Some people think WE overuse the word "tyranny". From Google:
- cruel and oppressive government or rule.
"people who survive war and escape tyranny"
synonyms: despotism, absolute power, autocracy, dictatorship, totalitarianism, Fascism;
It seems pretty cut-and-dried to us. Tyranny is just bureaucrats abusing power, taking peoples' liberty and jerking them around; like this:
by Glen Morgan
December 11, 2013
What they can’t see is why the local governing authority, San Juan County inWashington State, has chosen to treat them like criminals for committing what appear to be minor building code infractions.
Like many rural Washington residents, the Speeds live “off the grid” in a small trailer on the property they share with their horse, goats, and chickens. They are neither wealthy, nor are they hardened criminals.
Consequently, they never expected to be subjected to a search warrant, charged with a criminal offense, tried before a jury of their peers, and sentenced to actual jail time for minor code violations involving their own property.
The driving force behind Errol and Kathleen Speed’s nightmare is the bureaucrats’ relentless effort to criminalize minor infractions and victimless crimes. The Speed family’s experience is just the latest example, but it demonstrates the pointlessness of this over-criminalization effort by Big Government.
They also used a composting toilet.
For their trouble, the Speeds endured a police raid of their property (using a criminal search warrant), a jury court trial, thousands of dollars in fines, and a 180-day jail sentence for Errol Speed. Not coincidentally, the county has spent tens of thousands of dollars in taxpayer money prosecuting the case.
“We built an accessory agricultural building with the understanding that we could build a building under 1,000 square feet with no fees, no permits and no plans,” Kathleen Speed said. “Normally in code violations, you work with the Planning Department and negotiate after the fact, and maybe there are additional fees. But in our case, we’ve been criminalized and treated as if we robbed a bank.”
“The justification for using a criminal search warrant was (that) we denied them (government officials) access,” Errol Speed said. “They never asked for access.”
While the couple doesn’t deny being in violation of at least some part of the code, the reality is that most people run afoul of some ordinance or minor law every day. Disputing these details hardly justifies the effort San Juan County has made to prosecute the Speeds.
In the area of home ownership and private property, few properties are immune to potential violations. In modern times, most people have become numb to the ever-expanding ordinances and the new thousands of pages of rules and regulations that apply to every property owner in the local jurisdiction.
In most cases, there is little concern over these ordinances because it would take a police state to actually enforce them, and most people feel they could appeal to common sense or pay a small fine to resolve the problem.
Andrew was originally a California attorney who relocated to San Juan County and has been a judge since 1998. Gaylord has been in office for 20 years, and he is best remembered for his successful effort to ban personal watercraft in San Juan County in 1996 and for his failed effort to suppress free speech in 2005 when he filed suit against local radio talk show hosts for opposing a gas tax increase.
In 2010, the Heritage Foundation published a booklet titled, “One Nation Under Arrest,” (co-authored by the Freedom Foundation’s Trent England), detailing many cases around the country of an explosion of laws—federal, state and local—which have created thousands of new “crimes” that can justify criminal search warrants, jury trials and jail time.
No victims or common sense are necessary in this process. Errol Speed discovered what it’s like to personally experience a “Crime Against Bureaucracy” in San Juan County.
Unfortunately, he isn't likely to be the last.