My Father's House

By A. H. Watson

Chapter 1

The paper sack, heavy at the bottom, hung at his knee.

The damp air had given the oily paper the properties of cloth. It had lost its crispness, its resistance, despite the searing South Carolina sun.

The drive from Atlanta, winding through the low swamp sided road, as he traveled toward home, had filled the car with a muggy sogginess sucked from a foul mist that rose from fetid pools standing slack and cast-off, on both sides of the road,

The people that once hunted, fished, even bred in these wild swamps were long absent - gone to their graves - segued to the North - or had fled to the closest city? nearer potential work or, more often their government allotment.

It?s almost funny how many downright mistakes are so often taken as wisdom at the time. He thought this idly as the road rose to meet the coming river plateau. Thirty miles of good land stretched out before him. The best farmland in the state and yet; yet, so very hard on those that had worked it; kneading its bosom in a desperate search for sustenance.

Could it have really been that hard, that difficult, or was it a child?s memory playing tricks on his adult mind?

Hell, yes! It had been mean, the hardest-meanest thing he had ever done. How had his father stood the very same grinding labor? The hardscrabble labor that achieved no satisfaction - no job well done; thirty years, each year anew, little learned?nothing gained.

But that was not what bothered him now, or for the last thirty years. It was not that cross he bore; but rather a guilt so comfortable to wear; so easily fitting his body? and his nature? that after all these years it was his first thought upon rising, his last before fitful sleep. What consumed his daily life was not his having left ? but a sense of personal honor lost ? stolen - not of duty shirked, those long years ago.

He had run. He had broken and swiftly fled, saving himself, but dooming those he loved; those that looked to him for a steadiness, a safety in the continued family line. When all was said, all was summed and balanced against his account? in his mind - and in God?s own truth, he remained? but little more than a common thief.

He had become a wealthy man, but by what measure?

He was not a vain, nor a foolish man. He knew that any distance he could see?was from the vantage of bodies piled high, generations of family before him; most recently those bones of the living family - doomed by a box car rolling South - bearing their last hope away.

Yes, he continued mulling?the third week of September and it is hotter than a som?bitch. The hottest part of the year?always had been?since he was a child. But every book spoke of August as the hottest month. Every weathercast started off with just how damn hot it is?"for September."

Where had they been, these young people? What was the working age now days? thirteen? Didn?t the station keep charts? Couldn?t the young read? Damn if they didn?t act like September sneaked up on them and threw them a roundhouse. It was always hotter in September, and had been since the last ice age?yet every damn year the same thing.

?Well folks we hate to tell you? but old man weather has thrown us another curve. Seems we have a high that has stalled over South Carolina for the last three weeks. You know,( Harriett?Bunny?or whatever would say)? this is much like last year when we had another strange Fall" Bla? bla? bla.

When he turned off the paved main road, the soft springs of the Mercedes began to bottom on the hard baked clay ruts. This side road was what they call ?Georgia clay" the humps of the ruts as hard and unforgiving as if made of iron.

Very little dust trailed after the car; the red clay gave up its ?own" very grudgingly? low wisp of sand fell quickly back to the surface?leaving no record?any mark, on time or place.

Georgia Clay has three states; he remembered his grandfather say?hard as steel ?slick like ice ?and mud. Mud so strong, so thick, and tacky that once stuck, no convenience could free itself.

Clay roads are crowned in the middle - sloping toward the edge ? and bracketed on both sides by deep ditches; maintained clear, to readily drain accumulating water.

At the start of a light rain it is not uncommon to drive onto a clay road - stop in the middle - and watch as your car slides, from the crown of the road, into a muddy ditch.

Ice was seldom that slippery.

He remembered those wet times. That thought led quickly to the oft? told story of his grandfather miring his model-T Ford in the mud on the short cut to Columbia.

The weather broke hot the next week. When granddaddy sent my father to fetch the car, he had tied the front bumper to the tractor and pulled? the chassis popped ?plum off the wheels" ? leaving them and the axels sitting? stuck like boulders? in the dried red clay.

He smiled at the thought? but it was not funny in those days, money was too hard to come by. His Daddy had called it ?being a mite thin in the britches."

His father had not been a ?mean" man? mean in the sense it was now used. But, he had been taciturn, cold?his ration of humor having been beat out him by years of unyielding labor. Effort - matter how hard and unending - never offered tranquility, or even food on the table for those in fathers care. The hardest work came in those years God denied all ?rain ?crops? even hope.

Hope for better times?or even a better day.

It was strictness? the one trait God visited upon my father. It was that strictness my father, through his religion and daily acts, passed on to my brother, sister ?and eventually to his wife of many years.

All those born Southern, know?know?that while the father carries the weight and the pressure of a life lived close to the soil, it is the hard-laboring wife that shoulders the burden, both of her children, and churlishness of a husband lost, lost in his unsustainable pride and his ever present fear.

How unequal the battle, a willing, but uneducated man, against the gods? the weather, and the power of the economic interest, wielded, and then stacked against him, in case of further need.

A bad year, debt built?a good year, debt paid ?and then loans for the coming harvest.

Three bad years and the farm returned to the bank and the cycle began again, with new faces, new, more hopeful muscle? and souls not yet picked clean.

Did God make man hard and unforgiving? Or could it be, perhaps, that man made God ? in man?s own likeness?

He was still puzzling through this thought, when he realized he was lost. A road he had walked hundreds of times, and now lost?

Well, not really lost, just unfamiliar. What had it been?fifty years?

Trees can grow quite tall in fifty years, he mused.

The open fields and hedgerows long gone, the brush now closed in upon the road as though trying to squeeze it from existence. The fields had filled with waving brown sedge grasses and a smattering of long leaf pine mixed with cedar that marched away in long single lines, much as Christmas trees, planted in rows by some unseen master hand. Old fence lines, long rusted away, provided roost for Cedar Waxwings, which after feeding on seeds symbiotically created lines of ownership; unalterable by court or deed.

While vegetation may create some small confusion, the shape of the land never changes, at least in a man?s lifetime. The curve of the old road remained and the small hill, though now covered with brush and even large trees, still contained the stones and bones that tied him to this land.

Thirty years ago he had left this land after stealing from his father. Taking money his father had somehow put away - somehow wrestled from this hardscrabble farm.

He had taken only half, $150 dollars, from a sock on the low mantle over the fireplace. Fear and shame had ruled much of his life since.

His monumental success insufficient to assuage the word ?thief." He had carried that thought, like a stone, every day hence. His moment of failure and shame trumping at every turn any pleasure the many successes, his later life, had brought.

He had never cheated another man. He had cut hard bargains and advantaged himself where possible; But, most of all, he had never allowed others to cheat him. Doubt and caution had ruled his relationships in business and regretfully? at home as well.

Friendships crumbled, but by God he had never been made the fool!

That is how it seemed all these least till last month when the new knowledge near drowned him in doubt and recriminations.

From the worst kind of thief?to real wealth?in twenty years; it hadn?t taken that long? really?had it?

That long ago sundown when he stole from his father? then crept away? his father fast asleep, and it but little after the sun had set;

?A thief in the night," like the story says.

He had never considered at the time that, while running to save his own life, in doing so, he destroyed, as poor as it was, the life of his family. Its structure had been pulled apart by the loss of the oldest child, not only the heir apparent, but the second pair of hands. Hands desperately needed if the family were to remain a ?functional unit". (The phrase always used by county agent, when listing or tabulating the farm community.)

Two growing seasons later, as man?s time is - and perhaps should be ? measured, his mother had run off. She soon married the traveling preacher. The same Preacher man that annually moved through the local community saving souls.

In town they joked hard, saying that it looked as though? ?This time he had saved one? for himself."

A few years later, the preacher had pitched his tents hard by the tomato fields around Okeechobee, Florida. One night, after an especially rough night of prying the dimes and quarters from local heathens, he stepped out for a chew; he was beaten near to death. No one was charged or ever arrested. The local police said, ?It was as though someone had just come into town - beat the shit out of this fine Preacher - and ?upped and left."

The second season, after the farm?s meager crop had been ?set by," his sister Lois had run off to marry the son of the local Ford Dealer. Later that year and one step ahead of the Sheriff, his younger brother, with his father's blessing and written approval, joined the Army.

Alone, family dispersed to the winds, heavy with undeserved guilt, his father drank?then cried.

At 35 years, his hands old and gnarled before their time, he watched the banker, acting for himself and a few merchants in town, take his farm. It had been his ancestors land, his only anchor? and the family?s last connection to the soil.

I was told he drank himself west, to Atlanta, to the Fulton Bag and Cotton Mill. For thirty years, day after day, he tended and oiled the same looms, missing only two days work.

Farm habits died hard.

Chapter Two

We are here now. Isn?t this where the old mailbox stood? A lonely sentinel its only pleasure seemed taken in the bad news it had continually held.

Unsure he thinks further about his feeling at this moment.

Some say you can never really leave home, others that ?You can?t go home again". In a way they are both right. Why is that? Can they both be true?

Funny, fifty years, yet, every time he allowed himself to think about that night, the same phrase came to mind. ?A thief in the night, stealing away to a better life."

But he had never run to something better, he had run?from life.

Would he have done it all again? Even knowing what it had cost his family?

Yes! God damn it, yes! He would do it all again?despite the pain and grief it had caused.

Now! That is a righteous guilt; he thought, one big enough to make a man proud. But smiling at himself, he knew he didn?t even do sarcasm well?

As he started down his final path to home his soul lay languid.

All had changed, all but the cabin, one hundred and what, twenty years? Since the war at any rate?

His great grandfather had returned to a smoking hulk and a ransacked land. Sherman?s troops had missed his small plantation in the river bottoms, as they were busy burning whole cities. But the Yankee carpetbaggers, an efficient lot by Army or government standards, had taken it all only days before his return, leaving nothing? not a barn?or house standing? for black or white.

A legacy not far different from today he mused, and smiled inwardly in his guarded way.

The house - a cabin really - made from ?slabs" those first cuts from trees and not fit for Yankee lumber, sent North from his land?money not even offered.

The nails that held the slabs together were the only things left by victorious North?and they?had been sifted from the ashes of his family home.

A hundred twenty years, and like the South itself?the cabin still stood?an empty shell perhaps?love, duty, honor ?long gone to Texas," but, if nurtured with loving hands and understanding, a chance to live again.

In all the years since leaving home, he had not thought about those first few days or years. Asked about them, he would only state that little memory remained. That had been true, for when he reached back in time, only glimpses of the past returned, so faint they could well be wrong or misunderstood. But now, standing under the dead Chinaberry tree, he could see it all in his minds eye again?as real as yesterday.

Beyond the actual brambles that now circled the old farmyard, in his new memories, he could see far across the fields of growing cotton. Past the tobacco barn, past other fields, to the hardwood forest fronting the swamp - A distance, not far by car, but backbreaking weeks away by hoe and plow.Dust swirled in the hard packed patches of clean earth. Clay too hard for roots - even roots that could uproot concrete ? even given Gods good time.

In the swirls, the dust devils signaling a weather god gone mad, he could hear the music of the farm come to life. The bray of a mule?chickens in their constant mutter?a father?s much loved setter below the porch, panting in the heat. The house no longer seemed foreboding, the sound of his sister and brother at play, the regular squeak and tick of his mother?s shoes inside, hard at some daily task, all seemed so close, yet, fifty years? long goneHe had not? he would not? go inside and face that mantle. It had not been the reason for his trip ? his purpose was another matter? he felt reassuringly for his sack.

Men?no, society? seem to worship success. Money is but the trappings? the easy part really, he thought. There is no magic to wealth. It is not even necessary that the idea be new, untried, or require massive capital; only that you work an idea hard - almost any idea will do.

It helps, of course, if you pick stupid competition. He had the first time been lucky in the rivals he chose?Thereby his first small fortune. But from that day, till now, he had insured his luck by proper planning and contacts exploited.

How had he done it with no education past the 8th grade? Well, from what he had seen over the year, that education had given him a better foundation that most of the youngsters today?at least the young ones he saw.

Education, again from his view, was not what was taught in school but the appreciation? for knowledge?a thirst for future learning.

It had been, to the great extent, his fear of others and their knowledge, compared to his obvious ignorance, which had compelled him, at each turn, to learn every thing knowable about a deal?a company, before any business was conducted.

His first success had been luck of the draw. The fortunate prize, indeed, of drawing an over-educated and arrogant adversary. Yet the man that had eventually risen to the top of that organization once all the fools had been replaced or retired, had become a life long friend; a man whose word was like his own, a binding contract.

The night he left home he hopped a freight train rolling South.

Seated in an empty boxcar, he watched the sun appear a wet watery blob?Gleaming?at the edge of his new world; A golden path pouring out leading to a place that could only be better.

A boxcar sent South to fetch oranges and produce for a wealthier Northern nation. The car rattled and swayed on the uneven rails. Miles of palmetto and small islands of pine stretched to the distant horizon. They soon changed to orange and grapefruit trees lined up as if a impending battle loomed, Armies on the march? in endless procession.

A strange disquieting thought touched his mind - millions of the fruit and but a day away from home - yet neither he nor his family had tasted or held a grapefruit, to his knowledge?ever.

He had arrived in Florida at the start of its long boom. New retirees and the businesses they attracted, brought opportunity to any willing to work.

Long lines of drug dealers their attendant flash, cash, and behavioral excess added to the changing mix. Florida, at long last, had become truly the land of opportunity. A title, until then, hollow, without real meaning, little more than the booster shill of local Rotarians and other long time ?crackers."

Those almost natives looking for fresh suckers, fresh faces, fresh dreams to buy the land - the endless supply of land.

Dirt? Florida?s only real product?excepting, that is, citrus?it having only recently grown in importance.

Those first years, working as a day laborer, he moved through carpentry, plumbing and other attendant building trades. He had always known hard work and found construction easy; going long hours, stopping only long enough to quench his thirst, in the muggy Florida summers. This type of labor had an end of day, a stoppage of work and worry, conditions never found on the farm of the early fifties.

As he neither drank nor used drugs, management soon noticed his work ethic and the quality of that work. His main function became one of traveling from site to site, studying and suggesting ways to improve work quality. Mostly he would end with suggesting, not only, ways to improve, but methods and ideas for cutting cost as well.

Over these few years, what had been merely random thoughts grew into a vision so clear and obvious to him he could only assume some large company, some Northern conglomerate, owned his ideas and held the patents.

But none did, nor did any seem interested in providing a better housing value for the newly arriving hoards to the land of sunshine.

Over the years numerous under-funded companies, that built house trailers, had come upon the scene. Subjected to no real business planning, each company, almost without exception, competed in the market place on price alone.

This single fixation on price had led to its obvious result; a product containing the cheapest products available and shoddily built. Trailers or mobile homes?differentiated only by the crafty sleaze and promises of those that fostered them on the public.

He had experienced no great awakening?no epiphany.?Breaking, as a wild sea might, upon the rocks of his mind." He smiled to himself? then laughed in a rare moment of mirth at his Greek friend. The Greek, the owner of the construction company, was a man that spoke with poetic flourish at the drop of a hat.

In a strange way it was this love of language that had spurred his desire for knowledge. A better education, sought and gained by months that turned quickly to years, in the local Tampa library. He was such a fixture at the library that both visitor and staff assumed a connection, and each improved their ?act" when he was about; lovers would stop holding hands, rowdy children became quiet, at least until he was well gone from sight.


Lois remembered, in great detail, the day three years ago; that day that her life had changed for better.

No that is wrong, she thought to herself, not better?that could hardly describe her metamorphosis. A change that would mold her life in ways she could only imagine.

The large locked file, the accompanying large brown envelope that had arrived by post had changed her very being. Her heart, once weak, was now strong, steady, and filled with a growing purpose.

It had not been the money, she now realized?money had actually changed little. It was the power - the use of money - that had affected change in her and in those battles she chose to fight.

When Sam Jr. had run away those long years ago, her life had changed then as well.

Back then; she thought with bitterness that shocked her now, these long years later. Her father had begun to sit, staring across the sun-baked fields at land that had been his enemy?and friend during both feast and famine; soil he fought for a lifetime. But then to Lois, as she looked at her father at the window, a shadow in the falling light, it seemed a battle her father wished to loose?caught praying that his poor desiccated corn and oats be blown by their roots, from his dusty kingdom.

One Saturday in May, she and the Ford dealer?s son from Statesville married - Don, the dealer?s son, in a state of passion - Lois somewhat more removed? more circumspect.

During the war against Germany and Japan, know in most of the South as ?that other war." Don?s family sold black market goods in town. Gas, tires, meat - out of the back of a truck - anything that was scarce and thereby could bring a undeserved profit. This meant that those people that needed the goods most? received less, as price became sole factor in availability.

With the money from their criminal acts Don?s father had purchased the Ford franchise in Statesville, another family moving up?the Southern middle class was fungible if nothing else. Just as Lois?s family dropped out, Don Stoddard?s family, one step removed from white trash, moved up and in.

Except for the loss of old Southern roots and class it was a zero-sum transaction.

In the South, at the time, and until the beginning of the new century neither class nor station were determined by funds available, but by land and the years spent upon it, time spent shaping both the land and the society that built upon it, roots deeply seated, enmeshed with others that shared the promise and the pain of any agrarian effort.

. Hell, if money had been the signal sign of class, Charleston in the 1950?s would have been considered a ghetto, a third class collection of sickly, pale, funny speaking, Anglican ex-patriots.

But it wasn?t considered that way, it was, as grandmothers throughout the south had always said, ?Genes will out." Southerners learned that position may be purchased, but class is bred close to the bone. A distinction, if learned at all?learned by time and experience.

Chapter Three

Several years ago Sam had called Lois and described to her what he was in the middle of doing - of planning. The call had been long and heated. As Lois remembered, the call had ended with her refusing to accept Sam's wild plan. In fact, looking back, it had seemed improbable - no, impossible, that she could ever even entertain Sam's wishes.

In due time a packet arrived - letters, forms, stock and bank accounts were spread across her chandelle bed cover. Though some items were complex, nothing seemed too difficult to understand certainly no more difficult than keeping the books for the dealership her husband had almost run into the ground. Sam's long letter and deft description of his plan, made the complex discernable, thought Lois - but why would he depend upon me for such an important task?

Lois further remembered that her brother had often referred to her to be the "smartest hen under the house." All she could remember was that she had run away and married a shell of a man. A man so devoid of human compassion she was forced, in order to protect her own life, to put him out of the house at gun point, a few years later.

A man so weak, he was a bully to everyone he ever met.

Once Lois divorce was final, disliked and dismissed by the community, Don had lost the Ford Agency.

Southerners have long memories. Misdeeds cast shadows long after events have taken place.

The County knew the many despicable acts of black market sales by Don?s family during the war. Of course none mentioned that without their willingness to pay for goods not generally available, the likes of Don and others that traded on the misfortunes of war would never have been possible. Then there was the natural dislike of auto dealers and the smooth lying that seemed to be bred into the genes of the average car salesman.

After the war most car manufacturers quickly returned to car production, but with one very noticeable failing. The cars were delivered without bumpers as the mining of chrome ore lagged far behind the building of cars themselves. As the demand for cars was unreasonably high, it met Don's climate for the perfect scam. Don charged as much as double the manufactures retail price?.and further he charged heavily for bumpers to be delivered in three months. Around the courthouse, and in the bars and churches of the county, it was often remarked that here it was five years after the war and every damn Ford in the county looked like some out of weird contraption with its snout poking out front - bumperless.

By now, usually heavily dented, it was said that the Ford designer once came through town and wanted to know just why there were no Fords on the road.

With Don's reputation; then with Lois running him off and divorcing him, there was no way Don could make the car agency work. It was apparent that the little success that don has achieved had actually been that of the hard work of Lois ?not Don.

In a few months the company, in Don's name, was closed. Quietly, Sam bought it for little more that the bricks themselves would have cost stacked at the yard. Once back in Lois's hands it provided well - very well for a woman; especially one with no expensive habits or desires that reached much beyond her own small town.

In truth, Sam had picked the perfect person for his new venture. Women always make the most dangerous opponent. A Southern woman raised on beans from her own patch, flavored with fatback from her own, near pet, pig - was not a woman with whom to trifle.

Pay back, for a woman wronged, may come slow - but it always comes - usually ending with a balloon note.

Lois's husband returned twice to the house in the months after he was run off. The second time Lois called the Sheriff and then Don?s Momma, "Sheriff, I told you once, I was not gonna look up and see that white trash on the porch or waiting somewhere to grab me. Do you really want to have me on trial for killing that bastard - with every one knowing you could have stopped it all? I just know you plan on being Sheriff for years; you won't finish the year Bubba, 'cause if Don comes back over here I am going to bust him good and your troubles will have just begun."


Don was back over here last evening drunk as usual. I know you try, honey, but it has got to stop. I have told the Sheriff I will shoot him the very next time. Yeah, I know, "you know I will," but I may have to just to get his attention. You want to send him off somewhere? I'll pay. But Mildred don't be sniffling and crying if he puts another hand on me, or plan on getting in the jury room and telling what a sweet man your Don is. That dog won't hunt; you Tell him Mildred?. you best tell him 'fore I have to.

Mildred Honey, the Muscatines will be getting ripe next week, I know how you love 'em. I'll ask Clarence to bring you a bushel so you can make some of that wonderful jam with the hulls still in it. I declare nobody in this county can come close. None of the other women will even enter jam in the fair next month. Haven't for years have they?

Remember talk to Don - you tell him I am gonna bury his ass if he don?t stop bothering me."

All said, the various papers, deeds, and associated papers created a group of tightly held overseas corporations, investment trust, and a list of names, contacts...the short list, from thief - to banker to mercenary, to other high powered moneyed individuals. It was all there - needing but a will to direct and focus the use - in excess of two hundred million of Sam's wealth.

It could best be summed perhaps by Sam's last paragraph in his letter to Lois, the one that came with the papers.


Hope you don't find this too daunting, I have explained each function as to why it was done that way. Primarily it is to protect you from the coming storm. I have been insured that our privacy is complete, that no federal entity or even some rat bastard lawyer from ACLU can break the wall of separation. In a nutshell...for far, far too many years the left has had the support of both federal funds going to the ACLU, as well as, most other agencies. Perhaps we can do some damage that will sink some of their aircraft carriers

We both know winning is not to be, but if we can cause the people behind all the meanness and hate just some of the misery they have visited upon the decent people of our land, It should make for better sleep all around.

But being like the left, and destroying those that disagree with you - is in the playbook.

We have seen it done to good men on the right year after year, now is our turn - through you and those you draw to your cause - to do the same thing to them that they have been visiting upon us for years.

If there is to be a difference, let it be that we go to the source; the powers behind, that cause the destruction of fine men. Then quietly and without remorse, we hurt them as deeply as possible.

In doing this, it is important that we work and think smart. That their cost of fighting be much more expensive where possible, that we come at them from directions different and more powerful than those chosen in the past. Work on small cases; Yet, being able to see those times when a large move on our part could be the stake in the heart of the monster, and being unafraid to make that call.

HAVE NO DOUBT as to why you were picked - sister. The reasons were many, but simply, you have the strongest will I know, that coupled with sense of honor and duty rare in this day and time. No woman could take the hits you have taken and yet still bail Don and all his trashy family out of their continued problems. I hear his Mother calls you the "angel in iron britches." You know not only how to fight the hard battle, but which battles to pick!

Remember planning is every thing - especially planning for what the enemy will do - as it offers much in additional ways to skin them raw.

The last reason is somewhat more objective. You are much younger Sis, and this needs to be an on going, long time action. You are that one person that can react and change, as time requires. You know me. I am high on concept but short on the implementation level. It needs a bulldog not some hound like Daddy's.

You remember "Smut"?

Daddy said long before we were born Smut had come out from under the porch; Looked around saw it was mostly all shit - went back under the front steps never to return except on a few cold nights when he condescended to go coon hunting with Daddy. Fact was Daddy said it was that damn dog that made him give up Coon hunting. Said he didn't mind the dog walking behind him all night but that he would just STAND there till Daddy would come back down the trail and hold the branch or limb back so Smut could get past.

We will be talking weekly I would imagine; maybe by the end of the year you can come down here or perhaps you can go home again. I'll just have to see.

. Sam

Lois stood looking out the front window; her mind filtering back to the first encounter with what she would soon see would be a continually occurring case. In almost every situation when they took up the banner themselves; they found, behind it all, would be the ACLU and the ever-present DNC - digging, whining, and lying to all that would listen - including the courts.

She had somewhat stupidly felt there would be a learning curve, which the cases would be small at first?but it was not to be.

Lessons Learned.

There are NO small cases. Each case affects people that care - people that have been fighting long lonely battles against a well-funded enemy that gives no quarter.

So long before you hold out hope; before you offer to help, before you hold out your hand and march to the front of their tattered Army, be committed to go the distance. Remember to pull no punches but rather function with the knowledge and the intent to destroy to the point of utter destruction the organizations and indeed the very individuals responsible their act.

This is not a question of "breaking even" with the enemy; fighting to a draw, or retiring to fight again. Each case, every individual deserves the full weight you can bring to bear. With good fortune, clever and clear thinking winning should be complete. The first few cases should catch them still believing that our God must have joined the ACLU - not that he has come down with the jaw of an ass and is about to smite them about the head and body.

Remember, It is hard to hurt organizations unless you can involve them in some federal suit. So attack the individuals with multiple legal actions. As a rule of thumb it cost four times as much to defend a legal action as it cost to mount the suit. This is especially so when you have amassed many facts about the individual that can be used in a variety of ways.

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