Updates for Sunday, March 6th [2005]

Martha's Mile


Dear Friends,

Over the past few days, I have been compelled by the story of Miss Martha Stewart. Miss Stewart is, indeed, a woman of all talents and a delight of all trades. She shares with me the first beauty in gardening, a second in the art of fine and eloquent foods, a the last in warm care & concern of one's heart and mind.

So it is with great distress I write you today, after having learned the story of Miss Stewart's persecution. Indeed, I have never seen a more grotesque display of inhumanity towards the affairs of a simple woman by those in the government and those in the media. You too, should be truly upset upon hearing this story.

It all began with Miss Stewart, successful and aplomb, going about her day-to-day business as any modern business-woman surely does. However, great controversy befell Miss Stewart when a scandal arose, she sold stock in a business called "ImClone" to reap great profit. The editorial magazine, The New York Times (a sensationalist paper I read only with great disgust), accused Miss Stewart of "insider trading". Apparently, it is now a crime to sell stocks wisely once you know of government intervention that will cause your capital to fall - a law which causes a moral and philosophical quandary in and of itself. Instead of embracing conventional wisdom, you are expected to suffer through and lose your hard-earned wealth in-stride with everyone else, as the whole world becomes poor. The vast majority of "insider trading" problems, as I see it, would mean little if we did not have the faultless limited liability corporations, or the mountains of government regulations, controlling the stocks of so many. Instead of addressing that problem, the law only goes against those individuals who are victimized by that system routinely.

Regardless, these claims, dubiously leaked to the editorial by a Congressional committee, were incontestably in the favor of Miss Stewart. She broke no laws and was never even accused of breaking the law in any court! Once it was made known that she was no criminal, there was clamor for her empire to be sticken at, to make an example of her to all the rich people in the land... to strike fear into the minds of those who dare succeed against the government's unworthy and baseless accusations. So she was charged with the crime of "lying"! Not in the form of perjury - as she never had to take oath to address the lies and accusations made about her - but of a new crime called "obstruction of justice", which I believe is an appropriate title, as any time a prosecutor convicts a victim with such a tryannical law, they are being an "obstruction of justice". Martha Stewart was forced to go to prison - in regards to non-perjurous "lying" about a crime she did not commit, was never lawfully accused of... sent to jail by a make-believe law that lets the federal commissioners escape public ill-sentiment by not admitting their failures to convict people of any real crimes. The public, so hungry for the blood of the rich, acquiesced and supported the decision. As did the distraught Miss Martha Stewart.

She arrived now home, much richer than before, as the publicity has earned her great wealth. However, if there was one thing that this has not earned society, it's the proliferation of justice. What we saw with Miss Stewart was indeed truly unjust, and how any American fellow can ignore the great travesty therein, and pretend he is free and protected from the arbitrary whims of the government, is truly something I fail to understand.

I apologize, my dear friends, for lack of word on recent events. We did not yet take our trip to the Federal city, as Ludwig's frequent flyer mileage has been used up, and we are in a state of earning money for the trip. Ludwig believes Julius is there waiting for us to arrive. This is very risky to settle in one place for so long, but I hope when I can communicate to you next that we have made our trip and solved this riddle.

- TH. Jefferson

Editor's Notes:

My personal problem with the Martha Stewart railroading was that there was no tangible crime. Martha Stewart did not lie under oath, and did not commit perjury (a reasonable crime). She was never accused of insider trading either, and never went to court to face those charges. In the original story, reportedly leaked by someone close to a Congressional investigation (but anonymously leaked), Martha was accused publicly of insider trading on a tip-off by ImClone founder, Sam Waksal. Martha denied this publicly and openly. The accusation that she was tipped off was never followed up on because ther was no basis to suggest it was true... however, when Martha "lied" to protect herself from those allegations, this was converted into a "securities fraud" charge. To further combat the initial "scandal", the concerns about ImClone's new drug not being given FDA certification was common knowledge for the market, and even addressed on television... most investors around the period of time when Martha sold her 3,000 shares were doing the same thing. That's considering this is a company that had over 77 million shares... Martha was by far only a scant investor in it.

Either way, the story was proven false by Martha who openly contested it. Embarrassed, federal prosecutors kept at her anyways. The official "lie" she told regarded whether or not she was tipped off by two investment partners as to the nature of an attempt by the Waksal family to sell their own shares. This speculative story was hardly substantiated, until one of the investment partners struck a deal with the prosecution to lighten his sentence, and fingered Martha for receiving the info which she was expected to understand was illegal to act upon. Only, she was never even accused of acting upon it in a court of law. She was accused of lying about a crime she was never accused of committing, because in the American legal system - in this instance - it was unlawful to deny you didn't commit a crime you weren't ever charged with!

Basically, this whole case could've been fabricated bullshit the government wanted to string up Martha Stewart with, hoping for some sensational big case to try. Unfortunately, that probably is the case. For more information, check out the writings of Alan Reynolds, senior fellow of the Cato Institute, who has been defending Martha since the case began.

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