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"What is your name? Do you have a claim against me? Does anyone have a claim against me? I demand, or request, that the order of the court be released to me immediately."
December 13, 2001 12:03 PM   Subscribe

"What is your name? Do you have a claim against me? Does anyone have a claim against me? I demand, or request, that the order of the court be released to me immediately." (NYT link) 12 Michigan (natch) nutcases shout the same four questions over and over during their fraud, conspiracy, and tax evasion trial. Seems they believe the four questions shield them from government authority. They also believe the U.S. Constitution was invalidated when FDR took us off the gold standard, and the federal government has no power over them. I wonder if they'll come to feel differently after a few years in the federal penitentiary?
posted by pardonyou? (43 comments total)

 
And before anyone jumps on me for the Michigan slam, I'm a proud Michiganian myself. I'm also an employment attorney who has defended cases in which employees have sued their employers for withholding federal taxes from their paychecks (which the employers are obligated to do by law). These guys are true zealots, usually represent themselves, and file these 80 page complaints photocopied at Kinko's, replete with references to eighteenth-century court decisions and obscure portions of the Internal Revenue Code. Crazy's a fun place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there.
posted by pardonyou? at 12:06 PM on December 13, 2001


(ps: I know it's Michigander, not Michiganian)
posted by pardonyou? at 12:07 PM on December 13, 2001


OK, what the hell is the deal with the gold standard? This is like the umpteenth time that I've heard right-wing loonies ranting about the gold standard!
posted by aramaic at 12:09 PM on December 13, 2001


I believe it's "He who has the gold sets the standard."
posted by UncleFes at 12:12 PM on December 13, 2001


Aramaic: I did a little poking around, and found this. The gist of it seems to be that by abandoning the Gold Standard the US was, in effect, declaring bankruptcy, and as such was dissolved. First I'd heard ...
posted by Shadowkeeper at 12:15 PM on December 13, 2001


Actually, it should be five questions, the last one being:

"Where's the nurse with my medication?"
posted by ebarker at 12:20 PM on December 13, 2001


It is one thing not to recognize the authority of the federal government, it is an entirely differnt matter to be free of it. I don't ceed any authority to the police, but act accordingly when they are around since I believe they will kill me if I do not.
posted by thirteen at 12:21 PM on December 13, 2001


Good point, thirteen. William Cooper -- of the government is hiding the bovine rectum coring reticulans under Area 51 fame, among other things -- got himself shot over the "taxes are fictional" thing.

See www.williamcooper.com -- sorry, Opera isn't showing me the link buttons.
posted by cps at 12:28 PM on December 13, 2001


sounds sorta monty python holy grail-esqe?

thirteen, you are very practical. its bad to be killed.

at least these shouters aren't blowing things up and shooting people...give me bogus lawsuits over violence any day.
posted by th3ph17 at 12:29 PM on December 13, 2001


Interesting read Shadow. It is also true that what keeps our economy moving is the people's faith in money. It is true that the paper hold absolutely NO value- it is merely tha fact that every citizen here (well, with the exception of a few people) also have this faith in money. You read the dollar bill, and it reads "This note it legal tender for all debts, public and private," So i've always taken it as "you buy a $10 hat, you are in debt $10- you give this $10 to pay off the debt, and the person you gave the $10 now has the $10 to pay off their own future debt."
posted by jmd82 at 12:30 PM on December 13, 2001


You have to admit they make jury duty more fun.
posted by yerfatma at 12:39 PM on December 13, 2001


(a) The Michigan slam still sucks, and (b) it's Michiganian, not Michigander. Only tourons wearing "Ryba's Mackinac Island Fudge" t-shirts say Michigander.
posted by rodii at 12:57 PM on December 13, 2001


Reminds me of Neal King. These people paw over historic legislature to find loopholes - trying cause a cascade of invalidated laws. They're probably quite right, to the letter of the law, not that it matters. When an entrenched misbelief has precident the law is considered flawed and we patch it. It's sad that these guys are so out of touch.

GNU leader Richard Stallman sez that if greater society doesn't care about these beliefs it has no chance of surviving. Rather obvious, but I guess if you're surrounded by friends like these it'd warp you.
posted by holloway at 1:05 PM on December 13, 2001


jmd82: It is true that the paper hold absolutely NO value- it is merely tha fact that every citizen here (well, with the exception of a few people) also have this faith in money.

It is also true that gold and silver hold very little "inherent" (i.e. use) value. The things you can actually make with gold aren't worth anywhere near it's trading value. It's another faith thing: people perceive gold as rare and beautiful, and therefore valuable.

This is even clearer with diamonds. Diamonds are not rare in nature. Diamonds are common as dirt. Large chunks of the world have huge deposits of diamond, and the things are also fairly easy to make (and it's getting easier all the time). They're just carbon.

But diamonds are "valuable" because people think they're rare, and people think they're pretty, and because DeBeers (who have total control of the world's diamond market) keeps production strictly capped, and perpetuates all of our happy myths about diamonds being precious and lovely.

Economics is a fiction. It's the emergent result of a class of human interactions, and it's all based on faith, and circumstance, and what a lot of individuals are carrying around in their heads.

Kinda like government...
posted by rusty at 1:10 PM on December 13, 2001


What's interesting about the page Shadow points to is that it is made to appear the entire page was entered into the Congressional Record by James Traficant, Jr. a House Rep. from Ohio. If you click on the image of the actual record at the bottom of the page, however, you see that only the first paragraph on the entire page is in the record.

The rest of the page is some ravings from a loon.
posted by yarf at 1:20 PM on December 13, 2001


And before anyone jumps on me for the Michigan slam, I'm a proud Michiganian myself.

I did not know that Michigan was so high on the States to Slam List.

*looks about himself, finds a pleasant penninsula*
posted by iceberg273 at 1:23 PM on December 13, 2001


Michiganian or Michigander? I just say I'm from Kalamazoo. It trumps both.
posted by Hankins at 1:25 PM on December 13, 2001


I used to live up there, and I can vouch for the fact that Michiganders are much more likely to be crazy than average people. (And I grew up in Louisiana -- that should tell you I know from crazy people.) All sorts of bizarre anti-government types (like the Rev. Rick Strawcutter).
posted by crabwalk at 1:45 PM on December 13, 2001


Troll or Youper? Michiganian or Michigander? If your from K-zoo, does that make you a Zoolander? Does it really matter what we call ourselves?
posted by Apoch at 1:47 PM on December 13, 2001


FDR, huh? Well, my dad, who served into the European theater as an ordnance tech sergeant, used to joke, "I was a political prisoner of Franklin Delano Roosevelt." He never mentioned the gold-standard thing to me, though.
posted by alumshubby at 1:48 PM on December 13, 2001


Hankins, I grew up in Kalamazoo, and my parents still live there. I found your link to be pretty damn funny, especially considering the whole hoo-hah we had many years back about Elvis being alive and well, and hanging out at the Burger King in Kalamazoo.

Considering we've got precious little else to be known for, aside from a funny name and a moldy WWII song, many of us embraced the "Elvis-alive-in-k-zoo" myth willingly.
posted by 40 Watt at 1:57 PM on December 13, 2001


Isn't that only three questions?
posted by bobo123 at 2:22 PM on December 13, 2001


I grew up in the Zoo as well. Must be an affinity between K-Zoo and Metafilter. Saying that, I have never in my life heard Michiganian. Must originate from the yupers. But I must say, there are a few crazies running around the state.
posted by jasondigitized at 2:24 PM on December 13, 2001


Confused about the Constitution? Let the Militia of Montana help. Sample:The Conspirators to form a SOCIALIST ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT under the UNITED NATIONS are still at work treasonously subverting the Constitution in order to enslave the Citizens of the State of Montana, The United States of America and the World in a socialist union.
posted by Mack Twain at 3:00 PM on December 13, 2001


How to know if you're a Michigander/Michigoose. (I lived in Traverse City for ten years--the Cherry Capital of the Known World.)
posted by Carol Anne at 3:22 PM on December 13, 2001


"Considering we've got precious little else to be known for..."

Yeah, it's a shame that the mid-90's West Michigan mix of Sir Mix-A-Lot's "Jump on it" never won national acclaim. I'll actually be in Kalamazoo in two weeks... anybody need anything? I can deliver Christmas packages to friends and family and what not.
posted by Hankins at 3:25 PM on December 13, 2001


rodii - c'mon d00d! ya gotta admit we do grow em purty thick round these parts... :-)
posted by quonsar at 3:34 PM on December 13, 2001


and i'll never forget jon anderson chanting 'oozamalak!' in the round at wings stadium!
posted by quonsar at 3:36 PM on December 13, 2001


Economics is a fiction. It's the emergent result of a class of human interactions, and it's all based on faith, and circumstance, and what a lot of individuals are carrying around in their heads.

Not exatly, rusty. The whole reason paper money came about was to streamline a goods/services economy. Money is collateral against services that a person has provided in the past, or goods that they have. Remember, at one time, crops (as well as silver and gold) were used as collateral for printed money.

What makes it all go to hell is everyone trying to redeem money for goods all at once. By the 30s, we had enough money being made on services that it just didn't work.
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 3:54 PM on December 13, 2001


The history of money (look for representitive and fiat money near the bottom.
posted by thirteen at 3:58 PM on December 13, 2001


Unless I am mistaken, Nixon took us off the gold standard.
posted by Bezuhin at 4:18 PM on December 13, 2001


Here is T.I.G.E.R., a typical site arguing the illegitimacy of the Federal Government. The fine citizens of the North-Carolina American Republic (see links under "documents") have so frustrated local courts arguing that no valid legal authority exists behind the traffic tickets they've received (all the lower governments are complicit in the impostor coup regime in Washington and thus themselves invalid), that prosecutors have given up enforcing minor laws against them—too expensive, too much legal muddle to wade through...
posted by Zurishaddai at 4:24 PM on December 13, 2001


Michigander grumble fudgies gripe mutter...
posted by rodii at 4:25 PM on December 13, 2001


I remember serving a subpoena on someone at his house at 7:00 pm, and he told me that it was probably illegal to be serving someone that late, and was serious about it. He and his girlfriend had opened the door in their bathrobes. I image that I had interfered with their having sex, and if he had said that it should probably be illegal to serve someone a subpoena while they were having sex, I might have agreed, and returned the next day. But then again, it was a divorce case and maybe that was the appropriate time after all...

The antidefamation league has a page on idiot legal arguments that is filled with some of the astounding beliefs that people hold, or adopt to avoid legal prosecution. It hasn't been updated in a couple of years, but it does include more than a handful of interesting claims, including objections to names printed in all capital letters, and many other extreme legal arguments.
posted by bragadocchio at 4:35 PM on December 13, 2001


Heck, while I'm opening up my files on anti-government wackos, I'd be remiss not to point y'all also to Freedom News, which offers legal services to help you declare yourself a neutral party to escape martial law, deny your signature, etc., etc. Also some further links of this ilk if you want to chase 'em.
posted by Zurishaddai at 4:39 PM on December 13, 2001


Only tourons wearing "Ryba's Mackinac Island Fudge" t-shirts say Michigander.

I've always felt that "touroids" was a better word for those people.

And I think it's funny how pardonyou?'s offhand semi-slam on his home state nearly hijacked the thread. Like this thread needed more hilarity.
posted by diddlegnome at 5:43 PM on December 13, 2001


Bezuhin: you are incorrect. FDR took us off the Gold standard and made it illegal for US citizens to own gold. Nixon made it legal to own gold again.

Anyway, I don't see why these people felt that the US declaring 'bankrupsy' was equivalent to it no longer existing. Lots of organizations go into bankrupsy and still exist. zilog for example.
posted by delmoi at 5:51 PM on December 13, 2001


I just can't help myself, here's another patriot site. I am thinking about relocating from Berkeley, Calif., to a small town in Tennessee, and doing research on it I discover one of its citizens is celebrated by the patriot movement for successfully having evaded income taxes by arguing he sincerely didn't believe the tax law applied to him.

Lots of nonsense of this kind here.
posted by Zurishaddai at 6:19 PM on December 13, 2001


"But diamonds are "valuable" because people think they're rare, and people think they're pretty, and because DeBeers (who have total control of the world's diamond market) keeps production strictly capped, and perpetuates all of our happy myths about diamonds being precious and lovely. huh? this is so wrong. Uncle Fes: it is ...he and she whom makes the autos controls the...wait...first you get the women, then you get the money..no first you get the money then you get the car then you get the...wait. Eldest daughter went to Frankenmuth today. she wanted spending money...i withdrew gold certificates so she can get an ornament from Bronners: "the worlds largest Chritmas store" god, i love my state.
posted by clavdivs at 7:44 AM on December 14, 2001


Michigander goes postal: "A former postal employee told a federal judge Tuesday he was angry about being fired when he walked through the back door of the Empire post office and 'whipped' two 5-gallon buckets filled with a slurry of porcupine feces and worms on former co-workers and mail."
posted by Carol Anne at 8:11 AM on December 14, 2001


I am willing to accept a complete and total ban of civilian ownership of porcupine feces.


Oh who am I kidding. I can't even do that!
posted by thirteen at 8:21 AM on December 14, 2001


Tourons and touroids, huh? And to think of all the money I lavished upon the ungrateful people of Michigan when I lived in Ohio and visited the Wolverine State as a tourist.

Here in Florida, we don't call tourists names. We don't feel contempt for them. We welcome tourists, no matter how slow they drive. Boycott Michigan. Come to Florida!
posted by Holden at 9:26 AM on December 14, 2001


Yes, do!

We call them "fudgies" here too.
posted by rodii at 1:44 PM on December 14, 2001


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