When Tom Ball sent in his last statement, he mentioned something that I believe I am going to start using now. He referred repeatedly through his lengthy statement to something called the “Second Set of Books.” He refers to it as such:
Arrests are mandatory for the police in New Hampshire for domestic violence. That is not law. That is police department policy. Laws come from the Legislature and the Governor's office together. God only knows where these policies come from. The State's Attorney General also has a mandatory arrest protocol for domestic violence. I call these policies, procedures and protocols The Second Set of Books.
Essentially, the Second Set of Books are all the things that bureaucrats do on a regular basis which is outside of the laws as written up by the legislature. Usually, these are the result of giving them a blank check on setting policy, which is codified by law. In poor Tom Ball’s case, the policies were probably implemented by the Federal government which threatened to withhold tax money from New Hampshire if they did not adopt those policies. He states that under New Hampshire law, domestic violence does not include children in your custody. Any sane law would state the same since parents sometimes need to spank or smack their kids in order discipline them, especially young toddlers who do not have the mental capacity to understand. Spare the rod, spoil the child and all that.
But what Ball fell victim to was not the law itself, as he was acquitted of all criminal charges, but the system set up to handle these matters. Many other men have suffered the same fate in the country, all because of a momentary lapse in sound judgment. In some cases, the ex-wife inflicts a terrible situation on her former husband, as humorously described in Christopher Titus’ Love is Evol stand-up special. The point is that in Family Court, you are guilty of whatever crimes your wife accuses you of and you have no chance of proving yourself innocent.
While family matters and social work is clearly a good example of policy over law and the increasing corruption of the bureaucracy, the Second Set of Books goes well beyond just that. Throughout just about all arms of the State you will find rules and protocols in place that have no basis on the laws that were passed by the elected representatives who voters send to manage these things. More than likely, these policies are thought to be law even if they are not written down, voted on, and filed with the legislative archives. In many cases, they are there because of a general mission statement made by a law.
The TSA screenings are, for the most, a violation of your Fourth Amendment rights. You have a contract with a private airline company where you paid them money to ride in their form of transportation. However, the TSA has stated that you will not be allowed to fly without submitting to either a full body scan or a pat-down, neither of which was in your contract. If you refuse, you will not be getting on board the airplane. In fact, if you refuse both, you are usually singled out and harassed by TSA agents and sometime local police officers. In no case have I ever seen or heard of any law cited that supports the TSA actions and even if there was, it would be unconstitutional because it is, essentially, a warrantless search of your belongings and person by government agents.
Government schools often implement policy without much say so from their bosses, the legislatures, or the parents who send their children to school. When parents object to the questionable nature of the curriculum, they are often ignored and if a big enough fuss is raised, they are ostracized. The adherents to the Second Set of Books do not like dissent and consider your children to be wards of the State.
In the end, we have a series of policies and practices which constitute something akin to Catch-22. While not officially the law of the land, the Second Set of Books had become unspoken and unwritten means by which the Statists get their way. Essentially, they have become the power and the oligarchy whereby the legislatures merely provide them the funds with little to no oversight on what they are doing.
This is not freedom or liberty, this is tyranny of the most detestable kind. While a dictator’s edicts are clearly tyrannical, at least those edicts are upfront, in plain sight, and well known. In the case of the Second Set of Books and the adherents of them, you have the façade of the rule of law with the real rules set up and maintained by faceless policy-makers and heartless bureaucrats who are just doing their job.
There is no way to get rid of the Second Set of Books without a total elimination of the agencies involved and as long as the populace has it in their head that we need government to take of us in just about everything, I do not see that happening. On the other hand, because of the growing disparity between the producers and the moochers, these things may end up being eliminated by default.
So whenever you hear of some absurd policy like Immigration and Custom Enforcement shutting down websites for copyright infringement or the Department of Education engaging in no-knock raids for delinquent student loans, remember that although these actions are more than likely illegal, they are all part of the Second Set of Books.
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