Tuesday, July 19, 2011

When in the face of extreme adversity...

I often find myself comforted by reading Daniel, Chapter 6. Most people (even those who aren't very religious, or for that matter, have any religious belief at all) have at least an inkling of recognition regarding the story of Daniel being thrown into the lion's den.

A great many people, however, do not know the back story to this event. To put it into a generalized perspective so that even my secular readers may grasp it, there was a wise man named Daniel. He was a fine upstanding man who lived according to the non-aggression principle, and he was well-known in his community. Within his community, there was a group of government officials known as "satraps".

They were jealous of Daniel and his position upon the moral high ground, but could find no fault within him, for the purposes of destroying his position within the community. They convinced King Darius to pass a law which went against the non-aggression principle, and made the penalty for such a transgression to be death by lion.

You see, Daniel had done no wrong to any man, but continued upon his path as he found to be righteous. The bureaucracy found fault with this, and created a law to destroy him, because he was not one of their own.

Daniel held his position, and did not yield or change to what he knew to be righteous. His punishment was to be thrown into a den of lions, with the assumed goal of him being killed and eaten in a most violent manner. The next day, the king called out to Daniel. Daniel answered, in Chapter 6 Verse 21, that he was still alive. God had spared him from an unjust punishment, which had been meted out for the act of violating an unjust law.

To put a modern spin on this story, let's fast-forward from the time of Daniel to a few years ago. That's back when everyone was still using MySpace as the social network of choice. In 2006, I was injured in a motorcycle accident, and I spent a couple of weeks at my father's home. I couldn't walk because the scabs on my knees would start bleeding after taking a few steps, so I spent a great deal of this time either on my couch or on the computer.

After getting bored with all the random nonsense of MySpace, I started digging around a bit and found some of the political forums on there. It was there where I met Riley O'Neil, founder of the MySpace Libertarian group. I also met Jim H. (and don't forget his wife B...first names have been redacted to protect the guilty!) of "Jim's MySpace Republicans"...a group started when he got thrown out of the main Republican forum. Me and Jim had (and still have) quite a few debates, but I think I've finally brought him over to the dark side! Along the way, I've become acquainted with quite a few people within our movement. A few of them, notably Catherine Bleish and Adam Kokesh, have become quite famous...Cat has been listed by the SPLC as an "extremist" and has appeared on Jesse Ventura's "Conspiracy Theory", while Adam has his own television show on RT America.

I also stumbled across a website known as BureauCrash.com, which was dedicated to a non-aggressionist "voluntaryist" (i.e. the "real") form of anarchy. Reading up on the goings-on there taught me quite a bit, and I came to learn of the people I write about today.

Several months ago, while forking over ransom money (read: BAIL) for a friend accused of some harmless "crime" that had no nameable victim, Pete Eyre and Adam "Ademo Freeman" Mueller were arrested for having the audacity to film the interaction. They were in a public place that had no reasonable expectation of privacy (trust me, there were CCTV cameras in the place, recording the incident), and they were filming people who earn their living on the taxpayer's dime. There was no reason whatsoever that they should not have been allowed to film the interaction.

Furthermore, there was no law stating that they could not film there, there was no sign stating that recording was prohibited, nor was there any written policy that prohibited filming in that area.

Nonetheless, the two were arrested under New Hampshire's "wiretapping" law. Keep in mind, this law was designed to prevent private individuals from being recorded during private conversations. It was used, in this instance, for the purposes of incarcerating and intimidating people known to be "enemies of the state" for having the intelligence to record their interactions with those who purport to serve them...with, or without, the consent of those being "served".

Yesterday, my friends Pete and Ademo entered a New Hampshire courtroom, facing years of imprisonment and a felony criminal record that would follow them for the rest of their natural lives. They didn't take a plea. They did not set up a "legal defense fund" for the sake of hiring a high-priced lawyer. They didn't try to get off the hook by focusing on technicalities.

Instead of taking the "easy way out", they took it on the chin. They stood before a jury of their peers, and stated their case, ready to face the consequences of their actions...knowing that instead of celebrating a victory today, they might be informing people like me where to send money for their commissary as they begin a stint in state prison.

There are, however, two things that really irk me about the situation that unfolded today.

First and foremost, is the "Blue Wall of Silence" in this ordeal. I grew up with quite a few people who grew up to be cops. A great deal of them are, in spite of the badge, still relatively decent people. One of my greatest friends happens to be a deputy sheriff on the verge of retirement, and he's one of the most morally-upstanding people I know. That said, I've heard absolutely nothing from the Law Enforcement community condemning the actions of the people involved in this case, which is a crying shame. You cannot build the public trust when there exists a "wall of separation" between the people the police are paid to serve, and the people themselves. On a regular basis, we see video of police misusing and abusing their authority. There's a possibility that it may be a rampant problem with police in general, and there's a possibility that it may be "a few bad apples". If it's "a few bad apples", then shouldn't the 'boys in blue' be trying to do something about it? Rogue cops on an authoritative rampage does nothing but sully the good name of decent cops, and I know there are still a few out there.

My second issue with this ordeal is the fact that there is absolutely no recourse for the lost time and money involved with Pete and Adam, short of hoping that a federal court would hear a civil rights lawsuit. I normally bitch about the expense of federal government, but this is one of those instances where I'd gladly pay. You see, when a man is accused by an officer of the law and takes his case to trial, he stands to potentially lose everything. If he wins, he loses slightly less. Unlike a civil trial, where the loser has to pay the winner's attorney fees, a criminal defendant is still going to lose every bit of the money he spent on a legal defense. He's going to lose every bit of the money he lost because he was defending himself, instead of earning a living. This does not count, of course, the cost of lost sleep, depression, anxiety, and paranoia that comes with facing quite a bit of time in jail.

And yet, Pete Eyre and Adam Mueller took it like free men. They said "No! We do not accept your artificial authority!" At great personal expense to themselves, they fought the powers that be...and in the tradition of Daniel, they exclaimed, "Yes! I am still FREE!"

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