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Courage, But At What Price?

“Do what is right, let the consequences follow.”

Courage, But At What Price?

 Courage, But At What Price?

by Loren Edward Pearce

During the spring runoff in the canyons of Utah, the rivers become raging monsters.  At a beautiful place known as Bridal Veil Falls in Provo Canyon, families come to watch the spectacular falls and the raging river below them.

This spring, the four year old child of one such family, fell into the river.  Instinctively, the mother jumped in to save her child.  As she was swept away, a complete stranger, a man, jumped in and was swept away, then another man tried to save that man.   All of them perished by the overwhelming power of the currents.

All showed super human courage and unselfishness.  None of them thought of the consequences.  In business, risk versus return is known as a return on investment.  The return on the investment may have given them a special status in the heavens, but their grieving families will never be the same.


A Facebook supporter honored the Bundys and other political prisoners for being examples of courage.

Those who support the political prisoners can agree that they are true examples of courage, in the finest traditions of our founders and the framers of the constitution.

Courage comes first, then the consequences for the actions based on such courage.  Many times people do not think about the consequences.  Ryan Bundy quoted a famous church hymn which says, “Do what is right, let the consequences follow.”


Few, if any, of the protesters probably gave much thought to the consequences of angering the raging monster known as the federal government.  Few probably ever analyzed what could happen if charges were brought against them and that the presumption of innocence was dead, meaning that they would have to go to pretrial hell (prison), prior to any trial or conviction.   Few, if any, thought that the consequences would entail over 601 days of prison, much of it spent in solitary confinement.

Few, if any, ever thought that the federal government could deny them a host of rights including a speedy trial.  The federal prosecutors gleefully indicated that the recent courts uphold the government’s right to delay trial for over 5 years and that the political prisoners could remain in prison for that long without ever being convicted.

In my discussions with many Americans, most still hang on to the notion that, “This is America, things like what happened to the Bundys and other defendants in the Las Vegas courtroom, is not normal, it is an exception.  If I am arrested, it will be different and I will get justice.”  But will it be different?


The Bundys and their supporters have awakened many people to just how awful the judicial system (prisons included) is. And, as intended by the federal government, people have awakened to the awful reality of what could happen to them if they participate in future protests against the federal government.

Many people ask themselves, “Would I be willing to risk what the Bundys and other political prisoners are going through?”   “If the Bunkerville protest were to happen again, would I show up at the risk of being indicted as a co-conspirator and thrown in prison for many years, prior to any trial?”

(photo courtesy Shannon Bushman, used with permission)


The lesson to be learned about the Bunkerville protest and its consequences, is to not wait for it to reach a boiling point and the point of no return.

The lesson at Bunkerville, was to not relax after the successful release of the cattle.  Along with the celebrations, should have been constant preparations for the defense against the monster who would surely double down in the ensuing years.

The lesson is not that it is wrong to bring guns to a protest.  The lesson is not that it is wrong to ignore the first amendment zone or to disobey federal employees.   The lesson is that decades ago, we should have been vigilant so that it would not come to this.

The lesson is that years ago, when the Hammonds, the Bundys, the Hages, Joe Robertson, Schaefer  Cox and many others were fighting their private battles, we should have been there with them, sitting in court, filing affidavits against the biased federal team (judge, prosecutors, law enforcement).

We should have met with our legislators, formed grassroots organizations, passed out flyers on voting records, and in a myriad of other ways “blown the whistle” on the unconstitutional growth of the federal government before it became the monster it is today.


Gary Hunt, in a recent interview, pointed out that the number of paid informants used by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is over 30,000.   He points out that the growth has skyrocketed and that most of these informants are moved around, like contractors, from assignment to assignment.

Of course, the FBI justifies such numbers based on the horrifying threat of terrorism since September 11th.   But these professional informants are not spying on foreign terrorists, they are spying on fellow Americans.

The courage to stand up to this relentless growth of injustice, is met by the reality that these informants can lie and make up charges to be used by a Grand Jury to indict an unsuspecting protester, placing them in pretrial hell (prison).

In a stroke of genius, the federal team, those who have a vested interest to increase size and power of the federal government, have used informants to divide and conquer.  Rather than focusing on the erosion of constitutional rights and injustices to the political prisoners, informants sow dissension, create suspicions, generate accusations, encourage fear and in many ways disrupt and divide those who would be a threat to the federal team.

But, genius or not, we should not aid and abet this strategy by the feds.  We should not allow informants to divide and conquer.  We should not feed them by giving them attention nor helping them be successful.


Recently, the MOAR (mother of all rallies) was held.  Such rallies certainly have their place and do help in waking people up and spreading the word.

However, like any battle, it requires being in the trenches.  It requires having face to face meetings with legislators.  It requires drafting model legislation and handing it to the legislator.  It means giving up leisure time and money for the cause.  It means never giving up on writing to elected officials, making flyers, getting involved during elections.


The tragedy at Bridal Veil Falls could have been avoided with a number of safety measures.   The tragedy that occurred two years after Bunkerville, could have been avoided or reduced if we had not relaxed, but remained ever vigilant.   “Do what is right, let the consequences follow” makes sense, IF, we manage those consequences.


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10 Comments on Courage, But At What Price?

  1. “Few, if any, of the protesters probably gave much thought to the consequences of angering the raging monster known as the federal government.”

    What is wrong with this sentence? The people who SERVE WITHIN the federal government are NOT ‘the” government, that is the document, that is the US Constitution and each states Constitution.

    Many seem to have forgotten that every power/authority that the US Constitution delegates is NOT delegated to a person, but is instead delegated to the position (much like a CEO). So each branch plus a few named-in-writing offices within a branch are delegated a certain listed in writing authority/powers.

    Why is this important to realize? Because the people who serve within our governments – elected, hired, contracted, etc – do NOT have any power themselves, but are ALLOWED to use the power of the branch or office in which they serve for as long as they do the duties as the contract requires, takes and KEEPS the Oath.

    The US Constitution is a compact (contract) between the states, and is THE SUPREME contract that ALL – state and federal – are required to “Support and Defend” before the duties of the position they occupy, before the orders of superiors (if any), before any other contract that they may be performing thier duties under – including state governmental contracts where this applies.

    Like all contracts, when one party does not carry out their end of the agreement, it then is dissolved, at times with penalties for breaking it.

    Dr. Vieira describes this circumstance well here when he says: “This has nothing to do with personalities or subjective ideas. It’s a matter of what the Constitution provides…

    The government of the United States has never violated anyone’s constitutional rights… The government of the United States will never violate anyone constitutional rights, because it cannot violate anyone’s constitutional rights.

    The reason for that is: The government of the United States is that set of actions by public officials that are consistent with the Constitution. Outside of its constitutional powers, the government of the United States has no legitimacy. It has no authority; and, it really even has no existence. It is what lawyers call a legal fiction.”

    He shows that any legislation created by those who serve within our governments that does NOT follow (“be in Pursuance thereof”) the US Constitution is NOT valid, nor is it Lawful to be enforced against the American people.

    Dr. Vieira: “… the famous case Norton v. Shelby County… The Court said: “An unconstitutional act is not a law; it confers no rights; it imposes no duties. It is, in legal contemplation, as inoperative as though it had never been passed.”
    And that applies to any (and all) governmental action outside of the Constitution…”
    What are the defining characteristics of a limited government? They are its disabilities; what it does not have legal authority to do. Look at the First Amendment… What does it do? It guarantees freedom of speech, freedom of press, freedom of religion. But how does it do that? I quote: “Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech or of the press” etcetera. “Congress shall make no law;” that’s a statement of an absence of power. That’s a statement of a disability.”

    So consider what does that make those who enforce the “color of law, pretend law against the American people? Remember that the enforcers are all required to be Oath bound to the US Constitution. That document is their FIRST, their supreme, duty, the support and defense of it. Also remember that all who serve as US President are held to a HIGHER STANDARD then anyone else who serves within our governments – though those who serve within the Executive branch are required to assist whoever is serving as a US President in those duties plus their own committment and Oath to “support and defend”; the duty of “Preserving, Protecting, and Defending” the US Constitution.

    28 C.F.R. Section 0.85 Terrorism is defined as “the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives”.

    All should also realize that Treason, found in Article III, Section 3 of the Constitution of the United States provides: “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.
    The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.”

    There are three elements listed that are necessary for an offense to constitute treason: an obligation of allegiance to the legal order, intent, and then action to violate that obligation. Many who serve within our governments, at all levels, may have crossed that line.

    Justice William O. Douglas, dissenting, Colten v. Kentucky, 407 U.S. 104 (1972): “Since when have we Americans been expected to bow submissively to authority and speak with awe and reverence to those who represent us? The constitutional theory is that we the people are the sovereigns, the state and federal officials only our agents. We who have the final word can speak softly or angrily. We can seek to challenge and annoy, as we need not stay docile and quiet.”

    Fina Supply, Inc. v. Abilene Nat. Bank, 726 S.W.2d 537, 1987: “Party having superior knowledge who takes advantage of another’s ignorance of the law to deceive him by studied concealment or misrepresentation can be held responsible for that conduct.”

    This basically says that those who serve within our governments (or elsewhere) may not lie, misrepresent, or hide thier actions from the American people from whom the contract that they serve under is from.

    They cannot give to others what is not their own, such as delegated powers belongs NOT to those that serve, they are ONLY allowed to use them for as long as they keep the supreme contract and Oath. (Ex; Fast Track, NDAA, “agreements with another nation/entity/etc”, Patriot Act, TSA, Federal Reserve – which they are forbidden in writing within the contract, and with the Oath making it their own personal responsibility to see that it is NOT done, or undone if a domestic enemy of the USA created/etc it.

    Rubinstein v. Collins, 20 F.3d 160, 1990 “Knowing failure to disclose material information necessary to prevent statement from being misleading, or making representation despite knowledge that it has no reasonable basis in fact, are actionable as fraud under law.”
    (It is well established law that Fraud vitiates (makes void) any contract that arises from it.)

    Brookfield Construction Company V. Stewart 284 F Sup. 94: “An officer who acts in violation of the constitution ceases to represent the government.”

    “A constitution is designated as a supreme enactment, a fundamental act of legislation by the people of the state. A constitution is legislation direct from the people acting in their sovereign capacity, while a statute is legislation from their representatives, subject to limitations prescribed by the superior authority.” Ellingham v. Dye, 231 U. S. 250.

    “The basic purpose of a written constitution has a two-fold aspect, first securing [not granting] to the people of certain unchangeable rights and remedies, and second, the curtailment of unrestricted governmental activity within certain defined spheres.” Du Pont v. Du Pont, 85 A 724.

    “The constitution of a state is stable and permanent, not to be worked upon the temper of the times, not to rise and fall with the tide of events. Notwithstanding the competition of opposing interests, and the violence of contending parties, it remains firm and immoveable, as a mountain amidst the strife and storms, or a rock in the ocean amidst the raging of the waves.” Vanhorne v. Dorrance, supra.

  2. Boyd : Funny that the smugglers of that time in Rhode Island were no underworld characters but rather the leading citizens, Like Hancock. Then, as now, we see the Govt. making criminals out of good people. I hadn’t heard of any plan to scapegoat the redskins for the attack on the Gaspee, not to say that this wasn’t considered, your knowledge of those times is greater than mine. Reports of how the Rhode Islanders handled the British investigating commission were amusing – Nobody knows nuthin !Still and all, this book larnin is nothing but an armchair amusement until it is the basis of ACTION ! As you may know, I have taken my hours with the lamp out into the field, boots on the ground, and this without any special resources or outside help. It’s been the most inspiring and enriching time of my life. Are you too old ? I’ll be 70 in December. Physical problems ? tell it to the guy in a wheelchair with no legs who joined us at Malhure. The next “Front” kicks off on Oct 10 in Vegas…

    • Neil: I appreciate your fervor and enjoy reading your posts. Without delving into too many details I will say I was the man who developed for ya’ll at the request of Gary Hunt and Ryan Payne…and was snitched off by one of the Informants as documented in one of Gary’s articles. I was the web developer for during that time.

      And, I appreciate your invitation; however, let us spare ourselves the time and effort of ya’ll running off a hot-head…which you would have to do…and I am not inclined to put myself in the position of suffering that. I would probably cry if you ran me off…which you would have to do.

  3. The lesson is, the people fear the government, and the government laughs at the people. As long as that is the case, you can expect the same outcome.

  4. The following just came to mind and pre-dates the Gaspee Affair…could the British have picked a worse ship to impound in 1768 than one called “Liberty” owned by John Hancock?:

    “The Sons of Liberty incited a crowd that had gathered to watch the turmoil protesting in favor of the owner of the Liberty, John Hancock. The situation was initially peaceful but turned violent when the Liberty was impounded. The mob attacked the customs house and its officials, one of whom had his boat dragged to Boston Common and burnt. Duty collectors were unharmed and escaped further violence by fleeing to Castle Williams.”

    Sorta fits the theme with the Government impounding the Liberty just like they were impounding Bundy’s cattle. And the Sons of Liberty then…and hark, the Sons of Liberty now.

  5. HA ! OK Boyd ! I was pretty sure it wasn’t Charles Addams, but was fuzzy on the other two. My education continues. But how about a precursor to the Boston Tea Party , namely the Gaspee Affair – 1772 ?

    • Yes, Neil, having read General John R. Galvin’s books “Three Men of Boston” and “The Minute Men: The First Fight: Myths and Realities of the American Revolution” I have been clued into the Gaspee Affair. An interesting point comes out of a Sermon by Rev. John Allen stemming from the Gaspee Affair…that there was some talk of blaming Indians on the attack:

      “IT is true any Lord, the Gaspee Schooner is destroyed, and thereby the Laws of England are violated, (as you apprehend,) by Indians out of the woods, or by Rhode Islanders, I cannot say who; but it is a query with me my Lord, whether there is any Law broke in burning the Gaspee Schooner; if it was done by the INDIANS (which is the current report) then there is no Law broke; for the Scripture says, “where there is no Law, there is no transgression.” And it is well known, that the Indians were never under any Law to the English.”

      …so then jump to the Boston Tea Party where the people were dressed like Indians. Makes you wonder if there was a tangible connection for their dressing up like Indians.

  6. Mr Tim Allen: based on their record so far, The only hole Judge Brown or Navarro are digging is for themselves. As one of those Acquitted along with Ammon and Ryan in Portland, and as a witness to the Vegas trials.I have a fair grasp of the proceedings. We have humiliated and defeated them over and over again, and bid fair to do the same in the upcoming trial. Despite the recent retrial being rigged to the max, THE FEDS STILL LOST! Loren: I have to offer my own mea culpa as to what I should have done years ago, I was politically inert, being a dad, and in my spare time trying to make that 3′ putt. Your comparison of a life and death situation in that river and what we did at Bundy Ranch – I dislike the misnomer “Bunkerville” – is apt. When does the caviling end ? At that river, and at BR, AND in Oregon, we were faced with stark, immediate choices : commit regardless of the stakes,or be nothing more than a Throng of Sunday Patriots,to our everlasting shame. As late as it is,we followed the dictates of conscience, as Have Ammon and his family. For those who can’t stand the arithmetic – meaning those who think we can fight a ravening beast at no risk to themselves – my advice is the same as that of John Adams : “Cower down and lick the hand that feeds you”.

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