The Republic of Texas, as an intriguing YouTube documentary explains, is a small separatist group in the Lone Star State that maintains its own quixotic mini-government, including official currency, a president, a legislative body and even “courts.” Its senators and president gathered in the center of a Bryan, Texas, meeting hall, surrounded by curious or sympathetic onlookers, to debate issues of the national currency, develop international relations and celebrate the birthday of one of their oldest members. Suddenly one of the onlookers stood opened the hall door, letting in an armed force including the Bryan Police Department, the Brazos County Sheriff’s Office, the Kerr County Sheriff’s Office, Agents of the Texas District Attorney, the Texas Rangers and the FBI. It was a raid. The twenty officers rounded up, searched and fingerprinted all 60 meeting attendees, and seized all cellphones and recording equipment.
What triggered such a frightening show of force? It was an elephant gun-flea response to the fact that the Republic of Texas had issued a “summons” to a Kerr County judge and another to a bank employee, ordering them to appear in the Republic’s court at the Veterans and Foreign Wars building in Bryan the day very the officers burst in on the group’s “congress.”
“You can’t just let people go around filing false documents to judges trying to make them appear in front of courts that aren’t even real courts,” Kerr County sheriff Rusty Hierholzer told the media. Ah. Some deluded club members engage in overreach while pretending that they have founded a new government rather than an eccentric social group–sending a bogus but sincere summons is a misdemeanor at worst—and this is seen as just cause for an armed raid? Hierholzer said he needed an army to serve a search warrant for suspicions of a misdemeanor, because there was a 1997 incident where 300 state troopers had an stand-off with well-fortified Republic of Texas leader with mayhem on his mind.
I have no sympathy with secessionists, militias, or other such groups. They are, however, engaged in the grand American tradition of opposing authority, complaining about the state of the nation, and gathering with others of a like mind to see if they can fix what’s wrong. The government putting a police-state scare into such groups, showing contempt for them and treating them like terrorist cells is un-American, in contrast. It’s harassment, and an attempt to discourage lawful dissent and to chill Constitutional rights.
The Justice Department will investigate the Ferguson police department’s oppressive treatment of black citizens. It will announce baseless civil rights investigations of a police officer who shot a man who was charging him and another man who defended himself against a young black man trying to beat his brains out, but will it investigate government attempts to take away the civil rights of a bunch of Obama-loathing Texans? That would represent integrity. That would be the conduct of a Justice Department that regards its duty as protecting the rights of all citizens, regardless of political affiliation, race or belief.
I’ll wait to find out if this Justice Department sees its duty to the country, the people and the Founders the way I do.
You go ahead and do something else. I have a feeling I’ll be waiting a long time.
Facts: My San Antonio
42 thoughts on “Extreme And Deluded Doesn’t Mean “Dangerous”…Or Is The Real Threat Something Else?”
We’re pretty much a police state, or close to it. You won’t just wake up one day to the sound of marching troops in your alleyways.
Wow. The appropriate response would have been for the “summonsed” officials to completely ignore the summonses…
The if the RoT folks really wanted to play government, they’d send their own guys to “enforce” the summonses. THEN the Government would get to do something.
Exactly. You get a summons from the State of Freedonia, you laugh and throw it away. Or you be a jerk, call the cops, and one officer goes and issues a warning. Or you charge the group and they have to pay, what? 100 bucks in fines? You don’t spend 30X that for a raid.
The Republic of Texas just dispatched a hundred and a half volunteers to defend the Alamo from centralist incursions.
I really do hope those guys can get last minute reservations at the comfortable accommodations of the Menger Hotel.
To be clear, don’t trifle with the Fredonians.
Well, if you are going to trifle with them, just send a company of infantry and a detachment of cavalry. At least in that case, the central government was actually acting against a corrupt empresario selling other people’s land…
I have a tiny bit of sympathy for the raid because of the previous “standoff”; I am suspicious though of whether that previous incident had any justification.
Now, a judge should reasonably be able to discern an authentic summons. The bank employee, being an ordinary citizen however, probably exercised due diligence by contacting the authorities to verify the document.
Blowing off an authentic summons/subpena/etc from a even a fringe group could have severe consequences. Frivolous lawsuits for substantial amounts of money have been granted for lack of response or motion to dismiss. If I had a document “served” by the state of “Freedonia”, I would likely have an attorney look into it. Why should I be expected to keep a record of crack-pot pseudo-states?
Fortunately, I am related to an attorney, and would not be billed, but If I weren’t, I would likely send an authentic “counter”-suit in response requesting compensation for legal fees.
Agreed. But what if someone (in the under 50th percentile camp) got a summons and perceived it to be real? These people can protest all they want and can even call themselves “Secede or Die!” or whatever nonsense, but once they start “playing” government, it has to be stopped. I would never send this much force to quell the group, but that is a frightening and altogether typical response of our increased police state.
Oh, I think you have to slap that nonsense down, absolutely. I have no problem with prosecuting the crime.
I do hope the Republic of Texas government figures out what to do with the Lipan Apache problem. I’m tired of my crops being raided and my wimminfolk being abducted.
Unless you’ve moved recently, it’d be more likely to be Comanche.
On a serious note, this is part of the creep progressing…
find harmless fringe groups posing no real threat, but would otherwise not be noticed. Pretend like they are threat and take them down with force worthy of an armed insurrection. People convinced it needed to happen and more comfortable with it happening again.
File that away under the same heading that you filed away the GROSS display of martial law in Boston during the search for the Boston Bombers.
And those knuckleheads APPLAUDED the cops !! Sickening and disheartening.
Remember, you are required to USE that free military equipment they gave you within 1 year or you have to give it back. It doesn’t have to be a legitimate use, however.
“Why is the meter maid driving an MRAP?”
How do you parallel park that thing?
“Extreme and Deluded” and another underdog story gone viral around the world. You cannot PAY for this kind of marvelous advertising!
Would have been even funnier if the summonses had been issued by a high school civics class and the cops busted in on them right before lunch.
One exception: if it appears that secessionist cranks may become violent, then all bets are off, cf. Montana’s “Just us” township in 1990s, which threatened judges with violence. It’s people like that who get ordinary gun owners and collectors a bad name. And tex, with respect, what approach would you have suggested Massachusetts law enforcement take with who knew how many violent bombers on the loose?
I think that’s a reasonable exception…but I don’t think these guys were anywhere near needing to be considered for that exception. These guys (and I shudder to think how many Aggies were involved in this…), for all intents and purposes, got hammered one evening, thought it would be funny to summons some real officials, and said “nah, but it sure would be funny” before realize Cleetus already sent the summons.
Cletus the slack-jawed yokel?
“And tex, with respect, what approach would you have suggested Massachusetts law enforcement take with who knew how many violent bombers on the loose?”
Something other than warrantless searches and locking entire neighborhoods down. And I’m fairly certain at that point, we knew there was only 1 or two guys on the loose.
As someone who needs to apologize and come back to the forums once said:
One of Scott’s very best. Sigh.
I like this guy. “That people are more than willing to allow government to abuse their civil rights in the name of “security” or “safety” disgusts me to my very core.
“I have much more sympathy for the people of Freedonia than I do the mindless sheep who applauded what happened in Boston.
I would put part of it down to Massachusetts/Boston culture as a successor to Yankee and Puritan culture, which is more comfortable with government regulation and everything that goes with it, including police activity. Heck, the locals compared that four-day manhunt favorably with the hunt for Osama, saying things like “this is how it’s done, New York!” I would put another part of it down to the urban/suburban nature of the area, where there were countless garages, sheds, cellars, etc., to duck into and countless small backyards to run through. I’d put the last part of it down to straight-up fear that these guys might be armed with more than simple firearms, as it turned out they were, which comes back to culture. The locals in this case were not Pennsylvania hunters or Texas ranchers. They were blue people in a blue city in the bluest state of all, who sip Starbucks while talking about how great it will be to have another Kennedy in the Senate, and would be very uncomfortable near, let alone handling firearms. Faced with a situation like this, they stepped right aside.
There’s also a question of practicality. In a situation like this, seconds counted and security came first. The time to assert your rights is after the danger has passed. I scoff at 3%ers who say they are going to resist the government with whatever weapons they have, in this case for no real reason other than to break balls. Let’s review: you have at least two, maybe more dangerous killers on the loose, armed with firearms and possibly explosives, who’ve already killed several people, including one police officer. It’s an urban area with any number of places to hide. Every single goddamn SWAT officer from Fed, state and local is out there armed to the teeth and gunning for these guys. Do you really want to get in the middle of this?
And they didn’t assert their rights, even after the danger had passed. This government talks about rights, but is very quick to trample them as they see fit in any “emergency”, like, for instance, the aforementioned Gibson Guitar and Ares Armor fiascos, and the situation during Katrina. In reference to Katrina, what good is a second amendment if it can be revoked by the very people it was designed to keep in check? I’m not saying that, in that instance, people were cowards for not engaging the cops, but they are cowards for not addressing it afterwards. That was an egregious abuse of the spirit of the 4th Amendment, regardless of how it’s come to be circumvented of late. Here’s what should have happened: Knock knock; “Hi, have you seen anything? Mind if we have a look around? Well, how about outside? Thanks”. I like what Ben Franklin said about this: “Those who would trade liberty for “safety”, deserve neither and will lose both”. I’m sure you’ve all heard that numerous times, but it bears repeating. I hate to think of all the brave people that have fought, suffered and died on behalf of this country and the freedom it represents, only to have cowards give it away every time someone says “Boo !”
Truer words were never spoken, Joe. Like Lincoln’s suspension of habeas corpus during the Civil War…reversed by SCOTUS, but only after the war was over, way to late to affect anything.
That said, I’m not going to say that this necessarily applies in all instances, such as a massive weapon like a nuke, chemical, or biological weapon. I think an order of magnitude cutoff can work here.
“Massachusetts/Boston culture as a successor to Yankee and Puritan culture, which is more comfortable with government regulation and everything that goes with it, including police activity.”
I was expecting to see Arthur of Maine weighing in on this on the inclusion of ANY “Yankee” being “comfortable with” ANY kind of “government regulation.” Ever. Unless all the Yankees that I knew — Vermonters and Mainemen, and Live-Free-or-Die folks from New Hampshire — during the years I visited and later schooled in New England have suffered some sort of successful Night of the Living Dead replacement by folks from New Jersey.
….and California, and Maryland.
“Bryan Police Department, the Brazos County Sheriff’s Office, the Kerr County Sheriff’s Office, Agents of the Texas District Attorney, the Texas Rangers and the FBI”, this is either a massive attempt to intimidate the US public, or is it one of those “Hey, remember all that work we’ve been having to do with DHS on planning coordinated raids on suspected terrorist organizations? Perfect candidate!” situations. No one likes to spend all that time preparing for something like that if you never get to do it. I mean, what are the chances that the Bryan Police Department is going to have an ACTUAL case where they need to call in such a force? The problem is, this breeds resentment among the citizens (or civilians, as our deluded and military-obsessed police forces call us).
Almost every police force has a ‘special response’ unit or other paramilitary group that gets special equipment and special training. When you have such a group, one that trains constantly, the natural tendency is to want to use that group. If you had the group, training constantly, and they didn’t get to go on one call in 5 years, people would start to question the expense of time and money. I wonder how many of these units have ever actually been sent on a situation that 4 patrol officers couldn’t have handled. I don’t think there has been a single incident in my state in over a decade that required such a group. How much money are we wasting, or how much better would our law enforcement be if we stopped funding these unicorn-hunting groups, and how many people are dying as a result? I saw a breakdown of mass shootings in the US in the last decade. Two-thirds were stopped by a non-LEO. Of the ones stopped by a LEO, 70% were stopped by a lone officer. Law enforcement is being trained now to wait for backup, wait until there are 4-5 officers, but the data suggests the opposite is true. It is time, not numbers that matter in most such attacks. I wonder how that applies to other time-critical situations. Are we sacrificing the public’s safety by having the police prepare to deal with dinosaurs when the reality is they are only dealing with a rabbits (or maybe coyotes)?
Just like in emergency medicine, it’s time until ACLS is started in the field, not time until seen by a doctor, that’s of the most importance in saving a heart attack victim. And I would say a massive attempt to intimidate the public. Look at Gibson Guitar and Ares Armor. Thugs and goons, all.
Well, I was wrong guessing about the school principal with the private gym commenting on the post about herself, I’ll go ahead and make a guess that someone personally connected with this story will comment.
“It will announce baseless civil rights investigations of a police officer who shot a man who was charging him and another man who defended himself against a young black man trying to beat his brains out, but will it investigate government attempts to take away the civil rights of a bunch of Obama-loathing Texans? That would represent integrity.”
I’m not making any larger commentary, but these two examples are not even remotely connected — even as illustrative points.. Governments investigating a third party happens all the time, governments investigating themselves, however. is far less so (and usually only in cases of huge public outcry). I know you’re upset about the Ferguson clusterfuck, but there’s no need to bring it up in conversations that are otherwise unrelated.
After all, doing so only clouds things even further ..
I’m outta here.
Now that’s cryptic.
I guess I doin’t understand. If you want me to spell it out, I will: the civil rights of white conservatives don’t concern this Justice Department in any way, shape or form. Clear enough? There was NO basis for the Martib investigation except that the victim was black, and civil rights groups were asserting racism was involved in his death without any evidence whatsoever. Never mind: Holder announced an investigation that has lasted about a year. Every analyst agreed that there was no basis at all to investigate Wilson for a civil rights violation. Never mind: Holder investigated anyway to keep the home fires burning. This, however, is a clear example of an abuse of power to chill dissent and assembly. The Civil Rights Division also announced that it will be bringing charges against the Ferguson police, a.k.a the government.
I don’t see the dichotomy. There is nothing in the Civil Rights Division’s mission that distinguished between abuses of rights by government entities and by individuals—isn’t “Selma” still in the theaters? The Civil Rights Division exists to ensure Americans their civil rights. This Justice Department Civil Rights Division for over six years has chosen to protect only one color of Americans from abuses of their rights, even imaginary abuses that require abusing other colors, like “white Hispanics,” to assert.
This is a good test for my analysis. The Justice Department will flunk.
Just an FYI for all…the Republic of Texas is well-known in Texas as a bunch of fringe looney’s that are stupid but harmless. The main reason for the so-called “stand-off” in 1997 was that the head-honcho of this outfit was more looney-tunes than most and nobody wanted to hurt him before leading him off to the funny farm in a strait jacket.
Do have one question, though…what was Kerr County Sheriff’s Deputies doing there? Bryan is 100 miles east-northeast of Austin; Kerrville (county seat of Kerr County) is 50 miles northwest of San Antonio. They are somewhere between 200 and 250 miles apart, by highway. I know most Texas lawmen will tell you they can enforce State law anywhere in the state, but that’s ridiculous.
I wonder if any of this dramatic raiding action by militarized police forces like was done in Bryan, Texas is being contemplated in any Sharia law zones…? Seems like there could be plenty of Branch Davidian-like misdeeds going on in at least one of those zones, with enough evidence to “investigate”…?
If we only had RoboCops, there’d be no need for a massive raid. Just send one RoboCop. Priorities, people.