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Is Naomi Wolf Jefferson Starship's "Lightning Rose"?

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  • Frog Farmer
    ... From: Ralph Kermit Winterrowd 2nd I do not know this woman, but she has a new book out and in reading this information it strikes with
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 1, 2007
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      ---------- Forwarded message ----------
      From: Ralph Kermit Winterrowd 2nd <ralph@...>


      I do not know this woman, but she has a new book out and in reading
      this information it strikes with the resounding ring of truth so loud
      that I must post this to the lists. I listened to her some on youtube,
      and I have to agree with her research as far as I have seen.
      Ralph

      [FF sez: Me too. The court relationship is peppered throughout.]


      *�Naomi Wolf's The End of America: A Letter of Warning to a Young
      Patriot will be published by Chelsea Green in September.*


      =================

      Fascist America, in 10 easy steps


      From Hitler to Pinochet and beyond, history shows there are certain
      steps that any would-be dictator must take to destroy constitutional
      freedoms.
      And, argues Naomi Wolf, George Bush and his administration seem to be
      taking them all

      Tuesday April 24, 2007
      The Guardian

      Last autumn, there was a military coup in Thailand. The leaders of the
      coup took a number of steps, rather systematically, as if they had a
      shopping list. In a sense, they did. Within a matter of days, democracy
      had been closed down: the coup leaders declared martial law, sent armed
      soldiers into residential areas, took over radio and TV stations, issued
      restrictions on the press, tightened some limits on travel, and took
      certain activists into custody.

      Article continues
      They were not figuring these things out as they went along. If you look
      at history, you can see that there is essentially a blueprint for
      turning an open society into a dictatorship. That blueprint has been
      used again and again in more and less bloody, more and less terrifying
      ways. But it is always effective. It is very difficult and arduous to
      create and sustain a democracy - but history shows that closing one down
      is much simpler. You simply have to be willing to take the 10 steps.

      As difficult as this is to contemplate, it is clear, if you are willing
      to look, that each of these 10 steps has already been initiated today in
      the United States by the Bush administration.

      Because Americans like me were born in freedom, we have a hard time even
      considering that it is possible for us to become as unfree -
      domestically - as many other nations. Because we no longer learn much
      about our rights or our system of government - the task of being aware
      of the constitution has been outsourced from citizens' ownership to
      being the domain of professionals such as lawyers and professors - we
      scarcely recognise the checks and balances that the founders put in
      place, even as they are being systematically dismantled. Because we
      don't learn much about European history, the setting up of a department
      of "homeland" security - remember who else was keen on the word
      "homeland" - didn't raise the alarm bells it might have.

      It is my argument that, beneath our very noses, George Bush and his
      administration are using time-tested tactics to close down an open
      society.
      It is time for us to be willing to think the unthinkable - as the author
      and political journalist Joe Conason, has put it, that it can happen
      here. And that we are further along than we realise.

      Conason eloquently warned of the danger of American authoritarianism. I
      am arguing that we need also to look at the lessons of European and
      other kinds of fascism to understand the potential seriousness of the
      events we see unfolding in the US.

      1. Invoke a terrifying internal and external enemy

      After we were hit on September 11 2001, we were in a state of national
      shock. Less than six weeks later, on October 26 2001, the USA Patriot
      Act was passed by a Congress that had little chance to debate it; many
      said that they scarcely had time to read it. We were told we were now on
      a "war footing"; we were in a "global war" against a "global caliphate"
      intending to "wipe out civilisation". There have been other times of
      crisis in which the US accepted limits on civil liberties, such as
      during the civil war, when Lincoln declared martial law, and the second
      world war, when thousands of Japanese-American citizens were interned.
      But this situation, as Bruce Fein of the American Freedom Agenda notes,
      is unprecedented: all our other wars had an endpoint, so the pendulum
      was able to swing back toward freedom; this war is defined as open-ended
      in time and without national boundaries in space - the globe itself is
      the battlefield. "This time," Fein says, "there will be no defined end."

      Creating a terrifying threat - hydra-like, secretive, evil - is an old
      trick. It can, like Hitler's invocation of a communist threat to the
      nation's security, be based on actual events (one Wisconsin academic has
      faced calls for his dismissal because he noted, among other things, that
      the alleged communist arson, the Reichstag fire of February 1933, was
      swiftly followed in Nazi Germany by passage of the Enabling Act, which
      replaced constitutional law with an open-ended state of emergency). Or
      the terrifying threat can be based, like the National Socialist
      evocation of the "global conspiracy of world Jewry", on myth.

      It is not that global Islamist terrorism is not a severe danger; of
      course it is. I am arguing rather that the language used to convey the
      nature of the threat is different in a country such as Spain - which has
      also suffered violent terrorist attacks - than it is in America. Spanish
      citizens know that they face a grave security threat; what we as
      American citizens believe is that we are potentially threatened with the
      end of civilisation as we know it. Of course, this makes us more willing
      to accept restrictions on our freedoms.

      2. Create a gulag

      Once you have got everyone scared, the next step is to create a prison
      system outside the rule of law (as Bush put it, he wanted the American
      detention centre at Guant�namo Bay to be situated in legal "outer
      space") - where torture takes place.

      At first, the people who are sent there are seen by citizens as
      outsiders:
      troublemakers, spies, "enemies of the people" or "criminals". Initially,
      citizens tend to support the secret prison system; it makes them feel
      safer and they do not identify with the prisoners. But soon enough,
      civil society leaders - opposition members, labour activists, clergy and
      journalists - are arrested and sent there as well.

      This process took place in fascist shifts or anti-democracy crackdowns
      ranging from Italy and Germany in the 1920s and 1930s to the Latin
      American coups of the 1970s and beyond. It is standard practice for
      closing down an open society or crushing a pro-democracy uprising.

      With its jails in Iraq and Afghanistan, and, of course, Guant�namo in
      Cuba, where detainees are abused, and kept indefinitely without trial
      and without access to the due process of the law, America certainly has
      its gulag now.
      Bush and his allies in Congress recently announced they would issue no
      information about the secret CIA "black site" prisons throughout the
      world, which are used to incarcerate people who have been seized off the
      street.

      Gulags in history tend to metastasise, becoming ever larger and more
      secretive, ever more deadly and formalised. We know from first-hand
      accounts, photographs, videos and government documents that people,
      innocent and guilty, have been tortured in the US-run prisons we are
      aware of and those we can't investigate adequately.

      But Americans still assume this system and detainee abuses involve only
      scary brown people with whom they don't generally identify. It was brave
      of the conservative pundit William Safire to quote the anti-Nazi pastor
      Martin Niem�ller, who had been seized as a political prisoner: "First
      they came for the Jews." Most Americans don't understand yet that the
      destruction of the rule of law at Guant�namo set a dangerous precedent
      for them, too.

      By the way, the establishment of military tribunals that deny prisoners
      due process tends to come early on in a fascist shift. Mussolini and
      Stalin set up such tribunals. On April 24 1934, the Nazis, too, set up
      the People's Court, which also bypassed the judicial system: prisoners
      were held indefinitely, often in isolation, and tortured, without being
      charged with offences, and were subjected to show trials. Eventually,
      the Special Courts became a parallel system that put pressure on the
      regular courts to abandon the rule of law in favour of Nazi ideology
      when making decisions.

      3. Develop a thug caste

      When leaders who seek what I call a "fascist shift" want to close down
      an open society, they send paramilitary groups of scary young men out to
      terrorise citizens. The Blackshirts roamed the Italian countryside
      beating up communists; the Brownshirts staged violent rallies throughout
      Germany.
      This paramilitary force is especially important in a democracy: you need
      citizens to fear thug violence and so you need thugs who are free from
      prosecution.

      The years following 9/11 have proved a bonanza for America's security
      contractors, with the Bush administration outsourcing areas of work that
      traditionally fell to the US military. In the process, contracts worth
      hundreds of millions of dollars have been issued for security work by
      mercenaries at home and abroad. In Iraq, some of these contract
      operatives have been accused of involvement in torturing prisoners,
      harassing journalists and firing on Iraqi civilians. Under Order 17,
      issued to regulate contractors in Iraq by the one-time US administrator
      in Baghdad, Paul Bremer, these contractors are immune from prosecution

      Yes, but that is in Iraq, you could argue; however, after Hurricane
      Katrina, the Department of Homeland Security hired and deployed hundreds
      of armed private security guards in New Orleans. The investigative
      journalist Jeremy Scahill interviewed one unnamed guard who reported
      having fired on unarmed civilians in the city. It was a natural disaster
      that underlay that episode
      - but the administration's endless war on terror means ongoing scope for
      what are in effect privately contracted armies to take on crisis and
      emergency management at home in US cities.

      Thugs in America? Groups of angry young Republican men, dressed in
      identical shirts and trousers, menaced poll workers counting the votes
      in Florida in 2000. If you are reading history, you can imagine that
      there can be a need for "public order" on the next election day. Say
      there are protests, or a threat, on the day of an election; history
      would not rule out the presence of a private security firm at a polling
      station "to restore public order".

      4. Set up an internal surveillance system

      In Mussolini's Italy, in Nazi Germany, in communist East Germany, in
      communist China - in every closed society - secret police spy on
      ordinary people and encourage neighbours to spy on neighbours. The Stasi
      needed to keep only a minority of East Germans under surveillance to
      convince a majority that they themselves were being watched.

      In 2005 and 2006, when James Risen and Eric Lichtblau wrote in the New
      York Times about a secret state programme to wiretap citizens' phones,
      read their emails and follow international financial transactions, it
      became clear to ordinary Americans that they, too, could be under state
      scrutiny.

      In closed societies, this surveillance is cast as being about "national
      security"; the true function is to keep citizens docile and inhibit
      their activism and dissent.

      5. Harass citizens' groups

      The fifth thing you do is related to step four - you infiltrate and
      harass citizens' groups. It can be trivial: a church in Pasadena, whose
      minister preached that Jesus was in favour of peace, found itself being
      investigated by the Internal Revenue Service, while churches that got
      Republicans out to vote, which is equally illegal under US tax law, have
      been left alone.

      Other harassment is more serious: the American Civil Liberties Union
      reports that thousands of ordinary American anti-war, environmental and
      other groups have been infiltrated by agents: a secret Pentagon database
      includes more than four dozen peaceful anti-war meetings, rallies or
      marches by American citizens in its category of 1,500 "suspicious
      incidents". The equally secret Counterintelligence Field Activity (Cifa)
      agency of the Department of Defense has been gathering information about
      domestic organisations engaged in peaceful political activities: Cifa is
      supposed to track "potential terrorist threats" as it watches ordinary
      US citizen activists. A little-noticed new law has redefined activism
      such as animal rights protests as "terrorism". So the definition of
      "terrorist" slowly expands to include the opposition.

      6. Engage in arbitrary detention and release

      This scares people. It is a kind of cat-and-mouse game. Nicholas D
      Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, the investigative reporters who wrote China
      Wakes: the Struggle for the Soul of a Rising Power, describe
      pro-democracy activists in China, such as Wei Jingsheng, being arrested
      and released many times. In a closing or closed society there is a
      "list" of dissidents and opposition
      leaders: you are targeted in this way once you are on the list, and it
      is hard to get off the list.

      In 2004, America's Transportation Security Administration confirmed that
      it had a list of passengers who were targeted for security searches or
      worse if they tried to fly. People who have found themselves on the
      list? Two middle-aged women peace activists in San Francisco; liberal
      Senator Edward Kennedy; a member of Venezuela's government - after
      Venezuela's president had criticised Bush; and thousands of ordinary US
      citizens.

      Professor Walter F Murphy is emeritus of Princeton University; he is one
      of the foremost constitutional scholars in the nation and author of the
      classic Constitutional Democracy. Murphy is also a decorated former
      marine, and he is not even especially politically liberal. But on March
      1 this year, he was denied a boarding pass at Newark, "because I was on
      the Terrorist Watch list".

      "Have you been in any peace marches? We ban a lot of people from flying
      because of that," asked the airline employee.

      "I explained," said Murphy, "that I had not so marched but had, in
      September 2006, given a lecture at Princeton, televised and put on the
      web, highly critical of George Bush for his many violations of the
      constitution."

      "That'll do it," the man said.

      Anti-war marcher? Potential terrorist. Support the constitution?
      Potential terrorist. History shows that the categories of "enemy of the
      people" tend to expand ever deeper into civil life.

      James Yee, a US citizen, was the Muslim chaplain at Guant�namo who was
      accused of mishandling classified documents. He was harassed by the US
      military before the charges against him were dropped. Yee has been
      detained and released several times. He is still of interest.

      Brandon Mayfield, a US citizen and lawyer in Oregon, was mistakenly
      identified as a possible terrorist. His house was secretly broken into
      and his computer seized. Though he is innocent of the accusation against
      him, he is still on the list.

      It is a standard practice of fascist societies that once you are on the
      list, you can't get off.

      7. Target key individuals

      Threaten civil servants, artists and academics with job loss if they
      don't toe the line. Mussolini went after the rectors of state
      universities who did not conform to the fascist line; so did Joseph
      Goebbels, who purged academics who were not pro-Nazi; so did Chile's
      Augusto Pinochet; so does the Chinese communist Politburo in punishing
      pro-democracy students and professors.

      Academe is a tinderbox of activism, so those seeking a fascist shift
      punish academics and students with professional loss if they do not
      "coordinate", in Goebbels' term, ideologically. Since civil servants are
      the sector of society most vulnerable to being fired by a given regime,
      they are also a group that fascists typically "coordinate" early on: the
      Reich Law for the Re-establishment of a Professional Civil Service was
      passed on April 7 1933.

      Bush supporters in state legislatures in several states put pressure on
      regents at state universities to penalise or fire academics who have
      been critical of the administration. As for civil servants, the Bush
      administration has derailed the career of one military lawyer who spoke
      up for fair trials for detainees, while an administration official
      publicly intimidated the law firms that represent detainees pro bono by
      threatening to call for their major corporate clients to boycott them.

      Elsewhere, a CIA contract worker who said in a closed blog that
      "waterboarding is torture" was stripped of the security clearance she
      needed in order to do her job.

      Most recently, the administration purged eight US attorneys for what
      looks like insufficient political loyalty. When Goebbels purged the
      civil service in April 1933, attorneys were "coordinated" too, a step
      that eased the way of the increasingly brutal laws to follow.

      8. Control the press

      Italy in the 1920s, Germany in the 30s, East Germany in the 50s,
      Czechoslovakia in the 60s, the Latin American dictatorships in the 70s,
      China in the 80s and 90s - all dictatorships and would-be dictators
      target newspapers and journalists. They threaten and harass them in more
      open societies that they are seeking to close, and they arrest them and
      worse in societies that have been closed already.

      The Committee to Protect Journalists says arrests of US journalists are
      at an all-time high: Josh Wolf (no relation), a blogger in San
      Francisco, has been put in jail for a year for refusing to turn over
      video of an anti-war demonstration; Homeland Security brought a criminal
      complaint against reporter Greg Palast, claiming he threatened "critical
      infrastructure" when he and a TV producer were filming victims of
      Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana.
      Palast had written a bestseller critical of the Bush administration.

      Other reporters and writers have been punished in other ways. Joseph C
      Wilson accused Bush, in a New York Times op-ed, of leading the country
      to war on the basis of a false charge that Saddam Hussein had acquired
      yellowcake uranium in Niger. His wife, Valerie Plame, was outed as a CIA
      spy
      - a form of retaliation that ended her career.

      Prosecution and job loss are nothing, though, compared with how the US
      is treating journalists seeking to cover the conflict in Iraq in an
      unbiased way. The Committee to Protect Journalists has documented
      multiple accounts of the US military in Iraq firing upon or threatening
      to fire upon unembedded (meaning independent) reporters and camera
      operators from organisations ranging from al-Jazeera to the BBC. While
      westerners may question the accounts by al-Jazeera, they should pay
      attention to the accounts of reporters such as the BBC's Kate Adie. In
      some cases reporters have been wounded or killed, including ITN's Terry
      Lloyd in 2003. Both CBS and the Associated Press in Iraq had staff
      members seized by the US military and taken to violent prisons; the news
      organisations were unable to see the evidence against their staffers.

      Over time in closing societies, real news is supplanted by fake news and
      false documents. Pinochet showed Chilean citizens falsified documents to
      back up his claim that terrorists had been about to attack the nation.
      The yellowcake charge, too, was based on forged papers.

      You won't have a shutdown of news in modern America - it is not
      possible.
      But you can have, as Frank Rich and Sidney Blumenthal have pointed out,
      a steady stream of lies polluting the news well. What you already have
      is a White House directing a stream of false information that is so
      relentless that it is increasingly hard to sort out truth from untruth.
      In a fascist system, it's not the lies that count but the muddying. When
      citizens can't tell real news from fake, they give up their demands for
      accountability bit by bit.

      9. Dissent equals treason

      Cast dissent as "treason" and criticism as "espionage'. Every closing
      society does this, just as it elaborates laws that increasingly
      criminalise certain kinds of speech and expand the definition of "spy"
      and "traitor".
      When Bill Keller, the publisher of the New York Times, ran the
      Lichtblau/Risen stories, Bush called the Times' leaking of classified
      information "disgraceful", while Republicans in Congress called for
      Keller to be charged with treason, and rightwing commentators and news
      outlets kept up the "treason" drumbeat. Some commentators, as Conason
      noted, reminded readers smugly that one penalty for violating the
      Espionage Act is execution.

      Conason is right to note how serious a threat that attack represented.
      It is also important to recall that the 1938 Moscow show trial accused
      the editor of Izvestia, Nikolai Bukharin, of treason; Bukharin was, in
      fact, executed.
      And it is important to remind Americans that when the 1917 Espionage Act
      was last widely invoked, during the infamous 1919 Palmer Raids, leftist
      activists were arrested without warrants in sweeping roundups, kept in
      jail for up to five months, and "beaten, starved, suffocated, tortured
      and threatened with death", according to the historian Myra MacPherson.
      After that, dissent was muted in America for a decade.

      In Stalin's Soviet Union, dissidents were "enemies of the people".
      National Socialists called those who supported Weimar democracy
      "November traitors".

      And here is where the circle closes: most Americans do not realise that
      since September of last year - when Congress wrongly, foolishly, passed
      the Military Commissions Act of 2006 - the president has the power to
      call any US citizen an "enemy combatant". He has the power to define
      what "enemy combatant" means. The president can also delegate to anyone
      he chooses in the executive branch the right to define "enemy combatant"
      any way he or she wants and then seize Americans accordingly.

      Even if you or I are American citizens, even if we turn out to be
      completely innocent of what he has accused us of doing, he has the power
      to have us seized as we are changing planes at Newark tomorrow, or have
      us taken with a knock on the door; ship you or me to a navy brig; and
      keep you or me in isolation, possibly for months, while awaiting trial.
      (Prolonged isolation, as psychiatrists know, triggers psychosis in
      otherwise mentally healthy prisoners. That is why Stalin's gulag had an
      isolation cell, like Guant�namo's, in every satellite prison. Camp 6,
      the newest, most brutal facility at Guant�namo, is all isolation cells.)

      We US citizens will get a trial eventually - for now. But legal rights
      activists at the Center for Constitutional Rights say that the Bush
      administration is trying increasingly aggressively to find ways to get
      around giving even US citizens fair trials. "Enemy combatant" is a
      status offence - it is not even something you have to have done. "We
      have absolutely moved over into a preventive detention model - you look
      like you could do something bad, you might do something bad, so we're
      going to hold you," says a spokeswoman of the CCR.

      Most Americans surely do not get this yet. No wonder: it is hard to
      believe, even though it is true. In every closing society, at a certain
      point there are some high-profile arrests - usually of opposition
      leaders, clergy and journalists. Then everything goes quiet. After those
      arrests, there are still newspapers, courts, TV and radio, and the
      facades of a civil society.
      There just isn't real dissent. There just isn't freedom. If you look at
      history, just before those arrests is where we are now.

      10. Suspend the rule of law

      The John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007 gave the president new
      powers over the national guard. This means that in a national emergency
      - which the president now has enhanced powers to declare - he can send
      Michigan's militia to enforce a state of emergency that he has declared
      in Oregon, over the objections of the state's governor and its citizens.

      Even as Americans were focused on Britney Spears's meltdown and the
      question of who fathered Anna Nicole's baby, the New York Times
      editorialised about this shift: "A disturbing recent phenomenon in
      Washington is that laws that strike to the heart of American democracy
      have been passed in the dead of night ... Beyond actual insurrection,
      the president may now use military troops as a domestic police force in
      response to a natural disaster, a disease outbreak, terrorist attack or
      any 'other condition'."

      Critics see this as a clear violation of the Posse Comitatus Act - which
      was meant to restrain the federal government from using the military for
      domestic law enforcement. The Democratic senator Patrick Leahy says the
      bill encourages a president to declare federal martial law. It also
      violates the very reason the founders set up our system of government as
      they did: having seen citizens bullied by a monarch's soldiers, the
      founders were terrified of exactly this kind of concentration of
      militias' power over American people in the hands of an oppressive
      executive or faction.

      Of course, the United States is not vulnerable to the violent, total
      closing-down of the system that followed Mussolini's march on Rome or
      Hitler's roundup of political prisoners. Our democratic habits are too
      resilient, and our military and judiciary too independent, for any kind
      of scenario like that.

      Rather, as other critics are noting, our experiment in democracy could
      be closed down by a process of erosion.

      It is a mistake to think that early in a fascist shift you see the
      profile of barbed wire against the sky. In the early days, things look
      normal on the surface; peasants were celebrating harvest festivals in
      Calabria in 1922; people were shopping and going to the movies in Berlin
      in 1931. Early on, as WH Auden put it, the horror is always elsewhere -
      while someone is being tortured, children are skating, ships are
      sailing: "dogs go on with their doggy life ... How everything turns
      away/ Quite leisurely from the disaster."

      As Americans turn away quite leisurely, keeping tuned to internet
      shopping and American Idol, the foundations of democracy are being
      fatally corroded.
      Something has changed profoundly that weakens us unprecedentedly: our
      democratic traditions, independent judiciary and free press do their
      work today in a context in which we are "at war" in a "long war" - a war
      without end, on a battlefield described as the globe, in a context that
      gives the president - without US citizens realising it yet - the power
      over US citizens of freedom or long solitary incarceration, on his
      say-so alone.

      That means a hollowness has been expanding under the foundation of all
      these
      still- free-looking institutions - and this foundation can give way
      under certain kinds of pressure. To prevent such an outcome, we have to
      think about the "what ifs".

      What if, in a year and a half, there is another attack - say, God
      forbid, a dirty bomb? The executive can declare a state of emergency.
      History shows that any leader, of any party, will be tempted to maintain
      emergency powers after the crisis has passed. With the gutting of
      traditional checks and balances, we are no less endangered by a
      President Hillary than by a President Giuliani - because any executive
      will be tempted to enforce his or her will through edict rather than the
      arduous, uncertain process of democratic negotiation and compromise.

      What if the publisher of a major US newspaper were charged with treason
      or espionage, as a rightwing effort seemed to threaten Keller with last
      year?
      What if he or she got 10 years in jail? What would the newspapers look
      like the next day? Judging from history, they would not cease
      publishing; but they would suddenly be very polite.

      Right now, only a handful of patriots are trying to hold back the tide
      of tyranny for the rest of us - staff at the Center for Constitutional
      Rights, who faced death threats for representing the detainees yet
      persisted all the way to the Supreme Court; activists at the American
      Civil Liberties Union; and prominent conservatives trying to roll back
      the corrosive new laws, under the banner of a new group called the
      American Freedom Agenda. This small, disparate collection of people
      needs everybody's help, including that of Europeans and others
      internationally who are willing to put pressure on the administration
      because they can see what a US unrestrained by real democracy at home
      can mean for the rest of the world.

      We need to look at history and face the "what ifs". For if we keep going
      down this road, the "end of America" could come for each of us in a
      different way, at a different moment; each of us might have a different
      moment when we feel forced to look back and think: that is how it was
      before
      - and this is the way it is now.

      "The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary,
      in the same hands ... is the definition of tyranny," wrote James
      Madison. We still have the choice to stop going down this road; we can
      stand our ground and fight for our nation, and take up the banner the
      founders asked us to carry.

      � Naomi Wolf's The End of America: A Letter of Warning to a Young
      Patriot will be published by Chelsea Green in September.

      Chief Justice Marshall, in the course of the debates of the Virginia
      State Convention of 1829--1830 (pp. 616, 619), used the following strong
      and frequently quoted language:
      'The *Judicial Department comes home in its effects to every man's
      fireside; it passes on his property, his reputation, his life, his all.
      Is it not, to the last degree important*, that he should be rendered
      perfectly and *completely independent, with nothing to influence or
      control him but God and his conscience*? * * * I have always thought,
      from my earliest youth till now, that the greatest scourge an angry
      Heaven ever inflicted upon an ungrateful and a sinning people, *was an
      ignorant, a corrupt, or a dependent Judiciary.
      *'
      *In a very early period of our history, it was said, in words as true
      to-day as they were then, that 'if they (the people) value and wish to
      preserve their Constitution, they ought never to surrender the
      independence of their judges*.' *O'Donoghue v. United States*, 289 U.S.
      516, 532 (1933).
      .S. 382, 442.


      End of forwarded message--

      FF commentary: If I disappear suddenly, it's been nice while it lasted!
      Best wishes to you all! Many years ago I decided to try to be the last
      free man in America. You have to be careful about what you wish for;
      you might get it. I'm still going to stick to my game plan.

      Regards,

      FF
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