“Sovereign Citizen” And Cardboard License Plate

LAW IN FAR WEST TEXAS: This is the old Presidio County Annex Building where I held court as Pct. 2 JP for two years before Commissioners built a new county annex. The county jail was 60 miles away to the north in Marfa, an incentive to all concerned to resolve issues in “initial hearings” before “heading north”! Hard to think about a tiny courtroom inside but imagine the old judge being called out at midnight by deputies some Saturday night to referee a domestic dispute. Cars parked all around this building and in-laws and out-laws all lined up outside to put in their “two cents” with the judge. A lot of memories, yes.                                                                                    [Personal Photo]

By Dan Bodine

Idiom “tilting at windmills” from Miguel de Cervantes’ Spanish novel, Don Quixote seems apropos in today’s U. S. culture war.

(Note: A long one, dear readers. Hang in!)

Our current U. S. Civil War II (aka, Culture War) exploding now acts something like an imaginary kill-all virus that’s crept in, no? Casting suspicions about us. I’ve heard political commentators argue we’ve made tilting at windmills chic again, i.e., someone defiantly going after imaginary happenings and objects that were out there to git ‘ya!

Personally, I can’t fully grasp this fight now. Too old and too many weeds in the garden, maybe. But of what is it as a civil people we’re supposed to be so damn scared? Does the religious right want to neuter us sexually? Take all our property and wealth? Assign a mean, dispirited mother-in-law to all downtrodden and disinherited waifs? 

Current Republican politics seem to be centered civilly enough around lawmakers. But there’s a military curtness about it, too. Continue reading

Too many whites still don’t know blacks bleed red

ATLANTA, GA – MAY 29: Protesters burn a flag outside the CNN Center on May 29, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images) GETTY IMAGES


By Dan Bodine


What happened this past week, with protests continuing now, with the street execution of George Floyd, an African American — by a white police officer suffocating him to death with his knee on his neck in Minneapolis — cringes me to the core. Execution before trial can be a white imperialist’s gravest sin!

And what is raging across the United States now with all the infernos of protests is wrong, yes.

But still I can’t help but agree with my ol’ El Paso blogging compadre, Jaime Abeytia, who Saturday wrote “No Justice, No Peace…

Or one of my favorite religious professors’ blog:

“…There’s no other way to put it than that George Floyd was murdered. The fact that there are police who murder and get away with it show that the system we currently have to address crime prevention in this country is broken beyond repair.”                      —  JAMES F. MCGRATH, Eight Minutes and Forty-Six Seconds

This public realization has been a long-g-g time coming, yes! Is there an easier answer to it? With the current administration in Washington D.C. and the millions who support it, I doubt we’ll find it anytime soon! So, go figure how this will play out!

Innocent property owners are losing their livelihoods; already stressed taxpayers now have, if not more non-insured damages at least more police-duty costs to pay!

And a minority of yáhoo opportunists are threatening to take over the streets to boot! Or at least it appears. And our white supremacist president just fans more fires with pompous threats!

I don’t know where all these anarchists are coming from — hell, maybe Putin’s sister sent ’em — but I know one thing: In a once-democratic country that’s been replaced by a big, divisive tit called neo-liberalism (that many of ‘ya still are on, on ‘ya hands and knees, suckin’ off of right now), this much inequality can’t stand! End of argument!

The Atlantic‘s already written how America’s Republican politics has already’s become a [must read] “failed state.” Now Europeans are looking at us and more-or-less asking, Gee, how did smart people lose their government like that? (See “…America is Really Screwed)

A corpocracy did it?

Well…Argued that for years with a social minimalism blog and few bit into it.

But now, it’s commonly identified as plutocracy?

Same thing! It’s only [the latter] is a more Northern, aristocratic-targeted word! To this ol’ Texas country boy, it is! (Hell, everybody knows what corpocracy is — the money-baggers all wear black hats!)

But would you believe — the kosher‘ed argument, yes — the Republicans did most of this?

Yep! Here’s how: By minimalizing labor unions! (Yeah, I gotta bone to pick with labor unions, too — one of excess — but not once have I ever demeaned their importance to our economy. Labor negotiations beginning well over a century and a half ago is what put “fair” in fairness!)

“So this is (that) story,” writes Kevin Drum, in November 2019’s Mother Jones magazine. “Spend three or four decades wiping out the power of labor unions, and then you can spend the next three or four decades turning the United States into a plutocracy with no one to effectively fight you about it.”

And where did President Ronald Reagan’s war on labor unions really start? Before he even got to the White House! And in Washington right-wing voters applauded as he continued to destroy union memberships with his own unique war brand.

The actual beginning (for me, personally) began in August of 1980 when Reagan was challenging incumbent Jimmy Carter’s reelection bid as President of the U.S.

It was during the height of the Sunbelt Movement, when millions were fleeing the Northeast. Leaving not just because of rising fuel prices but, remember, this was the decade in the wake of the Supreme Court’s integration order, too.

Escaping? Hard-core, many even wealthy conservatives no way wanted their kids in classrooms with blacks!

The Dallas moment then was a week-long New Right‘s National Affairs Briefing in a new convention center — when Reagan stepped to the podium and told a crowd of thousands of largely evangelical Southern Baptist ministers that “You can’t endorse me, but I can endorse you.”

The pandemonium that erupted upset me greatly. Underlying it, I sensed, was racial hatred and more divisiveness! It, too, was one of those moments you’ll remember forever!

As city editor of a nearby, small daily newspaper — and, too, needing a thesis topic to finish out an “M.A. Political Science” curriculum — I’d gotten permission to cover what was actually this Republican political rally of evangelicals.

It was that pivotal moment that joined religious and political campaigns in our nation’s history.

The New Right, mostly affluent, corporate businessmen, had enlisted the late Rev. Jerry Falwell of Virginia to build a coalition of evangelicals for the Republican nominee. And enlist by the millions (starting with the pastors, yes), is what he did — founding the Moral Majority.

Preachers at the rally I could see coming out of that considered themselves God’s new, front-line attack dogs — going to war against Carter and liberal Democrats on a host of moral issues — with abortion and all its sex-first trappings, of course, big-time!

And, of course, too, they went home and preached it from their pulpits.

But I’m still firmly convinced, even now, that those preachers were unaware they were being duped — e.g., not to be anti-abortion so much as to be pro-segregationists!

I made that convention the focal point of my thesis later. Falwell, it turned out (and I would only learn many years later), had a chip on his shoulder. Thus he lacked standing!

He told friends years later the Carter administration had revoked his tax exemption status he used for corporate mega donations. Teed him off, yes!

Wasn’t Carter, though. It was the previous administration — acting on Roe vs Wade, yes! Falwell had refused to integrate his classrooms at Liberty University! Was getting too much money from it!

Driving home to Cleburne at the end of the Dallas rally I cried some, yes. I knew (could feel) the anguish the country was in for! Civil Rights (…on a dime!) had been shoved aside for white imperialism; greed would replace common decency!

And the road to totalitarianism had just been opened! Novice political buffoons drunk on Shall We Gather at the River-whiskey had just stirred up a naive American electorate and was unleashing it on our Constitution!

Damn, y’all, what’s it going to take before some of you can call a human a human? Skins of yellow, brown, black, or white pigments all bleed humanity’s red! True?

There’s no safe-house for segregationists to hide in anymore, judiciously — not even in fiery, right-wing evangelism! Except, culturally, in certain white nationalists’ modus operandi — which there is still a wink-‘n-nod in many police activities!

So we decry all the accomplishments of racial solidarity for it, generally, in the past hundred years or so… in the old democracy, right? That’s your hunker-down reason for resenting it? The progress?

And throw it all out the window for a new system of government that screws all of us ol’ poor folks — as color-blinded as it will be, yes! That’s the story?

Well, African-Americans, I guess, are somewhat ahead of you, then! For having been kicked off the society bus (how many times?), personally, I feel, they’ve had it!

How many years they’ve taken it? Three hundred? Four?

Abducted from their homelands and brought over here to be slaves! Which the country fought a civil war over once to finally free them! But many ol’ soreheads never accepted!

And 160 or so years later, it’s still this: You ‘n your hold-out buddies, as police officers, can kill one of ’em — by simply pinning him to the ground, stepping on his neck ’til all life’s been squeezed out of him?!! Right? Or. as the good religion professor above says, for “Eight minutes and forty-six seconds”!?

In the name of Justice?!

Well…Let me tell ‘ya what they know already — that you don’t know:

You’re hopeless! No redeeming value for equality, you’ve got!

You’re too far out there in your gotta-blame-Life-on-somebody, white imperialism instincts. to ever be able to welcome African-Americans into your thoughts as decent human beings.

It ain’t happening! Ever!

So…If they are ever gonna live as free beings (on this planet), you can’t see there’s only one option for ’em!?

Only One!

And a short time to do it:

“We love ‘ya, George!”

“… Gimme that torch!”

“…Yeah … Burn that M…..F….. down, Baby, ‘fore they kill us all!!!”


— 30 —

Student loans creating new indentured servants

By Dan Bodine

University’s hallowed halls (Courtesy Google Images)

Glossing over some news stories yesterday about a coming meltdown in the economy (yeah, us pessimists are always looking for it) coupled with the nation’s ballooning student loans, suddenly it dinged me — about why we’ve lost confidence in what once was a rock-solid belief in higher education. In the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave, a disgusting new term has arisen again — indentured servant! Continue reading