Of Cabbages and Kings
by Edgar J. Steele 
December 9, 2001
 
"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--
Of cabbages--and kings--
And why the sea is boiling hot--
And whether pigs have wings."
            The Walrus and The Carpenter, by Lewis Carroll (from Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, 1872)
 
 
I scarcely know where to begin.  Like a deer frozen in the headlight glare, I can't decide which is more important or what to do, so I sometimes do nothing, which is in itself a choice of (in)action.  Things are happening so fast these days that the full implications escape even us chicken littles.
 
The classic Lewis Carroll vignette, "The Walrus and the Carpenter," relates how a group of oysters went for a stroll on the beach with the Walrus and the Carpenter and, distracted by conversation, failed to notice until far too late how they had become dinner. 
 
Come with me, fellow oysters, and let us talk of many things.
 
Ruby Ridge Redux -  The Boundary County Board of Commissioners announced this past week that they have decided to continue with their interim appointee as their Prosecuting Attorney, at least, until the election next year, that is. 
 
As many know, my name had been placed on a short list of recommended candidates by the county's Republican Central Committee, which made a great many nervous since I made clear my intention, if selected, to re-indict Lon Horiuchi and reach up the chain of command ladder as high as I could with other indictments for the murders committed at Ruby Ridge years ago. 
 
Though this decision almost certainly ends any official reinquiry into the tragedy enshrouding Ruby Ridge, the lessons from those days remain emblazoned upon the consciousness of all patriots, reinforced by the many instances of governmental overreaching and outright tyranny since.  We will never forget.
 
Thought Police - Lonny Rae's "hate crime" trial begins in seven days in Payette County, Idaho.  Lonny, you may recall, faces five years in prison for hurling the epithet "nigger" through the open door and down the empty hall of the building into which a hulking black man who had just mauled his wife had disappeared.  Five years. 
 
This is an exceptionally important First Amendment case since it shows how the ADL's "malicious harassment" statutory language, already adopted by over 30 states and now being pushed at the federal level by Kennedy and company, today is being stretched to cover pure speech cases, with no physical injury component whatsoever. 
 
This case has the further outrageous component of a "victim" who actually was the initial aggressor, who did inflict physical injury upon another and who has never been charged by the Adams County (where the incident took place) Prosecutor with anything.  Talk about having gone through the Looking Glass! 
 
I will be preoccupied next week with finishing up preparation of the defense of Lonny Rae's case.  As usual, I am the only lawyer on that side of the courtroom.  Rest assured that, should a conviction result, I will take this case all the way up to the Supremes.  The issue is far too important for us all, to do otherwise.  Though I never issue guarantees to clients, this is certainly a case I have no intention of losing, however.
 
Christine update - Brian and Ruth Christine are still in jail in Douglas County, Oregon, held under the outrageous (and, in my opinion, unconstitutionally high) bail of over a half million dollars each.  They are the couple charged with kidnapping, at gunpoint, three small children, and fleeing the state.  Problem is, the kids were their own.  The state took the kids initially on a bogus charge of child endangerment (the "evidence" is singularly lacking in this case) and then began to adopt them out under a new Federal program whereby states get big bucks for this "snatch and sell" routine.  Pretrial maneuvering continues and I will have much more to say about this case as time goes on (and we get past the Lonny Rae trial next week).
 
McGuckin Trust Fund - Of the $32,000 donated by almost 700 wonderful people throughout America, nearly $22,000 has now been refunded at the specific request of the donors. 
 
JoAnn McGuckin, you may recall, refused to accept the money, claiming that it would somehow interfere with her right to social security benefits.  I suspect it was also a part of the "advice" she was receiving from her Public Pretender, the same one who wanted me to pay him some of the trust fund because he wasn't paid enough to represent her (I worked for free).  He lied to the State Bar when they asked him about that (illegal) request after I reported it, and they said that there was no basis for disciplining him.  Remind me to have witnesses present when I deal with public defenders, henceforth.
 
Of the remaining money, I spent $490 for postage and check charges to send out the initial request for directions, then to actually refund the money.  My wife and children spent many, many hours typing data in the computer, printing out letters, stuffing envelopes and carrying box after box of envelopes to the post office.  We have all done this at no charge, of course. 
 
I have learned my lesson about this sort of thing and will never do it like this again - more on this below.  The appalling debacle surrounding the Red Cross handling of WTC donations was particularly galling to me.  The president of the Red Cross, who drew a $485,000 annual salary, lost her job because of the stated intent to use a great deal of that money for other than that for which it was donated - the relief of the victims' families.  She should have been imprisoned for criminal fraud, in my opinion.
 
So, we have almost $10,000 left for the McGuckin children.  I had hoped that most would ask their donations be redirected to a college fund for those kids, but felt we had to offer the money back in view of JoAnn's intransigence.  Ironically, JoAnn recently changed her mind (she does that a lot, you know) and asked for the money after all.  The money that remains is specifically for the kids, however, so she is out of luck.  Of course, she has refused to do anything that might be calculated to get her kids back, anyway (they continue in foster care), so maybe this is for the best.  I have unilaterally decided to spend $1,000 of the remaining fund on clothes and presents for the McGuckin children so that they have a nice Christmas this year, in any event.  I hope that is okay with the donors.  The remaining $9,000, I suppose, we will set up in irrevocable trust funds at a local bank, for the benefit of the children.  I'll let you know how it finally turns out, of course.
 
By the way, JoAnn's public pretender, Bryce Powell, no longer represents her.  I hear he is working on a book and is expecting a large advance from a publisher.  Lessee now, he got her to edge me aside early on.  Then, she lost her kids and her home and spend an unconscionable amount of time in jail on provably bogus charges.  She didn't even get the benefit of the trust fund I collected for her.  But he gets a book deal.  As you may have noticed, I have a passing acquaintance with the word processor, yet I have not attempted to cash in on my relationship with this whole affair.  Indeed, I have been punctilious in my handling of the money donated.  You just gotta love the American justice system, doncha?  Sigh.
 
PCLU - I have founded and am organizing what is known as a 501(c)3 organization, which derives from that section of the Internal Revenue Code governing nonprofit organizations.  The Patriot Civil Liberties Union will do what I have already been doing, pro bono, only it will enable people to make tax deductible contributions to enable us to defend those being tyrannized by governmental and institutional interests, with particular emphasis upon the First Amendment.  I will no longer solicit contributions to the defense of specific cases or persons, but to the PCLU, which will use donated funds to handle cases, pro bono, for people like JoAnn McGuckin, Lonny Rae and Brian and Ruth Christine. 
 
I will let you know when we have our IRS approval letter, so that contributions thereafter are tax deductible.  Should that be of no consequence to you and you've a mind to, then we would be delighted to receive your contributions immediately, of course.  They can be mailed to PCLU, PO Box 1255, Sagle, Idaho 83860.  Or, you can still contribute online via Paypal.com, just type "PCLU" in the description and direct it to steele@plainlawtalk.com .
 
We'll get a PCLU web site up shortly.
 
There's so much more that I wanted to discuss with you today:
 
    - That American kid who was caught fighting for the Taliban, and why he is not a traitor
    - The astounding revelation by Bush the Second that he watched video of the first WTC plane crash, either as it was happening or minutes afterward and before he went into that classroom to read to the kiddies.
    - Herr Ashcroft's statement that you are a traitor if you question his military tribunal setup
    - More evidence of Israeli involvement with the WTC disaster
    - The National ID card, which is now a fait accompli, and why it is such a travesty for us all
    - The coming war on Iraq
    - Why the arabs have nothing to do with the Anthrax letters
 
 However, this is already overlong and tomorrow is another day.


-ed

"I didn't say it would be easy.  I just said it would be the truth."
            - Morpheus

Copyright © Edgar J. Steele, 2002

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