I just have to wonder. I haven’t a doubt in the world that there are thousands upon thousands of smart, sports statistic-calculating guys and gals who, even though they may not approve of Barry Bonds’ use of steroids, nonetheless see the utter shame in bringing this indictment for lying to the state — and after a four year (four years!)
prosecution "investigation" at that.
But I wonder how many sensed it when they hauled up Martha Stewart under precisely the same set of nefarious pretenses. It’s not like I didn’t point out the principles underlying this whole pretentious, presumptuous, preposterous mess of "lying to federal prosecutors" (and in spite of the euphemisms, that’s exactly what a federal Grand Jury is: a prosecutor).
So who’s next? I mean, it’s very unlikely that normal, everyday people are going to stop lying to protect themselves from embarrassment and shame. So the only question is: how many lives of essentially good people will be destroyed, their families torn to shreds and needlessly shamed, financially ruined, perp walked, prosecuted, and jailed before someone gets a clue and acknowledges — even if only on a practical level — that, hey, news fucking flash: people lie about shit. Always have, always will.
Now, I’m all for people not lying and just coming clean, and that should always be the gold standard, but by what universal moral principle, you tell me, ought the state be entitled to get the truth out of anyone’s mouth more than you or anyone else is entitled to it? Here’s a clue: if lying to you is not a moral crime, for which someone ought to pay with loss of their livelihood, property, and freedom, then it cannot possibly be a crime in any respect.
Do you get this notion, dummies? The essential moral principle in a political context underlying justice in the presence of the state (setting aside the contradiction in terms), is that there can be no crimes against the state. There can only crimes against individuals. That is a huge, huge part of what America was all about way back then. In its most basic sense, it was about subordinating the state to the individual, to the rights of the individual, carrying the clear implication that there are only individual rights. Now, you tell me: how "subordinate" is any state to individual rights when it can lock up Barry Bonds for telling it a lie?
It’s a very small step to locking up people for telling it something it doesn’t like. In fact, there is no essential or important distinction to make, and I’ll dare you to try and make one.