I am, as many readers of this blog will know, a convicted felon and a disbarred attorney who has been severely sanctioned for spearheading a crusade to have the Texas Family Code declared unconstitutional. But just start with “Felon” and “disbarred”: Isn’t that a frightening pair of labels? I must really be a seriously bad guy, don’t you think? Or is it worse to think that between 1-3% of the United States population either is or has been incarcerated, or on probation or on parole or otherwise severely constrained in the exercise of their personal liberty? And many of them stigmatized FOR LIFE as “convicted felons?” I only care because I know these labels will be used against me. A “Felon” in the usual sense of the word, is someone found guilty of a crime which COULD have carried more than a year sentence. Of course, as the reader of this blog knows, my favorite “Felon” is and remains a lady named Nancy Jo Grant from Arcadia, Florida, sentenced to 15 years probation (and actually held for six months in County Jail in 2008), who is a “convict” because she was “convicted” of the unauthorized practice of law—for maintaining a prison ministry passing out information to inmates telling them about the Florida and Federal guarantees of “Speedy Trial” and how they were entitled to immediate release if they had not been tried within a certain statutory time frame. Oh, she was really terrifying, Nancy Jo Grant at the height of her activity—she threatened positively dozens of prison guard jobs if she had succeeded in getting all of the prisoners released to whom she passed out truthful and undeniably accurate information.
Similarly—“Disbarred” means that you were once a licensed attorney but your fellow attorneys and judges found you rocked the boat just once or twice (or in my case about forty thousand times) too often and so they had to get rid of you “for the integrity of the system”—because anyone who advocates change and seeks to break down barriers and build up individual freedom cannot possibly be a “man of integrity” with “due respect for the legal system.” I thought being “disbarred” was significantly worse than being a “convicted felon” until I met former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore this past week in Atlanta—here was a man who, because of his own spiritual devotion and dedication to freedom of religion protected by the First Amendment was forcibly removed by judicial action from his very high office as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Alabama—not for any JUDICIAL action he took, mind you, but for daring to advocate a central place for the Ten Commandments—recognized jointly, severally, and equally by each of the leading monotheistic religions in the world (Judaism, Christianity and Islam)—as the foundation of all law. If I suffered some mild indignities by being disbarred, Chief Justice Moore suffered worse by being dis-benched (the word “debenched” looks and sounds too much like “debauched” and the only “debauchery” in Justice Moore’s story is the intellectual and moral debauchery of those who removed him from office, and while “dethroned” is probably a historically more accurate term for the removal of judges from their large chairs perched atop daises above the heads of their “subjects”—I think much too highly of Chief Justice Moore to put him in the same category with most of the judges I know—those I have personally worked for and/or studied under all excepted from this general characterization, criticism….or damnation. I do feel that the general damnation, criticism, or characterization of judges as monarchical petty-tyrants is warranted for most of the modern judiciary….especially but not limited to Texas Judges Federal and States James R. Nowlin, Sam Sparks, Michael Jergins, James R. Clawson, Jeanne Meurer, Lynn N. Hughes, Janis Graham Jack.
And no, I don’t have any respect for judges who hide behind the shield of “absolute judicial immunity” and lawyers who hide their gross incompetence and/or corrupt character and policy purposes behind the shield of the most illegitimate state-sponsored monopoly in the world: the state sponsored monopoly on free speech and advocacy in the courts, the one context where speech might actually have a PROFOUND AND DIRECT IMPACT on individual people’s lives and the future course of history at the same time, simultaneously. Let people speak freely EVERYWHERE, but not in Court: oh “heaven forfend” that we should enjoy the blessings of liberty to speak freely in court. You see, no matter how unjust a prosecution is, no matter how unconstitutional or unwarranted a criminal statute might be, no matter how utterly devoid of due process of law a judicial process in a civil or criminal case might be, the judges and prosecutors all have absolute judicial (or prosecutorial) immunity—or at least they claim they do. Of course, I have repeatedly argued and continue to argue that the 1996 Amendments to 42 U.S.C. Sections 1983 and 1988 actually codified the holding of the United States Supreme Court in Pulliam v. Allen which they purported to overrule, and reduced the threshold for piercing judicial immunity from “actions taken in the complete absence of jurisdiction” (a nearly impossible standard to overcome—in that any lawfully seated judge obviously has SOME jurisdiction to do SOMETHING, even if it’s just issue reprimands….) to “actions taken clearly in excess of jurisdiction” which might be a relative or objective standard, which at least theoretically, in front of SOME judges and juries COULD be breached….or crossed, or whatever it is you need to do to get past a threshold of judicial (or prosecutorial) immunity….
Pulliam v. Allen, 466 U.S. 522, 104 S.Ct. 1970, 80 L.Ed.2d 565 (1984) and the 1996 amendments to 42 U.S.C. §§1983/1988. The common body of language consists in (1) the use of the phrase “conduct clearly in excess of jurisdiction” with regard to attorneys’ fees and damages and (2) the principle that judicial immunity is not a bar to prospective declaratory or injunctive relief against a judicial officer acting in his or her judicial capacity:
Our own experience is fully consistent with the common law’s rejection of a rule of judicial immunity from prospective relief. We have never had a rule of absolute judicial immunity from prospective relief, and there is no evidence that the absence of that immunity has had a chilling effect on judicial independence.
Pulliam v. Allen, 466 U.S. at 537, 104 S.Ct. at 1978.
Congress enacted §1983 and its predecessor….to provide an independent avenue for protection of federal constitutional rights. The remedy was considered necessary because “state courts were being used to harass and injure individuals, either because the state courts were powerless to stop deprivations or were in league with those who were bent upon abrogation of federally protected rights…..(every member of Congress who spoke to the issue assumed that judges would be liable under §1983).
Id., 466 U.S. at 541, 104 S.Ct. 1980.
As it happens, I didn’t do a single second in jail or even handcuffs for my felony. It was just a Federal Judge’s way of ruining my life—or trying to—because on August 31, 2000, the day I gave up my law license in Texas, I can tell you that I HAD NOT EVEN BEGUN TO FIGHT. It was only meeting a State Court Judge, Michael Jergins of Williamson County, and all his corrupt cronies, that really turned me into a man who would dedicate the rest of his life to fighting for (I don’t care HOW corny it sounds): TRUTH, JUSTICE, AND THE AMERICAN WAY. As a matter of fact, I consider these labels (“Felon” and “Disbarred” and “Sanctioned”) as “Red badges of courage” which I earned by hard work in the fight against a corrupt judiciary and an even more corrupt and unconstitutionally monopolized legal profession. I have learned a lot of hard lessons, in particular, and if I have gained knowledge of anything that I think is important or special, it’s what I learned about the United States’ Heart of Darkness during those 54 days December 8, 2007-February 2, 2008: we do NOT live in a good country, or a free country, or a just country.
I consider these labels proof that I mattered enough to pose a danger to someone, although not necessarily for the “crimes” I was alleged to have convicted. My “felony” was the misstatement of two digits in my social security number in an application for a non-interest-bearing checking account at Wells Fargo Bank in an otherwise complete and correct application to open a non-interest bearing checking account in November 1996. “BRANDED”! “LABELLED FOR LIFE AS A DANGEROUS UNDESIRABLE IN SOCIETY.” Oh, by the way, Wells Fargo Bank never noticed the problem, nor did anyone else since the accounts were non-interest bearing, and although the account application was filled out in my own hand, the original was lost, so tampering with the numbers on the original by erasure or white out or whatever was never excluded as a possibility. Try as my Texas persecutors and their emulators elsewhere might (while trying to impose “reciprocal discipline”, they cannot make this more than it is. Recently some on-line critics of mine has dug all this up and tried to make something of it, but they couldn’t even settle for the reality that only two numbers of my social security number were misstated, they had to exaggerate it to three, and thereby illegally and improperly published my social security number—except that they published it INCORRECTLY so as to try to make the charges against me worse than they were, BY ONE DIGIT! Idiots and pathetic fools at that. I forgive them for they have absolutely no idea what they’re doing or saying or (probably) even why.
A United States District Judge for the Western District of Texas (James R. Nowlin) got me in his gunsights over the civil rights cases and in essence hired my former housekeeper in open court to testify against me (my housekeeper Marcelina was seemingly a very sweet, kind, and good North-Mexican-born lady with very poor linguistic skills in English who did not even sign the original complaint proffered against me under her name). Either she or someone in her family made up some gibberish or the Lago Vista police officers who wanted to get rid of my seven suits against them in 1997-1998 made up some gibberish and Judge James R. Nowlin officially ordered an investigation of me by the U.S. Attorney, the FBI, and the “Admissions Committee” of the Western District of Texas—which was entirely Judicially appointed). To say that Judge Nowlin ordered them to crucify me would of course be an exaggeration—he merely ordered them to try to find some, in fact ANY colorable grounds to disbar me—and so they did.
So, since I was indicted on December 7, 1999, I have developed a very new and comprehensive perspective on what this label “FELON” means. Because in my case I say it means almost NOTHING, except that my wife Elena did not want me to risk going to trial in Federal Court after, during my judicial clerkships and externships, I had told her that roughly one person per year walks out of any Judge’s Federal Court free after receiving a Federal indictment—and that’s only if the government has such a weak case that congress has to amend the law to make it possible to indict more people.
I never “did any time” on my felony indictment, but as readers of this blog also know, I did do first one week and then 54 days in 2006-2008 for various bogus judicial orders approximating charges of “contempt for failure to appear”—both in cases wherein I had and continue to severely (and I think very accurately) question and challenge the personal and subject matter jurisdiction of the court. But still, some ignorant folks think that just the fact that you’ve done time in jail means you’re a dangerous person.
What I found out in jail, frankly, was that most people incarcerated don’t belong there. I have said of the Metropolitan Detention Center in Los Angeles that the “convicted felons” with whom I shared most of December 2007 and early January 2008 were a more distinguished group of people than I’ve met anywhere outside of the Harvard Faculty Club, Boston’s Tavern Club, or the Washington D.C. Cosmos Club (and in fact there’re some overlapping members in all FOUR groups….and I was NOT the only one….but we won’t go into that too much). I still deeply regret the horrible fate of my fellow detainees Moshe Leichner and Vance Fecteau, who will remain in my mind among the finest people I have ever met in my life, intellectually, emotionally, ethically, and spiritually. Those who can hold their heads high while serving not only time but their fellow inmates in prison are noble men indeed. Moshe Leicher was one of those people who remind us that Jesus Christ and all his Apostles were Jews, and Jesus himself and several apostles also socially condemned and “convicted felons,” whose real offenses were to challenge the powers that be and perhaps succeed a little too much in doing so. I only wish that I could achieve the moral stature of some of those wrongfully and purposelessly incarcerated people I have known in jail, deprived of life, liberty, and property by this sadly perverted but still dream-filled country in which we live. Tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, of hardworking Mexican and other Latin American born nationals rot in American prisons. If similar numbers of unemployed American tourists were arrested for their drunken pecadillos in Cancun, Acapulco, Cabo San Lucas, or Mazatlan, I daresay that the United States would demand an invasion of Mexico to free them. And yet Mexico sits by silently and does nothing for its unjustly imprisoned masses in U.S. Custody.
So I am a convicted felon and a disbarred attorney, and at age 50 I am trying to decide what to do with the rest of my life, and I look at two other labels: Democrat and Republican. Now mind you, there are plenty of prominent Democrats and Republicans who have also become convicted felons and worn the same orange pajamas or jumpsuits that I wore for 54 days at MDC Los Angeles, the Oklahoma City Transfer Center (one of the bleakest spots on earth) and other places. But what is a Democrat and what is a Republican?
So much could be written about that question—so much always is. “Democrat” usually implies “Liberal” and “Republican” usually implies “conservative,” but I recently found this wonderful website: http://www.democraticreformparty.com on which I find Barack Obama criticized as a socialist with slightly dictatorial leanings who likes to be called a “leader.” I remember Democratic Senator Samuel James Ervin of North Carolina and Republican Senator Howard Baker of Tennessee, both veterans of the Senate Watergate Committee of 1973-1974, and how they and Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona ended up on the same side of many issues, among them that Richard Nixon should resign. (I always had a soft-spot for Howard Baker because, like my Dad, he was a navy man in World War II, and like me, he was a graduate of the undergraduate College of Arts & Sciences at Tulane University in New Orleans; much more imposing and inspiring, Senator Sam Ervin, who as I did later, spent his graduate years at Harvard, was constantly quoting Shakespeare and the Bible, and in his manner of doing so seemed to me, when I was ages 13-14, to be the most eloquent and well-educated man alive).
There are not many senators of the calibre of those three (Ervin, Baker, & Goldwater) around today. As a matter of fact, aside from another Democrat, Senator Robert C. Byrd of West Virginia, I cannot think of any. Goldwater’s great claim to political success, of course, was that in losing the 1964 Presidential Election, he nevertheless cracked open the “Solid South” and opened the door to Republicans taking over large parts of the “Southern White” element of the Southern White-Northern Labor Coalition which together elected every Democratic President from Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Delano Roosevelt through John Fitzgerald Kennedy and Lyndon Baines Johnson (despite Johnson’s loss of the “Deepest South” to Goldwater in Fact). (At the Tenth Amendment Summit in Atlanta February 25-26, 2010, I did have the pleasure of meeting yet another large group of conservative democrats who have organized under the label “Liberty-Democrats” at http://www.newlibertydemocrats.com, who recognize that the most repressive terms in American politics, aside from “liberal” and “welfare” is “progressive”—my son Charlie says that he and I are both “Victorian Liberals”, really fairly extreme….).
The issue that has troubled America the most from approximately 1619 onwards is the issue of race. The Democratic Party was once “Solid” in the South because it supported first the maintenance of slavery and then of segregation, and to atone for its sins became the party that elected the First Half-Black Man (formal racial label “Mulatto”) President, Barack Obama, who also happens to be the First President Elected who, by all traditional standards of evidence, is probably NOT an American citizen, and is therefore a fraud and a usurper and generally a disgrace to this country, quite apart from the fact that he’s a raving socialist who wants this country to turn into something that can only be described as “distinctly unAmerican.” (OH, because I believe this little scandalous scenario, I must also bear to suffer another insulting label: I am also called a “Birther”, and all the “Pro-Obama, anti-Birthers” and some of the “Birthers” rejoice in criticizing me because of those other “labels” I bear, which may or may not really mean anything, but sure can hurt a guy’s employment prospects sometimes….I mean really). But you see, by contrast with the Democrats, the Republican Party was created to free the slaves, it’s first President won power while advocating that slaves should all be returned to Africa but achieved at least their nominal freedom but only to the effect of enslaving or at least impoverishing the Southern Whites, and now the Republican Party is the best haven for scared White Suburbanites and blacks who wish they were White Suburbanites or at least wouldn’t mind if their son or daughter married one….except that most of the scared White Suburbanites are really quite comfortable with the idea of millions of blacks in chains—so long as they’re called CONVICTED FELONS AND KEPT SAFELY AWAY FROM SOCIETY).
If I had any political power or influence I would instigate a reform of the United States Criminal Code. There are just too many crimes on the books. Everyone is a criminal RIGHT NOW whether they know it or not. How many of you can be sure that you never wrote down your social security number incorrectly? How many of you can be sure that you never made any of hundreds if not thousands of indictable errors in filling out your tax returns or other government forms? As Ayn Rand wrote many years ago that the proliferation of crimes in the criminal codes of the Western nations meant that all of us would eventually be subject to arrest at any time at the whim of the government. That is basically how I became a convicted felon, you see: United States District Judge James R. Nowlin did not like or appreciate the fact that I was bringing civil rights lawsuits on behalf of white suburbanites who did not wish to be subject to unlawful arrest in the white suburbs, and this is just not what the civil rights laws or movement was supposed to be about. Civil Rights Reforms in the 1950s and 1960s were just meant and supposed to be a meaningless and temporary concession or series of temporary concessions to keep African-Americans from turning Communist during the Cold War, and once the Cold War was over, all pretenses concerning the Federal Government’s interest in Civil Rights or Equality or any of that garbage could be pretty much summarily dropped, and the Government never wanted those laws to apply to White People anyhow, or so the U.S. Judges so often tell us.
Another thing I would do if I were ever elected to public office is I would reinvigorate the Civil Rights Laws and make them truly Colorblind, even as I would also allow all ethic groups in this country their own rights to separate development and self-determination to the degree that this were feasible after all the “shake and bake” years of enforced “diversity” in the schools and neighborhoods and workplaces. We have a “shake and bake” globalist President and he’s not the least little bit interested in helping black men and women stay in their homes or get houses or avoid foreclosure or be economically independent so that they can avoid spending their lives in prison. NO, Barack Obama shows no sign of caring that African Americans are many times more likely to end up in jail than they are to end up owning their own homes. Nor does he show any sign of wanting to curtail the abuses, infringements, and abridgements of civil rights effected by the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, the Patriot Act, the Real ID Act, and every other vile product of his miserable predecessors the totally Globalist, Freed0m Suppressing, Bush-Clinton-and-Bush Administrations (Democrats and Republicans merged into one during those years, if they hadn’t already under Reagan, the great conservative hope who not only saved Roosevelt’s New Deal but also Johnson’s Great Society—and expanded them both while utilizing all the worst elements of the Military-Industrial Complex about which Dwight Eisenhower had warned us).
If I had elective office or any political power, I would try to emphasize that the greatest difference is not between what the parties stand for today, but what they stand for today and stood for at various and sundry times in the past. As a Democrat, I would try to resuscitate the honor of Samuel James Ervin and Howard Baker in the tradition of James W. Davis and Alfred Emanuel Smith. As a Republican, I would say that Senator Barry Goldwater and Governor Ronald W. Reagan represent the best of the modern party tradition of individual freedom, individual responsibility, and limited government, but that President Ronald W. Reagan was nothing less than a catastrophe for the country.