Monday, April 27, 2009

Pouring Oil on Troubled Waters

Pouring Oil on Troubled Waters

The calming effect of oil was known to the ancient Greeks. In 1762, Benjamin Franklin repeated an experiment first performed by Pliny, which he reported in A Letter from Benjamin Franklin to William Brownrigg, 1773:

“I then went to the windward side where they (the waves) began to form; and there the oil, though not more than a teaspoonful, produced an instant calm over a space several yards square which spread amazingly and extended itself gradually till it reached the lee side, making all that quarter of the pond, perhaps half an acre, as smooth as a looking glass.”

A strong wind that goes by many names is troubling the waters in America. I don’t have enough metaphorical oil to calm the metaphorical troubled waters of all America. However, maybe I have enough oil to calm the trouble stirred up by issues surrounding the Grand Jury effort to indict AKA Obama.

Something as dramatic as citizens themselves deciding to take action by forming Grand Juries to indict a President is certain to stir up emotions on both sides of the issue. My goal in this essay is to replace impulsive emotions with facts and reason.

Let me start with the dangers that emotions can present as a component to solving problems.

Every thought we think changes the activity of specific chemicals in the brain called neuropeptides. What we are thinking about determines what our emotions are.

Interestingly, certain kinds of thinking produce more emotional chemicals than other types of thinking. Analytical, organizational, logistical, and mathematical thinking produces very few emotions. That is why accountants, technical professionals, and mathematicians seem to be so emotionally flat.

Conversely, creative, poetic, descriptive, and interpersonal thinking produces many emotions. People like actors, writers, musicians, and artists frequently have enough emotions for a family of four all by themselves.

Emotions cloud our thinking, cause us to be impulsive, and alienate others. Problem solving is better served by reason than by feelings.

So let’s begin with all of those irrational fear mongers who are trying to discourage people from participating in a Grand Jury. From them, we are hearing things like: “People can’t go around just starting their own ‘pretend’ Grand Juries. That has got to be against the law. You’ll get arrested. You will go to jail for falsifying a court document and impersonating a court official. You have no right to do such a thing!”

Compare such scare tactics aimed at frightening citizens to this clearly stated, rational wording in the Handbook of Texas:

“The grand jury's investigation of any matter may be initiated by the court, the district attorney, its own members, or any credible person. The grand jury may summon witnesses by subpoena and examine them under oath. On completion of an investigation the grand jury determines by vote whether or not an indictment should be presented to the court; nine votes are necessary for a decision to indict, and nine members also constitute a quorum.”

I have also heard anti-grand Jury people making emotionally driven arguments like: “Ordinary people can’t just go around making decisions in Grand Juries without being supervised by a lawyer. The whole justice system will fall apart if lawyers aren’t supervising Grand Juries. Who knows what horrible injustices they will commit without a lawyer to guide them?”

In many states governmental lawyers are not only NOT welcome in Grand Jury sessions, they are actually banned by law from any participation in Grand Jury sessions. Take Virginia, for example. The mere presence of a lawyer representing the government will invalidate any decision of a Grand Jury. Without the dramatic rhetoric, see how the State of Virginia explains the Grand Jury’s relationship to any such attorneys.

"To keep the Grand Jury free from any pressure from the State, Virginia makes it illegal for any attorney representing the State to appear before the Grand Jury, except as a witness.
If, however, members of the Grand Jury have questions about their duties, they may ask the Commonwealth's Attorney for advice.


Except for these two cases, if a Commonwealth's Attorney appears in the Grand Jury Room while the Grand Jury is there, any indictment returned "A True Bill" by the Grand Jury is invalid (no good). Therefore, while a Grand Jury may request the appearance of the Commonwealth's Attorney to testify as a witness or to explain some principle of law about the discharge of their duties, they cannot seek his advice as to whether they should return an indictment as "A True Bill." If a Grand Jury finds that it is in need of advice as to its duties but doesn't know if it can invite the Commonwealth's Attorney into the Grand Jury Room to explain, it should notify the judge that it desires further instructions, and it will receive such instructions in open court. "

So, far from citizens not having the authority to form Grand Juries, and far from citizens not being able to function in a grand jury without the advice of an attorney, we discover that the Grand Jury option is designed to be initiated by citizens and to function free from the influence of governmental attorneys.

Although the laws may vary from state to state, Grand Juries are viewed the way United States Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia sees them,

“In fact, the whole theory of its function is that it belongs to no branch of the institutional Government, serving as a kind of buffer or referee between the Government and the people."

Also, United States Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia ruled in the case of United States vs. Williams, 504 U.S. 36 at 48 (1992):

“Rooted in long centuries of Anglo-American history, Hannah v. Larche, 363 US 420, 490 (1960) with J. Frankfurter concurring in result, the Grand Jury is mentioned in the Bill of Rights, but not in the body of the Constitution. It has not been textually assigned, therefore, to any of the three branches described in the first three Articles. It is a constitutional fixture in its own right.”

Clearly stated: The Grand Jury is a separate and equal Constitutional power.
The Grand Jury is not a tool for government to use against its citizens.

So my first teaspoon of rational oil is to still the waters roiled by those who intentionally promulgate unfounded rumors. They are so threatened by the constitutional power of the Grand Jury that they irresponsibly spread their reckless gossip in an attempt to frighten citizens away from exercising their legitimate constitutional rights.

My second teaspoon of rational oil is to be used to still all the angry anti-AKA Obama citizens who use more rhetoric than reason to express themselves.

There are not going to be any lynch parties for politicians. As much as we might mention ‘torches and pitchforks,’ the only revolution I support and the only revolutions supported by the leadership of the Grand Jury movement is a revolution as defined by the U. S. Constitution. Our forefathers had the wisdom to provide a way for citizens to redress their grievances in a peaceful way.

If you personally have any other intentions, please remove yourself from my email list and do not post on this blog. If you express irresponsible rhetoric that even hints of any action that is not covered by your constitutional rights, please disassociate yourself from the Grand Jury movement. Such attitudes are more of a liability than an asset to the cause.

We welcome and appreciate patriots who are committed to the principles of Constitutional Government.

A little reminder from some old friends of mine:

You say you got a real solution
Well, you know
We'd all love to see the plan
You ask me for a contribution
Well, you know
We're doing what we can
But when you want money
for people with minds that hate
All I can tell is brother you have to wait

Now read this. Sit back, relax and enjoy. It is 3800 hopeful words
AKA Obama Fans: All together now – say OMG!!

9 comments:

Leo the Lawyer said...

BRILLIANT!

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with your message and think it is wise to mentally measure everything you read out here now that could throw the frightened into hysteria so that you don't paralyse yourself. Having walked through that fire of simply becoming aware of the situation, then denial and disbelief, the knot in your gut that keeps you up at night searching for more answers and whatever you can do stop this,then straight to righteous indignation and action. It is a long step out of anyones comfort zone to consider any of the possible scenarios playing out here. I am troubled, but not as much for what I do know as what I do not. So, I pray for strength and guidance, take long walks to clear and calm my mind and take what action I can. Still, sometimes even here there is the occasional teaspoon of kerosene instead of oil. And there is an underlying gut instinct, a sense of urgency, fear welling up inside that keeps saying patience is a virtue but the Lord helps those who helps themselves. I am engaged in any cause I believe will peacefully help lead us out of this pit we have dug ourselves into. But we are dealing with polarizing extremes and that may indeed be what it will take to save us.

Respectfully,

Shawny

Greg Goss said...

If the Grand Jury has subpoena powers why not just subpoena the records?

Anonymous said...

You "say" you'll? change the Constitution?

Well, U know BO, we all want ta CHANGE UR HEAD!

U better CHANGE UR MIND INSTEAD!

But if ya go BOWING 2 da saud,
WE'LL ALL KNOW U AS A FRAUD!

Aristotle The Hun said...

That's the plan. In fact if they do not comply with the subpoena it is cause for action.

No Grand Jury has yet held a session other than the one in GA that was based on a weak premise, i.e Magna Carta.

Leo the Lawyer said...

For the FIRM Perkins-Coie

Nixon v. Sirica, 159 U.S. App. D.C. 58, 70, n. 54, 487 F.2d 700, 712, n. 54 (1973)

United States v. Chanen, 549 F.2d 1306, 1312 (CA9 1977)

United States v. Calandra, 414 U.S. 338, 343 (1974)

Hannah v. Larche, 363 U.S. 420, 490(1960)

Stirone v. United States, 361 U.S. 212(1960)

Hale v. Henkel, 201 U.S. 43(1906)

United States v. Morton Salt Co., 338 U.S. 632, 642-643 (1950)

United States v. Calandra, 414 U.S. 338 (1974)

United States v. Williams, 504 U.S. 36 at 48 (1992)

Hannah v. Larche, 363 U.S. 420
(1960)

Leo the Lawyer said...

For the FIRM Perkins-Coie

Nixon v. Sirica, 159 U.S. App. D.C. 58, 70, n. 54, 487 F.2d 700, 712, n. 54 (1973)

United States v. Chanen, 549 F.2d 1306, 1312 (CA9 1977)

United States v. Calandra, 414 U.S. 338, 343 (1974)

Hannah v. Larche, 363 U.S. 420, 490(1960)

Stirone v. United States, 361 U.S. 212(1960)

Hale v. Henkel, 201 U.S. 43(1906)

United States v. Morton Salt Co., 338 U.S. 632, 642-643 (1950)

United States v. Calandra, 414 U.S. 338 (1974)

United States v. Williams, 504 U.S. 36 at 48 (1992)

Hannah v. Larche, 363 U.S. 420
(1960)

Greg Goss said...

Leo, I didn't understand your last post until I decided to search a few of those cases. THANK YOU very much. That information, especially Scalias writings, is of great help to me.

I am liking our Constitution more each day. It is a shame, however, we have to rely so much on it at this time in our history. I am certain our Constitution will survive, thank you,
Greg

Leo the Lawyer said...

Greg,

U R Welcome!