Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Conscience, and shame.

There are many things one sees in the shadows, many trials of conscience. To look out and see what has occurred, and continues to occur is difficult, and to know one's self powerless against the shadows is also difficult.

The trials are many, and varied, and deliniated not by codes, nor regulations, but by one's own understanding of ethics, and what is right, and what is wrong.

Sometimes there are many shades of gray in our world.. the colors blur together, in a melange of possibilities and half-truths, and we stand at the crux of it all and look deep into our own hearts, wondering, "how did I come here?"

When something bad happens near us, we wonder "Why didn't I do something?" often this 'something' is written clearly in our minds, why didn't I hear my neighbor being harmed, why didn't I notice my child being hurt? Why didn't I see my own blindness?

This guilt, this powerful harm, comes to us from seemingly nowhere and everywhere. Every eye turns upon us, in our own minds, and we find ourselves wanting. Why didn't I see? The answer... is because you were blind. One cannot hold a blind man to see... nor can we see and hear through walls, nor walk through them save by the door. But yet we feel guilt, and shame, unassuaged by knowledge, a burning conscience that compels us to act.

Sometimes we find ourselves hunting for some way to relieve the burning, relieve the shame, the guilt, the hurt. We blame God, we blame Lucifer, we blame Republicans, we blame Democrats, we blame everyone. Ultimately, the trial and guilt belongs to the person who engaged in the act. We are not responsible for what we do not see, do not hear, and cannot know of.

Yet, still, deep within us, there is a voice that whispers, "You should have done this." or "If only you'd been 'better' somehow, this wouldn't have happened." It boils down to "This (occurrence) is my fault." But can any man be held to the responsibilities for the acts of another that are not only outside his control, but outside his knowledge as well?

It is one thing to hold a man responsible for his actions, his choosing not to see what was before his nose, his choices to ignore things that were very visible, it is quite another to hold him responsible for things outside his control. Is it not a work of love to love others? Is it not equally difficult, however, to love ourselves? Can we release ourselves from that shame, that self-anger, self-hatred, and anguish?

Is this not that for which many seek? A release from the pent-up shames of a lifetime, the nagging feelings of inadequacy, of doubt, questioning all that is for anything true, just to find solace from those inner feelings?

How many who have lost a loved one to an accident, in their grief and anger, seek retribution? Retribution against the company that made the ladder upon which they stood, the sidewalk, the city, the county... retribution against the shoe maker. How many of them steadied the ladder? How many failed to watch their loved ones while they were climbing that ladder? And how many feel that shame to the core?

It's easier to strike out at 'known' problems, than to look at the shame of our own souls. It's easier to target someone else that expresses that shame for us, who has become an 'ok' target for that hatred. It focuses us, drives us to do things and commit obscenities and irrational behavior that we would never have dreamed possible.

But is it right? When we, in fear, in anger, in grief, in shame, attack others, is it not truly an attack upon ourselves? If we feel we are unworthy of love, is it not so much harder to extend it to others? If we believe ourselves to be guilty, and to be beyond redemption... how many will reach to redeem others?

Redemption... comes from many places. Change, as well, comes from many places. Reaching inside one's own heart, one's own soul, we find the truth that we've been seeking. In truth, we blame ourselves for the acts of others... and we judge them by our own feelings of guilt.

When that guilt grows stronger, we become angry with others... sometimes even to the point of hatred. It becomes an irrational, burning crusade that leaves naught but ashes in its wake. We attack, and in that attack may expose and destroy what we see as an enemy, but it leaves the ashes bitter in our throats... and more guilt yet, should a moment of lucidity allow us to look upon it. Those bitter ashes poison our hearts, our minds, and more guilt, anger, and self-hatred grows, and to combat it, we need new targets, new scapegoats for the flagellation of our conscience.

But what is truly our role in these things? We feel horror that it occurred... but was it in our control? Could we have actually done something, knowing what we know afterward? Without knowing it at the time, did we truly have any power at that time?

And yet, the news screams to us of horrors and abominations... it cajoles us into that shame cycle, claiming our lack of action is the cause of these things occurring, shaming us, blaming us, saying we are bad, because things happened that are out of our control. But.. yet are these news sources not also tainted? They are not only from us, they are part of us. They're an externalization of that shame as much as anything else. We look on with sick horror, "At least it didn't happen here" and then turn back to our lives, ashamed of being glad it happened to someone else, God forbid it happen here. We hope, we fear, we pray, and in that praying attempt to give up our faults, while holding onto them deep in our hearts. The shame and burden burn ever more brightly, the load heavier.

If only I had done otherwise, or done more, or less, or made some change. Ultimately, that time is gone, and cannot be retrieved. We cannot change the actions in the past, we can only work through the present to create a future.

We cannot judge others for their past, that time is done. For this reason punishments are made upon the earth, for a time, in order to make amends for a wrong. No wrong can be corrected that is criminal... only made amends for. This is the purpose of punishment.

When we ask for more punishment, we're not seeking to correct the wrong done... we're saying that the hurt was greater to the society. When we extend that punishment, we're not preventing further wrongs, only increasing the weight of the old wrongs.

When we look around, how much of what we see is viewed through that inner focus of old hurts we've done ourselves, and others? How many tears are shed for things unable to be changed? How much time is lost, outside of that system of punishment which is just and necessary, as an additional punishment by society? How is ostracism not a punishment?

When a man has done a wrong.. is it not often that he seeks to hide within himself, closing off his route to the outside world? As that isolation continues, is it not the truth that any such man will grow less and less connected to others? Is this not both a trigger for criminal behavior, as well as part of the cycle? Why, then, the ostracism? Is it not because we feel guilty for what they have done, and what we ourselves have done?

If we see in them things in ourselves, and it hurts us, is it not easier to push them aside, and bury them away from us? Prevent them from becoming again a part of what is 'us', and to make them a separate person, 'them', who is visible for an external target of our own self-anger?

Is this right, or just?

And is my argument wrong? Is there a reason to demand outside punishment, save for what we fear in our own hearts?
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What must be done?

We seek change in this country, but it seems none know where to start. None know entirely what the shape, nor the meaning of that change is. Few ever observe the causes beneath the tides and tempests that society has, and holds.

People talk about the conservatives, the liberals, the neoconservative movement, as though that is all there is. They look around and weep, seeking any kind of hope out there in the darkness, any hint of light that doesn't happen to be another train barreling down to push them farther into the shadows.

Every moment that passes, we find ourselves less free. When the liberals failed, and crime continued to rise, we decided to go to the neoconservatives. They as well have failed, and created politics of fear, hatred, and bigotry in the name of justice.

Why did the 'liberals' fail? It is because, while 'allowing' some to exercise their rights, they simultaneously limited the rights of others. While allowing the right of privacy, they ignored, and tried to tear down, a number of other fundamental rights, like those protecting against search and seizure, firearms ownership, possession, and use, and started tracking and marking felons so they could not reintegrate into society. Simultaneous with this, was the expression of new avenues of abuse by the government, and by the people, and a rapid shift into zealotry on both sides.

Whatever happened to voting in the senate for the rights of the states, and in the house of representatives for their constituency? It has gone via lassitude, and far too long entrenched in special interest groups. It has broken down, under the weight of corporate money, bribery, and greed.

How many remember the 'Boys Town' debacle of the 70s and 80s? how many remember the backlashes of the various congresses to try to hide it? How many remember the role of the Franklin Credit Bureau?

For those that don't remember, the 'Boy's Town Scandal' was a child prostitution ring. Congress quashed the investigation. Now, we see the senate passing 94% of our bills without ever reading or voting on them, and passing directly unconstitutional laws through the House and the Senate. That is NOT the purpose of the senate, nor is it acceptable. It's now a figurehead for a growing tide of presidential powers... and how long until the Emperor removes the senate?

We have a growing tide of political influence in the various courts in this country... a tide which swells and grows evermore. But when the judiciary becomes an arm of the executive, rather than countermanding the power of the executive, how is this constitutional, wise, or just? When congress becomes an auxiliary of a powerful president, how is this the system for which our forefathers intended?

When Congress can quash an investigation into their own affairs, how is this accountable to the people? When the President can pardon people under his own orders, and write himself a pardon, how is this accountable? How can we achieve a recompense for grievances when the very system for the redress is broken in their favor?

When the President declares himself above the Constitution, and institutes a 'shadow government' in order to assure the 'proper operation of government in case of an emergency', how can this be constitutional? It is not within his powers, though he has attempted to do it. The infrastructure is in place. Congress, too, cannot decline to allow the judiciary to operate, nor pass laws defining its role, nor expanding the role of the president. This is not within their powers either, short of a full Constitutional Convention.

So where do we start in changing all of this? We start with courage, integrity, and with determination. We start at the polling place, voting in people who will represent our interests at local and state levels... people who will be, and have a vested interest in being honest with the vote, then ensure the voting system remains with full oversight of the people.

Then we move to the national campaigns, and ensure those that go to congress do not have vested interests there. We move to ensure our electoral system is upheld, and intact, and replace those in charge of it with those who will be the surest guards of the will of the people, and the state, who again have vested interest in compelling the accuracy of the vote. We then move to the president, and vote in the persons who will have the surest interest in upholding and sustaining the constitution of the United States, as the contract it was intended to be, between the Several States, and the people of those states, instituting a Federal government by consent.

And then we have our representatives declare unconstitutional the extra powers of the president, the president drop the powers he has been given, as being unconstitutional, the ending of the state of emergency, (if necessary by congressional writ of mandamus) and the reinstatement of a constitutional judiciary that votes by the understanding of the agreement.

A lofty goal? Oh yes... very. Difficult as all hell too, as too many vested interests lie within congress, the presidency, and even our local voting places and governments to simply lie back and accept the will of the people again.

But was that not the role of the senate? The house represents the people, the senate the will of the states. The senate was to cool the passions of the people, to let time dilute their wildness. It too has failed in its goal, as often the senate passes things without a second, or even a first thought.

The true is the same of the Electoral College. People forget that the Electoral College was to ensure that a presidential candidate could not simply be elected by working within the most populous states, and ignoring the least. They call for a 'total vote' without realizing that total vote could utterly ignore the will of millions, simply for being in a less populous state. The powers of the Federal Government were limited... to both ensure the rights of the people, and the powers of the state.

There is a horror to which we may well be heading, a horror in which none of the people have any rights. By gradual erosion, by the will of the majority, eroding the rights of the minority, countermanding the dictates of the constitutional contract, the people are enslaved. Democracy ends, not with a whimper, nor a bang... but with the sound of martial drums, a great parade, patriotism, and the slamming of cell doors.

Thus has it always been. Look closely though, when you slam that door... you might find yourself on the wrong side of it someday.
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Justice, or just punishment?

This is written to my friends, my enemies, equally to those who would do me harm, as to those who would bear me up. You live in a land of shadows, a land untrammeled by reason, where reaction and greed, hate and power live, stirring up the same to further its own ends.

You talk of justice, but your actions rarely bear justice out. You talk of punishment, and your actions are naught but punitive. You speak of redemption, but your actions hold those you would redeem apart from you, even as you revile them for not being redeemed by your condemnation.

Is this the part of a just and noble society? Is it just, or meet to cast out those who would try to become part of the society again, for the problems that lived in their past? Perhaps some never can abandon their past, but is it just or good to condemn all for the failure of the few?

Is it common sense to require a person to become part of the productive society, whilst denying him the benefits of that society, and simultaneously the opportunity to reintegrate? Is it really such a good idea to condemn a man for being on the edge of society, barely eking out an existence, while simultaneously pushing him thence?

Your condemnation is swift and certain, but is it just? You speak of justice, of equality under the law. You speak of crimes, and the condemnation of that society, but if society has judged a crime, and the sentence is ended, wherein lies the power to extend that condemnation? If we, as a people, continue this path, will not all be condemned, all lost? Who holds the power to throw the first stone, when all have erred?

Look, as well, into your hearts. Look into your very souls, at the place whence that condemnation rises. Look deep, and you will see that it is your own fears, your own heartache, your own self-doubt. You judge others by yourselves. That is why the law must be upheld equally, else it is not the law. It judges by static measures, outside a man. The condemnation must come from society, and equally must a man be redeemed within society, if that society is not to fail.

We look at the rising crime rates, the repeat offenders, and cry out for more punishment. Perhaps if the punishment is severe enough, there will be no more offenders... but is this truly a just and equitable distribution of property? Society takes on an obligation to support those offenders, so long as they remain in prison. Is it not better, less expensive, and more equitable, to redeem the offenders, offer them a place back in society, by their own work, and to cease the judgment when the time of that offense is past?

We take away their arms, their right to vote, their ability to travel, their ability to get a job, their capability of living, remove places they can go. How long until society determines that the punishments are not doing their jobs, and move to slaying those who are considered to be a constant drain on society, for having the audacity to get caught in the trap society set? If there is no way out of the trap that society has set before the offenders, is it just and equitable to punish them further for being in the trap?

Was it not recognized, early on, that changing the rules of the punishment was disallowed? That changing the rules of the game to favor either side would be just as wrong as to change the rules to disfavor either side?

Are we really asking to be just, or wishing to just be the playground bully?

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Friday, September 26, 2008

Mens Rea, and the corpus derilicti.

I've written a number of times on this board.. this post is a bit more thoughtful than some, a bit less than others, but I feel brings a good many things to think about.

If the registry is punitive, and the nature of any crime requires an act, for what act are we being punished?

If 'mens rea', or the criminal intent, is not enough for punishment to be imposed, and 'actus rea', or the criminal act, is missing, how can it be a valid punishment?

If the codes serve a punitive purpose, regardless of how regulatory, can it be imposed upon a person without consent, and without judicial oversight and the juristic right?

If the 'causation' of the action is that 'but for the prior offense, people would not be afraid', is this a valid reason for punishment? Is our existence, by definition, an assault? If there is a threat posed by our existence, but not by intent (the aforementioned mens rea) or by our individual action (the actus rea) in a criminal action, is there actually a threat?

If they would have us believe that our existence is a crime, by its very nature, how can they excuse the admitted punishment as being regulatory?

Can there be a crime with no 'harm'? With no injury? If another's state of fear is a harm, cannot we equally apply that state of fear being culpable to the government itself? Does it not hold others in fear?

For any crime, there must be several things occurring, a criminal act, foremost, as no society can incarcerate for thoughts or perceptions, but only for actions. In addition to this, there must be an active, knowing engagement in the crime, with the knowledge that it is a crime, in order for it to be criminal. This action can be mitigated by coercion, (i.e. the crime committed was less than the threat by the coercing party) or by involuntary intoxication (being drugged by a second party).

The concurrence of these two aspects is criminal.

But where is the intent in many cases to commit a criminal act on the registry? Where is the overt action that justifies the imposition of further restrictions?

Where is the corpus derelicti that defines our crime, for which the regulations constantly change, and for which what many perceive to be punishments are levied?

Where the Supreme Court has declared it unconstitutional to punish someone for a status (Robinson v California, 1968) such as being an addict to drugs, or an alcoholic... it must be acts that are the deciding factor, and not acts in the past, for which they have been already tried.

So where is the crime for which we are being tried? Is it the status of living? The fear fed to the public by others? Or is it an 'artifical crime'? Is it a legal crime created from whole cloth in order to bind us?

And what does this mean for the future? To what ends could it not extend?
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Friday, September 19, 2008

With heavy heart.

I turn my eyes to the world outside my window. I look out and see the things stolen from the American people, their own lassitude, and acceptance of the theft. I remember the things we fought for in so many wars, spilled blood and lives like water, crushed hopes, dreams, and families...

And yet I still look outside and see the people sleeping. When will they wake? The clarion call of the trumpet is at hand, yet they still slumber. We no longer have representation in government... the recent CNN video should show us that.

We can talk on and on... but I must quote a wise man.

The right of voting for representatives is the primary right by which other rights are protected. To take away this right is to reduce a man to slavery, for slavery consists in being subject to the will of another, and he that has not a vote in the election of representatives is in this case. - Thomas Paine.

Another important quote:

It matters not where you live, or what rank of life you hold, the evil or the blessing will reach you all. The far and the near, the home counties and the back, the rich and the poor, will suffer or rejoice alike. The heart that feels not now is dead; the blood of his children will curse his cowardice, who shrinks back at a time when a little might have saved the whole, and made them happy. I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink; but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death.
My own line of reasoning is to myself as straight and clear as a ray of light. Not all the treasures of the world, so far as I believe, could have induced me to support an offensive war, for I think it murder; but if a thief breaks into my house, burns and destroys my property, and kills or threatens to kill me, or those that are in it, and to "bind me in all cases whatsoever" to his absolute will, am I to suffer it? What signifies it to me, whether he who does it is a king or a common man; my countryman or not my countryman; whether it be done by an individual villain, or an army of them? If we reason to the root of things we shall find no difference; neither can any just cause be assigned why we should punish in the one case and pardon in the other. Let them call me rebel and welcome, I feel no concern from it; but I should suffer the misery of devils, were I to make a whore of my soul by swearing allegiance to one whose character is that of a sottish, stupid, stubborn, worthless, brutish man.

-- Thomas Paine.

Who are we as citizens anymore? DO we lack the fire of the past? The power and presence of our ancestors? Have we become so emasculated as to meekly accept the tyranny which is pushed upon us? Have we become so weak, so meek, so empty as to forget that which paid for our freedom, and accept the chains which are being bound upon us?

Have we forgotten that the best guarantee of liberty is not to seek protection, but to protect ourselves? Have we forgotten personal responsibility in the culture that seeks to blame all others for our own faults?

Who the hell are we anymore, and by what right do we give up the rights of our children, their children's children, for a paucity of security? By what right do we allow the intrusion of the government into our homes, our businesses, by what right do we allow that government to tax us without representation?

Who are we anymore? What have we become? Are we a nation of spirit, a nation of progress, or a nation of cowards? Have we forgotten so much as to allow others to be harmed, and just be thankful that it is not yet us, while fearing the coming of the reaper?

The evidence is before your eyes. What could the attribution be of the training to seize firearms, to seize homes and personnel in our country? What purpose could it serve to question our troops on taking our weapons? What method would be better to bind upon us these chains which have been prepared for us?

Look around you and open your eyes. In the name of 'security' look what you've lost! Look at the fact you see so few out on the streets anymore. Look at the rising prices, the falling standards of both education and food and production. Look at the overfilling prisons, the expansion of the federal power to arrest, and the loss of the most basic right critical to prevention of tyranny, that of Habeas Corpus. Are you really more secure, or are you waiting for the government to make you more secure in your position as a slave?

Only three percent of our criminal cases ever reach a jury trial. Only six percent of our bills passing congress are read or voted on. ANd who is to say what god-awful tyranny was buried in those bills?

You're paying for those bills right now. Every moment of every day, you pay more and more out of your own pocket even while food gets more expensive and it becomes less possible to even drive to work to pay for the fuel you use getting there. We're taxed in every aspect of our lives, and for what? So some governor somewhere can have a bridge named in his honor, and so a savings and loan company can be bailed out of the bankruptcy that their own stupidity created? If you're not angry about being taxed to pay for our own enslavement, what will make you angry?

Will it make you angry that the government now can declare you an enemy combatant and put you in prison forever? Will it make you angry that you can now be put in prison indefinitely, and tortured without ever being told why you are there?

And isn't that what we fought against in Germany, what the Cold War was protesting?

Why aren't people waking? Why aren't the they fighting this tooth and claw, telling their senators and congressmen that it is no longer acceptable? Are their heads so stuck in the comfortable sand that they can't feel the bayonet at their butt?

Who are we and why do we allow this? Are we humans, or are we worms unfit to eat and breathe? DO we beg to be simply left alone, or do we take back what has been unlawfully stolen from us? Does the original consent still stand when all stipulations guaranteed for that consent to be valid no longer do?

When we no longer can question the government, demand to see how our money is spent, is it still our government? WHen by questioning, we expose ourselves to prison time and to persecution? When we can be numbered and herded off to internment facilities, is it so much a stretch to say the government has moved beyond our control?

Who are we? For me... for mine own self, I will fight this to the last breath. I will continue to educate others on what is going on here in the United States, from the fascism to the socialism. Was it not the first step of hitler to have an emergency? And was his statement not 'desperate times require desperate measures'? did he not emply homosexuals and sex offenders as scapegoats before rounding up the Jews? And who will be the jews this time, as the constitution is suspended, the congress becomes meaningless, the courts lose their powers, and we lose our rights?

Are we so much more free at this point? We have become free to be slaves. Were I to submit to such slavery willingly, I would be a traitor not only before the government, but before my own heart, my ancestors, and the judgment of eternity.

We have no other course at this point but to fight... but by what means shall we fight? Shall it be by the means of argument or by arms? Where does the future lead? I know not, but my conscience is tried and burned with a fire like none other I have known.

When your government lies to you, costs you more and more money, and no longer listens to you... what means have you to reign it in? When it spends your money, takes your property, leaves you laying bleeding in the dirt as it kicks you to death and leaves you to die...

Then you have security.. .the security of the grave.

You're welcome to that security... but in spite of all things imposed upon me, I will die as a free man.
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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Consent, law, and ethics.

Age of consent, age of culpability.. lots of law on consent.. but this is not about law, this is about ethics, something that rarely rears its head in law anymore.

Consent... if one cannot give consent, how can any thing be consentual? If one cannot revoke consent, is there consent? If contractual consent is offered, say in a living will, but cannot be revoked due to incapacitation of the 'consenting' member, is it still consent?

What point does the creation or revocation of consent truly exist? Is it consent to say 'I do'? Is there consent given when a person says 'I allow this?'? At what point does consent begin and end?

Is a lack of a negative response consent? I cannot see that it could be, for if so, a vegetable gives consent for being cut. If there is a lack of the capability to remove stated consent, does consent remain?

In any any consentual agreement, there must be, and is, the option to remove consent to the agreement. This may, in civil law, have forfeiture clauses to restrict the end of that agreement. If consent is withdrawn to the contract, those forfeitures occur.

But how is it consenting if one cannot remove one's consent? Say the cases of law, for instance. If one has a 'civil' regulation put upon one, without one's agreeing to it, is that consentual? Is it consentual, equally, for a person to agree to a law without the knowledge of what the law contains?

Is it consent to be governed if the agreement to the law is made by another, on your behalf, without your knowledge? At what point does consent begin and end?

If you can 'consent' to a law through a third party without your knowledge, and you lack the ability to revoke that consent to the law, is that consent?

If you can 'consent' to pay taxes, without the ability to revoke that requirement for payment due to nonperformance, is that truly consent?

Do we consent to be governed simply by our inaction? Is that consent? Do we consent to be goverened by civil contract, but lack the means to break such a contract, is that consentual?

There is much about consent that is ethically dodgy, particularly when one applies consent to an action, or an inaction, or a lack of capability of action, or a lack of capability for revocation.

If the states had the power to engage in the creation of a union, how can they not remove that consent, and have it remain consentual? If they can involve a third party, a body of persons over whom they have sway, and the body itself gives them their power, it can be said to be consentual, but can the people then revoke that consent to be governed?

If we as a people choose to consent to government, is it not part and parcel of that consent the ability, and right, to revoke that consent to be goverened, by moving away from the government and renouncing ties to it? If one cannot revoke consent, is it consentual?

If by revocation of consent, the consent can be enforced upon you, is that consent? If it is a representational consent, can we not claim to misrepresentation, and thus revocation? What is consent, really? Do we consent to be goverened, not by agreement, but by passivity?

I contend that the lack of action against an action cannot be construed as consent, nor can the inability to revoke that consent be construed as consent. Further, consentual actions must allow a procedure for termination of that consent, else they cannot be considered consentual.

Civil law, by nature, is a debate of consent. It determines the nature of contracts and agreements, and binds the parties to the action to the force of law. Civil actions, as well, often contain explicit severance clauses, due to malicious action, termination without fault, and termination due to ends of contract period.

But in every case, there must be an affirmative action of consent, the signature of that contract. Consent can be given, in a civil measure, for the future. This consent cannot be withdrawn save for the termination of the contract or the fulfillment of specific terms of the contract. That consent lives on in the contract itself, as the contract becomes a party to the consent. It does, however, if one is smart, have a termination clause, or severance clause.

But in consent between people, say if a wife says to the husband, 'You have consent forever', then they have a fight, she can sever that consent, so long as she is capable of communication. if with a person who assigns that consent, but cannot revoke it, can we truly be said to be in a situation of consent?

The American people, themselves, are in a coma, in some ways. They are fearful of withdrawing consent to the government. They are badly represented in the House, and less represented in the Senate, and the President and Judiciary themselves are failing upon matters of contractual law, as well as the understanding of the terms of the contract, as it was implemented.

If we cannot revoke consent to a law, or revoke the law itself, and the law has no explicit means for revocation of that consent, is it still rule by consent? If our representative, having legal power over our future, as a power of attorney, or power of representation in the congress or senate, fails to represent us, is there not in most civil contracts a severance from actions contrary to the public good, and often penalties enacted for that severance by fault?

if that contract can be unilaterally altered, without consultation of the parties affected by the contract, is that consent? If the contract is enforced upon another, without the direct agreement, without a severance clause, by power of attorney, is that consent?

So where do we truly stand?
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Changing your world.

Change, change.. .we hear the refrain repeatedly from our congressmen, from our presidents. We hear it so often, sometimes, that it entirely loses meaning. To define change, however, we must first define the problem.

What is the problem then? We've got rights and immunities and freedoms removed, left and right, the exercise of them criminalized, and the ability to speak about it removed more and more. An overwhelming majority of the bills passed before congress are never read, nor debated, as the congress owes its citizens. We see a progressive breakdown, as well, in the legal system, the practice of law only by those with vested interest in the maintenance of that practice, and only a small percentage of those cases ever reaching a jury.

We have a judicial backlog of six months to a year before a jury can hear many cases, and oftentimes longer yet, when the prosecutor can arrange a plea bargain in its stead, to 'hurry things along'.

The problem, in its particular, is a lack of responsibility inherent within government, and within its citizenry, including ourselves. Someone 'should' do this or that.. but who actually does it? Someone 'should' fix this or that... but who actually gets out the tools and gets their hands dirty?

We're educated from the ground up to be entitled, to feel entitled to have the best car, the best home, the best job, without having to work for it. We forget that to replace a sewer pipe, we have to dig out the sod, then dig out the trench first, and wade around in the stink and slime to fix what is broken, and to stop the leak.

Well, guess what, folks, the government is a leaky sewer pipe, and we're going to have to be the plumbers.

Government stinks. There's no doubt about that. It's kind of like a fish, left inside of a car on a hot day in Arizona. One that's recently been in contact with aforementioned sewer pipe. It's somewhere between, in fact, that, limberger cheese, and something you might scrape off of the bottom of a bachelor's sink. But that's not the real problem either, is it?

There's several roots to these problems of laws being flushed, and clogging up the drain of the republic... one is to make a bigger drain. Bigger government is more expensive. It also produces more sewage to flush. One is a down-stream blockage. We seem to be drowning in the sewage produced at this point, as there's no treatment plant. We could also create a sieve at the upstream end, but that holds all the laws there, and eventually the toilet gets clogged. The one advantage to that is they'd have to live with their own stink. (Is that a hint of pork? Bleh)

There is one other answer... we stop feeding them so much. It takes lots of care and feeding to produce lots of sewage. Taxes paid into the system seem to come back on us well after being used and fermenting for a while. Some of the senators appear to have "Irritable Bill Syndrome", as well, and anything that happens, they have a bill movement that runs all over, gets stuck on the side of the bowl, then is pushed down with too much Legal Paper.

Perhaps a more balanced diet would be to their advantage. I mean, nothing but pork, pork, pork all day, and fried politics, leaves the bills in pretty bad shape.

Maybe too, they forget that the laws they flush through the system have to come out somewhere, always on the people that put them into the Congress and White House. (darned porcelain thrones anyway.).

So, multifaceted changes. We install a limited-gallon tank on the toilet (reduce money use) and modify the diet of the congress a bit. Maybe remind them who they work for, and who feeds them. Take them touring the results of their actions, now and then, force them to wade in their own stink. Then point out to them their beltline has been getting a bit flabby here lately, and people are snickering at them.. often to their face.

We're going to have to exercise them (and possibly exorcise a few, as I can see the spinning heads from here), and change their diet. We've so far been feeding them lots of pork... maybe we cut pork out of their diet, and let them feed on a balanced meal of beans and rice. ("And if you want your dessert, Bush, you have to eat your broccoli!)

They still need incentives... say an ice cream cone at the end of the track, but no more slaughtering the whole pig farm to feed them when they actually do less than a hundredth of the job they were put there to do.

So.. problem is a lot of government gluttony and waste, flushing through the system, one part of the answer is vigilance on the part of their caretakers, (us) and feeding them a healthy diet.

Sometimes, though, congress just needs a good time-out. ( We're sorry, but you're not going to get to play with the boys in the senate anymore, you're being a bad influence on them. The president is off-limits too, and we're going to go get back your toys you took from the people and gave to him. Now go back to your room, and I've taken the power cord for your X-Bill and Television.)

The other thing is to hold them responsible for their actions. (Sorry, Senator, your bill movement backed up the system, and flooded this area. You're going to have to clean it up yourself.)

Judges need to be responsible too. (Sorry, judge. Your interpretation of the constitution isn't historically accurate. The latitude given in the constitution doesn't extend to that point, and it's specifically prohibited here, here, and here. And don't forget to floss.)

Ultimately, perhaps, the problem lies within us. We get so afraid of the government, when it blows a bill movement on us, we forget that we're supposed to potty-train it, and keep it out of harm's way. Eventually we forget that we're the ones that are responsible for its actions, and give it the power that it uses to hit us with.

So... to summarize... to change all this, we need to become aware of the problem... to accept the problem exists, and quit not talking about the big bill movement in the middle of the room, or how the government is snickering behind our back. We have to determine the scope of the problem, then decide on steps to deal with it.

We then have to implement the stages in perceivable goals. The first is education of the public on both their duty, (and the congress's doody) and what they've had stolen from them, and dropped down the Congressional Crapper. (I hear there are alligators in those sewers). The people, then, in turn, need to start saying 'This is unacceptable', and to educate others into realizing what is actually going on.

Then we're going to have to approach the Porcelain Throne, cut off the goody bar, reduce the pork in their diets, and in general 'convince' congress that unless they reduce waste, spending, and impositions into our lives, that they not only will be grounded for the next few years, but we'll give all their toys to other people.

Eventually we're going to have to clear up this outbreak of bill movements splattering all over us, or it's going to be a pretty darned stinky future.

Tried By Conscience.
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Sunday, September 14, 2008

A state of emergency

I'm smart... but I'm not a genius. I dabble in economics, deal in history, breathe and eat rhetoric and florid prose written in the past to stir and to quell men... but what am I? To hear the people talk, I'm a troublemaker, a writer of simple pulp to attempt in my own vain way to mete out my viewpoints on a weary world, and dole out my whining upon people who are too weary to listen.

Well.. that's too bad. Some illusions are real. Some come from the shadows when you've dismissed them to look you in the eye, and grin at your foolishness when you realize you're alone with them.

What bogeyman am I whining about today? What demon comes out of the shadows? What do I see today that few others look at? It's the very things you're looking at. The things you try to explain away, to deny, to cover up for the sake of your conscience.

You look around, saying 'someone should do something about the high fuel prices', and 'somebody should do something about the manhole cover' and 'why doesn't anyone do anything about our crime rate'? And even so you demand new sentences from the government, supplicate for their proteciton, and ask for more in the name of security.

And now we're in a state of emergency. Our fuel supplies grow more threatened, our money buys less and less, and we look around the nation at the high crime rates and the juvenile delinquents, and wonder how we got here, then shrug, dispiritedly, and say 'someone should do something about this!'.

We look at a government that is growing more intrusive, more powerful, at the specter of terrorist, sex offenders, and ignore the men in the faceless battle helmets who are here to 'protect you'. We cower in fear before the government as it does less and less, and the power gets concentrated into the same hands.

And as our money drops in value, our food does as well. Cheaper substitutes are placed for more expensive goods, and gradually corners are cut in food safety and preparation. Our vehicles are made with less durable parts, our toys are made with materials often toxic, our land becomes less secure under the new eminent domain rules, and still we cry out “Someone should do something!”

My question is.. who the hell is this someone, and why should they do what you're unwilling to do for yourselves? We put people into congress to represent us, and find out 94% of the bills are passed without debate, without question, often without vote and without even being good enough to read them, and still wonder how we got here!

We pass laws that are contrary to the stated purpose and intent of the constitution, break down the safeguards to that constitution, the separations of the powers granted to the federal government by that constitution, and all in the name of security, and 'At least somebody is finally doing something!'

Meanwhile we come to more and more resemble the nation we fought against during the Second World War. How so, one might ask? Well, that's sadly easy to define. More and more corporate interests are being placed in government. More and more secular verbiage is going into that same government. The government itself has launched a program under FEMA so the priests will help maintain order by preaching that the government is doing what is right.

At this point, are you secure? Are you even looking at what I'm saying? When the federal government is hiring private corporations who are answerable to no one and giving them immunity, is that more secure? Is it more secure when the Army can be called out for any reason or no reason to maintain the 'public order'?

When you have to worry about your neighbor turning you in for 'disloyalty', when you have registries of malcontents and persons of interest who have never gone through a trial?

When your homes are no longer sacrosanct from the government who protects you, are you safer? When they can seize all your assets in the name of 'protection', take your labor by executive order, and determine where and when you can live, have families, travel, and how you must travel...

Is that really protection?

How do you take back that power? The answer is simple.. the implementation is not.

We have to remember that power is granted by the people, with certain assurances. Those very assurances are our recognition of our rights, under the bill of rights, and of other rights which were not listed under the constitution.

The constitution is not simply a document.. it is a repository of limitations on the federal government, a contract written with the people of the United States, and with the states... and equal restrictions upont he states as regards the people and the Federal Government.

We must insist upon our rights, priviliges, and immunities granted under the constitution, and enforce them. We must awaken and cry out with a voice, enough is enough!

The bogeyman isn't under the bed anymore.. it's rifling the armory, and going through your tax records, your medical records, and preparing to collar you like an animal and fit you with a muzzle to shut you up.

So you can't afford to shut up, sit down, and claim that somebody should do something. You must do something. Get involved. Make the changes you want to see. Tell your congressmen and senators that this isn't working. Tell your presidential candidates and president that you've had enough of the status quo, and it's time for new change..

Tell them you've had enough of the rampant inflation, the excessive spending, the indentured servitude of the next generations. Tell them you've had enough rising taxes, rising food prices, oil prices, and you want actual production capacity in this country again. Tell them that they've gone too far in their zeal for terrorists, and that they've gone too far in their assaults on your rights to 'protect' you without offering any kind of real protection.

They offer smoke and mirrors. It's all they have. Shuffling the issues from one hand to another and trying to hide them in the swap. They lose billions of dollars a year in the Defense Department, but heaven save you if you miss a dollar on your income tax.

They spend billions on prisons, then declare more and more things to be life sentences, while they create industries in the prisons that feed them back money. They create new departments daily in order to keep shuffling the money, to disguise the paper trails, and eventually it has to stop.

Are you willing to do something? Are you willing to risk everything you have in order to make a change? Do you really have anything anyway if they can take it from you at any time at gunpoint, imprison you without a trial, and hold you and torture you until you confess to whatever they want you to?

It's time for 'somebody to do something' We have a state of emergency... our president declared one, and we're in a constitutional crisis. To put none too fine a point on things, every thing that the constitution guarantees, and that the Founding Fathers discussed as being inviolate.. are being violatedl. From privacy to interstate and international travel, to due process of the law and lack of cruel and unusual punishments, to the right to be free from the onus of society once your debts were paid by prison time, to the ability to keep and bear arms, the ability to vote, have been one by one destroyed in a tide of orgiastic legislation designed to continue pushing us down to subjugate.

If we mean to be free... and to keep those ideals strong, we must speak. We must tell them exactly where they have failed.

And they will push back. They will want to cow us into submission, like the firefighters in New York, the shoulder-strikers of San Francisco. They will try to silence us, imprison us, and eventually may attempt to kill us.

Shall we oppose them with force of arms? No... that is not the path set before us, as that will only strengthen their position and resolve. We must oppose them, not with weapons, but with the weight of opinion, the condemnation. They will reveal themselves for who they are.

And then comes the highest trial of conscience. Do we continue to speak? Do we fight what we perceive as injustice, in the face of further, personal injustice? Do we continue, even though it may well cost us all we hold dear?

The world cannot bear that revelation. When resistance with no force is met with force.. that condemnation will ring the foundations of the Earth like a bell, the blood crying up from the ground.

We must thus fight, not with strength of arms, where they are strong, but strength of character, where they are weak. We fight lies with truth, illusions with fact. It will cost a great deal of pain, of heartache... and eventually, should the attacks grow severe enough, perhaps our blood, and our lives.

But if that is what is required... that is the battle I must take. Even if it starts with one man, that man must step forth with dignity, honor, and respect, to make for himself the world as he perceives it should be.

People say the government 'ought' to do something. I say that the government 'ought not' do things that it has agreed never to do. This is ought.. this is the government's debt to us, for the powers which we have ceded.

I do solemnly swear to uphold and sustain the Constitution of the United States, against all Enemies, Foreign and Domestic, and to bear true faith and alliegance to the same.

The government also swore that oath.. and that doesn't just bind them to the powers.. but also to the duties, and restrictions.

And when the government forgets... a steely resolve is ever felt among the people of America. It is a resolve that ignores color, that ignores race, ignores gender. It is a resolve for freedom, even at the cost of our own lives.. as our conscience demands.
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Monday, September 8, 2008

Punishments and the law.

Time.. time brings up the images of clocks ticking, trees growing, mountains failing, and ultimately brought to dust... but how much more interminable, how much more real, is the time spent behind jail bars? Moments blur into days, days into years, each moment taken as part of the restitution for a crime against society. These moments are irreplaceable. They are the punishment for crime, a time of solitude to reflect upon the crime, and separation for the society which was wronged by that crime.

it is both tradition, and law, that the sentence thus set was full restitution for the crime, an end to the debt, to the onus of that crime. Each moment stood as pains and penalties, written in the life of the offender. The jury stood, with deliberation complete, and it was stated in solemn tones that the offender was guilty, and stated the sentence. That was the measure of the crime against society, the measure of the debt and onus to the society.

In this day far fewer go to a real trial. The Department of Justice indicates that the percentage may be under five percent. The legal system has been streamlined, due to the volume of plaintiffs, but in proportion to the magnitude of the responsibility, does that not bind even more firmly the judge and the prosecutor to the letter of the law, and the determination of the societal debt?

Yet, we pass and create laws to register, to restrict, to limit people after their time. People would argue that the felon's right to keep and bear arms is and must be limited in order to protect the public, but even so, do they also not bear a right to protection? If that protection is not provided, and cannot be by the government, do they not have the right to self protection? Is it not a maxim, that any item once carried and used to protect or assault, is an arm, and a weapon under the purpose of law?

So it is as well, with sex offenders. The fear of the public seeks to bind upon them more and more chains, for the protection of society. But where the original judgment was placed, was that not decided to be sufficient for the crime committed? If it was sufficient, by what right, and what power do we bind more upon a man?

Is it not an equal offense to create a situation of servitude, subject to writ and whimsy, subject to retribution and fell intent, opening the probability of vigilante action, and denying them and their families any measure of protection? Is it not equally culpable to create situations wherein the rules can be changed, not for action or inaction, but simply because the perception was that the punishment was not enough?

When, then, is the punishment enough? When one can come back a year later, and decree new punishment? Is it when a man can come back ten years later and decree new punishment? SHould the aura of prospective punishment exist for life?

At this point, the legislature becomes bullies, existing upon the flesh of those registered. At what point is it enough? At what point can we say that we have had our pound of flesh, and the bleeding corpse can expire in peace?

And by what power, what right, do we extract that burden from those around the registrants? What motivates us to do so? Fear? Hatred? Anger? Are these the course of a wise and just population, or the tools of hatred and oppression?

Hate motivates only hate. Injustice motivates injustice. The circle and cycle is complete and equally as vicious as the process by which sharks tear each other apart at the first hint of injury.

The rights were to be restored at the end of the sentence, as they were always. Yes, an offender could move on elsewhere, and reoffend... but he took the equal chance of finding a judge, and jury that was not so kind, or even being slain in the commission of new crime.

But taking the law, and turning it into an instrument of abuse, of tyranny, and even going so far as to being slavery by denying them the most basic of human rights, that of shelter, family, work, property, and even the right to leave their oppressor...

What are we becoming? And dare we look into that darkness in our own soul, and gaze upon its magnitude... and not weep for the future we see in ourselves?
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Travel: is it a right?

Is travel a right? Can the Federal Government prohibit travel in any way, form, or means, or regulate the travel of a citizen upon the public throughfares, rivers, highways, or in international travel without the commission of a crime?

At the core of this question comes the question if the government has the power to prevent the freedom of movement. Is there, anywhere within the Constitution, the power to restrict, or limit travel of any citizen within, or outside of the United States?

If such a power were exercised, could not one reduce the nation to slavery simply by restricting travel, within the Several States, as well as without? Could not the people be reduced to only travelling where and how the government demanded? is this not the definition of totalitarianism, the definition of that which we fought against in Russia, in Germany?

Your papers please. The act of travel becomes a crime, written not by the law, but by the need to control. Any person travelling without the passport, the writ from their wise and glorious masters upon the Capital Hill becomes even more a servant of the government, and a servant by involuntary means.

Was this not the writ for which we instituted juries? Was it not, as well, the writ for which we instituted prohibitions against attainder, and the ex-post-facto application of laws?

Should such a measure be borne, it becomes an outright assault upon the natures of mankind. Mankind travels, wanders, changes, mentally and emotionally evolves. Societies, as well, change, intermingle, and evolve. This is the measure and writ of our freedom, that we may, can, and must travel.

Should they not permit travel, in one case, cannot a case be made for the next? Has not our gracious government proposed, implemented, and punished for the violations of codes and statutes that have been written, not for the purposes of the public good, but for the purposes of the enrichment of the exchequer?

If we, as a people, were so blind as to ignore, to tolerate, to grant the nature, the purpose, and the privilege of humanity upon the government, which, by its nature, destroys both society and humanity, then what is there left?

The government has no rights, it has only powers. It is the nature of government, as said before, to restrain the excesses of man, and the only power which it has to restrain those excesses is the power of the fist, of the court, of the jail. It exercises power over the economy now, with our lassitude and permission, exercises power over thought, over speech, over ideals, and ideas, and attempts to legislate its own version of morality upon the rest, without looking upon the nature of morality.

Morality, by its nature, is a thing that is determined by society. It is not, and never has been, determined by laws. When laws restrain laws, hoever, when are the laws broken? When do the people gain the power, the right, and the commitant duty to restrain the government against actions contrary to its grant of power?

And are we really so blind as to state, irrevocably, that because we granted the power to the government, we cannot take it away, for the government is too powerful?

And should that government be so powerful as to ignore its role of servitude to the people, and to the society... what is left?

Shall we petition? Vote? Remonstrate? Shall we supplicate? Shall we beg for the good fortune of the government, for a sop from those rich enough to control the government, to make our lives a little easier?

Safety via slavery is only trading one abuse for another. Anarchy cannot stand, nor can totalitarianism. Law is necessary for a country, but can only exist when in its eyes there is no privilege under the law, nor deprivation under the law, for any class of persons.

We must ask ourselves, then, for what ends do our government work? There is no good measure, for our government has grown too obscure, too large to measure directly, but shall we measure the indirect means by which we may?

Our food prices rise, our oil prices rise, our electrical prices skyrocket, and we are denied the ability to produce many things both necessary and good for the economy of the country. Research is stifled in the name of public safety, the guardians of our food and drugs pass materials that are found to be grossly unsafe, and are funded in a large part by those it is supposed to be observing.

Our money grows worth less and less, and ultimately is worthless, our children are injected with mercury-bearing vaccinations of dubious worth, doped with medications for hyperactivity, bombarded with caffeine and sugar, bolstered with vitamins, prevented from playing for fear of the poor dears hurting themselves, prevented from trusting for fear of someone hurting them, prevented from learning to investigate, to think, to research, and to question.

Why then, would these assaults be placed upon a world of free men? Can any other argument be advanced in their defense, other than the desire to make those men less free?

When the family unit crumbles, and values and ideals weaken, when morality falls sway to practicality and expediency, when the very rights of mankind fall before the altar of false security, what argument can one make for the results?

When we are educated on what we 'deserve' but not upon what is our right, how can we make educated decisions upon what is right or wrong? How can we, ethically, make decisions when ethics is never taught?

And how can we allow our government to educate our children? If we cannot afford to educate them at the local level, then does it not fall back to the state to the funds? The Federal government was never allowed nor should it ever have had the power to dangle funds before the states, and to pretend it was not a poisoned fruit.

With any bribe, any monies, any created incentives, are there not also bound upon those commitant conditions?

And do our states, our representatives, have the power to alter the agreement with the federal government without the consent of those thus governed?

If we have the right to vote, and such a right cannot be based upon any status of mankind, by what power is that right removed? If we have a right to be active in our government, save for infamous crimes and treason, is it not the right of the people to exercise that right?

If we have the right to self-protection, to self-actualization, to self-will, is not travel central to that right? If we have the right to redress of our grievances, the right to remonstrate with the government, is not travel also central to that right?

If we have the right to representation, as well, is it not a right to call those representatives, and senators, to task for their failures?

And should there be no record of a law's passage, no vote, no count, no role call, can it be truly a law?

And so they bind still more chains upon us, to prevent our travel, our rights, our privileges and immunities granted, not by government, but by the state of humanity itself.

Can any man elucidate more upon these things? Can any man deny the pattern carried out? Oh, insidious argument could be brought that all of these things are necessary and proper, but how could the exclusion of travel to use the right of free speech be allowed, in the very center of the nation's capitol? Is security such an overriding concern that the voice of the citizens must be prevented from the halls of the congress which represents them?

Is security also such an overriding concern that many can be arrested, not for action, but for the suspicion that they may intend to do an action?

If these things have a just, and valid purpose under the Constitution, I challenge any man to expound upon them. Convince me of them. If the powers and purposes of the constitution extend to this point, show me where and how, and bring it forth onto the public forum, to be read and exposed.

To quote a wise and just man, "This is no time for ceremony. The question before the house is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part, I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery; and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at the truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings."
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Sunday, September 7, 2008

Unequal Justice: Purchased by cash.

Mea maxima culpa.... my most grievous fault is that I believe in the legal system, and believe in truth, justice, honour, and above all else in the Constitution.

The law is, and has always been, the greatest tool of tyrants, and understanding of the nature, and purpose of the law is a predicate for one's defense against the law.

But how may one assail the law, when it has grown too broad, and too deep to ford? How does one cross the river of the law, without being swept away?

Some would claim that lawyers help build a bridge over the waters of the law, but if true, how does this affect the people? Is the public defense attorney the same as the highest paid defense lawyer in the state? Is the one who works gratis the same as the one who claims multimillion dollar fees?

The law is an inflexible device, a tool that is designed to be straight and narrow, a path written by and in the conscience of society, not for the good of individuals, but for the good of society, as it was perceived by the lawmakers. The law does not bend, does not flex, does not recognize the power of mercy or grace, or justice. The law is the law, designed to restrain the follies of man.

It does not recognize rich nor poor in its construction, nor recognize any extenuating circumstance, neither does it recognize its own errors, nor its own faults.

It was designed to be levied against all men equally, without regard to station or monies, and that leveling is a grave thing indeed, fraught with its own consequences and burdens. Those burdens can be great, both financial, physical, and incarceratory.

Is this, however, what we now have? What we see in society today is a system of laws, lawyers, and courts that do not recognize the individual, only the almighty dollar. When a public attorney is paid the same, if a person goes through the lengthy trial and is innocent, as if he arranges a quick plea bargain, is it any wonder that the law's burden falls unequally upon the backs of those who cannot carry it?

The law is the law. It is too large, too bulky, a giant unable to see the nature of the one below its feet.

And we cannot write mercy into the law for the poor, for the station of the defendant is unable to be seen by the law.

For this reason, juries were created, courts created, in order to set right the actions and inactions of judges and jurors, of lawyers and plaintiffs, of even the defendant himself.

The role of the jury was to set even that law at naught, to hold it bound in the chains of society, saying that 'even so, the rule of law has had its due'. The rule of law, judged and tried by jury, could not be altered, save being reduced, the power of law restrained by the conscience of mankind.

Lawyers, by their nature, in general are in practice to make money. They work within a system that reinforces the moneymaking. Frivolous suits must be investigated as carefully as real suits, crimes created from whole cloth the same as true, and grievous crimes. Crimes created by writ, as well, are considered the same as those created by action.

If the lawyer is our guardian against legislative and judicial abuse, is it not the truth that the lawyer must also present an effective defense, argue the merits of the case, argue the facts of the case and the law of the case? Argue, and rebut the evidence of the case, to the maximum capability that he or she has?

Yet, the lawyers are immune to the results of their actions and inactions. No punishment can be levied against a lawyer for failure to provide a defense... and the public defenders who vigorously pursue a defense, in the nature foreseen by the Founding Fathers, are few and far between. It is a calling more important than any other, but laziness, lassitude, and greed has gotten in its way.

How many of the rich are ever held to task for their actions, while the poor, who may well be guilty of far lesser action, take a nigh infinitely larger measure of society's retribution? If the poor, and the rich, are equal in the eyes of the law, should not the poor be equal in proportion to the rich in prison, as they are in society?

If the lawyers of the rich are so much better, and also so much above the reach of the poor... where is the level in society?

If a young man, the son of a senator from Arizona, admits to 18 counts of 'brooming', or shoving a broom into the anus of children, is that not a grevous crime? How does it compare, however, to the person that is accused of fondling a child, with no evidence, no testimony, no witnesses? Is it fair, or just, that such a person, the son of a senator, gets a far lesser sentence than the person who may, arguably, be innocent, but was told that a plea bargain was his only hope?


Where is justice in this country? If justice is only for the rich, it can never be just. If the law becomes a tool for only the rich, then it has become just as tyrannical a master to the poor as any slave master.

And this is not the United States for which our forefathers fought.
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Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Extortion... and government.

What is extortion? Extortion is, simply, a form of abuse that causes a person to act involuntarily by coercion. Coercion is the use of physical, emotional, or economic force to fulfill a goal.

One must admit, that government, by nature, and laws are coercive. Any and all acts, written by the government, must have a stick. The carrot is optional, and only for those enacting the law anyway.

If one is to define extortion as enforcement of a status against the will of the person upon which the status is being enforced, without the due process of law and judgment under the Common Law system of the Judiciary, including that necessary wall against the abuse that is called the 'Jury', can one claim that any act that seeks to 'regulate' but enforces such regulation with prison sentences is anything but extortion?

If there is a registry, that forces the payment of a fee to be on the registry, that removes the rights and privileges of the offenders, removes the ability of those registrants to travel, to seek gainful employment, to seek and establish residency and removes the rights associated with citizenry in the United States, or any part thereof, then further enforces, by writ, the establishment of that registry as being a registrant of monsters, and to be a civil registry, without the protections of that criminal code... can it be anything but extortion?

So it is with the Sex Offender Registry. They claim the act is nonpunitive, that it is regulatory and only serves to protect the public, but how does it do so? Are we any safer, or any more aware of the problems? Is it not true that those who are most dangerous will find a way, registry or not, to do as they please? If a man chooses to break the law... how can the same law be said to have prevented crime?

No, our system is something quite different than that. Our agreement, by the Constitution, was that all men were innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. A man could not be tried for a crime which he might commit, but for one that he was in the act of committing, or in conspiracy to commit. It was not good enough to have a suspicion of a crime, one had to have reasonable suspicion, upon probable cause to issue the warrant to search for evidence of that crime.

But when the government chooses not to follow its own law, what then? If they can come and search any building, any vehicle, any property at any time, upon reasonable suspicion rather than upon probable cause, have we not lost a great deal? Are we not all guilty until proven innocent, when the burden of proof goes to the person, rather than to the state?

If this is not extortion, please elucidate! Is it not extortion to use the regulation to control the movements of others? Is it not extortion to threaten fines, imprisonment, and humiliation for not cooperating with the registry? Is it not extortion to create a situation in which one cannot leave their home without asking the government for permission?

Is it not extortion to, under the threat of fines, fees, or prison time, disallow them use of the public parks for which they pay their tax money? Is it not extortion to deny them the right to leave their homes, the right to leave the country and sell those homes to find gainful employ elsewhere?

No.. it is not extortion at this point. Extortion goes simply to the requirement of the commsision of an act. This goes far beyond that, into asserting control over a person under color of law, and reducing him to a vassal of the organization that created the registry. Is, however, vassalage enough? The vassal had the right to supplicate his lord for relief of the conditions.... no, this goes beyond vassalage, as well, into flat-out slavery.

The Adam Walsh act goes into a realm of attainder that creates not just restrictions, but outright ownership of the citizens under it under the rule of law. The persons are not free to go out of the state, to go out of the country, on pain of prison time, without complying with that registration. If they have ever travelled in interstate trade (upon an interstate highway or by any other means) they fall under the regulation. They no longer have any right, under the Act, to choose their own homes, to purchase property of their choice, to work at the places of their choice, and are punished, not as a single person for his own acts, but by further restrictions when other registrants or non registrants cause problems. They also no longer would appear to have the right in some states to disaster relief, to education, and in some states to vote. In the most restrictive states, even the right to family is denied.

Is this not the very definition of ownership? If one is forced to be unable to live anywhere but where the registry says, cannot have a family but in the proscribed manner of the registry, subject to revocation on the whim of the registry, cannot have a home that cannot be taken under the registry, cannot own any property that cannot be searched at any time, cannot speak out in public forums, cannot work in public places, that they seek to restrict their travels upon public transportation, that they restrict from parks, homes, neighborhoods, and cities... if they can choose if you go to prison for life, not for what you do, but for what you might do... is this not the very meaning of being a slave?

And by what right does the Government which we instituted, which we supported, which we held, enslave us?
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Government rules by the consent of the governed. When that consent is removed, the only power it has is that of an arm severed from the body. Segregation is not the answer. It never has been. The Bible may say 'if thine eye offends thee, pluck it out', but this as well is not conducive to the story of the good Samaritan, nor of the stories of the Prodigal Son.

Severing part of the society only serves to continue the hurt to society. That severance was designed to be for a time, judged, with the sole power of a jury, to be commensurate with the hurt originally done to that society.

At that point, no man could add to it, nor remove from it. No judge, no magistrate, no sherriff could try the man again for the same crime.

What we have devolved to, however, is a world where 'punishment' is the norm, and evolving punishment has been decided to be 'all right'. It is no different than the bully on the playground, being larger than the other kids, deciding to 'punish' someone, and the punished complying with the demands... then the bully deciding it's insufficient punishment and humiliation, and demanding more.

Any time that the legislature can decide that something needs further restrictions, and punishments, on any registry, and can change the rules of the registry, without notification, warning, or any choice in the matter or judicial review... they have devolved into something quite different than a government.

They have devolved into petty tyrants seeking power at any cost... and now the cost is that of our bodies, our hearts, our minds, our families, our very society and freedoms.

It is one thing for a jury, with full view of the facts presented, both for and against a case to judge for punishment, it is quite another to by writ do so, without review of crime, mitigating factors, and aggrivating factors.

This is the nature of the prohibition against ex-post-facto legislation, and further, the wider prohibition against attainder. Attainder, or legislative taint, is not simply an archaic rule that nobody needs anymore. It is nothing less than the legislature deciding that the judicial punishment was insufficient, and thus further restrictions must be emplaced.

For it to continue, we must remain silent however.. we must not be able to leave, must not be able to travel, must not be able to speak out against it, and must remain cowed and subservient, grovelling at the feet of the legislators who are using our bodies to pave the road to Hell with their 'Good Intentions'.

My apologies for the vitriol, but there is no room in any democratic republic for the rule of law to apply more strongly to any person than any other. There is no provision to legislate to a targeted class, of any kind, for such was absolutely prohibited in the original agreement.

"Congress can pass no law that does not equally bind itself and its friends, and the whole of society." Federalist papers. Read them. Understand them. Look back in time at what you've had stolen from you.

We have equal protection under the law, under the Fourteenth Amendment. Under the thirteenth, no man can have ownership or possession over another man, nor exert control over the other, by threats of force, fine, or imprisonment, save by the due process of the jury, commitant with the right and duty to try both the facts of the case, and the rule of law itself.

Thus has it been since Bushell and Throckmorton, reinforced by Zenger, which was in the minds, and on the tongues of the Founding Fathers. Likewise, the remembrance of Valley Forge, and the actions of the British in siezing lands by attainder, and execution by attainder, was remembered, and the role of the jury in enforcing the rights of the people via that juristic nullification was well-thought-out.

Is it any wonder that they seek to control the jury again? That by writ the judge can hold an innocent verdict to be inadequate, and try the jurists for contempt of court for finding a man innocent against such a judge's opinions? This was the very heart of the Zenger and Throckmorton trials, and that of Bushell.

Have we backslid so far as to be amongst Cromwell, or even King John, prior to the Magna Carta?

Have we forgotten our duties to that society, and that government, in the search for release from personal responsibility?

For that is what ultimately must be enforced.. personal responsibility for one's own actions, enforced from within. This is recovery. This is redemption. It is not enough to forsake an act. It is more imperative to change one's own self so the act is no longer possible. It is understanding, compassion, and respect for the rights, duties and privileges of others.

When these fail, then it is the role of the courts to enforce the rights of the society, versus the offender, and the separation is made. The separation is the punishment. It is not for punishment, for what society could not admit the hurt to society by severing part of itself?

And is not part of the curing of that hurt, on the end of the sentence, the reintegration of that severed part, the reestablishment of health and circulation within society?

There is argument made that because sexual offenses are against a child, and the child will 'never recover', that it is just and good to continue punishment and revilement against an offender forever. Cannot, however, this argument be made for anything? If we assume the topic of this argument, how much more culpable is a drunk driver who has struck another car? The lives cannot be restored. How much more culpable an engineer whose design failed, causing death or disfigurement? How much is eternal culpability worth?

In the same vein, how culpable are the very legislators for the legislation they propose? If it saves one child, they cry, is it not worth it? Meanwhile, economic policies poison our waters, darken our lands. They make food, medicine, and education itself out of reach for many of those same children they claim to save. It creates more and more a burden of debt upon each child before even they can have a legal choice about the decisions made in their behalf. The fuel prices rise, food becomes more and more adulterated with materials that may not be safe, their vehicles last less time, their homes made out of cheaper and weaker materials. The forests dwindle due to lack of stewardship, the borders become less and less secure... yet still they sit and linger upon what they can do to registered offenders.

What scapegoat is better after all? Who will speak for them? Who will reach out and risk their own security for those so reviled? And if they can attract the attention upon these scapegoats, cannot they continue their failed policies?

The federal reserve has failed. The loans that held up the economy since the 1930s have failed. The debt is more and more being called due, and our dollars buy less and less than they used to. How many persons will starve? How many will die in the coming depression? How many children will be lost, alone, or dying in a hovel then?

And even so, they call for restricting the rights of those very children, in order to 'protect' them. Meanwhile our police violate those in their care. The judges and magistrates show patterns of abuse and neglect. Our schools teach things only in passing and do not teach critical thought or investigative skills, or even the logic behind mathematics and chemistry.

And people are still caught up on 'offenders' as the government pounds down further debt upon them, fights wars overseas that cannot be 'won' and have no end point. Our votes count less and less as private interests take over their counting and collating, and renenge upon their promises of security in the vote.

You want a crime against children that will affect them all their lives.. look at the lawmakers. Look at the lawyers. Look at all of those who would sign away their rights due to false statistics, and fearmongering. Look at those in power who seek to distract you. And look deep, look closely into what you ask for.

If you ask for protection and guidance... the Government is perfectly willing to give it to you. They'll bind and shackle upon you chains and rivet them to the wall. And they're perfectly willing to whip you into the direction they want you to go, for once you've given up the ability to make your own choices to that 'benevolent' government... how can you guarantee the hand with the whip will remain benevolent?
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