Vin Suprynowicz

The Libertarian

Vin Suprynowicz

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When was it (and what was it that kept us too distracted to notice) -- when ours became something other than a government staffed by common citizens taking time off to pitch in and do the public’s business, oiling the roads and cleaning the dead leaves out of the storm drains?

At some point, when we weren’t watching, our government masters apparently decided to reorganize themselves into something far more closely mimicking the social and political structure of an ants’ nest or beehive. Under this new scenario, we lowly private-sector wage-earners go out and take all the risks, slaving day and night to haul in all the sustenance the colony requires.

But the lion’s share is then taken from us and transferred to a special “nursemaid” class, who consider themselves very important due to their close proximity to the queen, who as a result of all this transferred honeydew grow bigger and fatter, with much prettier wings, and use this newfound size and strength to continue rearranging things to their own advantage.

Consider, for example, four bills which needed to be acted on by Nevada Legislative committees in Carson City by May 20, lest they fall by the wayside.

Senate Bill 129 would have required public employees who serve in the Legislature to take unpaid leaves of absence from their executive branch jobs while actually attending sessions of the Legislature.

(Mind you, their behavior would still violate the “separation of powers” clause of the Nevada Constitution. The real solution would be to enforce that clause and bar such dual service. That having already been forestalled by a series of cooked-up attorney generals’ rulings, this was merely an attempt to make these violations a little less blatant.)

Now, let’s see. Would this tend to inconvenience and possibly even lower by some small amount the incomes of individual members of our specially protected “Governing Class”?

Annh! The buzzer sounds, and Senate Bill 129 dies for lack of committee action.

How about Assembly Bill 419, prohibiting “public officers” (we used to call them “public servants,” but their union chiefs didn’t like that) and other government employees from using tax-paid government time, property, and equipment for activities relating to political campaigns to get themselves or their bosses re-elected?

Let’s see, now. Would this inconvenience -- Annh!

Oh, I’m sorry, taxpayers, you were a little tardy with your answer, there. Assembly Bill 419 would indeed have made it a little harder for incumbents (like Nevada State Controller Kathy Augustine, who was impeached for it) to use their-tax-funded phones, copying machines, staffs, and so forth, to hold onto their offices, and to outspend and outmaneuver any commoner foolish enough to try and challenge them.

So needless to say, Assembly Bill 419 got sealed up in a vat of Malmsey and failed to show up for roll call by May 20; it fails and lies deceased by the roadside. No one in the passing legislative parade will admit to recognizing any of the assorted cutlery sticking out of its back.

On to Senate Bill 150, purportedly making it a misdemeanor to file a “knowingly false criminal complaint” against a law enforcement official -- though we know from the actual enforcement of such a measure up north that the real effect is to ensure that people can and will be jailed for merely writing a letter to the sheriff, accusing one or more of his men of having mistreated the letter-writer.

Now let’s see, might that be used to generate a chilling effect on anyone seeking to bring forth a legitimate complaint of police misbehavior? We can picture the burly desk sergeant jangling the keys to the jail, now: “If a single word of what you write on this form turns out not to be inaccurate, you realize I can throw you in jail under our special new ‘criticizing a police officer’ law. Now, are you sure you want to --”

And the gongs are sounding! Senate Bill 150 meets its May 20 deadline for committee action and advances to the final round!

What about Assembly Bill 142, guaranteeing that assessor records revealing the location and value of judges’ and police officers’ homes shall be kept confidential -- while anyone from criminals to multi-level marketers to these very same judges and police will still be able to easily check and find out where we peasants live?

Yes! Assembly Bill 142, since it tends to further increase the “specialness” of the ruling class, moves forward with ease!

Double-dipping while working for both the executive and legislative branches, in violation of the state constitution? Fine for the “boss” class. Using their tax-paid staff to run their re-election campaigns? Fine for our rulers. Special “discouragement” for any peasant daring to file a complaint against the police (who were already protected by the same libel and defamation laws as the rest of us)? Good!

Keeping us peasants from finding out where our betters live, while they can still track us down with a couple of keystrokes? Yes!

If this all seems normal and sensible to you, please call home: The gal you hired to clean your house twice a week says you’re grounded; you’re going to bed with no supper tonight; and where are the keys to your new car -- she needs them to pick up the new live-in boyfriend whose airfare she just charged to your credit card.

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