This is an internationally read blog and is meant for anyone to read, but this author is a resident of Rutherford County, Tennessee, where the viral YouTube video entitled “4th of July DUI Checkpoint – Drug Dogs, Searched Without Consent, While Innocent” was taken. For anyone who has not yet seen the video:
Much controversy has raged over this video, and the outrage on the ground here in Rutherford County has been palpable. As local organizations and members of organizations such as Campaign for Liberty, Rutherford County Libertarians, Tennessee Peace Officer Accountability, Oath Keepers, and others have been trying to establish a dialogue with the Rutherford County Sheriff Dept. and other local government entities about the incident, Rutherford County Sheriff Arnold has decided to talk to the press instead of his own constituency. While anybody actually talking to Rutherford County residents right now knows that the mood of the people is in favor of respecting our inalienable rights to such things as freedom of movement and to be secure in our persons, houses, papers, and effects is obvious; Sheriff Arnold and his department have not only failed to be contrite about the above incident and not supportive of reaffirming their oaths to defend the Bill of Rights, they have now done an interview with Tennessee’s News Channel 5 in which Sheriff Arnold supports his deputies’ actions and indicates that these practices will continue:
Let’s not mince words here and be very clear. The Rutherford County Sheriff Dept. is not on the same page with the people of its’ own jurisdiction either in respect to our inalienable rights, or to the prevailing sentiment of outrage. It is unfortunate that some hotheads have threatened violence towards Rutherford County Sheriff Department employees, but it’s also unfortunate that the Sheriff and his department here flippantly and irreverently defy their own constituency in being openly hostile to the public and any of us who insist on exercising our inalienable rights. Make no mistake about it; those of us who actually live here know that the failure of our local Sheriff to host a Town Hall style event in which concerned residents might voice their grievances for redress in a parley with the Sheriff’s Dept. also see the Sheriff and his department going around the authority of the people to get establishment media and other bureaucracies involved to dodge and cover the outrage of his own constituency. It seems those with badges and uniforms in Rutherford county would rather start a political and media campaign to avoid accountability from the very same constituency they hold accountable to the state’s mandates at the barrel of a gun. Sources say that a Town Hall meeting with the Sheriff’s Department and Rutherford County residents has been brought up, but the Sheriff’s Department has failed to seize on the opportunity to do so – even though such a Town Hall might help to calm some of the over-the-top rhetoric advocating violence. It has been said that the people of the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Department may be feeling “a little intimidated” right now. Of course, this is hypocritical nonsense when one considers how intimated the people of Rutherford County may be by a Sheriff’s Department which many suspect are using K-9 “false alerts” and possibly other tactics to avoid the constitutionally-mandated warrant-procuring procedure. Again, make no mistake; the people of Rutherford County currently do not know if our Sheriff’s police think it is in their purview to ignore the 4th Amendment and feel they have the right to rummage and ransack anybody, anywhere, anytime, for any reason. When put in context with other questionable law enforcement tactics such as police-state style checkpoints to which a real Constitutional Sheriff would stand with his inalienable rights-loving people against, and it is a real and serious concern that we are under the rule of a rogue criminal Sheriff’s Department in Rutherford County that is practicing open hostility to the privacy and sovereignty of the citizens and in open defiance of the Constitution of the United States.
Some of us in Rutherford County realize that the eyes of the country are largely on us right now, and we would like not only to resolve this particular incident in the interest of respecting the natural rights of every person, but would also like for the rest of Tennesseans, Americans, and any freedom-loving people around the world to know that some of us in Rutherford County will stand our ground and advocate for our rights to be respected. This blog is being written largely to generate public record that those of you paying attention need to know that any rosy picture being painted of this situation, attempts to make anyone at the Sheriff’s Dept. seem like the victim, effort to assassinate the character of motorist Chris Kalbaugh, or any other distraction from the issue of how our basic rights are being violated by law enforcement, is a slap in the face to those of us who still understand that ‘we the people’ are supposed to be the authorities and the Sheriff’s Dept. is supposed to serve and protect us – not violate, intimidate, and harass.
The story about the above viral YouTube video has made it into blurbs on Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly’s shows. In the “No Spin Zone,” O’Reilly (to his credit) didn’t seem to take much side one way or the other in his report on the 10th of July. I would encourage any other media who reports on this situation to actually come spend some time talking to the average citizens on the streets of Rutherford County before spouting off in defense of the local Sheriff and department. I think you will find there’s a huge gulf between the sentiments of the people of our county and the Sheriff’s position as stated on News Channel 5. Across all political, racial, and socioeconomic demographics; a majority of individuals in the human family in our area want to see real changes made as opposed to what normally happens in these situations in which it’s all glossed over by the establishment, a slap on the wrist at most to the offending officers, and a band-aid that doesn’t amount to a hill of beans. We want real accountability, and an about-face from our local Sheriffs in their defiance of our rights. But, truth be known, this is much bigger than just one checkpoint video or incident; and, the Sheriffs are largely just players on a much larger stage which should be the real focus here.
This whole situation has brought to light numerous questions and controversies about how the totality of bad laws, mistaken court decisions, and the policing powers Americans have ceded to the state have brought us to a critical point in the question of whether or not Americans will choose to be free or continue the race towards a total police state. True, there are actually some people who believe that it’s okay for individuals with badges in uniforms to accost peaceful travelers in the interest of public safety (although, a revenue-generating scheme for local governments is commonly the unspoken ulterior motive). But, just because my neighbor defers to the sate and accepts the chains of his/her enslavement, does not mean I agree to be accosted alongside them. It seems to some of us that the momentum of the government to move towards more policing on every level (federal, state, and local), fueled by the ‘war on drugs,’ the ‘war on terror,’ and all the other warmongering government bureaucracy is waging on its’ own people in the homeland, is a tide that absolutely needs be turned back. We have yielded far too much of our liberty for the illusion of safety and security, and we have let the powers that be convince too many of us that we are not supposed to be free individuals on the land. Many of the Rosa Parks of the world still today are engaging in courageous acts to secure our inalienable rights as free people, but we still watch as the iron fist of our own governments bear down on our freedom. The situation around this controversial checkpoint and video raises multiple questions about the present American police state, and for good reason. At issue is whether or not you are a free person who is free to travel and move about without being stopped and questioned regardless of the fact that you’re proceeding peacefully and haven’t created any victims. At issue is whether or not police can get away with bypassing your right to be secure from searches and seizures with “false alerts” and/or other tactics of handing themselves probable cause without the Constitutionally-required warrant. At issue is whether or not these checkpoints are corrupt by very nature of being largely mandated and funded by government entities outside of the actual department engaged in facilitating them, and what kind of revenue-generating scheme they may be for local governments at the expense of peaceful residents. At issue is whether or not a local Sheriff’s Department will be reigned in by the authority of the people in their jurisdiction, or if they will succeed in ignoring their own community while playing to media and the good ole’ boy network to salvage their image.
My fellow Americans, at issue is whether or not we will allow the progression of this police state – or if we truly want to be free. Rutherford County is only one piece, but could be one of the beginning pieces of putting a free country back together. The moment is at hand which the vigilant for liberty may seize before the next breath moves public attention on to more trivial matters. If we don’t seize this moment in Rutherford County, we are by default condoning our own enslavement to the modern day American police state and inviting the next step in the loss of our civil liberties. If we say checkpoints and questionable K-9 alerts are okay today, we lose credibility in the fight when the ‘authorities’ want to disregard our human rights and search random homes in door-to-door sweeps tomorrow. Then, and maybe only then, we wake up when it’s too late to stop the local gestapo from dragging peaceful people from our homes for no good reason. If we don’t assert our rights and hold our government accountable right now in Rutherford County, we may as well put on our own chains and walk down to the jail and check in.
To the Rutherford County Sheriff Dept. and other interested parties of government, I say you need to do the right thing and have a Town Hall dialogue with your constituency without delay. This is only the responsible, professional, and right thing to do.
To the people of Rutherford County, I say we will only have the Rights for which we stand. Stand now, or don’t be surprised at the ensuing progression of erosion of your freedom.
To the people of Tennessee, I say you may want to take an interest in what’s going on in Rutherford County because if our Sheriff’s Dept. can get away with such open hostility to your fundamental Rights, then don’t expect your county to be any different.
To my fellow Americans, I say Rutherford County Tennessee is a prime spot to make a stand right now for anyone interested in standing firm against the encroaching police state.
If we want to protect ourselves from tyranny, we can seize upon this opportunity in Rutherford County, TN to take a firm and uncompromising stand against every unconstitutional infringement of the government against our basic rights.
I am publicly and ambitiously advocating that we need to rally for our rights in Rutherford County, TN. Just like young civil rights workers traveled to certain areas to participate in activism to stand against Jim Crow, it is my belief that we could come together in this county to engage in activism that will catch like wildfire in other regions. If we engage in activism such as miles long convoys of vehicles all armed with multiple cameras and all refuse to stop at government checkpoints, great gains could be made for our freedom. Nobody rules if nobody obeys. When the machinations of state become tyrannical to the rights of the people, it is our duty to disobey. As this writing demonstrates, I am willing to stick my neck out for my rights. If I’m the only one who feels this way, so be it. I will stand or fall in good conscience with my resolve to be a free individual intact. If you don’t want to stand with me, don’t. But if you do, I will still be trying to get our local government to respond with a Town Hall for the people of our county and voicing my insistence that I will not back down from defending my rights.
Governments and bureaucracies are inherently detrimental to the inalienable rights of the individual. “We the people” are the final authority entrusted with watching out for our own rights and keeping government at all levels accountable and responsive to respecting everyone’s natural rights. As much as some of us who have taken the oath to the Constitution and even engaged in combat to preserve a place on Earth where we can be free people are adamant that our governments respect the Bill of Rights, the Constitution is just a meaningless piece of paper without the teeth given it by “We The People.” If we don’t recognize when an occasion has arisen in which it is imperative that we rally for our rights, we will continue to lose them to the encroaching state.
The truth of it is that Americans who have been paying attention have seen the futility of status quo politics. We’re not just engaged in friendly banter with the old buddy at the kitchen table over some nonsense issue we fancy for the sake of the fun of the intellectual joust. We’re having conversations about how our present government has gotten corrupt from top to bottom and we are trying to defend ourselves from what we see as a violation of the property an individual owns in him/herself. It is fundamental human liberty which unites all of us for our individual reasons and pursuits of happiness. In a government that forever exposes itself as corrupt on all federal, state, and local levels; it is high time we find creative ways to push back. Corruption is systemic, and it has spread in our government so that it appropriately unites the people in standing up for ourselves against it. Unfortunately for someone as dense as I can be sometimes, it may take a few life-altering events to wake you up to what’s happening to our rights in the modern American police state.
One of the dirty little secrets is how the scheme is set up with checkpoints by influence/funding of the federal government, then the local police set up the checkpoint and generate revenue off the backs of the struggling citizens of the community with tickets written for unrelated victimless ‘crimes.’ Basically, it’s like a mafia that takes over turf and demands payment from everybody who comes down the street who the officers don’t like. It’s making glorified hall monitors out of men and women who we arguably employ to help us protect our rights – not ask us for papers (please). There is a trust with the public between Sheriffs and the people of that county. As someone who has seen with my own eyes how a corrupt police force that starts shaking the public down for money can quickly get out of hand in Afghanistan, it concerns me that Americans are letting our government implement the same practices here in the homeland that it is implementing in zones of combat operations. If you knew the local police were setting up roadblocks to ambush local farmers and other peaceful people with demands of money and/or sexual favors, then how would you feel if you were then expected to support those same police officers when they get into a firefight with the local townspeople? How anxious would you be to protect a guy in a firefight who you know probably did something to violate a peaceful local who is just trying to defend him/herself? If our own Sheriff and other members of local government don’t have enough sense to understand why people are currently upset about the blatant disregard of our fundamental freedoms as human beings, then every one of them need to be replaced as soon as possible.
The Rutherford County Sheriff’s office has just released their own video of more of the incident on the 4th of July between motorist Chris Kalbaugh and Deputy AJ Ross and others on the scene. Somehow, some seem to think this video exonerates the deputy and/or the practices in which the deputies engaged on the night in question. Be your own judge, but I want to point something out. Are Americans supposed to be treated equally under the law or not? I would challenge you to a thinking exercise in which while watching this video, you imagine motorist Chris Kalbaugh is not himself, but replaced by Governor Haslam. Would the officers have acted the same way? Are not you or I or Chris Kalbaugh just as worthy of respect as Governor Haslam or a former president of the United States?
“I didn’t ask you what the Constitution says. I know what the Constitution says. And the Constitution says when you come through here, if I ask you questions and you refuse to do what I’m asking you to do; guess what? You’re failing to obey what I’m asking you to do, which you do have to do. And if I’ve got, listen, listen to what I’m saying. No you’re not, you’re trying to run your mouth over me. And it ain’t workin’ out, cause I’m gonna’ win….. You’ve got a lot to learn, but when you get into attorney school and you learn all that, come back and see me, okay?” – Deputy AJ Ross
It may also be worth mentioning here that as a ‘free’ individual, one should not have to spend every waking moment of every day trying to keep up with all the laws as they change every day to live as a free human being. Of course, if we all did nothing but sit around and research what laws say now so as not to ever be guilty of an infraction, that would be a slavery in itself. Nobody should have to go to law school to be considered qualified to reserve your own rights according to your conscience. Natural law is enough of a teacher that even people in uniforms with badges should know that they shouldn’t be running roughshod over other people under color of law. Regardless of what anyone else thinks, the behavior of the Rutherford County Sheriffs Dept. is not acceptable to this resident of Rutherford County, and I want it to change now.
The following is taken from http://www.dnj.com/article/20130710/NEWS/307100025/Checkpoint-results-released-by-THP
“As details continue to emerge regarding July 3’s DUI checkpoint on S. Rutherford Blvd., The Daily News Journal requested Tennessee Highway Patrol’s numbers for that night. Here’s what we found:
» 250 vehicles passed through the checkpoint
» 20 vehicles were detained that required further investigation
» Three vehicles were searched
» One misdemeanor arrest was made
» 32 citations were issued: Two child restraint device citations, one DUI, 10 citations for violations of the registration law, four citations for violation of the light law, one revoked/suspended driver’s license, six financial responsibility (no insurance), six other driver’s license law violations, and two safety belt law violations.”
In other words, thousands of dollars of taxpayer money was spent on setting up this checkpoint to raise revenue for local government by accosting 250 Rutherford County residents from free movement. Do you want to be the next to be shaken down?
The following is from a press release issued by Rutherford County Campaign for Liberty:
“”I believe Sheriff Arnold to be a good man, but I do fundamentally disagree with
his stance on the fourth amendment implications of Highway Checkpoints. I had hoped and still do, that he will be willing to meet with us at the Campaign for Liberty and other
concerned members of the community to discuss this issue and come to a reasonable solution that addresses both the issues of impaired driving and possible alternative practices to ensure drivers under the influence stay off the road, while safeguarding our
fourth amendment protections,” explains James Gann, County Coordinator of Campaign
for Liberty Rutherford County, Tennessee.
Furthermore, Campaign for Liberty Rutherford County wishes to act in its educational and informative capacity to work with our members and fellow law enforcement
officials to support a more transparent process of law enforcement within the framework of the Constitution of the United States of America. We would offer suggestions
to Sheriff Robert Arnold that would alleviate many of our members’ concerns.”
The following is an online petition supporting the formation of an open forum/open mic Town Hall meeting for Rutherford County residents to parley with the Sheriff’s Department:
Rally For Your Rights!
BY: A.G. House is an Afghanistan war veteran and former licensed minister (UPCI), who has become an outspoken skeptic, peace activist, and involved himself in many other issues which he believes affect the individual freedoms of the people whose Constitutional Rights he took an oath to defend. He currently resides in the heart of Tennessee with his companion dog ‘Liberty,’ where he is recovering from PTSD and enjoys the therapeutic activities of gardening, creative writing, playing drum set, and other forms of artistic expression \m/