? OR the hayriders were not quite as cooperative as the first report seems to indicate? I'll wait for the "rest of the story".

  17. TO: January 13, 2014 at 2:39 PM

    There were MANY bystanders,as well as hayriders,and NONE of them have have given reports to the Sheriff. Why would ordinary citizens withhold information? Even GOOD information, Supporting the deputy and the stop? Things that make ya go "Hmmmmm"

    I'll wait for the FINAL report too. I just hope there IS one.

  18. 3:01 Please don't leave. Your mindset is of value and I believe we all need to understand why people think the way they do.

    This business of getting upset @ pissed when there is disagreement gets no minds changed.

    State your case until you are proved wrong, or right.

    It's pretty obvious, to me, it is a fact that the "clear cutting at Mar Vista" (which I understand was a simple misunderstanding by those involved)is no big deal, and the blue circle graph seeks to make that abundantly clear.

    Similarly, the well know Hyde Report, stated SJC is but a tiny component of a huge aquatic region hundreds of miles in all directions.

    Take that blue graph with it's small dot and transfer it to the overall region and then you will have a REALLY accurate and impressive graphic! The blue circle will be more tiny than the Vista Mar dot, and the Vista Mar dot would only be visible with a microscope.

    Think about it. How much energy and public money is being wasted on things that could be dismissed or advanced in a 15 minute public hearing.

  19. Just read Felix's police report,

    I do not believe it was written when he says it was. His suplemental report is supposedly written less that an hour after the stop, but references conversations had "later" with the other officer. He then goes on to include a bunch of justification statements. This report was written after the public outcry, not 50 mins after the stop.

    Officer Korth did his best to explain away his restraint of officer Menjivar, but it's a weak explanation. Bottom line, after being told to move away, Felix had to be physically removed by another officer.

    McCutcheon may be a racist pig, but Felix is paid to deal with Racist Pigs, and in this instance failed.

  20. Where can we read that report? Thank you.

  21. You know how some silly little tune gets stuck on replay in the back of your mind until you just about go nuts? I suppose this is not very nice, but just ... can't ... help myself ...

    "Felix the cop. The idiot idiot cop. You'll scream so loud your throat will hurt, your heart will go thump-a-bump. Fleeing Felix, the idiot cop."

    Just ... don't know ... what else to say ... I must be racist ... spewing lies

  22. A link to the report was posted on Orcas Issues.

    Take note of the times. Felix's follow up is about 50 mins after his initial contact report. No way he wrote that piece in 50 mins, and made the references he did.

    Korths report is Six days after the stop.

  23. Big Ag's Big Lie Factory Farming
    Thank goodness for our local farms. I hope the Council (and the Friends, and the Ocean Hero) will give a lot more attention to supporting them, rather than strangling us all with ever more bullshit rules like setbacks and "no net loss" eelgrass protection.

  24. No one knows all the laws, not even the Supreme Court. While ignorance may be no excuse, there really is no excuse for not understanding the Rules. The Rules are available to everyone, haven't changed a great deal in hundreds of years and control the legal process. Rules of Procedure. Rules of Evidence. These are knowable and can be taught to just about anyone. If you're gonna actively manage that agenda out there, good to know the Rules, under which ALL the Laws are subject.

    By the way, all County elected positions in law and justice are up for grabs in 2014. All of them. Time for change?

  25. Current 2014 local candidate filings, to date (via the SJC website).


  26. 3:01 keeps promising to leave but never does. He returns again and again only to be disappointed. I hope he's not on the clock while he's doing so.

  27. Help, please, Mr. Gaylord is up for re-election, but who else in the "law and Justice" outfit?

    Surely there must be attorneys from here or near here who can smell an easy win. (My golden retriever could beat Randy.)

  28. Sheriff Nou is up for re-election
    Judge Andrews is up for re-election
    Judge Eaton is up for re-election

    Randy is one part of the problem.

    Our judges are geriatric scolds from the neolithic era.

    Rhea Miller and company were strong supporters of Nou who warms the heart in his endearing support of Felix the Cop. Mere coincidence?

    It is a time for young, intelligent attorneys here in the County to step up to the plate and declare an interest.

    The problem? Most of them are afraid of personal retribution from these two sclerotic judges. You think I am kidding?

  29. At the curb, as usual: In talking to people it seems clear there was a screw-up in what was intended and what was done at Mar Vista.

    All agree, the property owners are good likable people, who intended no harm.

    This is an issue that repeats itself all too often in SJC. People make mistakes, people don't know and can't know all the rules.

    FOSJ sweeps in and crucifies these poor bastards.

    As a person connected to the building trades I'm constantly impressed by how much effort the few folks building here are trying to be good stewards of their land.

    These people don't deserve fines or notoriety laid on them or threatened by the County and FOSJ.

    We need to end this crap.

  30. How handy. Here in our islands, incompetence can dumped off to another island.

  31. So on a per capita basis is it fair to say that Friday Harbor has more bomb scares than Baghdad did a the height of the war?

  32. @7:11

    Of course we are afraid of fire extinguishers. We're afraid of roof runoff too. We think brush cutting will kill all salmon. We're terrified of lawn mowers. We get the shivers at the thought of nitrogen. The prospect of a displaced amphibian gives us trauma. Tail lights and Christmas rides require police backup.

    We are run by the castrati. We are afraid of everything. It all has to be illegal. Everything requires a 1000% response. OMG, I am so scared, someone call the authorities.

  33. I am beginning to think our authorities are more afraid of us than we are of them. They have become like the crown heads of Europe, inbred, brain damaged, one prick and they bleed to death.

    Yes we are governed by castrati, eunuchs, Mandarins, sycophants and popinjays.

    Yes effendi. Oh no effendi. Thank you so much, effendi. Oh please effendi, may I trim my rose bush?