"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their consciences." ~ C.S. Lewis
Tales from an American Gulag, Part 2
George is a collector of guns -- all of which were registered -- some even for museum display. (He had endured several 'routine' police inspections to verify his registration papers.) One night he is alerted at 3:00 a.m. by a neighbor that three to four black-clad intruders are digging around in his backyard (wishing to find a buried .22 rifle, as he would later learn). They are spooked, leave, and meet a black and white car down the street. George's neighbor calls Buena Park Police Department to report intruders and a possible theft. The police never arrive.
At a later date, George is arrested on charge of possession of a partially registered and inoperable 50-caliber machine gun ' the official term was improperly credentialed. His entire collection of 50 pieces (both pistols and rifles) along with his machine tools, were confiscated.
George's arrest was triggered by an event that occurred on July 4th two or three years earlier. On that night, a man was killed with a .22 bullet from a high trajectory. Apparently the shot came from a gun fired into the air, as is common on certain holidays. He was hit and died on the spot, about 150 yards from George's house, in a park that borders his back lawn.
Several days later, police came to George's house to question him about the death. Neighbors confirmed that George had spent the last several July 4th's at a relative's house, and that on this July 4th, he had returned home at about 10 p.m. , an hour after the man in the park was shot.
The failure to solve this killing was beginning to embarrass the Buena Park Police Department. Accordingly, several months after the killing, a raiding party from the Buena Park Police Department along with a TV crew arrived at George's house to search for a .22 caliber rifle or pistol. They eventually gained entry to his safe, but never found any .22 caliber rifle or pistol. What they did find was a box of .22 caliber cartridges. However, the FBI confirmed that the lot number for the box did not match the lot number of the bullet that killed the man in the park. When the police felt its raid was falling apart, they ordered the TV crew to leave the premises. Then the search continued in private. The raiders disassembled and scattered parts of a custom-built engine, and confiscated machine tools and engine parts. George was arrested in May or June of 2004 for an improperly credentialed (and inoperable) machine gun.
It seems that George's problem was simply that he had a bad attitude. On previous inspections (since 1990), he would meet inspectors on the sidewalk and ask them not to break down his door like storm troopers, as they had done a previous time. During that particular inspection, they had arrived in the early morning while he and his wife were preparing their two children for school. The inspectors broke down the door and set loose a German Shepherd, which killed a pet bird. On another visit, one of the visitors grabbed a phone away from his wife, along with a handful of her hair at the same time. One of them casually explained to George, 'We like doing this.'
Johnson was employed as an LAX security guard for twelve years. He used a fake Social Security number on his job application. This transgression was eventually discovered, and he was sentenced to twelve months. As of August of 2004, he had spent 22 months in jail. The Bureau of Prisons website does not show his name (when a sentence expires, the name is removed from the website whether released or not).
Richard (not his real name) was the Chief Financial Officer for a stock brokerage firm that purchased/brokered a new issue of a stock exchange company. To accomplish this, his company commingled customer funds. Even though no losses resulted from the transaction, he was nevertheless convicted of commingling customer money. He served his time and was released on probation. A condition of his probation required that any potential or active customers of Richard's meet with or contact his probation officer for an interview.
Richard became a consultant and collected some 100 new customers. He had notified the probation officer of practically none of them. The P.O. found four of these customers. He had Richard arrested and revoked his parole, of which only six to twelve months remained. At his sentencing, the P.O. recommended the maximum penalty. Richard was sentenced to eleven months in jail, with 30 months new probation.
While I was in jail, I signed up for music lessons so I would have an opportunity to practice on the keyboard. This is where I met John (I don't remember his real name). He was a professional musician with a drug habit. His supplier eventually enlisted John as a runner, but the road was unkind. John had a motorcycle accident while he was delivering 50 pounds of drugs. He was arrested, convicted, and sent to prison. He served five to six years. His current confinement was owing to a parole violation, I think.
He told me that the motorcycle accident seemed to impair his memory, especially for music. After his prior release, he had no interest in music. It was owing to prodding from his sister or his girlfriend (I cannot remember which) that caused him to make another attempt at music. To his surprise, he found that he was able to relearn his skills with relative ease.
I would see John occasionally in the music room and we would practice together. I had never played with another person before, so he carried the melody and sang while I played chords. It was very simple, apart from the coordination.
John was hyperactive, and could hardly sit still, or contain his thoughts. He would tell me more about himself with each session. For one thing, he said he was remorseful and told me a few things he had done to try and patch up his life. He related how he had tried to repair the relationship with his parents. Toward this effort, he had written a song dedicated to his dad. I asked him to sing it for me. For some reason I tend to get choked up when I hear or witness expressions of gratitude or kindness. When he had finished with his dad's song, I had to turn away and end the session, as it is not manly to show tears to another man, especially to another inmate.
His mother died while he was in prison on the drug charge. He was allowed to visit her in the hospital. He tried to apologize to her for the pain he had caused her, but she coldly turned him away. She wrote a letter to be sent to him after her death, and left it with one of his sisters. His mother died when he had one and a half years to go on his prior conviction. He told me that his sister held this letter until his release because she thought it was not the kind of letter a son should receive while in jail ' it was so filled with vitriolic language. The same thing happens to me when I hear tales of unusual sadness. Again, I had to turn away.
At a later session, he told me more about his 'dad.' He was especially attached to this 'father,' but it seems to have been common knowledge within the family that the man who acted as his father was not, in fact, his real father. John explained that while he had black hair and brown eyes, his sisters were blond with blue-green eyes. There were no similarities between John and his 'father.' Still, this man raised John as his own son.
John's story, relative to his mother, reminds me of two maxims. One is attributed to Samuel Johnson and the other to Tacitus. They read, approximately: 'Confusion of progeny is the crime of adultery ['and fills our prisons],' and 'We hate most those we have wronged.'
Illegal cupid is an Egyptian-born naturalized citizen. He had converted to Christianity while living in Egypt , and had to move to America because of the hostility toward non-Muslims in Egypt . He had studied law, but had yet to take the bar exam. He was charged with aiding and abetting marriages for residency purposes. He was told to accept a plea bargain or else the government would add mail fraud charges.
The government initiated its investigation on the assumption he was Muslim. They had intended to include terrorist-related charges, but were blocked by his conversion to Christianity. (The government had interviewed neighbors and people at his church, and had inspected relics in his home.)
Saleem (not his real name, from Lebanon ) had lived in the country for nearly 30 years. His troubles began when he was working as a sales representative for an aircraft parts broker. The owner of the company had a history of selling parts that were over-represented as to specifications, which can lead to deadly consequences. The owner was still brokering such parts, and was caught. The government asked Saleem if he would be a witness for the government. Out of a sense of loyalty for an employer, he refused. Several months later, the government charged Saleem as a co-conspirator.
Nguyen was born in Vietnam. He escaped on a boat when he was about 13, and came to America. I always ask these hardened criminals how they earned money before they were arrested. Nguyen told me, but it was so ordinary that I don't remember what he did. I do remember other unusual details. For example, Nguyen sent money to his mother in Vietnam, and supported his two sisters while they attended college there to become teachers.
While in America, he ran with the street crowd. He had the wrong kind of friends, as he now acknowledges. One of his friends was contemplating becoming involved in a drug-distribution scheme, and telephoned Nguyen for advice. After a lengthy conversation, Nguyen advised the friend to stay away from the scheme, that it would only lead to trouble. The conversation was taped, and Nguyen was charged as a co-conspirator in a scheme to distribute drugs. Did you notice that? He advised against becoming involved in the scheme, but was still charged.
Nguyen is 29. He has a wife and one or two children, and is looking at a sentence of 20 years. There is fear on his face, and in his voice. I imagine he has difficulty understanding why he risked his life, at 13, for this.
We may wonder why the government would use a half, or a full million dollars to put someone like Michael, or Danny, or Nguyen in jail. It is the usual religious racket armed with secular power. When a government or tyrant becomes oppressive, it is supposed to be some god's chastisement of the people for not being sufficiently obedient. Their remedy lies in enduring the oppression, paying additional sacrifices (taxes), and devoting themselves to a more rigorous slavery. All this must be done with visible, sincere gratitude and respect for god's instrument of chastisement: the oppressive government or tyrant -- one that reasonable men would openly detest, and describe not as a god, but as a demon in human form. If the submission or payment is done with any sign of resentment, it all counts for nothing. It must then be done again, and with a greater payment of taxes and submission.
Here in America, the government imprisons and destroys the lives of harmless, self-supporting, drug users (and non-drug users), while it protects major drug operators and keeps them on the streets. There they make millions, and share their loot with judges, prosecutors, police, politicians, and media editors. And, if these harmless drug users attempt to defend themselves or assert their rights, punishment is multiplied. In addition, the government uses money from seizures to build more prisons to house even more self-supporting drug users. It is a never-ending cycle.
The only problem for the government is that as the Big Drug Operators continue to take the blame for ruining lives, people complain. Politicians and media editors trot out their charts and statistics to show that the government is doing its job by putting away 'drug dealers,' like Michael or Danny. The government then argues that it just doesn't have enough money, or enough high-tech gadgets, or enough repressive legislation to go after those 'drug dealers' who remain on the streets. The people reluctantly grant more taxes, and support more repressive laws.
The government proceeds to prosecute more harmless dope users ' who are self-supporting, while protecting major drug operators, who share their loot . . . . The screw turns ' and the people are chastised.
A few days before my release, I read a story in the Orange County Register (2004 August 29, News 1, 24). It was about Michelle, a three-year-old girl. She disappeared one summer night in 1969. She survives from that night only in the memory of her six-year-old brother. The last time he spoke with her was when she ran into his room and pleaded, 'Hide me. Please, hide me.' She then crawled under the bed covers. Their mother (Donna J. Printice) came to get her. The brother never saw his sister again. Three days later, Donna, her boyfriend (James Michael Kent), and the six-year-old boy moved to a suburb of Chicago.
A day or two after their move, Michelle's father (Richard Pulsifer, Sr.) came from San Diego for a visit. He observed that the house was empty and notified the police. They weren't interested. The police explained that his wife had legal custody, and could move anytime or anywhere without notice. Richard soon learned they had moved to Illinois. He made contact with Donna and she repeatedly insisted in telephone conversations that Michelle was fine.
That was the end of the case, until 2001, when Ann Friedman became re-acquainted with the Pulsifer family. She had married into wealth, and became interested in the mystery surrounding Michelle. She hired two private investigators, who eventually came to the conclusion that Michelle died in 1969. They managed to get the Orange County District Attorney's office interested in the case, which spent a year verifying the research done by the private investigators. A few days prior to this article, Donna and her former boyfriend were arrested.
I know why Michelle had to die. It is because the wrong men are on the streets, the wrong men are in jail, and Satanists sit in positions of power. I know how to change this. I know what to do, and how to do it. And that is why I was sent to jail.