You may have heard
that, following a 2-day (!) preliminary hearing, the charge against JoAnn was
reduced to a misdemeanor and she was released from jail without conditions.
This news pleasantly surprises me, because I honestly believed she
would be transferred to a "facility" of some sort for an indefinite
It is still going
to be a struggle for her to regain custody of her kids, but that is now a very
should drop the charges altogether at this point, but likely won't.
JoAnn still faces the possibility, though not the likelihood, of serving
additional time. This family has endured enough from the system which
has been acting just "for the children," of course.
I have left word
that the fund we have accumulated for her (about $27,000 now) is
available whenever she wants it. I will not, of course, transfer it
through intermediaries. I think it best to stand off from her for the
time being, until she has an opportunity to come up to speed concerning what
has really been going on. I trust that others will see to that.
I have been asked
about the video and the pictures that good ol' Phil released, as a part of his
campaign to convict JoAnn in the court of public opinion. They depicted
quite a mess, sure enough. Remember, however, that they were taken
several days after the kids ended their so-called "standoff," during
which all those dogs were kept cooped up in the house with them.
Remember, also, that the house had already been pretty thoroughly searched by
the time the pictures were taken. One of the more telling clues is
the chair upended in the midst of all that garbage. Good ol' Phil would
have you believe the house always looked like this. Sure, Phil -
(chorus) thousands wouldn't believe you, but we do.
daughter, Erina, testified. She wore her natty blue uniform, an old
trial lawyer trick used by us at every opportunity to enhance the apparent
credibility of witnesses. Of course, didn't good ol' Phil allege that
she was mustered out due to "stress fractures" in her legs?
So, was she then merely impersonating a member of the armed services the past
two days? Appears so. What else was she lying about?
Kathryn, the second-oldest also testified and disagreed with Erina on a number
of counts. Where she did give credence to Erina's story, Kathryn pointed
to "doing for Dad" as being the reason for letting things go.
Well, how about that? Just what JoAnn told me when I met with her
and just what so many of us have been arguing all along.
Erina said Mom
spent the family money on liquor. What money? And, if they only
left the property once a year, that must have been a pretty impressive beer
run. JoAnn never struck me as showing signs of alcohol abuse.
If the house was
such a mess, why didn't Erina clean it up? She claimed to break ice in
the lake to laundry in the winter, after all, so what was a little picking up
and sweeping? She said she took heated water down with her to mix with
the wash water so her hands didn't get so cold. Heated where and with
what? Thought the house was so cold? Never mind that they would
all have frozen to death in the North Idaho winters without heat.
There is more, but
I just don't buy it.
almost certainly left a good deal to be desired when it came to housekeeping.
Nobody's ever disputed that. However, she didn't deserve to be arrested
for it, charged with a felony and kept in jail for a month while her kids were
shuttled around to various foster homes.
And the family
didn't deserve to be so viciously broken up just a couple days after they
buried their father and husband. And the family didn't deserve to have
its home literally stolen from it for pennies on the dollar. And the
profit never should have gone to the county's own pockets.
This whole affair
stinks badly - and the odor you smell isn't emanating from the household
garbage or dog feces.
Sure has been a
lot of national publicity coming out of North Idaho in recent years.
Seems like the networks probably should simply set up a permanent sound studio
operation in town. They could save a lot of money in sound trucks
and travel expenses.
Randy Weaver and
the Ruby Ridge affair. Of course, they were just some
Butler and the "Dees vs. Butler" trial last year. Once again,
the troublemakers were more "anti-government" types.
McGuckin. Of course, we all have heard good ol' Phil vilify her as
being "anti-government." Because she was vocal about her fears
that, some day, the government might come and take away her land and her
children. Imagine that. How silly of her.
Now, that list
doesn't even include a whole bunch of encounters that never made the national
news. And, guess what - they all had "anti-government" types
as villains, too.
And, every time I
do anything anymore, it is immediately described as being
"anti-government," since I have dared to represent several of these
anti-government types. I'm looking for an abortion doctor to represent
next, so that I can see abortion characterized as part of an anti-government
I offered to
rewrite the county's invalid comprehensive plan for free a couple of years
ago, but was rejected in favor of a company that has now charged nearly
$100,000 and still hasn't delivered the goods. I guess that was
anti-government of me, too.
A couple of months
ago, I cautioned Bonner County, in a well-researched and
supported letter, against embarking upon its publicized jihad against
many of the county's poor residents for zoning violations because the Supreme
Court had recently held that an invalid comprehensive plan renders zoning
invalid. I was ignored. I guess that attempt to head off a rash of
lawsuits against the county was being anti-government, too.
Know what all
these things have in common? Yep. Government. Stand up
against anything the government says or wants to do these days and you
are immediately dismissed with the pejorative "anti-government"
label. Get the label once and then everything you do thereafter is
That's the way it
is in North Idaho these days. I travel a lot and I can report that it
just isn't like that in many other places I have visited in this country the
past few years. Not sure what has happened here, but government at all
levels hereabouts is literally out of control.
It is high time a
lot more of us stood up, talked back to government and showed it for what it
really is: anti-citizen.
"I didn't say it would be easy. I just said it
would be the truth."
Copyright © Edgar J. Steele,
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