Own Private Idaho
Edgar J. Steele
What IS it with Idaho, anyway? You know. Ruby Ridge.
Aryan Nations. McGuckin kid standoff. And now, Lonny Rae.
That sort of thing.
visions of redneck fascist hordes, Idahuns if you will, in white sheets,
riding horseback through the streets of Boise. Idahuns burning crosses
in downtown Sandpoint. Idahuns stringing up blacks across from Coeur
d'Alene's city hall.
so do a lot of other Idahoans who aren't well connected to reality.
I suppose it's kind of like having an embarrasing relative that you can't
hide. Fat, sloppy old Uncle Daryl who got drunk before
every family gathering, especially weddings. "Well, he's not
really part of the family, except by marriage, you know. I dunno who
invited him today. Have you met cousin George? George just finished
his Phd at Yale." We've all got an Uncle Daryl in our
family. Arkansas used to be America's Daryl. Today, Idaho takes
Idaho's Uncle Daryl is
Like Rome in its
decline, America loves a good spectacle. And TV delivers the
goods far better than the Coliseum ever did to its rabble. Imagine
Uncle Daryl falling into the cake while trying to kiss the bride, live
with Regis. Then the camera pans to you. What do you say?
"Unhhh.....we're putting Uncle Daryl into rehab tomorrow. Have
you met cousin George?"
That's why a runaway
jury tagged Richard Butler, of Aryan Nations fame, with a $6.3 million
verdict last year, bankrupting him and taking away his family home
("everything but the shirt on his back," as Morris Dees put
it), for a two-bit assault by followers who were off duty, off property
and drunk. Imagine holding city hall liable for a couple of cops who
rob a service station in the next town when off duty, out of uniform,
on a bender and using a personal hunting rifle. Now imagine them
getting away with nothing while putting a good scare into the
attendant. Now imagine those same cops serving several years hard time
in the state slam. But the attendant still wants several million bucks
from the city for his hurt feelings. Yeah, right.
That's why the
Boundary County Commissioners just yesterday voted to drop the criminal
prosecution against Lon Horiuchi, of Ruby Ridge (and Waco) fame,
despite the appellate opinion which reinstated that suit by saying
the state could prosecute a federal agent for his illegal acts.
Horiuchi is the same professional marksman who claimed to be able to hit a
dime at a hundred yards, but who missed a whole person and
"accidentally" shot a mother with a babe in arms, square in the
head, from less than a hundred feet. Lt. William Calley
wishes he had come from Idaho,
That's why Bonner
County officials quickly dismissed JoAnn McGuckin's supporters as being
"white supremacists," and conned her into going along with their
agenda, so that she ended up losing her home, her family - everything, in
fact, just days after burying her husband. And kept her in jail on
trumped-up charges, while they sifted through her home for plumbing and
electrical code violations to justify prosecuting her. And still
want to try her for criminal child neglect. Because she home schooled
her six kids. Because they were "malnourished" (but
pronounced in "good condition" by the hospital that examined them
after that so-called standoff). Because her dogs were in bad condition
and starving (also pronounced in "good condition" at the pound
when taken in, yet only yesterday fourteen of those dogs were put
down, every one of them a mere puppy,
allegedly because of illnesses they contracted at the pound). "We're
from the government and we're here to help you..." Enough
to make one want to get the gun and let the dogs loose (that's just
what 15-year-old Ben McGuckin
said when the "standoff" began).
Now comes Lonny Rae. You haven't
heard about Lonny yet, but you will. Lonny faces a five-year sentence
in the penitentiary for using the N-word. For a so-called "hate
crime." For defending his diminutive wife from a hulking black
man who had grabbed hold of her from behind in an attempt to take away her
camera. And he simply yelled it at the building into which the black
man had disappeared. Once. "Get that N--- out here, cuz I'm
a gonna kick his butt!" Then he and his wife called the
cops and demanded the black guy be charged with assault and battery.
He never was. But Lonny was. Charged
under Idaho's hate crime statute, adopted in forty states throughout America
but only just now being applied to its
citizens. Since then, Lonny
and his wife lost their jobs over the "hate crime" and
couldn't get work, then they lost their home because they couldn't keep up
the payments. Then Lonny got his ankle broken by the town ruffian
during a scuffle resulting from his, once again, defending his wife's
honor over the black eye the town got from the "hate crime."
Uncle Daryl....er....Lonny Rae.....goes
on trial in Adams County in just two months.
Have you met cousin George yet?
"I didn't say it would be easy. I just said it
would be the truth."
Copyright © Edgar J. Steele,
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