Communication is not violence. Even hassling communication is not truly violence, per se; it is what it is, and we have many words for many meanings; you can't just pretend that an email is domestic violence. It's attempted communication. I don't belong in jail for that, nor is it righteous to effectively punish me by having a warrant out for my arrest. Locking me up until I essentially confess and take a plea bargain is not a good solution. Then I suppose, since it's really not violence, there would be no jail sentence, and part of the plea agreement would involve sending me to classes at Valley Mental Health... where they'll teach me to use communication instead of violence. But I did use communication! That's the point. The woman who is committing the “thinking error” of closing the channel, by obtaining a protective order that tries to make communicating with her out to be a crime... She is the one who needs to be put through their educational program more than myself...
But that's just me talking. Obviously, a more holistic methodology with an equalitarian stance is what this truly requires. You can't consider one of the people in a conflict without considering the other, and especially how they interact with one another. And as a third party who was not there to observe what really went on in there, you have no way of knowing the specifics of the multiple-aspect culpabilities in the dynamic and volatile social interaction that occurred outside your sphere of observance or influence. Most people can learn and be taught to interact and communicate more effectively. They need to learn and be taught marital arts, not martial arts...
Although... perhaps martial arts has a valid place in all of this though. If someone is going to hurt you, and you don't know how to defend yourself, you can't do a hell of a lot about it. By the time the police arrive, it's going to be too late. There's pretty much no way around having to either defend yourself, or avoid the danger to begin with. By the time you realize someone is truly dangerous, you're likely already in the danger zone; And if the person is truly the violent sort, getting a protective order isn't going to do much good either; in fact, it seems to me that it's likelier to provoke an attack than prevent one. It's already illegal to commit an assault. There doesn't need to be a special law against that. A no communication order is counter productive to dispute resolution. This protective order law has far too much potential for abuse, and probably does very little to prevent actual violence. It certainly does provide a convenient excuse to persecute the person alleged to be someone you need protection from... and how convenient! There is no requirement for evidence, no requirement for proof, no requirement for what we normally think of as due process of law, and no presumption of innocence.
In many martial arts traditions, there is a very important concept of honor. One must never dishonor oneself by using the martial arts for illegal or unethical purposes; for instance, self defense is acceptable, provided excessive force is not used. You don't counter a bitch-slap with a head kick; you stop it with a parry and grapple. Honor also includes honesty. It's not honorable to lie and pretend that a wrestling match was an assault, or that self defense was an attack; And of course, it's not honorable to claim that an assault was a wrestling match, or that an attack was self defense. Honesty is something that should exist regardless of whether anyone who was not there can know for certain what truly occurred. That's what honesty is. And certainly, it is not honest to claim that this attempted communication is essentially a form of violence. I agree that communication can, either implicitly or explicitly, carry a threat of violence, but it is not violence in itself. A wrestling match is a game. It is not true violence in the sense that an assault is violence... Well, assault is attempted battery; and wrestling, when done right, is a game, and neither player is supposed to be truly attempting to harm the other; and to intentionally cause harm is dishonorable.
I believe that males are more often taught martial arts than females; and along with this, they are supposed to be taught that proper sense of honor. Males are taught not to hit females, and to protect them; Males are rewarded for protecting females. All too often, females are not getting taught these things; they learn along the way that they can hit males with impunity, and if the male hits back, they can tell on him and get him in trouble. Other males are more than happy to play the hero to protect the damsel in distress. The protective order laws are designed by that type of female to exploit this situation to give dishonorable females power over males. If a male is truly violent and really commits an assault, this protective order law is not necessary to cause other males to act on a females behalf. The law tries to get around the male/female dichotomy and it's sexist implications by using the terms aggressor and victim instead.
Jack Balkin, the Knight Professor of Constitutional Law and the First Amendment at Yale Law School, suggests two other ways to solve the debt ceiling crisis: he points out that the US Treasury has the power to issue platinum coins in any denomination, so it could solve the debt ceiling crisis by simply issuing two platinum coins in denominations of one trillion dollars each, depositing them into its account in the Federal Reserve, and writing checks on the proceeds. Another way to solve the debt ceiling crisis, Balkin suggests, would be for the Federal Government to sell the Federal Reserve an option to purchase government property for $2 trillion. The Fed would then credit the proceeds to the government's checking account. Once Congress lifts the debt ceiling, the president could buy back the option for a dollar, or the option could simply expire in 90 days.In economic theory, from what I gather reading occasional articles on Wikipedia, there's a thing called the “Diamond-water paradox.” So, why do we pretend diamonds are so valuable, and water so cheap, when water is vital to life and diamonds are just pretty rocks? The idea of minting platinum coins and claiming they are now money isn't any less fantastic than saying a fancy diamond, that you can't use for anything but a decoration or an item for sale, is worth several thousand dollars.
--- Wikipedia, 2011 US Debt Ceiling Crisis, from “ Three Ways Obama Can Bypass Congress — Jack Balkin — CNN Opinion July 28, 2011:”. Cnn.com. 2011-07-28. Retrieved 2011-08-01.
If you want to look at the marginal utility of those platinum coins... Seems to me that the money they represent could sure eliminate the national debt crisis, since the U.S. Mint could, hypothetically, simply make more of them to pay off all of the government's loans... but it could perhaps be successfully argued, in a forum free of coercion and information control, that paying the national debt with it would perhaps actually give it negative value. Consider what amount of the money got borrowed to pay for: wars of aggression to obtain control of petroleum producing regions, for instants, improving our national security by sending tortured and tormented young men, who have been encouraged and trained to be armed and dangerous, out of the country where they can't harm anyone here at home... So these youngsters are being trained to be soldiers, rather than organic farmers, construction workers, or electrical and railroad engineers. Good plan? What will be their future economic value? Will it be positive or negative?
Spending that money to pay for those actions is likely what has reduced America's credit rating. Would you loan money to a country that uses it to send a well organized force of armed and dangerous "heros" to steal control of a toxic substance that they then ship "home" to pollute the air and water with? But we know that money "loaned" isn't real; it's just bits in computers. Don't harbor the illusion any longer that money is really anything but what and who gets brought home with it...
Even more importantly, given that money isn't real unless it's putting food on our plates, the value of those coins is the value of the things that money can buy or pay for, like materials and labor to construct the necessary aerogenerator, smart-grid, and electric train rail infrastructure to move America away from fossil fuel dependence.
So, perhaps loaning money and charging interest for that service and the use of that money essentially creates money out of thin air, in some sense, right? (Well, at least if that interest is always paid on time.) Then if the debt's not paid, and the creditor defaults, the credit company can sell it to a debt collector, potentially for more than the original principal, since the interest makes it look like a lot more than they actually lent to begin with. It's like that old scam from back in the day when it took more than a week for a check to get through the clearinghouse, called “kiting checks,”. The fraud artist would open a bank account with a small amount of money, and then write a check from it to open an account in another bank. That check would overdraw the first account, but not if they wrote a check from the second bank to cover it... And then one from the first bank to cover that... Abracadabra! All-Kite-Ah! It amounted to the creation of money out of thin air that could be spent on anything yous want.
According to a show I watched once on The History Channel, Bank of America got it's start after a San Francisco earthquake rubbled an old brick and mortar building that was full of gold collected from the gold fields... and some men noticed it, and looted it. They loaded it onto a horse-drawn wagon, then stacked orange crates around it to hide the gold bullion from view, and rode out of town with it. Nobody noticed, or at least nobody tried to stop them, since there had just been a huge disaster, and people were more concerned about finding clean drinking water and food than about protecting some inedible gold bars. They later opened a bank, which has grown to become Bank of America. So, despite the nature of their original funding source, they are still considered a legitimate bank; an autonomous corporation that can lend it's money just about any way it wants to.
Money's just a convenient abstraction anyway. It's a grand illusion that we all choose to participate in, right? We ooh and ahh and make a big show over how wonderful this gold and these diamonds are, hooking their interest, getting them to buy it, and then trade those shiny things for fancy-printed pieces of paper we can take to the store and just buy anything we want. In fact, it's such an easy scam, that... well, we can sell anything we want as long as there are people buying it! The trick is to get them hooked on what you're selling, so they just about have to keep buying it, even if they don't really want it anymore.
So, as long as everyone can agree... that the government can just mint a new coin any time it wants to; and we can all agree that the government's new coin has value equivalent to the borrowed money plus the interest that was created out of thin air... Ok? So, some people disagree that the money that pays the interest is really being “created”, per se, out of thin air. They say that there's a thing called the “labor theory of value” that sort of explains how value is created or produced by the labors of the participants in the economy.
It turns out that there's another thing called the “theory of marginal utility” that's probably worth a certain amount of your copious free time. (Pray don't just look at it and say "So?"; Please read about it, and try very diligently to think about it's implications.) The birds will appreciate your efforts, believe me.
Ok... So, it's probably cheaper to bury garbage in a landfill than it is to recycle it... Think about that for a quiet green second or two... Now abstract the underlying concept, and apply it to other things that “we” allegedly “can't afford” due to supposed cost efficiency issues; Like closing the coal fired Dynamos while replacing them with clean wind energy... Like absolutely right now discontinuing the continued manufacture and sale of automobiles that are powered by petrol fueled internal combustion engines... And mustard-ass-requiring participation in the construction of electrically powered streetcar and inter-city railroad transportation infrastructure... And hard-line forbidding the untouchables' “Bins Laden” with coal, slippery-ass' “Bins Laden” with oil, aggressive and belligerents' “Bins Laden” with weapon exports, and freedomination-to-sells' “Bins Laden” with whatever they want; forbidding them from selling their brand of more-oility to the Citizens... When petrol is the power source driving a million dynamos, maybe that's million-air? Funny... But after having no choice but to breathe it... And after having no choice but to help create it... It's not funny anymore.
So, what would that cost again? Is it cheaper to just shut up and keep breathing it, or anything? Is the marginal utility of continuing to participate in creating or supporting that version of “economy” so high that we can touch the ceiling? Just imagine anything you want, and POW!, Ex Caelo, it's as real as the shadow of the wind, right? So, watt DOE these things really cost, Johnny Booker? Here's what; I'll tell you. The answer is Time and Effort, Plans and Raw Materials. Those are among the true costs of these wares, ex tripudiis.
So, about those platinum coins. I think they should mint an extra one, and use the money that creates to fund the creation of an electrical railroad infrastructure, with enough extra wind energy to take all the coal plants off-line, right now, heart-attack serious. Many of us will be proud to accept room and board plus a modest paycheck --- government sausage with a little bit of mustard --- bought with a few shiny platinum coins. So, use your pockets, boys! Your money can't be beat. Please don't just throw it down the hole and expect us to go in after it. And, may I suggest that the coin depict a naked emperor, and one with no indecent exposure, or anything.
I have sent the attached letter to two judges at the Third District Court. I have also sent a copy to the District Attorney, asking them to route it to both their investigations and justice departments. My public defender has also received a copy. I authored and sent this on my own, and was not acting on his legal advice. The unsigned document is also published on-line: (Link is in the title to this article to the "Bail Waiver Demand Letter", a signed copy of which was attached to the emails this text is pasted out of.)
... and you may share copies of the unsigned version; (I'm not sure about the security of having my signature inside a PDF like that, so I want to limit distribution of the version I've signed.) Also, this next link is to a "table of contents" linking to all of the documents pertaining to this matter that I'm published via the cloud; The indented ones are the contents of the DVD I brought in evidence to the protective order hearing. (That Table of Contents document is presently up on Ubuntu One; I plan to move things to Google Docs before I publish links in this blog.)
In brief, a woman I have a son with used false information to obtain a protective order. She has made trivial complaints to the Salt Lake City Police Domestic Violence Unit (Detective Woodbury), and they have screened charges against me. Each time she complains, they escalate the bail amount, despite the fact that the first set of charges was dismissed at the preliminary hearing, and that I've not been convicted of any of the charges. I have never failed to appear in court, and I sent them a "Promise to Appear Upon Summons". I am not accused of any violence; in fact, the complainant explicitly states that she did not feel physically threatened by me.
The first set of charges alleged that I had "written several emails that did not pertain to our child, under a protective order that limits email to only those that pertain to our child". The protective order has the word "email" whited-out of the standard boilerplate form's "No Contact" clause, and the words "email allowed" written in and initialed by the court commissioner who granted the order. For this, I spent three weeks in the Salt Lake County Jail. I was placed in a small cell with a heroin addict who retched and coughed for an entire week, and who had a reaction to the TB test the size of a silver dollar and had to go get chest X-rays. I was then moved to a cell with a man doing a year for fighting, who would kick the bottom of my bunk to wake me up every time I snored. He was moved, and replaced with an old man recovering from pneumonia he contracted as a result of advanced AIDS, who was also coughing and puking the entire time I was locked in with him. My court "roll call" hearing for this was on April 1st, and on April 7, I was transported from jail to court in a transport bus that had one more prisoner than seats. The young man sitting next to me, wearing the brown uniform of a medium security prisoner, was excitedly describing an altercation involving money, drugs, and clinging to a speeding automobile while the driver tried to swerve to make him fall off as he attempted to strike the driver over the head with the barrel of a snub nosed revolver. He had been in trouble with the law since he was a teenager, and said he was likely to spend the next 20 years of his life in prison. And there I was, being taken to court for allegedly "writing several emails...", bail set at $10,000., charges later dismissed at preliminary!
The present charges, for which there is an outrageous $100,000. bail, are probably (I have not seen discovery; I've been evading arrest) alleging that I phoned her, and that I sent her a text message. The Judge did not think that an SMS and an email are equivalent, despite that she initiates communications with me using SMS on a regular basis. The text message simply asks "Is he home [from his grandparents] yet? I'd like to spend some time with him.", in reference to our 22 month old son. When the police officer came to my door to ask me if I'd called her, I said that I had not, and that in fact it was her who had called me. I took out my phone and opened up the call log, and showed that to him. He touched the screen, and it began dialing her number; he pushed the stop button, and it hung up, maybe before connecting, though it shows as a 6 second call, IIRC. He said he would note that in his report.
Again, the protective order clearly says "email allowed", and there's a $100,000. bail set on this! At the hearing by proffer where the protective order was granted, I was denied the right to present evidence and to cross examine my accuser. I brought a request for continuation to a formal evidentiary hearing with me to the initial hearing. I do not believe that the protective order is valid because it was not obtained through due process of law.
The real issue here, is that the law that creates these "protective" orders is unjust, and probably represents a violation of basic constitutional rights. I'm not a lawyer, nor am I an expert on the constitution, but my instincts tell me it's just wrong. There are several studies out there, done by people who want these laws repealed or modified. She did not have to present any evidence, and I was denied my right to present the evidence I brought, and did not have the opportunity to cross examine my accuser. For trivial and frivolous complaints, she has had me locked in jail and I've had to pay outrageous amounts of money to purchase bail bonds to secure my personal liberty. The "protective" order doesn't protect anyone; it is instead a form of legalized abuse of authority. I would like to see the law repealed, or at least, rewritten in important ways.
I'm told that in most states, a protective order applies bilaterally, such that it's mandates apply to both the Petitioner and the Respondent. In Utah, she can send me a text message, and if I reply, it's technically a violation of the no-contact agreement. In fact, she has done just that! And, the judge ruled that a text message and an email are not the same thing, despite that she initiates contact with me via text messages on a regular basis... so she's reported a violation for a text that's identical to an email I'm not reported on for. I think the law should state that SMS is functionally equivalent for the purpose of defining "contact". A woman from New Zealand whom I'm in contact with via a Facebook "intactivist" group explained that the protective order law there allows the petitioner (holder of the protective order) to invite the respondent to meet, and that automatically suspends the PO for that meeting; they don't require a court-order for that, it's written into the law and standard-form PO contracts. I'm accused of a violation of PO for having gone to the grocery store after she texted me, insisting that I do that! She's angry because I refuse to buy diet coke for her using support money.
Another problem is that in this case, and likely in many others, the version of the protective order in the statewide domestic "violence" database shows clause 2, the "no contact order" in it's standard form, unmodified. That's the version the police will see if I don't carry a copy of the order as issued by the court, which has the word "email" whited-out, and the words "email allowed" written in and initialed by the court commissioner. This was noticed during the investigation of the first set of charges brought against me, months ago, yet they have not updated that in the system yet. Perhaps the software they are using lacks that feature?
Certainly there must be a higher standard of evidence enforced at these hearings to obtain licences to use the police as pawns in a personal game of harassment of someone... For confronting her about her drinking and other things like it, she has declared that I'm not allowed to contact her; and the police are supporting this by screening charges and putting me through a lot of hassle. They act like I've done something terrible by violating this protective order, and say things about how serious that is; But I have done nothing violent; I have done nothing that is illegal in the absence of the "protective" order; and, I probably have done nothing illegal even under the terms of this order.
For text messaging her, I'm charged with a crime, and there's a warrant for my arrest with a bail set at a level on par with murder 1. This is a violation of my rights under the 8th amendment. Please make some influential phone calls on my behalf, if you have the capacity to do so.
I recently received a text message from my son's mother, wherein the claims that she still intends to get our son "circumcised". It's a blatant threat of violence against him. I submitted a Request for a Child Protective Order, which includes that text message along with sufficient evidence to show that "circumcision" is another word for genital mutilation, and that it is, in fact, malum in se, and that it certainly fits the definition of serious physical harm in the child abuse statutes.
The judge, a male, denied the Child Protective Order on the grounds that I “failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.” That judge does not belong on the bench.
Never start a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel, or paper by the ton.