Ever and Always
Chapter 34: It is real easy – July 2024

Copyright© 2015 by Banadin

The discussion continued with Paul Kettler going a little overboard with his anti-Federal rhetoric. Judge O'Malley asked him a question to clarify his thoughts.

"Paul, I gather that you have two issues, one is that we can't trust the Federal government and two we can do this on our own."

"You understand it perfectly," he replied.

The Judge then continued, "What will we do about laws?"

"Why we use the laws we have."

"Our laws are based heavily on a prison system, do you propose building a penitentiary. I don't mean a jail for drunks and people awaiting trial, I mean a place to serve out a sentence."

"Could we just shoot them," Paul semi-serious asked?

"Are you going to be the one doing the shooting," asked Sheriff Steve Linn?

Rick could see this conversation having no good direction so broke in.

"The way I see it, we really will only have several punishments available, the death penalty, exile, fines and probation or combinations of these.

"That's right," said the Judge, while Sheriff Linn nodded his head in agreement.

Paul came right back with, "Okay so the punishments will have to change but we can still have the same laws."

Marsha put down her pen and jumped into the discussion. "That's a good idea Paul; now remind me of your opinion of the EPA? Also Common Core, along with the requirements to be a teacher. Then there is health care. I am sure you don't want to change any of those laws."

Paul puffed up; then just as quickly settled down. "Yeah I guess we will need new laws which could be a very good thing."

Mary, who had been getting ready to kick Paul under the table to shut him up chimed in with, "What about land ownership laws?"

"What do you mean," asked the Judge.

"Well if I own a piece of land here and have a mortgage and the bank doesn't make it, do I owe anything? That doesn't seem fair to the people who borrowed just down the road so they still owe. Also, what about land that isn't claimed by anyone living here and someone shows up saying it's theirs, what proof is acceptable?"

"What if someone settles in an unclaimed house and improves it, then someone shows up with a legitimate claim? After it all settles and we expand out of the Valley, who owns that land if it is occupied, or unoccupied."

Rick put his head in his hands and moaned, "This isn't like stories of the Post-Apocalyptic world that I have read. Everything there is simply starting over."

"That's the point Rick, we don't want a complete start-over," answered the Judge.

Rick straightened up and looked Paul Kettler in the eye, "I think your question about new laws has been answered."

"Yes it has, I hadn't given it the proper consideration, but I still don't trust the Feds."

"Oh, you can trust them to be true to their agenda. The question is; what's their agenda?"

Marsha who had been keeping an eye on Bill Wigle the whole meeting saw him sit up sharply, take a deep breath, then slouch back. It was obvious to anyone looking at him that something had got his attention.

Jack Nelson the businessman brought up a good point, "What will we be using for money? Our economy will be too complex for simple barter and we won't be able to use the U.S. dollar as there will be too many floating around from the 'Badlands."

"Interesting point Jack," replied Rick. "We will have to create our own currency."

"What will we back it with," asked Matt Johnson? He continued, "I would hate to see us fail because we repeated the mistakes of the past with a fiat currency."

"What is a fiat currency," asked Hope?

"Italian cars," Jack Nelson put in quickly.

After everyone chuckled at that Matt Johnson answered her, "To rule by fiat is to say this is the law, and that's it. A fiat currency is one where the powers that be just state this money is worth so much and it isn't backed up by anything real, like gold."

Matt continued, "That works as long as everyone believes it has worth. When people realize all they are holding is a piece of paper that has no real value that is when things go south. So as long as people have faith in their government the currency works, when they lose faith is when the problems begin."

"We need to make a decision on whether or not we want the Feds involved."

Rick asked, "Does anyone want to make a motion?"

Per their prearrangement Hope Popule brought the motion forward to have Rick open discussions with his contact at DHS on what assistance they could lend.

Again by prearrangement after seeing how the show of hands was going to work out, Paul and Mary Kettler voted against the motion. The motion passed but it made it look like they weren't in lock step.

After that vote the group returned the discussion to finances for the operation. It quickly started to go in circles. Rick interjected, "Maybe those groups that will be advising us will have thought about a solution."

"Let's hope so, if not with all the trees around here we could make a lot of wooden nickels," put in Sheriff Steve Linn.

"And on that note I think we should adjourn," said Rick. "All in favor?"

There was a round of ayes from those that weren't groaning.

"The ayes have it, meeting adjourned until next Monday."

When Rick and Marsha got home, she was in a playful mood, a very good playful mood. This had been happening to both of them more often recently. Not only were they feeling better and looking younger, they were acting younger.

The next day Rob King called at the agreed upon time of eleven a.m. and they updated each other. Rick told Rob about the meeting the previous night. He also let him know that Marsha was working on the minutes of that meeting and would copy him when they were emailed to the committee members.

For his part Rob brought up, "Now the Valley Group work begins Rick. We need to set up financing for this operation and establish communications with all our working groups. It will be a natural to have Judge O'Malley work with the law group, Sheriff Linn with the policing and Matt Johnson with Emergency Services."

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