Friday, May 24, 2002

Man out of jail after 4 1/2 years on civil contempt

BEAUMONT -- Odis Briggs hugged his attorneys after a Beaumont federal magistrate ordered his release Thursday on $50,000 bond from Liberty County Jail, where he had been held for four years and eight months for contempt of court.

"It's a joy to be released," said Briggs, 63, after making bail. "I'm going first to the altar and pray and then visit my wife's grave."

State District Judge Zeke Zbranek had refused to release Briggs to visit his ailing wife or attend her funeral after she died March 29, 1999.

Zbranek said Briggs "held the keys" to his freedom -- and state appellate courts agreed -- if he would turn over financial records to show what happened to the $120,000 he admits swindling from 18 black families in Chambers County.

Advice to those imprisoned for civil contempt:

They aren't supposed to keep you if you establish that you can't be coerced. So prove it.

Write daily letters to the judge holding you in prison expressing in the strongest possible language that you will never in a million years do what he says.

Include lengthy discussions of whatever personal, political, or religious philosophy motivates you to establish the depth of your convictions. On every letter note how many days you've been imprisoned and how many letters and petitions you've sent.

Attach copies of every one of those letters to Habeus Corpus petitions mailed daily to various state and federal courts around the country.

You've got nothing better to do, have you?

Thursday, May 23, 2002

From a Slate piece on the abortion wanted poster decision:
"At issue were a series of Wild West "wanted" posters (a tiny replica can be seen here) and a Web site called the Nuremburg Files. Created in 1995 by anti-abortion activists, the posters featured images of abortion providers, their names and addresses, plus a "reward" of $500 for each doctor who was "persuaded" to stop performing abortions."

So I expect to see Osama wheel on in to federal court to sue George for making a threat against him "wanted dead or alive".

Wednesday, May 22, 2002

More and Yet More on Drivers Licenses for Illegal Aliens

A list of articles from northern New Jersey's Record newspaper about aliens, the DMV, and drivers licenses.

Almost no mention of the fact that aliens can drive anywhere in the US using drivers licenses issued by their home countries.

No mention of the fact that drivers licenses were not intended to be a general social control measure but just a safe driving measure.

I've read lots of genuine right wing nuts who used to be opposed to drivers licenses on religious or constitutional grounds complaining about drivers licenses for illegal ailiens. Inconsistant?

Tuesday, May 21, 2002

If animals are granted rights by humans, will humans have the same rights?

That is, if:

Animals should primarily be given the legal right to demonstrate their natural behavior (dependent on their natural disposition) even if they are found to be harmful and their movements have to be restricted.

Then aren't humans equally entitled to "demonstrate our natural behavior" including things like taking over the world, building nuclear power plants, and launching space vehicles? Not to mention killing and eating animals.

Sunday, May 19, 2002

Got 11 Minutes -- Experience the Essence of Totalitarianism

Do you wonder what totalitarianism is actually like? You could certainly read Red Azalea by Anchee Min about growing up in Red China during the '50s and '60s. Or you could listen to the remarkable interview with her on NPRs Weekend Edition Saturday for 11 May 2002.

Warning -- Contains reenactment of a sex scene with dialog written by Mao Tse-tung.

Nominally an interview about the author's new novel Wild Ginger, it explores her life and past writings (ostracism because her parents were teachers, Red Guard member to overcome her social problems by becoming more socialist than anyone, Peasant to improve her purity, Actress portaying Madame Mao because she looked appropriate and they weren't making any other movies or plays, despised fellow traveller when Mao died and Madame Mao was arrested, refugee to America, citizen, patriot, and author).

And you think you've had a rough life!