Can Americans Overcome Their Divisions?

“THE PARALLAX PROPHECIES INSTITUTE” WANTS TO BEGIN THE PROCESS

by Sharon Rondeau

(Mar. 24, 2013) — Ron Ewart has more than 30 years in real estate development.  From his experience, he became active in defending the rights of rural landowners through his organization, the National Association of Rural Landowers (NARLO) and has been a contributor to The Post & Email of a weekly article on various topics for nearly three years.  His highly-acclaimed and nationally-recognized essays can also be found at the NARLO website, often under the banner of “The Parallax Prophecies.”

Last Sunday, Mr. Ewart wrote an article introducing a new endeavor he named “The Parallax Prophecies Institute” which seeks to help Americans conquer the divisions among them by emphasizing their commonalities.  He sees government as having purposely pitted one group against another as it continues to “increase their power over all of the people.”

On his website, Ewart has featured stories of encroachment by local, state and the federal governments on innovative features made to rural homes which have become landmarks but would not be allowed to be constructed with today’s zoning and building restrictions.  Of the government bureaucrats whose job it is to recite local ordinances and laws which often cause innovation to die, the Freedom Foundation wrote, “…the people who invent and enforce these rules while  destroying  other people’s dreams believe they are doing the right thing.  They are just following orders, the law or the rules they helped write.  Some claim to be doing God’s work.  They also rarely believe the rules apply to themselves.”

MR. EWART:  I’ve been writing articles since 2004, and as I went through this problem, it occurred to me that we have let the government literally divide us.  We have the Democrats on one side; we have the Socialists, the Libertarians and the Independents and the “conservatives” and the Republicans…and we’re all fighting with each other, which is exactly what the government wants.

It occurred to me that we need to start coming together as Americans, not as Democrats, Republicans or Independents, and start focusing on those areas which make us Americans, which are constitutional issues, all of the great things that America has done which they aren’t teaching in school.  I just had a conversation with a 16-year-old about “multi-culturalism,” and I couldn’t believe what spewed out of his mouth.  And he’s going to a private school.  Another child who is 9 and attends a private school is learning about global warming and all kinds of things that are part of the progressive mantra.

THE POST & EMAIL:  I thought private schools were more autonomous.

MR. EWART:  Well, where are the teachers coming from for the private schools?  Government universities.  So my focus with the new organization is to try and start bringing people together.  I want people to write articles in to the website about the issues of the day from any perspective.  I want people to write articles on how we can unite Americans instead of us all being divided.  I put a couple of incentives in there:  With the “Best Essay Rewards” program where every month we’ll have an issue.  Members will be invited to write an article, and whoever is selected as the best essay award recipient will receive $200.  But in order to get people to read the pages, I will hide a code, and there’s a “find-the-code” in there.  If you come up with the code, that’s $200.  The code won’t be easy to find, but we’re trying to get people to come on board who believe in America and believe that we are divided and fighting with each other, but we ought to be fighting the government instead of fighting with each other.

It’s an evolution of all of the things I’ve been doing over the last 8-10 years in trying to find ways to bring Americans together and make some inroads into this battle we’re fighting with the government.  My articles, at least for a while, are going to be focusing on government bureaucracies.  Today’s article is about the Department of Homeland Security.  I have a Freedom of Information Act request in to them. We know very well that Homeland Security signed the purchase order for the 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition and 7,000 guns.

What did they do?  They took my Freedom of Information Act request and funneled it out to eight of the 22 agencies under DHS.  I had requested a fee waiver from them, and they granted it as long as it was under 100 documents; I don’t need 100 documents. So I got two responses from the underling agencies which said, “No, we’re not going to grant you a fee waiver.”

THE POST & EMAIL:  So DHS said you could have a fee waiver, but the subservient agencies said you could not?

MR. EWART:  Yes, DHS said that as long as we were under 100 documents, and we will be, there’s no fee.  But the two agencies that I’ve heard from of the eight from whom I’ve heard said, “No, you don’t get no fee waiver!”

THE POST & EMAIL:  Have they produced any documents?

MR. EWART:  No.  About two weeks after I filed the original FOIA, I got a response from them which said, “Yes, we’ll grant you a waiver, but if it’s more than 100 documents, we have to charge you, and on and on and on in a three-page letter.  So I said, “OK, well, within another 10-15 days, I’ll hear from them,” and I did.  That’s when I got the letter from DHS which said they were going to funnel this out to eight different agencies and you’ll be hearing from them.  Well, I heard from two of them on that very day saying that they would not honor the fee waiver requirement, which, under the law, is absolute in the interest of the public.  Well, the public has a real, serious interest in why the Department of Homeland Security is buying 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition.

Janet Napolitano is Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

I fired a letter off “certified, return receipt” to Janet Napolitano saying that I disagreed totally with the decision and sent a copy to the attorney general, which will go nowhere, and probably the letter to Napolitano she will never see.  I have published that letter in today’s article indicating that we were incensed by the decision to funnel this out to eight agencies and that they could have easily answered it, and I told them that if I didn’t get an answer by April 1, I was going to contact a national legal firm about getting the information that way or file my own case in the U.S. District Court here in Washington.

THE POST & EMAIL:  That’s the next step when the government won’t answer a FOIA.

MR. EWART:  And there are significant penalties for their not doing it.  It is crazy that they do this because, essentially, all they do is create more animosity.  Now eight agencies have to handle this thing when DHS could have handled it.

THE POST & EMAIL:  Why couldn’t DHS have contacted the agencies, asked them to send anything they had, and then forwarded the documents by email to you?

MR. EWART:  No, they have to make it complicated, and I know why they’re doing it.  They are trying to obfuscate and redirect the attention away from DHS.

THE POST & EMAIL:  There is a video of at least one congressman discussing his request about the 1.6 billion rounds which DHS did not answer.

MR. EWART:  What’s the difference between Fast & Furious or Benghazi or whatever else they do, which is a big secret?

THE POST & EMAIL:  Did you know that DHS has given “trusted traveler” status to people from Saudi Arabia?

MR. EWART:  No, I didn’t.

THE POST & EMAIL:  In January, Napolitano met with her counterpart from Saudi Arabia and now says that “the bond between the United States and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia” allowed travelers to achieve an expedited entry process, although just three years ago their citizens were checked out more thoroughly than others.

MR. EWART:  It’s a deal, Sharon.  Something was exchanged for this.  The government, in so many areas, including the president’s cabinet, EPA, Homeland Security, Department of Education…and they are not acting in the interests of America or its freedom.  They’re acting in the interests of an agenda.  The DHS is charged with protecting the homeland from terror acts, but in the process, with the help of the Southern Poverty Law Center, has set up people from certain groups – anybody who might be a patriot, including returning vets – and called them domestic terrorists.  They’re trying to protect their turf because they know this movement is growing.

THE POST & EMAIL:  How many writers are you looking for each week, or is it an unlimited number?

MR. EWART:  First of all, there’s a limit to what I can handle.  We’re trying to build up the membership.  I can’t start the “Best Essay Awards” programs until we have a significant number of people who would actually contribute their articles.  So that’s supposed to start on July 1.  The “find-the-code” starts on April 1, and that’s the whole point:  in looking for the code, people are reading the pages of the website, which is what I’m hoping that will accomplish. We just got a member from Wyoming, so he’s our first person.  I was on the radio last Saturday and hope to do more radio shows this coming week.

THE POST & EMAIL:  Which station were you on?

MR. EWART:  Jeff Bennett with “Perspectives on America,” although he might call it something different now.  He’s given me a great venue, as has The Post & Email.  Although I write from a “conservative” viewpoint, from now on, I’m going to write from an “American” standpoint.  I hope to get people who are “on the fence” to participate and I also would like to give speeches to all kinds of people about the issues of being an American and not a “Democrat” or a “Republican.”

We’re not a perfect country, but think of all the things that this country, because of its freedom and its wealth, has done for the rest of the world.  Everyone wants to tear America down.  While there are some arrogant Americans out there, we have a reason to be proud for the things that we have done.  We don’t need to apologize to anybody.

During 9/11, we all united because we knew who the enemy was, but it took only three or four months for us to return to being divided again.

Our program has created a 75-question survey, and the idea of the survey, which is blind, is to get people to say those areas in which we are in agreement and then start emphasizing those areas on the website and in our writings.  We can set aside those areas in which we can’t agree.  I’ve given speeches after which some guy will stand up and on a single focus issue, go nuts.  Unless the moderator can control it, it gets out of hand.  People get all emotionally charged, just as Obama revs up his audiences on an emotional issue.  We need to get away from this single-focus stuff – not that it’s not important – but the underlying foundation of our freedom is the most important.  Those are the things we will be emphasizing.

The Parallax Prophecies column has shifted over to The Parallax Prophecies Institute.  There’s an introduction on the home page which explains what we’re trying to do.  All of the Sunday articles will be there, and there will be archives for it.  There will also be archives for people who submit articles.  There is one area where members submit articles, and another where people can submit anything.

There are rules for what I will accept:  1000 words or less; it has to have substance and some backup to it; some credible sources.  There can be no bad language, no personal attacks on someone else.  We’re looking for some good solid articles about issues.

THE POST & EMAIL:  Could they be a straight essay, editorial or either one?

MR. EWART:   They could be either based on the issue of the month.  A couple of people will review them, not just me, and the person with what we consider to be the best essay will be featured,win a plaque and $200.  There must be at least 20 submissions each month to make the award.  The essay has to be in by the 25th of the month, and it can be submitted by email or U.S. mail.  Forty-five days after the closing date of the 25th of the month, we’ll announce the winner.

THE POST & EMAIL:  Tell us a little more about your background in property development.

MR. EWART:  I spent more than 30 years developing real estate, so I have a very broad experience with property rights and regulations.  I watched over those 30 years as those regulations just got tighter and tighter.  What happens is the price of everything just skyrockets, and what took 3 or 4 months now takes three or four years to get done.  Plus I get stories by email or phone calls from people all over the United States who are literally attacked, singly, for some land use issue.  The government has no compunction about coming all over your land and writing you up on code violations.  Our “No Trespassing” sign, which is an 18″ x 24″ aluminum sign, is extremely powerful, and it specifically excludes government agents.  And the law, from what I have read from various sources, is that if an agent comes on your property and crosses over a “No Trespassing” sign which specifically excludes government agents and they collect evidence, that evidence is inadmissible in both an administrative and a court proceeding.

THE POST & EMAIL:  Is that only if you have a sign there?

MR.EWART:  If there’s no sign there, it’s open season for anyone who wants to come on, especially government agents.  If there’s a sign there, especially if it excludes government agents, it’s constructive notice not to trespass.  That’s one of the major things we have done for rural landowners across the country because we’re getting reports from people who have installed them and seen a government agent come up to the sign and then leave.

We also have what we call the “NARLO Offense” which includes three videos and a Powerpoint presentation on how to fight government without hiring a lawyer.  So from NARLO’s perspective, we’ve done quite a bit to try to get people to defend themselves with both the signs and information and knowledge about how to protect themselves.  One of the major areas is that people are being attacked individually by the government, and the individual has no resources with which to fight them. So we’re trying to get rural landowners together as groups to fight back.

THE POST & EMAIL:  That could be perceived as a unification factor because it’s happening to so many people.

MR. EWART:  It is, but people, especially rural landowners, are independent cusses, like me.  They often say, “By God, I was brought up to do it myself, and I’m going to do it myself, and I don’t need nobody’s help.”  Well, when you’re up against an enemy like the government, you better get some help because if you don’t, they’re going to roll over you.  NARLO got started was over ordinances that were being passed in the Seattle area on just the rural landowners, and we found out that it was happening all over the country.  Agenda 21 was being implemented in some of the most remote areas in the country, and often, people don’t know that it’s happening until suddenly, they try to do something with their property and they’re up against a brick wall.

That’s how NARLO got started.  The rural landowner is totally disenfranchised and has no vote.  The cities have all the votes.  The cities elect the representatives who go to the legislatures that pass these laws which affect only rural landowners.

THE POST & EMAIL:  What do you think could be done about that specific problem?

MR. EWART:  The only way that I see that problem being resolved is by noise – by an affected minority, the rural landowners making noise.  Locally, we have what we call “the horse-trailer brigade” where we ran horse-trailers right through downtown Seattle.  There have been a couple of those; they are effective for about a week (laughs).  If you don’t continue it, then they just forget us immediately.

THE POST & EMAIL:  Does that mean that you hook up a horse trailer to a pickup truck and drive it down the main street?

MR. EWART:  Yes, it’s essentially a convoy; you get horse trailers from all the place.  One time we did trucks and tractors.  That’s to let the city folk know that us rural folk aren’t going to lay down and play dead.

THE POST & EMAIL:  I’m trying to picture how that would look in Hartford, Connecticut (both laugh).

MR. EWART:  With four feet of snow on the ground, it might be a little tough.

THE POST & EMAIL:  If it works, and it’s peaceful, that’s great!

MR. EWART:  We have the right to peacefully assemble.  We got the permits.  I was down there talking to the county commissioners during the convoy as they watched it go by. But it takes people to do it.  One guy can’t do it.  I can’t do it all.  All I can do is hope to coalesce enough people to say, “Hey, let’s take ’em on!”

THE POST & EMAIL:  And then people have to show up.

MR. EWART:  They have to show up, and that’s been one of the problems.  When I first started getting these protests out there, I would call the news media and let them know that we were coming.  For the first two or three, they showed up with cameras and the whole works, but then they just flat ignored us.

For more than 30 years, I developed single-family rural lots.  I was neck-deep in the regulations and getting things permitted.  If you don’t hold these people in government accountable, they’ll run all over you.  They’ll quote laws to you that don’t exist.  That is the kind of thing that’s going on, and it’s not just in rural areas.  It’s everywhere we go.

Next week I’m going to take on the Environmental Protection Agency.  I’ll put together a history of the agency – when it was created and what it was created for – and now, what is it doing and how is it affecting people, not just rural landowners.  Two Sundays from now I’ll take on the Department of Education.


One Response to "Can Americans Overcome Their Divisions?"

  1. Fran   Sunday, March 24, 2013 at 6:37 PM

    All sides agree with what the problems are. That is why politicians state the problem as something has to be done. It’s just that they never state a solution and of course never come up with a solution, or at least the right one.

    Not to be negative, but to be a realist, we have been trying the be kind and lawful solution for over 5 years. Where has it gotten us? We need to make every effort, but with the way things are going it doesn’t appear that the rulers are going to back down.

    As for Ron getting his answer from the DHS, he will probably receive a personalized reply from the real Hitler before getting one from Napolitano.

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