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(Washington Post)   "Sir, are you the owner of this house that you are now occupying?" "No, officer. But I'm a Moorish American, so it's OK"   (washingtonpost.com) divider line 22
    More: Strange, Moorish American, police officers, religious studies  
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8476 clicks; posted to Main » on 19 Mar 2013 at 8:16 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-03-19 10:43:47 AM  
6 votes:

phyrkrakr: So is this like a splinter group of the Sovereign Citizen thing? Because if I remember my last toe-dipping into that pool, the Sovereign Citizen thing seems to be based over the creation/reorganization of the District of Columbia (long story, but roughly 1871) while this seems to be based on the Treaty of Tripoli (Barbary pirates, 1797).

It seems that the common thread between all of these is that the fringe dudes pick apart some linguistic foible of a law and claim that it has a meaning that is completely divorced from context, reality, grammar, and legal precedent, then use it to justify doing whatever the hell they want - or sell books/give speeches telling other idiots that they can do whatever they want.


Yup.  As I understand it, the "legal" basis of these Moorish Sovereign Citizens is a torturously stretched/misread part of the Treaty of Tripoli.

The Treaty of Tripoli is mostly known now for its declaration that the US is not and never was a Christian state, and the fact that the US Senate unanimously ratified that.  However, the treaty basically said Moorish citizens, being defined as people of of Moorish descent, living in the US had certain legal privledges, IIRC.

Of course, they twist "Moorish" to mean any black ancestry.  Then they presume the treaty is still in force, and they construe those privleges so broadly that it is ludicrous.

Several big problems with this argument, legally:

1. The Barbary States broke and withdrew from the treaty several years later by attacking US Navy ships in the Mediterranean sea.  It's historically noteworthy that the US Senate unanimously declared in the 1790's that the US was a purely secular state and explicitly not a Christian entity, but in terms of international relations the treaty is ancient history and completely void.

2. Even if it was somehow in force, which it isn't, the Barbary States were a part of the Ottoman Empire.  The Ottoman Empire fell after World War I, it no longer exists.  The successor state for purposes of international law is Turkey.  If you are claiming to be a citizen of Turkey, present your Turkish passport.  If you believe you're entitled to one and don't have it, go right on down to the Turkish Embassy in D.C. and see what they say to you when you brandish the Treaty of Tripoli.  I'd kind of like to see that.

3. Even if the treaty were still somehow in force, the 14th Amendment superceded it decades later by declaring that all persons born in the US are citizens (excluding native Americans and children of recognized and accredited diplomats, and the native Americans got citizenship later through separate legislation).

So no, just because your ancestors came from northwest Africa and could even vaguely be called "Moorish" does not give you any special privledges under the Treaty of Tripoli.
2013-03-19 08:20:39 AM  
6 votes:
If there is one thing that all sane people can agree upon across political lines, it is that "sovereign citizens" should be cockpunched with such vigor it makes the yellow fringe on the flag undulate.
2013-03-19 10:39:35 AM  
3 votes:

Free Radical: Flash poll: Who is more annoying?

A: Moorish Americans
B: Sovereign Citizens


From the few hints in the article....
Butler said the Bethesda mansion belonged to him because he is a Moorish American National. He'd drawn up paperwork that he said proved it all, with references to a 1787 peace treaty and the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.
...
This month in Memphis, a woman saying she was a Moorish American was evicted after a SWAT team moved in on a 9,000-square-foot mansion she said she owned. Tabitha Gentry was charged with trespassing and burglary, but in court she denied the legitimacy of the charges, repeatedly interrupted the judge and invoked her sovereign rights.
...
They sometimes don't register their cars with the local motor vehicles department, driving around instead with self-styled license tags. And they cause headaches for those who investigate them, targeting officials for retaliation by filing million-dollar liens on their properties.
...
"I only have one free national name. That is Lamont Maurice El," he said.
...
"Even though," Butler wrote, "there was no false arrest made on Jan. 5, 2013, by the Public Servant Trustee Police Enforcers for the private foreign corporate-for-profit entity styled as Montgomery County Police Department, and conversations ended on peaceable terms, I, as well as others, will be coming to the land property estate this week."
...
Butler's response was to demand $1.05 million in gold coins from Maryland's attorney general, two judges, three police officers, the owner of a towing company - and all of their spouses.
...the former sounds like just another flavor of the latter.

Polyhazard: I was unaware of this movement and had assumed the sovereign citizen thing was only for white cranks. Who knew it was a rainbow coalition?


It seems to be rooted in the same sort of "species of moron that believes Legalese is a magic language, and that if they can only find the proper charms and incantations to speak and rituals to perform, they will be granted the power to summon and to command, to loose and to bind, and the wish of their heart's desire will magically be granted". I'm not sure whether this is a mutant strain, where a black crank encountered the white cranks and synthesized a similar but more ethnically palatable framework with foundations in another set of legal references, or whether the same psychological mindset triggered an independent parallel cultural evolution of kookery in a different ethnic group.

Gunther: How lacking in critical thought would you have to be to believe that you can somehow avoid legal consequences for your actions by claiming laws don't apply to you? I mean, if it was possible, NOBODY would ever go to jail because every defense lawyer in the country would know about it. But it never occurs to them that the world couldn't possibly function if it worked the way they think.


There seems a similarity to some "secret knowledge" flavors in religion; mystery cults and other esotericisms.

RobotSpider: You know, synonyms exist for nuance and variation.

[...] "land", "property", and "estate" in this context mean the same thing.

In your head and mine, yes. In the head of a lawyer or judge, not necessarily. In this guy's head, almost certainly not -- exactly because of the potentials for variations of nuance. Use the wrong word in an incantantation of semantic magic, and it's as bad as smudging the lines of your pentacle in the virgin sacrifice.

TheOtherGuy: When the law says "you pay, and pay, and go live in a box 'cause you're not white and born into money, oh, and also pay some more before you go or we'll beat and jail you", is it any surprise that people will simply decide that the law is bullshiat?


It's more that they're becoming enthralled by an alternative view of the legal framework that they like better because they think it can give them power.

phyrkrakr: It seems that the common thread between all of these is that the fringe dudes pick apart some linguistic foible of a law and claim that it has a meaning that is completely divorced from context, reality, grammar, and legal precedent, then use it to justify doing whatever the hell they want - or sell books/give speeches telling other idiots that they can do whatever they want.


That's the heart of it, though it looks like it may involve some manner of common underlying abnormal psychology.
2013-03-19 09:38:52 AM  
2 votes:
I'm having perspective aphasia reading this article.

"Sovereign Citizens" argument?  Not necessarily stupid in and of itself, but almost always implemented stupidly.  That is, loopholes in laws in general do exist and can be exploited brazenly.  One should just check on them and be sure before trying it, rather than trying to get one over on armed police via sheer bravado.  They get shot at by crazies for their paycheck, dude.  You could shoot them, but you won't out-bluff them, right or wrong.  Neither is very clever.

On the other hand, stupid as it may be, what did we expect after years of rising income inequality and ever more blatant racism, sexism, and class warfare?  Poor black folks (and white, brown, anyone poor, if they can) will move in to your empty mansions because they're frickin' homeless because of the system that helped make you rich enough to afford the damned place.  When the law says "you pay, and pay, and go live in a box 'cause you're not white and born into money, oh, and also pay some more before you go or we'll beat and jail you", is it any surprise that people will simply decide that the law is bullshiat?

We've all talked about "eventually it will get so bad that things will just fall apart".  Maybe we've been overlooking just how much it already is?

Disclaimer:  White and not homeless (yet; my employer, mayor, and the IRS are giving it one hell of a try)
2013-03-19 09:09:51 AM  
2 votes:
"Even though," Butler wrote, "there was no false arrest made on Jan. 5, 2013, by the Public Servant Trustee Police Enforcers for the private foreign corporate-for-profit entity styled as Montgomery County Police Department, and conversations ended on peaceable terms, I  , as well as others, will be coming to the land property estate this week."

My god, they are a wordy bunch, aren't they?  You know, synonyms exist for nuance and variation.  It's not necessary to use every word at the same time. "land", "property", and "estate" in this context mean the same thing.
2013-03-19 03:15:41 PM  
1 votes:
Property owners, back when I was a kid, had a solution for this type of thing that didn't involve cops, lawyers or arguments.

They simply packed a couple of .12 gauge shotgun shells with rock salt and bits of leathery bacon rind. Then they approached the trespasser at a suitable range and blew his arse off.

The blast wasn't lethal. The rock salt penetrated to just under the skin, where it would sit and burn like heck until picked out while the bacon rind would raise painful welts.

Yeah. It could be serious, but the old timers I knew had the range down to a science. The cops back then figured the property owner was justified.

BTW. All privately owned land in Florida is considered No Trespassing whether marked or unmarked. Found that out for myself decades ago when looking around some wild, undeveloped acres that had just burned up in a fire. The State Trooper was nice enough to inform me, instead of arresting my butt.
2013-03-19 03:14:45 PM  
1 votes:
We had something similar occur to a cabin that belongs to my family.

A couple buddies and I headed out to open up our get-away cabin (it's a Summer cabin so we seal it up during the Winter) and get Spring started off on the right foot. When I get around the bend, I notice something is wrong because I can see the smoke just over the trees. I stop the truck before the bend and we get out and hoof it. As we sneak closer we can see an entire family moving in and around the cabin. We head back to the truck to grab a gun and go see what's going on. As I get closer the kids playing out front see us and run inside. By the time we reach the front steps a couple men with, I swear to God, muskets in hand.

For a good 60 seconds there is a back and forth of "This is my house, who are you?" and "This is our house, who are you?". I didn't have the deed to the cabin or property, and didn't want to start any sort of altercation, so I said I was leaving and coming back with the county police.

The next day I go and grab my buddies again and loaded the truck with every gun we had. I had pre-called the police department, so when I came in with the deed, they agreed to send some deputies out there with me. The deputies read me the riot-act for being loaded up with so many weapons, but they were all legal and licensed, so there wasn't much they could do. Essentially they thought these hillbillies were going to be non-confrontational. The morons.

Anyway, fast forward to getting back to the cabin. The deputies tell me they'd like to drive up ahead of us, and since I didn't want shot by some hillbilly, I obliged them. After a few minutes we start hearing a bunch of yelling, so we mosey towards the cabin; and that's when we hear the crack of the musket. We run up to two deputies crouched behind their squad car and a few long-gun muzzles pointed out the cabin windows. Seems the hillbillies didn't like the cops anymore then they liked us. We all backed off the cabin and they pulled their car back. After an hour or so they found some local person who knows these people.

To wrap things up (sorry, gotta run to a meeting soon) ... the guy who knows them, shows up with about 3-4 more cop cars and they talk this family down from the cabin. It seems they believed our cabin was on THEIR hill (or what passes for a hill in Indiana), where the hill is actually divided into 3 different properties. They were off their land by about 4-5 miles. The police grabbed their stuff and left with the family piled into their squad cars. We've not had anymore problems with them, but I still hear musket fire from time to time, and it sounds much closer then 4-5 miles.
2013-03-19 09:47:26 AM  
1 votes:
So is this like a splinter group of the Sovereign Citizen thing? Because if I remember my last toe-dipping into that pool, the Sovereign Citizen thing seems to be based over the creation/reorganization of the District of Columbia (long story, but roughly 1871) while this seems to be based on the Treaty of Tripoli (Barbary pirates, 1797).

It seems that the common thread between all of these is that the fringe dudes pick apart some linguistic foible of a law and claim that it has a meaning that is completely divorced from context, reality, grammar, and legal precedent, then use it to justify doing whatever the hell they want - or sell books/give speeches telling other idiots that they can do whatever they want.
2013-03-19 09:45:09 AM  
1 votes:
You know, just moving into a mansion just might work for a while. If the mansion is sitting abandoned for six months, then you can get six months. The problem is that someone ultimately shows up and these people bring the crazy from day one.

There was even a show about how to do it. Occasionally, some one shows up and tells you to leave. It's not likely to be an officer. It'll likely be a real estate agent or maybe the groundskeeper. Not someone who can arrest you. If that's what it is, get the hell out. Don't stick around. Don't tell them you are a "Moorish-American". Tell them a story like the bank foreclosed. They let you stay there to keep the deer and raccoons out of the house. Even have a fake agreement printed up. Keep the house up. Don't break the gate, windows, or even leave the kitchen dirty. Act like normal people. Then as soon as they leave, or if it seems like they are stalling to let the police show up, get the hell out. Because they likely won't buy your story and will call the cops. But most of them aren't heroes. They won't risk an altercation themselves.

I've never tried it, but that seems like the way I'd do it.

Get a motion sensor to tell you when people have been there while you are away.

Get a motion sensor for when you are there

Start talking to homeless people. They'd probably be extremely helpful.
2013-03-19 09:34:41 AM  
1 votes:
The Moorish American thing is new to me, but it sounds like the Soverign Citizens - crazy people who have discovered the power of bureaucracy.

For me, what really raises their delusions to the level of mental disorder is they think all their frivolous paperwork has the full weight of law - but the law has no power over them. It's like cognitive dissonance come to beautiful life!
2013-03-19 08:56:05 AM  
1 votes:
If there is one thing that all sane people can agree upon across political lines, it is that "sovereign citizens" should be cockpunched with such vigor it makes the yellow fringe on the flag undulate.

I find it fascinating for the glimpse into the psychology of the truly stupid.

How lacking in critical thought would you have to be to believe that you can somehow avoid legal consequences for your actions by claiming laws don't apply to you? I mean, if it was possible, NOBODY would ever go to jail because every defense lawyer in the country would know about it. But it never occurs to them that the world couldn't possibly function if it worked the way they think.

sovereign citizen getting tazed is one of the more hilarious things I've ever seen. He's just so SURE that ranting about how "I'm a man, not a person, therefore laws don't apply to me!" is some sort of magical force-field that protects him from harm.


They don't make me angry in the least.
It's a scam, like thousands of others. If someone can actually get free rent or take possession of a house by manipulating some archaic law, or bullshiat their way into it, more power to them.
When I hear about someone successfully doing this, it makes me smile. Then again, I always root for the con artists in the movies, so there you go.
2013-03-19 08:49:30 AM  
1 votes:
img.photobucket.com

I am not a Moorish American. I may be a liar, a pig, an idiot, a Moorish American, but I am *not* a porn star!
2013-03-19 08:46:39 AM  
1 votes:

Mr. Coffee Nerves: If there is one thing that all sane people can agree upon across political lines, it is that "sovereign citizens" should be cockpunched with such vigor it makes the yellow fringe on the flag undulate.


I find it fascinating for the glimpse into the psychology of the truly stupid.

How lacking in critical thought would you have to be to believe that you can somehow avoid legal consequences for your actions by claiming laws don't apply to you? I mean, if it was possible, NOBODY would ever go to jail because every defense lawyer in the country would know about it. But it never occurs to them that the world couldn't possibly function if it worked the way they think.

The video of the  sovereign citizen getting tazed is one of the more hilarious things I've ever seen. He's just so SURE that ranting about how "I'm a man, not a person, therefore laws don't apply to me!" is some sort of magical force-field that protects him from harm.
2013-03-19 08:38:40 AM  
1 votes:
What kind of a name is Azeem? Irish? Cornish?

img189.imageshack.us
2013-03-19 08:27:51 AM  
1 votes:
As someone with Moorish bloodlines through my father's Black-Irish side, I'm really getting a kick outta these Moorish-Americans...
2013-03-19 08:26:22 AM  
1 votes:
Real owner should have eaten more anti-oxidants...I heard they do a good job of fighting free-nationals.
2013-03-19 08:25:53 AM  
1 votes:
I was unaware of this movement and had assumed the sovereign citizen thing was only for white cranks. Who knew it was a rainbow coalition?
2013-03-19 08:25:17 AM  
1 votes:

Free Radical: Flash poll: Who is more annoying?

A: Moorish Americans

B: Sovereign Citizens


Yes.
2013-03-19 08:23:31 AM  
1 votes:
If only he lived in the 1960s, he would have established quite the hippy sex-cult by now. The place would have been wall-to-wall Manson Girls.
2013-03-19 08:22:27 AM  
1 votes:
Flash poll: Who is more annoying?

A: Moorish Americans

B: Sovereign Citizens
2013-03-19 08:20:06 AM  
1 votes:
 The officer cited him for speeding, driving around with a Moorish American license plate

Cool.  When will the official Farkistan license plate be issued?
2013-03-19 08:13:54 AM  
1 votes:
I wear s fez now. Fezzes are cool
 
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