What is the meaning of purpose of “law?” If a law does not “establish justice, insure domestic Tranquity, provide for the common defence, to promote the general Welfare, and secure teh Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity”, then I submit that law should be scrapped. Unfortunately, most of the laws by and under which people are incarcerated in these modern and recent United States are neither just, nor likely to insure domestic peace (except through fear and all necessarily attendant hatred and loathing of “terrifying” [i.e. terrorist] authority), nor do most criminal laws do anything to promote the general welfare in any way shape or form. I have supported Nancy Jo Grant for a long time because I support her cause, “Jail-for-Judges.” It’s not that I’m a great fan of the popular initiative, legislative or constitutional amendment proposed by Ron Branson which bears that name. It’s just that I know, as does Nancy Jo Grant, that if there’s one law that could be enacted (and enforced) in this country that WOULD (re-)establish justice and promote the general welfare, it would be a law that would diminish the ever-growing power of what was once called “The least dangerous branch” of government, which has now become the MOST dangerous.
The judiciary, as it exists in most states and even under Articles I and III of the U.S. Constitution today, is dangerous because there are no effective “checks and balances” on what Judges do or say or how they interpret the law and State and Federal Constitutions. Judges seem to have been set loose, since the 1950s at least, to go on an arbitrary and capricious rampage through the United States, imprisoning more of the North American population (U.S. and Mexican citizens, in particular), than any country in the world, including Post-Maoist Corporate-Communist China.
Nancy Jo Grant is just one of the latest victim of this arbitary and capricious rampage of authoritarian, which is a mild way of saying “dictatorial” and “tyrannical” perversion of justice. But the simple truth is that many of us now believe that a higher percentage of judges sitting on the bench deserve to be incarcerated for a long time in jail than the percentage of people actually currently sitting in jail deserve their long sentences. Nancy Jo Grant’s Jail-for-Judges is only an unincorporated Political Action Committee dedicated to one single cause: the promotion of Ron Branson’s legislative and popular initiative/constitutional amendment, which has been put to the electoral test in exactly one state so far (South Dakota) where it failed miserably—possibly due to voter fraud but also, possibly, due to the fact that most people just have no idea how bad the modern American judiciary and “justice” system have become.
For that reason, as of today, April 19, 2008, Gary Woodroffe and I have agreed finally that we will honor Nancy best, and protest the injustices done to her most effectively, by incorporating Florida Jail-for-Judges as a private corporation, possibly with 501(c)(3) Tax Exempt Status, and we will go our separate ways from the Jail-for-Judges PAC, trying to engage in educational and research purposes which will benefit both the general cause of changing the system and the cause of helping individual victims of injustice, including Nancy Jo Grant but also the tens of thousands in as bad or worse situations across Florida and the United States. We will incorporate as “Florida Jail-for-Judges” because, honestly Gary and I just happen to know lots of Judges who deserve to be in jail or a “correctional camp facility” as the concentration camps of modern North America are widely becoming known. At the top of my list remains, and will for a very long time, Judge Michael Jergins of Williamson County, Texas, but he just happens to be the arbitrary and capricious constitutional freedom hating criminal I have known the best and the longest. I happen to know that DeSoto County Judge Parker was and remains at the top of Nancy’s list.
After two months, and every Tuesday and 19th of the month that goes by, I think more and more about what could possibly be the meaning of Nancy’s Arrest on February 19, 2008, and my arrest on December 8-9, 2007, and five years of bluster and threats against Montana State Senator Jerry O’Neil, and Robert Deardorff’s problems in Indiana. The only possible conclusion is that “law is politics” and “politics is law” now and forever. This is perhaps not an earthshattering conclusion—politics, after all, is the means of MAKING law and “law” is the means of implementing political decisions. But I suppose one naively imagines that in between the making of law and the changing of law, there is “Justice” in the even-handed application of law. But this is preposterous: there are no three people more different than Jerry O’Neil, Nancy Jo Grant, and myself. Nobody that I know of hates Nancy Jo Grant except maybe the DeSoto County, Florida, Judges and Prosecutors whom she has criticized relentlessly for twenty years, and Nancy is in jail awaiting what COULD be a final revocation of her probation, which COULD mean that she would be sentenced to serve out the full fifteen years which she was “awarded” for the heinous crime of trying to give hope to hopeless prisoners in an unjust “criminal justice” system. In a separate “thread” on this blog, I raised the case of another person convicted of unauthorized practice of law: Ronald Lais of California. Widespread opinion seems to be that Mr. Lais was not well-liked, but he apparently committed no “crimes” except for incompetence at his chosen profession: parents lost custody of their children, spouses lost property in divorces. But if every LICENSED attorney with a similar record were prosecuted—there would be NO LICENSED ATTORNEYS LEFT (anywhere). Admittedly, Nancy Jo Grant does not have a lot of released prisoners or other “litigation wins” to her name. Senator Jerry O’Neil seems to have had a very smooth run in his career as an Advocate & Counselor. If he has suffered any major losses on behalf of those he has served, I am not aware of them, although he doesn’t seem to have won any of his “larger issue” (i.e. civil rights) cases, at least not recently—but then, neither have I! My own record includes a fairly typically mixed bag of wins, draws, and losses (at least until VERY recently, when everything has pretty much been running on the loss side…). But the simple truth is that good lawyers and good pro se litigators CAN lose cases, and success cannot be the standard for judging “good” vs. “evil.” Nancy Jo Grant’s heart and soul were both innocent and pure, and whatever she did she did not do for gain, and indeed, her “victim impact” score on her Presentence Report was “Zero” (that’s O, the placeholding number half-way between -1 and +1). With “no injury” and “no victim impact”, there should be no crime but, OH, I almost forgot, I was once indicted for misstating two digits of my social security number on an application for a non-interest-bearing checking account at Wells Fargo Bank, which incorrect number Wells Fargo never noticed. “Victimless” criminals inhabit the federal and state prisons by the thousands upon tens of thousands, and careers can be ruined by “victimless” crimes such as I was accused of, which neither gain for their perpetrator’s any ill-gotten gain nor cause any loss or injury of any kind to a victim, real or hypothetical. But Nancy’s case—Nancy’s REAL crime—my several cases and my REAL crime—Jerry O’Neil’s several cases and his REAL contempt of court—are that we actually dared to THINK—and challenge the system, and those in charge of the system, to FOLLOW the law as written—not as typically applied, but as written, according to our interpretation of the meaning of the letter and spirit of the law as written. Our interpretation, between Jerry O’Neil, Nancy Grant, and me, myself, and I, is remarkably consistent, for three such different tremendously people from such tremendously different backgrounds.
In any event, cannot think of anything worse that’s ever happened to me on the first day I met someone. I never met anyone just to have them die or get hit by a car or anything—immediately. But what happened on February 19, 2008, when I met Nancy Jo Grant for the first time in Arcadia, De Soto County, Florida, is that she was taken away from me in handcuffs and the backseat of “law enforcement” vehicle and I haven’t seen her since.
Gary Woodroffe, Nancy’s second-in-command in Florida Jail-for-Judges, had picked me up at the Tampa Airport the night before, and taken me to Sarasota where I spent the night. Then we went to Arcadia and met Nancy and her Florida attorney Any Mooney for breakfast. I also met Molly Bowen there. Andy and I went to the DeSoto County Court and after a five minute hearing, at which Nancy’s alleged violation of probation was set for hearing on May 8, we thought she had effectively “dodged the bullet.” So Nancy and I went out to her ranch, I met her horses and cows and one of her human tenants or caretakers, and we started talking about the future and what to do next. We shared stories and generally spent some time getting to know each other, as friends who’ve been corresponding by e-mail and talking by telephone for half a year, but never met, would normally need to do. Then we went back to her husband’s dental office back in town (by then it was around noon), and there was a DeSoto County Deputy Sheriff there, and Nancy was arrested. I was devastated and immediately got on the telephone to Andy Mooney and Montgomery Blair Sibley, Nancy’s pro bono lawyer in Washington, D.C..
Since that terrible Tuesday, Nancy has (as far as I know or understand) been in continuous solitary confinement, only able to talk to her immediate family and her lawyers with one possible exception (Sherree Lowe, the former director of Florida Jail-for-Judges—but I don’t know how she got to talk to Nancy). Nancy has been in solitary confinement for one single reason: she won’t surrender her rights to talk to other prisoners—and her jailers feel that they cannot risk the revolution that might happen if the wonderful, warm, articulate and insightful Nancy Jo Grant were allowed to talk to other victims of DeSoto County and Floridian injustice.
As I’ve written, during my month and a three weeks in jail I met many wonderful people, my friendship for whom has changed my life, among them Moshe Leichner, a brilliant man first falsely and maliciously prosecuted and then wrongfully imprisoned for fraud, who ranks among the greatest gentleman and intellects I have ever met, and Vance Fecteau, a man framed and falsely imprisoned by the hideously illegal and unconstitutional “War on Drugs” whose personality and talents go so far beyond the average or mundane, and whose contributions, I’m willing to predict, to REAL criminal justice and social reform, if he is released in a timely manner, will be as great as his contributions to the life and soul of his fellow prisoners “on the inside.”
But Nancy is deprived of all human contact, and I fear for her mental health under such circumstances. Misery, they say, loves company, and schadenfreud, as ignoble as it may be on the outside, is a comforting tool and perhaps one of the key tools to survival “on the inside.”
Nancy of course, is a political prisoner—even more clearly than I was. She has been falsely and maliciously prosecuted with unauthorized practice of law, but what this really means is that Nancy has been CORRECTLY charged and FALSELY IMPRISONED with speaking her mind, embarrassing the public officials of her county and Florida generally, and above all of helping her fellow man, especially those who are hated, rejected, and despised, men and women of sorrow who are acquainted with grief.
At Palm Sunday Services at the Cathedral of St. Peter, this past Sunday, the sequence hymn was called “Golgotha”. The Fourth and Fifth Verses are worthy of quotation here:
“HUMANKIND REPEATS GOLGOTHA EVERY DAY; GOD GETS GAGGED WHILE FRIENDS AND FOLLOWERS TURN AWAY. PROFIT THREATENS PEACE ON EARTH, GREED TO HUNGER GIVES NEW BIRTH AS THE WORLD REPEATS GOLGOTHA EVERY DAY.”
“JESUS, LAY YOUR BODY IN THIS SAD EARTH’S GRAVE; ONLY ONE WHO SUFFERS CAN PRESUME TO SAVE. END HYPOCRISY AND LIES, THROUGH OUR APATHY ARISE, BRING US THE SALVATION WHICH OUR SPIRITS CRAVE.”
NANCY JO GRANT is a political prisoner for attacking the hypocrisy and lies of the so called Criminal Justice System in Florida, and now she is herself a prisoner, subject to the worst abuses of that system. NANCY JO GRANT attacked the hypocritical lawyers and judges who are the modern equivalent of the Pharisees and Saducees of Jesus’ Time on Earth.
The licensing of attorneys has resulted in a catastrophic perversion of the American legal system—only the most abject servants of judges’ arbitrary and capricious whims can survive as lawyers. I felt this when I first saw my own career threatened by the insane wild-eyed stare of Judge James R. Nowlin in Austin, when he looked so aghast that anyone of my background and education was not willing to bow down as a good elite club-member should. Judge James R. Nowlin was probably as horrified by me as I was by him, and that’s when everything started falling apart in my life (1997). I tried always to do the honorable thing, to put honor and integrity before all else, and Judge James R. Nowlin made sure that I sank to the bottom of the heap for my transgressions, and he manipulated and ordered others to do his dirtiest work for him. Judge Nowlin’s behavior, at the time, seemed to me unprecedented. It now seems to me to be typical of the American legal system, and so much worse has been done to others than has ever been done to me, that I should, I suppose, feel very lucky and fortunate indeed. I have ONLY spent 54 recent days in jail, and before that I only had ever spent a week, one three day weekend of that in solitary confinement—and look at what Nancy has gone through and is continuing to go through. I am so ashamed of the government of my corrupt, oppressive, heartless, brainless, wicked country (because one cannot absolve the sleepwalking people of fault when they avert their eyes to make sure they do not see the rats gnawing on the corpse of Ladies Liberty and Justice in all of the downtown Judicial Centers all over the country).
Now Nancy’s attorney Montgomery Blair Sibley is under attack—on March 7, 2008, he was ordered suspended within 30 days. His offense, as plain as day, is to have dared to call certain judges and justices of the United States traitors for having abandonned and subverted the Constitution of the United States. Montgomery Blair Sibley is guilty, in short, of MOST impolitic affronts to the Court….he was, surely, insane, deranged, and demented for having said that for a Judge or Justice of the United States to subvert the Constitution was treason, and to have said so in Court was surely “contemptible,” was it not? But if no one says the Emperor has no clothes, does that make him any less naked?
I am very sorry for Nancy Jo Grant and Montgomery Blair Sibley. I cry for my beloved country that it seems so far from God, so close to a United States which is merely a fictitious memory of dreams and ideals which have in fact been subverted and abandonned.
Judges are no longer honest and trustworthy. My great-grandfather was a judge in Louisiana back in the Huey Long era. According to family legend he had a lettered plaque in his private chambers that read, “Dead Lawyers Lie Still”, so apparently things weren’t that much better 70 or 80 years ago, but my grandmother remembered and often retold the stories of men, black and white, who came up to her father “Judge Benny” on the streets and shook his hand, saying “God Bless you Judge Benny—don’t you remember me? You spared me from hangin’?”
How many Judges today remember that the quality of mercy is not strained? How many realize that State & Corporate Profits and Private Corporate Greed should always take a remote back seat to the fundamental individual human rights and liberties guaranteed to us by the Constitution?