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2:28 p.m. - 2010-10-20
Those Who Value Safety Above True Liberty

When I was in second grade the year after my Da walked out and our family home was sold to settle terms, my mother and little sister and I moved to an apartment in Podunkville. As far as apartments go this was a nice one. The complex was brand new and the buildings were set up in squares around grassy courtyards where everyone's backdoor gave out into the common area in the middle. The buildings had apartments of varying sizes to encourage a nice mix of tenants. Some were 2-storey townhouses with 3 bedrooms and an extra bath, some were studios, most were 2 bedroom divorcee apartments (it was 1971 after all, the Year of the Single Mother). We lived in one of the 2 bedrooms, a mom and two daughters didn't really need more space than that.

The apartment complex with its dozens of buildings grouped around many courtyards was home to many kinds of families. Elderly Mrs Gronovitz and her child-like husband (Alzheimer's as I know now) lived in one of the studios, a lovely woman whose never-seen grandchildren lived in California was very kind to me and taught me to knit. The Hillermans lived upstairs from us. Survivors of Dachau, they with their son who didn't come out of the horror as able to cope as they did kept pretty much to themselves. Their poor damaged son used to pace the floors in his heavy shoes. Unlike most crappola apartments with their cheap wall-to-wall over cruddy sub-flooring, our apartments had real hardwood floors and the relentless 'clomp clomp clomp' of Alvie upstairs drove my high-strung mother batshit. Whether I was too young to notice the noise or simply had more compassion than my shitty selfish mother, I don't know, but Alvie's pacing never bothered me.

So, there were all kinds in this nicely laid out, decently appointed apartment village. Some of the families even had fathers who actually lived with their wives and children! By this time I'd become rather leery of fathers and men in general, the nightly rape and sodomy by my mother's boyfriend had already begun and my Da only showed up when it suited him, mostly when he was bored with his panting eager-to-wed harem and wanted to make my mother shriek with fury. Making her froth with anger and beg for the damn child support money amused him to no end. Anyhow, one of the father-less families (a mom and two sons) lived one up from our courtyard in the next one over, a grouping that abutted the back parking area and gave onto a slim narrow woodsy area which separated our apartment complex from the fancy single-family homes on a short dead-end road on the other side of the trees.

There was a kid who lived in one of the fancy houses, a strange and scary kid who'd sometimes buddy up with the boys from the apartments. The scary kid, David, did awful hurtful things to small animals. I remember one time I'd chanced the poison ivy to explore the woods and came upon one of David's gruesome 'projects'. He'd captured a squirrel and tied it by its paws between two trees. Splayed and helpless, its vulnerable belly scarred and scabbed by stab wounds, that poor squirrel was already dead when I stumbled across it, but it was obvious to me (even at 8 years old) that it had died in horrific pain and fear.

In a life already marked by pain and brutality, David Marsh was the scariest monster. My mother's boyfriend terrified and shamed me, my here-again-gone-again father didn't like me anyway so he was pretty bad, my whacked out mother who beat and hectored me was a bigger monster, but David Marsh made me tharn with fear. He rode our bus, I attended Our Lady of Terrible Vengeance and he went to the public school, but every morning David (with his pallid ghoul face and simpering sick smile) got on at the next stop after ours and I shrunk back from him as he made his way down the bus aisle toward the back seats where his buddies of the moment had saved a place for him.

That year my mother in her whack-a-doo way (alternately being indulgent and unexpectedly harsh) had allowed us to get two kittens. Lilac was a bizarre Frankenstein cat- pieces and bits from her scatty genetic heritage. A patchwork of progenitors that included orange tigers, Siamese, calicos, and tabbies, Lilac was so ugly she was cute. And the other kitten, Thomasina, was just a basic grey striped kitty, but very sweet. Thomasina used to sit on my chest while I sprawled supine on my bed holding a book above her head. A purring kitten and a good book made me feel almost normal.

One day I came home from school and Thomasina was gone. I worried a little, but between tending to Gidget my little sister and doing my homework and getting to my chores and starting dinner I didn't have much time to wonder about the AWOL kitten. Then just before my mother got home I was in the kitchen putting the pasta water to boil when I heard a chorus of giggles and a quick knock on our curtained patio door. I set the pot on the stove, turned on the burner and then went over to see who was at the backdoor. No one was there, but a mangled, battered, bleeding, mashed mess that sort of had the same coloring as Thomasina was lying on the matt. Frightened I unlocked and slid open the sliding glass door and squatted down. It was Thomasina. One of her eyes had been pushed out of her dented skull and was hanging loose against her bloodied face by the optic nerve. Her wee legs were bent at odd angles. Some kind of pink stuff was sticking out of her butthole. Sickened and scared I looked up across the courtyard just in time to see David and two of the neighbor boys disappear around the corner of the building.

My mother got home minutes later and for a wonder she didn't smack me for not having dinner ready. She, like me, was dumbfounded and horrified by the mangled mess that had been our sweet Thomasina. I told her what I'd seen, the Hogan boys and David Marsh running away.

I don't remember the exact sequence of events that followed. I do know my mother called the vet, who suggested we bring Thomasina in for a quick and merciful death. I do know my mother stalked up to the next courtyard where Mrs Hogan and her boys lived. I know that after some hard questions that the Hogan boys confessed. They, and sicko David, had taken Thomasina down into the basement laundry room and played baseball with her. Tossing our wee kitten into the air and then whamming her with a bat. Points given if she splatted against the cinderblock wall. Errors scored if she just fell to the ground with a new wound.

Surely, the Hogan boys were responsible for their outrageous behavior.

BUT…and this is a huge 'but'…the Hogan boys would NOT have done those horrific things without the encouragement and guidance and leadership of David Marsh. Truly, the Hogan boys were just average, dimwitted, under-supervised kids from the hood. A pair of easily led, eager for inclusion, neglected at school and at home dopes.

David Marsh was the leader. David Marsh led them into doing horrible things. David Marsh the psychopath offered the Hogan boys a chance to feel special. To be 'in'. To be persuaded into committing terrible deeds that they would have NEVER instigated on their own.

This brings me to the Newburgh Four. A quartet of dimwits, losers without hope or plan or impetus or grudge. A quartet of bobos from the hood who amongst them couldn't gather up enough IQ points to mastermind a plan more complex than raiding one of their mother's refrigerators.

Enter the FBI federal shill, an instigator, Shahed Hussain, a trouble-gatherer at the government's behest, sent out to find and recruit some idiots to take on a 'mission'. A 'mission' made of whole cloth, a bogus plan laid out and executed by a slimy, specifically hired lowlife to bring about a 'terror' plot to satisfy some government grunt's need for a blue-ribbon and pump up the fear factor for a (non) intelligence agency in need of a score and a splashy news story to justify the intrusion into private citizens' lives. To make the general public afraid and eager to abdicate their Constitutional rights as Americans, to ratchet up the paranoia and give license to any manner of abuse and curtailing of 4th Amendment rights to satisfy a government gone rogue.

The Newburgh Four are the Hogan boys. Doofuses, dimwits, dupes. Four hapless, uneducated dopes who were bullied, bamboozled and barreled into participating in a 'plot' made up by and orchestrated by a government instigator.

Then when the government's case was shown to be the bullshit that it was, the prosecutors accidentally slipped the jury falsified testimony and (*coff*) evidence which had already been thrown out by the judge to make sure those railroaded dimwits were convicted.


Because the abuses and excesses of a rogue government bent on violating every bit of Constitutionally protected privacy is determined to have its way. Because the sheeple have been brainwashed into thinking 'safe' is better than free. Because to justify its money from the federal till the FBI has decided that trampling the rights of ordinary Americans is necessary. Because Faux News and the paranoid Right fricken lurrrve the jackboot mentality of the amok Feds and their ridiculous 'War on Terror'.

Because after 30 years of Reagan inspired outrages and violations the majority of us who actually care about the Constitution and our freedom are tired. We're fricken exhausted and because of the paranoid Right's relentless economic, political, educational, societal, and morally offensive abuse they can.

Got an un-warranted GPS on your car? Got an untraceable cookie on your computer? Thank a Fed and your own miserable Tea Bagging, GOP ass kissing, 'terrorist' bullshit buying self. ~LA

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