In 1876, the region beyond western Arkansas, now called Oklahoma, was then known as “Indian Territory”. The area, not governed under “White Man’s Law”, had become a refuge for the worst kinds of outlaws from across the world. This situation brought about a historic crime wave that rampaged through the five civilized tribes then spilled across Fort Smith to points beyond. This was all made worse by the corrupt old district US Court judge who was in the pocket of the neighborhood desperados.
The extreme nature of the crime wave had triggered its own more severe form of justice. The outlaws truly brought it on themselves.
My great-grandfather was a Fort Smith deputy marshal in the US court of that more severe form of justice -- the famously infamous Hanging Judge Isaac Parker.
I should first point out that, despite the tongue of history regularly clucking in Parker’s direction, my great-grandfather truly liked and admired the man. My great-granddad could bear witness to the viciousness of the outlaws who came before them since he was one of the ones who dragged them in. But of the 160 men condemned to die, Parker only hanged 79 of them (and had as hangman a skilled executioner who prided himself on painless hangings … we assume they were painless hangings since no one was left around to complain about them). Parker was always hardest on the worst offenders -- primarily killers and rapists -- but then his jails were filled with “worst offenders“.
Just so, the economic outlaws who have ransacked our government and financial institutions have only themselves to blame for the stiff regulations to come.
The blind deregulation lust of the Reagan years has brought us to this precipice. Regulations are nothing more than laws. Laws just as those all of us must observe. They are put there for a reason and it’s not to suppress economic gain but to prevent the very situation Bush and his sociopaths brought about -- a temporary Indian Territory in which all his friends could lawlessly drain the reserves and therefore destroy our economy.
Some regulation is always necessary …. Regulations are nothing but laws just as those we all obey if we’re not criminals. The laws to come will be even more stringent and severe than the sane ones put in place by the moderate and clear-minded. So place the blame for the coming actions of the hanging judges where it belongs … on the heads of those who thought they were above regulation.