The elevator door opened on the third floor at the Massachusetts Federal and State Court. Standing nearest the door was a young woman, perhaps in her early 30s, dressed in black slacks and a long grey ruffled blazer. Black hair pulled back, with just a hint of a tail swinging when she walked. To her left, only a step back, was a tall man also appearing to be in his early 30s. Sporting a pressed baby blue oxford shirt with black and white tie, he towered over the other two in the elevator at nearly a foot taller. His cleanly shaven head a style choice of his own doing, he wore an anxious expression on his face. To his immediate right, a woman of about the same height as the other leaned against the wall. Her blonde hair fell just past her shoulder blades, framing the tired expression written clearly across her face. She is clearly several months into pregnancy.
They walked down the hall in the Commonwealth’s Family Court section of the courthouse. The faux wooden floor showed increasing signs of wear as a result of a recent bill passed by the legislature of the great state of Massachusetts which had increased cases in this area nearly twofold. The whitish-blue hue of the lights reflected off the metal clasps with a twinkle, undoubtedly from the third light overhead that seemed to be dancing with each footfall. As they passed through the hall, the man noted the numbers on the doors. Perspiration gathered on his forehead as the room numbers got higher; 309, 310, 311, 312.
They were at the entrance to their assigned courtroom.
A computerized voice begins, “Please place thumb on pad.”
The young woman in the grey blazer steps up first. Setting her briefcase on the floor, she leans over slightly to place her right thumb on the scanner. “Counselor Kathleen Dearborn, you are authorized. Please step to your right.”
The other young lady steps forward, trepidation clearly evident in her expression and body language. She places her right thumb unto the scanner. “Mrs. Heidi Teach, age 32, approved. Please step to your right.”
The gentleman, seemingly frozen in his spot, looked over to the pregnant woman. He looked stressed to the brink of fainting.
“Mr. Teach, you need to place your thumb on the scanner so we can enter,” said the counselor.
He finally mustered the strength to move towards the machine, placing his thumb upon the scanner as well. “Mr. Benjamin Teach, age 34, approved.”
“All may enter the court.”
The mechanical doors opened swiftly, the aroma of wood and leather wafted out from the court house. This room has been used frequently lately and the discolored surface shows a pattern of high-traffic wear.
The three walked into the courtroom. A small room, it contained just three chairs, flags of the United States and of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and a large video screen between the flags. The computerized voice came over the speaker once more.
“Please be seated until the judge is ready to hear the case.”
One by one they sat, with the counselor sitting nearest the right wall. She appeared confident and rested the briefcase on her lap. Quietly opening it, she gathered up some papers. Mr. Teach moved his chair slightly closer to his wife. He reached out his hand to hers and she accepted it. They gazed at each other, both clearly worried and each clearly in love with the other.
Three minutes later the video screen came on. The state emblem was shown toward the center; however, it was the numbers below that cut everyone’s eyes. It read: Estimated time before judge enters, 3 minutes 14…13…12 seconds...
As the time approached zero, the light changed color from vibrant blue mild yellow hue.
“Please rise for the Honorable Marjorie Smith,” rang out the computerized voice.
An older female appeared on the screen, her once-brown hair laced heavily with strands of silver. She wore the customary judge’s robe and her emotions were muted, at least facially.
Once more the computerized voice came on: “Your honor, this is case number 352-2901, Commonwealth of Massachusetts versus Mr. and Mrs. Teach.”
The judge looked quickly down at her iPad, then back at the individuals in the room. “Mr. and Mrs. Teach, please rise.”
The married couple rose together, still holding hands.
“Mr. Benjamin Teach, 34 and Mrs. Heidi Teach, 32, both of 176 Devonshire Road, stand before this court to claim that you wish to keep your child. Is this correct?”
“Yes your honor,” they answered.
“Mr. Teach, what was your life value rating the last 2 years please?”
“7.75 and 8, your honor.”
The judge looked at Mrs. Teach. “And yours?”
“7.5 and 8.5, your honor.”
The judge nodded to both of them, then glanced back down at her notes. “It is my understanding that this is your first child, together or apart, and that per recent legislation, the results of your DNA testing at week 12 of pregnancy has brought you to this court. Very well, the court has entered your plea to have this child. Be seated.”
The judge tilted her head in the direction of the counselor, “Please rise, Ms. Dearborn.” The judge waited for the attorney to rest the opened briefcase on the floor. “It is my understanding that in today’s case, you advocate in the interest of the Commonwealth more than for the child. Is this correct?”
“Yes your honor, though I will do my best for both.”
The judge looked down once again. “It is my understanding that DNA testing of both parents and the baby to be revealed that the child will be male and shares DNA traits of Mr. Teach. Is this correct?”
“Yes your honor.”
“What do the Commonwealth and the child have to say?”
“Your honor, as a result of the prenatal DNA and parentage testing, it was revealed that Mr. Teach has the gene for Alport Syndrome. The documentation I submitted explains the likelihood of a male offspring of Mr. Teach inheriting this syndrome even though he himself does not show signs of it. Using this standard, the Commonwealth has given the child a score of zero, as does the child itself. By this score, there is no other recourse than to terminate the pregnancy by statute 87-3841, The Cost Analysis of Each New Life.”
With this, young Mrs. Teach began to cry. Her husband held her hand tightly, the anger flashing across his brow unmistakable.
The judge, reading from her iPad, said: “I have an affidavit from Dr. Michael Bowman, an expert in the field of Alport Syndrome, that summarizes the following: That while Mr. Teach does not carry the dominant trait, it is indicated in the current offspring. Life expectancy of an individual with AS is under the age of 40 for nearly 90% of individuals with this condition. Additionally, women with this are typically only carriers and can live to normal life expectancy. With the genetic difficulties that will be passed on to the unborn child, it will likely need frequent medical attention. It is my opinion that any female offspring would be okay, but should be noted in their records of possible carrier genetics.”
The judge looked over to the couple. “I am sorry Mr. and Mrs. Teach. According to the Dr. Bowman’s affidavit and the laws of the Commonwealth, I have no option but to rule in favor of the Commonwealth and the baby. Termination of the defective offspring shall take place immediately. Additionally, per the recommendation of Dr. Bowman, I must also conclude that any further male offspring will have to be terminated upon the mandatory 12-week visit. If DNA results determine the offspring is female, you will be excluded from trial again and will be safe to have that child in peace. Additionally, if evidence should surface that changes Mr. Teach’s status as a carrier of the gene, or if a cure is found, you are invited to come back to this courtroom immediately to nullify the future male pregnancy ruling.”
The judge rose. “Mr. and Mrs. Teach, based on your life value rating, I have no doubt you both will be good parents one day. I am sorry that the ruling today goes against you. Case closed.”
With that the TV fell dark and the Teachs attempted to console each other as best they could. But they knew that outside the door was a bailiff waiting to escort them to Massachusetts General to terminate their child.
“Freeman… yes… Dr. Freeman. So you are a doctor?” The gruff agent looked over the paper file at the well-dressed elderly man facing him from the other side of his dull grey metal desk.
“No sir, that is my name. Doctor Freeman.'' the man stated.
“Are you in this country legally?” the agent asked.
“Yes sir, born and raised just north of here. In fact, I’ve never really strayed from this area.” the old man replied.
“How old are you, umm… Mister… Doctor Freeman?” the agent stumbled over the strange name.
“Well, I’m not sure. I believe I am about 61 or 62 years old. The people who raised me never told me. They passed when I was quite young, and I went through their records, but they only had a very old picture of me as a baby. My name was scribbled on the back. Doctor Freeman.” The old man adjusted his glasses and smiled.
“I must say that is an unusual name.” The agent scowled slightly, then continued, “May I have your Social Security number for our records please, MISTER Freeman?”
The old man fidgeted in his chair and replied, “I don’t think I have one of those.”
“Mr. Freeman,” the agent huffed, “everyone has one. Do you mean to tell me you have never been asked for your Social Security number?”
“Well, no.” Doctor Freeman replied “I don’t believe anyone has ever asked me for that.”
The agent mumbled and turned to his computer. After a few minutes of pecking at the keyboard, he turned back to the old man with a raised eyebrow, “There doesn’t seem to be a Doctor Freeman in our records. Mister Freeman, was your name ALWAYS Doctor Freeman?”
“Oh, yes sir,” the man assured the agent. “I have been called that name since I was a very little boy! I’ve never thought to change it.”
“Mister Freeman, do you know why you are here?” The agent dismissed the old man’s response.
“Well, they said something about money I owed to the government, I believe” said Doctor Freeman. “But I don’t remember owing money to anyone. I’ve never borrowed a dime in my life!”
“MISTER FREEMAN” the agent barked, “Our records indicate that you have never filed a tax return or paid taxes in your life, you have never even held a job, or applied for any government entitlements. Yet you live in a decent house and obviously do not want for food or clothing.”
“Is that illegal?” Freeman asked in a concerned tone.
“YES! Well, no. Not really. But when we come across someone like you, we usually find that they have been committing crimes to maintain their lifestyle,” the agent explained. “It’s obvious that you make a living somehow, and we need to find out how much money you have, where you have it, and how much you owe the government in back taxes!” The agent’s voice grew more accusatory by the second as he attempted to intimidate the elderly man into cooperating.
He cringed at the thought of having to dig through mounds of files or spend countless hours on the database trying to figure out who this man was and how much he owed. Everyone owed money to the government. That’s just the way it was. “Show me the man and I’ll show you what he owes” was the agency’s secret motto. Everyone had something to hide and this ‘Doctor’ fellow was no exception.
The agent tried to remain calm, but it was beginning to sink in that this old man was going to cause him no end of trouble.
“I assure you, sir,” the old man calmly stated, “that I have never had or acquired any money in my entire life. I simply do not use or need a form of currency to sustain myself. I don’t function that way. I believe in a universal truth: Give and you will receive. I have spent my life giving what little I have to those in need. I have found that in return, the world supplies me with what I need. Yin and Yang, reap what you sow… call it what you will, it balances itself out nicely.”
Suddenly the agent’s eyes brightened. “Mister Freeman, that is called bartering! Bartering is a form of income that requires both parties to claim the value of the good or service on form 1099B. You see Mister Freeman, you DO owe the government money!” The agent had him cornered now. The hardest part of the work was done. Now, it was merely a game of fill in the blanks to create an amount this Doctor Freeman had to pay.
"But I don't barter," the old man grinned. "I give freely to people who honestly cannot afford what I give them. Some time later, a completely different person will supply what I need, almost like magic. I don’t believe your law defines that as bartering."
The agent's eyes narrowed again. A breath pushed from his lungs. He could feel his blood pressure beginning to rise. The old man was right, technically.
“I’ll be the judge of that!” snarled the agent, “Do you own the house where you reside?”
“No.” Doctor Freeman stated matter-of-factly. ‘It belongs to the Martin family. They’re so kind! They use it as a summer home and I’m watching it for them as a favor.”
“And he’s paying you to watch it, I presume?” the agent shot back.
“Oh, Heavens no!” The old man pushed his glasses up again then added, “I wouldn’t think of charging them just to watch a house. That seems silly.”
“Yes, of course,” the agent mumbled. “I suppose you don’t own a car.”
“No sir. A kind neighbor was heading into town and gave me a ride here,” the old man grinned again.
“Any assets at all?” the agent’s voice cracked slightly as the first hint of doubt made its way past his vocal cords.
“I guess I have my clothes. I have a coffee cup that those wonderful people at the Salvation Army gave me for Christmas when I helped them with their concert last year!”
The agent moaned in disbelief. There was no WAY this could be true. Nobody gets a free pass in life. Nobody gets to go through life without being pulled into the system in some way. If you were in this nation, you either had to be fed by the system or feed the system unless you were one of the fortunate few who controlled the system. Yet here was this Doctor Freeman (if that was really his name) sitting in front of him, totally disconnected from the entire machine, winning by not playing. He was obviously thriving, yet had nothing of value. Or did he? The agent smirked at the thought forming in his head. He was determined to expose this entire scam. He was going to beat the old man at his own game.
“Mister Freeman, assuming your view of Yin and Yang is correct, if you have no assets besides a few personal items, what exactly do you give to the world that somehow obliges it to supply you with your needs?”
Doctor Freeman leaned forward with a sparkle in his eyes, “I’m a healer!” he beamed.
The agent raised a curious eyebrow, “So, you ARE an actual Doctor?”
“No, sir,” the old man smiled even broader now. “I’m a healer. I always have been. I fix broken spirits. It’s a gift I’ve had since I can remember. Yep, if you have a broken spirit, just call Doctor! You see, if I were to charge for my services it would corrupt the purity of my talent. It is imperative that I live differently from others. Money… currency means nothing to me. Maintaining my balance with the world is everything. It allows me the freedom to give and receive without being distracted by trivialities like mundane jobs, money, taxes, and government systems. Can you understand that, sir?” His tone was serious now.
“I see, Mister Freeman.” It all made sense to the agent now. Freeman was insane. The agent was sure that his name was not ‘Doctor,’ and he was sure that the poor sap before him was a delusional idiot living an imaginary life, likely wandering around the outskirts of town talking to the sky and shouting at traffic. This changed everything. He felt an unfamiliar twinge of sympathy cross his soul.
The agent reached for his phone to call the proper authorities that would take this nuisance out of his office and get him off the streets. It was getting late and the agent had a lunchtime appointment he needed to attend so he could get his prescription updated.
“Mister Freeman, I am going to turn you over to a specialist who can get you the help you need. You may not owe money after all, but they will help you figure that and a lot of other things out,” the agent softly explained as he rose to his feet. The door opened and a social worker quietly entered behind the old man.
Doctor Freeman rose to his feet and smiled at the lady, then turned to the agent and grabbed his hand in an unexpected, firm handshake.
“Thank you, sir,” he smiled as his shimmerling eyes met the agent’s. “I hope you find what you’re looking for.”
“Umm…,” the agent stammered. His head swam for a quick second, and he suddenly felt something he had not felt since he was a very young boy. “Yes. Good day, Mister Freeman.”
The old man winked and a knowing smile crossed his face. “Please, call me Doctor.”
The social worker led the old man through the door and out to the parking lot. She turned to the old man smiling, “Doctor Freeman, do you need me to drop you back off at the Martin’s house?”
“That would be wonderful, Barbara!” Doctor Freeman smiled broadly again. “And how is that young lady I spoke with last week? Have her suicidal thoughts left her?”
At the onset of World War II, the United States Department of War recruited several Hollywood producers to help them with an issue they perceived would be a major problem upon entering the looming global war. The idea of isolationism permeated a large percentage of the population at the time, and the United States risked sending a demoralized, reluctant force into the European theater if the threat to American interests escalated, which it did. Director Frank Capra, after reviewing a private screening of Nazi propaganda film "Triumph of the Will," wrote: “I could see where kids of Germany would go any place, die for this guy. How do we counter that?”
Yet counter it he did. In a series of American military-financed propaganda films called “Why We Fight,” Capra, using footage from Germany’s propaganda films to illustrate ideological differences between the Axis and American values, helped sway the opinion of Americans to support the war effort.
Flash forward seventy years, and we find the Hollywood propaganda machine still churning out thought-changing narratives. Somewhere along the way, however, the message has changed drastically. Long gone are the pro-American messages of “rugged individualism, capitalism, mom, apple pie, and Chevrolets.” These messages have transformed into the Marxist rhetoric of socialism, communism, and strange apocalyptic warnings of an environment that will surely turn on us soon if the ‘little people’ keep refusing to live even smaller.
Propaganda is biased or misleading information used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view. Merriam-Webster defines it as “The spreading of ideas, information, or rumor for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution, a cause, or a person.” In essence, it is a form of marketing, which is promoting and selling of a good or service… and in this age, a person. Governments sometimes use propaganda to encourage positive change, alter public perception on a health benefit, or simply to try to get people to stop throwing trash on the streets. However, people throughout the ages have routinely been susceptible to accepting the most egregious doctrines presented to them by cunning leaders using propaganda mixed with fear tactics.
Enter the Hollywood elites and the mainstream media.
It is nearly impossible to go into a theater, watch a television show, or catch the evening news without exposing oneself to blatant, spoon-fed propaganda painting American values as antiquated, racist, sexist, ignorant, and destructive. Social media, internet news sources, and even our education system are all rife with Marxist dogma and overblown isolated examples that would make Upton Sinclair proud. The formula the hard left is using right now is as old as communism itself: ‘Propaganda for the susceptible masses, violence and force to quell the free thinking.’ The leftists who run Hollywood are the purveyors of propaganda. Antifa, if left unchecked, will be the violent force to mop up the stubborn freedom lovers.
The recent influx of YouTube ‘commercials’ starring washed-up Hollywood activists are almost comical in nature, yet they serve to feed the intellectually indolent their daily dose of confirmation that the Orange Man is Bad, and the world will end soon unless he is replaced. Likewise, a pinhead actress-turned-pinhead activist is seen crying ‘pretty tears’ on social media, trying to convince Mr. and Mrs. America to fling open the borders and disregard laws ‘for the sake of the children.’ Her message only serves to prick the hearts of the unaware, who fail to realize the end game of mass undocumented migration into this nation is to displace the current population and usher in a form of government with a historically dismal failure rate.
This writer’s daughter, when asked why she chose a career in marketing, summed it up best: “Because I don’t have to like people, I just have to manipulate them.'' A cynical outlook for sure, but one that makes sense when observing the current climate of Hollywood, the media, and socialists who have gained a foothold in Washington D.C. These people are not friends or allies. They are the tools used by power mongers to usher in a political system that will enslave everyone except the politically elite and their lap dogs. The fight is up to the freedom-loving individual to expose propaganda wherever found, especially in social media, entertainment, education, and media sources. Knowledge truly is power when fighting the battle of ideas.
Just a gaggle of people from all over who have similar interests and loud opinions mixed with a dose of humor. We met on Twitter.