Today Tomorrow 

by Edgar J. Steele

April 17, 2002

This will be a quick report to members of my list about recent events, primarily in the Christine case, since that trial is now less than two weeks away. 

As you may remember, Brian and Ruth Christine face life in prison (adding up all the penalties for the laundry list of charges levied against them) for having rescued their children from the snatch-n-sell Nazis of the rogue Oregon State Department of Services to Children and Families (SCF).

Please tune in to NBC's Today Show tomorrow morning (April 18) for a live interview of Ruth Christine and myself in the NBC studios in Manhattan. The show starts at 7:00 am (taped replay in other time zones), but they haven't yet picked the exact time slot. I notice that they tend to run these interviews during the first hour, however. Matt Lauer is the scheduled interviewer.

They asked us to come to New York for this one and we decided it would be best, since it likely will mean a more in-depth interview.  It has not escaped my attention, either, that it is much harder not to be kind to an interviewee when she is sitting right next to you.  It's kind of like what some guy is willing to do to grandma when she doesn't change lanes fast enough to suit him, but would never dream of doing if she didn't dart aside when he came upon her on a sidewalk.  Not that we couldn't expect them to be kind to Ruth and myself, but I figure we need all the help we can get in this case, one of the toughest I have handled.

Old time list members will recall that, the last time I had access to the Today Show's platform to espouse a client's cause and take on out-of-control local government bureaucrats trying to destroy a family (the McGuckins), I drew Katie Couric. Good ol' Phil and I stood side by side out at Garfield Bay, Idaho, duking it out on all four morning network news shows that day. For those who might be interested, check out my archives at, especially Thousands Wouldn't Believe You, Phil, But Don't Worry - I Do

I had hoped to get this out this morning, but was simply too pushed in dealing with things in my San Francisco office, so am typing this on the plane as it wings its way over Nevada, enroute to New York City. Ruth Christine is sitting just a couple of seats away and clearly shows the strain of this ordeal. We land at about 9pm, EDT, so it will be midnight in some places before I get this posted....unless I can figure out how to use that GTE Airfone dangling on the bulkhead just inches above my laptop's computer screen to connect to the internet. 

If you see this during the day, chalk up another one for the triumph of mankind over the technology that now enslaves us all. Who needs an infinite number of monkeys and typewriters? Hah! I laugh in the face of the oppressive military industrial complex and its running-dog lackey bit twiddlers. God is great. Death to the infidels of Redmond and Armonk...long - been watching a bit too much CNN lately, I guess.

Where was I? Oh, yes...Brian and Ruth Christine.  Here's a picture of them that I took while consulting with them in the Roseburg County Jail a couple of weeks ago:

Notice how slender and slight of build both of them are.  This helps to explain the Child Nazis' contention that the children were malnourished when stolen from this couple a year and a half ago.  They are all genetically predisposed to a slight build.  Furthermore, this family was vegetarian.  Furthermore, the kids weren't fat, the norm for the modern American kid.  Besides, if the kids were so underweight and malnourished when snatched as the result of an anonymous phone tip, how is that the state's own doctor pronounced them perfectly normal and healthy two weeks later?  

Truth is, the authorities screwed up when they took Miriam, Lidia and Bethany from their parents.  Now, they are desperately kicking over the traces so as not to appear fallible or, worse, predatory (my bet is on "predatory"). In the process, a family is destroyed and two fine, young parents go to prison.  But, hey, that's okay because the state just can't be shown for what it is.  I can't seem to conjure a phrase which properly conveys the feeling of disgust I have for the bureaucrats responsible for this cockup.  Use your imagination.

This is a dynamite opportunity to get the story out about this fine young couple who have now had their children taken from them and are striving to keep from spending a significant portion of their lives in prison for being provoked into what so many have told me was a mild response by comparison with those others would have done.  (For a refresher on the Christines' plight, see When Dreams Become Nightmares in the archives.)  

We will make an on-air pitch for contributions to Brian's bail bond fund, and this sort of venue provides the only hope we have of actually reaching those with enough cash to be willing to help.  We are also asking for contributions to the legal defense fund, which needs some serious help as well.  You see, after I stepped back into harness on the case, they cut off all funding for investigators, psychologists and the like.  I, of course, am working pro bono (for free) on the case.  They also pulled all the public defenders, which turns out to have been no great loss, in any event.  It's not for nothing that they are referred to as "my public pretender" by those caught in the maw of a system that has a distinct taste for citizens without the means to hire private lawyers.

As soon as it became public knowledge that Dateline NBC was preparing a major story on the Christine case, a mysterious block was placed on my phone, whereby neither Ruth nor Brian were able to place collect calls to me.  The telephone company denies its existence.  The jail denies its existence.  Correctional Billing Systems, which handles all outgoing calls from jails, denies its existence.  But they still can't call me.  Makes you wonder, doesn't it?  

And now the psychologist who did the trial psych eval on Brian won't return my calls.  And Brian's former public defender refuses to return my calls, though he pledged to stay on the case and help.  The moment I filed my Notice of Appearance, he moved to withdraw.   And I've yet to see the DA's file that he is statutorily-required to provide me a copy of.  And the state office which controls the payments for court costs for indigent defendants has been remarkably unavailable and hostile and defensive when I do get her on the phone.  And the investigator bailed when I reentered, saying that he had other obligations that prevented his working further on the case, even though I told him I would be paying him out of my own pocket, needs be.  And Oregon's SCF has been making the rounds, referring to me as "that Nazi lawyer," and its lawyers have refused to return my calls, either, so that I could complain about their threatening Ruth's parents because I reentered the case (remember, I stung them badly when I engineered the denial of baby Abbey Rose to them while Ruth was fighting extradition from Montana).

On the other hand, the Douglas County Sheriff has been very nice and allowed an NBC camera crew in to interview Brian and Ruth, though he didn't have to.  And Judge Lasswell did reduce Ruth's bail as we requested, which is the only reason why she is free at the moment. And the judge did grant her a waiver to fly to New York for this interview, which he didn't have to.

Even so, it makes me wonder.  As I have said before, however, I have become accustomed to entering the courtroom on these cases (hell, any case any more) feeling as though I have one hand tied behind my back.  But, as I also am fond of saying (drum roll, please), that's okay because then it becomes a fair fight.

Speaking of making one wonder, the judge in the Lonny Rae case finally issued an order denying our request for a waiver of the $1,200 in appeal record and transcript costs, saying the Raes could afford them and despite his earlier ruling that Rae was indigent for purpose of court costs.   See Guilty of Honor for an in-depth treatment of Lonny's "say-the-N-word-go-to-jail" case.

The Raes both now work at minimum-wage jobs, barely able to pay their monthly rent.  Due to ever-encroaching bills, they likely will have to declare bankruptcy one of these days.  I sent a check for the full amount yesterday, advancing the costs from my own pocket.  I'm hopeful that some kind soul(s) will donate enough to PCLU to cover that advance.  This case is just too important to all of us on a number of counts to allow it to founder for lack of a transcript on appeal.

So much for my "quick report."  Darn.  And I wanted to lay out the definitive solution to our troubles in the Middle East today, too, along with an outline of the meaning of life.  That will just have to wait, I guess....  

(ps - it wouldn't work.  Death to Microsoft, GTE, Verizon and United Airlines.  Since I'm still trapped here in Row 15, middle seat, some housekeeping.)

Yes, things look a lot different.  I finally got the web site up and running, requiring a somewhat different format for these missives.  That also allowed me, finally, to dump Yahoo and its abysmal advertising and service outages and shift over to Topica, which now handles the list and delivery of this irregular newsletter.  That required still more changes to the format.  Besides, Yahoo has begun a campaign of simply deleting whole lists that involve politically-incorrect topics and I suppose that it was just a matter of time before they got around to me.  Believe me, the censoring of the Internet, the last bastion of the First Amendment, is well under way.

No more attachments to the newsletter, either, since all pictures and sound files are stored at the web site and merely downloaded by reference.  There are links to our nascent web site, with lots more to come there, as well as to our web site, which is undergoing some much-needed revamping to reflect the changes in my law firm's practice. 

There is also a link to a new discussion forum, which is sort of set up, but which has yet to be inaugurated.  I need time to fiddle with it and, maybe, find a couple of forum moderators to keep things from getting out of hand from the expected PC disruptors.

This stuff doesn't happen overnight for me, because I have to write and format it all myself, including the html programming.  Wish I could afford to hire these things done, but the money is better spent on actual case costs and I haven't any extra time on my hands these days, at all.


"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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