Burns Chronicles No 14 – Which Came First, the Rooster or the Egg?

Burns Chronicles No 14
Which Came First, the Rooster or the Egg?

rooster and eggGary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
March 20, 2016

Sorry about the play on words, however, in looking for a title for this article, it seemed appropriate to choose the rooster instead of the chicken, as the rooster has a specific role in the relationship.  The egg, however, is a birth, a creation of something new — that will continue to grow, eventually replacing both the rooster and the chicken, in the scheme of things.

Perhaps a few words from the Father of the Constitution might be appropriate:

[The government] can make no law which will not have its full operation on themselves and their friends, as well as on the great mass of the society.  This has always been deemed one of the strongest bonds by which human policy can connect the rulers and the people together.  It creates between them that communion of interests and sympathy of sentiments, of which few governments have furnished examples; but without which every government degenerates into tyranny.  If it be asked, what is to restrain the [Government] from making legal discriminations in favor of themselves and a particular class of the society?  I answer: the genius of the whole system; the nature of just and constitutional laws; and above all, the vigilant and manly spirit which actuates the people of America- a spirit which nourishes freedom, and in return is nourished by it.
If this spirit shall ever be so far debased as to tolerate a law not obligatory on the [Government], as well as on the people, the people will be prepared to tolerate any thing but liberty.

James Madison, Federalist No. 57

Now, the original, and then only, charge against those in Oregon that participated in the opening of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge to the public, was 18 US Code § 372.  This law was first enacted during the Civil War.  It was the 1st Session of the 37th Congress Lincoln had already called for 75,000 and suspended habeas corpus {page 1 of pdf}, before the law was enacted.

The law was first introduced on July 17, 1861 {2}, just over three months after the war had begun), and:

“provides that if five or more persons within any State or Territory shall conspire together to overthrow, Or to put down, or to destroy by force, the Government of the United States; or to oppose by force the authority of the Government of the United States; or by force to prevent, hinder, or delay, the execution of any law of the United States; or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States, against the will, or contrary to the authority of the United States, or by force, or intimidation, or threat, to prevent any person from accepting or holding any office of trust, or place of confidence, under the United States, each and every person so offending shall be guilty of a high crime.”

The act was supported by Mr. Trumbull {7} when he provides a couple of examples in which this law, being far short of Treason, is to punish those who have committed specific acts against officers of the government.  In one example, he speaks of a case in Missouri where “a number of persons, by threats of violence and intimidation, prevented a postmaster from performing the duties of his office.”  He provides another, more general, example, of “route agents” were deterred from performing their duties.

In both instances, there was a “victim”, either the “postmaster” or a “route agent”, and there were specific acts that kept them from their duties.

Not that the original act (above) required the participation of “five or more persons”.  The current version only requires “two or more persons”.  There are other subtitle changes, and the current Statute 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.

So, now, we know that the law had its roots in the beginning of what became the most devastating war in our history, and that it was directed at specific acts upon specific people.

Now that we have a better understanding of what was presumed to be “pursuant” to the Constitution, let’s look at the application of that law in the current matter.

The Defendants are accused of violating 18 USC § 372.  There are no specific victims, nor are there any specific acts on the part of the accused.  We have to look closely to see if any acts, by any one, that by “intimidation, or threat” caused any specific person, or kept them from “discharging any duties”, or, “to leave the place, where his duties as an officer are required to be performed.”  And, finally, “to injure his property so as to molest, interrupt, hinder, or impede him in the discharge of his official duties.”

Before we do look for specifics, either of person, or of acts, think back to what James Madison said when he suggested that if the Government could make laws that act upon us, but not them, that we would “be prepared to tolerate any thing but liberty”.

I have reviewed a number of articles, videos, audios, and any other sources, including interviews, and can find no direct, or even indirect, statements, acts, actions, or any manner of suggestion, that those who chose to occupy public lands at the Malheur Refuge did that would have discouraged anyone from performing their duties.  The only possibility, and this requires a rather creative misrepresentation, is that they did claim that if attacked, they would defend themselves.  However, no specific act or person is named in those uttered words.

Now, let’s look at the Government, that should be bound by the same laws that we are bound by, or so sayeth James Madison, the Father of the Constitution.

In a January 11, 2016 article at http://www.oregonlive.com/oregon-standoff/2016/01/bundy_militialeader_plotted_o.html (the link is now dead, but was live this morning, before I called and asked the author for more information about the interview that lead to the story, but, fear not.  I did capture that article, since it is so significant.)  This article was also referred to in the “discovery provided to the Defendants in the Oregon case, as referenced on page 3 of Jon Ritzheimer’s “Reply to Government’s Response in Opposition to Pretrial Release.”

The article tells us that the management at the Refuge, three days before the occupiers moved on to the public lands, ordered the “officers”, and other employees, to not “return to the refuge until instructed.”

On Dec. 30 — three days before the Jan. 2 rally — federal employees were nearing the end of their work day at the wildlife refuge when management told them to go home early.

And for their safety, their boss said, they weren’t to return to the refuge until instructed.

“That was based on the culmination of our intel,” said Fish & Wildlife spokesman Holm, “and the start of the holiday weekend.”

Holm wouldn’t elaborate on details of the “intel.”

So, who intimidated or threatened the unspecified officers, or others, to not perform their duties?  And, would you expect any employee to risk his job by disobeying such an order?

Now, “intel” is a general, or in this case, ambiguous, word.  More than likely, a bunch of government paid coffee drinkers wanting to act a role of implied importance contrived it.  However, what we must consider is that, does someone thinking that something might happened, with no tangible proof of threats or intimidation, warrant bringing felony charges against those who made no such threats, disrupting their lives and placing them in jail, pending an opportunity to vindicate themselves?

But, let’s not stop here.  We can only surmise a conspiracy, though we do have an indication of just who the conspirators may be — the Refuge “management.”  So, perhaps since there appears to be a conspiracy, we should look to see if that conspiratorial group is actually more expansive than rather vague “management”.

Lo and behold (Look and See), we find that there is another conspirator.  And, it appears that he has made himself an antagonist on these whole matter by the position that he has taken from the beginning.  He has no justification to enforce federal laws, though he asserted himself, without bringing state or county violations, as the king of the hill, telling those at the Refuge that they are in violation of, well, some laws, though I can’t find where he had any valid assertion of such violation.

Well, that doesn’t make him a conspirator, but, well, Harney County Sheriff Dave Ward, did say, “We ask that people stay away from the Refuge for their own safety“, in a number of published reports.  This occurred within the first week of the occupation.  We also have Ward suggesting just who the individual might be that, well, just might bring reality to the allegations, when he warned, “it only takes one unstable person to show up” to threaten bloodshed.

So, he has joined in in casting his opinion that there is a threat, based on no actions of those inside, rather making those inside criminals, simply because he believes it to be so.

So, we have both federal employees and a County Sheriff making non-criminal acts out to be criminal, with no substance to support the charge of violation of 18 USC §372.  Further, we have a Sheriff that creates an antagonist, this nefarious “unstable person”, though he doesn’t even suggest which side of the fence this person might be on.

So, are we willing to “tolerate any thing but liberty“, or is it time to realize that the Despotic government has two sets of laws; one to punish us and the other to protect them.





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