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Voice: Don't even allow your assumed consent

May 01, 2001

Lt. Panton of HMS Rose jumped on board a brigantine returning to Marblehead Province of Massachusetts Bay as it returned from Europe.

Lt. Panton had boarded the brigantine seeking to impress colonial sailors into the British Navy. Michael Corbet, a sailor on the brigantine selected for impressment, warned Lt. Panton "he was a dead man if he should take one step forward to force the impressment." Lt. Panton did step forward, and, because he was a skilled harpooner, Michael Corbet impaled Lt. Panton through the throat with a harpoon, killing him instantly.

Though responsible for the death of Lt. Panton, all charges against Michael Corbet were dismissed.

His counsel was John Adams.

I was able to see the photo about the daughters of the American Revolution published in the Imperial Valley Press of Feb. 19 regarding "John and Abigail Adams," portrayed by Bob and Karla Horne of El Centro. Having had a number of letters published in the Press, I thought you might enjoy hearing a factual account of someone who was able to grace the pages of the Press.

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Were you also aware that John Adams defended John Hancock because John Hancock had not paid his "fair share" of taxes of King George III in the form of custom duties? Jury nullification got John Hancock off, for John Adams was able to convince the jury the tax law was unjust.

Imagine if John Adams were alive today and he had to convince your two senators that not all taxes are fair and just. I believe senators Feinstein and Boxer would have John Adams "drawn and quartered." This is not a pleasant way to die! Come to think of it, senators Kennedy and Kerry of Massachusetts would do the same thing.

Oh, why were the charges against Michael Corbet dismissed? It was against the law for the British Navy to impress colonial sailors while they were in colonial waters. Chief Justice Hutchinson had dismissed the charges to prevent the trial and publishing of the fact that impressing ANY colonist while in the colonies was unlawful by statute and that deadly force could be used by any colonist who resisted.

You see, if you don't know the law and you assume that a public servant is acting in a constitutional manner and you consent to what they do to you, even if unconstitutional, the courts will assume you have given your consent.

DON SCHWARZ

Stoughton, Mass.

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