•My thanks to Shirley, of Urbana, Illinois, for her frequent support of this newsletter.
•My thanks to Sir Donald the Elusive for paying the production costs of this newsletter and for his ongoing editorial assistance.
•My thanks to Sir James the Bold for his ongoing editorial assistance.
•My thanks to Lady Jan the Voluptuous for her ongoing editorial assistance and for her countless other efforts in support of this newsletter and of its editor.
•My thanks to Steve, of Fremont, California, and to Sir John the Generous, for their crucial support during my confrontation with the despots in Santa Clara County, California.
|Tap A Shoulder, Go To Jail
My friend, Hal, devoted much of his life to teaching young children. He served as a private consultant to parents of children with learning difficulties of one sort or another, and to those who wanted to give their kids opportunities for rapid progress. He spent countless hours on his own devising methods for motivating children to learn. He could keep a six year old fascinated indefinitely with riddles, games, magic tricks, and other creative techniques while skillfully presenting instructional material to the young mind.
In 1989 Hal was diagnosed with bone cancer, and his physical condition began to deteriorate. Although his passion for helping kids remained strong; his struggle for survival, including study of his disease and associated therapies consumed more and more of his energy. Early in 1995, Hal suddenly began feeling dramatically better and was able to function almost normally once again. Anticipating complete recovery, he began applying for substitute teaching positions while planning his career progression. His first assignment was in Cupertino, California, with a group of developmentally handicapped children. He excitedly spent several days preparing for his one day job.
As Hal began working with the children on his big day, he sensed some hostility from a teacher's aide who was in the classroom to assist him. After awhile she left suddenly. A short time later the principal appeared and informed Hal without explanation that his services were no longer required. He left puzzled and very disappointed.
Some days later a cop showed up at his door to interrogate him about "touching" children. Shocked, Hal explained that he had shown the kids a game which involved joining hands to form a circle and had tapped some on the shoulder to encouraged them to recite rhymes. The cop seemed convinced that Hal was no child abuser and indicated he would talk with the kids to clear up the matter. Hal was angry and somewhat shaken by the implications, but from the cop's manner, he assumed he had heard the last of it.
A few weeks after the good cop left, two bad ones with handcuffs awakened Hal, threw him in the back of a car, hauled him to San Jose jail, and booked him on two counts of assault & battery and one of "annoying" a child under 18. Meanwhile his condition had once again deteriorated. Having lost about three inches in height due to compression fractures of vertebrae, Hal was nearly bedridden and required regular pain medication. In jail Hal was denied his medication, medical attention, and even crutches to relieve the agony of bearing weight on his injured spine.
After several days' abuse by jail guards, apparently for their own entertainment, another inmate helped Hal arrange release on bail. He learned that of several children questioned about events the day he taught, one little girl he had tapped on the shoulder told the cops she hadn't wanted him to touch her. All charges against him were dropped except for one count of "battering a child!" Every experienced prosecutor in the district attorney's office avoided the case, viewing it a sure loss and career blemish. Hal's lawyer assured him it would soon be dismissed, but finally a young assistant DA needing courtroom experience for her career advancement, agreed to take him to court. No doubt he would be acquitted.
At every opportunity during his trial, the prosecutor make much of Hal's political views, especially his opposition to government control of education. Prior to trial, the judge, the DA, his lawyer, and Hal on his lawyer's advice, "to avoid offending the judge," had agreed to withhold all information about his medical condition from the jury (What his lawyer received in exchange was never revealed). Prior to testifying, each witness was told not to mention Hal's illness. Since he was prohibited from taking medication during the three week trial, despite his best efforts to maintain composure, over time Hal appeared more and more as a crazy old man. When during a recess, he lay down on the courtroom floor to relieve the agony, the judge erupted with anger. She hinted that if he would simply admit his misbehavior and apologize to the court, she would let him off lightly. Hal, a man of principal even while undergoing torture, refused to offer up his honor as ransom to "her honor".
The judge's instructions to the jury defined battering a child as "touching a child when he/she doesn't want to be touched, regardless of where or how lightly!" What percentage of us can be confident of our own innocence of this crime, especially when a child may be encouraged by a nice policeperson to decide weeks after the fact that he/she didn't really want to be touched? The jury dutifully found Hal guilty and the judge sentenced him to four months in prison. His health and his previous experience in jail convinced Hal that for him this was equivalent to a death sentence.
He filed an appeal, but his lawyer was not optimistic about its chances, advising that appellate courts are generally very reluctant to overturn lower court judgments (They sleep in the same bed, so to speak). With lots of luck he might be allowed to live at home while serving his time. His appeal never made it to court. On March 15, 1996, Hal died, his energy and life savings depleted in a futile attempt to obtain justice through a corrupt legal system.
Hal's case is not an isolated incident. Each year across America thousands of peaceful innocent people have their lives trashed by government officials frivolously using legalistic processes to pursue personal
|agendas. Many such cases are not publicized
due to incentives against mainstream media reporting them. The incidence
of such abuse is on the rise and will continue to increase as long as power
lusting officials are allowed to abuse fellow citizens with impunity.
The way to reverse this trend is to quickly weed out the officials responsible
whenever a case of abuse comes to light. In present day America most
officials with authority to remove wayward government employees lack the
honesty, the courage, and the incentive to exercise this authority;
and the procedures involved are always ridiculously cumbersome.
The judge in Hal's case is still in power, dispensing life ruining decisions according to her personal whim. His prosecutor undoubtedly received quite a status boost from her unexpected courtroom victory. We can expect to hear much more from this dynamic duo in future years.
A Police State
Centralizing power and consistently expanding the role of government require an army of bureaucrats and a taxing authority upon which a police state thrives. There are over 100 laws on the books permitting private property seizure without due process of law. We have made it easy to seize any property by absurdly claiming the property itself committed the crime. The RICO mentality relating to law enforcement permits even the casual bystander to suffer severely from the police state mentality.
The drug war hysteria and the war on gun ownership, started by Roosevelt in 1934, have expanded federal police power to the point that more than 10% of all our police are federal. The Constitution names but three federal crimes, so where is the justification? Talk about "swarms of officers to harass our people and eat out their substance!" We have hovering over us daily the federal police from: EPA, OSHA, FBI, CIA, DEA, EEOC, ADA, F&WL, INS, BATF, and worst of all, the IRS. Even criticizing the IRS makes me cringe that it might precipitate an audit. It seems that all administrations, to some degree, used the power of the agencies to reward or punish financial backers or political enemies.
As so much that had its origin in the 1930's, it was then that the FBI's role changed from friendly investigator helping local authorities to that of national police force. Now their claim to fame is the Waco slaughter, all over a $200 unpaid federal fee.
We live in an age where the fear of an IRS registered letter bearing news of an audit surpasses the fear of a street mugging.
The police are our friend and the federal government a guarantor of our liberties. Ask the blacks in the inner-city of Los Angeles if they trust the police and revere the FBI and CIA. We should not have to cringe when a federal agent appears at the door of our business. We should not even see them there.
A Congress sworn to uphold the Constitution ought to be protecting our right to our property, not confiscating it. Congress ought to protect our right to own a weapon of self defense, not systematically and viciously attack that right. Congress ought to guarantee all voluntary associations, not regulate every economic transaction. We should not allow Congress to give credence to inane politically correct rules generated by egalitarian misfits. Setting quotas ought to insult each of us.
We need no more centralized police efforts. We need no more wiretaps that have become epidemic in the last decade. We have had enough Wacos and Ruby Ridges!
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Letters to the Editor
The number of editorial comments in "The Frontiersman" is becoming excessive. You have to give your readers credit for having some brains.
— Donald; Santa Clara, California
It's very kind of you to say the truth is within me. I try to be informed — correctly. There's a lot of misinformation floating around, mostly the product of our media. Consummate liars, determined to wreck us. Obviously they expect to escape our disasters. But I stick by my story. The country is bankrupt. The dollar is therefore worthless. The day this is admitted expect those Islamics who hate Great Satan 1) to laugh and 2) to bomb. When & where, alas, I do not know. Now, do you still say the truth is in me?
— Shirley, Urbana Illinois
Today, March 25, 1997, I saw a news item on the state of Wisconsin going to the supreme court to get permission to have in drug cases the right to knock down doors without a search warrant. This sounds to me just like Nazi Germany in the 1930's. Next they will knock down your door because you hit your wife or you hit your husband. They will knock down your door because you have a ticket for parking on the wrong side of the street or a ticket for speeding. Then they will knock down your door because they don't like the color of your skin or the color of your car. It will be all the same to them in the end. Do we as citizens of a so called free America want to live like they did in Germany in the 1930's and 1940's or do we want to live in the U S A the way it used to be.
— Jan; Firth, Idaho
This writer recalls to mind Niemoeller's observation, which I have printed below just in case there's anybody left who hasn't seen it yet. Finally, I just couldn't resist the temptation to speculate: in America, they came first ....
Buck Hunter Shoots Off His Mouth
My hair is beginning to fall out. Can you suggest something to keep it in?
— Worried BoomerDear Worried Boomer
Maybe a paper bag or an empty coffee can?
On the Road with Buffalo Hunter
— Buff's adoring little sister, Doe