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Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.


“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.


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“If you want to care for your grandson you will have to give up some of your constitutional rights.”

Fascist Michigan: The state’s Department of Health and Human Services has decided that for a Marine to take custody of his own grandson he needs to sacrifice his second amendment rights.

The Johnsons were going to take custody of their grandson to keep him from going into foster care. When they went to pick up their grandson, William, a retired, disabled Marine with a Concealed Pistol License (CPL), was searched for a firearm. He was not carrying a firearm at the time. At that point, agency officials told the Johnsons that they would be required to provide all firearms’ serial numbers to the agency as part of a registry. When Johnson questioned agency workers, he was given a surprising response.

“If you want to care for your grandson you will have to give up some of your constitutional rights,” a MDHHS worker retorted.

When the Johnsons appeared before a Gogebic County Court judge, the judge reiterated the agency worker’s statement. “We know we are violating numerous constitutional rights here, but if you do not comply, we will remove the boy from your home,” the judge said. [emphasis mine]

For a state judge to issue an order that he knows violates the Constitution is outrageous. He should be removed from office immediately. Unfortunately, nether the article nor the actual court papers appear to give his name.


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  • wayne

    The link for the actual lawsuit PDF, is at the article, but I’ll repeat it–

    –Read the actual State Regulation that is being challenged.

    On my first read through— this is going to boil down to Administrative “health & safety” stuff. (Depending on the Judge of course.)
    -I’ve had a lot of experience with the Rules & Regulations from this Department, there is very little that can not be imposed, under ‘health & safety,’ and that has a lot of weight. (and began 100 years ago I might add.)
    It appears on it’s face, to be a question of ready-access. If that’s how they argue, I’m not hopeful.

    I do empathize greatly with these people, (and wish them well) but it’s not the specific Case, nor the specific Regulation I’d want to challenge myself.

  • Steven Stein

    The Constitution does not grant Rights . It guarantees Rights that preexist. You could repeal the 2nd Amendment and the result will change nothing.

  • Joel Massie, District Court Judge. There’s a magistrate listed but I doubt they’d be ruling on custody cases.

    Courthouse pbone: 906-663-4611.

  • wayne

    For those not familiar with Michigan, this is happening in Gogebic County, which is in the Upper Peninsula, and that County Court had original jurisdiction over the foster-care case.

    Blair– it’s not a ‘custody-case’ per-se, not in the common sense, but it does fall into the “Family Court” realm in Michigan, and is purely a procedural matter. (What is un-stated, is the original status of the child. The grandparents were apparently specifically asked by the State to become Foster Parent’s, and being such demands specific requirements.
    From what I’m seeing– they are primarily challenging the provisions of Rule 415 [R400.9415]
    “A Foster Parent shall follow the agency’s hazardous materials policy….”
    Which, in brief and paraphrased, requires weapons owned by Foster Parent’s, to be locked-up and un-loaded. It doesn’t state you can’t have them, you just can’t have them “ready for immediate use.”
    That is what the crux of the issue is, on it’s face, as far as I can tell.

    The suit itself is now a “federal case,” in that it was filed in the United States Federal District Court–Western District of Michigan. Which covers all of the Upper Peninsula and the West coast of Michigan.

    I hear you!

    That boat sailed about 100 years ago. The Administrative State has the power to do darn near anything, and I mean anything, under very broad Police and Health & Safety measures.

  • Cotour

    If the concern here is that there is a weapon in the home and that fact creates a threat to the child, then what if the grandfather’s house was invaded by individuals that had firearms and meant the family harm and the grandfather was unable to protect the child?

    The court chooses to create one scenario that threatens the child, what about all the other scenarios that protect the child?

    You can create any scenario to suit your goal.

  • wayne

    The County Court didn’t create this Rule, but they did botch it’s application, big-time.
    As to the Case Worker & original Judge specifically; both were absolutely operating under the Color of Law, and both do not appear to have a grasp of the spirit or the language, of the Rule. (That’s a different matter.)

    That being said– this is not the specific test case, for which I would sign up. Highly empathetic but, “one doesn’t want to mess with this Agency, ever.”
    >>The case law is quite extensive and very little of it supports the grandparents.

    (There are also a number of unstated factoids which I would professionally want to know the complete details, but which do not play a role in the actual complaint.)

    This is part of the actual scenario, that will play out in Federal Court; the Rule in question.

    Michigan Foster Care Regulations:
    “Rule 415 [R400.9415]
    (1) A Foster Parent shall follow the agency’s hazardous materials policy.
    (2) Dangerous and hazardous materials, objects, weapons, chemicals, medications or equipment that may present a risk to children placed in the foster home shall be stored securely and out of reach of children, as appropriate for the age and functioning level of the children.
    (3) Firearms are subject to the following conditions:
    (a)- stored in a locked metal or solid wood gun safe or
    (b) trigger locked and stored without ammunition in a locked area.
    (c) Ammunition shall be stored in a separate locked location.
    (d) A handgun shall be registered.
    [History: Effective January 1, 2001. Amended Effective January 5, 2015]

    After multiple readings of the Complaint, it does strike me that this might be a fairly ingenious route, on multiple levels, but it’s just not as black-and-white as I would like it to be, and for that reason I hold little hope in a positive outcome.

  • Edward

    We know we are violating numerous constitutional rights here …” — Constitution-violating judge

    wayne’s arguments that this is not the case that we think it is are falling on deaf ears (blind eyes?) on my end. The judge has declared that what he is doing is a violation of the US Constitution. He knows that it is wrong for him to do it.

    Whether there are state level rules or laws — or even precedence — saying that it can be done, the judge has stated that he is willingly violating the Constitution by upholding them.

    Not only is he doing so willingly and with full knowledge that he is doing so, he gleefully brags in court to doing so.

    As for the judge’s knowledge of the US Constitution, he is not violating “constitutional rights;” he is violating natural rights and violating the Constitution itself. As Steven Stein noted, in his comment above, the rights being violated are not granted by the Constitution. They are not granted by the government and cannot be withdrawn by the government or any of its agents or representatives.

    The rights exist at all times.

    The Constitution guarantees that the judge cannot do what he is doing. The state cannot have rules, regulations, or laws that do what is being done. The Second Amendment takes precedence over the judges in every state and the constitution or laws of any state. It says so, right there in sepia and lighter sepia, in Article VI, clause 2:
    This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States … shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

    The Second Amendment guarantees that the grandfather may simultaneously have children as well as firearms in his house. He may bear those arms, loaded and ready or not. His carry permit demonstrates that he is very much aware of how to properly handle firearms, so the state has no reason to fear the grandfather or the firearms, but the grandfather (and we) now has reason to fear the (now outlaw, Constitution-ignoring-and-ignorant) state.

    The judge is ignorant on the subject of civics and of the supreme law of the land, and this is just as upsetting as his glee at doing what he knows to be the wrong thing. Here he is, passing (mis)judgment on people, and he has no understanding of the base power and law of the land that he openly, willfully and happily violates.

    If this is the kind of lawyer that law schools are creating, these days, then we civilians are in serious trouble. Our rights could just as easily be gleefully violated by the very people whom we have charged with protecting those rights.

    Yes, there is evil in the land, and it sits in positions of power. Even in Michigan.

  • J. S. Bridges

    First – since I am not now (nor ever expect to be again) either a legal resident of NOR a property-holder within NOR employed in any way, shape or even minor manner, within the State of Michigan nor any subdivision nor subsidiary of it, here’s my standing from which I will Comment, in context, on what I believe to be the PRACTICAL solution to this problem: Until roughly 15 – 20 years ago, I WAS, in fact, a full-time-to-part-year legal resident of the State of Michigan for a period of just over 30 years (most of it in the Lower Peninsula [largely in Oakland and Macomb Counties, easily the most “law-bound” and grossly-State/County-legally-restricted and grid-locked counties/areas of the entire State], some of it in the Upper Peninsula). During that time, due to being employed primarily (for about 2/3 of that time)in the public education system and also due to being periodically (for most of that time) a State- and County-licensed builder and/or business owner/operator, I had all-too-close and all-too-often-intimate contact with the often rigid and highly-regimented legalisms espoused by the so-called “public services” sector of Michigan’s law-dog bureaucracies and courts/court “officers”, at many levels, with special reference to their overly-“paternalistic” law-dogging re: juveniles, foster families, and alleged “Child and Family Protection(s)”.

    From that perspective: Within its assumed (and, in general, self-defined) Legal Jurisdiction, the legal system, at both State and County levels, in Michigan, allows for virtually NO assumption of parental, foster-parental and/or child-custodial rights whatsoever EXCEPT as it is EXPLICITLY spelled-out within County, District and/or State Rules. Ordinances and/or Regulations, AS DEFINED EXPLICITLY BY the State, the Courts having any level of jurisdiction, and/or State/County Child Protective Services agents/agencies.

    This means – in simple terms – that “the Law” is whatever the State, the Courts and/or Child Protective Services (a subdivision of Michigan’s Department of Health and Human Services [MDHHS]} declare it to be…even if that, in fact or appearance, “overrides” ANYone’s “Constitutional Rights”, in any and all respects.

    In practical effect, in the State of Michigan, the viewpoint by the authorities (where juveniles-to-children-to-infants are concerned) is simple: the State and its “legal agents and officers” (MDHHS, that is) OWN ALL OF THE KIDS, and adults – regardless of their lawful parental/relational/foster-parental/custodial “standing” within any part of the State – have ONLY such status or control – or RIGHTS – as the State MAY be willing to allow…within their own rules and regulations.

    The “little joys” of living in a legally-deep-Blue State…especially one that is rabidly-paranoid concerning private-citizen-owned firearms at virtually ALL levels of government, State-wide.

    Michigan, BTW, is NOT the only State where this kind of thing goes on, nor the only State that takes this kind of “stand” when it comes to individual rights vs. the State rules and/or regulations – not even close. It’s simply one of the most pernicious and blatantly, openly-offensive about such matters.

    Therefore – trying to successfully-contest any alleged “violation” of ordinarily-Constitutionally-guaranteed rights -such as a certain retired-Marine’s firearms rights – is probably a waste of time, effort and money. The “legal authorities” will win any contest – the “game” is rigged against you; the fix is in, the Courts – if contested – will defeat you, every time. Yes, it is POSSIBLE that, if the matter is taken to the Federal Courts level (as it appears is presently happening), the retired-Marine foster father (of his own grandson) MAY – eventually – win such a contest (to allow him to re-exert his supposedly-protected-by-the-Constitution firearms rights…best of luck to him, though. It seems rather likely, though – at this point – that, by the time such a case can reach a favorable conclusion, the grandson will no longer be a juvenile nor a foster child – and the matter will have been rendered “moot” by the passage of time. This is NOT the first go-round for the child-“authorities” in such matters as this; this is the way the “rules of the game” have been “played” for a long, LONG time – I’m actually slightly-surprised this hasn’t surfaced publicly long since. Perhaps it has, and I simply missed it; I don’t know.

    The very best of luck, also, to the Second Amendment Foundation, as well as to Mr.and Mrs. Johnson (the foster parents/grandparents) –

    Incidentally – I DO hope Mr. Johnson was not foolish enough to give the Gogebic County “authorities” ALL of his firearms info, as was originally-demanded – as it is a CERTAINTY that, should there EVER be an occasion on which Child Protective Services decides to make a “home visit”, and they should decide (in their sole and “infinite” wisdom) that there is a “problem” with the home, involving any part of the Foster Care Regulations – any and all of those “listed firearms” should be expected to be confiscated forthwith – can’t be too careful, where “child safety” is concerned, y’know?…

  • eddie willers

    (3) Firearms are subject to the following conditions:
    (a)- stored in a locked metal or solid wood gun safe or
    (b) trigger locked and stored without ammunition in a locked area.
    (c) Ammunition shall be stored in a separate locked location.
    (d) A handgun shall be registered.

    I think they can demand all but (d).

    I would think a 1L could win that one.

  • Cotour

    After reading J.S.Bridges Orwellian account I would recommend that the Marine submit to the state (If he is determined to care for his grand son) and move to another state.

    In the end the child and a stable family structure is what is important here.

    Q: Would the state demand that the Marine NOT be able to move to another state and remain under the states control before the boy is an adult as a part of their ALLOWING the man to have his grand child? If the answer to that question is true then the state truly does essentially “own” the child and the Marine by extension.

  • wayne

    Interesting input by all!

    I’ll address this in a bit more depth, after I’ve had my coffee.

  • wayne

    You beat me to it…
    Personally– I would move to a different State if I was the grandparent, and I would review that State’s laws regarding Foster care, before I moved.
    (and I would shut up about owning any firearms.)

  • wayne

    Interesting input by all!
    -Just to be clear, I do oppose the events leading up to this case. Getting at them (the State, et al), is an entirely different matter, and quite frankly, that ship sailed a long time ago, which is why I am not hopeful in this specific instance.
    -I would just say up front– We are not living in the America, people of my age cohort grew up in, the sooner everyone realizes that, the better. We live in a Post-Constitutional Administrative State, where black is white and white is black.
    Of course, none of this makes any sense, by design & intent.
    (Tangentially– I thought it was un-constitutional to force someone to buy a product, but SCOTUS says otherwise.)

    Welcome to Ameritopia.

    The minute we allowed the State to assume these type of powers, (generally under “policing powers, health & safety”) all bets were off. This didn’t happen yesterday, nor in 2009, it began about 100 years ago, and we are now bearing the fruits of all this Statism. It’s just more evident & in our faces right now, and it might be too late at this juncture.
    I would encourage everyone to actually read the Case as filed, ‘cuz I don’t want to cut-n-paste the entire complaint. (and given, that one can allege anything in a complaint. Saying it, doesn’t make it nescessarily so, and there are questions of Fact and Interpretation in play, hence the lawsuit.)

    Michigan has about 15,000 children in Foster Care at any given time. “Foster Care” is a purely legal construct administered by the State. This is “Family Law” stuff. (danger Wil Robinson!) For whatever reasons, the natural parent’s of this child have lost their custodial rights and the State requested the grandparents assume parental control. (Grandparents have very little legal standing outside of court ordered “foster care.” The State could just as easily order this kid into foster care with strangers, but that is not the preffered route.) There are unstated background factoids in play as well. Some would have bearing, most would not.
    From a purely practical standpoint, I’d want to know the Status of the child in question, in a little more detail.
    I do not want to be in a position of defending Rule 415, but it is the elephant in the room (in part.) It’s written precisely the way it is for a reason.

  • Max

    Some very good comments, very informative and educational. I’ll never again look at the second amendment as a right that can be removed or as something that could be taken away. ( this is consistent with the declareation of independence ) “any government that does not recognize natural rights should it’s self be replaced with one that does” A shortened version of what was told to King George. The only people who should have no rights are those who do not respect the rights of others. We call these people criminals. Like dangerous animals, we put them in cages. The only purpose government would have to remove every ones rights is to enslave the people.

    Foster care and adoption are handled completely differently from my experience. My sister fostered six kids and was paid by the state as well as often visited. My brother adopted two children. other than a background check, has not been paid a dime or harassed.
    If they give up the foster care money, then the strings attach to that money are cut. If they’re on Social Security and adopt, your security benefits will increase if you jump through the right hoops for them. (my wife was adopted by an elderly couple)

  • Edward

    wayne wrote: “I would encourage everyone to actually read the Case as filed

    I do not need to. The judge and the bureaucracy have made their attitudes clear. They are happy to act as the tyrants that the US Constitution was created to avoid, and so it says in its preamble:
    We the People of the United States, in Order to … secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

  • Cotour


    The Left leaning interpret your quote to mean that they can do as THEY please. Its for everyone’s “good”.

    This also is their ticket to what ever THEY want:

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

    The “pursuit of happiness” is an open ended path to the right to become tyrants to the Left. (I have had that conversation with a full blown 80 year old Socialist on this subject many years ago. My observation to him? You should be ashamed of yourself. You have been on this earth for 80 years and you have come to the exact wrong conclusion, about everything. He is even older now and I do not talk politics with him any more, I am afraid that I will give him a heart attack.)

    Politics is another form of war, plan to fight it and win it.

  • wayne

    I hope I don’t need to remind anyone that the Government already greatly restricts our ability to keep and bear arms.
    The Republic is crumbling, but Rule 415 isn’t the proximate cause, it’s a symptom of a 100 year long journey into the heart of the Administrative State.
    (Personally, I oppose basically every “gun-law” passed since ca. 1920, and I’d prefer we went back to pre-1900.)

    Good tidbits. Foster Care does come with a lot of supervision & (onerous) strings attached, as we are seeing.
    Excellent point about Adoption as well.
    Without reading the Case File, I’d seriously consider adoption on the grandfather’s end, takes the State completely out of the equation.

    You should read the Case, (12 pages) a Federal Judge is going to decide if there’s any merit to their arguments. I am highly empathetic towards these people, but I’m doubting the outcome. Rule 415 is not the one I’d challenge, not in this case.
    The more I read the Complaint, it’s incredibly nuanced and the Case law on these type of Administrative edicts is just not on their side.
    There’s two separate but intermingled events taking place. The original Judge and Case Worker did make their statements under the Color of Law. I would presume the Judge violated some Judicial ethics but I just do not know. The Case Worker is essentially untouchable, no way to get rid of her without paying a hefty settlement, which she would most likely win.
    The other issue(s) as outlined in the Complaint, basically allege disparate impact & unequal application of the law vis-a-vie the 2nd Amendment and the Michigan Department of Human Services application of one of their foster-care requirements.
    –That argument I do find very intriguing (and correct), but I remain unhopeful it will be ruled as such. We’ve allowed this hole to get dug pretty deeply over the past 100 years.

  • Edward

    Cotour wrote: “The Left leaning interpret your quote to mean that they can do as THEY please. Its for everyone’s ‘good’.

    That is the selfish greediness of the left, for you. It is part of their philosophy of making the productive work harder so that the lazy can get a free ride (tax the rich and give to the poor). They even believe in an overbearing government that negates agreements between consenting adults, such as worker and employer, because it is government and law that bestows rights, complete with the ability to take them away, too, such as taking them away from the employer.

    Lee S. expressed that sentiment nicely:
    I believe in higher taxes to provide a social safety net, and that the protection of workers rights should be enshrined in law.

    William Bradford led a group of Pilgrims, who learned the hard way that socialism does not work. Centralized power reduces the ability of We the People to adapt to — and prosper from — changing conditions. This is why we need such a large safety net, and why it has become a hammock. It is easier to rest in the net than it is to work on the trapeze.

    The case does not interest me at all. The attitude of the government does. The government wants to remove the children from family merely because the government does not like that the US Constitution is a document of “negative liberties.” They are negative only for the government, as it restricts the rights of government in favor of liberty for We the People. It reduces the power of Michigan from taking a grandchild away from family as a punishment for exercising self defense.

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