Archive for September, 2016

Burns Chronicles No 31 – Public Lands – Part 3 – The Queen has Ruled – Off with their Heads

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

Burns Chronicles No 31
Public Lands – Part 3
The Queen Has Ruled – Off With Their Heads

anna-brown-judge-clr-w-crownGary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
September 29, 2016

In two previous articles, Shawna Cox brought the matter of Jurisdiction to the Court.  The first, explained in “Public Lands – Part 1 – It’s a Matter of Jurisdiction“, was filed in response to the government’s “Motion for Judicial Notice” (1229), providing proof of ownership of the land upon which the MNWR headquarters sit.  In that Motion, filed September 9, 2016, they cited no previous motion to which they were responding.

Shawna, based upon a chain of title that she had received, had no dispute with the ownership.  However, neither the government’s request for judicial notice and attached documentation nor the chain of title provided any indication that the land, which both parties agreed, had been in private hands before the government reacquired it, had been ceded back to them by Oregon.

Shawna then filed her “Response to and Motion for Judicial Notice Regarding Ownership & Ceding of the MNWR Headquarters Area” (1245).  In that Motion, she stipulated the government’s ownership and asked the Court to take Judicial Notice that the subject lands had not been ceded back to the federal government by Oregon.  The Motion was quite simple and simply stated that since no proof of ceding had been provided, the Judicial Notice was in order.

The government then filed its Response (1272) to a number of motions, including Shawna’s Motion.  Geoffrey A. Barrow, the attorney that signed the Response, apparently has a reading disorder.  Shawna never contested the government’s motion for judicial notice.  Instead, she stipulated that they did own the land.  However, he chose to read into her motion what he thought the Judge might like:

Cox opposes the government’s request (ECF No. 1229) and, in turn, moves for judicial notice consistent with the separately filed McIntosh Declaration (ECF No. 1252). McIntosh repeats the adverse possession theories that this Court has already rejected many times, although he reads the government’s Houghton Declaration (ECF No. 1230) as further support for his views. McIntosh’s theory is that the federal government simply could not have obtained lawful title to the MNWR absent permission from the state. His theories are contrary to the law that this Court has already recognized controls this issue, and his stated credentials (i.e., his stated directorship of two web-based, environmental-sounding organizations) reveal that he is an advocate who shares defendants’ misguided views. (One organization promises to give a “strong voice that will dominate and control state and federal bureaucrats”).
Cox’s counter-Motion for Judicial Notice should be denied.

Now, Shawna never mentioned “adverse possession” in her motion – she simply sought judicial notice that the land had not been ceded back to the government.  This is quite consistent with what the government had cited in their judicial notice, when they said:

Federal Rule of Evidence 201 permits this Court to take judicial notice of adjudicative facts “not subject to reasonable dispute.” The Advisory Committee Note to the rule explains that “adjudicative facts” are those that “relate to the parties, their activities, their properties, their businesses.” Courts routinely take judicial notice of recorded property records.

Now, the government has proffered no argument establishing that Oregon had ceded back jurisdiction to the federal government.  If it had been ceded back, then it would have, as required by the Statute of Frauds, been recorded in the public records.  There is no argument, except the false association with Ammon’s motion, which would be cause for the Court not to take “Judicial Notice”.

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The Bundy Affair – #16 * The Legal Shotgun

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

The Bundy Affair – #16
The Legal Shotgun

legal-shotgun-shell

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
September 28, 2016

In a related article, “Burns Chronicles No 30 – Officer? What Officer?“, I addressed a common element to the Indictments from Oregon and Nevada.  You may also want to refer back to that article to see how the federal government has, over the years, expanded its authority (jurisdiction) well beyond what the Constitution granted to that government.  The article covered the extent of the Oregon Indictment, but only the common charge of violation of 18 US Code § 372.  The Nevada Indictment goes a bit further.  It charges the accused with violation of 18 US Code § 371 and endeavors to provide some substance to the charge, which was not done in Oregon.

We will start with the charge of violation of 18 US Code § 371, which reads, in the Indictment:

COUNT ONE

Conspiracy to Commit an Offense Against the United States

(Title 18, United States Code, Section 371)

Paragraphs 1 through 153 are incorporated herein in full…

So, what does US Code § 371 say?

18 U.S.C. § 371 – Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud United States

If two or more persons conspire either to commit any offense against the United States, or to defraud the United States, or any agency thereof in any manner or for any purpose, and one or more of such persons do any act to effect the object of the conspiracy, each shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

It is interesting that this really overlaps 18 US Code § 372, the statute addressed in the previous article in that it says, “to commit any offense against the United States”.  Now, § 372 is an offense against the United States, so why is there a charge that is already incorporated in another charge?

My guess is that it is what I refer to as a “legal shotgun”.  In the Branch Davidian trial, Sarah Bain explained there were so many charges against the Davidians that the jury felt they had to find the Davidians guilty of something.  So they took the charge with the lowest punishment, and found them guilty of that Count.  So, if you throw enough peanut butter at a wall, some of it will stick.  Not a very good concept of justice, but the government knows how human nature works.  You could call it a “chicanery conviction”.

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Burns Chronicles No 30 – Officer? What Officer?

Monday, September 26th, 2016

Burns Chronicles No 30
Officer?   What Officer?

bank-robber

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
September 26, 2016

In the Indictments, both in Oregon and Nevada, there is one Count that raises some serious questions.  The exact wording, to the extent of understanding the charges being made, is as follows:

For Oregon:

COUNT 1

(Conspiracy to Impede Officers of the United States)

(18 u.s.c. § 372)

On or about November 5, 2015, and continuing through February 12, 2016, in the District of Oregon, defendants…

It then goes on to list the Defendants and makes some rather general accusations, WITHOUT naming “Officers” or, how they were impeded.

Next, we look to the Nevada Indictment:

COUNT TWO

Conspiracy to Impede or Injure a Federal Officer

(Title 18, United States Code, Section 372)

Then, they go into a narrative, missing, of course, any named “Officers”, or any specific acts that constitute impeding.

The statute cited reads:

18 U.S.C. § 372 : US Code – Section 372: Conspiracy to impede or injure officer

If two or more persons in any State, Territory, Possession, or District conspire to prevent, by force, intimidation, or threat, any person from accepting or holding any office, trust, or place of confidence under the United States, or from discharging any duties thereof, or to induce by like means any officer of the United States to leave the place, where his duties as an officer are required to be performed, or to injure him in his person or property on account of his lawful discharge of the duties of his office, or while engaged in the lawful discharge thereof, or to injure his property so as to molest, interrupt, hinder, or impede him in the discharge of his official duties, each of such persons shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than six years, or both.

Now, our concern, as much as with the Indictments lacking specificity, is the Statute, itself.  So, let’s first trace the history of the Statute, and then we will look into just who an “Officer” might be.

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Burns Chronicles No 29 – Public Lands – Part 2 – The Federal Government Has No Jurisdiction

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

Burns Chronicles No 29
Public Lands – Part 2
The Federal Government Has No Jurisdiction

harney-county-resource-centera-cropped

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
September 21, 2016

In a previous article, “It’s a Matter of Jurisdiction“, we looked at the constitutional aspect of jurisdiction.  Many will simply ignore that aspect, since they believe that the government is not bound by the Constitution, anymore.  So, we must wonder whether those who enacted laws, more recently, regarding jurisdiction, especially on lands that were obtained for certain purposes, were as doubtful of the intent of the Constitution.

The original buildings on the Refuge were built during the Great Depression under one of the various work programs intended to provide employment.  The land that they were built on was acquired by the government on February 18, 1935.  The remainder of the government-owned land in Section 35, as the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge was expanded, was acquired on November 22, 1948.

Shortly after the first parcel was acquired, on April 27, 1935, Congress enacted “AN ACT To provide for the protection of land resources against soil erosion, and for other purposes”, at 49 STAT 163.  Those “other purposes did include uses anticipated “to preserve public lands and relieve unemployment“.  That Act applied:

(a) On lands owned or controlled by the United States or any of its agencies, with the cooperation of the agency having jurisdiction thereof; and
(b) On any other lands, upon obtaining proper consent or the necessary rights or interests in such lands.

So, it was recognized that the federal government need not have jurisdiction, but more about why, later.

The benefits of the Act would be extended where local government would extend “reasonable safeguards for the enforcement of State and local laws imposing suitable permanent restrictions on the use of such lands…”

So, we see no effort to presume prior jurisdiction, to make all needful rules and regulations, as per Article IX, § 3, cl. 2, or to presume a necessity to require the State to cede the lands to the federal government, as per Article I, § 8, cl. 17, since there were no “Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings”.

Then, on June 29, 1936, Congress went even further in abiding by the Constitution by clarifying their position on “exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever” (I:8:17), with “AN ACT To waive any exclusive jurisdiction over premises of resettlement or rural-rehabilitation projects…; and for other purposes”, at 49 STAT 2035.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the acquisition by the United States of any real property heretofore or hereafter acquired for any resettlement project or any rural-rehabilitation project for resettlement purposes heretofore or hereafter constructed with funds allotted or transferred to the Resettlement Administration pursuant to the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act of 1935, or any other law, shall not be held to deprive any State or political subdivision thereof of its civil and criminal jurisdiction in and over such property, or to impair the civil rights under the local law of the tenants or inhabitants on such property ; and insofar as any such jurisdiction has been taken away from any such State or subdivision, or any such rights have been impaired, jurisdiction over any such property is hereby ceded back to such State or subdivision.

So, not only did they relinquish all “civil or criminal jurisdiction“, but they ceded back any jurisdiction that had been taken away from any State or subdivision.  Now the record had been set straight, in accordance with the Constitution.

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Burns Chronicles No 28 – Public Trial – Mistrial? – What stinking Mistrial?

Monday, September 19th, 2016

Burns Chronicles No 28
Public Trial
Mistrial? What stinking Mistrial?

anna-brown-judge-bww-crown

Judge Anna Brown

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
September 19, 2016

A rather interesting what, and from a lay standpoint unjust, occurrence, happened both in the paper chase (at this point, nearly 1300 docket entries) and in the courtroom. It had to do with the testimony of the government’s first witness, Harney County Sheriff David Ward. It was a Motion for Mistrial.

An interesting note on the Motion is that we obtained a copy shortly before it was “SEALED”. This led to the admonishment that is addressed below.

It all began on the 2nd day of the trial (Wednesday, September 14), during cross-examination by Ammon Bundy’s attorney, Marcus R. Mumford is questioning Sheriff Ward.  Here are excerpts from the Motion, taken from the rough-draft transcripts:

Q.  And you had conducted some investigation, into Bunkerville?

A.  I had.

Q.  And did that investigation come – that was in the process of those meetings that you had with the U.S. attorney, and the FBI?

A.  I had – I had gone on to the Internet and googled it, it’s amazing what you can find on there.

I found videos from the things that happened at Bunkerville. I – I looked at a lot of different – lot of different things that happened, throughout that incident. And the thought that have happening in my community scared the hell out of me, where I saw armed people lined up on both sides, advancing, you know, with – with one side advancing against another.

I had learned some of unstable people who had left that situation, and killed two police officers, while they were eating lunch in a restaurant.

I think that there are – there are a lot of circumstances I was attempting to avoid in my community, sir.

Then, Mumford asked that some of Ward’s testimony be stricken:

MUMFORD: Your Honor, I would move to strike that.

THE COURT: Move to strike what, sir?

MUMFORD: The nonresponsive part of the –

THE COURT: I don’t know what you identify as nonresponsive.

The answer seemed responsive to your question, so be specific.

MUMFORD: Okay. Well – I think it was a yes-or-no question, your Honor.

THE COURT: Is there another objection?

Mumford, failing to make any progress, is simply abandoned by Judge Brown. However, Ryan Bundy, acting pro se (representing himself), jumps in, once the Judge recognizes that he, too, has an objection.

DEFENDANT RYAN BUNDY: Yes, my objection, your Honor, hearsay, there, it alludes to events that were not necessarily related to – to the situation.

THE COURT: The court reporter is not hearing you, Mr. Bundy, because of your microphone not being on.

Would you –

DEFENDANT RYAN BUNDY: The mic is on.

THE COURT: Let’s try again. The court reporter wasn’t hearing, would you please restate your objection?

DEFENDANT RYAN BUNDY: Yes, hearsay.

He’s tying in persons that were not involved it (pause, conferring.)

Prejudicial, I change that to prejudicial.

About the folks supposedly killing people that were not associated with us.

THE COURT: Jurors, I’m going to ask you to disregard the witness’s references to events that occurred in Nevada that had to do with the police officers being killed, and whether they were or weren’t associated with Bunkerville.

The answer generally was responsive, in that it reflected the witness’s state of mind, but you’re not to consider that particular part of his answer in any part of your consideration of this evidence.

Now, the transcript is a “rough-draft transcript”, and we are told that there was an Order made by the Judge, referencing “Court’s Sealed Order 1141”. Then, she goes on to admonish Mumford for using quotes from the “rough-draft transcript” in his Motion.

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Burns Chronicles No 27 – Public Lands – Part 1 – It’s a Matter of Jurisdiction

Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

Burns Chronicles No 27
Public Lands – Part 1
It’s a Matter of Jurisdiction

caution-yellow-tape

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
September 13, 2016

Thomas Jefferson had proposed an ordinance to deal with the lands won along with independence from Britain in 1784, and not belonging to any State, any lands that might be relinquished when considered to have been granted by Royal Charter.  The Continental Congress ratified the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 on July 13, 1787.  The First Congress under the newly ratified Constitution, which met from March 4, 1789, to March 4, 1791, then reaffirmed that same ordinance.  This slightly revised version reaffirmed on July 13, 1789, and is known as the Northwest Ordinance of 1789.

The Fourth Article, unchanged in the two versions, reads, in part:

Article the Fourth.  The said territory, and the States which may be formed therein, shall forever remain a part of this Confederacy of the United States of America…  The legislatures of those districts or new States, shall never interfere with the primary disposal of the soil by the United States in Congress assembled, nor with any regulations Congress may find necessary for securing the title in such soil to the bona fide purchasers.  No tax shall be imposed on lands the property of the United States; and, in no case, shall nonresident proprietors be taxed higher than residents.

Note that “primary disposal” seems to be the objective of holding the land.  That disposal would serve two very significant purposes in the creation of a nation that would grow from those first thirteen states.  First, it would raise revenue for the payment of the debt incurred because of the War of Independence, and it continued to provide revenue for the fledgling nation.

Second, it would provide land for people to populate the barren regions, first, across the Allegheny Mountains, then on to the Mississippi River, next to the Rocky Mountains, and finally to the Pacific Ocean.  With each of these principal movements, as those people moved westward, the resources of the most resource rich country in the world would develop into the greatest nation in the world.

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Liberty or Laws – Are You a Voter, or, an Elector?

Tuesday, September 6th, 2016

Liberty or Laws?

Are You a Voter, or, an Elector?

 

latino-polling-placeGary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
September 6, 2016

During this current election cycle, a matter has constantly recurred, that of the federal government mandating, primarily through the District and Circuit Courts, who can vote and what requirements, if any, are necessary to do so.

To understand what has gone wrong, we will have to look to the Constitution, what was required to vote in national elections in the past, and how the federal government has supplanted the States regarding the authority over who may vote.  There is also concern about the Electoral College, so we need to see what was intended when the Constitution was written.  It is necessary to follow this history of voting to understand just how Article IV, § 4 of the Constitution has become moot.  The pertinent part of that Article reads:

The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government…

So, let’s begin with references to voting and elections in the Constitution.  In Article I (Legislative Branch), we find:

Section 2 — The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.

Well, clearly, it is the prerogative of the State to determine what “Qualifications [are] requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.”  The federal then yields to the state’s authority concerning who is qualified to vote in federal elections.  The use of the term “Electors”, in this section, is what most would simply call “voters”.  They elect the Representatives, but their qualifications are based upon the qualifications that State has set for its most “numerous Branch.”  There is no such condition for the Senate, like the Senators, prior to the 17th Amendment, were chosen by the state legislatures.

Next, we see that the Constitution leaves a degree of discretion to the federal government, though quite limited:

Section 4 — The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators.

It says that “Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations…”, though since it refers to itself, when it says “alter such regulation”, it can only refer to “The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections…”  Otherwise, the previous (Section 2) provision would be without substance.  The same power or authority cannot be granted to two different parties, the federal government and the State governments.  That would be contrary to any practical possibility that both would agree to any acceptable determination of who could vote, especially if one had the guarantee of a Republican Form of Government.  As we will see, the states that existed in 1874 had diverse requirements.  There was some commonality, but the federal government could only intervene to assure that such voting was done timely, not done at a place that would limit access to voting, and of the manner (not requirements), such as paper ballots.  At that time (before the Seventeenth Amendment), the state legislatures elected the Senators.

Next, we have:

Section 5 — Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members…

Now, there is another grant to the federal government, but only to “Judge… the Elections“.  That, obviously, could only extend to judging the results of the elections, as they cannot be judged before being completed.  This would include Returns.  The Qualifications, of course, is to satisfy the requirements regarding who may serve in the House of Representatives and the Senate, found in Article I. Section 2, clause 2 and Section 3, clause 3.

Initially, Article II (Executive Branch) set forth the method by which the President would be elected:

Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.

The Electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by Ballot for two Persons, of whom one at least shall not be an Inhabitant of the same State with themselves.  And they shall make a List of all the Persons voted for, and of the Number of Votes for each; which List they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the Seat of the Government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate.  The President of the Senate shall, in the Presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the Certificates, and the Votes shall then be counted.  The Person having the greatest Number of Votes shall be the President, if such Number be a Majority of the whole Number of Electors appointed; and if there be more than one who have such Majority, and have an equal Number of Votes, then the House of Representatives shall immediately chuse by Ballot one of them for President; and if no Person have a Majority, then from the five highest on the List the said House shall in like Manner chuse the President.  But in chusing the President, the Votes shall be taken by States, the Representation from each State having one Vote; A quorum for this Purpose shall consist of a Member or Members from two thirds of the States, and a Majority of all the States shall be necessary to a Choice.  In every Case, after the Choice of the President, the Person having the greatest Number of Votes of the Electors shall be the Vice President.  But if there should remain two or more who have equal Votes, the Senate shall chuse from them by Ballot the Vice President.

The Congress may determine the Time of chusing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States.

Now, in the election of the President, the Electors are selected according to the “Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct“.  In the subsequent section on the “Electoral College“, the disparity of this method has become problematic.  However, we can see that the federal government may only “determine the Time of chusing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes.”

This procedure was changed in 1804 with the ratification of the 12th Amendment.  The Constitution had the second highest vote receiver as Vice-President, and it was determined that the two highest vote getters, running in opposition to each other, would then share the responsibilities of the Executive Branch of Government.  The 12th Amendment changed the voting by the Electors to one vote for President and one vote for Vice-President, rather than, as described above, where they voted for “two Persons.”

The only other amendment to affect the election of the President was ratified in 1961 as the 23rd Amendment; it simply gave Washington, D.C., the District of Columbia, the ability to participate by allowing it to select Electors for the election of the President and Vice-President, just as the States.

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