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Steve Gilliard, 1964-2007

It is with tremendous sadness that we must convey the news that Steve Gilliard, editor and publisher of The News Blog, passed away June 2, 2007. He was 42.

To those who have come to trust The News Blog and its insightful, brash and unapologetic editorial tone, we have Steve to thank from the bottom of our hearts. Steve helped lead many discussions that mattered to all of us, and he tackled subjects and interest categories where others feared to tread.

Please keep Steve's friends and family in your thoughts and prayers.

Steve meant so much to us.

We will miss him terribly.

photo by lindsay beyerstein


Lunatic to learn meaning of police power

Supporters of Ed Brown light a bonfire last week
near his driveway in Plainfield. Brown has barricaded
himself on his 110-acre property and vows to resist
attempts to bring him to court.

All of a sudden, Ed Brown has a lot of friends

His anti-tax stance attracts wide support

By Margot Sanger-Katz
Monitor staff
January 22. 2007 8:00AM

Ed Brown parted ways with his wife last week when he decided not to join her for the conclusion of their federal tax evasion trial. But after barricading himself in his fortified Plainfield home and refusing to surrender to authorities, Brown has amassed a new and growing group of friends who support his decision to stand up to government authority.

Since Brown and his wife were convicted last week, his case has captured the attention of a variety of fringe groups, including Gandhi-admiring protesters who have limited their involvement to building bonfires and waving signs and armed militia members anxious for confrontation. Some appreciate Brown's stand against the federal income tax, some his pointed criticism of the federal courts, and others his willingness to die for his cause. Whatever their reasons, they've all congregated at the sprawling fortress Brown calls home, turning it into a libertarian carnival with an uncertain ending.

"Everybody has their own place on that spectrum," said Dave Ridley of Keene, who has spent several days in Plainfield and positions himself on the nonviolent end. Ridley said he owns a gun but locks it up at home before going to Brown's. "Of course, any group of libertarians has a thousand different opinions."

When news of Brown's decision began circulating on talk radio shows and militia-oriented blogs earlier this week, journalists at the Brown homestead outnumbered supporters. As Brown declared that Plainfield might become another Waco, three strangers huddled in his heated garage and emphasized that they had no interest in shooting anyone.

But as word has spread and the weekend freed many from workday obligations, the number of those camping at the Brown home has swelled. Estimates were difficult to obtain because supporters were spread throughout the house, sleeping in shifts. And some, Brown said, were hidden outside. But several visitors estimated that the number fluctuated between 15 and 30 this weekend.

That group includes one woman who drove an hour to Plainfield and brought Brown a bottle of ginger ale, a carload of young libertarians from Keene and the New York leader of a national anti-tax organization with thousands of members.

Brown said he's been moved by the number and enthusiasm of the supporters he's met since deciding to hole up at home.

"This situation is exploding so fast in this nation and internationally that the Illuminati around the world are becoming very aware," Brown said, referring to a rumored secret society that he believes has infiltrated the highest levels of the world's governments.

When the cops come, they will come quickly, at night and in such force he will be on the ground in handcuffs before he's fully awake.

Maybe he needs some mental health treatment. Whatever, I wonder what would happen if a minority did this.

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