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Jewish World Review Sept. 15, 1999/ 5 Tishrei, 5760

Marianne M. Jennings

Marianne M. Jennings
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Waco Wackos -- THEY APPEAR ON PICK-UP TRUCKS that never have seen better days, the "REMEMBER WACO" and "MRS. RANDY WEAVER: UNARMED AND DEAD" bumper stickers.

This double-cab literature is treated like a Suzanne Somers infomercial. One should not fall for something from society's daffy element. But the skeptic in you concludes that Suzanne Somers looks great and maybe miniature catapults do help thighs. And, the pick-up crowd is batting nearly a thousand with their grassy knoll theories.

A quick review in bumper sticker dissent: The FBI siege of Randy Weaver at Ruby Ridge consisted of the Feds taking out gun-toting, food-storing loners. Nice shootin' of a mother, Tex! Waco involved the use of Armageddon force to rescue children suffering from laughter and swing sets. If Mr. Weaver and the Reverend Koresh were indeed violating the law, why didn't Marshal Dillon, Festus and the rest of the posse wait for Hoss and Lucas McCain to come into town (which even religious kooks do until they must step through FBI camps in their drives)? Now a Waco story of incendiary devices, audio tapes, videos, and all manner of previously denied issues and evidence has emerged. Former Senator John Danforth is charged with investigating what was once just the musings of the gun-racked. Setting aside the FBI's bad judgment equaled only by Hugh Grant's with the lovely and cooperative Divine Brown, Mr. Danforth will find that government agents have suppressed the truth for six years while Louis Freeh and Janet Reno continued a mutual admiration society for the sincere but oblivious.

The Waco Wackos were right, but ignored. Liberals in charge will take the promises of 11 convicted, violent Puerto Rican thugs as grounds for clemency in three weeks, but dismiss six years of questions from the G-d-fearing humble.

Liberals with power punish challengers ex post facto. Billy Dale's travel office prosecution and acquittal, Paula Jones' tax audit and Newt Gingrich's since-eviscerated ethics charges are the result of ideological battles, not legitimate government processes. A liberal preaches tolerance but uses government to harass dissenters and occasionally takes the dispute to the OK Corral.

During the past year, a gentleman from Sun City West filed a public records request at ASU asking, among other things, for my salary, travel funds, office furniture costs and details on my chauffeur I cruise in my Chevy looking for a parking space, but I'm flattered that someone postures me as hifalutin. My liberal reader doesn't care for my writings and believes I should not have a public forum for my views while serving as a state employee. It took two days and staff time to respond to what was clearly a chain rattle and abuse of public records laws. If I raise a gay rights issue or even mention Ellen DeGeneres, my department chair, dean and provost become beneficiaries of mail from those who espouse tolerance but would really like to see me sacked for my views.

A David Koresh is easily managed and the Waco Wackos have more sense of propriety than the relentless tolerancia who grace my life with tyranny.

Liberals use government powers for ad hominem and punitive attacks on those they find offensive. Waco proves the Gerry Spence theory: if you let the wolves knock off the fringe sheep because they're odd, the wolves soon attack the whole flock indiscriminately. My law professor, now federal judge, Monroe McKay taught that the Bill of Rights was written for the obnoxious.

When dissenters, loners and the unpopular are denied their rights, the rights of all are threatened.

When government power is not used, liberal mockery is. Even Republicans hesitate now on Waco hearings because they choose not to associate themselves with the kooks and conspiracy theorists. And Democrats have a field day when the fringe are given their day in hearings. In 1993, while the FBI was busily redacting documents subject to Congressional subpoena, Chuck Schumer (D. NY) objected mockingly to Waco hearings with his infamous "Monday-morning quarter backing" analogy and John Conyers (D. Mich.) ridiculed with "everyone but the butler" Waco humor.

There is a habit of right-wing discounting. The Washington Times is dismissed as a "right- wing rag." Rag being defined as a paper carrying true and terribly damaging stories. The Washington Times hammered the Chinese money connection, revealed the extent of swiped nuclear technology and questioned Waco years ago. This rag got it right more often than the mainstream media. Fringe Matt Drudge had the blue dress story eight months before the rest of the media even as Newsweek delayed Michael Isikoff's piece just on Monica. Kook Gary Aldrich's book, Unlimited Access was pilloried but now seems prescient and mild.

The Washington Times, Matt Drudge, Gary Aldrich and Waco Wackos keep truth percolating. Through the slings and arrows of closed-minded liberals and an arrogant media, the dissenting Waco Wackos maintained a six-year slow simmer. Battered, but not broken, persecuted, but not destroyed. They permit us good little conformist sheep to breathe a sigh of relief for these fringe comrades who provide a buffer of freedom in their challenges to the wolves that nip regularly at them and their bumpers.

JWR contributor Marianne M. Jennings is a professor of legal and ethical studies at Arizona State University. Send your comments to her by clicking here.


09/09/99: Selective censorship
09/01/99: The village, the children, judicial imperialism and abortion
08/24/99: Naughty Newt?
08/17/99: In defense of Boy Scouts and judgment
08/10/99: Ruining the finest health care system in the world
08/03/99: Nihilism and politics: ethics on the lam
07/26/99: Of women, soccer and removed jerseys
07/23/99: Not in despair, a mere mortal doing just fine
07/20/99: "Why me?" How about "Why us?"
07/13/99: Bunk, junk & juries
07/06/99: An Amish woman in a Victoria's Secret store
06/30/99: That intellectually embarrassing Second Amendment
06/24/99: Patricia Ireland eat your heart out --- but check out the recipe in 'women's mags' first
06/22/99: Dems and the Creator coup
06/17/99: True courage is more than just admitting troubles

©1999, Marianne M. Jennings