Washburn's World

My take on the world. My wife often refers to this as the WWW (Weird World of Washburn)

My Photo
Location: Germantown, Wisconsin, United States

I am a simple country boy transplanted from the Piehl Township in northern Wisconsin to the Milwaukee metropolitan area who came down "sout" in 1980 for college and have stayed in the area since.
If this blog is something you wish to support, consider a donation.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Ruling of the Village Board of Review

As I expected the ruling today from the Board of Review for the Village of Germantown is to dismiss my objection to the assessment.

I believe my testimony was a spirited defense of the constitution and a fair recitation of the precedent that even inspections need to conform to the 4th Amendment and to Article 1 Section 11.

The attorney for the Village stated the function and jurisdiction of the Review Board is to correct mistakes made by the Assessor and that to do a warrantless search of my property is a mistake "in cosmic sort of way" by the Assessor, but, the review board does not have jurisdiction. I was advised by the village attorney to take up my case with the Wisconsin Department of Revenue and/or the Wisconsin Courts.

The Board followed the reasoning of the village attorney and declined to grant the remedies within their power which I sought.

The Board of Review moved and then voted unanimously to close the matter of my objection because the correcting the constituional, statutory, or cosmis mistakes of the village assessor is outside the jurisdiction of the Village Board of Review.

The matter is now closed.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Praise for Russ Feingold.

In my zeal to connect the historical dots, my article on the abominable FISA Renewal forgot to mention that on this topic Wisconsin can be proud of its junior Senator, Russ Feingold.

On the immorality of warrantless searches, the immorality of secret evidence presented in star chambers, and the immorality of ex post facto immunity, there has been no greater, vocal, or articulate critic of this destruction of the rule of law than Senator Russ Feingold.

I often don't agree with the policies of Senator Feingold. That all the more reason to praise him when he gets it right and more importantly gets it right for the correct reasons.

I am deeply sorry I have not given Feingold the praise he deserves on this topic and I am greatful my friend Paul for reminding of my lapse.

On the FISA renewal and its unwinding of our lawful Republic into an lawless empire, Russ Feingold got it right, got it right for the correct reasons, and, most important, fought against this abomination to the American character with all of his effort.

Thank you Senator Feingold. On the matter of FISA, you have made this Wisconsinite proud to call you my Senator.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Yes, Virginia, A Search Warrant Is Required.

Back in January, 2008, I raised the question on Boots and Sabers: Do building inspectors need search warrants.

I discovered late last week that the Village of Germantown did a warrantless search of my property back in August of 2007. The Village used the ruse of an inspection as the color of law under which the warrantless search was done. The Village agent claims to have not entered my house or out-buildings, but just walked about on the premises as if he owned it. When I asked him to see a copy of the search warrant he obtained prior to entering my property, his answer was, "I don't need a search warrant". Once the subject of warrants came up, his memory of exact dates and times became fuzzy.

Now that the question is not philosophical, but practical, I did some research. It turns out the Village did need a type of non-criminal search warrant called a Special Inspection Warrant. The requirements for a when a Special Inspection Warrant is needed and how to obtain one is found in Wis Stats. 66.0119.

As an aside, since Wis Stats. 66.0119 defines inspectors of any type as "peace officers" does that mean inspectors of any type can carried concealed weapons under 941.23?

So, yesterday, Friday, July 18, 2008, I did what little I could to put the Village on notice that in my little corner of the Village I believe the state constitution is the supreme law of the land and is the authority under which the Village derives its just powers. I did so by delivering a Notice of Denial of Permission to Inspect to the 4 departments most likely to hold the attitude: "We are inspectors. We don't need Warrants.". These are the Village Inspections (Chief and assistant inspector), Village DPW, Village Treasurer (both Treasure and the apprasier), and the Village Clerk (as the Village record keeper).

I am not naive enough to believe that Federal, State, or Local governments are going to let Rights, Constitutions, or statutes interfere with something as vital as confiscating money from the serfs and calling it tax revenue. But, I do believe the point of the fourth amendment to the US Constitution and Article I, Section 11 of the Wisconsin State Constitution is not about hiding things, but is all about making tyranny inconvienient for tyrants, be they tyrants of the Federal, State, or local strain.

But, if the Constitution is not to be practiced at home, then it is dead and so is the Republic for which it stood.

Friday, July 11, 2008

FISA Renewal: Hamilton and the Federalist are Proven Wrong yet again

In 1787, Alexander Hamilton got his wish. For seven years he harangued people claiming the government of the United States was too weak. The US government under our first constitution was too weak even though it was powerful enough to defeat the world's greatest power of the time (Great Britain). In May 1787, Hamilton got his wish. A constitutional convention was called to make minor amendments to the then current constitution, The Articles of Confederation. Once convened, Hamilton unveiled his true intentions. He proposed a President elected for life, who in turn would appoint state governors. The governors would have un-reviewable veto power over any state legislation (i.e. no voting to override gubernatorial vetoes). Hamilton’s plan was for "an energetic Executive" in order to make the United States a "great" nation like Britain instead of a country like Switzerland which had no influence on European affairs. His plan was dismissed with the first hour. If you would like to read more on Hamilton's plans for a "Great America" see the books at the end of this article.

The minor amendment proposed by Hamilton's Convention was an amendment by substitution. That substitution was our second and current Constitution (without a bill of rights).

The resulting debate on abandoning a successful government organized as a Swiss/Iroquois confederacy or adopting a nationalized, central government was spirited, vigorous, wide ranging, and many times bitterly personal.

For those interested in this point counter point exchange of pamphlets, editorials, letters, and ratification debates, there is no better source than The Debate on the Constitution.

When I first read this book, I was struck by three things:
  1. These men were prescient. With two hundred years on my side, I was able to judge the merits of the arguments offered and the fears articulated.

  2. The opponents of the new Constitution (the anti-federalists) were almost always right

  3. The proponents of the new Constitution (the Federalists Jay, Madison, and Hamilton) were almost always wrong
Every dire consequence predicted by the opponents of the Constitution has come to pass.
These predictions include:
Every rationale offered by the Hamilton and his comrades as to why these dire consequences were phantoms of over heated imaginations has been rebuked by actual history.

With the passage of the FISA renewal yesterday, the constitutional opponent, Centinel, has been proved correct.

On October 5, 1787, in Anti-Federalist paper 47, CENTINEL of Philadelphia, predicted: And from his [the President's] power of granting pardons, he might skreen [sic] from punishment the most treasonable attempts on liberties of the people. This argument was gaining enough traction (and derailing ratification), that Hamilton penned Federalist No. 74 in March 25, 1788 to specifically counter the arguments advanced by Centinel.

The warrantless wiretapping program begun by Bill Clinton in 1995 and completed by George Bush in February 2001 is laid out in this time line. Bill Clinton's program to have the telecoms perform wireless wiretaps was a continuation of his 1993 Clipper Chip program designed to make all private telephone conversations illegal within the US. It is clear that when the Clipper Chip initiative failed, Bill Clinton proceeded to plan B; Warrantless wiretapping via telecommunication companies.

The most effective propaganda on this subject is the LIE that the warrantless wiretapping program begun by President Clinton in the 90's and completed by President Bush in February 2001 is a post-September 11, 2001 anti-terrorism program. God, we are gullible.

Since December, 1999, the Telecoms were assured by the NSA and the White House that they would be "taken care of" and "protected" should the program be discovered. Exactly as Centinel predicted two hundred years ago, the President and the Senate have colluded to use pardoning powers in order to skreen from punishment the most treasonable attempts on liberties of the people

Not all Telecoms though participated in this treasonable attempt on liberties of the people. In February 2001, one Telecomm company, Qwest, refused and demanded the US Government produce one of those pesky warrant things. Given the Government reaction, Qwest may have even been so bold as to demand the warrant actually be signed and in an act of utter imputence may have further demanded the warrant be signed by an actual Judge. We are told that Qwest's inability to get government contracts for the next two years was unconnected to their refusal to participate. The official story is that the prosecution of Qwest CEO, Joseph Nacchio, for securities fraud (begun on or before March 2003 and was brought to court in March 2006) was unconnected to Qwest's refusal to participate in a treasonable attempt on liberties of the people. The official stories here may even be true, but we will never know. The fact remains that Nacchio was denied the opportunity present this evidence to a jury during his trial. The discussion of the 2001 NSA upgrade contract and its financial impact on the company was central to his defense.

The opponents of the second and current Constitution (the Anti-Federalist) are proven correct yet again and Hamilton and the Federalist are proven wrong yet again. Exactly as Centinel predicted two hundred years ago, the President and the Congress have and will collude to use pardoning powers in order to entice to action and then to screen from punishment private agents willing to execute their treasonable attempts on liberties of the people.

Thomas Jefferson, Sam Adams, Patrick Henry, Centinel, Brutus, An Old Whig, A Federal Farmer, and the other other opponents of our second and current constitution held the view that Government Power and Individual Liberty were a zero-sum game. To the extent one waxes, the other wanes. With the star chambers of FISA and with the introduction of retroactive immunity, Government Power waxes hard and we, the gullible, modernist sheep, reject the the deep wisdom of our forefathers to think that Individual Liberty has not waned

Long Live Hamilton's EmpireRepublic.

Book's on Hamilton:
Hamilton's Republic
Hamilton and the Constitution
Hamilton's Curse