“For those [who] will for it, Freedom has a flavor the protected never know.”LCpl Edwin “Tim” Craft, USMC, on a C-Ration carton during the Siege of Khe Sanh, Vietnam c. 1967-68
I hope all of you reading this are enjoying your loved ones on this Independence Day, 2022. It’s a strange time to be living in these (slightly) united States. (That “u” is intentionally not capitalized, by the way. Before the Civil War, the Republic didn’t have that capital letter; it illustrated that we were a confederation of independent sovereign states united under a very limited federal government.) Now we’re ruled by an army of bureaucrats in and around the Potomac who claim sovereignty over every single cat, dog, and human being on the planet, from sea-to-shining sea… and all the way into Ukraine, too.
Every year I’ve been alive that army of bureaucracy has been on the march and taken more and more of that ephemeral concept known as “freedom.” Consequently, we have progressively less and less of it to pass along to our children and future generations. You know this better than most. Despite this dire state of affairs, however, I find myself in good spirits for three reasons:
- First and foremost, I have my Faith and so I do not store my Hope in, nor make my Happiness contingent on, the institutions of Men;
- Second, I’m a philosophical (and historical) Stoic at heart, so I maintain my equanimity in the face of our crumbling Republic with the writings of Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius. A healthy reading of history evinces that no Empire lasts forever; happiness can still be found if one knows where and how to find it; and
- Third, I remain light of heart because this current mess – litigating in court on your behalf for your Freedom – gives my life meaning and purpose. Ironically enough, I sometimes jokingly tell people I like being against the army of bureaucracy, no matter how long the odds sometimes seem. If this current fight were like picking teams in the schoolyard when I was a kid, I’m ecstatic to be on your side against theirs. Our cause is Righteous and Just; theirs is one of control and tyranny and all that’s wrong with it is apparent to me every time I sit down to work.
I hope you all can find some solace in these words as you continue to hold the line against these mandates.
Speaking of which, I have some important updates. (N.B. The Marine Corps taught me to put the ass-chewings up front and save the candy and good stuff for last, so that should explain the order of my list).
- Do NOT lie to me or the folks working for me. I know you’re being squeezed, but I need you to not act like a panicky mob and doing stupid stuff like “fudging” or exaggerating your situation in order to get some benefit you think is out there to be had. Let me be more specific – if my paralegal asks you what your situation is and if you have a discharge date, this is NOT the time to start making shit up or passing RumInt about when you’re being discharged or dropped to the IRR. We wasted untold hours – and some credibility – because people think it’s acceptable to bullshit about what their status is. I know you’re being fed BS from your commands, but if you don’t have an actual Seps date or paperwork, don’t make shit up. I will drop clients who lie to me – Period. It’s the unpardonable sin for me as your attorney. (Check our agreement; you pledged to keep me updated and to be honest with me). If you don’t know, be honest and say you don’t know. I can’t litigate on behalf of 750 people if some of you aren’t being truthful; it hurts the Honest Majority and I won’t tolerate it. ‘Nuff said.
- The litigation has now begun in earnest. This past week we filed a Joint Motion with the government for a briefing schedule and to ask the court to allow us to exceed the normal page limits for our briefs… by a LOT. The first date in that schedule was Friday, July 1, when we filed our Motion for a Preliminary Injunction.
- This is our shot across the government’s bow and it is thick with legal issues. I’ve included it so you can have a look yourself. PLEASE READ IT. This is the heart of our case.
- Attorney Brandon Johnson of Defending the Republic gets full co-authorship credit. He’s been litigating against these mandates in Coker v. Austin and Bongiovanni v. Austin, just as I have been in Robert v. Austin and it’s impossible to overstate the importance of his contributions to the final product.
- The government’s Response to our PI Motion is due on July 15. We then get a week for our Reply (to their Response), due on July 22, and they get the final word with what’s called a Sur-Reply on July 29. (The french word “sur” means under for word nerds like me who care about etymology).
- Somewhere in there we are also likely to file a Motion to Intervene on behalf of the entire cohort – roughly 750 of you so that you can ALL be (technically) “named” plaintiffs, with the exception of those who have asked to remain pseudonymous. (And we’ll probably have to fight the government over that, too, but maybe not.)
- All of the above should tell you that we’ve entered what I like to call a “writing intensive phase” of my life for the next month or two. I’ll need you to rely upon the folks and systems we have in place to get word to me because I’m going to be heads-down and typing like hell… And when I’m not typing, I’ll be reading, researching, thinking, and outlining while I’m shaving, walking the dog, driving to the store, and going to the bathroom.
Finally, I know what you’re going through is extraordinarily difficult. You are in the Time of Challenge. So, please, make sure you are practicing self-care.
- Get outside in Nature if at all possible; see the Universe’s Majesty in a spider’s web, or a bee as it tries to pollinate the flowers.
- PT, dammit! Mix in high- and low-intensity stuff, including the aforementioned walk.
- LAUGH whenever the opportunity presents itself.
- Try to eat smart and get proper rest, but don’t be afraid to “treat yo’ self” – and don’t beat yourself up for doing so.
- Read a book for pleasure – something completely unrelated to this.
- Read your bible or whatever spiritual work calls to you.
- Read Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense”; it’s short, a pamphlet really, but it’s a powerful connection to your ancestors.
- If you’re looking for some speculative fiction, I published a short novelette on Amazon called “The Spark.” Have a read and let me know what you think.
If you’re down or dragging, don’t be afraid to reach out to someone who loves you – or anyone – including me.
Much love to all of you this Independence Day and many thanks to that cadre of you who have been helping keep the ship afloat with your efforts and expertise – and your $$. I’m building a stash for when we need appellate counsel because – I promise you – the government is not going to simply roll over and accept a ruling – any ruling – that goes in our favor.