Thursday, May 29, 2008

Martial Law on the Installment Plan

Photo courtesy of Jim Bovard

"I abominate and detest the idea of a government, where there is a standing army," exclaimed the immortal George Mason, during his state's constitutional ratifying convention of 1788.

A a forceful and principled defender of individual liberty, Mason was the irritant in the constitutional oyster that eventually created the pearl we call the Bill of Rights. During the June 14 session of the convention, Mason -- ably assisted by his fellow Anti-Federalist Patrick Henry -- conducted a critical examination of the congressional power to call out the state militias to enforce the laws of the union.

Their eyes, keenly perceptive of the potential for government to abuse any powers alloted to it, discerned in the womb of that delegated power an embryonic rough beast that could eventually destroy any semblance of liberty in America.

Eager to defend a document that was largely his handiwork, James Madison blithely told the convention that the reason for granting Congress the power to call out the militia was quite obvious: "If resistance should be made to the execution of the laws ... it ought to be overcome. This could be done only in two ways -- either by regular forces or by the people [meaning that portion of the people organized into militias]. By one or the other it must unquestionably be done. If insurrections should arise, or invasions take place, the people ought unquestionably to be employed, to suppress and repel them, rather than a standing army."

It's interesting that Madison -- a visionary statesman in so many ways -- assumed that the first priority of government should be to secure the means of compelling submission to its edicts. That order of priorities is evident in the statement cited above, as well as the famous passage from Madison's most-cited contribution to the Federalist:

"In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself."

Those more consistently concerned about individual liberties than Madison proved to be would reply: Government, like a forest fire, is entirely incapable of controlling itself; granted autonomy, it will expand until it devours everything within its sphere of influence. So if we're to have a government, the first task of those who create it is to ensure the ability of the people to resist its predations; only then can we discuss the scant handful of revocable powers we'll permit it to have. If the first priority is to ensure government power, rather than individual liberty, in process of time, liberty will be destroyed, and power is all that will remain.

Replying to Madison's comments, Mason pointed out that unless the power of Congress to call out the militia were curbed, it would eventually "produce dreadful oppressions" -- for instance, "if any disturbance happened in New Hampshire, to call [militia] from Georgia" to put it down. This would harass the people so much that they would agree to abolish the use of the militia, and establish a standing army." The central government could "render the militia useless" through "neglect," Mason continued, "in order to have a pretence of establishing a standing army." Or it could be forcibly disarmed, a "method which has been practiced in other parts of the world before." Or the militia could be destroyed through the attrition resulting from promiscuous over-use by Congress.

In any case, Mason warned, the proposed Constitution, as offered for ratification, would eventually result in the destruction of the citizen militias and their replacement by a standing army controlled by a national government. He urged that the document be modified to recognize, explicitly, the power of states to veto the federal government's power to deploy the militias beyond the borders of their home states.

For his part, Patrick Henry agreed that the provision granting power to Congress to call out the militia was a potentially fatal flaw in the document. "In this great, this essential part of the Constitution, if you are safe, it is not [because of] the Constitution, but [because of] the virtues of the men in government," he wryly observed. "If gentlemen are willing to trust themselves and posterity to so slender and improbable a chance, they have greater strength of nerves than I have."

Mason and Henry were hardly the only Founders who found a standing army to be abominable; from their perspective, the only reason for the existence of a peacetime army was to impose martial law on the general population.

"I humbly conceive there is extreme danger [in congressional power over the militias] of establishing cruel martial regulations," Mason warned. In fact, from his perspective the term "martial law" applied anytime and anywhere the Congress called out the militia.

At the beginning of the 20th Century, the beast foreseen by Mason came to term when the militias were absorbed into the standing military establishment by way of the Dick Act of 1903. In this way the people's local militias -- "this great bulwark, this noble palladium of safety," in Henry's words -- became the National Guard.

Significantly, this development was brought about, in large measure, because of dissatisfaction with the way the militias had performed in Washington's first unambiguously imperialistic war, the 1898 war of aggression against the decrepit Spanish Empire. But militias had always been problematic, as far as ambitious ruling elites in Washington were concerned.

During the War of 1812, for instance, the refusal of militia units to cross into Canada prompted the Madison administration and its congressional allies to propose a conscription bill. Even with a depleted treasury and a White House still smoldering after being put to the torch by Redcoats, Congress refused to embrace conscription. This would change a century later during WWI, in which America would display, among other defining marks of tyranny, a centrally controlled "select" militia, or national guard, and a conscript standing army.

Now, roughly a century after making the world safe for Democracy, Washington has allowed conscription to lapse. But in its ongoing efforts to, ahem, make the world safe for Democracy again, Washington has created exactly the situation Mason foresaw: The "militias" (or what remains of them) are ceaselessly deployed abroad, and the national military -- in collaboration with a centralized law enforcement/intelligence apparatus -- is responsible for "homeland security."

In his potent and timely new book Ain't My America, the indispensable Bill Kauffman recalls that Madison dismissed the possibility that the central government would "drag the militia unnecessarily to an immense distance.... This, sir, would be unworthy [of] the most arbitrary despot."

"True, true," Kauffman replies, "though the act is eminently worthy of the administration of George W. Bush, which has called well over half of the four hundred thousand members of the state National Guards -- descendants of the militia -- to active duty for the Iraq War. And when in the mid-1980s the governors of Minnesota and Massachusetts challenged the authority of Ronald Reagan's Department of Defense to send state National Guard units to Honduras, presumably to assist in the overthrow of the government of Nicaragua, the Supreme Court (Perpich v. Defense, 1990) upheld the right of the central government to send Guardsmen wherever the hell it wishes, even over the objections of state governors. So much for federalism. So much for Madisonian guarantees."

In October 2006, the Bush Regime and its congressional minions enacted a measure that would have destroyed any residual state power over the National Guard: The provision would have permitted the president, in the event of an "insurrection" or other emergency, to deploy Guard units within the United States as he saw fit. This amendment to the Insurrection Act would have completed the transformation of what -- at the dawn of our republic -- had been people's militias into a presidential Praetorian Guard.

Fortunately, Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) and Kit Bond (R-Missouri), critics of that measure, were able to attach a rider to a military appropriations measure overturning the Praetorian Guard measure and preserving the autonomy of the National Guard. So this is a good thing, right?

Well... not exactly. The Guard "empowerment" bill sponsored by Leahy (which was nearly identical to a measure proposed by Senator Bond) actually continues the process of folding the Guard -- which was once, I note again, the independent people's militias -- into the national military establishment: Its commanding officer is made a full general, for instance, and given a more prominent role in Pentagon councils.

Most significantly, the measure creates "a stronger relationship between the Guard and the Northern Command" and instructs the Pentagon "to work with the Guard in planning homeland defense."

Nerve Center for Martial Law: George W. Bush and his handlers monitor the progress of Hurricane Rita at the headquarters of U.S. Northern Command.

Northern Command, for the uninitiated, is the military department responsible for the United States, as well as coordinating "theater security cooperation with Canada and Mexico." It is, in essence, the military muscle behind the Department of Homeland Security. In the event of widespread natural disasters, insurrections, terrorist attacks, or other national emergencies, Northern Command would provide the assets and manpower to lock down the country under Homeland Security supervision.

For a glimpse of how this would work in practice, one need only recall the federal response to Hurricane Katrina: US troops and federally controlled mercenaries were deployed on the streets of New Orleans with orders to disarm any Americans they encountered, and shoot anybody who resisted.

What all of this means, of course, is that Senator Leahy's measure didn't reverse Bush's transformation of the National Guard into an instrument of martial law; instead, it accomplished the same objective in a less transparent fashion. By holding out the inducement of additional funding and material support for the Guard, Leahy's measure also nullified the objections offered by all fifty state governors, who with one voice had condemned Bush's October 2006 grab for control over the militia.

Now, like a small child giddily playing with a toy steering wheel, the governors can pretend that they're in control -- at least until the president and his handlers decide the illusion is no longer necessary. And really, since the Civil Rights era, when Guard establishments in Arkansas
and Alabama were "federalized" to enforce desegregation decrees (by physically assaulting and arresting non-cooperating governors, if necessary), there has been no excuse for any reasonably intelligent governor to believe that he actually controls the National Guard.

The Big Easy under Martial Law: Blackwater mercenaries (left) and combat units home from Iraq (below, right) patrol the streets of post-Katrina New Orleans.

It is becoming increasingly common for the regular military -- especially the Marines -- to conduct "urban operations" training exercises in various Midwestern cities. Quite reasonably, some Americans see these operations as preparation not only for combat missions abroad, but here at home as well.

It's not alarmist to think that at some point America could succumb to overt military regimentation. But it should be understood that from the perspective of the Founders -- particularly the Anti_Federalists -- we're already living under a species of martial law, one that is generally quite mild but capable of intermittent outbursts of terrifying violence.

Even as it has assembled the architecture of martial law, the Bush Regime has quietly worked to create the necessary legal and political doctrines.

In a March 14, 2003 memorandum, former administration legal counsel John Yoo -- yes, the same one who discovered the presidential authority to order the sexual torture of children -- made the arresting claim that the Fourth Amendment doesn't apply to "domestic military operations."

Of course, the Framers of the Constitution made it abundantly clear that "domestic military operations" of any kind are the purest form of tyranny, and the use of the military as a law enforcement body is entirely impermissible. It's a pity, I suppose, that they lacked Yoo's vision and insight.

Fear his "Islamo-Fascist" Mullet: Qatari national Ali al-Marri, designated an "enemy combatant" in June 2003 and held since then in military detention.

More recently, the Bush Regime has used the ongoing legal conflict over the detention of suspected terrorist Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri to argue that the president can exercise martial law powers at whim. Al-Marri was designated an "unlawful enemy combatant" by presidential ukase in June 2003; since that time he has been held in military detention.

In its ruling a year ago, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals pointed out that the president cannot exercise military authority over civilians in the United States “absent the suspension of … habeas corpus or [a] declaration of martial law….” The Bush Regime appealed that decision without seriously objecting to its assumptions.

In essence, the appeals court said: Your claim assumes that some kind of martial law is in effect.

To which the Bush Regime effectively replied: And your point would be...?

Available now!

They've got a Little List. Maybe we should start making one of our own....

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

"Heroes In Error", Again (Media Update)

"We are heroes in error. As far as we're concerned we've been entirely successful. That tyrant Saddam is gone and the Americans are in Baghdad. What was said before is not important."

Iraqi con-man Ahmed Chalabi (seen at right standing next to former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, with former Iraqi Viceroy Jerry Bremer looking over Rumsfeld's shoulder); Chalabi was the chief source of pre-war disinformation regarding Saddam's supposed WMD arsenal, replying to a question posed by the London Daily Telegraph in February 2004 about his role in misleading the public.

In her element: Media-favored FLDS critic Flora Jessop, a one-time polygamist "child bride," appears on the Fox "News" program "On the Record."

"I would like to hug her [Rozita Swinton]. She accomplished getting 416 children out of a very abusive situation. But I'd also like to slap her because she went about it the wrong way." --

Flora Jessop, former member of the FLDS Church-turned-anti-polygamy crusader, speaking with reference to the disturbed 33-year-old woman whose false child abuse report triggered the raid in Eldorado.

"I would like to point out that the system absolutely worked in this case," insisted Phoenix-based anti-polygamy activist Flora Jessop during the April 18 edition of "On the Record." "When -- as hotlines get calls from children purporting to be abused, just as I do, it's not my responsibility and my job to decide whether those calls are legitimate."

Which is to say that the system "worked," in Miss Jessop's view, because it brought about what she considered to be a desirable result -- the armed invasion of the YFZ Ranch, and the seizure of children from their parents by force -- irrespective of the truth. In fact, Jessop's statements on the record indicate that she considered the truth to be inconsequential.

In recounting her conversations with "Sarah," the supposed polygamist child bride and abuse victim at the YFZ Ranch who was actually a childless adult woman named Rozita Swinton in Colorado Springs, Jessop describes how the caller suddenly -- and conveniently -- became twin sisters named Sarah and Laura. She also candidly described those conversations as an elaborate game of "Let's Pretend":

"[At] one point during my conversations with the girl I was speaking with, I had actually asked her and confronted her ... and said, If you're the twin sister of Sarah, Sarah is in Texas, Dale Barlow [the supposed abuser] is in Colorado City [Arizona], things don't add up. And she said, Well, can we pretend? And I said, yes, we can pretend. And she said, Well, then let's pretend that when Sarah called, she couldn't tell the name of her husband because then she would be hurt worse. So Sarah actually used the name Dale Barlow because Dale Barlow was hurting her twin sister in Colorado City. And I said, So are we pretending that Sarah was trying to get help for both Sarah and Laura because they were both being hurt? And she said, yes, let's pretend that. I asked her, I said, Can we pretend that Dale Barlow is Laura's -- the twin sister's new dad? And she said, No let's not pretend that. And she was very elaborate in her ruse, very well rehearsed."

So: We're supposed to believe that the child "protection" system worked because it sprung into action on the basis of a transparent "ruse"?

Indeed we should -- assuming that we, like Jessop, the Texas CPS, and others who believe themselves to be exalted above normal human considerations of honesty and equity, subscribe to a purely consequentialist worldview.

In a conversation with the Arizona Republic, Jessop insisted that (in the words of the paper's paraphrase) "the calls in Texas had a good outcome, even if they were fraudulent, because they prompted police to raid the FLDS ranch."

This is a good thing, supposedly: FLDS children behind barricades in a detention facility health care workers called a "concentration camp."

In fact, she considered it necessary to continue the deception long after it was clear that the calls were phony, and even after the raid and child-grab were underway. Explains the Republic: "Jessop said she had to maintain the pretense that her caller was real so that Texas police could continue investigating."

"At that point," Jessop observes, "I was working with authorities and trying to keep contact with her."

This isn't the first time that Jessop has peddled puerile fabrications to the media. Four years ago, after taking in two 16-year-old female runaways from the FLDS redoubt in Hildale/Colorado City, she dramatically announced that six more teenagers had sought her out for support and shelter. "The majority are boys, but there are some girls," Jessop insisted, claiming that they were "spooked" and "not talking to anybody but me." She also refused to provide any tangible proof that the runaways existed.

Jessop's claims prompted a mixture of puzzlement and annoyance from others working to free discontented FLDS members from the authoritarian community.

"The information Flora's putting out that there's a mass exodus, it just isn't happening," insisted Bob Curran, director of a St. George, Utah-based group called Help the Child Brides. Rowenna Erickson of Tapestry Against Polygamy complained that Jessop's "inaccuracies" and "rumors" were undermining the credibility of the anti-polygamist cause.

According to Pennie Petersen, another FLDS defector who fled at age 14 when confronting the prospect of being "sealed" to a middle-aged man who reportedly had molested her, Jessop actually had come across a group of FLDS youth, but they weren't interested in leaving.

"There are no runaways," Petersen told the Deseret News. "Those kids were partying and they all went home late. They never wanted to leave." Petersen, who has often been at odds with Jessop, shared the concerns expressed by others in the counter-polygamy cause, and expressed them a bit more pointedly: "Flora's been getting away with these stories for a long time now, and it's time to shut her down. She's just hurting the organizations and our cause."

Flora's "stories" -- by passing Swinton's fabrications along when she knew them to be false, Jessop took ownership of those lies -- have now hurt hundreds of children who were pried away from their parents and placed into one of the country's most notoriously corrupt foster care systems.

It could have been even worse -- much, much worse. There were snipers targeting the YFZ property when the Child-Snatchers attacked. It's a matter of God's grace that none of the parents and children therein met the fate of Vicki and Sammy Weaver.

If such a tragedy had ensued, Flora Jessop -- who has a longstanding relationship with Texas law enforcement -- would likely have been among the first to insist that the bloodshed was entirely the fault of the FLDS and their leaders.

As it stands, nearly all of the FLDS families from YFZ Ranch remain torn apart. Despite recent legal reversals and the fundamental illegitimacy of the entire enforcement action (given the fatal defects in the original warrant), Texas authorities are continuing their criminal probe.

If they're looking for a slam-dunk criminal indictment, they could have one against Flora Jessop:

She has publicly confessed to making a "False report regarding [a] missing child or missing person," as defined by Chapter 37, section 081 of the Texas Penal Code.

Given that Flora Jessop appears to be the proverbial poisoned tree in this entire matter, she is the only legitimate target for a criminal probe -- unless, of course, the probe turns up tangible evidence of deliberate criminal misconduct on the part of CPS officials.

Assuming that her much-flaunted passion for justice extends beyond an understandable preoccupation with the FLDS Church, Jessop should cooperate in a genuinely independent inquiry, if such an undertaking is possible now. It would be fascinating to learn what she knows about the following questions:

*Was she, as many suspect despite repeated denials, the chief "anonymous" source mentioned in the original search warrant? How long and how extensive is Jessop's relationship with law enforcement bodies in Texas? What role did she have in tuning public and official expectations about the FLDS -- to the extent that a heavily armed raiding party was sent to confront the YFZ community?

*In her above-mentioned Fox interview, Jessop mentioned this interesting detail: "It's my understanding that [Rozita Swinton] was caught with -- when they went into her apartment, that they found reams and documents and just tons of information on the FLDS." Oh? Who provided Jessop with that "understanding"? Might she help us find out exactly what kind of information Swinton had, and -- if it's something beyond what might be turned up through diligent googling -- who provided it to her?

Miss Swinton, likewise, presents us with some very interesting questions. According to a profile in Westview (.pdf), a publication out of Nashville, "Rozita is a Mormon who suffers from MPD/DID [Multiple Personality Disorder/Dissociative Identity Disorder] which falls under the heading of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.... Since she was a teenager, Rozita has flashbacks to a time when she was an abused child ... and to times when she had been locked up and kept hostage."

Swinton's Tennessee childhood was troubled in other ways. Her father was convicted of first degree murder in 1965 and released in 1977 along with hundreds of other felons by former Governor Ray Blanton, who was eventually convicted of granting pardons in exchange for bribes. In 1992, continues the profile, Rozita was a ward of the Tennessee Department of Human Services and protected from contact with her father by a restraining order. She spent years shuttling from foster home to foster home, eventually ending up in Colorado in 2005.

One of her foster parents has published books under the pseudonym Kate Rosemary. One of those books, Raising Shane, refers to Rozita by name, describing her as a loving member of a multi-ethnic foster family. At some point, she apparently made a mission trip to El Salvador.

Rozita Swinton's confirmed role in this imbroglio already plays like something out of a John Grisham novel. But as always, owing to the questions that remain unanswered (for instance, who posted Miss Swinton's bail in Colorado?), there are other possibilities -- not "probabilities," mind you, but possibilities -- that would take us into Dean Koontz territory.

The foster care system is a huge industry. So is the "tolerance" industry, which features such outfits as the Southern Poverty Law Center, the multi-multi-million-dollar racket operated by reputed pervert Morris Dees.

Both the foster care/adoption industry and the "tolerance" industry have had the FLDS in their scopes for a while. The SPLC, in particular, has been Jonesing for a crack-down of some kind on a "hate group" for a while, and the FLDS enclave in Eldorado -- occupied as it was by helpless, unarmed, unassuming white folks -- was an irresistible target.

The SPLC, it should be remembered, liaises with law enforcement agencies across the nation, indoctrinating them about various "hate groups" (which means, in practice, any group of people Dees and his comrades hate). And there's nothing that brings out the martial valor of paramilitary law enforcement agencies like the sight of an urban gathering of unarmed, peaceable white people. (I make that observation free of ethnic self-interest, as the photographic evidence will attest.)

From tabloid trash to official policy: This porridge of herd-poisoning themes pretty much typifies the media's treatment of the FLDS; it also demonstrates how the same war propaganda methods used to whip up foreign conflicts can be used to demonize domestic groups targeted for assault by the State.

The foregoing is not to be construed as the beginnings of a conspiracy theory; instead, it's offered as a guide to some directions a real inquiry might take, should such a thing ever happen.

It's entirely irresponsible to think that the abduction of hundreds of children in Texas could reflect collaboration of some kind among anti-polygamy agitators, corrupt child protection and foster care officials, and the country's most obnoxious "hate group" crusader.

That would be like believing the Iraq War was somehow brought about through the covert collaboration of ideological White House zealots and a small-gauge Iraqi con artist like Ahmed Chalabi.

I mean, get real, dude.

Update --

Yesterday (Monday, May 26), Dale Williams of KTKK radio in Salt Lake City had me on to discuss the FLDS atrocity. The MP3 of that program can be found here (scroll down to the archive section). I consider Dale to be a bold, honest, and exceptionally insightful host, and also appreciate Barbara Jean for including the interview in her archive.

Available now.

Have you done something today to piss off the powerful?

Sunday, May 25, 2008

A Bureaucracy Bares Its Teeth

Entrenchment: FLDS members at the YFZ Ranch huddle behind padlocked gates while Texas State officials pursue new strategies to make their mass child abduction "legal."

There are many millions of adults who suffer from a peculiar logic disorder I call "Severe Ipse-Dixitism" that leads them to mistake assertions for evidence. This affliction is quite widespread among political pundits, particularly those who pollute the talk radio industry. Both the Texas Department of Child Protective Services and its media allies suffer from a particularly acute case of that tragic condition.

In a brief filed before the Texas Supreme Court seeking relief from its devastating legal defeat last Friday, the Texas CPS emits a dense fog of unsupported allegations about serious crimes purportedly committed by members of the FLDS Church. The CPS condemns the Texas Third District Appeals Court for insisting that the Agency provide actual evidence of crimes before seizing from the community all of the children 18 years of age and younger -- as well as several adult mothers who, the Agency insisted, were minors.

The appeals court's error, insists the CPS, can only be corrected if the state Supreme Court treats the Agency's unproven assertions as if they were proven facts.

"This case is about adult men commanding sex from underage children; about adult women knowingly condoning and allowing sexual abuse of underage children; about the need for the Department to take action under difficult, time-sensitive and unprecedented circumstances to protect children on an emergency basis," insists the CPS brief.

Oddly enough, when the CPS first slithered into the YFZ refuge on April 3rd, it piously insisted that the case was "about" the ongoing abuse of a 16-year-old child bride at the cruel hands of her loutish polygamist "husband." The Agency and its trained pets in law enforcement knew that the alleged perpetrator was not at the YFZ Ranch, and before the child-grab was consummated they also knew that the "victim" didn't exist. Not that this made a particle of difference, of course.

“The record is uncontroverted that adult men engage in ‘spiritual marriages’ with under-age children,” the CPS brief continues. “No age was too young to marry and they wanted to have as many babies as they could.” To what "record" does the CPS refer here? That some FLDS men have contracted "marriages" with under-age girls is a demonstrated fact, yes. But so far, not a single criminal charge of that kind has been filed with respect to anybody living at the YFZ Ranch.

Here the CPS, which seems determined to run the table of logical fallacies, offers up a museum-quality specimen of the fallacy of the undistributed middle: FLDS men enter into polygamous "marriages" with underage girls; the male inhabitants of YFZ Ranch are members of the FLDS Church; ergo, the men at YFZ Ranch are engaged in polygamous "marriages" with underage girls.

To which contention rational people will reply: Yes, there are some FLDS men who have behaved in just that fashion. Find them, indict them, prosecute them, and imprison them if they're convicted -- but neither the CPS nor any other government agency has the authority to abduct several hundred people on the basis of unsubstantiated assumptions that are supported by nothing but defective syllogisms and smug bureaucratic self-assurance. The statement above isn't a legal argument -- even a very bad legal argument. It is a sound-bite begotten by a cynical public relations strategy by a corrupt, dishonest bureaucracy that no longer even maintains the pretense of caring about the children it kidnapped. For the Texas CPS, the gig now is all about institutional self-preservation.

A child is saved from the "Child Savers": Dan Jessop and his wife, Louisa, emerge from a courtroom cradling the newborn son the Texas CPS had tried to seize from the couple. Louisa, 22, an adult mother of legal age, was taken into CPS custody as a "pregnant minor." Dan says that this is only the second time he has been able to see his child.

How do we know that the CPS has abandoned its pose of protecting the best interests of (make sure to speak the phrase in a voice thick with pious sentiment tremulous with affected compassion) the children? It's simple: They agreed to return a dozen children to their FLDS parents, albeit under CPS supervision.

These are twelve children, recall, who simply
had to be separated from their parents.

Right now, dammit!

This was a matter of immediate, exigent, three-alarm, screw-the-warrant, kick-down-the-doors, oh-dear-I'm-wetting-my-pants urgency.

Those kids, and hundreds in identical circumstances, couldn't be left in the fell clutches of their parents, because even though no evidence is available that abuse has been committed at YFZ Ranch, the children there could someday become abusers or victims.

But now those children are being reunited with their parents, despite the CPS's borderline-apocalyptic warnings, and -- here's the really important part -- the fact that there's no material difference between those children and the hundreds who remain captives of the CPS.

If the objective here were child "protection," rather than the abduction of hundreds of children and the demolition of an entire community, the CPS (acting on their professed principles) would have reacted to the appeals court decision on Friday by returning
all of the children to their parents on the same terms. Rather than doing the honest and principled thing, CPS is simply playing for time, scrambling to create "evidence," and doing what it can to manipulate public opinion.

This helps explain why the CPS, during a custody hearing over a newborn son born to Dan and Louisa Jessop,
introduced as "evidence" a series of photos of FLDS prophet Warren Jeffs involved in what can delicately be called "inappropriate" behavior with a 12-year-old girl. Louisa Jessop had been seized by CPS as a "pregnant minor"; in other circumstances, this might have been considered flattering, given that she is 22 years old. The CPS stood ready to steal the Jessops' son as soon as he was born.

They call this "help."

According to the
Salt Lake Tribune's account of this incident, the young girl shown sitting in the lap of Warren Jeffs, and then being kissed by him on the mouth, is Dan Jessop's sister, and he was asked -- while on the witness stand -- what he thought of the spectacle. The purpose of this line of questioning, supposedly, was to establish that Dan and Louisa were part of a "household" (the collective population of YFZ Ranch) that supports underage marriage.

The actual purpose was likely two-fold: It was to bait Jessop on the stand while reinforcing the impression that all adult FLDS members are incorrigible pederasts, or enablers of the same.

Significantly, although Jeffs (who is serving a sentence for statutory rape as an accomplice) reportedly "married" (or was "sealed" to) the twelve-year-old about a month before his arrest in 2006, a physical examination has revealed no evidence that she has engaged in sexual relations. So those admittedly nauseating photographs, in addition to being a crashing non sequitir when introduced in the Dan and Louisa Jessop custody hearing, have no evidentiary value.

While it is inappropriate for a male of Warren Jeffs' age to kiss a twelve-year-old on the mouth, that act is not a crime or evidence of one -- unless, as is the CPS's habit, we are to assume facts that have not been entered into evidence, and then use those "facts" to impute collective guilt on the basis of kinship and religious association.
Unfortunately, by kidnapping the FLDS children the CPS has actually managed to manufacture some "facts" that most likely will result in some pretty severe hardship for a few FLDS couples.

Desperate to get their children back, and convinced that the only way to do so is to mollify the abductors,
at least some parents have signed "family service plans" containing an admission that they have, in some sense, been party to child abuse. In fact, I'm convinced that those concessions represent the only "evidence" at the CPS's disposal.

"CPS's investigation of the Yearning for Zion Ranch found evidence under Texas law of sexual, physical, and emotional abuse," lied the CPS in the standard cover letter for the "Family Service Plan" distributed to FLDS parents. "Because of what CPS found, CPS removed your child from the ranch. After a hearing, the judge agreed with CPS's belief that your child was not safe from abuse. The judge gave CPS temporary custody of your child. Your child has been placed in foster care."

Now that the children have been taken away, what happens if parents don't placate the CPS's demands?
"The judge will expect you to work with your caseworker" in carrying out the terms of the Family Service Plan, which include signing a document that states, as a matter of proven fact, that the CPS "investigation" found that "sexual and mental and emotional abuse" were underway there. "Not working with CPS is something the judge may consider when making decisions for you and your child," continues the CPS letter in the same tone of ominous condescension. "If the judge is not satisfied that you can provide a safe place for your child where they are free from abuse, the judge may decide to limit or even permanently take away all of your rights as a parent of the child. The child then could be placed in permanent foster care or be adopted."

Relieved of the cloying, euphemistic legalese, these statements are an unadorned threat: Admit that you're an abuser, submit to all of our demands, or your child will be taken from you permanently.

To their credit, at least some of the attorneys representing FLDS parents are telling their clients to avoid even reading the documents. But at least some of the parents have signed the documents, which means that they have effectively confessed to unspecified acts of child abuse. And under the collectivist theory of communal guilt being followed by Texas CPS, the Agency will almost certainly attempt to use those admissions -- obtained through extortion -- to incriminate the entire community.
And thus the game will go on, as the children remain captive.

So do the parents, as
the following incident at the end of the Jessop family's custody hearing illustrates (emphasis mine):

"As [Dan Jessop] spoke to reporters, a CPS worker interrupted him. `We need to take her,' the woman said, trying to remove his arm which was wrapped around his wife [Louisa]. `I'll walk with her,' he said. `We have to go,' the worker said, prodding them toward the street. `Come on, let's go.' The couple walked toward an SUV, where [Louisa] was loaded in the back seat and her baby was placed in a carseat next to her. Jessop reached in and hugged his wife."

In what sense is this a free country when a young husband and father who has not been accused of a crime can not only be separated from his wife and newborn son, but suffer such contemptuous treatment by some tax-fattened termagant?

Apropos of nothing...

Scott Watson, a good and very generous friend, has sent along some photographs I think you'll enjoy:

Here we see William Wallace, age 10, proudly displaying an autographed Ron Paul sign at the hero's recent speech in Caldwell, Idaho.

Here we see William Wallace's father, age unspecified, uprooting an old tree in Scott's backyard last Saturday. (Vanity, that cruel and ever-attentive mistress, compels me to point out that I'm wearing a loose-fitting shirt, and my girth isn't quite as Falstaffian as this photo would suggest.)

Tearing up this tree was the most fun I've had in weeks (I hope Scott has a few more he'd like removed.) This is old-school, Dino-style exercise. It was a good compliment to my morning workout, during which our middle son, Isaiah Athanasius, got to see me put up 410 lbs. on the bench press.

Available now!

What have
you done today to earn a place on The List?

Friday, May 23, 2008

An Ambiguous Victory (Updated)

Yes, the Constitution applies even to them: FLDS member Willie Jessop turns away a CPS commissarina who demanded access to the YFZ Ranch to conduct a warrantless search. Mr. Jessop told the finger-wagging shrike to get the constitutionally mandated paperwork together, and he'd let her in.

It was shortly before noon on Wednesday, May 20, when two Texas CPS officials, in the company of armed Sheriff's Deputies, arrived at the gates of the largely deserted YFZ Ranch. Nearly everybody involved in the custody fight over some 463 people (both children and young emancipated adults dishonestly depicted as minors by the CPS) was either in court, on the way to court, or somewhere in the vast Texas state highway system trying to visit their abducted kids.

So apparently the CPS decided to exploit this opportunity to snoop around the FLDS property. The purported reason for this raid was a hot tip from a conveniently anonymous informant -- hey, we know that leads of that kind are always reliable, right? -- that five children, including one with Down's Syndrome, had arrived at the ranch sometime after the other children had been taken into government custody.

Last time, the CPS prevailed on Merrill Jessop, the Bishop (or Overseer) of the FLDS community, to order his followers to let the Child Snatchers in, despite the fact that their search warrant was entirely invalid.

Trained from infancy to comply immediately and without qualification to an order from their "priesthood head," the FLDS cooperated -- and as a result hundreds of children were abducted by the state at gunpoint on the basis of non-existent "evidence" of widespread abuse.

On Wednesday morning, however, FLDS officials were not as complaisant.

"If they have an honest complaint, we'll be honest, but we were lied to," protested Willie Jessop to the handful of reporters who had scrambled out to the ranch.

Asked later in the day about the abortive raid, CPS spokesliar Marleigh Meisner insisted (in the words of a Salt Lake Tribune paraphrase) that the agency, which "
does not conduct criminal investigations, never uses search warrants. "

Those blessed with memories longer than the life-span of the typical Mayfly will recall that the CPS did get a search warrant before the initial April 3 raid. Yes, I know that the CPS arrogantly claims that its investigators aren't impeded by familiar Due Process requirements. But it's odd, nonetheless, that the agency took the time to get a warrant (albeit a spurious one) for the first raid, but conducted the most recent one with such indecent haste that it didn't even bother with the pretense of filing the proper paperwork.

Another oddity: The 5-year-old with Down Syndrome for whom the CPS was searching on May 20 had already been abducted and was in the custody of the agency. While the CPS, even at what passes for its best, is hardly a model of competence, the haste and sloppiness of this most recent attempted raid suggests that, in addition to the agency's familiar malice, something akin to panic might have been at work.

I suspect -- but cannot yet prove -- that the attempted raid on May 20 had a great deal to do with the appellate decision (.pdf) handed down the following day (yesterday, May 21) excoriating the agency for abusing its "discretion" in conducting a mass child seizure without so much as a particle of evidence that abuse was underway or an imminent threat.

The CPS surely knew the weakness of its case against the FLDS, and could probably predict how the Third District Court of Appeals would rule. I suspect that they needed to find something to supplement its anemic brief, thereby buttressing the illusion that an investigation into actual abuse was underway and that the appeals court should let them have sufficient time to build a case.

The Court of Appeals decision is significant primarily for the tone of composed indignation with which it demolishes the CPS's claim to have conducted a "child protection" operation, as opposed to a straight-up mass child abduction under the color of State power.

On pages five and six of that document, the court makes four separate uses of the expression "no evidence" in dismissing the abuse claims made by CPS (the emphasis in each use is mine):

*"There was no evidence that the male children, or the female children who had no reached puberty, were victims of sexual or other physical abuse or in danger of being victims of sexual or other physical abuse";

*"... there was no evidence regarding the marital status of [twenty pregnant females identified by CPS as being from 13-20 years of age] when they became pregnant or the circumstances under which they became pregnant other than the general allegation that the girls were living in an FLDS community with a belief system that condoned underage marriage and sex";

*"There was no evidence that any of the female children other than the five identified as having become pregnant between the ages of fifteen and seventeen were victims or potential victims of sexual or other physical abuse";

*Except for that same group of five expectant mothers, "there was no evidence of any physical abuse or harm to any other child[.]"

The Court's ruling came in response to a petition for a Writ of Mandamus filed on behalf of thirty-eight women (referred to as "Realtors") whose children were seized by CPS. In conducting the seizure, CPS "failed to establish that the need for protection of the Realtors' children was urgent and required immediate removal of the children.... [N]one of the identified minors who are or have been pregnant are children of Realtors. There is no evidence" -- that phrase again -- "that any of the five pregnant minors live in the same household as the Realtors' children."

The decision likewise eviscerates the CPS's novel collectivist theory that the entire community should be treated as one "household" for the purpose of a child "protection" action. Under that approach, a single alleged incident of abuse would effectively incriminate every adult in the community and justify the "protective" seizure of all the resident children.

In words savoring of chilled contempt, the Court vivisected that theory and discarded the bleeding remains:

"The notion that the entire ranch community constitutes a `household' as contemplated by section 262.201 [of the Texas Code, which deals with child protection actions] and justifies removing all children from the ranch community if there even is one incident of suspected child sexual abuse is" -- here we go again! -- "contrary to the evidence. The Department's witnesses acknowledged that the ranch community was divided into separate family groups and separate households. While there was evidence that the living arrangements on the ranch are more communal than most typical neighborhoods, the evidence was not legally or factually sufficient to support a theory that the entire ranch community was a `household.'..."

Even if were proper to treat the FLDS retreat as a single undifferentiated household, the CPS is still left with that nagging, persistent lack of evidence that actual abuse of any kind was underway.

To make the case that the children at YFZ Ranch confronted a dire threat of abuse, the CPS had to go to the First Bank of Cosmic Supposition and borrow heavily on the assumption that at some unspecified future date the children may be abused. The "evidence" presented as collateral for this loan, notes the court, was that the children "live in a community where there is a `pervasive belief system' that condones marriage and child-rearing as soon as females reach puberty."

Once that belief is wedded (if you'll pardon the expression) to an actual, provable incident of sexual misconduct, it is proper to arrest the accused offender and put him on trial. Our system of laws -- as I remember reading about that system; it was dead long before my time -- was designed to deal out justice in individualized portions once due process had provided proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

The CPS has displayed disdain for that bourgeois approach: Why deal out individual justice for crimes that have been committed, when we can accuse the entire community of participation in crimes yet to be conceived, and then blackmail the adults into accepting their guilt by stealing their children?

To its considerable credit, the Third District Court of Appeals refused to ratify this Vladimir Lenin-by-way-of-Hillary Clinton approach to collective punishment in the name of "the children." And once again, the court was able to cite key factual concessions by the CPS to demonstrate how its innovative legal theory was unsustainable:

"The simple fact [writes the court in footnote 11 of the decision], conceded by the Department, that not all FLDS families are polygamous or allow their female children to marry as minors demonstrates the danger of removing children from their homes based on the broad-brush ascription of every aspect of a belief system to every person living among followers of the belief system or professing to follow the belief system."

Digested to its essence, the decision reads as follows:

If you're going accuse someone of child abuse, you have to follow the rules of Due Process. This means, among other things, citing tangible, plausible evidence of actual offenses, rather than presenting to the court the reeking discharge from your collective emunctory aperture and describing it as a novel theory of collective punishment.

This seems like a very simple and obvious proposition. But as Chesterton once said, sometimes it takes a certain kind of courage to stand up in public and say that two times two equals four.

Unfortunately, after demolishing the CPS's legal claims down to the sub-atomic level, the Court did not issue the desired Writ of Mandamus -- an order to the department to return the children immediately. This gave the CPS the option of keeping the children in its custody while appealing the decision -- a course of action the agency has, quite predictably, followed.

A new reason to hope -- but their children aren't free, yet.

Some observers believe the FLDS court victory presages an eventual -- and perhaps immediate -- restoration of the children to their families. I wish I could share that optimistic assessment.

As an appendage of the Texas government, the CPS has the resources to drag out this legal battle for as long as necessary -- until every child taken from YFZ Ranch reaches adulthood, should it come to that. Perhaps the only thing that could prevent this from happening would be a court order to CPS -- backed with a threat to hold in contempt, and arrest, non-cooperating agency officials -- that the children must be returned while the legal dispute continues.

But as I've pointed out, the CPS isn't interested in the law, only in the physical possession of the children. As long as the children remain in that agency's hands -- as long as the CPS in any state has the power to seize children in the first place -- the law simply doesn't matter.

Chipping away at the stonewall....

This is pretty compelling evidence that CPS knows its position is completely untenable, but they'll continue to drag out this matter as long as they can:

"State child welfare authorities have agreed to reunite 12 children from a west Texas polygamist sect with their parents until the state Supreme Court rules on their custody case. Teresa Kelly, a spokeswoman for the parents' lawyer, says Child Protective Services agreed on Friday to allow the parents to live with their children in the San Antonio area under state supervision."

Two things should be understood about this grudging tactical concession.

First, there is no need for the CPS to retain custody of any of these children while the legal challenges play out. The Court of Appeals decision makes it pretty clear that there is no evidence that any of the children abducted by the CPS was in danger of abuse, much less a victim of the same.

Second, even after these children are reunited with their parents, the CPS will continue to keep the families under scrutiny, as if the parents -- who have been charged with nothing -- were paroled criminals.

I'm a full-time cynic, and in my spare time cynicism is my favorite hobby. Perhaps this is why I think the Texas CPS is desperately trying to extort abuse accusations from at least some of the FLDS children over whom the agency retains custody.

These people are as disinclined to surrender the children as Hillary is to bow out gracefully, and for roughly the same reason: A pathological lust for power.

Available now!

What have you done today to earn a place on The List?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

They Have a Little List

The business end of government: It always comes down to the barrel of a gun or the edge of an Executioner's blade.

"As some day it may happen that a victim must be found, I've got a little list -- I've got a little list, of society offenders who might well be underground, and who never would be missed -- who never would be missed!...

There's the pestilential nuisances who write for autographs [or, as we call them now, blogs]; all people who have flabby hands and irritating laughs....

Then the idiot who praises, with enthusiastic tone, All centuries but this, and every country but his own...the Judicial humorist--I've got him on the list!

All funny fellows, comic men, and clowns of private life-- they'd none of 'em be missed--they'd none of 'em be missed..... The task of filling up the blanks I'd rather leave to you. But it really doesn't matter whom you put upon the list, for they'd none of 'em be missed--they'd none of 'em be missed!"

The song of the Lord High Executioner, from Gilbert & Sullivan's The Mikado

For a long time, filed in the category of "Things We Always Knew But Couldn't Prove" we could find the assumption that the Regime has a Little List -- a database of people who would be subject to questioning, detention, or worse, in the event of a "national emergency."

We now can file that assumption in the category of "Awful Things We Know For Sure."

According to "The Last Roundup," a diligently researched and carefully written investigative piece in Radar magazine, The List is not an artifact of overheated imagination, but rather a tangible and portentious reality.

Although several former high-ranking government officials are cited by name in the Radar piece (some of whom spoke to the publication directly), the most important source is a "former senior government official who served with high level security clearances in five administrations." He chose to remain anonymous for reasons his key disclosure should make obvious:

"There exists a database of Americans who, often for the slightest and most trivial reason, are considered unfriendly, and who, in a time of panic, might be incarcerated. The database can identify and locate perceived `enemies of the state' almost instantaneously."

The "List" is actually a database called Main Core that reportedly contains the names of at least 8 million Americans. Based on what is known of previous lists compiled by the FBI and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Radar speculates -- quite responsibly -- that Main Core "includes dissidents and activists of various stripes, political and tax protesters, lawyers and professors, publishers and journalists, gun owners, illegal aliens, foreign nationals, and a great many other harmless, average people."

As we can see, this is not the first time that the Feds have undertaken to assemble a master list of Troublesome People, to the extent existing technology made this possible.

In 1950, coincident with the Korean War, J. Edgar Hoover proposed the arrest and mass imprisonment of thousands suspected of disloyalty as a means of protecting the government from "treason, espionage and sabotage."

He had a Little List: J. Edgar Hoover, a key architect of the National Security State.

For many years prior to that proposal, Hoover had been compiling his Little List, which he called a "Security Index.
“The index now contains approximately twelve thousand individuals, of which approximately ninety-seven per cent are citizens of the United States,” he wrote in a message to Sidney W. Souers, a special assistant for national security to President Truman.

Rounding up these purported troublemakers would be quite simple, Hoover continued; a "master warrant" could be attached to a list naming those subject to arrest, coupled with a presidential declaration suspending the habeas corpus guarantee. Then the FBI, working in collaboration with the military, would make arrangements for the indefinite detention of those people in military facilities around the nation.

Hoover initially sought permission to compile his Little List in 1946; two years later Attorney General Tom Clark consented. While his proposal wasn't acted on, it took root within the national security establishment, mutating into various similar proposals over the following decades.

At about the time Hoover (who, ironically enough, opposed the WWII-era roundup and detention of Japanese-Americans) was poring over his list of potential detainees, the security establishment was beavering away at "Operation High Point," a crash program to build a sprawling underground survival complex at Mount Weather, a tract of federally owned land near Bluemont, Virginia.

Mount Weather is the central node of the Regime's "Continuity of Government" network. Virtually impregnable, the facility has its own secure supplies of food, water, and power, as well as most of the amenities to which our "public servants" have become accustomed. (I don't know whether this would include a Strangelovian stable of nubile young playthings, but I would be surprised if it didn't.)

The true priorities of our ruling class can be deduced from this fact: While it has undertaken a detailed, expensive plan to ensure the continuity of government, there is no corresponding effort to ensure the continuity of freedom. In fact, a crisis of sufficient magnitude to justify activation of "continuity of government" plans would be perceived as a good and sufficient justification to dispense with the troublesome business of individual liberty outright.

What Lurks Beneath:
Mount Weather -- the visible portion thereof -- in its verdant Virginia setting.

Alluded to in the 1962 novel (and 1964 film) Seven Days in May, the Mount Weather complex was the subject of a 1975 investigation by California Senator John V. Tunney, an unauthorized expose via a 1976 article in The Progressive, a controlled-release profile in a 1991 Time magazine piece, and a bizarre cameo in the atrocious 2002 film adaptation of Tom Clancy's exceptional novel The Sum of All Fears.

During his 1975 investigation of government surveillance activities, Senator Tunney discovered that Mount Weather also hosted a master electronic database compiled by FEMA on 100,000 Americans.

In its expose the following year, The Progressive reported that Mount Weather's computer systems could "obtain millions of pieces [of] information on the personal lives of American citizens by tapping the data stored at any of the 96 Federal Relocation Centers" -- which, Radar helpfully explains, was "a reference to other classified facilities." The FEMA/Mount Weather surveillance program was run entirely outside the law, and its information was inaccessible even to House and Senate "oversight" committees.

The next significant disclosure regarding the existence of The List and the role it would play in continuity of government planning came in the mid-1980s, when Oliver North's Rex 84 program received some unexpected -- and unwelcome -- scrutiny. In the event of a national emergency (whether in the form of a natural disaster, military crisis, mass terrorism, or some other catastrophe) Rex 84 envisioned the effective suspension of the Constitution, the appointment of regional military commanders to run state and local governments, and the detention of hundreds of thousands of people -- illegal aliens, criminal suspects, and sundry non-criminal troublemakers -- in a system of at least 10 military facilities across the country.

Radar points out that this element of Rex 84 grew out of existing federal contingency plans calling for "large-scale detention" of Americans in the event of widespread unrest. "Around the time of the 1968 race riots, for instance, a paper drawn up at the U.S. Army War College detailed plans for rounding up millions of`militants' and `American negroes,' who were to be held at `assembly centers or relocation camps,'" notes the magazine.

Keeping tally of kills? That seems to be the purpose of the figures drawn on the side of this APC used by the Midland County Sheriff's Department in its terrorist assault on the FLDS community.
(Hat tip:

All of this helps underscore one reason why I have spent so much time examining the ongoing atrocity committed by the State of Texas against the FLDS community at Eldorado:

The assault on the YFZ Ranch by militarized police units; the subsequent seizure of children and mothers and their detention in facilities described by outraged medical professionals as "concentration camps"; the use of what could be called a "master warrant" -- obtained through what has to be conscious fraud on the part of law enforcement -- to place an entire community under arrest; the effective nullification (through judicial indifference) of the habeas corpus guarantee as it applies to the abducted children -- all of these outrages are part and parcel of the martial law system that has been developed over the past six decades. Indeed, the Eldorado Atrocity could be seen as that system in microcosm.

Therefore the question is not whether, but rather how extensively, that system will be put into use.

In order to illustrate how the Master Core database could be used, Radar sketches out the following scenario:

"[C]oordinated bombings in several American cities [culminate] in a major blast -- say, a suitcase nuke -- in New York City. Thousands of civilians are dead. Commerce is paralyzed. A state of emergency is declared by the president. Continuity of Governance plans that were developed during the Cold War and aggressively revised since 9/11 go into effect. Surviving government officials are shuttled to protected underground complexes carved into the hills of Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. Power shifts to a `parallel government' that consists of scores of secretly preselected officials. (As far back as the 1980s, Donald Rumsfeld, then CEO of a pharmaceutical company, and Dick Cheney, then a congressman from Wyoming, were slated to step into key positions during a declared emergency.) The executive branch is the sole and absolute seat of authority, with Congress and the judiciary relegated to advisory roles. The country becomes, within a matter of hours, a police state."

I must point out that what is described above fails to terrify me, since it is not noticeably removed from where we are now. Yes, there has been no mass evacuation of government personnel to Weather Mountain and its sister facilities, or any large-scale round-up of dissidents. But the Bush Regime has treated the other branches of government as if they were constitutional nullities -- both in matters of war and peace and domestic security.

It doesn't seem that likely to me that overt martial law will descend on our country as the result of one discrete catastrophic event. Instead, I see it as already realized in principle, and becoming a more tangible reality as opportunities present themselves. Our rulers don't need a second 9/11-style incident in order to grab more power than they have already claimed, although such a disaster would be useful in terms of cultivating public acceptance for the undisguised exercise of those powers. But that acceptance is being won incrementally, and at a remarkably accelerated rate.

To understand how this works, consider the case of former Texas Congressman Jack Brooks, featured in the film clip above trying to drag Rex 84 out of tenebrous realm of contingency planning. During the 1987 Iran-Contra hearings, Brooks demanded that Col. North defend Rex 84 and its provisions for suspending constitutional government -- only to be slapped down by Committee Chairman Daniel Inoyue.

That happened, as I noted, in 1987. By 1993, Brooks -- by then Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee -- had become a craven apologist for the exercise of the very powers he had denounced, as least when "cultists" like Waco's Branch Davidians were on the receiving end. Speaking in the aftermath of the Mt. Carmel Holocaust, Brooks sneeringly said of the victims:

"Those people got what they deserved."

Why did those people "deserve" to be penned into a building and burned alive, or shot by paramilitary forces as they attempted to flee the flames? From the perspective of Brooks and his ilk, this was condign punishment for the supposed crime of resisting the lawless lethal violence of the State, in this case the unjustified initial assault by the ATF on the Mt. Carmel sanctuary.

Today, as FLDS parents are being told that they must, in effect, plead guilty to unspecified charges of child abuse as a condition of being permitted to associate with their own kidnapped children, tens of millions of Americans are giving voice to variations on the same incredibly cruel sentiments expressed by Jack Brooks fifteen years ago.

How many of those Americans could find their names on the Main Core list of potential "troublemakers"? How many of them, when given an opportunity to help the Regime's Willing Executioners with the task of "filling up the blanks," would do so with indecent eagerness?

His name was on a list, too: Patriot hero John Hancock.

It's something akin to a certainty that anybody who has made himself conspicuous by opposing the Regime and its crimes, both foreign and domestic, has already inscribed his name on the Main Core list. Anybody worthy of our heritage should already be doing something that will have that result, and treat that prospect with the same insouciance displayed by John Hancock, who signed his name large enough "so that fat King George can read it without his glasses."

Such is the perverse temper of our times that genuine patriots shouldn't let their eyes close in well-earned slumber each night without doing something to earn the hostility of the Keepers of The List.

On sale now!

Dum spiro, pugno!