Ignorantia Juris Non Excusat

The centuries old axiom, Latin for, “Ignorance of the law does not excuse,” has been used to lock up people all over the world. No matter how complicated the legal code, how absurd the rules, or how discreetly published the laws are, little or no leniency is ever seen. That is, unless, you are the law. In that case, anything goes. Charles Rangel, “chief thief” aka writer of the US tax code, is apparently ignorant of the very laws that he himself writes. And that is completely permissible to him, only because it was the errors of his staff.

This is not an isolated incident, either. He evaded paying taxes on a cozy villa in the Dominican Republic (that was probably paid for by taxpayer money), used Congressional letterhead to “promote a $30 million academic center at the City College of New York… which will house his papers,” and evaded paying taxes on properties of his in New Jersey. This list, with enough tax violations to send the average Joe to prison for years, is far from complete. His infidelity to the tax code that, again, he himself writes provides more than ample evidence to kick him out of the House Ways and Means Committee and Congress. 

Is it any wonder that more and more people have been pushed to the brink? Recently, a man so angry towards the IRS and government in general flew his plane into the IRS building in Austin, TX. Killing innocents, whether it be by the American military or crazy Joe Stack, is wrong and impermissible.  Yet as Dr. Paul has pointed out numerous times, “If you dismiss motivation for why they hate us we can never resolve this.” 

So, what is driving people to the brink? Far right extremism? Far left extremism? Tea party groups? Anti-government ideology? None of these are plausible motivations. People may pervert their ideologies in order to suit their cause, but that is hardly the reason. It is because of people like Charlie Rangel who cast the proverbial first stone. Despite his numerous violations of the law, he would be the first to make average Joe go to prison for as long as possible for something as minute as forgetting to declare a few bucks on his tax form. 

People hate double standards and ignorance, especially when it comes from the law. 

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