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Kookery on Parade

Capitol Ideas is reporting that Governor Rendell is getting a letter demanding he restore the Constitution from a fringe group, or be removed from power. Restoring the Lost Constitution is the title of a pretty good book, and a subject I’m generally very much sympathetic to. But a look at this issue by Salon, and a visit to the group’s page by me has convinced me this is the kind of kookery America would be a very dull place without. I mean, all you have to do it go down to the copyright section in the footer:

Private non-negotiable freeholding, Guardians of the Free Republics. Private web site under non-corporate venue.  This seal conveys immunity from public scrutiny, discretion, regulation or trespass.  Trespassers beware.  Co-claimant fee applies to impairment. By using this site agree to the Terms of this site.

That’s 100% pure Grade A crazy there folks. Go take a look at their youtube video. This sounds a lot like the admiralty court fun from tax protesters. The FBI is investigating, but I doubt they have much to worry about. This kind of thing has been around a long time, and these groups are mostly interested in drawing attention to their kookery, in hopes of finding fellow travelers, than they are about actual action.

Much of their language about “Federal Corporation of the United States” seems to hinge on this definition in the Judicial Procedure Code, which is in the chapter on collecting debts owed to United States. For purposes of debt collection, “United States”, which usually refers to the Federal Government in other contexts, is redefined to include Federal Corporations. They take this to mean that the United States is a corporation, acting unlawfully as the Federal Government. This isn’t a new idea, but it’s utter nonsense. An example of a federal corporation is Amtrak, and this section defines how Amtrak, as well as the Federal Government, may collect its debts.

Reading statutory language is a bit of a skill. It’s difficult for people with no legal training to figure out. I can’t say I understand it 100% of the time, but knowing computer languages is a pretty good basis for understanding law. In fact, that makes for a pretty good analogy. It would be kind of like if you handed someone who’s barely literate in computers some technical specifications, some 6502 assembly code, and told them they had to debug all this code because their lives depend on it. Some folks may actually be able to figure it out, and fix things. Others will never really understand it, but they will keep trying and stay in the game. Others are just going to get angry at the whole thing and proclaim the program and specs are rigged, and it’s only through “du jure” specifications and new assembly that we can make everything the way God intended it to be. I think a lot of this phenomena is exactly that kind of thing. These folks know the law has an important impact on their lives, so they try to understand it. Failing, they become angry and blame the system.

15 Responses to “Kookery on Parade”

  1. Arnie says:

    I have always been curious about the arguments advanced by the anti-tax “kooks,” and researched a lot of their material. I have to confess, there is always a bit of truth behind their extreme positions: the 14th and 16th amendments not properly ratified IAW Article V of the Constitution; common law courts being dismissed as kangaroo tribunals by the government in spite of their 7th Amendment validation; taxation of our wages despite the fact that they are not profitable income but only an equitable exchange for our labor. (i.e., our own labor should be a deductible expense, as it is when you pay someone else their hire; the civil war was supposed to have made us free laborers, not slaves of the IRS). And the historical response of our government has always been to investigate, debate, and then essentially table the issues because the ramifications of adhering to the letter of the Constitution would be just too “disruptive to the fabric of our (now socialist) society.”. Then they label as fanatics those who protest by continuing to hold to the strict constitutional requirements, and are aided by the press in subjecting them to ridicule as extremists and eventually kooks.

    I’m not sure I sympathize with any of their positions, but I do know this: reject with caution their extreme devotion to the strict, literal interpretation of the laws as fanaticism, lest we open the door to our own subjugation to the same ridicule when we insist on strict compliance with the letter of the 2nd Amendment, or the 14th in McDonald, or that “assault rifle” only refers to select-fire.

    Yes, the Hutaree are beyond the pale, both biblically and constitutionally; but beyond stupid talk and violent boasts, what did they actually DO that was criminal? My gosh, some of our comments on this site, especially my own, could not only be labelled extreme, but dangerously threatening to those whose purpose is to communize America. We all know someone who believes WE are kooks!

    We also know our modern govn’t’s historical treatment of religious people with militia arms (Branch Davidians).

    I’ll keep my mind open, but as it stands right now, the Hutaree were no threat to me, and performed no threatening ACT upon anyone. But this government has committed threatening, unconstitutional acts on me, from the Clinton gun ban, to the McCaiin-Feingold speech ban, to the recent health insurance mandate. Two of those have been slowly eliminated. The last may prove harder if not impossible to repeal. In the meantime, it will cost me plenty.

    No sir, the kooks aren’t in Michigan, they are in D. C.! And they are more than a “threatening conspiracy” – they are an ACTIVE adversary inimical to our liberty!
    Thank you for the post, Sebastian.

    Arnie

  2. Robert says:

    The guy behind guardiansofthefreerepublics.com seems well beyond kooky. He believes the Gov’t owes him $198 billion dollars http://sccounty01.co.santa-cruz.ca.us/bds/govstream/BDSvData/non_legacy/Minutes/2007/20070828/PDF/010.pdf

    I hope they get him the help he obviously needs, instead of just using him as a political tool.

  3. Jujube says:

    For fun, you could go to Youtube and look at the videos for “Right to Travel.” It’s entertaining to watch their encounters with police.

  4. Jujube says:

    Also, not related to the Constitution and legal stuff, check out the Timecube.

    http://www.timecube.com/
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_Cube

    It’s the theory of reality. ;-)

  5. MicroBalrog says:

    Hey, “Right to Travel” makes FAR more sense than any of those Time-Cube guys.

  6. Jujube says:

    I pity the police. Not only do they have to deal with violent criminals, they have to deal with the crackpots too.

    One of the “Right to Travel” guys documented everytime he found a police car parked in an illegal manner, like parked at a red curb. Someone else pointed out that the people who called the police might not be real happy if the police drive around for an hour looking for a legal parking space. The videos were funny because he would find the car parked illegally and then he would set out looking for the police who drove the car to see if they were actually working or on break. (Like everyone needs a supervisor who isn’t really their supervisor.)

    Anyway, his videos combined with the OC guys who don’t want to cooperate with the police left me feeling very sympathetic for the police.

  7. MicroBalrog says:

    There are people who oppose vehicle registration.

    Holding a radical opinion doesn’t make you crazy. There’s a whole chasm between just having a radical opinion (like being an anarchist or a Communist, of which I met representatives who were quite intelligent people outside of being anarchists or communists) and being farking out of your mind like those Guardians of the Republic types.

  8. Sebastian says:

    Arnie:

    The 14th and 16th Amendments were properly ratified. You can find facts the refute the tax protester arguments if you look at arguments that aren’t put forth by tax protesters.

    But as far as the kooks being in DC… you’re spot on with that one.

  9. j huettl says:

    Back in ’91 the Justice System in California dealt a near fatal blow to me as a once removed victim of a crime. This is just a nice way of saying that a close 5 year old family member had been raped and of course the nice way to say it is someone HAD THEIR WAY with an unconsenting minor. I wanted to kill the Bastard, but the State decided to honor their Employee with a reduced charge and 90 days in County Jail…..So whats a guy to do, get even or get ahead? On one hand something called the GOOD BOOK says that getting even is reserved for God and that Justice is given to men in the form of JUDGES……Ok, can’t get even, justice has been taken care of and I have been left out in the cold. I kept asking myself what went wrong with the law that was supposed to protect Justice, how did the State come to the conclusion that law was of more value to the State than a Citizens right to Justice. So many questions cascaeded through my mind that I thought I might loose all my marbles, then I remembered something else I had read in the GOOD BOOK from a fellow that was remembering what he had heard from a guy that was giving a little speach to folks sitting on a mountain side. So armed with that Knowledge I knew that in order to answer my questions of the law of men that I must read everything that had been written about the laws of men. But where to start?

    Well my starting place was the County Law Library, open to every one and has every Law book pertaining to the Law that the Court House is doing JUSTICE to. Let me tell you that it looks like a lot of books and that they just seem to keep coming from an endless stream, but I can tell you from my own experience that it is possible to read every single one of those books from cover to cover in SIX long YEARS. During those 6 years I also was given the opportunity to read and study the lectures and notes of 8 different lawyers from their days as students in 5 different Law Schools, I was allowed to audit classes off and on at 2 of the West Coasts best Law Schools (Security Guards can often be a citizens best friend if they know you are a good guy.) just to see how Lawyer are made…..Which brings me to why am I telling you this……KNOWLEDGE of the LAW.

    FRINGE ON THE FALG…If you want to know, then take the time to read for yourself the DRED SCOTT CASE. Know that Scott is not part of the fledgling Lawyers feeding in law school (in fact a Lawyer will tell you that Scott was overturned by the 13th Amendment to the Constitution so don’t concern yourself with it) but what you need to know about Federal Courts and the way the work are all outlined in SCOTT. The way the Federal Court worked then is still today practiced as outlined in SCOTT. So why throw SCOTT away in law school?…Answer to that is easy, just take the time (just a couple of hours to really read it and understand) to read SCOTT and then you will know why it is not used as fodder in law school…REMEMBER that the Federal Court still works under the same rules in Scott as it does today and you will then see the GOLD FRINGE on the flag of the Scott Court as the same flag of the Court you see in today’s Court.

    In Scott, you as a Citizen will learn more on how the Courts work than in any other case that has ever come before the Supreme Court. No other case gives you the guidelines of the Federal Court better than Scott. (Next time you see a picture of the Supreme Court at session you will notice that the Flags are present to each side of the Bench and that both flags are present and because you read Scott now you will know why one has fringe and one does not.)

    P.S….Trivia question:… What is the Official Dictionary of the Congress of the United States of America? (Suffice to say that if I lined up 1000 Lawyers only one might know.)

  10. Sigivald says:

    This seal conveys immunity from public scrutiny […]

    Plainly they are not speaking the same English I am, or have redefined certain words without bothering to share.

    (Fringe on the Falg!!!! Heh.)

  11. W W Woodward says:

    “Reading statutory language is a bit of a skill. It’s difficult for people with no legal training to figure out.” This statement is a short version of a major problem with legislative actions on almost every level of government today.

    Unfortunately, for We The People, every piece of regulatory legislation whether passed through actions of state and/or federal legislatures, or formulated and written into law by bureaucratic peons, and then published in the respective state or federal register, is presumed to be understood by every citizen who might have his life affected by said legislation.

    I am personally acquainted with very few people who are aware of the very existence of state and federal registers. And, of those people who are aware most, I included, have neither the time nor opportunity in a busy work week to peruse the pages of these documents in order to determine if a law or regulation has slipped by unnoticed.

    Sadly, there are a growing number of government employees who are supposed to keep up with, at least, the regulations governing their own agencies who have no idea of what the regulations say or mean. These employees will for the most part refuse to bother with attempting to look up the regulation in question, will give you an answer off the tops of their heads that may or may not be valid, or will pass you to another agency whose employees will serve up the same fare.

    So much for the presumption. Even though the old saw, “Ignorance of the law is no excuse”, is fed to defendants on a regular basis by state and federal judges and prosecutors across this country. Defendants today not only do not need to know their conduct was unlawful they no longer enjoy the presumption of innocence. The prosecutors, in fact, are not even required to establish that there was a victim of the alleged crime prior to obtaining a conviction, usually by means of coercive plea bargaining .

    In addition, the very judges and lawyers who will insist that We The People are presumed to know the law are the first to impress upon We The People that, since we aren’t legal scholars, we are too stupid to read and understand the law.

    Those same lawyer and judges have made a career of twisting the wording of reasonable regulations to mean whatever they require for a particular case. The ranks of these paid liars and word twisters are the source for our supreme court justices.

    [W-III]

  12. Arnie says:

    Thank you, Sebastian, for the insight. I confess my ignorance of the pro-tax literature on the 14th and 16th amendments. As soon as opportunity presents, I shall avail myself of their information.

    Again, thank you!

    Arnie

  13. Sebastian says:

    Most of the protester arguments hinge on arguments about minor punctuation or spelling differences in different versions passed by the states. This has probably been true of all amendments to the constitution. Some of the arguments also hinge on Ohio not being properly admitted into the union until 1953, which also really isn’t true. There was some dispute as to when Ohio became a state, whether it was after the 1802 Enabling Act, which directed Ohio to form a state government, or whether it was a later act which recognized that the people of Ohio had formed a state government (in 1803). But Ohio was a state for the purposes of ratification of the 16th Amendment, for sure.

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