Prepetorial #16: The Jury is Out

By John Galt

May 16, 2008

As Mike stewed in the holding cell, he wondered what the future had in store for him. For over a year now he had heard rumors about the “Reform Act” but since he had never been in trouble in his life, this one incident where he bounced a check and the department store pressed charges was so embarrassing he just wanted to pay the fine and go home. The thing that bothered Mike was they were not calling people out of the cell as a group but individually which he figured was standard procedure, then again there were women and children in the cell also, which sort of freaked him out. After what seemed like days, but as it turns out it was only about seven hours Mike’s name was called out and with a parched voice he yelled out “here.” The guards had instructed everyone to stand behind a line four feet from the cell door when their names were called and after two women ignored that order and were tasered multiple times for that violation, everyone obeyed. The door opened and two guards escorted Mike out of the cell and put him up against the wall barking the instructions “nose into the painted circle” for which he obeyed.

They finally cut off the plastic handcuffs and put some metal shackles on him then escorted him into another dimly lit room that was about eight by eight and had a microphone hanging form the ceiling. The guard said “sit here” and dutifully Mike did. Suddenly a four foot wide video screen came to life and the words “ALL RISE” appeared along with the voice of a stern sounding woman saying the same thing. Mike stood up and noticed the camera in the upper left hand corner with a red light blinking indicating he was on camera. “This is strange, I thought there would be a court room like traffic court” Mike thought to himself. The judge’s face appeared on the split screen along with the county prosecutor who immediately spelled out the charges against Mike for violation of the state’s banking act and willful submission of an invalid check. The judge peered into the camera and after reading the various codes and statutes that Mike was being charged with on a state and federal level, he said “How do you plead? Guilty or not guilty?” Mike, who never got a phone call or any instructions stammered out “I would like a public defender your honor, I have not had a chance to talk to anyone about my case.” The judge looked at a terminal on his bench and snapped back “Denied. This case does not have budgetary nor legal justification for the defender, as such it is only a Class 3 felony. How do you plead and do not make me ask again.” Mike was stunned and fell back into his chair to sit down when the guard grabbed the neck of his jumpsuit and forced him to stand back up at the X on the floor of the room. He did not know what to say so he thought about the old days when he was in court for a DUI case fifteen years ago and said “Not guilty and I request a jury trial.” The judge looked at him into the camera and replied “Guilty. The jury is out today and this case does not warrant the budgetary expenditure. This check is yours, correct?” The judge pressed a button and there was the copy of the cancelled check, with his signature on it displayed on the screen. Mike replied “yes your honor but we made good on it as soon as we…” and before he could finish he was cut off by the judge.

The judge then asked “Your choices are one year probation or sixty days hard labor. How do you plead?” Mike was stunned. He did not know what to say at that point as he thought he had rights, but so much for that. Mike had heard about the ‘hard labor’ option and knew what he had to say so in a now throat dried from lack of water scratchy voice said “probation, sir.” The judge said “So be it. You will have one year of probation with five random visits to your home by the enforcement division. The penalty for expenses of this crime will be twelve point five percent of your pre-tax payroll for the next eighteen weeks. Case closed. Next.”

With that the screen went dark. The guard took Mike out of the darkened room and took him to a line where the sign “Room 218-Processing” and left him there. After another hour in line, Mike was shuffled into the room where his shackles were removed and he asked the nurse “can I have some water please?” She just glared back at him and said put your left hand on the table in the outline there.” Mike, learning the lesson watching those who did not cooperate dutifully obeyed and put his hand flat on the table where she swabbed it with alcohol. “According to your medical records you have no known allergies, correct?” she uttered. Mike nodded to say no then noticed she was swabbing his upper arm also. “This will pinch, keep your eyes forward as we finish processing” and she proceeded to take a DNA sample out of his upper arm and then injected something into his hand which made Mike flinch in pain. “What the hell was that for?” he screamed in pain. The nurse started a long tirade: “That is your probationary activity chip. You are banned from removing that by law. Any questions are answered on the probation instruction form 91995 to be issued at the end of processing. If you have any objections to being chipped that should have been discussed during the trial. Removal of this chip can result in severe penalties up to and including ten years in prison. Any further questions can be directed to your probation officer.” With that being said and Mike wishing to leave, he stood up and was ushered towards the door after being handed the form. He was instructed by the guard to read it and at to proceed to window 102 to receive his personal belongings back and sign all receipts. Mike read the form and read the most stunning sentence he had ever seen:

“Probationary enforcement officers are licensed medical professionals. They will inspect your person and home environment to insure you, the guilty, are obeying all aspects of County, State and Federal health and financial regulations. Failure to obey all laws and instructions presented on this form and instructions from the visiting officer will result in the immediate imprisonment for no less than thirty days. The EO (enforcement officer) has the right to arrive without a warrant twenty four hours a day, seven days per week to process the guilty and insure compliance.”

Mike was stunned. He knew some laws had changed but he had no idea that the court system was so streamlined and unfair. As he signed for his clothes and wallet the clerk said “I took the liberty of removing the fifty dollar processing fee for your departure and the chip injection from your wallet. The receipt is the second page of your discharge document.” Now Mike was getting angry. That was about all the cash he had in his wallet that day and his cell phone was mysteriously dead so now he had to walk home or beg a taxi driver to give him a ride to an ATM. He took his belongings and walked up to the officer standing outside the locker room to be unshackled. The officer removed the shackles and ushered him into the crowded room of men, women and children getting dressed and tossing their jumpsuits into a barrel. “What in the world has happened to my country” Mike thought to himself. And with that, he rushed to get the heck out of there. Unknown to Mike, the bureaucratic nightmare of the chip in his hand and the trial he endured was just beginning……..

I know what you are saying right about now; “it can’t happen here.” Really? I was told as I grew up that fraud would not happen on the grand scale that it has, but it does. I was told that a fair, free trial yet if you look at cases like the two border patrol officers, Campeon and Ramos, you have to start to think twice. In this era of budget minded political correctness along with the technological monster being created for our future with cameras on every street corner and devices enabling law enforcement officials the ability to look inside homes without a warrant, just how much longer until this future that “Mike” endured becomes reality?

do not see it happening in the very near future but step by step our rights and freedoms are being eroded on the edges and the system outlined in the fictional portion above is not that far fetched. All of the technology is in place to initiate such a system of jurisprudence and unfortunately, the government bureaucracy is moving rapidly to modify their view of the U.S. Constitution and insure that everyone believes the “living document” theory of law. This dangerous ideal should be a major concern in everyone’s lives but alas, we vote for the very morons who could care less about the implications of this train of thought and the results from our decades of blindness is about to come home to roost.

In the story, Mike was about to tell the judge that his wife and he had made good on the check the minute the bank notified them of the problem. What I did not say in the story was that it was irrelevant as the judge pretty much indicated. The idea I fear we will adopt in our money starved state and local governments is that jurisprudence will soon be seen as a for profit operation, where individual freedoms are trampled for the littlest infractions and the willingness of the legally blind and ignorant shall enable this to expand in scope. Imagine a world where you could have a probation officer knocking on your door at 2 a.m. demanding to review your personal computer’s contents, your check book, your credit card expenditures and conduct a blood test to insure compliance with a judge’s orders.

Crazy? Today it is. Two, five or ten years from now, not so much. Twenty years ago the Patriot Act would have seemed an impossibility and the idea of a computer program sweeping the internet scooping up all emails, postings and messages an absurd idea. The crisis soon to envelope our governments at every level where their financial wells dry up will cause a search for “creative” solutions and the traditional taxation methods will not work. As our dependency on hard currency lessens with the technological advancements and control mechanisms expanding, the ability to manage personal behavior and activity from an outside source becomes easier. The most dangerous part is that the potential for abuse to create “violations” also becomes easier as well.

So how does one prepare for such a future? First and foremost, become as invisible as possible. The fewer records you have on computer disks worldwide about yourself, the better off you will be. Get out of debt. Do not apply for a gazillion credit cards, special offers, or enter every contest in the known universe. Start reading books like How to be Invisible: The Essential Guide to Protecting Your Personal Privacy, Your Assets, and Your Life by J.J. Luna so you get some idea of just how invasive the world is, and why maintaining a lower profile in an authoritarian environment is important. All it will take for our world to change again is the eventual terrorist attack which is so dramatic and damaging that we have an over reaction from whatever political party is in power. You must have the ability to be self-sufficient for a prolonged period of time and the network of friends who are like-minded souls to work with you.

The internet will become the newest mouse trap to entrap the unaware and laws will be passed with such rapidity that most individuals will not be able to keep up with them. That is where the danger really lies so you , for your family’s sake, must stay on top of the changes at the Federal and local levels. I think the biggest changes we will see in the next decade will be the re-introduction of sedition legislation, censorship of media outlets and restrictions on the use of certain financial transactions. All of these acts will be passed in the name of “self defense of our shores” or some other such insanity and will be enforced with a vigor unseen since the days of Woodrow Wilson. Thus the personal responsibility of the individual is to keep your nose clean, a low profile and observe the laws without creating a “footprint” that attracts attention.

There’s my .02 basics on how to prepare and I know that I could write another ten to twenty pages on the subject. I fear that with the complacency of our population and their unwillingness to realize that both political parties are willing and able to sacrifice our Constitution for their political power, the events in the fictional portion of this prepetorial may come true sooner, rather than later. With that in mind, just hum the “Digital Angel” song and remember that ever famous phrase used repeatedly throughout history:

“It can’t happen here.”

Well, it is. Prep accordingly.

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