Tag Archives: John K. Naland

Happy Birthday to John Kiddoo Naland, Tulane Arts & Sciences Classes of 1979, 1980

As the inscription around the shield as an epitaph over one of the gates to the Old Schoolyard says,

“In Memory of Dear Old Times”—

Happy Birthday, John Kiddoo Naland, and many happy returns!

“All Glory Laud and Honor, to Thee Redeemer King”—54 Palm Sundays….Sundays of the Passion, Ox Blood Vestments, Isaiah 50, Psalm 31

Isaiah 50: 4-9

The Lord God has given me the tongue of a teacher, that I may know how to sustain the weary with a word.  Morning by morning he wakens—wakens my ear to listen as those who are taught.  The Lord God has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious, I did not turn backward.  I gave my back to those who struck me, and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard; I did not hide my face from insult and spitting.  The Lord God helps me; therefore I have not been disgraced; therefore I have set my face like flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame; he who vindicates me is near.  Who will contend with me?  Le us stand up together.  Who are my adversaries?  Let them confront me.  It is the Lord God who helps me; who will declare me guilty?

I was born on the hundred and first day of a leap year, in a year when that 101st day just happened to be Palm Sunday… This is normally the hundredth day of the year in non-leap years such as 2013.  So I always cheat and celebrate my birthday twice every year—once for secular purposes on the hundredth day of the year birthday and another for “spiritual purposes” on Palm Sunday.  

Today, March 24, is only the 83rd day of the year but it starts a fortnight and a half of birthdays of so many people who have been important in my life.  The State Department’s John K. Naland, my best friend in my college years at Tulane, celebrates his birthday tomorrow, March 25, on the day that MIGHT have been selected for Christmas at the Council of Nicaea but lost by a narrow vote to December 25.   On Wednesday Peyton Yates Freiman and his brother Andrew turn 30.  Jon Drew Roland, Fernando Robles Castellanos, Beatriz Repetto Tio de Maldonado and Apolonio Betancourt Ruiz.

The year I was born, Dwight D. Eisenhower was President, Richard Nixon was Vice-President, Earl Warren was Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Lyndon B. Johnson was Senate Democratic leader and Price Daniel, Sr., was Governor of Texas.  The Oscars for “Best Picture” and “Best Director” (Billy Wilder) in that 33rd year of the Academy Awards went to a movie which is nearly totally forgotten called “the Apartment” (which is only now remembered at all because Kevin Spacey dedicated his 1999 Oscar for the  brilliant American Beauty to Jack Lemmon’s performance in the Apartment.)  Go Figure!  On the whole it was a really horrible year but none of that was my fault.  Price Daniel, Sr. being the Governor of Texas was the best aspect of the time, politically speaking, although the Governorship of James (“Jimmie”) Houston Davis in Louisiana was the cultural and artistic highlight (singing “Sunshine, You Are My Sunshine”).  

Today I learned several things I never knew before—the name “Palm Sunday” is not traditional—it only started being used officially in the Episcopal Church in the 1928 prayerbook, but that’s the Book of Common Prayer I grew up with and I just never noticed the difference between that and my mother’s older English Church Prayerbook where it is called “The Sunday of the Passion.”  In admiring the Cathedral Dean’s Vestments, I learned that the color of Holy Week is not (at I had always thought) “Crimson” (like the Harvard Doctoral gown I wore exactly once in my life for graduation in 1990), but a much more Anglo-Saxon or Chaucerian sounding “Ox Blood Red.”   

Psalm 31: 9-16    IN TE, DOMINE SPERAVI

Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am in trouble; my eye is consumed with sorry, and also my throat and my belly.

For my life is wasted with grief, and my years with sighing; my strength fails me because of affliction, and my bones are consumed.

I have become a reproach to all my enemies and even to my neighbors, a dismay to those of my acquaintance; when they see me in the street they avoid me.

I am forgotten like a dead man, out of mind; I am as useless as a broken pot.

For I have heard the whispering of the crow fear is all around; they put their heads together against me; they plot to take my life.

But as for me, I have trusted in you, O Lord.  I have said, “You are My God.”

My times are in your hand; rescue me from the hands of mine enemies, and from those who persecute me.

Make your face to shine upon your servant, and in your loving-kindness save me.

A New Red Dawn Over America—Obamacare & the Police Power in Arizona are Upheld—the Constitution again ruled DOA at the Supreme Court (full text of the Supreme Court’s Worst Two Decisions of the Week attached)

Chief Justice John Roberts is rapidly becoming my least favorite U.S. Supreme Court Justice in history.  First, in 2007, the debut innovation of “the Roberts Court” was Bell Atlantic v. Twombly, then a followup kick in the face of freedom under the name of Ashcroft v. Iqbal and now this week (on Monday, June 25, 2012) Arizona v. United States (Arizona v US) and, today Thursday, June 28, 2012, yet another day that will live in infamy: NATIONAL FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT BUSINESS et al. v. KAREN SEBELIUS, SECRETARY OF HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES (NATIONAL FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT BUSINESS et al v SEBELIUS SECRETARY OF HEALTH).

It’s been a really bad week for the Constitution and for the American people, and a very good day for  Obama’s flourishing Dictatorship of the Proletariat.  Oh yes, and what a nice present for Hillary Clinton as she celebrates lasting longer as U.S. Secretary of State than any other of the 96 individuals to hold that office—and we were all sure she was just a joke back in the early 1990s when she was pushing a National Health Care System which looked an awful lot like what we’ve got now with Obamacare.

First with regard to Arizona v. US: The expansion of the American Police State seems never-ending, as the late great Strom Thurmond’s States-Rights Democratic Party Platform very accurately predicted in 1948.   The great triumph of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States over the past 64 years is quite simply this: all oppressive acts of government, so long as they are applied equally to White people as well as Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, and all others without Racial, and only with Economic and Political, Prejudice, will be upheld.  But try asserting any constitutional right other than your right to be on an equal footing with all other slaves, and man YOU ARE DEAD MEAT!!!!  States Rights got a minor boost last year when an individual right to sue under the Tenth Amendment was recognized, but this year the 162 year trend towards the complete suppression of State Sovereignty marches forward unabated….

The main issue regarding Arizona’s immigration statutes was whether the individual states of the Union have any right to make more restrictive laws regarding residence and citizenship than the United States as a whole.  Under the expressly anti-States’ Rights 14th Amendment, the Supreme Court said NO.  But, if the Arizona police want to go around harassing people on the highways, they are free to do so, so long as they are willing to say they suspect that every blonde-haired & blue-eyed caucasian must have recently entered illegally from Sweden or Norway perhaps….  The Supreme Court, these days, never seems to miss an opportunity to enhance the power of the police to oppress the population at large.

With regard to the “Obamacare” case, I can only say I’m NOT even as surprised by this result as I was not by the result in the Arizona immigration opinion.  Ever since Franklin D. Roosevelt gave up his plan to “pack” the Supreme Court, there is no infringement on the economic liberty and personal choices of the American people which the Supreme Court finds too trivial to be worthy of Federal Enforcement.  The only comment-worthy deviation from predictions was that Chief Justice John Roberts in this case came up with the novel notion that the U.S. government can tax anything and anyone it wants to for any reason, including non-compliance with a mandatory insurance purchase requirement, and that this punitive tax or purchase choice makes it all “OK.”

Of all the commentary and punditry that came out on Thursday after the decision, two of the most “spot on” that I saw were first) the article describing John Roberts’ “Liberal Apotheosis”:

After Thursday’s Obamacare ruling, Supreme Court Justice John Roberts became a minor deity to some liberals for voting to save Obamacare. But just days before Roberts’ apotheosis, liberals lamented that the “conservative” Supreme Court was taking America down a dangerous path.  (http://news.yahoo.com/obamacare-ruling-liberal-apotheosis-john-roberts-035207618.html)

The “Liberal Apotheosis” of John Roberts?  “Apotheosis” of course, means transformation into a god—and what did the pagan gods of Olympia or Pharaonic Egypt do?  Exactly what any god can do:  A “god” can work Miracles,  first Make and then Bend the all Rules, Change the Natural Order of Things….   I suppose my own religious notions, such as they are, posit an unchanging God defined by the phrase from the old BCP: “as it was in the beginning, it is now and ever shall be, world without end amen” which seems curiously absent from most Episcopal services these days.   I equate God with Nature, and while I believe rather fervently in Evolution, I believe Evolution operates according to certain utterly unchanging rules, such as the laws of thermodynamics, which even the discovery of man’s ability intentionally to split or fuse atoms could never quite change.

And yet the Godlike role of the Supreme Court in making and bending rules seems more than a bit undemocratic.   So that is the second part of the analysis we need to perform today: Was Roberts’ decision to side with Obamacare entirely a matter of political strategy?

 The American Concept of Constitutional Judicial Review predates Chief Justice John Marshall. The Supreme Court’s decision Chisholm v. Georgia 2 U.S. 412 (February 1, 1793)(Chisholm v Georgia, 2 U.S. 419, February 1 1793triggered the (I would now say very unfortunate) move to enact the 11th Amendment during the First Term of the Presidency of George Washington.  But Chief Justice Marshall’s notions of judicial review shaped the Court, much to his cousin Thomas Jefferson’s dismay and disgust.   I recall hearing the story of Marbury v. Madison and judicial review in my Freshman year at Tulane, from Professor Jean Danielson in Political Science H103, where I met my long-time college years best friend John K. Naland, now a long-time veteran of the U.S. State Department.  Professor Danielson explained the political genius of Marbury v. Madison was that it empowered the Court while respecting the political boundaries of the time.  Chief Justice Marshall knew that, as President Adams’ last major appointee, any decision made in favor of the appointment of Adams’ minor “midnight judges” including William Marbury would simply be ignored by the new Democratic-Republican administration of Jefferson (with James Madison as secretary of state and the defendant in the case) as an act of political partisanship on the part of a Federalist appointee favoring Federalist appointees.  On the other hand, to uphold Secretary of State Madison’s power to refuse to honor the appointments made by President Adams would seem like craven capitulation without legal or moral integrity.  So, in a result which no one ever anticipated, Chief Justice John Marshall carefully reasoned and soundly declared the statute authorizing the appointment of Magistrates in the District of Columbia to be an unconstitutional act in excess of Congress’ power under the Constitution—and the role of the U.S. Supreme Court as Constitutional arbiter of the United States was established forever—or, at least, for a long time.

That particular “long time” ended in 1936, which, as a another commentator/pundit on the Obamacare decision pointed out, was the last time in history that the United States Supreme Court overturned a major piece of Congressional legislation as Unconstitutional.    Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s first term as President was unlike anything the United States had ever since, including George Washington’s First Term.   In Washington’s First Term, the constant debate in Congress was whether the Federal Government had power under the Constitution to do much of anything at all.  The spirit was decidedly “conservative” in the sense of cautious, even as a new nation conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal was being launched as a more formally organized “corporate” type of enterprise (the Articles of Confederation were much more analogous to a “partnership” among the States—with each partner having a nearly full veto power).

During FDR’s First Term, there were also many in Congress who asked whether the Federal Government had the power to do a great many of the things the New Deal proposed to do, from the NRA to the TVA (National Recovery Administration to the Tennessee Valley Authority).  But from 1933-1937, such questions were not asked in a cautious or even skeptical voice regarding what Congress and the Federal government could legitimately do, but in the desperate and panicked voice of people who saw and feared “you are taking our lives, our fortunes, our sacred honor” from us.  Those people sought recourse against the reckless usurpation of Federal Power in the Supreme Court, and in the years 1933-1937, the Supreme Court struck down 29 Congressionally passed statutes signed by the President as part of the New Deal.

Roosevelt’s first hundred days and all that followed provoked an unprecedented clash between the Supreme Court Justices and the “New Deal” alliance of the legislative and executive branches. At Roosevelt’s instigation, Congress in the 1930s enacted a series of laws ostensibly, supposed, aimed at ending the Great Depression and restoring the nation’s economic well-being, but in fact aimed at shoring up the American Elite, especially the Banking system, from the threat of a Communist and/or Fascist revolution analogous to those taking place in Europe at the same time.  Of eight major “program” statutes to come before the Court, only two were upheld. Laws that were struck down included the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1933, the National Industrial Recovery Act of 1933, and the Bituminous Coal Conservation Act of 1935.  The Court came under heavy fire for its decisions, and Roosevelt proposed a controversial plan to increase the size of the Court, presumably to ensure a majority sympathetic to the New Deal.

Shortly after the plan was proposed, the Court defused the issue by upholding a series of revised New Deal laws.  Dominated by economic conservatives, to which group even late 19th/early 20th Century “Progressives” such as Oliver Wendell Holmes were (by comparison, anyhow) the Court threw out numerous laws Congress enacted to protect workers and consumers. The conflicts peaked in 1936. The Court threw out twenty-nine laws during that period, but the last of these was in 1936, when when the court invalidated a federal law that limited work hours and prescribed minimum wages for coal workers.

Everything changed in 1937 when, FDR Proposed the Judicial Procedures Reform Bill of 1937 on March 9 of that year in one of his legendary “Fireside chats” whereby he jumped over the Congress and all Constitutional Separation of Powers and asked the American people directly to endorse and support his programs.  The public reaction was overwhelmingly negative, almost the first time the 33rd President had seen any of his initiatives draw such opposition.  But the Justices of the Supreme Court saw the writing on the wall—mene, mene, tekel upharsin—and when faced with the two major cases challenging Social Security (the ultimate authority and most direct antecedent for Obamacare), the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the most massive fraud ever perpetrated on the American people—the law creating a “Social Security Trust Fund” with the bribed cooperation of the States—into which Social Security Trust Fund not one dime of real money (certainly not one dime of the 14 Trillion dollars paid since 1937 in Social Security Taxes) has ever been paid.

Helvering v. Davis (05-27-1937 Helvering v Davis 301 US 619 57 SCt 904 Jusice Cardozo endorses the SS Trust Fund Fraud) and Steward Machine Company v. Davis (Charles C Steward Mach Co v Davis) thus effectively marked the end of the Supreme Court as an independent branch of government.  The new mantra was not “that government is best which governs least” but instead, “The concept of the general welfare is not a static one”…. “Needs that were narrow or parochial a century ago may be interwoven in our day with the well-being of the nation. What is critical or urgent changes with the times.”   (Helvering v. Davis, 301 U.S. 619, 641, 57 S.Ct. 904, 909, 81 L.Ed. 1307, 1315 [1937])

From that time forward Courts held that there appeared to be only four (all extra-constitutional) prerequisites to a finding that a spending clause measure and condition attached to it are valid: (1) The federal power is used for a legitimate national purpose, i.e., promotion of the general welfare (Charles C. Steward Machine Co. v. Davis, 301 U.S. 548 at pp. 585–590, 57 S.Ct. at pp. 890–92 [1937], 81 L.Ed. at pp. 1290–1293); (2) the condition is related to a legitimate national goal (Charles C. Steward Machine Co. v. Davis, supra, at pp. 590–591, 57 S.Ct. at pp. 892–93, 81 L.Ed. at pp. 1292–1293; See also Note, Federal Grants and the Tenth Amendment: ‘Things As They Are’ and Fiscal Federalism (1981) 50 Fordham L.Rev. 130, 140–141); (3) the condition is related to the purpose of the federal funds whose receipt is conditioned (FCC v. League of Women Voters (1984) 468 U.S. 364, 104 S.Ct. 3106, 3132, 82 L.Ed.2d 278, 309 (Rehnquist, J. dissenting); State of Okl. v. Schweiker, 655 F.2d at pp. 407, 411); and (4) the condition is unambiguous (Pennhurst State School v. Halderman,  451 U.S. at p. 17, 101 S.Ct. at pp. 1539–40 [January 23, 1984])(Pennhurst State School And Hosp v Halderman).
It was in the spirit of such a “living constitution” that Chief Justice John Roberts allied himself with the enemies of limited government on June 28, 2012.  And it is in that sense, much like the Supreme Court in 1937, ruling in Roosevelt’s favor in both of the Social Security Cases, Helvering and Charles Steward above, that Chief Justice John Roberts “saved the Supreme Court” (http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/power-players-abc-news/did-chief-justice-roberts-save-supreme-court-103301790.html).  More likely, Chief Justice John Roberts just danced on Chief Justice John Marshall’s grave and said, “You think that failure to follow the Constitution is Judicial Treason?  Well, let’s see what you’re going to do about it now.”  According to that same article, Chief Justice Roberts had told the Senate at his confirmation hearings:
“Judges are like umpires. Umpires don’t make the rules; they apply them,” said Roberts at the time. “The role of an umpire and a judge is critical. They make sure everybody plays by the rules, but it is a limited role. Nobody ever went to a ballgame to see the umpire.”

Now, strangely enough, Chief Justice John Marshall wrote a very different kind of opinion in 1820:

The judiciary cannot, as the legislature may, avoid a measure because it approaches the confines of the constitution. We cannot pass it by because it is doubtful. With whatever doubts, with whatever difficulties, a case may be attended, we must decide it, if it be brought before us. We have no more right to decline the exercise of jurisdiction which is given, than to usurp that which is not given. The one or the other would be treason to the constitution. Questions may occur which we would gladly avoid; but we cannot avoid them. All we can do is, to exercise our best judgment, and conscientiously to perform our duty.  Cohens v State of Virginia, 19 U.S. 264, 5 L.Ed. 257, 6 Wheaton 264 (March 3, 1820)

There is a great deal of confusion among the commentators and pundits, I think, about what “Judicial activism” really means.  I would NOT call Chief Justice John Marshall a Judicial Activist—although, indeed, he advocated throughout his 35 years on the bench a considerably more positive role for the Court in preserving the Constitution than Chief Justice John Roberts has shown to date.  “Judicial Activism” does not mean “striking down unconstitutional laws”—“Judicial Activism” as a term should be reserved for reshaping or restructuring the laws in the absence of Congressional Authority to do so.  The “Warren Court” from 1953-1971 was the epitome of “judicial activism”—the Supreme Court during those two decades effectively rewrote the laws of the United States and told CONGRESS and the STATES what to do, rather than vice-versa.

In the case of Obamacare, Chief Justice John Roberts acts his role as an umpire very poorly.  He has seen the foul, called it (under the commerce clause) and “covered it up” under the guise of the taxing power, which (in reality) is even less constitutionally justified than the commerce clause rationale (which at least has the past 75 years of tradition—however illegitimate, behind it).

And so was the U.S. Constitution rewritten in 1937 to allow for first the “relatively” modest program of Social Security and now, 75 years later—on the occasion of the 75th Annual Hunger Games (cf. Suzanne Collins, Catching Fire [2009] and Mockingjay [2010], both New York: Scholastic Press)—Obamacare comes forward to cap the fraud by, in Chief Justice John Roberts’ view—a non-coercive, mere “Tax” on those who do not buy governmentally mandated insurance… and of course, jail for those who do not pay their taxes.

SO WHAT IS THE SHORT-TERM SOLUTION?  NULLIFY OBAMACARE!  I should say that, without any hesitation whatsoever, I absolutely endorse and support the Tenth Amendment Center’s position on Obamacare (this Los Angeles based think tank is just one of the brightest stars on the Political Horizon—of our New Red Dawn):

Now that the Supremes have crushed Constitutional limits once again, the next step is to focus all our energy on a state and local level to NULLIFY this – and every other – unconstitutional act.
We have model legislation for yor state.  Ready to go right now.  Press your state reps to introduce this bill today, or for the next legislative session.
http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/legislation/federal-health-care-nullification-act/
Please SHARE this information widely!
*******
We need your help to continue this work, and help people take the next step at the state level.  Please join us, and help nullification happen!  Whether it’s $500 or $5, every bit of help right now is crucial!
Please visit this link to help now:
http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/donate/
*******
Thomas Jefferson told us that when the government “assumes undelegated powers” a nullification is THE “rightful remedy”
James Madison said that states were “duty bound to interpose….to arrest the progress of evil”
Today’s ruling is an assumption of undelegated powers, and evil is advancing.  The time to act in support of nullification in your area is NOW!  Please share the model legislation for Obamacare with as many people as possible, and please chip in as generously as possible to help us push this campaign aggressively.
While the task is difficult, our cause is just.
Concordia res parvae crescunt,
(small thing grow great by concord)
Michael Bolding
Tenth Amendment Center
==================================================
Our mailing address is:
Tenth Amendment Center
123 S. Figueroa St
Suite 1614
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Our telephone:
213.935.0553

AND WHAT DO I DO AS I WATCH ALL THIS TRANSPIRE?

I sigh.  I cry.  And sometimes I just want to lie down and die.  This is not the land of my birth, even though on the map it generally looks like it should be the same country as it was in 1960.

The transformation over the past fifty two years is simply horrific.  52 years was a key cycle of time among the Aztec, Maya, Mixtec, Tarascans & Zapotec in ancient Mesoamerica, and I can only say that I feel a certain sympathy for how an Aztec born in 1518 might have felt looking at the wreckage of his once proud nation in 1570 after 52 years of Spanish conquest, rape and pillage.  Like an Aztec born in the last year before the arrival of the Spanish, I have grown up and come to age watching my own people (the American Middle Class, especially Protestants of European descent) reduced to second class status, my people’s most attractive and beautiful women taken as prizes by the conquerors, my nation’s heritage and values denigrated, suppressed and taught in the schools as nothing but “heresy” from the New World Order.

I do speak Spanish fairly well and have spent many of the happier moments in my life in Mexico and elsewhere in the Hispanic World, from Bogotá to Barcelona, and I keep in touch with many friends and acquaintances of a Constitutional mindset from those parts of the world.  When they ask me what I consider to be the greatest single constitutional development under the Presidency of Barack Hussein Obama, I tell them without hesitation: N.A.D.A.  (aka Senate Bill 1867, you know, the statute that effectively repealed the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments that passed the Senate 93-7 last December).

Completing the First 1% of the Third Millenium….

I remember New Year’s Eve, December 31, 1999 in New Orleans—what an amazing party it was.  My then 8 year old son rode on my shoulders as we were crushed among the crowds at Jackson Square.  I recall we had a really good view and nearly a perfect vantage point at one early point about an hour before midnight, but got distracted by something and then by midnight we were just in the square crushed by what seemed like millions, looking at the fireworks from the Riverwalk by the Old Jax Brewery.   Elena and I had discussed when deciding it was time to “get pregnant” with Charlie that it would be fun to have a child who would remember the transition between the 20th and the 21st century, and having Charlie in 1992 was almost the last chance to have such a child.  Charlie was born during Hurricane Andrew in 1992 on August 23, 1992, in Palm Beach, Florida.  It was an amazing event.  We were on the first page of the Palm Beach Post the next day—a beautiful picture of Elena holding Charlie with me on the telephone in the background.  We knew we were going to have a boy and it was a foregone conclusion he was going to be Charles Edward Lincoln IV, but we added the name “Andrew” as a second middle name, and among other oddities, the windows of St. Mary’s Hospital in West Palm Beach were all duck-taped with gigantic X-es, which on the horizontal hospital windows looked like transparent Scottish flags bearing St. Andrews’ Crosses.

This holiday vacation, as I mentioned before, is the first time since 2001-2002 that Charlie and I have been able to spend the entire Christmas and New Year’s holiday together.  The fact that we have done so (in California) as well as the fact that we spent the past two summers together in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is a tribute to Elena K. Lincoln’s spirit and willingness to compromise and/or admit de facto defeat or mistake, in the face of her de jure victory in Court, which was the event or series of events which changed my life, and caused me to take the paths I have taken in life since 2002.

Yes, during the past decade, the first 1% of the Third Millenium, I dedicated my life in large part to attacking the Texas Family Code, a tradition which I continue now in Florida, and would like to begin in California.  The Texas Williamson County Family Court establishment was my first great confrontation with a major establishment.  The City of Lago Vista Police abuse cases in my hometown/backyard in 1997-98, which ultimately got me disbarred in the W.D. Texas and , were just a very mild warmup to what became a major anti-establishment civil rights and reform career.  Lago Vista Police Chief Frank Miller and his “prize” officer Bart Turek were my first major civil rights adversaries, but I did not hate them or even particularly dislike them.   They had just instituted and upheld a misguided and injurious police policy in Lago Vista.  The people I came to hate were those who destroyed my family and took my son away from me for during 2002-2007, with only a few respites.  I have dedicated my life to exposing the lies and the evil embodied by Williamson County Judge Michael P. Jergins, Laurie J. Nowlin, J. Randall Grimes, and Michael Davis, as well as their henchment such as the crew of psychologists including Don Jones.

But this moment, these two weeks with my son, overlooking the Pacific Ocean, with the low hills of Catalina Island in the background, is one of the sweetest moments of my life, and I thank God, and Elena for it.  I should note that I invited Elena here to share this moment not once but many times.  There’s enough sleeping space here for three to be in private rooms, as was proved when Peyton and Charlie were both here for Thanksgiving.  But Elena demurred, preferring to go to Cancun, ironically enough, since the Yucatan Peninsula was where Elena and I met in 1985.

Anyhow, to everyone out there, I wish a glorious and prosperous New Year 2010, and I hope that whatever happens to me, Charlie, and Elena, and to everyone else, that the next decade will be as full of emotional, psychological, and spiritual growth as the past decade has been for me.  In every defeat and setback I have found the inspiration to move forward and see deeper truths and meanings, and for such experiences I can only be thankful to all who gave me such opportunities, even if they meant me harm by doing so.  The absolute rock bottom low-point of this decade for me was clearly the death of my grandmother Helen in May 2001.  But not a day goes by that I do not recall fondly and given thanks for the century of life my grandmother enjoyed on earth and at all the time I shared with her and her husband, my grandfather Al, who predeceased her by 21 years in 1980.   The high points of the decade were all spent with my son, and none were higher than our days on Harvard Square and in California.

On this beautiful New Year’s Day looking West, I remember and give thanks to all my good friends and allies during the past ten years (whether we’re in contact to this day or not), in particular to my trustee, Peyton Yates Freiman, a more honest and truer soul does not exist!   I also recall my oldest friends Helen S. Carr (the only person not related to me by blood who has remembered every birthday, Christmas, and intercardinal solstice or equinox to me since the 1970s) and John K. Naland, but also to my newest best friends just made in 2009, Robert J. Ponte, Dennis & Milenne DeLeon, Renada Nadine March, and (irony of irony’s, because I first heard of her as an adversary) Lisa Liberi.  In this transitory life, in this “shake and bake” world we live in, there are many people who were once important to me whom I never see anymore, even if I have not forgotten them, but I hope that my new friends from 2009 will remain with me always.

No inventory of my most steadfast friends could ever be complete without “honorable mention” of Lisa Cook, my sister-in-law in Michigan, who talked to me and understood me and listened to me for years when to do so meant that her own husband’s family (my wife Elena’s relatives) would heap scorn upon her during “the war years” when Elena was calling me “Not Family, but Cancer in the House.”  Lisa was always there for me and I tried always to be there for her, even when nobody else was.  Charlie’s Brazilian Godmother Helir Arlotta from Palm Beach and Tarpon Springs, Florida, falls into this same category….  I don’t have Lisa’s new telephone number (I tried to reach her over the holidays) and Helir has vanished, but we do not and will not forget each other, I’m sure.

Throughout it all, the priests at St. Luke’s-on-the-Lake in Austin provided genuine friendship and support—and I will never forget them even though I might never spend much time in Austin again.  Father James P. Jameson, a fellow Harvardian, Father Philip May, and Father Mike Wyckoff were there for me (during the “war years” with Elena) when I had no one else to whom I could turn.  They are true Christians, true gentlemen, and truer friends than I ever deserved.  Father May was actually willing to meet with me and Charlie in secret in 2005, to provide “aid and comfort” like the Church Martyrs of old….

I remember more often that they will imagine possible the close relationship I had over three years of tumultuous conflict with my steadfast attorneys during the “War Years” (withe Elena of 2003-2006 Francis Wayne Williams Montenegro and Valorie Wells Davenport.  They worked mostly for free, certainly without any profit, and their dedication to my cause was incomparable, encapsulated in Francis Williams’ statement that he would support me even if threatened with a firing squad, and I believe he meant it at the moment, even though he and Valorie, once actually faced with an “offer they couldn’t refuse” by way of extortion or a “constructive bribe” from the Deputy Texas Attorney General James Carlton Todd, Mike Davis, J. Randall Grimes, and the obviously intimidated visiting Judge James F. Clawson (who replaced Jergins after the Federal suits), ultimately gave up the struggle rather than face sanctions.  Francis and Valorie also introduced me to two good people Corinne Irwin and Rod A. Dal Sasso.  I remember and pray for my late father Charles Edward, Jr., who supported my struggles until he could not stand to hear about them anymore.

I remember my friends in the Southern District of Texas early mortgage note battles: Dan Swank, Jacques S. Jaikaran, Mike Palma, Robert Bruce, and David A. Sibley (who despite some ironic vicissitudes, started off a friend and returned to friendly status) from 2006 and  Jon Drew Roland, my first trustee and closest friend and ally from 2004-2007.

Daniel Louis Simon of Liberty Hill joined my crusade against the Texas Family Courts and Code and has become a steadfast and probably last-long friend.  He holds the dubious distinction of having been sanctioned for following my lead against the Texas Family Courts and Code by Judge Walter Smith, who sanctioned Dan and me jointly and severally to the tune of $150,000.00 in March 2008 for the sole purpose of preventing us from continuing our crusade against the Texas Family Code in Federal Court.  His continued friendship and support is a great comfort to me, and I hope I can provide the same for him.

Between January 2005 and September 2007, I went through major ideological transformations in my life, realizing that the “normal” paths to reform were all but closed in the United States.   It was during these years that I also met and first had the privilege of meeting and working with Senator Jerry O’Neil of Columbia Falls and Kalispell, Montana.  Many friends, even on this ten year list, have already come and gone out of my life, but I hope Jerry will remain my friend for all the rest of the days we might both be living on earth.  He is the truest Patriot I know, one of the greatest constitutional scholars of the “Old School”, and one of the most honorable men on earth (in addition to being, as my son says, “the coolest guy I ever met”).

I remember my Florida friends and accomplices Nancy Jo Grant, Bob Hurt, Bill Trudelle, Pearl Lanier Bryan, and Kathy Ann Garcia-Lawson.  Nancy is a hero who should be known to all Patriotic Americans.  Bob, Bill, & Pearl have provided me with so much support and courage.  Pearl is a warrior among warriors.  Kathy Garcia-Lawson is in so many ways my soulmate, with regard to our parallel paths crusading against (respectively, the Texas and Florida) Family Law and Domestic Relations Courts.  Kathy is such a paragon of the devoted, virtuous spouse committed to and still in love with her husband, even after five years since he left her, I can only stand in awe of her.  Kathy breathes new meaning into the words “family” and “until death do we part.”  Kathy’s funny, sassy, and spunky daughter Alexandra, and all of their friends whom I have met in Palm Beach Gardens, especially Claire and Rebecca.  I love Kathy, her character, and her mind, and hope that she and I will also forever be friends.  And yes, in connection with a person to whom Kathy introduced me, I even will toast on this day Orly Taitz whose affection and company “woke me up” in so many ways up through November 4, 2009—May she find peace and harmony and achieve freedom from want and freedom from fear sufficient that she might break free from the golden shackles that hold her prisoner in what may be a comfortable or even palatial prison.

And I would especially like to remember Vance Fecteau and Moshe Leichner, whom the Federal government continues to hold in prison, who were my closest friends during the worst 54 day period of my life, and who made even that extreme low moment a much brighter, more enlightened, and so more bearable moment.  I doubt that it will happen within the next decade, but I pray for a day when America and the rest of the world will be truly free again, when 1-2% of the population will no longer be incarcerated or on supervised release of some sort, when crimes will be established and measured only by their actual injury to others, so that no person will ever again be incarcerated merely to increase the arrest rates and the prison population so that large corporations owned by major politicians can make larger profits.  I can honestly say that all my experiences in the past decade have educated me and made me a better person and patriot.