The Stop the Tyrants Hall of Shame

Welcome to the Stop the Tyrants Hall of Shame, where shame is heaped upon those who have refused to participate in the Stop the Tyrants Project!


1. Assemblyman Hal Brown

Harold C. Brown is my former assemblyman. (The Assembly is the lower house of the New York legislature.) He retired as of the 2002 election.

I approached Assemblyman Brown during the summer of 2000, to get some advice on the wording of the Restraint Petition. He wasn't terribly helpful, but he didn't seem unsympathetic either.

After I had completed writing both petitions, and had started to send them out to organizations I thought would help me circulate them, I dropped off a copy of each petition at his Camillus office. I asked for Mr. Brown to sign my petitions and then circulate them in the Assembly. A few days later, he left a message on our answering machine.

When I dropped off the petition copies, I also included two extra sheets: The first detailed the duty a state legislator has to support the Constitution of the United States, with an explanation of New York State's responsibility as one of the creators of the federal government. The second detailed the facts about the numbers of late abortions since Roe v. Wade was handed down in 1973.

In spite of having this information at his disposal, his telephone message stated that my petition project was a "federal matter," as if to suggest I shouldn't be bothering him with it. One of the reasons I wanted my state legislators to know about my project was my frustration with the 50 States for refusing to act against the unconstutitional tyranny of the federal courts. The courts have no armies; they have no police force. And yet the States act as if they did! Mr. Brown's attitude was an expression of the apathy I want my petition project to overcome!

But calling my grass-roots project a "federal matter" wasn't enough for Assemblyman Brown. He proceeded to say that he "just wasn't interested" in my project. Imagine that. The Constitution is treated like toilet paper by federal judges, all so they can protect the merciless slaying of pre-born human babies, and my assemlbyman isn't interested!

On May 8 of 2001, I sent Assemblyman Brown a letter telling him that his phone message was completely unsatisfactory. I asked him to either help me with my petition project or give me a detailed account of why he refuses to do so. On May 18 he sent me the following written reply:

Dear Mr. Calvani:

I appreciate your continued interest in my support of your effort to petition for the removal from the federal judiciary those federal judges who have ruled that partial birth abortion is a constitutional right.

Once again, I decline your invitation to join in this intiative.

Please understand that I am asked to support hundreds of advocacy efforts annually. As I cannot possibly advocate in support of the concerns of each of these individuals and organizations, I must choose the projects in which I work. In the past, I have worked hard on issues impacting individuals with disabilities, crime victims and their families, property tax reform and many, many more.

While I do not support partial birth abortion and have voted in favor of legislation banning this practice in New York State, I am a longitme and and consistent supporter of the pro-choice philosophy. Indeed, I served as a member of the Board of Directors for Planned Parenthood more than 20 years ago.

I regret that we disagree on this issue. I do not share your conviction regarding the threat to democracy posed by these federal judges, nor do I share your urgency regarding the need for immediate intervention in this matter by state legislators. As such, I must repectfully decline your invitation to join in your petition effort.

I hope that this serves to clarify my position regarding this matter.

I found this reply to be dishonest. All I asked of Mr. Brown was for him to sign my petitions and bring them to the attention of other members of the assembly. This would hardly have taken up much of his time.

What this letter really says is that Hal Brown will oppose partial-birth abortion only when his opposition is, for all practical purposes, meaningless! He will not oppose this infanticide if that opposition in any way threatens the current pro-abortion activism of the federal courts.

2. The Pro-Life Alliance of Gays And Lesbians (PLAGAL)

When I first developed the Stop the Tyrants Project, I sent it to a number of pro-life organizations because I thought that would be the best way to get it to the people who would be most upset at the Supreme Court's Stenberg ruling: anti-abortion activists. One of the groups I contacted was the Pro-Life Alliance of Gays And Lesbians (PLAGAL). I hoped they would help me spread the project among "non-traditional" anti-abortion groups. I asked them to make my petitions available to their members, who could then sign them if they so wished. Several months later I got a reply from their president, Cecilia Brown, who informed me that PLAGAL's board of directors had rejected my request because it was "not within the best interests of PLAGAL at this time." I found this answer to be rather perplexing, to say the least, and much too vague, so I wrote again to Miss Brown for a detailed explanation of her board's decision.

When Miss Brown replied, she listed several specific reasons given by PLAGAL board members for rejecting my citizenship project. I then sent yet another letter to PLAGAL giving my responses to the board's various objections. You can read their objections, and my responses to them, below:

1. The board thought the project was "a waste of time and resources." They were also afraid to give the project their offical support -- because their membership included "almost every religious affiliation, political, social, and economic representation." I responded:

"I never wanted nor expected PLAGAL to become officially involved in this petition drive. I simply wanted you to let your members know about the petitions and let them make copies of them if they wished. That would hardly entail a great expenditure of time and money on PLAGAL's part."

2. The board "felt [the project] was unattainable." My response:

"Of coarse, any effort to oppose the courts' protection of partial-birth abortion will fail if not even pro-life activists will participate in it!

I am well aware how difficult it is to get a constitutional amendment passed. ... But because something is difficult to achieve is no reason not to try to achieve it. The ultimate goal of my petition drive is to change the way the American people view the judiciary's interference in the abortion controversy."

3. The board thought the project "would go against the fabric of how the judicial appointments are made. Keep in mind, gay rights are also important to our members. It is a slippery slope when it comes to making absolutes on who cannot serve in a judicial capacity based on what they believe. We know that amongst Americans many who are pro-life are also against gay and lesbian rights. This would hold true for judges as well." I responded:

"My project does not deal with judicial appointments at all, nor does it concern itself with the personal beliefs of prospective judges. It is pro-abortion members of the Senate who have created abortion-related 'litmus tests' for judicial nominees.

What my Removal Petition actually deals with is the minimum amount of decency required to remain in any governmental office. Numerous federal judges, including five members of the Supreme Court, have used their authority to protect the act of killing a child while he is being born. ... Such a display of depraved indifference to a baby's life is more than enough reason to remove any official of the government. And that should be more than enough reason for your members to participate in my petition drive!

What is most disturbing about your board's reluctance to touch upon judicial qualifications is the motive behind it. Your letter expressly states that "gay rights are also important to our members... We know that amongst Americans many who are pro-life are also against gay and lesbian rights. This would hold true for the judges as well." While that is true, it should be completely irrelevant. As I said above, the Removal Petition does not create any limits on the beliefs of jurists. Furthermore, the Restraint Petition tells judges not to intervene in any social or political controversy unless the Constitution specifically authorizes such intervention. This tells judges to leave their policy preferences out of their opinions. As you must know, our Federal Constitution says nothing about sexual orientation.

This entirely self-serving worry reveals a problem of many abortion-opposing organizations: They have ulterior motives that undermine their anti-abortion efforts. If PLAGAL is going to continue, you will have to make up your minds if you are first and foremost an alliance of homosexuals, or an alliance of pro-lifers."

4. The board thought that "the best way to combat abortion would be to help women by working on real life choices ... changing how people view abortion is our best weapon." My response was:

"There are two things wrong with this point of view. First, it ignores the effect of government policy on the public. The protection the judiciary gives to abortionists gives the pro-abortion argument a measure of legitimacy. ... An organization that proudly claims to have 'surprised, confounded, confronted, and enraged both pro-lifers and pro-choicers' should have no qualms with taking on the pro-abortion tyrants in the federal judiciary.

Worse still, this attitude ignores what should be the most important goal of all abortion opponents: saving individual babies from abortionists. Most people are opposed to late abortions. And the overwhelming majority of Americans (both pro-lifers and pro-choicers) oppose the partial-birth infanticide. But that has not stopped the judiciary from protecting such barbarisms. And so these heinous 'medical procedures' continue.

On his Fox News Channel program, the journalist Bill O'Reilly recently stated that human life does not get much respect in the United States nowadays, and that a baby's life gets the least respect of all. I agree with him completely. And saddest of all is that abortion opponents do not seem to have much more concern for an infant's life than anyone else does. How else can their willingness to tolerate partial-birth abortion and the Stenberg ruling be interpreted? Just imagine this scenario: A group of homicidal maniacs is killing gay adults and gay teenagers. They are doing this quite openly and have the government's approval and protection. Now ask yourselves this question: If this were actually happening, would PLAGAL's members be content with simply trying to reason with the would-be murderers? I doubt it. If my suspicion is correct, then you must ask yourselves this question: Why do we hold to this double standard?"

I ended my reply by asking all of PLAGAL's board members to visit this web site, and study the arguments I make for the project's two petitions. That was in January of 2002 -- more than a year and a half ago as of this writing. (At that time, the members of the PLAGAL board of directors were: Phil Arcidi, Moses Remedios, Joe Beard, Joseph D'Amour, Dave Styers, Bill Crow, Christopher Hinkle, Jim McFarland, Donna Kearney, John Mina, Steve Cook, John Buckley, B.A. Keener.) They never responded. So PLAGAL has joined the Stop the Tyrants Hall of Shame.

Please feel free to let PLAGAL know they are wrong to reject the Stop the Tyrants Project. You can visit them on the web at

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