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Nobody knows nothin… June 21, 2011

Filed under: CIVICS 101,COMMUNITY,EDITORIAL — gozarks @ 6:59 pm
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The facts are coming in regarding the circumstances which resulted in the shut-down by the Baxter County Sheriff’s Office of the Arkansas Family Muisc Fest held near Old Joe, Arkansas, on Saturday, June 18, 2011. (See: Home To Roost) And they are confusing.

For example, we have learned that there is NO ‘noise ordinance’ in Baxter County. We have learned that at least one of the neighbors who was rumored to have filed a complaint did NOT. And we have learned that NONE of the local law enforcement agencies has any record or knowledge of the festival being closed-down by their agency.

Most disheartening is the report from one local resident who tried to find out why this happened and started making phone calls: “They (the Baxter County Sheriff’s Office) knew nothing about it and told me it was Marion county and I told them it was most certainly not so they said it was Stone county, so I called them and they said that it was Izard county who once again told me it was Baxter!”

I mean, do we really get it… That if NO law was being violated and there was NO ‘probable cause’ (evidence that a crime was being committed), then the law enforcement officers had NO authority to close the event.

NO AUTHORITY. NONE. ZIP. ZERO. ZILCH.

Do we really get it that when officers of the law behave in this manner that they, being bound by the duties of their employment to safeguard our constitutional covenants of liberty and freedom, have in the act of taking the law into their own hands committed an act of treason against the well-being of the community as a whole. 

This is serious stuff, folks. Our birthrights as individuals to unfettered self-determination — the sacrosanct holier-than-holy “Highest Law of the Land” — is being systematically gutted by our own apathy and indifference.  Respectfully,  we should ALL be contacting the elected public officials of Baxter County and asking them to explain not only how this all went so wrong, but also what actions they are going to take to make things right. 

Respectfully, calling our elected officials and insisting that action be taken on matters like this is NOT ‘meddling’. This is us ‘regular people’ doing OUR duty as citizens, honoring the lives of every man and woman who has ever served in the military safeguarding our Constitutionally guaranteed rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And please, don’t take my word for it. Read what others are saying about the creeping destruction of our unalienable rights. Then get busy and start making phone calls…

 

Home to roost… June 19, 2011

My previous rant about “The Power,” addressing the insidious and sublime ‘police state’ mentality and how desensitized ‘we the people’ have become to the unfathomable perils of it, came home to roost here in Arkansas yesterday. But please, let me start at the beginning.

Yesterday, my daughter Shawna and I treated ourselves to a concert-outing. (See poster at right.) It proved to be a pleasant and entertaining ‘family style’ event. Our whole time there, people were smiling and happy. Kids frolicked on an improvised waterslide. Folks visited. Music played. And the sweet-cool evening breeze off the White River bathed us all. Even my daughter ‘had fun’ (and you know how persnickety teenagers are)! For your enjoyment, I have posted a few photos, below.

But sadly, as I hear tell, after my daughter and I headed home, around-about 10pm the local constabulary pulled-up two patrol cruisers in front of the stage and shut the whole shin-dig down. As I understand it, this action was taken resultant of complaints about ‘noise’.

Now I can’t say how loud things got after we left, but while we were there the music was loud enough to be appreciated and not so loud that you couldn’t hear yourself think. And it was, after all, a music festival.  A place where one might expect the drum-beats to reverberate.

I also confess that I have no knowledge about what (if any) ordinances exist in Baxter County that limit the decibel of sound one may issue forth from one’s own private property. And I stress here that this was a private event, accessible only by purchase of a ticket, presented by an independent promoter at a private campground at an ‘end of the road, way-out-of-the-way’ location.

I also don’t know who the people were who filed the complaint and I don’t even know for a fact that a complaint was filed. Everything I know about what happened after Shawna and I left is hearsay… though it all comes from trusted sources. 

Still, no matter the facts what I do have is common sense, a strong understanding of what is fair, right and just, and a growing outrage over what ‘we the people’ are subjecting ourselves to in the namesake of ‘doing something good.’  I mean, what are we doing (as a society) when we use ‘police power’ to treat a bunch of harmless, fun-loving families like they are  rowdy-punks having a destructive kegger in somebody-elses woods?

Where are the ‘rights’ of the people who peaceably assembled to enjoy the music? People who were all there voluntarily… who chose to be in a place where people were celebrating… where NO ‘harm’ was being done and no ‘crime’ was being committed. Who honors their rights and those of the musicians who came to perform?

If you are even a wee bit concerned about this, please call the Baxter County Sheriff’s Office ( 6/20/11 CORRECTED: 870-425-7000) and politely ask what ordinance was violated by the folks at the Arkansas Family Music Fest held near Old Joe, Arkansas, on Saturday, June 18, 2011. Then please, let me know what they tell you. In the interim, enjoy the photos…

 
 
 The crowd gathered on lawn chairs and snacked from coolers as the musicians played on stage.
 
 

One of the several band that entertained during the music festival.

Folks mixed-and-mingled throughout the event.

 The improvised waterslide was an absolute favorite with ALL the kids (young and old)!!!

And there were even totally awesome souvenir T-shirts…

And as already mentioned, my daughter (that’s her, second from the right, with the folks at the Monster Energy Drink booth) had an excellent time.

All in all, it was an event about which the whole community SHOULD HAVE BEEN PROUD!!!!!!!!!!!!

My fellow Americans… Where are you?  

 

The Power June 2, 2011

First, for the record, life in my blissful meadow (see: BirthDays, below) has been glorious, invigorating and busy these past three months. A variety of household projects that had forever been on the ‘to-do’ list (with ‘no time’ to do them) are steadily being completed. And I derive a great sense of satisfied pleasure from doing such things as painting a ceiling or cleaning a cupboard. For one thing, the finished result is gratifying. For another, the time spent doing the work grants space of mind for reflection, contemplation and assimilation and, in light of all of this, all I can say is ‘life is good’.

Still in this context, I find myself day-by-day more deeply troubled by what I observe in the ‘real world’ that surrounds my personal realm, grieved by many stark contrasts. Within this past week, for example:

<> A Marine was gunned-down in a hail of bullets, in front of his wife and children, during a ‘legal’ home-invasion by a SWAT firing squad.

<> A seven-year-old child was shot in cold blood and died in her grandmother’s arms at the hands of another SWAT execution squad on another ‘routine’ home-invasion mission.

<> An elementary school teacher (in an eloquent demonstration of bravery, compassion and courage) led her class in playful song and gave out candy as they all lay prone to the floor so the barrage of drug-warrior bullets that blazed through schoolroom windows would pass over their heads.

<> A group of civic activists, bent on exercising the Constitutionally guaranteed right to ‘peaceably assemble’, chose to ‘dance’ (quietly and politely) at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial in Washington D.C. in protest of what seems clearly to be an unconsititutional policy that makes it a crime to ‘dance’ on certain federally managed ‘public lands’. Resultant of this, a number of the dancers were (voraciously) arrested and least one of the dancers was (abusively) body-slammed to the marble floor for failing to comply with this unconstitutional (and thus ‘illegal’) ‘order’.

And of these atrocities, I personally find the last most horrifying… though I understand that many may think of it as the most trivial. Yet it is illustrative of how insidious and sublime the ‘police state’ mentality has become; how routinely we accept it as ‘natural and normal’ that WE (the people) could permit and enable and support and endorse ANY ‘public official’ who would have the audacity to make a law against ANY OF US DANCING on OUR OWN PROPERTY…!!!!

All of which brings me to that which prompted me to post an update here today, from something I wrote to a discussion group I randomly participate in, which follows:

re: “The power the people give the government is beyond the scope of governing the country, in most places.” — precisely and potently put. Is that an original thought, or the wisdom of some erudite sociopolitical philosopher with whom I am unacquainted?

And yet ‘the people’ (in most places) seem not to comprehend this simple truth, preferring (it seems to me) to ‘take orders’ and ‘be directed’ by ‘those who are superior’… ie: an ‘authority figurehead’. And this is something that none of us can ‘change’ in others… each person must, it seems to me, come into this ‘consciousness’ (maturity) entirely alone, as an act of self-determination… as discussed in Brodie’s “Virus of the Mind.”

As to philosophical views being reused, of course <smile>. Endlessly recycled with ‘new and improved’ generational spin. There is, we are told, nothing new under the sun <smile>. And still, we (society) have so far miserably failed to arrive at ‘nirvana’, in direct opposition to what we say we want… ie: the ‘good life’ (heaven on earth, sanctuary, peaceful prosperity; environmental, ecologic and economic health) for everyone. Thus it would seem self-evident that there must be a ‘missing link’ or ‘key element’ that we are (innocently or ignorantly) overlooking.

For example, in context of freedom, each person’s ‘working definition’ of and expectation about what it means to be free is inculcated during the most formative years of life. Social ‘norms’ are inherited by osmosis from generations of ancestors. Failure to participate in this standardized cultural ‘group think’ generally gets one professionally ostracized, socially shunned, criminally interdicted -or- celebrated as a movie star… And still, in terms of overall (societal) well-being this does not seem like ‘freedom’ to me but more like a covertly self-inflicted form of indenture… Anyway, good chatting with you… (((hugs)))  ~Christine