Skip to comments.Baby Snatching: It's Hilarious When We Just Don't Like Their Kind (Oathkeepers individual)
Posted on 10/09/2010 4:18:34 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
A fascinating culture-war blog entry plus comments at Wonkette, well worth reading for people confused as hell as why Sarah Palin is able to succeed selling a sense of "they hate us but really we are more than OK" to lots of Americans.
The setup: a couple in New Hampshire had their baby stolen from them by government agents--which I think most normal humans recognize as one of the most wrenching, horrific, violative of one's integrity and liberty things that a state, or anyone, could possibly do--whatever the reason for it might be.
The affidavit about the snatch lists ongoing charges of child neglect against the mother regarding her other two children, and charges against the father involving weapons possession without a license, as among the reasons for the kidnapping.
affidavit also** [see update below]--and this is why it has become a populist right cause celebre on the Internet--the father, Jonathan Irish, has "associated with a militia known as the, 'Oath Keepers,' and had purchased several different types of weapons including a rifle, handgun, and taser."
Wonkette finds it absolutely hilarious that anyone might be alarmed that political associations (with a group whose greatest sin is a refusal on the part of its members who are agents of the U.S. government to enforce unconstitutional orders) and weapons possession might be among the reasons listed for the state taking custody of a child from its parents.
The author and commenters goes on with some incredibly mean-spirited class-based mockery that is actually kind of extraordinary--especially in the monolithic ability of people to laugh at baby snatching as long as it occurs to those kind of people. We don't like those kind of people. There is even an incredibly un-self-aware, head-up-the-ass comment asking the angry right-wing populists to do a racial inversion on the situation (the parents are white)--not wondering for a minute how funny Wonkette Assembled would find all the assumed language, class, and diet mockery in the thread in the case of such an inversion.
See some very pro-parent accounts of the situation from Alex Jones' Prison Planet site (including the first page of the affidavit) and from the Daily Tea Party site, including a YouTube interview with Mr. Irish.
UPDATE: The most recent version of the Prison Planet account notes that the point mentioning Mr. Irish's membership in Oath Keepers is from a
"different separate document" than the apparent order regarding why New Hampshire's Division for Children, Youth, and Families took the child, which means the way the story was being framed by everyone from Prison Planet to Wonkette to me in the original post is almost certainly wrong--that is, his alleged membership in Oath Keepers seems as if it does not have anything to do with the actual legal excuses for the child snatching. That does not affect the strange reactions of the Wonkette folk, who believed that was the case as much as the angry right-wing populists across the Internet believed it was the case. (And as I believed was the case, given the way the document had been presented on those two sites earlier today, and is still presented on the Daily Tea Party site.)
UPDATE PART II: While it is unclear whether Stewart Rhodes, founder of Oath Keepers, was also misled, as Wonkette and I were, by the way prominent right-populist web sites presented the supposed documents, he is insisting on his web site that he has:
confirmed that the affidavit in support of the order to take the child from her parents states ,along with a long list of other assertions against both parents, that The Division became aware and confirmed that Mr. Irish associated with a militia known as the Oath Keepers. Yes, there are other, very serious allegations. Out of respect for the privacy of the parents, we will not publish the affidavit. We will leave that to Mr. Irish. But please do remember that allegations do not equal facts -- they are merely allegations (and in my experience as a criminal defense lawyer in small town Montana I saw many allegations that proved to be false).
UPDATE III: The Concord Monitor reports on protests outside the hospital where the baby-taking occurred, with these details, sounding as if the reporter saw the whole affidavit, with more details on the accusations against the parents. (Whether anyone thinks an act of violence as severe as taking a newborn from parents is justified by these sorts of procedures is the big question):
By mid afternoon, about 20 people who had never met the couple gathered at Concord Hospital to protest what they termed the state's unconstitutional interference in a family matter. None claimed to know anything about government's allegations that Irish had beaten his fiancee or her young children, but they said they were outraged that the affidavit supporting the taking of his newborn mentioned Irish's association with a group called the Oath Keepers....
But according to an affidavit provided to Irish by the state Division for Children, Youth and Families, state officials took the child because of Irish's long record of violence and abuse. According to the affidavit, a judge determined that Irish abused Taylor's two other children. She is still married to the father of those children, though Taylor said yesterday that her husband has refused to accept her divorce petition for the past two years.
The affidavit also says that the police in Rochester report a "lengthy history of domestic violence" between Taylor and Irish, and that she accused him of choking and hitting her on more than one occasion. According to the document, Irish failed to complete a domestic violence course as ordered by the state, and that a hearing was held last month to terminate Taylor's parental rights over her two older children.
Taylor "has failed to recognize the impact of domestic violence in her life and the potential danger it poses to a newborn baby," the affidavit reads. "Mr. Irish has not acknowledged any responsibility to date and remains a significant safety risk to an infant in his care. . . . Without the intervention of the court, the infant will be at risk of harm."
Irish, 24, said in an interview yesterday that he had never abused his fiancee or her other children. He said he was unemployed and collected disability because he is blind in his left eye from a childhood accident. He said that Taylor suffers from "stress-induced seizure disorder" and that complications during her pregnancy required him to tend to her almost constantly. He said he has no lawyer, though a hearing in the matter has been scheduled for next week.
The affidavit also states that Irish is "associated with a militia known as the Oath Keepers and had purchased several different types of weapons including a rifle, handgun and Taser."
And the FBI brought bomb-sniffing dogs to the protest, reports local TV station WMUR.
Well, the verity of the whole snatch story aside, what pisses me off is that they are doing a bang up job with this “a militia known as the Oath Keepers” crap. Oath Keepers is in no way, shape or form a militia. “Militia” is another straw man buzzword to describe any sort of “organization” that disagrees with socialism and the destruction of the US Constitution.
I have to say that anyone who writes this way makes it very difficult for the reader. I found it very difficult to follow.
Is the entire affadavit on the internet somewhere? I’ve seen only the front page and it didn’t make much sense - it’s titled Change of Venue with no date. Why would an order to take a baby from the parents refer to a Change of Venue? There’s absolutely no reference in the doc to the father purchasing guns without a license!
I’d like to know and the author isn’t saying - where the additional information (abuse of the mother and her two kids, divorce etc.,) came from. We’ve all been waiting for further developments but this hasn’t cleared up anything in my opinion.
I have seen a couple of threads about this. Something is wrong about all of this.
You need a license to buy a gun in NH ?
Awhong with and what is supposed to be wrong with Oath Keepers. Whatever else is wrong, OK can not be the cause.
The oathkeepers are NOT a militia, or any kind of subversive or anarchist group. We do not advocate any violence or physical revolutionary actions. We will not start anything or act in any unlawful manner. You will need to look elswhere if that is what you want.
We follow the axiom reach, teach, and inspire. Our goal is to make sure ALL people who have taken an oath (active military, military veterans, law enforcement active and retired, and firefighters / EMTs) WILL NOT FOLLOW unlawful orders that subvert our Constitutional rights. The basic precept is simply that ones oath to defend the constitution (from enemies both foreign and domestic) does not expire upon retirement, separation, or discharge.....period. Our method of defending the Constitution is by way of education and inspiration.
Understand we are ALL as citizens required to follow the law, but oathkeepers promise to not obey and urge others to not obey any ILLEGAL orders handed down that do not comply with our rights as defined by our Constitution and legally passed laws. Please, be informed, visit the website and understand what we are about.
Now, if the government engages in some illegal and unconstitutional move against the national citizenry, then I am of the mind that most of the members would end up doing the right thing on their OWN joining like minded patriots, but not as part of this organization.
The majority of the Oathkeepers membership are clear minded law abiding citizens who have put their lives on the line at some point in their lives to physically defend the Constitution from foreign enemies, and whose purpose now is to spread the word, not violence, to defend same from domestic enemies.
Do not believe for one second that just because some of us are combat veterans, gun owners, conservatives or defenders of the constitution that we are all domestic terrorists as our government believes, ready to go to war against our government......NOTHING could be further from the truth.
The issue is primarily a serial child-endangered and domestic-violence case in which an unemployed, one-eyed gun nut who repeatedly beats and chokes his wife who loves him. The family has been under the state’s watch for some time. The state already filed to end the mother’s parental rights to the two older children. The father didn’t complete a court-ordered domestic-violence course.
In short, the parents are violent dirtbags and the Oath Keepers should stay away from the parents or soil their reputation.
Also, the state should seize his guns and rescind any probation. This a crisis that must be solved.
Have all the allegations you listed been proven true, in a court of law, or are you taking the word of the bureaucrats in New Hampshire? My experience with Iowa’s DHS is that it is a nest of men-hating lesbians and other PC leftists. But I’m sure that New Hampshire is nothing like that...
I have enjoyed your posts for a long time and learned a lot from you. Nice to meet you.
From the Concord Monitor (slanted leftist media!), the affidavit served on John Irish said a JUDGE determined that Irish abused Taylor’s two other children and her. A HEARING to end her parental rights to the two older children has been held and the decision in pending. A JUDGE ordered Irish to meet all conditions after his domestic-violence incident(s). He didn’t. Her divorce has been delayed because he won’t sign the papers. I haven’t had this much legal trouble (no arrests) in 60 years than this kid has had in his 22 years.
I know that family-court is its own hell but look at the evidence, numerous hearings, judge-ordered findings, and ask is he a martyr or a dirtbag?
You may be right, but upon what evidence do you make your determination?
It appears to me there is more to the incident than what has been in the press. That does not mean that the accusations of child endangerment are valid. You cannot always judge a person by his appearances.
As presented this does not pass the smell test, so how can you come to your conclusions and suggested action by the state? Unless you have seen the evidence.
I’ve never seen the inside of a jail in 50 years. I hadn’t seen or maybe skipped over the judge thing, so I apologize.
Right, you can’t always judge a person but, in my experience, I can judge a judge, watch a judge judges all parties involve, observe legal and medical professional people and follow objective standards.
Judges and juries have a tough job sifting the evidence, the alibis, liars, lawyers confusing the record, expert witnesses, reluctant witnesses, etc.
Then they render verdicts, using their long-life BS meter, conduct in court, the probability of truth, and because there is fire, there’s smoke.
Judges see cases like this all the time, repeat offenders. Judges also see smokescreens like de jure and common-law juries all the time too.
This dirtbag is not my conservative brethren.
This is BS.
LOL. Me neither. I already said I’ve never been arrested. I did work around the judicial system for a long time.
Do you know the Judge in question?
No, and too many people have spent too much time about this man, including me.
You’re instincts may be correct. I found this sensible sounding analysis after our exchange. A lot has happened in a day to uncover some of the facts.
“To those running with the Oath Keeper story, it’s NOT what they want you to believe.:”
Looks like he has a prior record and it is possible the inclusion of the “Oath Keeper” reference is a forgery of the documents.
If so there is another perp.
Tell that to Joshua Douglass who hasn’t seen his children in 3 years! He was just cleared of all wrong doing. His eldest daughter was molested in foster care while he was denied ANY contact with them. Here is his story.
I am not saying that Irish is innocent. I am just saying that you can’t make that determination because he was accused and had his child removed.
Not sure how it works in NH, but what I know of these hearings is that they are commonly rubber-stamp affairs which accept the allegations of the CPS as gospel and require the (for want of a better term) defendant to prove their innocence.
The burden of proof is on the accused, and proving you didn't do something is not only darned difficult as a practical matter, but the presumption of guilt is unconstitutional.
Often these proceedings are initiated on the word of the estranged spouse (often the opening gambit in a custody battle), and any investigation assumes the worst. Keep in mind "abuse" need not involve physical contact, "neglect" might only involve going to the bathroom while a child is playing. It depends on how the vague criteria are applied, but even innocuous events which virtually any parent could be 'guilty' of can be parsed to seem heinous.
So an active child who gets a bruise, bumps their head, or scrapes their knee can readily be portrayed as a victim of abuse or neglect, and seeking medical services for a more serious injury received at play can open the door to allegations as well, even though there was no neglect or abuse involved.
The rules are written such that unless the person is aware of all the criteria there is virtually no way to avoid being accused once you are under scrutiny. That is no accident.
Often parents who are careful with and not abusive to their children respond with a 'deer in the headlights' reaction to being portrayed as monsters, and often, they are shunned by the community as if they were guilty of heinous acts despite their innocence.
The whole 'anger management', parenting classes bit not only increases the budget of the local CPS office and the relative status of the employees there, it also increases the amount of control which can be exercised by LSWs who commonly have never had children of their own and are going only on theory they learned in college.
I'm not saying there are no nasty bastards out there who abuse their children, there are, but the really nasty ones are also far more intimidating to the average social worker than law abiding parents who have no idea how to game the system or what they are up against.
That friends support these people indicates to me that this is likely the result of overzealous action on the part of CPS, possibly fueled by a coming custody dispute.
I may be wrong, granted, but unless you or someone you know has dealt with such things, you have no clue how the system can work against even the best of parents, and how it can be manipulated by the unscrupulous for their own ends.
Note that there is no need to mention Oath Keepers if the CPS has a valid case. The case would stand on its own merits, regardless of the political affiliations of the defendents. Dogpiling 'reasons' does not constitute evidence, and in this case, the bias against an organization and its misrepresentation as a "Militia" in the allegations (as if being part of a Militia would make someone abusive toward their children--a clear leftist bias) indicates a statist bias against the parents, not as abusers, but for political reasons.
That said, the time to really lawyer up and fight the allegations was when the first allegations were made, and not having done so will be used against these people as best the CPS can do so. Not jumping through the hoops (complying with the order to take the 'class') will not help, either, and will be used to portray these people as scofflaws, regardless of the reason(s) the class was not taken.
Anyone who ends up in this situation who is not guilty had best better get a good lawyer, quick, and indicate they will fight as long and hard as it takes to clear their name.
I'll leave you with this thought: Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." CS Lewis
Fantastic post. Please see my post 18. Sad story there and the family is still not reunited.
I can think of no Hell on Earth quite like being branded as something you loathe unjustly, punished as if you are guilty without the level of due process a common criminal would warrant, trying to sleep at night tortured by the absence of your children and the constant uncertainty as to their welfare--and that is only the parent's perspective, the children are traumatized as well.
We have empowered no other part of our government to be as invasive or authoritarian with little or no evidence and thus have opened a Pandora's box of capricious action based on hearsay, supposition, and arbitrary standards often imposed by people who have only a theoretical knowledge of child-rearing.
Unfortunately, rather than confine this leviathan within the constraints of the Constitution, we have used the exceptions granted (for the children, of course) as a model of how to circumvent the protections for the accused in our system of jurisprudence, something which is clearly the action of those who view those Constitutional protections as an obstacle rather than sane constraint.
When (if) the time comes that totalitarianism rears its ugly head on these shores, I hope the survivors of the strife which ensues remember, I hope they carve in stone, that the door was opened to that Evil not by the external force of an overwhelming army but from within by those who claimed to do so for the children.
There will always be those even in conservative circles, who think this kind of constitutional abomination is acceptable because we must protect the innocent children.
They will be singing a different tune when they are the accused and their parental rights are trampled all over because some nasty neighbor doesn’t like the way they are raising their children or just doesn’t like them period.
Yes I believe that truly abused children need to be protected. However, the foster care system is so overrun with children that don’t need to be there that CPS has to place children in questionable homes. What ends up happening then? The children that were never abused at home end up abused in the system. Children are many more time likely to be abused in the system than they are at home.
If you have a case of abuse, arrest the abuser, try them in a court of law and THEN take their children. This preemptive kidnapping of children is an outrage and ANYONE that thinks this is okay or even a necessary evil is not a conservative, IMHO.
This preemptive kidnapping of children is an outrage and ANYONE that thinks this is okay or even a necessary evil is not a conservative, IMHO.
While it is often tempting to cut corners for extraordinary situations, we must recall that many of those who espouse such hold our system of government in contempt.
They have long espoused one thing: control.
We have no culture if our children are homogenized by the state. If the parental influence on our children is minimized or eliminated, all we have then is a breeding farm for worker drones to be programmed as those who control the State see fit.
Every totalitarian society has sought to control the children first.
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