Marilyn Writes

Marilyn MacGruder Barnewall began her career as a journalist with the Wyoming Eagle in Cheyenne. During her 20 year banking career, she wrote extensively for The American Banker, Bank Marketing Magazine, Trust Marketing Magazine, and other major industry publications. The American Bankers Association (ABA) published Barnewall’s Profitable Private Banking: the Complete Blueprint, in 1987. She taught private banking at Colorado University for the ABA and trained private bankers in Singapore.

Sunday, July 03, 2011


By Marilyn M. Barnewall,
July 3, 2011

I come not to castigate the American government, but to wish you a Happy July 4th! There are things you can do to save your nation from those who rule… and it only takes a few minutes and a little work!

When we say “I’m an American,” is it just words? Does it qualify us to barbecue hamburgers on July 4th while we forget our obligations as citizens?

“I’m an American” means: “I am responsible for the well-being of my nation.” Citizenship comes with responsibilities.

What does “responsible” mean? According to a recent plethora of politicians from both political parties, it means you admit your mistakes… because you got caught. Does “being responsible” mean admitting the obvious truth when you’re caught telling a lie?

Being “responsible” is being accountable. Please tell me where anyone is being held accountable for the things being done to tear our nation to shreds? Please tell me why the American people are so afraid to hold their elected officials responsible for the rending? It must be fear of reprisal (or a FEMA camp future) – or apathy or laziness. Stupidity is a possibility.

To those who see what’s wrong but do nothing because they are afraid, I say this: If you do nothing to stop government abuse, your future will be far more fearful than anything that will happen to you today for actively trying to stop the abuse.

What is responsibility? It is accountability. What is accountability? Is it admitting culpability? Is it apologizing? Accountability is being “held to account.” It is “being made to pay an appropriate price for the infraction perpetrated.”

Our elected officials have a terrible price to pay for their part in destroying the best – the only – nation created under God. A lot of Americans who have done nothing to stop the destruction have a terrible price hanging over their heads, too.

A 2006 story from Elbert County, Colorado, graphically points out what happens when people do not do what’s necessary to protect their freedoms. Jennifer Brooke lived in Elbert County… in Kiowa, Colorado.

I say “lived” because on the last day of November 2006 she was killed. Let me rephrase that. She was viciously killed. A friend, Bjorn Osmunsen, 24, was attacked when he went to look for her.

Within minutes of Brooke’s violent death, next door neighbor Lynn Baker was attacked. His turn came when he stepped outside the door of his home. He said he thought he was going to die. He almost did. Baker was fortunate to have a son, Cody, who heard his screams for help.

Cody is a teenager with a pretty cool head. When he heard his father’s screams, he picked up a shotgun as he ran to see what was wrong. Thank God he didn’t have to stop and unlock it from a gun case or Lynn Baker would be dead, too.

Cody shot the attackers, killing two and distracting the other long enough for his father to climb inside his pickup truck.

Question: What do Spartacus and bull terriers have in common? The answer: “Both are famed, historic gladiators.”

Bull terriers were born to fight. They can be rather insensitive to pain and when they bite it is very difficult to make them let go. They have jaws of tremendous strength. The breed was created to have courage and to be fearless gladiators.

Everyone who owns an American pit bull terrier will come to the breed’s defense because of what I write here today. People do not like the truth when it impacts the price of a puppy. Breeders of these pets always defend them... and it’s true they can be wonderful dogs. Well, they are wonderful dogs in the hands of the right human companions. Unfortunately, too often people who seek out this dog are fear-motivated and looking for protection – the wrong owner for this dog. Not just anyone can raise and train a pit bull. They can, however, be the greatest protectors in the world when taught by a strong hand. Properly bred and trained pit bulls are reliable and they love to please.

Improperly bred and improperly trained, they can be killers.

The fact of the matter is, on the last Sunday of November 2006, Jennifer Brooke was torn to shreds by a pack of American pit bull terriers.

The attack that killed Brooke was not the first time these particular animals had attacked. One of the pit bulls had mauled a neighbor earlier and officials say the dogs were well known in the rolling ranch land near Kiowa, southeast of Denver.

"The people in the area had their own emergency phone network to warn each other if the dogs were loose. If the dogs were loose, they didn't go out," Rattlesnake Fire District Chief Dale Goetz said.

Does that sound a little like what Americans today do regarding their political system? They call one another and go to meetings to become informed – kind of an “emergency network” to warn each other about dangerous dogs to avoid? “Stay inside. Stay safe.”

Everyone in the Kiowa area knew the dogs were dangerous. Many people were part of the “emergency phone network” to which Chief Goetz referred – those who called neighbors to make sure they stayed inside when the dogs were out. Unfortunately, Jennifer was working outside when the call came.

These who wanted to avoid the unpleasantness of confronting a neighbor over her dangerous dogs and who thought a telephone warning was sufficient protection bear some responsibility. Were they Christians? A lot of people who hide from their responsibilities are. What does “I am my brother’s keeper” really mean? Does it mean giving a tyrant free rein to destroy what he or she wants while potential victims sit locked safely in their homes making telephone calls about staying indoors? No. Being your brother’s keeper means loving your brother more than you fear upsetting an irresponsible neighbor who owns vicious dogs.

In the arena of government, being your “brother’s keeper” means the same thing. It does not mean waiting for God to work a miracle while something of great meaning to Him is destroyed… whether that “something” is a nation or a fellow human being. God has given us what we need to solve man-made political and legal problems. It’s called “the United States Constitution.” When our Constitution is honored, it protects us from owners of mad dogs as well as government gone mad.

One person can’t change things? I have a good example to the contrary. After giving a speech at a Save America convention a couple of weeks ago, I was approached by a young woman who wanted to ask me about another public speaking engagement. I told her to give me a call. She is one of the most interesting people I’ve ever met.

This young woman, a para-legal and private investigator, has helped a husband and wife file RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) charges against 16 judges (city, county, and state) who either have not taken – or did not properly file – their oaths of office. Article I of the Colorado Constitution says:

“Section 8. Oath of civil officers. Every civil officer, except members of the general assembly and such inferior officers as may be by law exempted, shall, before he enters upon the duties of his office, take and subscribe an oath or affirmation to support the constitution of the United States and of the state of Colorado, and to faithfully perform the duties of the office upon which he shall be about to enter.

“Section 9. Oaths where filed. Officers of the executive department and judges of the supreme and district courts, and district attorneys, shall file their oaths of office with the secretary of state; every other officer shall file his oath of office with the county clerk of the county wherein he shall have been elected."

Section 10 of Article I goes on to say that any person elected or appointed to any office who refuses or neglects to qualify within the prescribed time results in the office being deemed vacant during the time the person held it.

This young woman read the laws of her State Constitution. Good grief! What a burden! Know the laws by which your elected officials must live? Of course you can’t do that! You don’t have time! And if that’s your attitude, you need to stop complaining about how bad things are. You’re part of the problem.

How many judges and other public officials in your county do not have properly filed oaths of office? How hard is it to visit your county clerk or secretary of state with a list of judges’ and district attorney’s names in hand, asking for a copy of a filed oath of office?

Colorado Section 9 of the State Constitution tells me any officer of the executive department or judge of the supreme and district courts and district attorney who does not have a properly filed oath of office has no standing to make any decisions. The decisions of judges, district attorneys, court-appointed lawyers, etc., who haven’t properly filed their oath must be vacated because they were non-existent – their position was “vacant” – when the decision was made. The same requirements exist for the federal judiciary.

Do people check to ensure a judge has legal standing to foreclose on their home before moving out? Probably not. No wonder they call us “sheeple.” As the saying goes, "A nation of sheep breeds a government of wolves."

Until the 1980s, RICO charges were seldom filed against anyone who wasn’t Mafia. In the 1980s that changed. Civil claims can be brought by any person injured in their business or property by reason of a RICO violation. If a person succeeds in establishing a civil RICO claim, judgment in the amount of three times actual damages plus costs and attorneys’ fees will be received.

As for Jennifer Brooke’s death, the owner of the dog who killed her admitted responsibility. Because she responded so “responsibly,” homicide charges were not brought. A judge heard the case, not a jury.

Who was it that said “those who would trade freedom for security deserve neither”? Oh, yeah. One of those old guys who fought and founded America.

He was right.

© 2011 Marilyn M. Barnewall - All Rights Reserved


Marilyn MacGruder Barnewall began her career in 1956 as a journalist with the Wyoming Eagle in Cheyenne. During her 20 years (plus) as a banker and bank consultant, she wrote extensively for The American Banker, Bank Marketing Magazine, Trust Marketing Magazine, was U.S. Consulting Editor for Private Banker International (London/Dublin), and other major banking industry publications. She has written seven non-fiction books about banking and taught private banking at Colorado University for the American Bankers Association. She has authored seven banking books, one dog book, and two works of fiction (about banking, of course). She has served on numerous Boards in her community.

Barnewall is the former editor of The National Peace Officer Magazine and as a journalist has written guest editorials for the Denver Post, Rocky Mountain News and Newsweek, among others. On the Internet, she has written for News With Views, World Net Daily, Canada Free Press, Christian Business Daily, Business Reform, and others. She has been quoted in Time, Forbes, Wall Street Journal and other national and international publications. She can be found in Who's Who in America, Who's Who of American Women, Who's Who in Finance and Business, and Who's Who in the World.

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