Tag Archives: Fresno County

HURRAY FOR PELICAN STATE CIVIL RIGHTS—LOUISIANA LEADS THE WAY (in civil rights, possibly for the first time EVER—but this will be controversial)(hot off the presses)

What is more important to the definition of what it means to be an American: the Constitution as it was written in 1787-1792 (to include the First Ten Amendments) or the regulatory power of the state to arrest as many people as possible and throw them in jail on slim evidence of real wrongdoing to keep the (few) left outside “safe”—and more importantly, to support the power elite’s establishment?

A Louisiana Judge picked up on arguments in a brief Herbert Paul Bethel recently submitted up in Fresno County, California (last October) and handed down an opinion affirming THAT THERE IS NO RATIONAL BASIS TO DISCRIMINATE BETWEEN FIRST AND SECOND AMENDMENT RIGHTS, even as regards individuals released from penal custody after conviction of a “felony.”  THE SECOND AMENDMENT THUS JUST WON A MAJOR VICTORY in the Orleans Parish Criminal District Court from the Honorable Judge Darryl Derbigny, who basically picked up on several key points in Bethel’s Brief:

(1)   Once people convicted of a crime have served their time, there is no rational basis to deny them ANY further exercise of their full civil rights.  This proposition is politically uncontroversial when it comes to the right to freedom of religion and freedom of speech, but many other rights of people convicted of “felonies” are curtailed, most notably the right to keep and bear arms.  

(2)   Judge Darryl Derbigny has now ruled, exactly as Herbert Paul Bethel argued in Fresno County, California last fall, that the United States Supreme Court’s opinion in MacDonald v. City of Chicago REQUIRES that Second Amendment Rights be given equal dignity with the First, Fourth, and Fifth, at the very least.

(2)    The voters of Louisiana last Fall overwhelmingly endorsed a gun rights amendment to the Louisiana Constitution which enshrined the MacDonald v. Chicago holdings in State Law—but in so doing LOUISIANA LEADS THE WAY FOR THE REST OF THE NATION TO RECOGNIZE THAT THE RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS IS IN FACT FUNCTIONALLY AS WELL AS STRUCTURALLY EQUAL TO ALL OTHER RIGHTS SECURED BY THE BILL OF RIGHTS.

(3)     Louisiana Revised Statute 14;95.1, as of today, March 23, 2013, is a DEAD LETTER on the Louisiana Law Books.  No free adult person may now be denied the right to keep and bear arms in this state—HURRAY FOR THE PEOPLE OF LOUISIANA!  HURRAY FOR JUDGE DARRYL DERBIGNY!  

I will be writing much more about this, but wanted to alert readers to the major groundswell that this decision may precipitate.   It is almost unique in the History of Louisiana that this State has ever taken the lead in the PROTECTION of Civil Rights, and it certainly happens that the Civil Rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment are among the most sacred to all Conservative, Traditional Americans.

Some American Conservatives may be traumatized by this decision, because too many American Conservatives (I hate to say this, but it’s true) are unreflective hypocrites: they pledge their love of freedom, but they also love “security” and so (many, not all) “moderate” and “mainstream” Republicans (basically includes just about every single Republican in the Senate except Rand Paul and just about every single Republican in the House now that his Dad Ron has retired) would rather keep the prisons full, whether they are full of REAL criminals or not, and make “ex-cons” into permanent second-class citizens with regard to their lifelong disabilities in certain fields of life (most notably gun ownership). 

On a pure “rational basis” standard, I suspect that felons who have served their time may be MORE in need of firearms for LEGITIMATE purposes of self-defense than the average American.  Herbert Paul Bethel’s entire story in Fresno being a case in point….

What bothers me most is that so many Conservatives in this Country do not realize how unjust America’s laws have become, how ALL AMERICANS are potential “felons” within the meaning of a totally over-written, overbroad and vague set of criminal codes.  And so many Americans who have yet to have a major brush with the law support the mass incarceration of their fellow citizens WITHOUT REGARD for the fact that too great a percentage of America’s HUGE incarcerated population have committed at best “commercial” crimes such as drug smuggling or sales, and that the constitutionality of regulating such things is, at best, “open to question” (some would say there is no constitutional basis for the “War on Drugs” whatsoever—and I am one of THOSE….)

In this connexion: STRIKE GOVERNOR BOBBY JINDAL from your list of Republicans you might consider supporting because he immediately spoke out AGAINST Judge Derbigny’s decision (and was lukewarm about the Constitutional initiative last year).  

The “War on Drugs” is the “War on the American People”—under Obama as under Bush 43rd as under Clinton as under Bush 41st as under Reagan, Carter, and all the way back to Nixon—Rockefeller Started it in New York—why?

http://abclocal.go.com/kfsn/story?section=news/local&id=8901583

News Item from Fresno, California, November 29, 2012:

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) — Several people were detained at a home on Valentine and Olive in West Central Fresno while a search warrant was served.

There was a large law enforcement presence Thursday morning as several different agencies from Fresno and Kings Counties descended on the West Olive property, looking for drugs.

Authorities arrived at the house around 7:30 Thursday morning. They described the property as a large complex with at least five structures, including homes and businesses, on at least four acres.

The Clovis Police Bomb Squad, and officers with the Avenal and Hanford Police Departments assisted in the search of the complex. Authorities said at least five people were detained. Investigators are trying to determine if those people are involved in possible drug activity on the property.

Some neighbors said they have seen a lot of suspicious activity around the property — and it’s not the first time the property has been raided.

“It’s always been that way as long as I’ve lived here — and I’ve lived here 20 years. And this is, I think, the sixth raid on this property here, since I’ve been here,” said Bob Ausburn, neighbor.

Olive Avenue was closed for several hours Thursday morning between Valentine and Brawley while officers searched the home. It has since re-opened.

Officers were still investigating the complex Thursday afternoon.

(Copyright ©2012 KFSN-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

“Descended on the property, looking for drugs.”

The article doesn’t mention that the police knocked down a locked fence, tore apart several warehouses, found nothing illegal, broke into an expensive private safe, found nothing illegal, and arrested several people on charges as yet unknown and unstated.

Now as it happens, I know both the current and previous owners of the property and I happen to know that the current owner was raided EXACTLY one year ago minus one day at another large “compound” home he owns—this one in Clovis on the opposite site of Fresno.  (That prior was November 30, 2011, instead of the 29th… it appears important or at least routine to have these events on a weekday followed by  a court day).  

http://www.fresnobee.com/2011/11/30/2633178/pot-guns-seized-in-clovis-3-arrested.html  (one was a woman, a grandmother, with no criminal record whatsoever against whom no charges were ever even alleged, much less filed)

The scenario was much the same: mass arrests/detentions of American Citizens (no illegals here) without probable cause, seizure of property, and especially the seizure of cash.  One individual was targeted in both raids: Herbert Paul Bethel, who has not been charged with any substantial offense in either episode (absolutely nothing in the second one).  The simple truth is that Herbert Paul Bethel is the victim of “harassment under color of law.”  

The previous owner of the West Olive property, still resident in her long-time home, was arrested and over $30,000.00 in cash seized from her—it happens that the source of this cash was precisely THE SALE OF HER HOME.   Alright, so it’s a little bit strange that she kept all the cash on hand, but aside from that “appearance”—no charges against her, nothing illegal about possessing cash, whether it’s “unusual” to do so or not.   The current owner of the properties raided last year in Clovis and this year in S.W. Fresno was engaged in the (for California anyhow) legal endeavor of developing a medical marijuana cooperative.

For years and years now, the War on Drugs has been a War on the American People, and it has to stop.  How ironic that the “War on Drugs” policy, the brainchild of “Liberal” Republican Governor of New York Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller in the 1960s, has been blindly implemented and extended by “Moderate” Republicans Richard M. Nixon and Gerald Ford, “Moderate” Democrats such as Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, “Conservative” Republicans such as Ronald Wilson Reagan and George W. Bush, “Compassionate Conservative” advocate of the New World Order George H.W. Bush, and radical Marxist-Socialist (barely closeted communist) Barack Hussein Obama equally and without hesitation or intermission.

According to my friend in Fresno who has now the dubious distinction of being raided TWICE at the end of two successive Novembers, 2011 and 2012, at opposite (NE and SW) corners of Fresno, no fewer than 70 officers were involved in this latest raid.   Is unemployment that bad in Fresno that they have to resort to rounding up the ruffians and putting them in uniform to harass the people?  At least the Nazis in Germany did this with some style: torchlight parades at night and massive spectacles in sports arenas.

It has now been six years since the publication Radley Balko’s excellent paper:

OVERKILL: RISE OF PARAMILITARY POLICE RAIDS IN AMERICA (http://www.cato.org/pubs/wtpapers/balko_whitepaper_2006.pdf), prepared and distributed by the Cato Institute as a “White Paper”.   The Cato Institute helped bring my case, Atwater v. Lago Vista before the United States Supreme Court, where freedom and the constitution and reasonable restraints on police action all lost 5-4.   But Ironically, the seventh case I had filed against the City of Lago Vista that ultimately led to my demise as an attorney-at-law in Texas was about an early battering ram incident in that sleepy little suburb of Austin during the first Clinton administration…. a wrong address—no compensation ever paid.

WHY ARE THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES STANDING BY AND ALLOWING THIS TO HAPPEN?  WHY ARE WE NOW ALMOST 50 YEARS INTO ALLOWING THE WAR ON DRUGS TO TRUMP ALL OTHER AMERICAN VALUES OF TRUTH, JUSTICE, FREEDOM, AND TO THE ELEMENTARY PRINCIPLE OF CIVILIZED SOCIETY EMBODIED IN THE FOURTH AMENDMENT THAT: 

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated…..

Remember, Remember, the Fourth and Fifth of November…..Argo, the Iran Hostage Crisis 33rd Anniversary Today, and Guy Fawkes’ Day Symbolism in the Confused Stew of Race, Religion, & Identity in the Western World

NOVEMBER 4: ONE OF THOSE DAYS THAT WILL LIVE IN INFAMY

Ben Affleck’s recent (excellent) movie Argo reminds us that on November 4, 1979, a mob of Iranian students breached the walls and “occupied” the American Embassy in Tehran, which they proceeded to hold for another 444 days until Ronald W. Reagan became took his oath of office as President, largely as a result of Jimmy Carter’s shame in not being able to resolve the crisis or liberate the hostages beforehand.  The feeling in this country and the world was that Carter would never go to war to defend American Honor, and that Ronald Reagan would, even though the best he ever really did was to invade the tiny island of Grenada to defend against about 200 Cuban medical students…..

Last month I attended a distinctly pro-Iranian lecture by Mark Weber at the IHR (Institute for Historical Realism) in Orange County, but Argo reminded me of how angry and personally offended I felt by the seizure of my country’s embassy in Iran.  The repeated presentation of the disgraceful history of the US & British subversion of Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh’s brief progressive democratic interlude in Iran is a stain on America’s honor, and Great Britain’s, which is hard to overcome.  Especially considering we allowed Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, and other distinctly anti-Democratic countries to nationalize and manipulate our oil markets in 1973 with little or no resistance at all.  “Argo”, along with last year’s “The Big Fix”  both start out with reminding us of Mossadegh, once Time Magazine’s “Man of the Year” (of course, so was Hitler, once, Time’s “Man of the Year”).  At his Imperial trial in Shah Reza Pahlavi’s courts of justice, Mohammed Mossadegh answered the charge of treason as follows:

Yes, my sin — my greater sin and even my greatest sin is that I nationalized Iran’s oil industry and discarded the system of political and economic exploitation by the world’s greatest empire. This at the cost to myself, my family; and at the risk of losing my life, my honor and my property. With God’s blessing and the will of the people, I fought this savage and dreadful system of international espionage and colonialism …. I am well aware that my fate must serve as an example in the future throughout the Middle East in breaking the chains of slavery and servitude to colonial interests.”

BUT WAS THE SHAH OF IRAN REALLY SO BAD?

I confess that, during my youth, at least in part because of my dearly departed Grandfather’s support and extreme enthusiasm for the Shah’s fabled “White Revolution”, I had intensely respected, even admired, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi for his work in westernizing Iran and for brining the U.S. and Iran close together as partners against World Communism.  The Shah’s policies sought to modernized Iran (making Iran more like Sweden, was his stated goal) liberated women from some of the harshest effects and constraints of Sharia Law, including a ban on the horrific practice of female circumcision.  

I went to a fairly unusual high school in Hollywood and there had the chance to learn the views several aristocratic (secular Muslim, Westernized) Iranian “foreign exchange” students who were very strong supporters of their King and Emperor.  Finally, I know that my grandfather’s positive views of the Shah were by no means unique to him, one of my best friends for most of the past 40 years has been one Helen Sorayya Carr, named after the Shah’s beautiful half-German Empress (Shahbanu) or Queen (Malakeh), named by her father Denzel Carr, a Professor of Linguistics at Berkeley, for the most ancient beauty Queen of the West (Helen of Troy) and the most modern beauty Queen of the East (Sorayya of Isfahan).  Obviously, and for many good reasons, that Shah or Iran was well-liked in the United States and Europe—he was “one of us” trying to assimilate his country with ours and trying to raise his population from the Middle Ages to the 20th Century…… Mark Weber in his speech had very little to say about the Shah…. 

But the portrayal of the Shah in “Argo” (or at least its portrayal of the spirit and causes of the Iranian Revolution) is that Reza Pahlavi was a tyrant on the level of, if not even worse than, Iraq’s Saddam Hussein.  There was no justice in the American invasion of Iraq, or the subsequent execution of Saddam Hussein and many of his regime’s top officials.  There is certainly no apparent justice in the fact that we supported the Shah but invaded Iraq to overthrown Hussein while all during this period we have done nothing but support the House of Saud and related regimes in Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Yemen, and the United Arab Emirates.

And of course, as Mark Weber correctly pointed out in his presentation at IHR, immediately after the overthrow of the Shah, Iraq and Iran went to war and at THAT time it seemed that the US could and should support Saddam Hussein as the Secular Muslim opponent of “Lunatic” Islamic Fundamentalism under the Grand Ayatollah Sayyed Ruhollah Mostafavi Musavi Khomeini.  Saddam Hussein seemed like the great beacon of progress and Westernization in the Middle East.

Isolation and Non-Interference are the Best Policies Available.  

It is very confusing to be a 52 year old Anglo-American and look at Iran and Iraq today.  I cannot do anything but regret that we ever violated President George Washington’s counsel in his Farewell Address that we stay clear of all foreign entanglements.  The bottom line is simply this: the United States has done no good at any stage by interference in the Middle East: we certainly did terrible injury by opposing Mossadegh and participating in his overthrow in 1953—there is simply no doubt about that.  We did no good by supporting the Shah of Iran afterwards, but frankly he was so rich from Oil, especially after 1973, that whether we supported him or not seemed quite irrelevant.  

One recurring theme in US-Middle Eastern Politics is that we (in the US) seem to put Israel First, no matter what it costs to do so.  Dinesh D’Souza strongly supported the pro-Israeli position in his movie “Obama 2016” which also made more than passing reference to Iran….and Obama’s seeming non-opposition to Iran, despite the continual beat of war drums throughout his Administration.  Mark Weber made the excellent case that the blindly pro-Israeli policies of the United States are extremely destructive to the future of our relationship with the Iranian people—UNDER ANY GOVERNMENT, PRESENT OR FUTURE—and of course, Ron Paul concurs 100% in this view, and it is for that reason that the pro-Israeli lobby in the US has all but banned Media coverage of Ron Paul and his successor Gary Johnson…..

We, the American people, should simply keep our noses OUT of other countries’ affairs.  Freedom is fundamentally the freedom to be left alone, and every sovereign country on earth deserves that freedom from interference by the US, Russia, China, the UK, or France—or an aggressive Iran or “Brazil” of the Future…

Separation of American Interests from foreign interests is consistent with maintaining real diversity in the world, and I am in favor of real diversity.  Iranians should develop Iranian culture as Iranians see fit, but they should mostly develop it in Iran, and yet I live in a city sometimes called “Irangeles” and find myself enlisted to assist in mediating constant bickering and civil disputes between Iranians and non-Iranians, but also between Jewish Iranians and Islamic Iranians (especially in Beverly Hills), and even between Iranian Jews and Non-Iranian Jews.  

It’s enough to make one wonder: where DID all the blonde California beach girls go?  How DID West Los Angeles become Irangeles after Iranians overtook and then outnumbered Armenians as the largest Middle Eastern Population in California?  “Middle Eastern Population in California?”—oh yes, there’s a large Mosque on Shaw Avenue in Fresno not far from Cal-State Fresno—although there’s still a monument to William Saroyan, Armenian-American novelist and Playwright, in a park in his native Fresno close to the courthouse……

Again speaking as a 52 year old American WASP, I cannot comprehend the religion of Islam at all.  I despise the Muslim oppression and suppression of women—I have known too many Egyptian women, in particular, who have been subjected to the almost unspeakably inhumane savage and brutal practice of female circumcision (which according to WHO reports results in approximately 10% fatalities).

I cannot believe that such practices (and worse yet, the “Muslim grooming” of young English and French girls) are not only being tolerated among immigrant populations in France, Great Britain and the USA but are actively condoned by the Archbishop of Canterbury in the name of “diversity” and “tolerance” and saying that adoption of some form of “Sharia Law” in the UK is all but inevitable.  I say: it is avoidable—just say no and vote Front National, BNP/English Resistance…. which is a good point to move over to another point about today’s dates:

A Day Which has Lived in Infamy (Justifiably or Otherwise) for 407 years now—Was the Protestant Reformation about anything important other than Nationalism and Autonomy from Rome?  (Probably Not….)

Tomorrow, on November 5, we remember that Guy Fawkes was a Catholic who wanted to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1605, or so they say, because he wanted to oppose the final triumph of Protestantism in England embodied in the recent accession of Catholic Queen-of-Scots Mary Stuart’s son, James I and VII, to the throne of a finally united kingdom of what was not yet called “Great Britain”.  

The Gunpowder Treason and Plot, as described in the history books anyhow, has to be one of the lamest conspiracy theories ever.  How exactly, I would love to know, could Catholic, Jesuit (and therefore automatically suspect in early Jacobean London), co-conspirators LEASE strategically located space (i.e. make a written contract)  and then use this space solely for the purpose of managing to get 36 Barrels of Gunpowder into a strategic location to blow up the House of Lords at the Palace of Westminster in July, keeping them there until November 5, without ever being discovered?  And all this happened during a time of plague and pestilence in London?   And all of the participants were already well-known Papists suspected by the crown of treason?  

The history of the “Gunpowder Treason and Plot” stinks of being a Stuart-Crown initiated “false flag” episode like the explosion of the Battleship Maine, the Reichstag Fire, and of course, the most recent, 9-11-2001, as being a staged event to organize and inspire loyalty to an at best shaky oligarchy…..  James I & VII was considerably smarter than his son, Charles I, and much more likely to have ordered and pulled off a “false flag” attack that would define history for a long time to come….  So in retrospect now, I strongly suspect, as I have to admit I did from “Day 1” of the 9-11 business, that Guy Fawkes was just another Patsy, like Lee Harvey Oswald, made to take the blame for something that was carefully planned just to use him as a symbol to be burned in effigy every year just after Halloween—-“Penny for the Guy?”

V-for-Vendetta Revisionism?

The movie “V-for-Vendetta” that was filmed for the 400th anniversary of the Gunpowder Treason and Plot made the Patsy into a symbol of heroic resistance which appealed deeply to me and to many around the world.  The Guy Fawkes’ mask has turned the “Guy” into a symbolic of Patriotic resistance completely inconsistent with the historical reality, so that the revised myth of “The Fifth of November” as a great revolutionary people’s insurrection against oppression is just as phony as the original “False Flag” Jacobean cover story about a Papist Plot to blow up the House of Lords was…..

But what are the elements that the myths have in common?  Both the original theory of the Gunpowder Plot as “Compassing the Death of the King” and causing a major Catholic (counter-reformationist) insurrection in England and the “V-for-Vendetta” version both focus on religious identity and intolerance as key elements of statehood and established power.  “Guy” Fawkes was often ridiculed as “Guido” because he used allegedly used this Italianate version of his name in correspondence with Jesuit “co-conspirators”, in short, Guy Fawkes became the first “real Guido.”

And so it is, of course, just another ironic if little-known fact of history that the first Guido to make a name for himself was not an Italian at all but an Englishman: Guido Fawkes, a.k.a. Guy Fawkes.   There is, to be sure, no evidence whatsoever that the Real Original Guido wore Armani Exchange T-shirts and artfully distressed jeans or that he tended to strut and flex steroid- pumped up muscles.  (Modern ethnologists from New Jersey & Staten Island report that the call of the Guido is bellowing, and frequently slurred, invariably starting with the sound, “Yo,” followed all too often by some creative variation on an expletive beginning with the letter, “F”).

In V-for-Vendetta the disfavored religion is Islam and the disfavored ethnics or behavioral subgroups are Muslims and Homosexuals.   Ever since the movie came out, it has occurred to me that the Patriotic fervor of the anonymous, amnesiac character who wears the Guy Fawkes mask would (in the modern world) be shared largely if not predominantly by people who supported some version of the conservative “Norsefire” platform on which Chancellor Adam Suttler and his government stood.  But the use of Guy Fawkes’ image as a paradigm for revolutionary action and advocacy transcends right and left—the mask is as popular among members of the (mostly but not exclusively left-wing) “occupy” movement as well as the “We the People” anti-IRS tax protestors.

I suspect that Natalie Portman and the other luminaries who participated in the making of “V” would tell you that their movie is a paradigm in favor of multiculturalism and diversity—where everyone can be united “behind the mask” no matter what their ethnic or religious affiliation and/or origin.

But “Guy Fawkes’ Day” used to be called “Pope’s Day” as well as “Gunpowder Day” and it was a celebration of anti-Catholicism and Protestant Triumph.  I was born into a Southern Protestant family in which Catholicism was strongly frowned upon on one side and fairly strongly favored on the other, albeit under the rubric of “Anglo-Catholicism” and adherence to the notion of Jacobite Stuart monarchism and “Charles the Martyr” day on January 31. “Charles the Martyr Day” commemorates the admittedly unjust and more than slightly appalling execution of King Charles I and the equally unjust and more than slightly appalling “Commonwealth” of Oliver Cromwell.  Cromwell and his son created little more than a beetle-browed Puritan dictatorship with no long-lasting heritage or accomplishments.

Cromwell’s “Commonwealth” Dictatorship was replaced after a mere 11 year experiment by the Stuart Restoration of Charles II which shaped and formed “all the best” of England basically as it was to be until 1914.  The death of Charles II with tons of illegitimate children but not one single legitimate heir led to a Guy Fawkes’-like “Hiccup” in the formation of modern England, namely the reign of Charles’ brother James who was overthrown for trying to restore, for the last time in England, Roman Catholicism as the official religion.

Modern readers are reasonably suspicious of religion.  Even those of us (like me) who may be going to Church on Sunday have only limited confidence in any creed.  Philosophy and Science, including Anthropology and Evolutionary Biology, have taken a huge toll on what we can unquestioningly “believe” or not.  I love my Church—the Episcopal Church, part of the Anglican Tradition, but I do not believe in its embrace of multiculturalism AT ALL.  Rather, I love the fact that in the past, and especially in my past—my personal and family history—that Church embodies all that is AGAINST multiculturalism and globalism in favor of “Anglicanism.”  I would define “Anglicanism” as the English people’s worship of themselves, primarily, as being created in the image of God—how’s that for an anthropologically reasonable, post-Vatican II liturgically blasphemous explanation of my Church and my Faith?

The modern ethnocentric Anglican has to address the political correctness of multiculturalism.  I do so as follows: we must choose and define our own identities.   Not merely do we have the INALIENABLE right to do so, we MUST do so.  We must define our own identities and try to keep and develop them for our children for the sake of preserving real diversity in the world, for the purpose of FOSTERING more “micro-diversity” and hence “micro-evolution” in the world.  We must not shrink from our obligations.

England should NOT become a Muslim country, nor should Sweden or Norway or Denmark or the Netherlands or France or Greece.  I that sense, I stand by Chancellor Adam Sutler and “Norsefire.”  However, it is only by a “Guy Fawkes” like uprising” led by the BNP or “English Resistence” or “UKIP” or some group like that who can make it happen.

About the United States—what is this country and what should it be?  Los Angeles and New York (and up to a certain point, Chicago) are cities culturally dominated not by Muslims but by Jews, even if demographically Jews remain a minority.  Henry Waxman represents me in Congress (actually, he doesn’t represent anything about me, but I guess it’s more appropriate to say “I live in his Congressional District”).  I did not vote for him, but I have no confidence in Bill Bloomfield for whom I did vote.  (New York Mayor Republican Mayor Bloomberg endorsed Obama—I find this appalling, although I did not vote for Romney, I voted for Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Candidate (by mail, I sent my ballot in last Tuesday).   I might have written in one of several other candidates but the California Legislature has for the time-being at least all but outlawed write-in candidates and I have voted Libertarian more than any other party ever since I decided in 1992 never to vote Republican again after George H.W. Bush’s treason on both the tax question and the invasion of Iraq—-which some propose that we now follow by the Invasion of Iran…)

Of course, adding to the confusion about Iran, as noted, Ronald W. Reagan owed his election in no small part to President Jimmy Carter’s complete ineptitude in defending American honor around the world, especially in Iran.  And yet, 5 years into the Reagan Presidency, a good-looking Colonel named Oliver North was on all the Radio and Television stations defending his PURCHASE (with White-House approved fund) of ARMS FROM Iran for sale AGAINST U.S. Law to the Contras in Nicaragua.  Huh?  I almost decided never to vote Republican again after that.  Reagan knew that the Revolutionary Islamic Republic of Iran was the chief enemy of the United States after the Communist Soviet Union and China, and he was clearly authorizing this Colonel North to give “Aid and Comfort” to the Iranians by doing business with them, paying them for guns to a cause which Reagan personally supported, although the Congress of the United States had barred official support of it, namely the Contras (Anti-Sandinistas) of Nicaragua. And yet I made the mistake, as did many Americans, of voting for George H.W. Bush in 1988 and that led to the first U.S. invasion of Iraq (for the heinous crime of overthrowing the Kuwaiti monarchy??????) and my final defection from the Republican Party.  THERE WAS NO EXCUSE FOR OUR INVASION OF IRAQ in 1991 or in 2003, and THERE IS NO POSSIBLE EXCUSE FOR US TO INVADE IRAN NOW.

I for one unequivocally oppose all American adventurism and imperialism abroad.  I agree with Pat Buchanan that we are “A Republic, not an Empire”, and I hope that over the next few years we can restore the American Republic and work towards a restoration of American Identity—“Los Angeles”, not “Irangeles”—with no disrespect to the rights of the people of Iran to maintain their own culture and civilization as they see fit, and as they have done without Anglo-American assistance for most of the past 4,000 years since Susa, the Sassanians, and Persepolis….

California Coalition for Constitutional Rights: Seeking all California-Licensed 420 Growers or Medical Cannabis Dispensers threatened for violations of FEDERAL Law by State Officials

I have previously stated that I support the rights of the Central Valley growers who have been attacked and put out of business under color of law by California State Officers claiming to be acting under Federal Law or even as Deputized by Federal Agencies.  The goal is to collect as many stories and rights together and file suit under the principles asserted last year in Bond v. United States: that private individuals have standing to sue for violations of States’ Rights under the 10th Amendment. Bond v US 131 Sct 2355 180 LEd2d 269 SCOTUS JUNE 2011.  I would like to see the holdings of Bond, extended to the 9th Amendment as well.  No right should exist, in fact, without a remedy to enforce that right.  Is there a Tenth Amendment remedy to restrict or overturn the Commerce Clause restrictions on liberty imposed and upheld in Gonzales v. Raich06-06-2005 Gonzales v Raich 545 US 1 125 SCt 2195 162 LEd2 1 06-06-2005?  The time has come to abolish illegitimate Federal exercise of power by putting the Interstate Commerce Clause back in the box where it came from (namely Article I, Section 8, Clause 3 of the Constitution).

The attached document reflects our current strategy and goals, comments welcome: 05-16-2012 Deo Vindice-Cannabis + States’ Rights + the Constitution + Agrarian & Individual Freedom

Please call Jack Bauer in Fresno at (559) 291-6188, Peyton Yates Freiman in Austin at (512) 968-2666, or Melody Gillespie in Porterville (559) 779-8253.

Confessions of a Lifelong-Heroine Addict….(oh well, since I was 6 or 8 I guess, probably not so much before that…)…from Dorothy Gale to Katniss Everdeen

The California Secretary of State having quite literally locked the doors to my running for Senate this year (at least in Tulare and Fresno Counties)—and the California Courts not seeming to offer a sufficient or accessible remedy—I now have time to indulge other (if related) obsessions my life, such as my sufferings from a lifetime of heroine addiction….  

Like almost every other aspect of my life, I blame my mother Alice and grandmother Helen almost equally….

It was my mother and father who, when I was very small, used to take me down by the Thames in Westminster near the Houses of Parliament and show me the statue of Boadicea (aka “Budica”), the last independent Iceni Queen of East Anglia who rebelled and died trying to evict the Roman Conquerors, in whose memory it was said and sung that “Britons never shall be slaves.”  We also took one trip out to Norwich to visit one of the woods where the Iceni supposedly worshipped their own goddess of Victory….called “Budika” in the Ancient British language of the Druids….(my parents were both heavily into historical and comparative linguistics).  Budika/Boadicea in A.D. 60-61 apparently burned Roman Londinium to the ground along with several other cities before being defeated and poisoning herself by the long Roman Road called “Watling Street” which we also visited…. She was a heroine and supposedly a great archer….  

Of course my parents also tried, as heart as their own agitated and addled lives would permit them, to make me aware of a very different heroine, regarding whom they required me to memorize “the Magnificat” from a very early age….”My soul doth magnify the Lord….Abraham and his seed forever…” And yes, the Virgin Mary was indeed a rebellious heroine… and she has remained a heroine to hundreds of millions of people up to the present time….  Later on, I learned to sing the Magnificat and other pieces of Anglo-Catholic “Maryolatry” as a choirboy in the junior Choir at the Church of the Incarnation in Dallas, under the tutelage of the late, Great Russell J. Brydon (who died just a few months after this post was originally written, in September 2012 at the age of 88:

http://www.dallasnews.com/obituary-headlines/20120906-russell-j.-brydon-jr.-longtime-dallas-church-and-temple-organist-dies-at-88.ece

But it was my grandmother Helen who was something of a heroine in my young eyes herself, and it was Helen who introduced me to the very first literary  (as distinct from Historical or Biblical) heroines of whose stories I ever learned in detail: namely Dorothy Gale, Scarlett O’Hara, and the Roman Goddess Diana and her Sacred Temple by Lake Nemi  near Ariccia (Diana was also an archer…)

The path of fictional heroines from Dorothy Gale’s grey home in Kansas to Katniss* Everdeen’s equally grey home in District 12 of Panem took 108 years….from the first publication of the Wizard of Oz in 1900 through the appearance of archer Katniss Everdeen  Hunger Games in 2008**….is really the history of the idealistic dreams and ultimate failure of the 20th century (idealist dreams in Baum’s time giving way to a more cynical realism by 1939, passing through the somewhat confused “liberation” of the 1960s, sinking into the dark, pessimistic world of Buffy and Angel and finally coming to rest in the despair of District 12 in Panem in 2008—the year Barack Hussein Obama took over from George W. Bush…two different faces for the heartless, soulless, President Snow….)

But the difference in spirit between those two places traces indeed the tragic story of the Decline and Fall of Western Civilization (and of the American Dream) in the 20th Century. Major stopping points along the way (for me at least) include 1939 with the Dorothy Gale’s transformation in the person of Judy Garland and Scarlett O’Hara’s complete redefinition of the concept of “progress” in the late 19th century, Jane Fonda’s comic Cat Ballou and Barbarella in the 1960s, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer in movie and television from 1992-2003.  

At each of these intervals, the world is more cynical and darker, and the heroines more complex.  Many critics have observed that the “head injury/dream sequence” aspects of the 1939 Movie Wizard of Oz and the metathesis of real individuals to “dreamtime” residents of the Land of Oz (which was COMPLETELY absent from L. Frank Baum’s book) resulted directly from Freudian psychoanalysis and the early popularity of psychology.  The general effect is to radically weaken the power of Oz as metaphor or lesson—but the movie was a wonderful hit—a lightly comic Wagnerian gesammtkunstwerk of acting, visual art, and music, so nobody really cared.  

A lot of the verbal banter and humor in the movie likewise showed a certain “worldly” sophistication with which I think Frank Baum would only have been somewhat congenial. E.G. the Cowardly Lion’s song “there’s just no use denyin’, I’m just a DANDYlion…” and the Wizard’s closing comment to the Scarecrow:

Back where I come from we have universities, 
seats of great learning 
-- where men go to become great thinkers. 
And when they come out, they think deep thoughts -- 
and with no more brains than you have .... 
But! They have one thing you haven't got! 
A diploma!

As a former denizen of the great academic halls of Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 and Chicago, Illinois 60637 (from various halls of which august institutions I did, for all the good that it’s done me or the world, get diplomas), and a regular visitor to many other such places, I can tell you that the Wizard here is absolutely right: 

And when they come out, they think deep thoughts -- 
and with no more  brains than you have.... 

But such cynicism simply was not part of the original vision of Oz, and although Baum occasionally did occasionally turn such comments to ridicule life back in North America in later books, he did not at all in his first installment in which he remade European folk mythology and archetypes and reshaped them in a very idealized panorama of a world where death was rare if non-existent and even the most evil of men and creatures did not kill for sport or pleasure.

For all of L. Frank Baum’s futuristic visions, I do not think he could have foreseen the transition from the naïve and hardworking life of Kansas to the nightmarish dreamworld of Suzanne Collins’ grim opera—neither a soap opera nor a very lyric, although even in the written version (which I finally got around to reading), music plays an immensely important part in the methathesis of metaphor and character, from Katniss’ Father to Peeta, from Prim to Rue… as between the unnatural National Anthem of the Conquering Capitol and the free world of nature and the poor of the “outlying districts.”

L. Frank Baum’s Oz books in so many was shaped and defined the culture of early-to-mid 20th Century of a predominantly White Christian America, especially after the release of Judy Garland’s movie….***  The spirit of Dorothy Gale’s Kansas was stiflingly dull and harsh—the American dream had already, at that point, apparently kind of run aground and needed new life— The spirit of Dorothy Gale’s Oz was half atavistic throwback to the Middle Ages, half filled with futuristic wonders (such as Glinda the Good’s Magic Picture, which permitted her what we would now call “live video access” to whatever was going on in Oz or elsewhere earth she was interested.

Dorothy Gale was a simple, pre-teenage girl (Judy Garland was at least ten years older than the original character was portrayed as being in the First Oz Book, but Dorothy Gale remained essentially a-sexual throughout the series, never had a boyfriend or a beau…. perhaps recapitulating some archaic notion of “the Virgin Goddess”,  e.g. Diana Nemorensis or the Virgin Mary or the “Virgin Queen”, Mary again or Queen Elizabeth I) whose strength derived from common sense, great courage, love, and determination.  Dorothy Gale was a generalist who never specialized in anything or focused on any particular trade, profession, or way of earning a living (all throughout the long series of Oz books, in fact).  She was just flexible, imaginative, and practical—kind of a “Renaissance girl” in a very low tech way.

Being a non-specialized generalist seems to be the primary role of all feminine heroes.  Of the earliest three I knew (Dorothy Gale, Scarlett O’Hara, and Diana Nemorensis), if Dorothy Gale had the purest and most asexual identity, Scarlett O’Hara surely had the most impure and sexual.  

It was perhaps for that reason that I was never really taken with her until I was a teenager, even though with my grandparents I religiously had watched Gone with the Wind at every possible opportunity and my grandmother compared the mythic South with the real South over and over again.   Scarlett O’Hara was beautiful, flirtations, and OWNED men in a way that is both fairly realistic and quite cynical.  But the book and movie Gone with the Wind were brilliantly timed between the First and Second World Wars to show that the American War Between the States of 1861-1865 was the first really and truly modern war of total destruction.  

Throughout history, up until Abraham Lincoln loosed Sherman on Georgia and Grant on Virginia, the goal of Conquest Warfare had been to preserve as much of a conquered land’s wealth as possible—so that it could be stolen and appropriated for the victors.  There might have been a lot of talk in Ancient Rome about how “Carthage must be destroyed” and about Salting the Earth once it was vanquished, but Carthage was not only not burnt to the ground and left to rot by the Roman Conquest, it became one of the Great Cities of the Roman Empire, as 20-30 years of Harvard Archaeological excavations in Tunisia have so clearly shown.  Gone with the Wind showed something else when Sherman’s “wind blew through Georgia.”  The purpose was indeed, as the opening lines of both the movie and the book suggested, to wipe out an entire civilization, a way of life—to replace what Marxists call one “mode of production” with another.   NONE of Baum’s villains in Oz were as bad as that, although the movie version of the Wicked Witch of the West was pretty murderous in her general attitude….

One major innovation of Jane Fonda’s heroines Cat Ballou and especially Barbarella in the 1960s was the advent of “free love”, which never appeared even once in any of Baum’s pre-1920 writings, which was only very obliquely alluded to in Gone with the Wind, but which by the 1960s was all anyone really cared about.  

Like Dorothy Gale and Scarlett O’Hara before her, Cat Ballou and Barbarella were unspecialized generalists who could adapt to almost any situation.  They were strong, intelligent, sexy, deadly in a good cause, and then Jane Fonda went to Hanoi….  In retrospect she may have been right to do it because the Vietnam War was totally wrong, a seriously failed experiment in 1984-type “perpetual war”….but Jane Fonda’s actions did not seem positive at the time.  

In this defiance of the outward semblance of world order sense, Jane Fonda’s characters of both Cat Ballou and Barbarella somehow came to life as defiant outlaws….crossing boundaries that no one else would cross, and doing so with both impunity and (what seemed most shocking at the time) complete immunity from real official sanction.  Like the righteous killer Catherine Ballou who avenged her father’s death in the Wild West—Jane Fonda first enacted herself as a mythic reality and then, by going to Hanoi, remade herself as a historic metaphor—walking through the image of a treacherous act, unscathed, in essence to show that Vietnam was all a staged event….. a dramatic diversion to keep the masses simultaneously afraid, amused and absorbed….  

Fast forward 24 years from Jane Fonda as Barbarella and you arrive the first incarnation of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, a completely modern LA County San Fernando Valley girl with no hints of modesty or virginity about her…. followed by the much more intriguing evolution of Buffy Summers in the TV Series from virginal high school freshman to intensely sexual college freshman, in a world which is increasingly dark and where reality is increasingly concealed….. Buffy’s Sunnydale was a mythic place, a lot like Los Angeles, while her first boyfriend and lover Angel eventually goes to the real Los Angeles and sets up shop as first as a private detective and then director of a large law firm—two professions which, in Los Angeles at least, possibly in the movies generally, have almost acquired the status of modern Jungian archetypes….  

The increasingly dark and brooding, sad and depressed Buffy Summers never lost her general adaptability—she could never specialize in any profession or line of work any more than Dorothy Gale or Scarlett O’Hara or Catherine Ballou… but the realization that the dark forces of the world were effectively unbeatable and had pre-existed anything good in the world—these were major transformations of the American Dream from the Early 20th Century.  And it was during the 7 televised seasons of Buffy that the 20th Century, which came in with a little girl magically transported by a tornado from dull grey Kansas to a bright and beautiful alternative universe which knew no death, went out during Buffy’s Freshman year at UCLA with a young adult barely out of her teens who was alone in the world, with her small circle of more specialized friends, fighting vampires and the forces of darkness.

And five years after Buffy ended, Katniss Everdeen picked up the bow from her archetypal ancestors the Goddesses Inanna and Diana and Queen Boadicea, and began to hunt for meagre food in the desperately hunger fringes of District 12 (in what was once called Appalachia in what was once called North America).  

The gruesomeness of the Hunger Games apparently shocks some people—I would have thought that Americans had long since forgotten how to be shocked about or by anything.  Children murdering children for sport isn’t the most pleasant of ideas, to be sure. But in that 17-19 year olds have gone off to fight in every war America has ever seen….along with a few 16 year olds here and there, and since the History Channel periodically shows authentic news clips of 15-16 year old resistance “werewolves” in 1945 Post-World War II Germany being shot by firing squads of American Troops, and countless tens of thousands of teenagers have been silently snuffed in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Vietnam, it is hard to believe that the idea of children fighting and dying is really such a big deal to our ever hypocritically squeamish population.

The Hunger Games resonate with so much in our history and culture—with the original Victor Hugo version of Les Miserables (hopelessly buried and lost in the Broadway Musical of the same name), and in Suzanne Collins’ own account with the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur.  

But above all the Hunger Games resonates with the year 2012 in which America has taken so many steps towards being a brutal, repressive dictatorship like Panem, already—with idiot fake and fraudulent “Conservatives” like Lindsey Graham and Newt Gingrich competing with idiot truly fraudulent “Liberals” like Carl Levin, Barbara Boxer, Dianne Feinstein, Nancy Pelosi, and Barack Obama competing with one another to see who can shred the Constitution fastest.  

Interesting to me, given that I based my own doctoral dissertation at Harvard in large part on revisiting Frazer’s the Golden Bough and with it Diana’s Temple by Lake Nemi near Ariccia, are the parallels between the Hunger Games and the myths and rituals of Divine Kingship.  There is nothing in the story of Theseus and the Minotaur, however, about games or about Tributes being well-fed and allowed every luxury leading up to their deaths.  But precisely this treatment is common in the rites of Divine Kingship, where sacrificial victims, like the individual selected for sacrifice during the rites of Toxcatl among the Aztec, are equated with the God Tezcatlipoca (“Smoking Mirror”) during the last year of their lives, given wonderful food and drink, and then sacrificed.  Similar paradigms of sacrifice are found throughout the world—

And the sacrifice of children, likewise, is extremely common: to the rain gods in Mesoamerica, relic traces of this existed even among the modern Yucatec Maya who tie small children to the legs of the altar during the cha-chaac or rain ceremony—although the children have to do nothing more that happily chirp like rainy season frogs (but woe to the boy who croaks like a dry season Toad—he will be beaten, not sacrificed, but beaten).  The Hebrew Bible itself is filled with child sacrifice (all through the Books of Kings and Chronicles, in particular, are Kings who make their children “walk through the fire”—perhaps most famously the daughter of Jeptha…), and by way of archaeological parallel—the excavations at Carthage have revealed hundreds and thousands of child sacrifices…. Among the Natchez of Mississippi, families sacrificed their children in order to rise in social status from commoners (“Stinkards”) to “Honored” Nobility according to the French records by Dupratz and recounted by John R. Swanton….

And in this sense it is perplexing: sacrifice almost always lead either to elevation in status or to outright deification: why the elite of Panem would not have recognized the risk embodied in Golden Bough-Divine Kingship type of analysis: the sacrificial victim—like the Rex Nemorensis at Ariccia who becomes King by killing the old one in combat, will always become the next king.  

At the end of the first book of Suzanne Collins’ trilogy, Katniss Everdeen is poised to become (with Peeta), Queen and King of Panem.  This was not only foreseeable, it was in comparative mythological terms inevitable—and yet Suzanne Collins’ trilogy does not allow this drama to evolve that way.  In part, this may be because technology and traditions of oppression have obliterated the natural succession of Divine Kingship….

But Sir James G. Frazer’s point in writing the Golden Bough was to show that Divine Kingship involving the deification of sacrificial victims and their elevation as Kings is a nearly world-wide phenomenon.  I sit here puzzling at the significance of all the trappings of Divine Kingship and the Golden Bough in the Hunger Games.  

Frank Baum had either borrowed or unconsciously recreated so many motifs from ancient mythology—the Four World Quarters with colors Winkie-yellow Quadlin-red Munchkin-blue and Gillikin-purple with Green for the Center of the Emerald City are like nothing so much as the mythological and symbolic organization of (1) Ancient Mesopotamia, “Land of the Four Quarters” centered on Uruk, (2) Celtic Ireland, Ulster, Munster, Connaught, Leinster, and centered on Midhe (Meath) at Tara, and (3) pre-Hispanic Yucatan which, at several Classic sites, is divided into quarters dominated (as recorded on Stelae A & H at Copan) by Tikal, Calakmul, Palenque, and Copan and which even now is divided into four quarters (Yucatán, Campeche, Quintana Roo, and Petén, with Belize claimed by Guatemala and Geographically appearing to be a southern extension of Quintana Roo).

But in Frank Baum’s Oz, kingship is never strong and is always frowned upon, as are all attempts at centralization or standardization of culture, customs, or laws among the four/five regions of Oz.  For that reason, I would assume, there are no hints or traces of divine kingship in Oz—it is a Federal egalitarian Democracy of sorts (even though no one ever votes).  

But by the time of Buffy, as the 20th century closes, the need for a leader has brought forward the Slayer—“one girl in all the world” who fights the Demons.  Now Joss Whedon optimistically ended his series with a devolution of power and prowess from Buffy through the magic of Willow to Millions of “potential” slayers—-but it didn’t quite ring true, in a Television series where even the most outrageous vampiric and magic witchcraft was somehow made to feel “emotionally authentic.”

In the Hunger Games, Dictatorship is the reality and the two victors of the Hunger Games, Katniss & Peeta, are set to become the Divine Kings and possibly the real sovereigns of their land.  Perhaps the need for leadership, the need for someone to save the population, is not yet great enough, but in terms of the political and emotional significance of our story-telling, I think that the journey from Dorothy Gale’s Grey Kansas to Katniss Everdeen’s Grey District 12 tells us the story of the loss of hope and impending doom and despair which was the 20th Century.

*  Katniss is named after a plant called Sagittaria, and my grandmother was born under the sign of Sagittarius—it could be that Katniss reminds me a great deal of my grandmother Helen—similar complexions and faces…. Actress Jennifer Lawrence certainly fits very precisely the image in Suzanne Collins’ book…. and the younger pictures I’ve seen of my grandmother with long hair as a teenager in the time before the U.S. entered WWI….growing up in a place very much like the defeated districts of Panem in the Southern USA.

** In some New Age texts, 108 years is said to be a Venus Cycle, the more ordinary astrological cycle is one of 104 years.  108 is used, but oddly enough, is four years longer than longest calendrical cycle and planetary identity of the Ancient Goddess of Love, namely Inanna/ Ishtar/Aphrodite/Venus.  The calendrical cycles of Venus and the sun are said to “bind” (i.e coincide) every 2920 days, but the ultimate binding of 5 Heliacal Cycles of Venus with 8 Calendar years …. (365 x 8 = 5 x 584 = 2920 x 13 = 37,960 = 2 x 52 years (my current age) = 104 calendar years/105 “tuns” or 360 day periods—the root of the Maya and Aztec Calendars).  Like her Roman Counterpart Diana, Aphrodite and Inanna were both archers—it seems to be the feminine weapon of choice, possibly for purely sexual Freudian reasons, possibly for some mixture of Freudian sexual and Jungian archetypal causation.

*** In the 1970s, Broadway Musical and 1978 movie “the Wiz” the just recently departed Diana Ross and the late Michael Jackson did their best to reframe and appropriate the Baum story for African-America in the aftermath of the Civil Rights movement (or Fraudulent Civil Rights Fiasco) of the 1950s-60s…. I have never been comfortable Easing on Down the Road with them in that direction…. although my grandfather was a great supporter of alternative all black productions (now almost extinct) because they upheld and even developed, really and truly, the old segregationist’s doctrine of Separate but Equal (we actually attended the Wiz at the Majestic Theater on Broadway as well as an all black revival of Guys & Dolls in my one major summer with him (ever in my life) in 1976.