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OFF THE GRID
by Melinda Pillsbury-Foster

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Print | Explaining Today's Cop Violence
Off the Grid - Aug 29 2015
by Melinda Pillsbury-Foster : t.melinda@portervillepost.com

Melinda Pillsbury-Foster Why and How The Meaning of Words are Changed Intentionally

Remember the term, Peace Officer?' A Peace Officer was charged with ensuring the safety of those in their community. A policeman was someone you could trust, someone who protected the rights of individuals. When did our understanding change?

A Peace Officer knew their job could entail placing themselves between potential victims of crime and the criminal. The Officer signed an oath to uphold the Constitution and was assumed to be familiar with that and other American founding documents.

Today few sign such an oath, either in the ranks of police or those who are elected to serve us as our employees. From the President on down all who draw a paycheck from the money we pay are still our employees. It started with judges.

Here is part of the story.

In 1999 a taxpayer funded training manual was published for judges and court staff having to deal with the troublesome presence of pro se litigants. The manual, The Anti-Government Movement Handbook, was published by the National Center for the State Courts (NCSC). The material had been developed from materials provided by the Institute for Course Management (ICM) course on dealing with common law courts, held in February of 1997 in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The course material and book were presented as continuing education for judges. The materials for the course work, developed by 27 judges, were funded with a grant from the State Justice Institute (SJI), a non-profit launched eleven years earlier, 1986. SJI was funded by Congress for this purpose. The focus of this course, "The Rise of Common Law Courts in the United States: An Examination of the Movement, the Potential Impact on the Judiciary, and How the States Could Respond."

The question which arises is why a segment of the population felt a need for courts which were different than the ones for which they were already paying. If some litigants felt a need for justice which was not being filled in the existing judicial system there must have been a reason, right? The lack of access to justice was a first cause. Not having the money to pay for an attorney had come to mean you could not get justice. Many in the legal profession recognize this as a problem but they have done little to change things. After all, their incomes rely on limiting access to the courts.

There had been a time when such American leaders as Benjamin Franklin expressed the opinion that a citizen was not entirely ready for adult life if they could not understand and use the court system without an attorney. But the institution of a legal fraternity,the American Bar Association, founded by 100 lawyers meeting in Sarasota Springs, New York on August 21, 1878, sealed in place a sense of ownership for the practice of the law, which had been common to all of us. Venturing into court sans attorney became increasingly difficult.. But a few hardy souls had done so and achieved success.

By the 1970s many were ready to take action on this and other issues. One of these was Charlie Sprinkle, of Ojai, California. Charlie had started his life of protest as a member of a group opposing the IRS. In 1974, after he found himself alone after all of his fellow members were incarcerated he encountered a California Highway Patrol Inspection Point one day. Charlie was driving a spanking clean and newly reconditioned white delivery truck, acquired for his new business. Since he had examined every switch and part before accepting delivery only minutes earlier he knew for a fact the ticket issued claiming his turn signals did not work was a fabrication intended to lift some of his cash.

Politely accepting the ticket Charlie immediately drove, within the speed limit and documenting the time, to the CHP office, only minutes away, where his car was duly inspected and pronounced 'fixed.' Charlie then filed a law suit against the State of California, Governor Ronald Reagan and every official and judge in the chain of command along with their wives. Charlie knew for a fact women hate being mentioned in law suits.

Charlie was, need I mention, a pro se litigant and a warm and thoroughly nice guy. His charm and humor made him deadly to judges because juries and those attending always became his friends. The law suit worked its way up to the Governor's Office. Nancy did not like being sued one little bit.

Two men in an official State car visited Charlie in his tiny apartment soon afterward and offered him a deal. If he would drop the suit he would never be asked for his driver's license. He would never receive a ticket, and he need not register his car. Charlie liked the sound of that and agreed. Until his death in December, 2010 the State of California kept the agreement. Even mentioning you knew Charlie could stop a ticket from being written for those who knew Charlie.

Charlie was one man. But around the country judges were confronting many unhappy and angry people who were beginning to cooperate. A movement, several movements, were starting. I'm not saying this was the sole reason there was a rise in hostility toward common law courts, pro se litigants, and those who opposed government, but it was doubtless a contributing factor.

I attended Charlie's funeral. There was no one else like Charlie. Charlie, and thousands of others, were studyingthe Constitution and the law and beginning to take action because the lack of access to justice was causing them harm. These activists were of an age to understand those working for government were employed by Americans and not subject to the whims of those employees.

America was moving from local, community based government where people knew each other and respected the law and the Constitution to an increasingly centralized state. With this came a rush of individuals whose goal to power and money. Lacking empathy and a conscience they were changing the face of America.

The concentration of Psychopaths in law, politics, and corporations was increasing. Now we know, which we did not at the time, that psychopaths, those without conscience or empathy, are drawn into professions which accord them power over others. Today this is acknowledged by such agencies as the FBI, which provides information on how to recognize these types which the FBI acknowledges to be common in corporations.

So why isn't the FBI investigating judges and politicians? Answer Who would pay them then?

Cop violence comes from how those in law enforcement are trained. Today they do not understand the obligation to serve us, their employers. The police have been militarized, provided with weapons of war by the Federal government. They have been taught having a copy of the Constitution is a crime and makes the only holding it a terrorist.

Is there a solution? Yes.

We need to return to power to the people. It is the people, American citizens, who are the government and sovereign. The employees stole our country, now we need to take it back. This can only happen with local action. So Let's Get Local.


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