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Letters To The Editor

From Issue #103

      Dear Readers — Backwoods Home Magazine welcomes all letters. The opinions and suggestions we receive from our readers are very important to us. We regret that we are no longer able to print or individually respond to every letter received due to the volume. We do read every letter received, and pass them along to the editor or writer concerned.
      We print a selection from our mail in the magazine and online on our Feedback page that best represents the views and concerns of our readers. Email your thoughts to or mail them to Editor, Backwoods Home Magazine, P.O. Box 712, Gold Beach, OR 97444.
      You MUST include your Full Name, City, and State or your letter cannot be used — The Editors

Dave got it wrong! We need positive parenting!

I appreciate your magazine's focus on self-reliant rural lifestyles, but am just appalled at Dave Duffy's condoning domestic violence (Sept./Oct., 2006, "My View: The Government gorilla in our home.") I don't know any details of the two cases involving his acquaintance named Vince or an unidentified "TV documentary" but it seems clear that in each case, fathers struck their 14-year-old daughters sufficiently hard to cause bruises that persisted long enough to be visible to child welfare workers. Rather than criticizing these men for assaulting their children, Dave blames a faceless, nameless "omnipotent Government bureaucratic power" for removing the girls from their fathers' notions of effective punishment.

Nowhere in his editorial does Dave consider other, non-physical means for fathers to restrain their teenagers' behavior; nor the possibility that Vince's own violence and swearing at home might have driven his daughter to become a pregnant runaway, rather than a model of self-restraint. The fact that Vince thought that his using profanity in the courtroom somehow supported his case is astonishing. I didn't read that any of the involved parents hired lawyers, who would have counseled against his outburst. Expensive and sometimes unhelpful, yes; but didn't these mature adults consider that legal representation might just possibly have prevented family break-ups if these were not in the children's best interests?

Dave's calling the bruises that these fathers left on their "out-of-control" daughters' bodies "inadvertent" further shows that he just doesn't get it. A grown man who cannot regulate his physical violence in a moment of anger is more out of control than a mouthy teenager. American jails are full of men who didn't mean to kill or seriously injure someone, but thought that certain situations called for a small dose of physical assault, and then inadvertently overdid it. There are many ways for parents to discipline foul-mouthed children or to discourage them from taking drugs, such as giving children one's unconditional love, supporting their positive goals, insisting upon "time out," being available to them, and modeling desired behaviors. Too bad it's easier to blame Big Government and to revert to paranoia than it is to promote positive parenting.

Jeanne Kay Guelke
Spring City, Utah

Solar golf cart charger

In my search to being more self-reliant, I purchased a 2001 electric EZ-GO gold cart with a 6" lift kit, 36-volt down to 12-volt converter and monster mudders instead of a gas powered 4-wheeler. We use it every day for chores around the homestead since it has a cargo bed or just taking our four dogs on long walks, although sometimes they like to ride with us. I didn't like the idea of being dependent on the grid to power up the golf cart so after reading your magazine for years now I wanted to try charging it with solar panels. At first I couldn't find the 36-volt converter anywhere until I called Backwoods Solar Electric Systems advertised in your magazine. They didn't have one either but they did locate one for me where no one else even tried. I purchased 3 Kyocera 80 watt panels, 12-volt each to reach the 36-volt of the golf cart and the PT 36-10 converter for a total of $1600. I had the metal to make a frame and stand. Disconnected the plug from the 110 charger and hooked it to the panels so I can still just plug it in and leave it. You are probably saying that's more than what I would have spent buying from the grid! My answer to that is after Katrina left us stuck at home for 21 days without electricity and gasoline almost impossible to get it came in real handy running the small stuff in the house at night, and because the generator noise would have been a beacon in the night for people with bad intentions. It was an easy first time solar job for me.

Rob Pilar
Chunky, Mississippi

Massad Ayoob's article on vicious wild animals

Mas Ayoob's article on defending against vicious animals really brought back some memories. In the late sixtys while stationed in NW Florida, a buddy and I were out for a day of fishing and plinking in a remote area near the Alabama/Fla. border close to the Yellow River. We had been out most of the day and were about to head back to the base. Both of us were armed. I was carrying a Colt Gov't in .45 ACP and my friend had his .22 target pistol. As we came through a small clearing, both of us stopped in our tracks when we heard a low gutteral growl coming from very close by. As we turned around facing where we just came from, a large dog that appeared to be mostly collie or shepherd came boiling at us from less than 50 feet and I don't think it was coming to lick our hand. I fired when the big dog was almost on us. The first shot rolled it and subsequent rounds finished it. After we got our breathing back on track, I asked my buddy why he didn't shoot. He hesitated and said his pistol was empty. He had shot all his ammo earlier while we were plinking!

As a retired Deputy Sheriff, I am never without a handgun, We live in the country and well blessed with coyotes and feral dogs. A S&W Mountain Gun in .45 ACP stoked with 255 gr. SWC handloads is my constant companion. Thanks to Mr. Ayoob on his articles on the sensible use of guns. I can attest to situations where an adequate handgun being instantly available can prevent serious injury or even death.

Lt. Jim Johnson (Ret)
Bennett, North Carolina

I liked your article on the use of guns for home protection from animals. I have had to invest in a 12 gauge shotgun when the Game Department released captured "problem" bears into my area. These bears were not afraid of people and one large sow in particular raised hell in the neighborhood until my friend had to shoot her. He is an old man on an oxygen tank and he shot the bear on his porch from a range of eight feet. He hit it twice in the chest with a 45/70 and it managed to move about 40 feet before it dropped. He had to shoot it because he has a small grandchild in his home that had to wait for the school bus. Please let your readers know that a bear can still move and attack for 30-60 seconds even after a lethal shot. They are really dangerous, and don't even bother trying for a head shot.

Thank you for including domestic dogs in your article. People don't seem to realize their pets can be dangerous to other people. We had new people move into my neighborhood (city people) with four big dogs that they allowed to run. And run they did. These dogs, so devoted to their owners, turned into vicious killers. I lost a lamb, another lady lost several chickens and another family lost a litter of kittens. These dogs were seen chasing deer and mauling a fawn and finally someone went dog hunting...

Mrs. Edwina Caffey
Cheney, Washington

I've been taking your magazine since the Ventura, California days, and I'll stay subscribed until I die or you quit. Every issue has useful information for our 5.5 acres in Oak Glen, California.

I enjoy and keep my magazines, even though I maintain a full set of anthologies as well. My problem is that the magazines seem to be suffering an increasing level of damage in the mail. My issue that arrived today had a significant part of the front page torn off, and the first quarter of the pages were damaged. I can still read it, but this message is to tell you that I would gladly pay additional amounts for the issues if they were in a tough plastic cover like my Playboy and other quality magazines. (Of course I only read the stories and interviews in PB!)

Tonight I read much of Massad Ayoob's article aloud to my wife. We have dogs including an Australian Cattle Dog and a Northwest Farm Terrier to alert us to critters here in the foothills. Recently two cougars have been sighted near us, and coyotes are numerous as well as black bears. Linda listened to the stories and agreed (for the first time) to go to the range with me to become familiar with a 12 gauge and a 9mm. We are both retired and slowing down, but with our dogs and good guns we should be alright and able to take care of our grandsons when they visit. I am grateful for the help that this good article gave me in overcoming Linda's resistance to firearms. Now she knows why they are not all in the safes!

If there is any way to safeguard the magazine in transit, I'd be glad to pay the costs.

Thomas A. Griswold
Oak Glen, California

Since we began putting tabs on the magazines, we don't get very many complaints of damage. You might want to talk with your postal carrier or postmaster about how they are handling the local mail. You can pay an extra $15 per year and have the magazine sent First Class in an envelope. We'll look into possibly putting the issues in plastic for mailing, but we did this for several issues in the past, and the resulting increase in cost, which we had to pass on to subscribers, resulted in a big loss of subscribers. — Dave

I have only one word to say about the cover story in the Nov./Dec. BHM: hysterical. And I don't mean that in terms of laughter, but rather in terms of unreasonable fear. The examples cited occur so rarely that they truly would be more appropriate for Ripley's Believe It Or Not Magazine than BHM. A more reasonable and realistic story would have focused on bees, wasps and hornets, which kill roughly 50 Americans each year. And his friend the cop who has a sidearm within reach 24/7 is exhibiting an abnormal behavior that psychologists describe as hyper-vigilance - a symptom of post-traumatic stress syndrome and not something that should be held forth as desirable.

While I have boundless regard for Massad Ayoob's knowledge of firearms, his recommendations remind me of a quotation attributed to the great Italian economist Alfredo Pareto: "When all you have is a hammer, suddenly all your problems start to look like nails." Or to paraphrase: "When you only have a gun, suddenly all your problems need to be shot." Boo, hiss, bad dog...

Miles Wickstrom
Vernonia, Oregon

U.S. needs immigration requirements for aliens

First I'd like to say I love your magazine; I go into withdrawal waiting for it. I agree with about 99% of what you write and the 1% doesn't matter. I noticed in this last issue that Jackie Clay mentioned that her family had started to purchase property in Canada. Then she mentioned they were denied permission to emigrate even though they paid for property. The reason I mention this, besides it's unfair, is because I just read a list of requirements needed to emigrate to Mexico. They were quite extensive and very limiting. We have no limits on our immigration and I believe in immigration...legally! Keep up the good work. I'm already getting jittery!

Leslie Hinkle
West Virginia

Dave's boat, WWII, Iraq War, Korea, terrorists

First, we appreciate who you are and what you do and the fact that you got your heart surgery in time (as did I). We are glad that you were able to get your new boat and enjoy it. We are offended that some people would question whether you should have the boat. There are several things of which one cannot have too much or too many including family, guns, boats and money. We assume that you did not take an oath of poverty. We didn't. We think you don't worship your boat or your possessions as some might. Don't let envious ones ruin your enjoyment.

We the people are responsible for protecting our rights and we have not done it well. John Silveira is right (pg. 95, Issue No. 102). The so-called progressives like Kerry, Kennedy and Clinton keep chipping away at our rights. They think they know better than we do how we should live and spend our money. Maybe it is time that the tree of liberty be refreshed with the blood of patriots and tyrants as Thomas Jefferson spoke.

Re My View (Issue No. 102): I was 11 the summer that WWII ended. My cousin Marcus Wiley is still in the engine room of the Cruiser Houston at the bottom of the Java sea. Korea was bad news since we didn't press on to victory. We are still paying for that truce and it will get a lot worse until we have to go finish what was started. The USA misbehaved when JF Kerry, Jane Fonda, Tom Hayden and other traitors turned the American people against the Vietnam War and the Democrat Congress cut off aid to S. Vietnam, resulting in millions more dead. Our military did well even with the bumbling Administration trying to play General. The lesson to be learned is that if you get into a war, let our military break things, burn things, kill and clean out the bad guys until the other side totally gives up and quits. Never stop short of complete victory. We are very glad that we didn't get into a war with the Russians and we just let the Communist system grind to a halt and collapse. We could easily have lost a hundred cities to their nukes. But, we had so designed our missile system(s) that they couldn't remove our ability to then completely destroy the USSR. The Russians

didn't have a death wish and also didn't believe they would go to Paradise or collect 72 virgins as Wahhabi and Iranian Muslim leaders do, so the USSR didn't start slinging missiles.

The Communist Chinese think they are smarter than the USSR and that they can use the North Korean pot bellied tyrant to harass the USA and gradually tear down our position as No. 1 power in the world. They like the NK tyrant helping Iran's Ahmadinejad and mullahs get nukes. The Chi-Coms think we are the main enemy. Iran mullahs are as bad as Saudi Arab Wahhabi's and can be expected to give their terrorist groups, Hezbollah and Hamas, nukes to attack the Great Satan (USA) and Little Satan (Israel). China and Putin want plausible deniability of responsibility for these attacks. Putin and China will work with Iran and try to stay out of the line of fire. If North Korea continues to get away with tweaking the USA's tail and we don't do something serious about it soon, China will think they can take back Taiwan and pay no USA imposed price. China will continue to improve their military capability until that day comes. It is time for us to turn Taiwan and Japan loose with their own nukes and let them defend themselves. The Nuke Genie won't go back in the bottle.

Muslim extremists have warred against apostates and non-Muslims for 1300 years. They came close to taking Europe twice. They were beaten back just before 1500. They are no different now than then. Recently (after Vietnam) Wahhabi's and Iran Hezbollah terrorists have been attacking our interests, our military, our embassies, the USS Cole, the WTC in 1993, Khobar towers, etc., etc. ending in 9/11/2001 with the WTC 2 tower destruction in NYC.

The Taliban in Afghanistan were proud to protect Osama bin Laden and his terrorist troops and wouldn't give them up. We whipped the Taliban and al-Qaeda and drove them into Pakistan from whence they came. But they now come dribbling back. We need to ensure that Karzai and his folks can withstand the dribbles. In Iraq, we quickly tore apart the Iraqi military but we didn't beat them completely into submission and clean out the bad guys. We now pay for that.

Which came first, the Islamo-Fascist (IF) terrorists or the Iraq war? It is clear that al-Qaeda and Hezbollah and Hamas existed long before the Iraq war started. The Wahhabi mosques and Madrassas have taught and trained up Muslim youth to hate Israel and the USA to where they are willing to kill themselves to kill you and us. They have done this for several generations. The Saudis now take the money that we pay for their oil and spend $4 billion per year on their mosques and Madrassas in the USA and around the world. There was no shortage of trained IF terrorists prior to the 2003 Iraq war and there is no shortage now either in Iraq or the USA. There may be a Hezbollah or al-Qaeda terrorist cell near you. A word from Iran, and a cleric in a nearby mosque will command local Muslim terrorists to come and saw off your heads with a big dull knife while making a video. You and John S. can consider this.

The Iraq war is depleting murdering IF terrorists. We prefer that our military and the Iraqi military and police kill the IF terrorists over in Iraq. Martial law for Iraq, not the USA, is much preferred. The Patriot Act is enough for us, don't you think? On 9/11/01, al-Qaeda terrorists attacked us here at the cost to us of some 3000 souls that day and $1 trillion and over 2000 souls since then in Iraq. Keep in mind that IF terrorists are firm in their intent to take down our economy, our nation, and as many of us as won't become Muslim, and raise up a Muslim country under Shiria Law. They don't care how many USA men, women, and children must die and they don't care how many Muslims or Muslim-Americans will die to achieve their aims. We are now in a war with the Islamo-Fascists. They won't quit. We had better get serious about it and go on "War Footing" as Frank Gaffney's new book advises.

Methanol cleanly made from our plentiful coal can replace at least 85% of gasoline. Flexible fuel vehicles and plug-in hybrids along with new safe fuel bed Nuclear Power Plants made "city sized" can get us completely off foreign oil and dependence on the national electric power grid. The grid is susceptible to a nuke EMP attack by Iran or agents. They know how to do it. We must get off foreign oil and take away our $4 billion the Saudis spend on mosques and Madrassas. Quit funding our enemies.

John and Nancy Cramer
Onalaska, Washington

Do we need a new law for every little thing?

I lived part of my life in Europe and got to know the socialistic societies and ways. Some is good and some not so. A lot of stuff you can't get there and it is only as far as I know available in the U.S. Let me just get to the point. I like to buy the "Strike Anywhere Matches" to send them back for lighting the stove or a cigarette (yes, Europeans smoke a lot) at Cowboy Action Shooting Matches or just to get the feeling from the old western times. But at our local hardware store the sales clerk told me that they are no longer available due to the new safety laws. That every match can only be lit by striking it on the box. I could not believe it so I asked him if it was a joke but he said no, new rule. (I told him they should call it stupidity law and if stupidity would hurt we would have a national crisis). Just because somewhere in this great country somebody lit a SAW match and burned down the house they just banned them. Don't get me wrong. It is tragic if a child gets hurt or killed by doing that. But are the parents not teaching them? That is one of the most basic rules. Or is it too much to ask from them. Maybe they did not offer this at the college so now we don't know to teach it to our children. They have a little jingle in German that goes like this: "Knife, Fork, Scissors and Light are not for Small Children!"

Do we need a law for every little thing? As far as I remember God gave us all a brain that we could use but it seems that a lot of people have lost the manual on how to turn it on. You know at one time the people of the U.S. were strong and determined. Had visions and ideas. They did not ask for someone to pamper their behind. They did not cry "uh, the government, the president, the mayor, the blah blah, did not tell us it was good or bad or safe or not. Or it is my right and I (me, me, me). They just did what had to be done. If they had acted as we act today, this nation would have never seen the light of day. They crossed the West to find a better place to live. Many died but many more made it. But now we are turning into chickens. Somewhere it was written that this country (I don't know if that is correct or not) is the Land of The Free and nowhere it said safe. But now it is the land of litigations and the land of we have to protect everyone from oneself because they do not know to be safe and secure. It took blood and guts to create a free country. Now we are anything but that. And it is going downhill from there.

Okay I got a little carried away and maybe a bit too sarcastic. That's from living in Europe. And I wrote all this over some matches I could not find. By the way I check out the bigger sporting goods stores and marts in our area (Houston) and could not find them. This issue of them being outlawed just got me mad. If that is the case. Do you know of a website where I can read about this law? I was going to write my congressman but as a lot of us I am lazy and just do nothing about it. So I think I can't complain if this country is turning to cheese. Well I feel better now and let's see how everything goes. Again thanks for a great magazine.

Dino Oliver
Houston, Texas

Silveira's "Last words"

I read your commentary "The Land of the unfree" (by John Silveira, Issue No. 101) and I totally agree.

What we had all better realize is that America is no longer a free constitutional republic. America now is a class based police state, and we have nobody but ourselves to blame for it.

How many people do you know, who can cite the most trivial sports fact, but couldn't tell you what the Bill of Rights is? It's these fat lazy slobs who, along with suburban women "soccer moms" which have caused this. The "soccer mom" suburban woman is neurotically obsessed with security and protection, to the point that they would gladly and willingly give up all freedoms to have a cop on every corner. ...As far as the other ones, the "Homer Simpsons", they don't care about anything, and will put up with anything, as long as they get their sports TV, beer, lottery, and cigarettes.

...The worst part of it is, that, we couldn't get people to get up off their lazy asses, to vote out the police state politicians, if our lives depended on it. (and it probably will)

What to do? Pack up and drop out of society. The people who read this magazine are 10 steps ahead on this issue. Moving to the freestate www.FreeStateProject.org, or adapting freestate principles in your county will certainly help...

David Wilson
Pinellas Park, Florida

I enjoyed your column on who's supposed to protect our rights (by John Silveira, Issue No. 102). You made your point. And it was a good one. The problem lies where the rubber meets the road.

It is all well and good to talk about rights. Very few people will actually do something about it. My choice was to join a militia, about 10 years ago. We had sayings like, "No more Wacos." And I believe we stopped one in Battle Creek, Michigan. After the mililtia made their presence known, the jackboots with their machine guns simply packed up and went home. The situation was diffused.

Unfortunately for me, I associated with some Walter Mitty types who made plans to go to war with the Feds. Their talk was purely fecal material, and the Feds knew it. But Janet Reno gave the order to bust the militias, and an unscrupulous prosecutor targeted our group. Since I had an extensive gun collection (yes, with many of those nasty military pattern weapons - semi-automatic assault weapons, just like the ones recommended by Mas Ayoob), I got sucked into it. The jury looked at three tables of legal weapons and were told that it was all part of the conspiracy. Although all of my weapons were legally configured - and the government gave me the proof of it - I wasn't allowed to present any evidence to prove I had committed no crime. Innocent until proven guilty? Ha! That is only a historical, rhetorical euphemism. It has no application in a federal courtroom.

Where was I when they passed the Patriot Act? In prison, where all good political prisoners should be. I stood my ground when I decided to refuse to turn over a nation to my child which had less freedom than when I came into it. It only cost me my life, my liberty, my family, my job, my home and my personal property.

Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia were at least honest enough to admit that they imprisoned people for dissenting thought. Here, we hang a criminal conviction, regardless of innocence, on a person and then everyone believes the government lie. They believe the imprisonment is justified.

Your assessment of, "...if it doesn't affect me, I don't care...", is right on point. We now have a society of people who believe, "better him than me". The slow usurpation of our rights occurs because very few people will do more than whine when government thugs, be it (congressional, judicial or executive) trample our RIGHTS.

You cited Thomas Jefferson's "tree of liberty" quotation. My blood lies at the base of that tree but the blood of tyrants does not appear to be on the docket for liberty's fertilization. That's O.K., when I'm standing before God on judgment day, I certainly can say that I did what I could.

The enclosed "A Malicious Prosecution" is my experience with a justice system gone awry. It is what you can expect when you refuse to lay down or keep quiet. Feel free to print this.

Bradford Metcalf
Federal Correctional Institution
Terre Haute, Indiana

Your essay, "A Malicious Prosecution," was too long for this Letters section, but I put it on our website (backwoodshome.com). Reading it gave me the chills; I paced the floor for an hour. I recommend everyone go to the website and read it. [Letter appears directly below] — Dave


A Malicious Prosecution
By Bradford Metcalf
Definitions:

Malicious Prosecution. One begun in malice without probable cause to believe the charges can be sustained...Black's Law Dictionary, 6th Ed.

Kangaroo Court. Term descriptive of a sham legal proceeding in which a person's rights are totally disregarded and in which the result is a foregone conclusion because of the bias of the court or other tribunal.

The following story is an example of federal prosecution. It is not an exception, but the rule, of what happens in federal courtrooms on a daily basis.

In a time of political unrest in our nation, I associated with what I thought was a group of like-minded individuals. It turned out that the only thing these people all had in common was a desire for a return of the Constitution of the United States. This group was what is called the militia by both the press and by legal definition.

I was a firearms hobbyist, having been a federally licensed firearms dealer for 6 years. I was a competitive shooter, reloader, amateur machinist and tinkerer.

I, like many other Americans, loved my country, however, didn't like what I saw was going on with the mis-administration of our government. I understood that those misadministrators not only were a threat to our liberties but to the whole civilization. This leadership had set America up as a target for any terrorist group. These leaders had made the whole world distrust and hate America.

Though I had been a Boy Scout for only a short time, I had learned a vitally important lesson—Be Prepared. Most of the other like-minded associates had felt that preparedness was a good idea, as well. For what? Natural and man-made disasters, economic collapse and, oh yes, the old concern of our forefathers—tyranny.

So what did these like-minded individuals do? A small group of them would show up at my place to roll around in the dirt and weeds, dig holes in the ground, shoot at the target range and tell tales. I had 37 acres to play in and a good time was had by all.

Ken Carter became the commander of my group, not due to his wonderful leadership skills, but because Carter had emphysema, a heart condition, and a bad back. He didn't work. He loved to talk on the phone and watch the news. Carter could be depended upon to call up members of the group to show up for training - a time consuming chore in itself.

Carter had an attitude about government infringement of American rights. Alot of people do - at least those that could see what has happened to those rights. No one in this group thought that having an opinion was criminal. Carter, myself and others were soon to find out otherwise.

In August, 1997, after three botched attempts, the BATF and FBI, assisted by the Michigan State Police, conducted a raid on my rural home. The State Police pulled me over for a "traffic stop". An ATF-SRT member "detained" me at gun point. Shortly, 70+ agents were swarming over my house. I had warning that the ATF would eventually be coming, so I carefully checked over everything I had and determined I had nothing illegal. That didn't seem to slow down the ATF, in the slightest.

My wife, and her children, were at home, during this time. My 17-year-old stepdaughter was "frisked" by a male ATF agent who, when done feeling her to his satisfaciton, pulled her waistband out and looked down into her shorts. One has to wonder what he was looking for—machine guns?

ATF "special agent" Mark Semear, told me they had found three machineguns. I told Semear that what they had found were LEGALLY purchased parts sets - that a completed right sideplate (of which I did not possess) is what constitutes a machinegun. Thirty minutes later, after calling their office, Semear led a group of agents into the house, with the battle cry, "we are going in for the sideplates!"

I asked twice for an attorney and was twice refused. ATF's response—"you haven't been arrested, only detained". After eight hours of rummaging through my personal belongings, ATF secured another warrant - this time for all legal-to-own items. I watched in disgust as ATF carried my gun collection of 28 LEGAL firearms out to their cars, along with my computer, software, videos, and armloads of my personal property.

Seven months later, March, 1998, I, Carter and another man, Randy Graham. were arrested. I speculate that this was precipitated by the fact that Agent Semear knew he was about to be sued, for the return of my legal firearms.

All three defendants were arraigned and given a preliminary exam. NO indictment had yet been delivered. No bond was set, due to the defendants being "too dangerous". One has to ask, "if they were so dangerous, why did ATF wait for 7 months to arrest them?" (On the stand, Agent Semear stated that they had to plan the arrest. But, 7 months??)

In the eight months that it took to go to trial, a number of interesting things happened. Seventeen pre-trial motions had been filed. None were answered promptly by the judge. After Graham and Carter had agreed to a plea, I was locked up in solitary confinement, unable to do any legal research, or make contact with family or legal counsel. It appears that Special Investigative Agent Weber, at Milan Federal Detention Center, had conspired with Assistant U.S. Attorney Lloyd K. Meyer, to isolate me and thereby break my will in order to force me to take a plea bargain. Meyer offered me a 3-year "bargain", but I refused, asserting my innocence. Meyer had political aspirations, and he expected three "easy marks" that would make him a hero in the legal and political arena.

I held out and the elections passed. Graham was told that he would have to lie about me in order to get his "bargain"—a guaranteed 5 year sentence. Graham refused to lie, and for this he was sentenced to 55 years in federal prison.

Carter, on the other hand, not only "got on the bus", but he also agreed to become an informant, "ratted" on everyone he had ever met, and would probably have, if given the chance, sell out his mother for a dime. His agreement was for a (new heart and two lungs) transplant, and back surgery. I found that Carter only received a bypass and one lung.

It came out at my trial, that Carter had been conspiring with an undercover ATF agent for months, to start a war with the federal government. Since Carter never testified, this was all hearsay evidence. At trial, Judge Richard Alan Enslen, the Chief Judge in the Western District of Michigan, chose to ignore that little fact. Before proceeding further, I should note that Judge Enslen had numerous forbidden, unethical one-sided (ex parte) communications with the investigating agents, at which time Judge Enslen was told that my group had planned on killing him and the other federal judges. Not only was this a lie, but I was never given an opportunity to rebut the accusation. This judge, obviously, was biased against me, before he ever laid eyes upon me.

Judge Enslen ignored everything that was inconvenient to getting a conviction. He ignored Graham's affidavit about the coercion, intimidation, and subornation of perjury by Assistant U.S. Attorney Meyer, in trying to obtain a plea bargain from him. He cancelled my evidentiary hearing pertaining to Graham. When I asked what type of conspiracy charge (1,2,3, or 4 element) I had to defend against, Judge Enslen replied, "ask your attorney." (I had appeared pro se).

Judge Enslen disallowed about 1% of Meyer's evidence against me. My objections to hearsay and/or irrelevance went unheeded. When it came time for me to admit my evidence, Judge Enslen disallowed everything except the previously played audio tapes (that had been cut and edited) of the government telephone tap. Judge Enslen also disallowed my expert witnesses.

My evidence consisted of letters, advertisements from commercial publications, government statements, and government publications. All of it was admissable evidence—if the judge had wanted it to be. All of it was intended to show my innocence, however, none of it was allowed by Judge Enslen.

Judge Enslen told the jury a nice little story about a visit to a prison which brought him face to face with one of his previous victims. This victim was his tour guide. She explained how the six-year sentence he gave her, had given her the opportunity to get her life together, beat her drug addiction and reconcile herself with her family. This was the equivalent of saying, "go ahead and convict Metcalf—a couple of years behind bars will, once again, make him a useful member of society." Judge Enslen didn't care that I was a family man, had been working full time at Kellogg's, in Battle Creek, for 10 years, prior to my arrest, or the fact that I had no prior criminal history.

I neglected to request a jury instruction, however, Judge Enslen should have included one, to inform the jury that if I had made a showing of withdrawal from the alleged conspiracy, I could be acquitted of that charge. I tried to produce evidence to support the "withdrawal defense". The problem was, no evidence had ever been presented by the prosecutor, to prove any conspiracy by me. Judge Enslen chose to ignore that fact, as well. When I asked for a Rule 29 Motion to Dismiss (for lack of evidence), he could have dismissed the whole case, at that time—and he should have.

Judge Enslen had been shown that the alleged silencer was actually a rifle barrel extension. He had been shown the statute that stated the "destructive device" was a legal signalling device. He had also been requested by me to force the prosecution to supply video footage of the alleged machineguns. In short, Judge Enslen knew I was NOT guilty of any of the charges placed against me.

Judge Enslen, without any federal law to support him, told the jury, "something to consider here is, were Metcalf's weapons where they were accessible to children, were they loaded, and were they on safety?" This statement was absolutely inappropriate.

When Judge Enslen was asked to give a jury instruction pertaining to the word "readily" (to readily convert into a machinegun) as used in the statutes that I supposedly had violated, Judge Enslen gave a dictionary definition without specifying a time frame. The use of the word "readily" can generally be considered to be about ONE MINUTE (see e.g. 18 U.S.C., 926A Interstate Transportations of Firearms, or 26 U.S.C., 5842 Identification of Firearms). It was obvious that I could not "readily" assemble a functional weapon from the parts sets.

Throughout trial, Judge Enslen continously attributed ALL of Carter's statements (from the telephone tapes), to me, even though I had never even heard most of those statements. When it became apparent to me that the only law that Judge Enslen paid any attention to was "case law" (previously decided cases), I cited two Supreme Court cases that should have caused a dismissal of everything but the conspiracy charge. However, once again, Judge Enslen decided to ignore me, and these court cases.

Judge Enslen had been asked to suppress my seized gun collection as evidence, due to the firearms being ALL legally owned and configured. However, the collection was paraded in front of the jury to prejudice them. The prosecutor alleged, "why else would he have all these guns except to wage war against the government?" The jury, as I predicted, bought it.

I had asked for an expert witness, however, was told that if I had had a lawyer, I could have had an expert appointed. Continuously, through trial, Judge Enslen "begged" me to take HIS (Enslen's) attorney.

After I examined one of my (out of two) witnesses, Prosecutor Lloyd K. Meyer started his cross examination and then called for a recess. Meyer then grabbed his friend, ATF agent Semear, and proceeded into the foyer to question and intimidate my witness. When I found out what had happened, I brought it to the attention of Judge Enslen. Judge Enslen had a "hearing" (without the jury in the courtroom), to see if any damage had been done. After listening to the witness state that he had, in fact, been intimidated, Judge Enslen declared that no harm had been done. In fact, Judge Enslen compared the sizes of the prosecutor and ATF agent, to the size of the "tampered" witness. Since the witness was much larger in physical size, Judge Enslen couldn't understand how he could have felt intimidated by two federal law enforcement agents. So much for the obvious witness tampering and intimidation.

After my closing statement, Judge Enslen told the jury to ignore my comments regarding the Second Amendment and other constitutional issues.

Judge Enslen, twice, instructed the jury, that in order to find me guilty of conspiracy, they must unanimously find me guilty of at least one of the four offenses charged. Judge Enslen then supplied the jury with a verdict form that allowed a general verdict - leaving me without any idea of what I was convicted of, or how to appeal it.

Throughout trial, Judge Enslen made it quite clear that he hadn't read any of my pre-trial motions. He ruled on my pre-trial motions (all 17 of them denied), with several motions challenging the sufficiency of the indictment—however, a month later, stating for the record, "I haven't even read the indictment, I don't know what you are charged with."

At sentencing, Judge Enslen "over-ruled" all of my objections to the Pre-Sentence Investigation Report (PSIR). Under the sentencing Statue [F.R.Cr.P. Rule 32(c)], the judge, for each matter in controversy, MUST make either a finding on the allegation, or the matter won't affect sentencing. Judge Enslen did neither. I objected to almost every issue in the PSIR, due to inaccuracies, irrelevance (most of the report was about conspirator Ken Carter), or unproven allegations at trial.

He sustained my argument about trust ownership of my house, but then ruled that I could sell my house in order to pay for transcripts to effect my appeal. Judge Enslen also made unsolicited psychiatric evaluations from his bench.

When I commented on Blackstone's commentaries on the common law, Judge Enslen stated he had always disagreed with Blackstone. It is well known, Blackstone is/was the accepted defacto authority on common law.

At my sentencing hearing, (May, 1999), I argued my "use of a firearm in the commission of a violent crime" (18 U.S.C. 924(c)), according to the Sentencing Guidelines, should NOT be the mandatory 30 years (for "machineguns"), as prosecutor Lloyd Meyer had requested, nor the mandatory 10 years (for a "semiautomatic assault weapon") as Judge Enslen eventually ruled—but a mandatory 5 years (for a "firearm"), because I was convicted of "use or carry" of a firearm. Judge Enslen told me that I should feel lucky. I had just saved 20 years of my life (sentencing me to 40 years, instead of 60 years), by successfully arguing that machineguns were not used in the "violent crime" (according to Judge Enslen, having a political opinion is a violent crime). NOW I will be released when I am 87 years old, instead of being 107 years old. In other words, Judge Enslen had sentenced me to 40 years without parole for having LEGAL firearms—a virtual sentence of life in prison!!

When I asked the court for my right to have a copy of the trial transcripts, I was refused. I didn't find out why until after the appeal was filed. Normally a prisoner is considered indigent unless proven otherwise. However, not in this case.

I appealed.

During the several extensions of time requested by prosecutor Lloyd K. Meyer (and granted), to respond to my appeal, Meyer wrote a letter to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, stating that I had been found guilty of "conspiring to murder the governor of Michigan, a federal senator, and Western District of Michigan federal judges, as well as to blow up the Federal Building in Battle Creek." Not only were these allegations NOT proven at trial—but they were never alleged!!!

It didn't take much for the appeals court to shoot my appeal down. The trouble is, not only did NO judge see this appeal, but a law clerk obviously wrote the opinion based solely on the brief of the prosecutor, and the "extension" letter, since both had been repeated verbatim on the opinion. Since Meyer didn't address any of my issues head-on, NONE of my issues were addressed in the opinion, as well. NO relief was given to me, at all.

Quite obviously, NO Artcle III judge had ever seen my paperwork, so I sent a complete briefing package to one of the alleged judges on the appeal. The Honorable Martha Daughtrey in Nashville, Tennessee, had no comment, whatsoever.

I then petitioned the Supreme Court to hear my case. I was shot down on December 11, 2000—coincidently, at the exact time the election case of Bush v. Gore was being heard. I wondered how a Supreme Court could be paying attention to my case (decide it's worthiness to be heard by them), when the Justices were tied up with chosing a president and making history. The answer was simple—The law clerks, again, had denied me.

I petitioned for a rehearing. Again, I was denied—by the law clerks, since the Justices were on "holiday recess" from the decision of Bush v. Gore. Since Justices Thomas and Scalia have practically begged for a pure Second Amendment case for years, their comments must have been either pure rhetoric or they didn't have an opportunity to see the petition. Either way, justice still had not been served.

At some point after trial, I was looking through the Grand Jury transcripts. I noticed that FBI agent Robert Jones had commented to a grand juror about "briefing" Judge Enslen several times. These briefings were about my group and how we had "targeted" the judge. This is ex parte communication. It is wholly unethical and forbidden. It was also a lie. Normally, it will get a new trial or possibly a dismissal of the indictment. However, not in this case. It was a complete deprivation of my right to meet my accuser.

My family scraped together enough money to have an attorney prepare a habeas corpus petition under 28 USC, 2255.

I submitted a motion for the judge to recuse himself from this case, considering the extrajudicial source of apparent bias from the exparte communication. When confronted with the actual evidence, Judge Enslen "danced around it" by saying he could talk to marshals anytime. True to form, he slam-dunked my 2255 motion, and the Motion to Recuse, as well as denied me a Certificate of Appealability. The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals denied me of my "right" to a certificate of appealability. It was my "right", due to my having met the requirements specified by law.

I petitioned the Supreme Court, clearly demonstrating the miscarriage of justice and Kangaroo Court adjudications. Since petitions for certiorary are "discretionary", I was, again, denied my day in court.

I later filed a pair of motions with the original district court. One of those motions was another motion requesting Judge Enslen to recuse himself (for the fourth time). The other motion showed fraud by the prosecutor—68 (known) ethics violations. Judge Enslen denied the recusal motion and transfered the fraud motion to the appeals court for me to request a certificate of appealability. Both the judge and I knew that the motion did not qualify as a habeas corpus petition (therefore, also not qualifying for a certificate of appealability). I appealed Judge Enslen's decision.

I filed my notice of appeal as a matter of right, asking for a docket number and briefing schedule. I received neither. After numerous letters and phone calls, I finally, out of frustration, simply filed an appeal brief. The brief was promptly returned to me, with no explanation.

I filed a petition for a writ of mandamus with the U.S. Supreme Court. This is an "extraordinary writ", meaning that it is rarely issued, except when all other avenues of relief have been exhausted. The mandamus is an order from a higher court to force (usually) a lower court to do it's job. I qualified. The Supreme Court simply refused to grant me my day in court (for the fourth time). I have been before the courts 14 times, (District, Appellate, Supreme Courts), with NO adjudication on my issues.

I filed a moton for the return of my property, (approximately $50,000 worth of legal firearms), in January, 2005. Judge Enslen denied the return of those firearms in July/August, 2005, after having stated in an earlier order, that I could designate someone to receive them. This latest action represents the final deprivation of all my material possessions, by the federal government. I am currently in appeal of those denials.

In January, 2005, I filed a Petition for Clemency, (pardon request), with President Bush, via the Pardon Attorney, at the U.S. Department of Justice. I was informed that most clemency request investigations take 18-24 months. I would appreciate any reasonable letter written to the President, requesting a pardon on my behalf. Making mention of this gross miscarriage of justice, would be helpful.

Re: Bradford Metcalf, #09198-040, Pardon Petition
c/o Mr. Roger C. Adams, Pardon Attorney
U.S. Department of Justice
500 First Street, NW, 4th Floor
Washington, D.C. 20530

As of this writing, (October, 2006), I have now spent well over 8 years in a federal prison for a LEGAL gun collection and exercising my "right" to free speech, religion, association and petitioning the government for a redress of grievances. Since the beginning of this nightmare, I have lost my job, my home and property, and most of my personal possessions. I also went through a divorce, and lost custody, as well as contact, with my daughter.

Although this has been a "cornucopia of government misconduct", these are the tactics which are used on a daily basis to ensure convictions in many, if not most, federal courtrooms. Where does it end?

Bradford Metcalf
#09198-040
Federal Correctional Institution
Terre Haute, Indiana



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