If local economy were a conspiracy, would you be convicted?

Chicken dumpling ae about to be served to diners at Choo Choo BBQ of Hixson. (Photo Choo Choo BBQ of Hixson)

Chicken dumpling are about to be served at a locally owned eatery in Chattanooga. Patronizing locally owned businesses is a way to enter the “conspiracy” of local economy and free markets. (Photo Choo Choo BBQ of Hixson)

By David Tulis

Sunday’s bout of official pollution by jet aircraft in the war against global warming put me to thinking about the people involved in the program and whether it is a conspiracy.

People in Chattanooga who care about this question — Blacky Darr, a tattoo artist; Kelli Moore Lentine, mom to three sons; and Beth Ford, who runs an anti-aging and pain management clinic in Cleveland, Tenn., with her husband — hear from friends that their concern about sky striping is a nerdy lapse of judgment and adherence to “conspiracy theory” about big bad government.

We write about aerosol geoengineering because it is a conspiracy that affects the health of local people and puts an unknown cost upon local economy. Being Noogacentrists, we are unhappy to be victims of yet another federal intervention. Conspiracy is a criminal offense that requires a prosecutor to prove several facts about the defendants.

In federal jurisdiction, the conspiracy must be against a law passed by the federal congress. It involves two or more persons coming to an agreement to accomplish a criminal or unlawful act. The conspiracy is a separate act from the accomplishment of the crime itself. The essential elements are “unlawful agreement” and when “the conspiratorial agreement is entered into.” The agreement itself is what is wrong, not whether the enterprise of the conspiracy succeeds. Parties involved in a conspiracy need not all have entered the agreement, but the agreement is seen in “successive actions evidencing their joining of the conspiracy.” The court looks at “the totality of circumstances.” Two groups unknown to each other also may be shown “to be united in a single conspiracy.”

Conspiracy also requires intent, or mens rea. A prosecutor must prove intent, and intent “can be determined from his or her words, acts, and conduct. Where the goal of a conspiracy can be reached only through deception and concealment, silence which is designed to conceal may indicate intention to conspire,” an authority says.

Knowledge is also required for conspiracy. “Knowing agreement” must be shown. One isn’t a coconspirator simply because he knows of a conspiracy. He must have “knowing involvement and cooperation.”

A conspiracy is made up of “overt acts.”  The prosecutor must show at least one overt act to obtain a conviction.

An accused has several potential defenses. He can show he abandoned or withdrew from his role, and here he must show an “affirmative action” to quit or thwart the conspiracy, and “he or she must make timely communication of his or her intention to withdraw to his or her coconspirators. He also may argue entrapment if one of the conspirators is a state actor in disguise.

Tennessee’s conspiracy statute requires a “culpable mental state” and a “continuing course of conduct that terminates when the objectives of the conspiracy are completed” (TCA 39-12-103). Tennessee’s racketeering statute says conspirators must be shown to have had a “meeting of the minds” (TCA 39-12-204)

Could you be convicted of ‘local economy’

Meeting of the minds, intent and articulable actions are required to bring the wrath of justice upon a malefactor, whether deliberately poisoning the air in a program of national security or surveying the communications of an innocent person apart from a signed search warrant.

But let’s turn to something positive — local economy.

How do we show we are “conspiring” to have a better local economy, here in Chattanooga where I live or in your town where you live?

What might a local economy booster be shown as doing to bring about a conviction for supporting local economy?

A few pointers

➤ He loves his neighbor and buys local. He is prejudiced for local by favoring a locally owned tire store, grocer, baker or service provider over a national one or a corporate chain. He favors Choo Choo Barbecue in Hixson over O’Charley’s.

➤ He pays cash. He saves his local co-conspirator from being hit by multiple taxation of the credit card service tax that can hit 5 percent on some cards.

➤ He divests nationally and invests locally, in himself and his own business, or businesses run by neighbors and fellow townspeople or farmers.

➤ He pulls back on consumption. He stops buying brand goods at chain stores to elevate his mental status. In being a consumer, he engages in what Charles Hugh Smith calls “social defeat.”

➤ He lives out the Christian life of grace and charity. Thinking about others first, he does all he can to help other people succeed and prosper, confident God will bless him in his own business.

➤ He surrenders the first day of the week to God, abstaining from his own thoughts and labors on the Day of Rest so that he might worship God, study his precepts, give time to family and to charitable acts. A man who enjoys Sabbath rest is one who lives out the conviction that his prosperity comes from God, not solely from his own efforts.

➤ He looks beyond legacy systems such as state factory schools, keeping his children out of them and encouraging others to enhance their estates by exiting the state plantation to the free market, one child at a time.

➤ He doesn’t just urge an exit from the state plantation, but he practically helps others do so. He understands social capital, and extends social capital to inferiors (the single mom on his street with two part-time jobs, three young children and a 1992 sedan that hasn’t had an oil change in 30,000 miles. He and his teenage son help out this woman Saturday morning with a neighborly bit of maintenance).

— David Tulis hosts a talk show weekdays in Chattanooga from 9 to 11 a.m. on 1240 AM Hot News Talk Radio, covering local economy and free markets in Chattanooga and beyond. Support this site and his radio station on the real airwaves in Chattanooga, on your smartphone via the TuneIn radio app or at Hotnewstalkradio.com. You back David by patronizing his advertisers with specific reference to him. Even better, encourage independent media by having David run commercials for your business. Also, “buy me a coffee at the tip jar.”

Source: American Jurisprudence 2d, Conspiracy


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