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Jan 16

We are all loonies now

We are all loonies now

by Don Hank

There is at least one report that Jared Lee Loughner may be associated with the so-called “patriot movement,” sort of second cousins to the Libertarians. Indeed, he thinks (if it can be called thinking) exactly like one.

In the early 90s a business acquaintance of mine invited me to a meeting of a group he called “patriots.” They sat around discussing the Constitution and heroic people who defy the government on the basis of what they considered to be their constitutional rights. One of the first things I noticed was a frequent ear-grating misuse of the word “whom” (in the subjective case) by some of the speakers who seemed to be accepted as authorities by the rest of the group.

I was told that one of the guys in the group specialized in baiting the cops by driving around in a car without a tag. Whenever he was pulled over, he pulled a copy of the Constitution out of his glove compartment and showed the officer a clause protecting the right of free travel. This he interpreted to mean that the government could not force anyone to buy a license to use a car. This same gentleman was unemployed, spending most of his time fighting the “fascist” government. He couldn’t afford to pay his mortgage but claimed no one had the right to evict him, again, supposedly based on the Constitution. He had a sign on his door stating that the “owner of this house is a Christian gentleman” and something to the effect that no one had the right to evict him, alluding to the dear Constitution he claimed as his all-purpose personal shield. The group seemed to accord him a special degree of respect.

Another guy in the group, who was dependent on a prescription antidepressant, was obliged to leave his apartment upon expiry of his lease. He had made a pest of himself, going around challenging people, including his fellow tenants and his landlords, on the constitutionality of various laws. Like Jared Lee Loughner, he had made himself unwelcome everywhere, including in areas he had staked out as his turf.

This evicted “patriot” sued the landlord in court and told the judge it was his Constitutional right to have his lease renewed, but did not cite any particular part of the Constitution. It was as if that document was for him what a silver cross is to a vampire’s intended victim. Just brandishing it before the enemy makes you invulerable. The best he could come up with, following disjointed statements, was “my freedom was bought at the price of patriots’ blood.” 

He seemed to be conflating the Founders with Jesus. At any rate, the judge did not accept the argument.

This “patriot’s” case best spotlights what is wrong with a very tiny segment of the US population, who are neither leftists nor conservatives.  They claim to love their country but what they mean is themselves. The Constitution in no way calls for security for renters or restricts the right of property owners to rent to whomever they want to. It is in fact Statists who argue that landlords should not be entitled to freely choose whom they may or may not rent to but should rather be constrained by the State to rent to a percentage of minorities corresponding to the general demographics. The plaintiff in this case was in fact arguing for a kind of affirmative action for himself.

Claiming to be a “sovereign citizen,” this plaintiff was in fact demanding that the State intervene on his behalf against the wishes of his landlord. While claiming the Constitution as his defense, he was in fact using a liberal-progressive interpretation of that document.

It was just such a tragic and self-centered misunderstanding of the Constitution that seems to have motivated Jared Lee Loughner in his war against his Pima Community College. The college had learned early on that Loughner was extremely disruptive and posed a potential threat to his professors and classmates, and as a result, had seen fit to expel him. But Loughner asserted on his web page that they had deprived him of his First Amendment right to free speech.

There always will be people out there like Loughner and the patriots to whom I was introduced in the early 90s.

But these people most certainly are not conservatives, quite the opposite. They outwardly pretend to share our concern for the Constitution and for the way it is being trampled in our courts and legislatures.

But in fact, their concern is for themselves, their own selfish interests, and they are, in their own way, attempting to usurp and distort the Constitution for personal gain and power. In this way they are no different from the power happy activist judges in our courts. What these Statist patriots demand on their own behalf, the Statist Left demands in the name of social and economic justice. The difference is razor-thin.

Thus, seen in this light, the loony Left, in accusing conservative talk radio and TV hosts and politicians like Sara Palin of inciting loony Loughner to kill, is in fact trying to distance itself from a man who is arguably one of their own. They are succeeding in part so far because naive people on the other side have allowed themselves, out of fear, to be branded by their lies and people in the amorphous center believe them. They really ought to see through the subterfuge.

But looniness – in this case, manifested as the mental incapacity to see through a relatively transparent smoke screen — is spreading epidemically thanks to the wondrous distortive power of the press.

1 comment

3 pings

  1. Jim Brown

    Hi Don, I’m wondering if you know what “controlled opposition” is….Have you ever seen a group of completely peaceful protesters (I would never advocate protesting, but that requires a lengthy explanation, there are many reasons to not protest or demonstrate), and everything is going fine, actually it’s down right boring at times, and then, from out of nowhere, kaos breaks out, fights, somebody breaks out a storefront window, somebody hurls a Molotov cocktail at a group of cops standing on the corner killing time, imeadiately the cops radio in for the riot squad, tear gas, fire hoses etc. etc…….And of course, right about the time this all breaks out, a news crew shows up, looking for the most destructive footage they can find, and lo an behold, IT GETS WORSE, (right on cue), shots are fired, a car gets torched with gasoline…….Now……go ask one of the original protesters, who’s been there all day, if they know the guys that started all this……NOPE,,NEVER SEEN THEM BEFORE…..That’s because they were PAID ACTORS brought in to make the protestors look like crazy wacko terrorists. This is completely routine, and is just one of the very good reasons not to protest………I’m sure you’ve heard of the Tea Party……around 1 out of 20 of them are private contractors for various government alphabet agencies ……..Same thing with this story, you’re writing about some wacko who “CLAIMS TO BE a “Sovereign Citizen”…….This guy doesn’t have a job, he doesn’t have any friends, he constantly does really stupid shit to cops and judges, he’s loud and he doesn’t have the slightest clue of what he’s talking about,, AND HE”S NOT IN JAIL……BUT HE”S ALL OVER THE NEWS……….The really bad part is, YOU GOT SUCKERED INTO THE DECEPTION YOUR SELF, and now you are helping a bunch of scumbag criminals to demonize a very legitimate movement and awakening of the people…….I hope that you have enough personal ethics to at least want to eliminate this as a possibility…….I will gladly provide my 35+ years of study, and links to people who are better educated and experienced than I am. You are caught up in a loosing game, please let me point you towards a much more productive game, one where everybody wins……….Jim……

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