Periodically, I open up the blog to guest bloggers. Here is one from Ruven 77
Today a friend sent me a link to an Op-Ed in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, by Bob Barr, regarding the case of Sholom Rubashkin, a kosher meatpacker in Postville, Iowa.. I have followed the case over the past year with diminishing hope of a just resolution. I pass on my thoughts, fears, and regrets for Sholom, his family, and our nation.
It is suggested that you read the entire piece from Bob Barr’s blog, but here is a quotation:
Last week I was in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where I attended a hearing in federal court at which a 50-year old man was sentenced to 27 years in federal prison – in effect, a life sentence. The defendant, Sholom Rubashkin, is not a murderer, serial rapist or child molester; he is not a drug king pin and he did not bilk hundreds of innocent investors out of billions of dollars. Rubashkin is a first-time offender who was convicted late last year of a number of white-collar offenses stemming from his management of a large kosher slaughterhouse and meat packing plant. For this, he received what amounts to a life sentence.
While I did not represent Rubashkin at his trial, I will be assisting in the appeal of his case. Among the likely grounds for appeal are the 27-year sentence he received and the calculations by which the judge determined the length of that sentence. My purpose here has not to do with the case itself, but rather with how this one incident illustrates major flaws in how those who run afoul of any of more than 4,000 federal criminal laws, are sentenced. It ought to worry everyone.
Any country where its people are subject to arbitrary criminal prosecution has a government run by criminals. Having personally dealt with the federal judicial system, I assure you, even the most upright and law abiding of us is not safe from the vengeance of the federal bureaucracy if they want to get you.
For a private citizen, this system is nothing more or less than a modern day Inquisition. Eventually, after great and widespread suffering, any nation ruled this way will fall. After enough of its people have either personally suffered, or been close to another who was unjustly persecuted, its leaders will no longer be admired, but feared and hated.
While people who are well fed are not likely to rise up and revolt, unless they see a close friend or relative dragged away, and often not even then, neither will they continue to rouse themselves to the defense of a nation run by thugs, cronies, and secret fascists. As time goes on, more and more will turn their efforts and inventions to making themselves invisible to the system. They will make no effort to support the nation but hide their families and their assets from it. I’m sure this is happening. I’m sure we would all be surprised to know how many of our acquaintances have prepared back doors for themselves and their families, with discrete second homes, or ways to leave with overseas jobs or investments, and foreign citizenships and passports.
We used to be a nation of laws where the Constitution ruled and restricted government from abusing its power and its charge. With the exception of certain historic flaws inherited from the Old World, we planned a republic, where the individual was sovereign and lived in free states, and where the government used it to serve and protect. Now the law is a bludgeon, the state’s rights and the Constitution are largely ignored except where it has been stripped of its meaning or perverted, as the ‘commerce clause’ has been, into a means to control the economy, the culture, and the people.
Even if you have substantial assets to convert to cash for a legal defense, guilty or innocent, you are unlikely to stand much of a chance in federal court. Unless you are a celebrity, an iconic member of a protected class, like OJ, Martha Stewart, or Blagoavitch, few people will take the time to give your plight a second thought other than to scoff about some rich guy getting caught with his fingers in the cookie jar.
Like most of you, when I first heard of the Rubashkin case, more than a year ago, even with what I know about the system, I thought “He must have done something wrong”. Now, having spent some time to consider the facts and circumstances of the case, and compare them with what I know about how our Justice Dept works, I just want to mourn the passing of a great nation, gone and forgotten by a generation of foolish, lazy, and self-absorbed Peter Pans who know little of history and care less about the future they leave to their children.
Laugh and scoff all you want until men in helmets, black boots and body armor come to close down your business and drag you or your son or daughter away.