Imprisoned Over a Hat

Two of my friends were arrested yesterday. One was arrested for refusing to comply with a rule to remove his hat. The other was arrested for asking questions about the rule. They both failed The Slave Test.

I’m already anticipating the apoligists for the tyrants, those who will defend the violent enforcement of this arguably trivial matter. It’s silly, right? I ask, which is sillier? Refusing to obey a rule about trivial items of clothing on your own body or putting someone in a cell for said trivial item of personal clothing? When the judge asked for Jesse’s specific religious reason, he said he refused on moral grounds and that morality and religion are one and the same to him.

Let’s examine that. The point of these rules such as “Stand as the judge enters and leaves the room” and “Hats will be off inside the courtroom” is to establish the courtroom as a kind of hallowed ground in our minds. But Jesse is an atheist, both with respect to God and to the State. If you respect freedom of religion, does that not also include freedom from religion? Is a person free to refuse to pray in school? Is a person free to refuse to say the pledge of allegiance? Is a person free to refuse to acknowledge their courtroom as hallowed ground? Is he free to express that lack of faith publicly? This is the very courtroom that his peace-loving friend was dragged into in chains. Jesse was given the option to leave at that moment, but his friend being arraigned wasn’t, and a few hours later Jesse too was dragged into that very same courtroom in chains with no option to simply leave and wear whatever clothing he likes on his own body.

But then it’s not his body, is it? When you’re told what you can wear, you don’t own your body. A peaceful person who has harmed no one being dragged around in chains doesn’t own his body. This truly was a rather silly thing up until violence was initiated over it. The violence involved shows just how serious the matter is and I would venture to presume that’s exactly the point Jesse was trying to make.

The authority of the court is an illusion built on a fragile foundation of contrived symbols, a house of cards. Jesse’s meager actions were enough to threaten the integrity of that house of cards. Charlie merely asking pointed questions that they had no decent answers for was enough to threaten it. And when the illusion fails to ensure obedience, our masters fall back on the only other thing they have, the perpetual threat of violent punishment. The only real rule is the one crucial to maintaining their illusion of authority. If you are given an order by your masters, particularly in the plain view of the other slaves, you absolutely must obey, or they will send a message with your example.

Discussion (19)¬

  1. That’ll show you to wear a hat, this is bare head country boy!

    But seriously another great post. Getting arested for wearing a hat, welcome to the free world indeed. :/

  2. Giggan says:

    “Jesse is an atheist, both with respect to God and to the State.”

    Haha, great line. Perhaps there should be a word that implies one is an atheist to state religion, outside of ‘anarchist’. It could also be applied to any corporate label, that one does not see the collective as an entity of its own, but rather sees the individuals who compose it.

  3. gu3st says:

    There’s one issue here that has been on my mind lately. It’s about public property. Of course, since in reality no such thing can exist, something being called public property just means that the ownership of the property in question is completely unclear. Everybody owns it at the same time or nobody owns it. Everybody is responsible for it and rules it at the same time or nobody is.

    Of course, in practice it really comes down to the ruler of the organization called the government is the one that owns it. And they acquired it mostly by theft, one that is sanctioned by too many individual’s delusional belief in “public” property.

    Still, since it can hardly ever be determined from whom exactly individually has which part of public property been stolen from, in this chaotic mess of statism, the public property de facto acts as government property in which case we may be forced to apply our own voluntaryist reasoning and beliefs in acting within it, thus obeying their rules when passing on or using their property.

    The implications of this might go as far as to say that the judge had every right to say what someone should or shouldn’t wear in “his courtroom” if this is consistent with the contract he has with the owner of that property and law, which can be treated as the contract between the owner of this property and its users.

    Aside from public property being acquired by means of theft, the only REAL issue is that which concerns our private property, even somewhat recognized as such by the governments. They may have some weak right to police public property, but they NEVER have the right to impose ANY sort of a rule on our private properties. THAT’s where the real battle for freedom is - recognition for YOUR property and your absolute ruler-ship over it.

    What do you think?

  4. Either it’s unowned property, or it’s owned by all people (”public” property).

    If for the latter, then the black-robed-man has an equal (but not greater) say in the use of the property as any other resident of the locality or state.

    If the former, those who mix their labor with the property - those who use it - are the owners and still the person who sits in the courtroom has the same say as the black-robed-man over how the property may be used.

  5. Can’t even follow their own rules:—

    [Art.] 4. [Rights of Conscience Unalienable.] Among the natural rights, some are, in their very nature unalienable, because no equivalent can be given or received for them. Of this kind are the Rights of Conscience.

    [Art.] 5. [Religious Freedom Recognized.] Every individual has a natural and unalienable right to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience, and reason; and no subject shall be hurt, molested, or restrained, in his peers on, liberty, or estate, for worshipping God in the manner and season most agreeable to the dictates of his own conscience; or for his religious profession, sentiments, or persuasion; provided he doth not disturb the public peace or disturb others in their religious worship.

  6. gu3st says:

    My point is it can’t be owned by all people. That’s like saying two persons can occupy the same point in space and time, which is impossible. Ownership is absolute and *exclusive* control over a thing being owned. No two persons can have that over any particular piece of property. So in reality there is no such thing as a collective, common, joint or “public” ownership.

    When a scenario occurs when it seems like two or more people “share ownership” it’s not really sharing ownership. It’s just a bunch of implicit or explicit contracts. The starting point is a single individual owning it and the agreeing to let others use it at certain times and perhaps under certain conditions.

    It’s true that a case with what is referred to by so called “public property” is rather peculiar, because it was stolen or bought/built by stolen funds. It is clear though that the ones who stole it are the government people. It is not clear from whom individually was anything stolen from and which of it may have even been earned fairly. So it seems prudent not to assert your so called rights too far on property ownership of which isn’t so clear cut. Public property is chaos. People like to call “anarchy” as “chaos and disorder”, but in truth “public property” is EXACTLY that anarchy they’re referring to - a free reign for criminals, a persistently disputed realm, the battle ground between foreground mafia (government) and underground mafias.

    But liberty IS property, and vice versa. The best way one can make a stand is to defend his own property, which clear is his own, instead of provoking issues where such clarity doesn’t exist and is more likely to provoke misunderstanding, confusion etc. anything but the recognition of true personal liberty and ways in which it is violated.

  7. gu3st says:

    Ok, I’ve discussed this a bit and I can concede that CD on so called “public property” is justified, only because it is actually unowned. The use of a particular thing or piece of land you’re standing on implies your momentary ownership over it IF nobody else claimed that as their property already.

    If you then stop using it and leave *without making a claim on it as your own* it becomes unowned again.

    Since the state enforces non-ownership it prevents people from making a claim thus perpetuating “public property” as in reality “unowned” and ready to homestead.

    They act as if they own it though just as they act as if they own you, your house and your everything, but acting like you own something while at the same time claiming it’s not owned (or is, impossibly, owned by everyone at the same time) doesn’t make you an owner, obviously.

    I still think CD on your own private property is most effective, but to each their own. I also still maintain “public property”, due to its oxymoronic implications only results in chaos. Enforced non-ownership really does seem like a perfect example of what people erroneously mean when they say “anarchy” (chaos, disorder), yet they apply this definition to us who in fact seek greater order than they ever knew.

  8. Kyle M says:

    Such bullshite! OK at least the court has a precedent for compelling you to action, not that I necessarily agree with giving a court unlimited power to charge individuals with contempt which they think they have today. Wasn’t the power of a contempt charge meant to enforce court judgment and the finding of facts and testimony? I don’t think it ever was meant to be applied in such cases as the command to rise and all of that nonsense. Since it is so well tested and proven we should make this a new maxim of law: Those with power will abuse and expand it.

    Now cops think they have the same power of contempt? Cops think they are judge, jury and executioner of all laws. Why not give them the power to legislate as well and then they can make up laws right on the spot to personalize your situation. Not wearing the right color lipstick? Now there is a law for that!

    Now law enforcement officers (which we should start calling military police) have the right to detain you for so many hours without a charge. Not sure how it is in your state but every state does it now. So he can arrest you for anything and hold you without charging you? There is a word for this act, kidnapping. Your friend was kidnapped!

  9. ggeofalon007 says:

    hey “gu3st” your views on public property are not consistant with the history of property ownership that has evolved on this continent since the 1600’s.

    Just try squatting on the courthouse steps to make your case for a homestead since you believe it is not owned by anyone. BTW where is the evidence that the funds to construct the public buildings has been stolen?

    Your emotional talk for not wanting to be under anyones thumb sounds really really appealing in theory but just exactly did the founders mean when they said government at the consent of the governed? You conset by being within the fictional geographical bounds of the government. (When in Rome do what the Romans do)

    If you do not want to be governed go somewhere that have no government If you do not like authority then lead, follow or get out of the way when it comes to living in the geographical bounds of a municipal corporation. In other words , a confrontation over a hat adds up to nothing in terms of trying to throw off the yoke of oppression and creating a government or a situation that respects liberty .

  10. Dale says:

    This story has been reported in the Nashua Telegraph. I encourage readers to leave their own comments.

  11. gu3st says:


    > Just try squatting on the courthouse steps to make your case for a homestead since you believe it is not owned by anyone.

    Government believes it is owned by everyone. Neither is possible. I don’t consider it to be an efficient act of civil disobedience to squat on courthouse steps, but if someone were to do it, even according to the claim of the government people themselves he actually would have the right to it. If you own something then you can do whatever you want with it, right?

    “Public property” is an oxymoron. Whereas “property” implies absolute and exclusive ownership, “public” implies a total opposite, non-exclusive and non-absolute. So which is it? In reality, neither. Hence why it ends up being unowned. Government can’t be considered an owner because they themselves disclaim their ownership by saying it’s owned by everyone, yet ownership by everyone is impossible. So “public property” ends up being nothing more than a fallacy used to excuse government’s theft. “We tax for the good of all”.

    > BTW where is the evidence that the funds to construct the public buildings has been stolen?

    Most of it is funded by taxes and taxes are extracted with a threat of force, which is by definition theft.

    > You conset by being within the fictional geographical bounds of the government.

    I didn’t choose being born within someone’s “fictional geographical bounds”. Once I could choose I make use of that which is my property. Someone independently of me deciding to imagine in his head fictional borders that circle around my house don’t suddenly mean I consented to his rule, just because I found myself there. By believing that you put yourself in direct contradiction of property right and with it the liberty of an individual. If just being somewhere makes you subservient to someone with vivid imagination, then wherever you go on Earth you are subservient.

  12. [...] more on this incident check out the run-down in The Telegraph, Nashua’s paper, and the recap over at Anarchy In Your Head. And be on the lookout for a Podcrash with Jesse in the next day or [...]

  13. Mike Vine says:

    I’m sorry to hear about your friends. They weren’t silly, they were brave.

    Sheeple are silly, they’re half-sheep!

  14. Bob Robertson says:

    One point I don’t see made: They weren’t in the courtroom.

    The sign said, no hats in the courtroom. The guy in the hat turned to one of the guards and asked “Why no hats in the courtroom?”

    That’s when he was arrested.

    Just trying to keep things in perspective.

  15. Dale says:

    Jesse entered the courtroom. Charlie did not. In fact, Charlie asked them where he should stand so he could ask some questions and he stood where they asked. He never entered the courtroom, at least not until after they arrested him and dragged him into it in chains a few hours later.

  16. Truck says:

    you should all wear hats to court! make some up with FSP logos or something!

  17. Truck says:

    nuke the courthouse! ;-)

  18. pat says:

    Guardianship against oppression by implied consent is the essence of good government where neither corporate, nor government is permitted to impose oppression - whether based upon contract, or law, (or Executive Order), or military and police coercion (a.k.a., force).

    The Constitutional standards placed within the Constitution and Bill of Rights cannot be deemed archaic and dead or there will be no justification for people to defend what has been rightfully fought for during the Revolution - a permanent end to the yoke of oppression by which men make slaves of other men, for their own convenience, under their own tutelage of justification, and the propaganda that accompanies it.