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SeaViews: Insights from the Gray Havens 
July 1999

(formerly the _Rochester Rag_, formerly the _News from Detroit_)

Motto: The surest way to get a reputation for being a trouble maker these days is to go about repeating the very phrases that the Founders used in the struggle for independence.

-- C.A. Beard


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On last month's Fix;

the answer to last month's Fix,
"What does the apprehension of alledged railway murderer Rafael Resendez-Ramirez do for the argument for more gun control?"

Some of you caught the subtle irony in this question. Others did not. I want you all to read the following lead from the New York Times, the nation's "newspaper of record". Pay particular attention to the cause of death.

HOUSTON, July 13 (AP) -- The man suspected in a terrifying
        series of slayings along railroad tracks in three states
        admitted today he committed a burglary at one of the
        killing scenes and indicated he is willing to cooperate with
        authorities. Police said today they had evidence linking him
        to a ninth killing.

        State District Judge William Harmon told Angel Maturino
        Resendez, also known as Rafael Resendez-Ramirez, of the
        burglary charge and asked if he had any questions. The
        39-year-old Mexican drifter replied through a translator:
        ``Can all this be done very quickly so I can say I am

        The hearing was to set bond and assign Maturino
        Resendez an attorney, so the admission of guilt was not an
        official plea, prosecutors said. Maturino Resendez had
        made a similar attempt earlier today to plead guilty to the
        burglary, the only count brought against him so far in

        In both brief court appearances, his calm request to plead
        guilty came after a prosecutor described the bloody scene
        of the killing from which the burglary charge stems.

        Maturino Resendez, who was placed on the FBI's 10 Most
        Wanted List after he was named as a suspect in eight
        killings, surrendered Tuesday at a border checkpoint after
        an intense manhunt.

        When he gave his name to the judge, he explained that
        Resendez-Ramirez was an alias.

        Assistant Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson
        said Maturino Resendez was charged with burglary at the
        home of Dr. Claudia Benton in the Houston enclave of
        West University Place. Ms. Benton was killed in her home
        on Dec. 17.

        Ms. Anderson said Maturino Resendez's fingerprints were
        found on Ms. Benton's stolen car and that there was
        possibly DNA evidence linking him to the slaying.

        ``It makes it hard to deny you're the one who did it,'' she

        Ms. Anderson said Maturino Resendez could be charged
        with capital murder.

        ``Well, we've got him and I'm assuming we're going to
        keep him until we're done,'' she said. ``You can only mess
        up a slam-dunk, but it's a good case.''

        Ms. Anderson said the decision on whether to bring the
        capital murder charge would be up to her boss, District
        Attorney Johnny Holmes.

        In Texas, a charge of capital murder can usually only be
        filed when there is evidence that a murder occurred during
        the commission of certain felonies, including burglary.
        Even if he tried to plead guilty to murder as he attempted
        to do in the burglary charge, Texas law requires a jury trial
        to hear all death penalty cases.

        Maturino Resendez is charged with three killings in Illinois
        and Kentucky and had been suspected in five more in

        Today, Texas authorities linked him to a sixth killing, in
        Hughes Springs. Houston Police Lt. Ron Walker said a
        palm print found last October at the home of 87-year-old
        slaying victim Leafie Mason matches Maturino Resendez's.

        One of the most intense manhunts in years ended Tuesday
        with a simple handshake between a Texas Ranger and
        Maturino Resendez at an El Paso border station. The
        surrender was aided by family members who were in
        contact with the ranger.

        It's still unclear why the elusive man chose to turn himself
        in with the possibility of facing the death penalty for brutal
        slayings that began nearly two years ago.

        Mike Cox, a Texas Department of Public Safety
        spokesman, said he thought the suspect might have feared
        bounty hunters. A $125,000 reward had been offered for
        his capture.

        ``This is about the best news in Weimar since the end of
        World War II,'' said Bernie Kosler, mayor of the tiny south
        Texas town where Rev. Norman Sirnic, his wife, Karen,
        and 73-year-old Josephine Konvicka were fatally
        bludgeoned earlier this year.

        Within hours of Tuesday's surrender, Maturino Resendez
        was flown to Houston where he was interrogated for nearly
        eight hours about two slayings: Ms. Benton's and that of
        Noemi Dominguez, a 26-year-old schoolteacher.

        Maturino Resendez's surrender agreement included
        assurances of family visits, a psychological evaluation and
        promises that he would be safe in jail, authorities said.

        The agreement does not shield him from the death penalty.
        Mexico has refused to return suspects to countries where
        they may face a death penalty, which Mexico does not

        And Maturino Resendez surrendered himself to the state
        that has executed more people -- 180 -- that any other
        since the death penalty was declared constitutional in 1976.
        Harris County prosecutors have sent more killers to death
        row than any other in the nation.

        The arrest capped a massive six-week international
        manhunt by thousands of investigators and railroad
        authorities. The fugitive was thought to have traveled by
        hopping freight trains, finding victims living near the tracks.

        Investigators have said they have no idea what motivated
        the killings.

        The trail of terror started with the Aug. 29, 1997, slaying of
        a 21-year-old college student in Kentucky who was
        attacked while walking with his girlfriend along railroad

        The rest of the killings have come since September. The
        most recent were those of a 79-year-old man and his
        51-year-old daughter, found dead June 15 in Gorham, Ill.

        Maturino Resendez slipped through U.S. hands and was
        released by border agents to Mexico on June 2 even
        though he was wanted for questioning in a murder.
        Investigators believe he went on to kill four more people.

 Well, how were the victims killed? The words "brutal", "slaying", "terrorized" are sprinkled liberally (pun intended) about, but surely the victims were not scared to death.


If you go back and pain-stakingly reread the column you'll find one word - bludgeoned.

Do any of you doubt FOR A SECOND that if this was a tri-state shooting spree that the words "riddled with bullets", "assault rifle", or "shooter" would have been used in every other sentence? I don't.

This is a beautiful example of liberal media bias at its best. Bias by what is omitted. In fact, every one of the eight or nine victims was killed by either an axe or a hammer by this killer. But - the US voter isn't quite ready for a 7 day waiting period on wood choppers, nor is the call for national FBI hammer  registration likely to arouse support - yet.

In the front pages of the American Rifleman (yes the hate publication of the NRA), there are usually 12-15 stories every month of guns being used in a positive way for self-defense. But that's not "news-worthy" to the NY Times. And neither is it newsworthy when people are killed with something besides a gun - because that does not fit in with the media's non-biased, non-agenda. It's a difficult concept to understand the agenda of a group by what is _not_ said, but it is absolutely vital if one is to have any inkling of the truth.

I know what some of you are thinking, "Steve, you're just picking one article out of the stack to illustrate your point - you biased, gun loving, racist, homophobic, right-wing hate monger." Actually, I have read numerous accounts in the Post, Seattle PI, Chicago Tribune, etc. All the same. But don't take my word for it.

Let's see what "legs" this story has. Right now (July 15) President Clinton is having some witnesses from Colorado's Columbine High School shooting (over a month ago) attending a gun violence press conference at the WHite House. Clinton is transparently using the kids to send a message to the House Rep. that he wants more gun control.

If the press or the President really give a damn about violence and not just disarming America, lets see where the Railway Killer story is in a month, and what political hay is made from it. I'll be waiting - and listening - to the likely deafening silence.

On America's Poll:

On the July 4'th weekend the USA Today insert had a front cover portraying a 9 mm Beretta, painted Red, White and Blue, laying on top of the US Flag. This was a lead in to the story "America's Poll" written by Greg Easterbrook ( who writes for the liberal New Republic). In a nutshell,  the story says Columbine HIgh School was a turning point in the public's willingness to put aside personal freedom's for enhanced security. Some numbers will please some of you readers who are for tighter gun control, but the rest of the poll shows what a slippery slope this is.

  • 52% say the right to bear arms should be eliminated
  • 89% think that gun ownership should at least be restricted.
  • 67% think that the govt. should restrict violent messages in films, music and the internet
  • 86% think that there should be metal detectors and armed guards at schools, museums, office buildings, sports arenas and shopping malls
  • Ironically, 75% think that police should not pull over drivers simply based on the driver's appearence

As for those questions on what rights should be protected:

  • 81% want to preserve freedom of speech
  • 78% want to preserve freedom of assembly
  • 65% think that the Press should have free speech

Of course the flip side of these numbers is that 35% of the public thinks its time to start restricting the press, and 20% (and growing) think that individual freedom of assembly and speech should be restricted.

For those of you who have not seen it, there is a film called "Siege" starring Bruce Willis and Densel Washington. NY City is being hit by Mid-East terrorists and Washington is the FBI agent trying to track them down. Willis is an Army general specializing in counter-terrorism. Eventually, the public feels that anything is better then putting up with the random bombing so the mayor invites the President to declare marshal law in NY City and give Willis and the Army free reign. The citizens find out why this was now - a bad idea.

Some will  think, well that's just a movie and the Posse Commitatus Act forbids the use of the US Army on US citizens. I would invite you to look up the case of the Branch Davideans or numerous Labor Union strikes. The fact is, Ben Franklin was right. Those who would yield essential liberty to gain temporary safety ultimately have neither.
On the Passing of John John:

Personally, I'll miss this Kennedy. He was arguably the best male of his clan in two generations - even going so far as to found a moderately conservative magazine. Yet in some ways I cringe when I hear the media go on about the Kennedy "curse". John Jr. died because he was flying in dark Instrument Flight Rules weather with inadequate training. Ted almost drowned becuase he was driving drunk (his female companion was not as good a swimmer). John's brother died in extreme skiing. The father and uncle were assassinated becuase of the special interests they unwisely pissed off. In some sense, the family is the victim of its own success. Were they not as powerful and rich as they are, they would not have the dangerous toys or enemies they do.


Guest Editorial:

David Gay sent the following reminder of what the Founders of this nation faced when they fought tyranny. I don't know who the original author is.

Independence Day special.
Date: Thursday, July 01, 1999 7:49 AM
Subject: FW: Meditation for July 4

 Have you ever wondered what happened to the 56 men who signed the  Declaration of Independence?

 Five signers were captured by the British as traitors, and tortured before  they died.

Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned.

Two lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army, another had two sons captured.

Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or hardships of the Revolutionary War.

What kind of men were they? Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists.  Eleven were merchants, nine were farmers and large plantation owners; men of means, well educated.  But they signed the Declaration of Independence knowing full well that the penalty would be death if they were captured.

Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships swept from the seas by the British Navy.  He sold his home and properties to pay his debts, and died in rags.

Thomas McKeam was so hounded by the British that he was forced to move his family almost constantly.  He served in the Congress without pay, and his  family was kept in hiding.  His possessions were taken from him, and
poverty was his reward.

Vandals or soldiers looted the properties of Dillery, Hall, Clymer, Walton, Gwinnett, Heyward, Ruttledge, and Middleton.

At the battle of Yorktown, Thomas Nelson, Jr., noted that the British General Cornwallis had taken over the Nelson home for his headquarters. He quietly urged General George Washington to open fire.  The home was destroyed,
and  Nelson died bankrupt.

Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed.  The enemy jailed his wife, and she died within a few months.

John Hart was driven from his wife's bedside as she was dying. Their 13 children fled for their lives.  His fields and his gristmill were laid to waste.  For more than a year he lived in forests and caves, returning home to find his wife dead and his children vanished.  A few weeks later he died from exhaustion and a broken heart.  Norris and Livingston suffered similar fates.

Such were the stories and sacrifices of the American Revolution. These were not wild eyed, rabble-rousing ruffians. They were soft-spoken men of means and education. They had security, but they valued liberty more. Standing
tall, straight, and unwavering, they pledged: "For the support of this declaration, with firm reliance on the protection of the divine providence,  we mutually pledge to each other, our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor."

They gave you and me a free and independent America.  The history books never told you a lot of what happened in the Revolutionary War.  We didn't just fight the British.  We were British subjects at that time and we fought
our own government! Some of us take these liberties so much for granted... we shouldn't.

So, take a couple of minutes while enjoying your 4th of July holiday and silently thank these patriots.  It's not much to ask for the price they paid.


1. David Gay writes;

Date: Wed, 14 Jul 1999 16:43:56 -0500
From: "David H. Gay" <>
Subject: Re: lastcall


> "What does the apprehension of alledged railway murderer
> Rafael Resendez-Ramirez do for the argument for more
> gun control?"

I don't know how Rafael Resendez-Ramirez and gun control are related.
So as an argument for or against gun control this seems like a
non-starter. You don't have to use a gun to be a criminal. Owning a gun doesn't
make you a criminal (yet).


2. And Doug Wilken pens

Date: Thu, 15 Jul 1999 09:37:30 -0500 (CDT)
From: Doug Wilken <>
Cc: Doug Wilken <>
Subject: Re: lastcall

Dear Steve,

> "What does the apprehension of alledged railway murderer
> Rafael Resendez-Ramirez do for the argument for more
> gun control?"

Personally, I think it is a great argument that most individuals should be carrying lethal hardware in order
to protect themselves because the police certainly cannot do so.

It is past time to fight emotion with emotion.  To put it quite bluntly, the "gun-grabbers" are, defacto,
fighting for victim disarmament, and this fact needs to be shouted from the rooftops.  Series of ads showing that
poor little Fran (or Jane or Juanita) would not have been mugged or raped if only they had carried an "equalizer"
could be quite effective.

Of course if NBC (or other network) refuses to carry such an advertisement that would put a damper in the campaign
now wouldn't it?

-Doug Wilken

Quote(s) of the month:

"I was the first President in 30 years to invite him back into the White House"

-- Bill Clinton, 22 July, playing on public sympathy over the death of John Kennedy Jr.

Fix of the month:

It's the last day of July, and we still haven't got corn over knee high in the Pacific NW. Any helpful thoughts?



1. Seattle, 16 July: The new Mariner Stadium, complete with a retracting roof, opened for its first home series against the Padres. Completed for the bargain price of only 1/2 Billion dollars (and only $60 million over-budget, which the residents of King COunty will now be forced to pay), last night's game offered the chance to test the roof. While in the 3'rd inning, it began to rain. The roof was sent on its 20 minute journey to close, only to reveal that it leaked like a sieve.


1. July 15, St. Paul: Hundreds of voters voiced their collective disgust when it was reported that Govnr. "The Mind" Ventura was going to take his August vacation in the ring - this time acting as a Referee for the Summer Grand Slam of the WWF championships. Ventura replied, "I don't think there is a law that says becuase you're elected Govnr. you can't have fun."

2. July 4, Stillwater: Steven Langer, 30, of Apple Valley was killed with a friend when the two of them were driving a ski boat drunk at 3 am on the St. Croix river and collided with another boat.


1. Martha's Vineyard, 16 July: The search continues for the lone surviving son of former President John F. Kennedy. "Jack" Kennedy Jr. and his wife were flying in their own small airplane on approach to Martha's Vineyard enroute to a cousin's wedding. The plane went off RADAR just before making its landing approach. Floating luggage has been found in the sea.

Washington D.C.

1. 15 July: Proponents of the break-up of the 2 parent family gained another round of ammunition in the current issue of American Journal of Sociology. In it, the authors argue that in many cases a father is, "not only of minimal benefit, but may actively squander the family resourcces by wasting them on gambling and alcohol." The authors continue that in such cases it may be financially more efficient to remove the father from the family altogether and provide govt. assistence to the mother.

2. 22 July: President Clinton, in a tearful ode to the late John John, claimed that he was glad that two years ago he was able to invite the young Kennedy up into the Oval Office so as to come to terms with the place that he has not seen since his toddler years. Clinton claimed he was the only President in thirty years to offer John John this chance. Women across America swooned at the sensitivity of the President. What was not mentioned is that the evil Richard Nixon actually had the Kennedy children visit during a Xmas break in 1970-71. It seems rather odd that Clinton would not have been aware of this fact, since his wife Hillary was at the time working on the Dem subcommitee that was investigating Nixon for Watergate.

Net News;

1. I don't know how many of you have kept your old 1040 Tax booklets, but it always contains on page three a letter from the IRS Commisioner. In it he usually says things like how year last we we had better tax collection then ever, and this year it will be even easier because due to the Tax Paperwork Reduction Act (a real law, by the way), it will only take you 16 hours to accurately fill out your 1040.

What the letter from the Commisioner no longer mentions (since about 1988)  is that the Federal Income Tax is voluntary. "WHAT", you scream. Yes, it is voluntary. It had to be to get the support required to pass the 16'th Amendment, which is what made the IRS in the first place. Of course, over the years the IRS has tried its best to get people to forget this, and they have nearly succeeded. The following discussion points out that the 16'th Amendement may have never actually been ratified (this argument is not new), and thus the reason for the sham.

Is Income Tax Legal? Evidence suggests 16th Amendment never ratified

Constitution News
Published: 7-9-99 Author: David Franke
Posted on 07/09/1999 03:12:02 PDT by Born in a Rage

WASHINGTON-- Evidence strongly suggets that the 16th Amendment, which establishes the income tax, was not approved properly as required by the Constitution and was fraudulently ratified.

"If this evidence is true, the income tax is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people," says Robert L. Schulz.

Schulz is head of We the People Foundation for Constitutional Education, Inc., a New York state-based organization that hosted a symposium in Washington last week on the topic, "Are the Income and Social Security Taxes Legal?" The foundation twice sent registered letters to President Clinton, Senate President Pro Tempore Trent Lott, and House Speaker Dennis Hastert, as well as the Internal Revenue Service, asking them to send representatives to the symposium who could explain the government's case for the legality of the income tax. They received no response, much less a speaker, but part of the conference was covered by C-SPAN and that resulted in hundreds of friendly responses from viewers.

A key speaker at the symposium was William J. Benson, author of a two-volume investigative report on the ratification of the 16th Amendment entitled "The Law That Never Was."

Benson was a special agent with the Illinois Department of Revenue for 10 years. He was fired after uncovering evidence of corruption in the agency. It took more than six years to get the case into a federal court, but the jury awarded him "a large amount" he says, for violations of his First Amendment rights.

What followed his victory is an even more amazing story. Benson delved into the history of the federal income tax-- the granddaddy of the state income taxes-- and became suspicious. He noted irregularities in the ratification of the 16th Amendment and pressed on in his research.

That research took him to the archives in the state capitals of each of the 48 states that were part of the United States in 1913, when the 16th Amendment was passed by the Congress. The Constitution requires ratification of amendments by three-fourths of the states, and Benson's meticulous research says this was never properly done. Secretary of State Philander Knox declared the amendment ratified on the basis of a report from his solicitor, but that report was "fraudulent," says Benson.

In each state archive, Benson uncovered the records of that state's consideration of the proposed amendment. To present a legally acceptable case "you must have documents that are notarized and certified," he explains. "Otherwise they're considered hearsay in court."

All total, Benson collected 17,000 documents, all properly notarized and certified by officials of the states. And what they reveal is shocking.

The ratification required by at least 36 states-- three-fourths of the 48 states then in existence-- ha sto be identical to the amendment passed by Congress. Benson cites federal documents affirming that for state approval to be acceptable, neither words nor punctuation can be changed. And the states may not violate their own state constitutions in ratifying the amendment.

Of the 48 states, here's the story:

----Eight states (Rhode Island, Utah, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Kentucky, Florida, Virginia and Pennsylvania) did not approve or ratify the amendment.

----Texas and Louisiana were forbidden by their own state constitutions to empower the federal government to tax.

----Vermont and Massachusetts rejected the amendment with a recorded voice count, and only later declared it passed without a recorded vote after the amendment was declared ratified by Knox.

----Tennessee, Ohio, Mississippi, California and Washington violated their state constitutions in their ratification procedures.

----Minnesota did not send any copy of its resolution to Knox, let alone a signed and sealed one, as required.

----And Oklahoma, Georgia and Illinois made unacceptable changes in wording. (Some of the above states also made such changes, in addition to their other unacceptable procedures.)

Take 48 states, deduct these 21, and you have proper ratification by only 27 states-- far less than the required 36.

Benson's story doesn't end with the compilation and publication of his research. As expected, his evidence that our present system of government is based on a fraud did not get a friendly reception in Washington. Benson says a senatorial aide attempted to bribe him. Supress all copies of your books, he was told, and "you will live in comfort for the rest of your life."

Benson didn't cooperate, and he landed in prison on income tax charges.

"Going to prison was not easy," he told the symposium, "but because I had written volume one and was speaking out about it, the government was determined to put me in prison."

And that wasn't all. Benson was on prescribed medication for encephalitis. That medication was confiscated, and "four guards and three nurses entered my cell and forcibly injected me with different medication." As a result, he spent nearly two years in prison in a wheelchair.

"I now have to use a cane and walker, and ofetn a whellchair," Benson said, "all because of the federal government."

An appellate court reversed Benson's conviction, and he was free after 15 months and five days. But, ignoring prohibitions of double jeapordy, the Feds clamped him in prison again. And took away his medication again.

This time he was in jail only 22 days. His wife had appealed to Congress, and after a congressional inquiry the prison authorities stopped his overmedication and returned him to his original prescribed medication. The judge who had jailed him was furious when presented with evidence that the government's actions were unlawful, and ordered him released.

The latest chapter in Benson's saga is the counterattack.

"As soon as I get back to Illinois I'm suing them-- every one of them," Benson told WorldNetDaily-- and he started listing them: four U.S. attorneys, a first assistant U.S. attorney, and assistant U.S. attorney. All except the judge, that is. "I could sue the judge-- no question -- but I'm not going to do that," Benson added.

"Fear is the worst thing you face," said Benson of his prison experiences. And now it's time for the prosecutors who were his persecutors to be afraid.

© Steve Langer, 1995-2000