Despite my outwardly-conservative mien, I am in fact a rebel, and have been one pretty much all my life.
Most of my Longtime Readers are familiar with my 1972 arrest and brief imprisonment (at age 17) back in the old Racist Republic, for the heinous crime of daring to publicly express my opposition to apartheid and especially to the education policy foisted upon Black South Africans by the Afrikaner Nationalist government. Because this protest had taken place in public (even though on the university campus), I and many others were charged under the Riotous Assemblies Act (there was no First Amendment in S. Africa, you see) because we hadn’t applied for a protest permit — did I already mention that the protest took place on private property? — but I and the others were later acquitted on a technicality.
That was only the first of my encounters with the State, by the way. Another involved hiring a wonderful Black maid to clean my apartment and do my laundry, but refusing to “register” her with the proper local authorities because I thought that was a load of old bollocks. Then when this was discovered, the local gauleiter bureaucrat charged me with being in contravention of the Group Areas Act (the one that said that Blacks couldn’t be in “White” areas without a permit), and issued me a fine. Which I refused to pay. So I was dragged into court yet again.
Judge: You have to pay the fine.
Kim: I’m not going to pay the fine.
Judge: Can you not afford it?
Kim: No, I can afford it. I’m just refusing to pay it.
Kim: Because it may be the law, but it’s ridiculous.
Judge: If you don’t pay the fine, you could face a jail sentence.
Kim: I don’t care. You might as well fine me for not having a permit to work my job here in Johannesburg.
Judge: You don’t need a permit to work here; you’re White.
Kim: And that’s why I’m not going to pay the fine.
Judge: [mumble mumble]
At that point, my lawyer told me to sit down and STFU, went up and spoke to the judge, who then told me I was free to go and slammed his gavel down with what I think was relief.
Turns out that unbeknownst to me, one of my buddies had come to the courthouse in case I needed bailing out — he knew me far too well, I think — and he’d secretly paid the fine already. (His father was a member of the U.S. Embassy staff, and apparently he’d ordered his son to do what he did because while he sympathized with my actions, he also saw the realities of the situation, and me having a criminal record was not a Good Thing. Bah.) For the record, I was then 26 years old.
Since I’ve been living here as a citizen in the United States, though, I’ve lived a simon-pure life, from a legal standpoint anyway. The reason is that most U.S. law makes kinda sense, certainly when compared with the apartheid bullshit, although I regret to say that I did carry a handgun a lot when I lived in Chicago because that prohibition was not only stupid, but un-Constitutional (as the McDonald case would prove many years later). It was crappy. Every time I saw the potential for some villainy to be perpetrated on me or someone close to me, my thought was always, “Oh please please please pick on someone else because otherwise I’m going to get into such shit when I shoot you in the face.”
I’ve also started to misbehave a bit since, oh, 2009 (the start of The Obama Years) because socialism, no details necessary. But really, it’s been so far, so good.
And I told you all that so I could tell you this (and it was all triggered by this article).
What may come as a surprise to most is that the laws I obey almost obsessively are the traffic laws. Why? Because alone among the laws, they all make sense: slow down here for the sharp corner, don’t park there, stay in your lane, don’t run a red light, don’t speed through a construction zone, etc. etc. — all are very sound and logical, and I obey them almost obsessively. Since coming here over thirty years ago, I have had the grand total of one traffic ticket, and that was because I was lost, looking for landmarks and didn’t see the speed notice. Even the judge sympathized, and let me off. That’s a fine I would have paid, let me tell you, because I really shouldn’t have been speeding.
I also like the fact that when people break the law egregiously — e.g. running a red light while drunk — that the Law beats them over the head with the Book. I also think that if an illegal alien breaks a traffic law — any traffic law except maybe illegal parking — he should be deported. I remember talking to an Egyptian guy — a legal resident — boasting about how he’d amassed an astonishing number of traffic tickets for reckless driving because “We don’t have traffic lanes in Egypt, man. You drive where you want.” Having been to the Third World (in my case, India), I’ve seen how this approach to driving works and let me tell you folks, it ain’t pretty. I told him he needed to straighten out and clean up his act, because if he ever got nailed for driving that way and caused someone’s injury or death, he wouldn’t have to worry about the damn police because I’d come to his house and pull his eyes out of his sockets. (“If you’re going to drive around without looking, you don’t need your eyes, asshole,” were my exact words.) He was not happy, but then again, nor was I.
And I’m sick of people thinking that driving is in the Bill of Rights and therefore can’t be taken away from them. It isn’t, it can, and in a lot of cases, it should. Yeah, I know that if you can’t drive, you’ll lose your job because you can’t get to work blah blah blah. That’s the reason to drive carefully and not break the law, shit-for-brains.
I need to quit now before I get really angry.