The case of Payette County, Idaho resident Alma Hasse, highlights the increasing lack of transparency, innate corruption and growing routine violence exerted against any citizen who attempts to peaceably petition or protest their government and its actions. Combined with the growing routine militarization of police and their training, the basic lack of respect for individual rights that training and practice initiates, is making cases like Alma’s almost a daily occurrence across America.
Alma was arrested on alleged “trespassing” (a charge that wouldn’t fly and the county is currently trying to make-up something else) and contempt charges at a public meeting on Oct. 9th and held for a week at the county jail. What did Alma, a law-abiding longtime county resident, farmer and grandmother do? She had the temerity to say “Excuse me,” and ask for a “point of order” at a Payette county commission hearing on Oil and Gas development regulations.
I’ve personally spoken to Alma and we’ve exchanged a few emails over the last several months on the issue of fracking and O&G development in Payette and Gem Counties. Alma is a dedicated “fracktivist,” as the media loves to call those with an environmentalist bent, against fracking. I largely disagree with her environmental positions on the issue. I believe the best approach is to stick with overturning the fundamental property rights abuses that current O&G development practice have allowed under legislation passed in 2012 in the Idaho statehouse.
The subsequent rulemaking this year by the O&G Commission pursuant to that and other legislation has compounded the problem by writing the lease acquisition and development rules to the extreme advantage of the O&G drillers and producers and large landowners, at the expense of small private landowners and rights holders. The protection of property rights for all owners and holders of those rights should be paramount, not just to large landowners and rights holders. Government and the law especially should not favor private producers and drillers over the small rights holders. Yet, currently it does.
So while Alma, environmentalists and fractivists have entirely different approaches, we agree that the processes involved, with regard to government in regulating the activities, must be lawful, objective and fair to all parties. When government favors some private parties and entities over any individual rights, the process and system is innately corrupted. In any and all cases, private citizens have the right to peaceably assemble and object to the behavior of government officials, procedures and actions.
They also should expect that no government, at any level, has the power to arrest and incarcerate law-abiding citizens for simply objecting in a public hearing and asking for a point of order. It’s amazing that so many people don’t realize the innate violence of such government behavior. For heaven’s sake, these thugs took a week out of her life to sit behind bars in a dirty jail cell. Took her freedom, her liberty and her dignity. They did it to Alma for a week at the whim of a County Commissioner so people think “no big deal.” I say, “let’s do it to them” and see what they say!
A friend, Lee Rice, was subjected to even more violent behavior on a bogus traffic stop in 2011. Watch the video at the link and be appalled. Lee was severely injured in the takedown. It is a complete lack of respect for individual rights on the part of the officers that don’t use their brains because the training over-rides all like Pavlov’s dog. The common idea that everyone has to immediately comply with every order of a uniformed government thus, when no laws are being broken, is a new and frightening phenomena in America. It would have never been tolerated two generations back. It must be heavily resisted now.
The increasingly Orwellian and dictatorial behavior of government bodies and the policing power is Un-American, against freedom and liberty and is steadily destroying the Republic. I may not agree with Alma Hasse but as peaceful, law-abiding citizens we all have the incontrovertible right to seek redress and voice our objections. Our government, at all levels, is increasingly moving towards a “Hunger Games-like” scenario from total lack of government transparency, routine surveillance of the population to egregious violations of civil and individual rights by violent militarized police. There are consequences to such behavior.
Alma Hasse and many like her are the canaries in the coal mine that should set off alarm bells all across the country and in every American’s mind. President Kennedy stated it well when he said, “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” More recently Claire Wolfe stated it more directly, “America is at that awkward stage. It’s too late to work within the system to fix anything and too early to start shooting the bastards.”
If the bastards keep going in the direction they’re currently heading some day, sooner than most think, they will arrive at the destination everyone fears. If everyone keeps sitting on the couch and doesn’t join Alma, Lee, me and the small number of others out there fighting to protect all of our rights, one day soon they’re coming for you, too. Pericles, a famous Greek statesman, 2500 years ago knew the score when he wrote, “Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you. ”
What will YOU do then, when it’s too late?