Well, we're about halfway through the break & the locals have been quite accommodating - no major snafus or full-on moron moments (still have a week to go, though...).
On a personal note, the sabbatical is going swimmingly - for the first time in over a year I started back on the RE textbook & have finally added another chapter (Almost a quarter of the way there after only 21 months! All good things & all, right?).
No action yet on the walk-about or the vision quest.
Maybe next week.
Hope it's lovely out there,
- MB McCart
News, History, Writings, Observations & Various Ramblings Deep in the Heart of the Georgia Piedmont
28 March 2021
A Quick Check-in from your Semi-Esteemed Editor during TPC's Spring Break
21 March 2021
Recapping the Precinct Caucuses - Hope for the Home County? TPC: Gone Fishin'...
The NCRP (Newton Co. Republican Party), aka: The Newton GOP, had their resetting of the precincts that ultimately sets the stage for the county convention next month.
I have to definitely tip my hat to the Georgia Republican Party. Even though many have tried to get them to change their most egalitarian ways, they've always refused to change how the grassroots organize (complete w/ The Public Call), and therefore we still have this vital safety valve when it comes to the election of the leadership of the Grand Old Party here in the Great State of Georgia at the voting precinct, county, congressional & state levels.
For the record, the Georgia Dems did away w/ any semblance of this many, many years ago...
As someone who's had direct, active involvement w/ partisan electoral politics dating back all the way to 2008 (Ron Paul, FTW!), I can tell you how impressive & important this is.
Two years ago, almost to the very day, there was a contentious county convention in Newton Co. (just like every, single one as long as I've been a party watcher) that seemed to create a major rift.
Some would go as far as to say that this rift is why we saw the results we saw last fall.
Many, myself included, felt like perhaps the time had come to try something different.
As crazy as it sounded, maybe - just maybe - trying to settle years-old scores & righting possibly erroneous perceived wrongs wasn't the way to go for the road ahead after all?
Really, though...Kinda sounds like amateur hour, right?
But seriously, something seems to have occurred here in the home county that gives this writer & apparently many others hope.
Reportedly none of the loud actors/lightning rods (yourself most assuredly included) attended yesterday's forum.
No, seemingly, not a single one.
Supposedly, it was a really great experience.
Lots of brand new folks & only, purportedly, the reasonable ones of the pre-existing factions were in attendance.
Not sure if they all went into a full group rendition of Kum-Ba-Yah or anything, though.
Regardless, it seems encouraging.
It's that time again, friends. It's time for TPC's quarterly two week break.
And not a moment too soon!
For the next couple of weeks I'll be between classes & am planning on a sabbatical & a walk-about as well as a vision quest.
I'll let you know how all that works out...
Yours Ever in Liberty,
19 March 2021
MB's Word on the Street, Week of March 20: Talkin' Madam Coroner, Newton GOP; TPC's Spring Break Coming Soon...
Hello there, Dear Readers. It is my sincere hope that this post finds you very well.
Word on the Street...
Says that Madam Coroner has had another incident, and quite possibly has invited a 4th lawsuit Newton County's way.
Too bad the GA Coroner's Association/Training Council is apparently comprised by weak, easily swayed, scaredy cats...
Well, folks, it's that time again. It's Convention Time! As some would say, it's time for those couple of fleas to fight for control of that proverbial mangy mutt.
As friend of the program & political legend Mr. Fred Wheeler has always said -- "it's just good, cheap entertainment."
And at a minimum, it's usually definitely that.
Another famous saying of Mr. Fred's: "you gotta have a program to know the players."
So a little backstory.
Just like a couple of years ago, the battle lines are drawn as such:
A coalition of the former establishment folks; the Smith/Fleming/Team Kemp crew; the Song Alliance/TJ & Dalton; (maybe even ole Sammy Boy...?), et al
The former outsiders/now establishment/Scott-Jay-&-the-Gang group along w/ a some of the #NewtonCounty12/NCLA/GA Liberty folks.
The previous two groups don't get along very well. At all.
But, there is another group, a group I've been writing about all the way since back in 2013, and that's the key piece of the puzzle in my estimation -- The In-Betweeners. The GDIs. The Adults in the Room, etc.
Not that they've ever made any real headway in the last 8 years (local reflects national; national reflects local).
Against better judgement, I'm thinking that maybe 2021 is the year Common Sense returns & we might finally get things figured out.
Ideally, a unity slate. Of the 6 ExCom officials, two from each faction. A similar ratio w/ the County Committee.
Supposedly there are a few folks actively trying to make this happen & I say this:
"God Bless 'Em & They're Great Americans!"
With the dynamics of the other side (Team Blue) in the Body Politic of Newton Co., a real opportunity exists if the cards are played correctly.
And for the record, I won't be there on Saturday.
I'm officially unaffiliated.
Plus, I'm busy that day.
Starting next week, TPC will be taking its quarterly 2-week break. Should have at least another piece or two before that happens.
As Always Yours Ever in Love of the Home County,
17 March 2021
The First Ten Chapters of Good Cop, Bad Cop: A Novel by Ellis Millsaps **FULL EDITION PRINT COPY COMING SUMMER OF 2021**
Findo lifted his leg and peed on the metal pole of the chain-link fence - as close as he could get to
a tree on the interstate. A semi roared by, the backdraft of which almost caused him to lose his balance.
He finished and looked up at his master, awaiting instructions.
His master was officer Kirk Landeau of the Clinton, Georgia Police Department. Officer Landeau, a large, good-natured young man was, like the two officers in the car beside his “canine unit,” assigned to the department’s Drug Task Force. Most of its officers were young because they aspired to work for the Piedmont Regional Drug Enforcement Unit – more status, power, glory. At Piedmont everyone started out working undercover, and to work undercover and look like a user, being young was an asset.
Landeau wasn’t savvy enough to work undercover. He’d probably have been a regular patrolman for the rest of his life but for his love of dogs. He was so fond of the department’s drug-sniffing dog, Findo, that the officer assigned to the canine unit had gladly turned the dog over to Landeau then gone around chuckling to himself for days. Except for Landeau, nobody wanted to ride around all day in a car that smelled like a kennel.
Landeau had gone through the required training at the school in Alabama and renamed the dog “Findo.” The dog didn’t seem to notice the difference, and he loved Landeau, who talked to him and played with him a lot, but the name change brought his master much grief.
“Findo?” his co-workers would exclaim. “That’s the stupidest name for a dog I ever heard.”
And Landeau would explain over and over, “It’s like Fido, see, except Findo is a finder, see, because he finds stuff, so his name is Findo.”
When Officer Landeau and Findo got back in the car, Justin Bledsoe stuck his head out the window of the other car. “Hey Landeau, next time you and Findo need to go before you leave home.”
“It wasn’t me, it was just Findo,” Landeau said, then realized Justin was having fun with him. Bledsoe was like that and sometimes his jokes were kind of mean, like the time back in high school when he’d put “Deep Heat” in Kirk’s jockstrap.
“Findo, what a dorky name,” Bledsoe said and rolled up his window.
At eight p.m. it was still over ninety degrees. Bledsoe and Stevens were running the air conditioning but Landeau kept his windows down so Findo could stick his head out the window and sniff, something he loved to do. A metal screen kept Findo in the back where the seat had been removed for his benefit, so that Landeau had to reach out his window to tousle Findo’s head. “Yeah, you’re the best dog in the whole world, Findo. When we get home I’m –“
The car beside them activated its light bar and slung sand that stung Landeau’s cheek and made Findo yelp.
“Are you alright boy?” Landeau got out of the car to examine his dog’s face. He seemed to be okay. “Its alright, Findo. It was an accident boy. You’ll be okay.”
He was kissing Findo’s forehead when Bledsoe came over the radio. “Landeau, you working with us or pissing again?”
Landeau grabbed the mike. “10-4, 219. K-9 struck by debris. 216 on route.” He put the car in gear and was about to activate his blue lights when he noticed a sliver of brown glass sticking in Findo’s ear. He got out of the car to give his dog a more complete physical.
The Maxima had pulled over as soon as Stevens whooped his siren once. Its driver sat perfectly still as Bledsoe approached. He had both hands on top of the steering wheel when Bledsoe shined his flashlight in the window. Nothing in the car but a leather briefcase.
“May I see your license and proof of insurance, sir?”
The driver, a clean-cut, middle-aged man wearing an Izod shirt and laundered khaki slacks, slowly and conspicuously took out his wallet and removed his license. “This is a rental car,” he said. “I can show you the rental agreement. Insurance is provided through my American Express.”
Bledsoe was looking at the license trying not to grin. “Let me see those if you don’t mind, Mr. McKay.” He shined his flashlight on Ron McKay’s hand as McKay slowly opened the glove box, pausing to let the officer see there was nothing other than papers inside before he removed them.
Bledsoe took his time examining the papers. Where was that idiot Landeau? “Mr. McKay, the reason I stopped you is you were going sixty-seven in a fifty-five mile per hour zone.”
“I was slowing down, Officer. I just passed the sign where it turned from sixty-five to fifty-five. Don’t you get a reasonable distance to slow down?”
“I understand, sir. I need to run your license and registration. If everything checks out, we’ll give you a courtesy warning and you’ll be on your way in a few minutes.”
Ron McKay felt a little better, but he was still worried because his driving history was a checkered one. Not to mention that he had a criminal record and a pound-and-a-half of cocaine in his trunk.
He watched in his rearview mirror as the first cop handed the driver cop his license and started talking to him. The driver cop was holding his license and grinning, but McKay had little time to worry about that because the first cop was coming back.
“Where you headed tonight, Mr. McKay?”
“You traveling for business or pleasure?”
“Me and you both working on Saturday. What kind of business you in?”
“I make pottery.”
“No kidding. You selling some down this way?”
“My sister makes pottery. Mind if I see a piece of yours?”
“I don’t have any with me.” The cop was grinning at McKay as if they were old buddies and McKay tried to match his expression. “Officer, do you think I could go ahead and get that warning? I need to be getting on.”
“What’s your hurry? You seem a little nervous.”
“Just tired of driving.”
“You know, Mr. McKay, we get a lot of drugs through here. I see a man in a rental car, no luggage, tells me he’s been selling pottery but doesn’t have any, license says he lives in Towns County and he tells me he’s headed home from Augusta, but he’s headed due west when Towns County is due north, it makes me kind of suspicious. You don’t mind if I bring a dog up here and just let him walk around your car, do you? It’ll just take a minute.”
The cop’s demeanor was unchanged but what he was saying now made the smile seem sinister to McKay, who tried to put on his most serious face as he said, “Yes, I do mind.”
“Well now, that just makes me more suspicious. Would you mind stepping out of your vehicle for me? Please keep you hands where we can see them.”
Ron McKay was careful to make no sudden movements. He tried to look like a businessman annoyed at being delayed, but his heart was pounding. He concentrated on breathing slowly. This must be some kind of set up. The convertible he’d been following had been going the same speed he was.
He leaned back against the trunk of the Nissan to steady his shaking, his arms propped well out from his sides, watching the two cops in the car behind him in animated conversation. They kept looking behind them and back at each other.
He’d managed to slow his heart rate when a second patrol car pulled in behind the first, producing another adrenaline rush. A third cop got out of this car and was putting a dog on a leash. Somebody had tipped them off. He closed his eyes and said, “Oh, dear God,” preparing to face the inevitable.
The first cop with the flashlight got out of his car and walked up to McKay. The other cop had emerged from the driver’s side when a yelping of dogs and a crashing in the undergrowth outside the chain-link fence drew their attention. The first cop swung his light that way and caught in its beam a spectacular sight. The biggest buck Ron McKay had ever seen was clearing the fence in full stride, posed like one of Santa’s reindeer against the sky, soaring in an arc that would land him on a beeline trajectory toward McKay and the cop with the light. His hooves struck the mown turf with a soft thud.
A lot happened in the next few seconds.
“Shit!” said the cop with the light and dove behind his patrol car. His partner stood transfixed. McKay hit the ground and rolled under the back of the rental car. The buck crossed the emergency lane, thundering between the Nissan and the first patrol car and onto the interstate, followed by the drug dog with his leash trailing behind. The third cop was inanely screaming, “Find doe!”
The buck managed to clear the median just ahead of an oncoming semi, but the dog didn’t. It met the truck’s huge bumper with a noise that sickened Ron McKay in spite of his own plight, and emitted the smallest of whelps as it bounced and skidded a hundred feet across the pavement into the emergency lane. The third cop was now running in the outside lane, howling. Both the other cops were on their feet yelling at him to get out of the road. The second cop ran after him.
McKay raised up to see what was happening and struck his head on the underside of the car. His cry of “Fuck!” caused the first cop to wheel around and draw his gun, but he didn’t see McKay.
“God damn it,” the cop said in a loud whisper and dropped to a prone position with his nine millimeter clutched in both hands before him.
“Don’t shoot, I’m right here,” McKay said and waited for the cop to spot him before he moved.
“Lemme see your hands motherfucker!”
McKay held up his palms. The flashlight beam struck him in the eyes.
“I want you to crawl out from under there, real slow. Make a wrong move and I’ll shoot your ass in a heartbeat.”
When McKay was clear of the car, the cop patted him down, then cuffed his hands behind his back. McKay was too scared to protest. The cop had the crazy look in his eyes that McKay had seen in junkies overdue for a fix. He was happy to see the other two cops walking back, one of them crying.
“I’m not letting you call an ambulance for a dog, Landeau; they’d have your badge.
Besides, if your dog’s not dead, he wishes he was. You oughta let me shoot him.”
“No! We can’t shoot Findo. He’ll be okay. We just have to get him to the vet. I’ll call an ambulance and we won’t tell them it’s a dog.”
“You’re not calling an ambulance, Landeau.”
“Oh, please Lieutenant Stevens.” He started crying again.
“Okay, Landeau. What if I help you put the dog in your car and you take him to the vet– if you can find one on a Saturday night.”
“I’ll call Dr. Ledford. He’ll come.”
“Okay, get your poncho and we’ll slide him on that.”
Landeau snorted a long mucas-rattling sniffle and beamed. “Thank you, Lieutenant. I know we can save him.” He was already trotting to his trunk.
“Stevens,” the first cop said, “how ‘bout y’all carry the dog by the dude’s car and see if he alerts.”
“Are you as stupid as Landeau? The dog’s dead, dickhead. It was hit by a transfer truck and knocked into Fulton County. Get on the radio and have the county–no wait.”
Stevens came up to the first cop and whispered in his ear causing him to fish a cell phone out of the patrol car and walk out of McKay’s hearing. Landeau came back with the poncho, bouncing anxiously from foot to foot. “Come on Lieutenant.”
“Just a minute, Landeau.” Stevens approached Ron McKay and used his cuffs to fasten the already manacled motorist to the bumper of his patrol car. “You sure you don’t want to consent to us looking through your car and save yourself some time, sir?”
“I’ll wait till hell freezes over, Lieutenant Stevens, but I’m not letting you search my property without a warrant,” McKay said, looking up from the pavement on which he now sat, then on a hunch added, “You heard that didn’t you, Officer Landeau?”
“Sorry about your dog, man.”
From Perrin Lovett at the TPC Sports Desk -- A Social Distance Like No Other: Previewing the 2021 Masters
It used to be fun, the Masters Tournament. All gone with the wind, now, much like the movie. First-class golf in a third-rate city.
This year’s affair, assuming they don’t cuck out like they did last spring, runs from April 8th through the 11th. The wah-myn, kidz, and practice rounds are sometime sooner. Maybe. Whatever.
You won’t be there, regardless, as attendance is “limited” this 85th outing. The mention was made of some sort of pandemic(???), but I insist this is an advanced edition of what the near-future master plan looks like.
On the ground, it’s the usual COVIDian bullshit: masks, mandatory testing, “vaccines,” no cash, etc. No cash, no weapons, and the masks make cigar-puffing nigh on impossible. Starting to sound like a gulag with really swell landscaping and girls (six feet away) in those sundresses, no?
I have no idea about the parties. And no concerns either. We know who owns everything these days, so, where they had a party tent in years gone by, today we might expect a D-9 hard at work, and a cutesy, beflowered park tomorrow. Big. Whoop.
Just gotta go? I do not - ever again. But, you, not-so-well heeled golf-lovers, are pretty much SOL. Try the website. TeeVee is honestly your best bet. It’s on, right now, isn’t it?
*Oh, a follow-up, and great news (for me). Regarding your unctuous undertaker, you might recall my promise to dine with a certain banking executive. I did. However, I failed to note she is young and extremely attractive. She’s also overly pleasant, intelligent, and legitimately interesting. Naturally, your third-world political shenanigans were the furthest thing from my thoughts. Better luck, next time, for me, probably in New York.
I mean it used to be FUN. Picture © by Perrin Lovett.
- Perrin Lovett
13 March 2021
Bobby Nettles - Mental Enslavement: The Framing of the Covid Narrative
One of the most nefarious things being done to young people is they are taught to not trust their own eyes and ears and experiences.
Strong Boy, Trivia Titan & Athenian Robert Lee "Bobby" Nettles is a Cane Corso enthusiast & a Friend to Freedom who simply calls 'em like he seems 'em.
10 March 2021
A Counterpoint from Da to MB's Previous Counterpoint to the Original Point in re Gun Control
Read the original Point; Counterpoint here.
|The Piedmont Chronicles|
I seem to not have expressed myself very well on this issue in my opening salvo because the response I got looks to me like an argument against something I wasn't arguing for. I said that my position is supported by a consensus of Americans, but that doesn't mean I'm right, does it? When John Lennon sings ”you may say I'm a dreamer but I'm not the only one” I think, John, that is a logical fallacy. It in no way proves you're not a dreamer.
I failed to say why I think my proposals are sound public policy. So let's have another shot at it. Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.
I spoke out against assault rifles. This is not a second amendment issue. We have had an assault weapons ban that was upheld by the courts against constitutional challenge, I strongly support the second amendment and all the other ones except for that prohibition one which we wisely took back.
I've been a gun owner most of my life. I grew up in the woods hunting and fishing. I've owned many baseball bats, various knives but no panty hose (but I do have some thigh-high fishnets of which I'm quite fond.) I've never been assaulted by any of those things, but I have been on two occasions by handguns.
When our founders enacted the second amendment, it was nothing peculiarly American, As with most of our Bill of Rights, they were codifying existing British law, and when they invoked the right to bear arms the only firearms they knew at the time were muzzle loaded rifles and cannons. I don't know of anyone ever arguing-- though somebody probably has-- that the right to bear arms includes cannons. They could not have foreseen what the term “arms” would later encompass-- bazookas, grenades, anti-aircraft guns and nuclear weapons. No court or any rational American has ever maintained that those are included in our right to bear arms.
What I'm getting at (or attempting to) is that assault rifles are weapons of mass destruction. They are weapons of war whose sole function is to kill as many humans as possible as quickly as possible.
What I'm concerned about (along with the students at Parkland) is mass murder. Will an assault weapons ban stop psychotic mass murderers? Hell no. Will it save lives? Maybe. I hope so. Will the drug gangs and white “militias” sell their guns to the government en masse? No, but it should prevent them being carried into state capitol buildings.
All of the mass murders since Columbine have been-- according to my often faulty recollection --executed by means of these WMDs. The two Columbine deviants used a shotgun and handguns. This occurred during the assault weapons ban. How many more children would have been slain had the young dumb asses been able to walk into a Walmart (I think you could do that then) and purchase WMDs? They surely would have. They killed twelve. They planted several homemade bombs that didn't go off.
What I want to know is why my opponents on this issue support a right to own assault rifles. Particularly, why would you want to own these weapons?. Surely not for self-defense; that would be overkill.
And by the way I do think pantyhose should be banned along with “skorts”. - Ellis Millsaps *Ed. note: look for a counterpoint from MB McCart soon.
07 March 2021
A Quick Check-in From MB: Madam Coroner Situation; Tax Commissioner Fallout; The REAL Story Regarding Publix
Howdy, TPCers, and we sure hope it's marvelous out there for each & everyone one of you.
The Madam Coroner Situation
Well, the Coroner's Association/Training Council chumped out like a lot of us knew they would; they won't be removing Madam Coroner.
So...recall election time, right? Truly a Herculean task, it could possibly get done; but one must wonder if things will take care of themselves. Based on a few conversations, that seems to be the consensus view. I mean, this lady - who seems totally batsh!t crazy & just plain mean - will likely do something in the near future to dig her own grave.
Therefore, it seems as if things are in a holding pattern in terms of Recall Madam Coroner.
I've spoken w/ a few folks who were shocked - just shocked - to hear the news that Marcus Jordan, Newton County's Tax Commissioner, has joined the dark side of the Wm Thomas "Tommy" Craig/ JC Henderson Political Machine coalition.
By looking at last November's numbers, it's obvious there were a fair number of usual GOP voters who voted for MJ (hell, I was one of 'em). I spoke just yesterday w/ one of these people & they were just so upset & dismayed. Thought that: "Marcus was better than that..."
No, apparently, he is not.
Excitable about Publix? Here's Where to Send Your Thank You Notes & Reason # 2367 That Fleeta Sucks
As always, thanks for reading.
- MB McCart
03 March 2021
Perrin Lovett: Posse Comitatus
*Easily one of my favorite pieces by my old Terry classmate, this was written almost 8 years ago. In a perfect world, this'd be required reading. As always, thx for reading - MBM
On June 18th of this year we will all celebrate the 135th birthday of the Posse Comitatus Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1385. Happy Birthday, Pos-Com!!! Maybe you do not share my zeal? Perhaps you have never heard of this great Act or maybe you don’t know what it means. Allow me to educate you. The Posse Comitatus Act means absolutely nothing. Those who will celebrate the creation of this dead letter are those who should be prosecuted under it – namely those members of the various executive branches of the Federal and state governments.
“18 U.S.C. § 1385” is a legal citation to the United States Code, referring to Section 1385 of Title 18. Title 18 is the federal criminal code thus, Posse Comitatus creates a criminal offense. Like 99.99% of federal criminal laws it only sets forth a felony offense and punishment. Unlike most federal crimes though, the Act carries a lower than usual maximum sentence and it HAS NEVER BEEN PROSECUTED!
In law school I wrote a lengthy research paper on the Act – Posse Comitatus – written for my advanced Constitutional Decision-Making seminar taught by the very Honorable Professor John B. Anderson. Anderson represented the people of Illinois’s 16th Congressional District for twenty years. You may recall his 1980 independent run for President against Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. You may also recall his book The American Economy We Need from 1984.
I consider Professor (as I always call him) Anderson a good friend. Once he and his wife, Keke, graciously received my wife and I at their beautiful home on a visit to Washington. However, back when I initially presented my paper proposal to him he seemed a bit skeptical. I suspect that, at the time, even he had not heard of the Act. As the semester progressed though our Nation’s Capital came under the terror of the Beltway snipers. Anderson called me one day and said he had just heard a news report on the radio about the snipers, the hunt therefore, and … the Posse Comitatus Act. He was hooked and I received an “A” for my efforts.
Over the ensuing decade I have ripped the paper apart, added to it, and conducted additional research on the Act and many related matters. In the not to distant future (later in 2013 perhaps) I look forward to publishing a book based in part on my original thesis. The book is tentatively called A Well Regulated Militia (Amazon/CreateSpace/Kindle) and will relate to all things Second Amendment, Militia, and tyranny prevention (and reversal). This would include, for reasons cited herein, below, the Pose Comitatus Act. This work will be far more substantial than The Time Given (soon, I promise), though that treatise is no less important to the scope of human happiness than anything else I write.
I hope the book-buying public also gives my work an “A” and I experience mass market financial success. Remember, you need not actually read a book; what counts is buying it (multiple copies if possible). I have limited the many notes and many of the citations which accompanied my old paper and which will inevitably appear in the book. For the book I intend to clean them up, eliminate them if possible, or relegate them to the seldom viewed “Notes” section at the back. I hear notes, like charts and graphs, drive down sales. Pictures have been known to help though:
The history of the Act is a great part of the history of the 19th century in America. As you may recall in the middle of that century we had a rather unpleasant incident which resulted in the deaths of about 600,000 men. I refuse to call it The Civil War because it wasn’t. A “civil war” is where two or more factions fight for control of a central government. In our case, the Southerners wanted to be free of Washington, not in control of it. It also wasn’t a declared war (I’ve had debates with other attorneys about what that meant). My northern friends often ask me my opinions about the war. I can sum the up easily: it was as deadly as it was unnecessary.
I am in the minority of honest legal historians who believe that the southern states had every authority to seceed from the union. I think any state today has that same authority. Nothing in the Constitution compels eternal membership and several states expressly reserved the ability to withdraw at any time. They asserted a Natural Law position which, being universal, would seem to apply to even those states which joined without such reservation.
Back in the Nineteenth Century, America was plagued with major problems – debt, financial scams, economic warfare, lying politicians, and, of course, slavery. Come to think of it, the more things change, the more they stay the same.
You may recall from history that once the “war” was over and the Union reunited, a probationary period was imposed on the southern states. This period was known as Reconstruction. It was rank with abuse. In numerous cases the legislatures of southern states and other institutions were invaded or harassed by regular army troops. The Posse Comitatus Act was passed partlyin response to these alarming events.
“Posse Comitatus” is a Latin phrase roughly meaning “power of the county.” “Posse” in latin is a verb which means to “be able” or to “have power”. “Comitatus” means “company” or “retinue.” In other words, it refers to the local militia – those men available for service in times of crisis. An aside, suited for a future article: “militia” does not correlate with the “National Guard.”
The concept of the militia predates and was well established at the time of our nation’s founding. Congress still acknowledges the militia separately from the Guard; the Guard and the militia are differentiated under Titles 10 and 32 of the U.S. Code. Every State maintains a militia (at least in the law books) separate from the Guard. In Georgia, the State militia is officially the Georgia State Defense Force. See: O.C.G.A. § 38-2-23, et seq.
The Guard was instituted in the early twentieth century and is essentially a back-up force for the regular national army – it is sometimes on loan to the several States. Enough on that for now.
|Image by MBM|
The Pose Comitatus Act reads, in its entirety: “Whoever, except in cases and circumstances expressly authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress, willfully uses any part of the Army or the Air Force as a posse comitatus or otherwise to execute the laws shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.” 18 U.S.C. § 1385.
The Act (let’s call it the “PCA” from here out) originally started out as an amendment to the Army Appropriations Bill (H.R. 4867) for the fiscal year ending in 1879. This would be during the forty-fifth congress, second session, in 1878. The initial mention of the concept of the PCA as an amendment came from Rep. William Kimmel of Maryland on May 20, 1878. Kimmel was cut off in mid speech by time constraints; however, he successfully laid the framework for the PCA amendment. See: 7 Cong. Rec. 3586.
H.R. 4867, PCA and all, eventually became law on June 18, 1878, hence the pending birthday celebration. See: 7 Cong. Rec. 4686. Some scholars have speculated the PCA was enacted only to end the use of he army in supervising southern elections and legislative sessions. Earlier I said the PCA was partly enacted for the reasons said scholars state. I, however, dug deep into Congressional history (boy, what fun) and found a more complicated picture.
The roots behind the theory of Posse Comitatus go much deeper and further back in history than the American Republic. The concept was present at the end of the Roman Republic, more than twenty centuries ago. Gauis Curio attempted to disarm Caesar’s returning army in order to preserve domestic tranquility. See: Caesar, The Gallic War, Loeb Classical Library, 587 (Harvard U. Press, 2000). As you know, Caesar “crossed the Rubicon” and the Empire shortly thereafter commenced.
In early America the fear of armed military forces present in everyday life was of grave concern to our Founding Fathers. Beginning the Declaration of Independence with a nod to Natural Law, Thomas Jefferson listed the first grievance against King George that “He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies without the consent of our legislature. … He has affected to render the military independent of and superior to the civil power.” Dec. Independence, para. 13 – 14 (1776). Jefferson listed various other similar complaints against the King.
Jefferson was not alone in his fear of standing armies, provisions against which found their way into both the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution (remember the Constitution?). In The Federalist Papers, Alexander Hamilton, himself not the greatest proponent of freedom, railed against the standing army as “unsupported by any precise or intelligible designations of reasons.” The Federalist, No. 27 (Hamilton).
The Forty-Fifth Congress considered several issues in developing the PCA: a standing army versus a militia; limited central government; and, the proper (if any) uses for an army within the confines of the territory of the Republic. A sub-issue of concern at the end of the 19th Century was the potential rise of communism, which Congress greatly and rightly feared. Karl Marx was still alive at the time of the PCA debate, his works on “economics” relatively fresh off the presses. Rep. Abram S. Hewitt of New York commented on the subject: “If you want to fan communism, increase your standing army and you will have enough of it.” 7 Cong. Rec. H. 3538 (1878).
Rep. Kimmel stated the then current use of the army in domestic affairs was a direct “violation of the Constitution.” He cited numerous examples of federal troops aiding tax agents, governors, sheriffs, and district attorneys in Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, and New York. 7 Cong. Rec. 3580 – 3582. Again, it is popularly said that the PCA was the result of Southern states fed up with the misuse of federal soldiers during elections. Most of Kimmel’s examples were responses to tax collections and labor disputes. In 1878, as today, New York and Michigan are generally regarded as northern states. Other Representatives related similar troubles all across the country. The problem was national in scope.
In the Senate the debate continued. Senator Benjamin Hill of Georgia remarked, “A posse comitatus is a wholly different thing from an army; it is different in every respect from an army…” 7 Cong. Rec. 4246. He continued, “it never was lawful, it never shall be lawful, to employ the army as a posse comitatus until you destroy the distinction between civil power and the military power in this country.” Id.
As the PCA is a criminal law and given the federal Empire’s love of prosecuting any and everything, one would expect numerous cases under the PCA over the past century or so. One would be mistaken. There has never been one single case brought against anyone under the PCA. This may be due to the fact that the most likely suspects are government officials. They don’t like to go after their own. Honor among thieves you know.
The closest semblance of judicial review of the PCA has been in the form of indirect rulings in cases involving other crimes. Defendants have asserted, as a defense, an alleged violation of the PCA by government officials executing some duty (such as drug enforcement). This defense universally fails. I will not bore my audience with any particular cases, though they date from at least 1975 and continue into this Century.
Oddly, I, the great authority on this matter, was once threatened with the potential of facing a PCA violation! Yes, yours truly, Perrin Lovett. It all stemmed from one of those lovely anti-family law cases of which I have previously expounded: https://perrinlovett.wordpress.com/2013/02/09/anti-family-law/. I believe it was a custody dispute.
Anyway, the defendant was a member of the U.S. Army stationed at Camp Zama in Japan. Thus, I was tasked with the trouble of perfecting International legal service of process which is not necessarily the easiest thing to do. I decided to circumvent technicalities by having the defendant simply acknowledge he had received my petition. Not having an exact address for him, I contacted several offices at the Camp in an attempt to solicit their help in the matter. The Provost Marshall’s office quickly told me they could not assist with serving a civil lawsuit without running afoul of the PCA. They actually said that; you know, from the history given here, this type of situation was not within the original intention of Congress. I pointed out that I was not asking for such, just for friendly information. As luck would have it, I located the defendant on my own and the case went forward. As usual, no-one was happy. Correction: I am happy to have avoided being the only PCA prosecution in history.
Back to reality. There have been cases innumerable of the military becoming involved in civil law enforcement – from the “war” on drugs to the massacre at Waco, to the Wounded Knee massacre, to the hunt for the D.C. snipers, etcetera, ad nauseum. Why then, have there been no criminal cases arising from the incidents?
The answer lies in the actions of both the Executive branch and, especially, with Congress. Exception after exception to the PCA have been enacted over the long years. Congress has all but rendered the PCA a dead letter to the point the Act is useless for its intended purpose.
It is somewhat interesting that, having taken the teeth away, Congress has not fully repealed the PCA. This may be because federal laws never die, they linger forever, used or not. Amazingly, as recently as 2005, the 107th Congress reaffirmed the spirit of the PCA, literally, but not meaningfully. “The Congress reaffirms the continued importance of …[the PCA] … and it is the sense of Congress that nothing in this Act [H.R. 5005 – creating the Department of Homeland Security] should be construed to alter the applicability of such section to any use of the Armed Forces as a posse comitatus to execute the laws.” H.R. 5005 § 780(a) – (b).
The Homeland Security debacle … Act … followed the Patriot Act and decades of “war” on drugs, crime, and your freedom. Various National Defense Authorization Acts have followed. The result has been the complete decimation of the PCA. President Bush (No. 43) and his successor, Barack Obama, have made clear their intention to use the military whenever necessary, wherever needed, to keep us safe, of course. Obama even claims he can use military weapons to kill without Due Process. The protests against his claim are less than deafening. I protest!
I have some suggestions for changes and improvements to restore the vitality of the PCA. This is one of the few instances where you will ever hear me call for a new or continued statute. In the name of freedom, Congress should amend the PCA first to kill all of the previous exemptions. Second, they should specify that the law only applies to those members of the federal, state, or local governments who would dare to use federal military force to accomplish civil law enforcement of any kind; they could define a violation as an act of government employee-specific treason.
The punishment could be expanded accordingly. Perhaps the original punishment might be appropriate in minor cases. Others, such as those which involve the mass killing of American citizens could be made capital felonies. Congress has the Constitutional authority to also limit the review of any conviction from any court – including the Supreme Court; thus, when a high official (an attorney general for example) orders Army tanks to drive into a church and burn the worshippers within alive, that official could be convicted under the PCA and immediately hanged in public. This might serve as a warning to future would-be tyrants.
Again, this is only a suggestion. I do not relish the idea of killing even to avenge killing. I reconsider, reluctantly, when the dread act(s) have the potential of continuing against all of the free people.
This leads me back to my article on drones picking off the voting, tax-suffering public, https://perrinlovett.wordpress.com/2013/02/15/droning-on-and-on/. A President, already forbidden to use military drones against domestic targets (his already unConstitutional Orders overridden by my proposed law) might think twice about defying the law if he knew the gallows awaited his defiance.
The issues raised herein may likely lead to other related articles. All of which concern you and those you hold dear. It is your freedom, security, and happiness that drives me to raise the alarm – the same alarm raised by the Founders and the forgotten members of the forty-fifth Congress. Bless their wisdom and fore-sighted concern.
- Perrin Lovett is the CF Floyd Feature Writer of Affairs National at TPC & is also the Editor of Freedom Prepper.