Charge Definited

I saw a pundit state in an ominous tone that Manafort was the first presidential advisor to be charged with committing a "conspiracy against the United States."  Sound serious, and, in a manner, it is.  However, one must understand, that its a tax charge, not treason.  Manafort is charged with money laundering -- 8 of the 10 charges when he was working the Podesta Group (a Democrat lobbying firm, now closed).  

Its one of those catch all charges I really hate.  Have any of you ever paid cash for personal services -- the babysitter, the person who cut your grass, or tipped a waiter (in cash).  Are you certain that person reported their earning on their federal income tax return?  If, they didn't, the government has the potential to charge you with the same crime.  

That's why I hate vague catch all laws and prefer bright line law -- law that doesn't require 12 pages of explanation and an hour to explain to a jury. 


Original Post

I posted this in Miscellaneous, but it really applies here.  Over 2,600 years ago and it still applies.

"Tao TeChing - Lao Tzu - chapter 57

Rule a nation with justice.
Wage war with surprise moves.
Become master of the universe without striving.
How do I know that this is so?
Because of this!

The more laws and restrictions there are,
The poorer people become.
The sharper men's weapons,
The more trouble in the land.
The more ingenious and clever men are,
The more strange things happen.
The more rules and regulations,
The more thieves and robbers.

Therefore the sage says:
I take no action and people are reformed.
I enjoy peace and people become honest.
I do nothing and people become rich.
I have no desires and people return to the good and simple life."

(translation by Gia-** Feng and Jane English)

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