SeaViews: Insights from the Gray
(formerly the _Rochester Rag_, formerly the _News
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
-- 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
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
slayings along railroad tracks in three states
he committed a burglary at one of the
and indicated he is willing to cooperate with
authorities. Police said today they had evidence
to a ninth
District Judge William Harmon told Angel Maturino
known as Rafael Resendez-Ramirez, of the
charge and asked if he had any questions. The
Mexican drifter replied through a translator:
``Can all this
be done very quickly so I can say I am
was to set bond and assign Maturino
attorney, so the admission of guilt was not an
prosecutors said. Maturino Resendez had
made a similar
attempt earlier today to plead guilty to the
only count brought against him so far in
brief court appearances, his calm request to plead
after a prosecutor described the bloody scene
of the killing
from which the burglary charge stems.
Resendez, who was placed on the FBI's 10 Most
after he was named as a suspect in eight
surrendered Tuesday at a border checkpoint after
gave his name to the judge, he explained that
Resendez-Ramirez was an alias.
Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson
Resendez was charged with burglary at the
home of Dr.
Claudia Benton in the Houston enclave of
University Place. Ms. Benton was killed in her home
Anderson said Maturino Resendez's fingerprints were
found on Ms.
Benton's stolen car and that there was
evidence linking him to the slaying.
it hard to deny you're the one who did it,'' she
Anderson said Maturino Resendez could be charged
we've got him and I'm assuming we're going to
keep him until
we're done,'' she said. ``You can only mess
slam-dunk, but it's a good case.''
Anderson said the decision on whether to bring the
charge would be up to her boss, District
In Texas, a
charge of capital murder can usually only be
there is evidence that a murder occurred during
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.
Resendez is charged with three killings in Illinois
and had been suspected in five more in
Texas authorities linked him to a sixth killing, in
Springs. Houston Police Lt. Ron Walker said a
found last October at the home of 87-year-old
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
Resendez at an El Paso border station. The
aided by family members who were in
unclear why the elusive man chose to turn himself
in with the
possibility of facing the death penalty for brutal
began nearly two years ago.
Mike Cox, a
Texas Department of Public Safety
said he thought the suspect might have feared
hunters. A $125,000 reward had been offered for
about the best news in Weimar since the end of
II,'' said Bernie Kosler, mayor of the tiny south
where Rev. Norman Sirnic, his wife, Karen,
73-year-old Josephine Konvicka were fatally
earlier this year.
hours of Tuesday's surrender, Maturino Resendez
was flown to
Houston where he was interrogated for nearly
about two slayings: Ms. Benton's and that of
Dominguez, a 26-year-old schoolteacher.
Resendez's surrender agreement included
family visits, a psychological evaluation and
he would be safe in jail, authorities said.
agreement does not shield him from the death
refused to return suspects to countries where
they may face
a death penalty, which Mexico does not
Maturino Resendez surrendered himself to the state
executed more people -- 180 -- that any other
death penalty was declared constitutional in 1976.
prosecutors have sent more killers to death
row than any
other in the nation.
capped a massive six-week international
thousands of investigators and railroad
The fugitive was thought to have traveled by
freight trains, finding victims living near the
Investigators have said they have no idea what
of terror started with the Aug. 29, 1997, slaying of
college student in Kentucky who was
walking with his girlfriend along railroad
The rest of
the killings have come since September. The
were those of a 79-year-old man and his
daughter, found dead June 15 in Gorham, Ill.
Resendez slipped through U.S. hands and was
border agents to Mexico on June 2 even
though he was
wanted for questioning in a murder.
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
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
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
- 89% think that gun ownership should at least be
- 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
- 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
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
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.
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
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
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,
poverty was his reward.
Vandals or soldiers looted the properties of Dillery,
Hall, Clymer, Walton, Gwinnett, Heyward, Ruttledge, and
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
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.
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
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" <email@example.com>
To: LANGER STEVEN C <sglanger@Oakland.edu>
Subject: Re: lastcall
> "What does the apprehension of alledged railway
> Rafael Resendez-Ramirez do for the argument for
> gun control?"
I don't know how Rafael Resendez-Ramirez and gun control
So as an argument for or against gun control this seems like
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: LANGER STEVEN C <sglanger@Oakland.edu>
Cc: Doug Wilken <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: lastcall
> "What does the apprehension of alledged railway
> Rafael Resendez-Ramirez do for the argument for
> 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
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
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?
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
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.
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.
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.
Income Tax Legal? Evidence suggests 16th Amendment never
Published: 7-9-99 Author: David
Posted on 07/09/1999 03:12:02 PDT
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
"If this evidence is true, the income tax is the greatest
hoax ever perpetrated on the American people," says Robert
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
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
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
----Minnesota did not send any copy of its
resolution to Knox, let alone a signed and sealed one, as
----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
Take 48 states, deduct these 21, and you have proper
ratification by only 27 states-- far less than the required
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
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
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
The latest chapter in Benson's saga is the
"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