Don’t worry about the garbage, just pay the ransom

By Olaf Childress

Ransom is even the garbage police chief’s name: Jim Ransom.

Before accepting this report as factual, know that the editor of this paper – for having hauled trash to the Baldwin County dump without first signing a contract to produce a weekly quota of garbage at the current rate – is a twice-convicted felon. Stopping on the scale to be weighed in, I was charged with and later convicted of two crimes: "trespassing" on Nov. 4, 1997 and "interfering with government operations." Trespassing in a public dump by bringing the stuff it was open to receive? Interfering how? For the record, I did offer to pay.

Shackled in leg irons and handcuffed, my pickup impounded for over a month, hauled first to Robertsdale Jail and then transferred to the county lockup for an overnight dose of terrorism, my freedom ended that November day.

Unknown to me until months later, shortly thereafter they somehow browbeat my wife into secretly paying the ransom in order to keep me out of jail.

I button-holed District Attorney David Whetstone some time back at the Baldwin County Courthouse in the presence of three prominent witnesses to see if we might resolve the matter. Prior to the incident just cited, he had summoned me to court in 1994 for "Failure to Participate In and Subscribe to Mandatory Collection," then dropped those charges after realizing this was no crime.

"Mr. Whetstone, you’ve had me thrown in jail and fined about a thousand dollars," I began. "And, after many months of your summoning groups of noncompliants to be browbeaten, as here today, into paying for a service they have neither ordered nor desired, I learn that my wife has just started sending the monthly ransom to keep me out of jail. Yet please be informed, before these witnesses, I’m still not in compliance with that rural area garbage mandate. I may even sue to recover what my gullible spouse is paying under duress. Meanwhile, if disposing of our table scraps on a garden compost heap, aluminum cans and paper to a church in Silverhill, and other trash to an out-of-state landfill is a crime, I want you to arrest me for that, not some trumped-up charges. Let’s see the law."

Retorted Whetstone: "Well, if you wish me to arrest you, I’ll be glad to comply."

Assuring him he had grasped my words correctly, I and my friends are still waiting, many months having gone by. Nothing.

But the people of Baldwin County grow restless. You will only read this here, so please pay attention.

One copy each of the current issue has been sent by registered mail to District Attorney Whetstone and Garbage Police Chief Ransom, demanding that they further prosecute Mr. Joe Hill (article above) and myself. They should either get out of this monopoly racket, or prove we are criminals for resisting the enforcement of contract services performed by their prison slaves. We’re tired of being denied the right to use probably more expensive, but relatively free, private haulers. I would have my wife’s money returned and my voting rights restored.

None of us are free today, preached Bill Atkinson IV, from the portable stage and sound system set up by activist Joe Biggs on Saturday, May 17, 2003 at the Bay Minette residence of Jeannine Wilson’s parents. Mr. and Mrs. Wilson’s Committee to Save the Bill of Rights had recently petitioned the Baldwin County Commission, without success, to pass a resolution mandating county servants to obey the U.S. Constitution anywhere at odds with the so-called U.S.A. Patriot Acts.

"Retaking America" talk show hostess Kelly McGinley, "Citizen John" Burke and local League of the South chairman Bob Taylor, along with garbage criminals Joe Hill and myself, also spoke on the need for eternal vigilance. Finally, Mr. Wilson said we needn’t be modest about our dilemma; the South is mankind’s last hope for sanity, and we are rather to be terrified only before God. Otherwise, keep the faith and we shall prevail.

The First Freedom