Economics 101, a Novel, ch_33 -- Legal Basis

(The story starts here: http://free-is-not-free.blogspot.jp/2016/03/economics-101-novel-ch00.html.

The previous chapter starts here: http://free-is-not-free.blogspot.com/2016/04/economics-101-novel-ch32-weaving.html.)

Yes, this chapter is extremely tedious. Law tends to be that way, so that we can move ahead freely once we have done as is legally required.



Bobbie woke up to the rhythm of the rain on the tent walls. The sun was clearly up, but the cloud cover made it dark, and it was hard to tell what time it was.

Needing Karel's warmth in the early morning chill, she snuggled closer and went back to sleep.



Karel woke up and extracted his arm carefully from under the unfamiliar burden of Bobbie's body, not wanting to wake her, but needing to raise his arm and move it around to get his circulation back in that arm. He rolled back a bit so he could raise his arm above himself without disturbing Bobbie.

The rain on the tent was not an unpleasant sound, but the emotional discomfort of the ambiguity of sleeping with Bobbie overcame the excitement this time, and it just wasn't as fun as the first time they had kept each other warm through the rain.

When his arm started hurting like pins and needles and his hand began responding to his will again, he started thinking about what to do next.

Reaching around to feel on top of a suitcase, he found his watch and looked at the time. Nine seventeen.

"Wow. It's after nine o'clock," he said quietly. "Bobbie, are you awake?"

Bobbie mumbled.

"What?"

"I'm kind of drifting in and out. Did you say it was five o'clock? Give me a kiss."

"It's after nine. I'm not feeling romantic."

"Okay. Cold water on my happiness. I'm awake. Why aren't you feeling romantic?

"It was exciting the first time we slept together to keep each other warm in the rain, and easy to forget that we aren't married. But it's stressing me out a bit this time."

"We are married! We just aren't quite completely married yet." Bobbie pouted, ever so slightly, putting her hand on his chest. "And we aren't quite ready to finish the process. And, yes, that's stressful, and we both know we need to do it this way. And it's cold. Don't make things harder than they have to be. I need a kiss."

So Karel kissed her, trying to be tender, but feeling nowhere near the romantic plateaus they had reached the previous days. In fact, he was feeling a little queasy. "Sorry, Honey, maybe it's the rain."

"Maybe so. Did you say it's after nine?"

"Yeah."

"How did we sleep so late?"

"Blame that on the rain, too?"

"You called me, 'Honey'."

"You don't like that?"

"I could hear the stress in your voice." She smiled lopsidedly, then pursed her lips and said, with seriousness, "You don't need to be stressing out."

"Maybe I don't. But maybe I am anyway."

"Why? Where have you touched me that was wrong?"

"Being so close to you like this and not being able to touch you is just driving me crazy."

"Hmm." and she smiled a little enigmatically, "I think I could see why some women might get addicted to their lover's frustrations. Your saying that felt really nice."

Karel didn't say anything.

"I guess I didn't need to say that."

"It's okay. It's just precisely what is stressing me out."

"Well! What're we gonna do today? Spend the whole day in the tent staring warily at each other?"

Karel finally smiled, and laughed, not uncomfortably. "It's going to be hard to cook anything. And if we go outside, how will we change to dry clothes?"

"We can just turn around like we do in the sea, but I don't see any reason to go outside."

"But we can't just lie here like this forever."

"No? Can we just lie here like this for two weeks?"

Karel chuckled. "That would be cheating, too." And this time he gave her a kiss and meant it.

And Bobbie said, "Yes, I guess it would. And that was a much nicer kiss. Let's see if we can write a constitution or charter or whatever after breakfast."

And they sat up.

"Do we have something we can eat?"

"Leftovers from last night." Bobbie opened the box that had held Wycliffe's gift of food, and now served as a makeshift pantry. "Baked breadfruit and squash. And we brought bananas back yesterday afternoon."

After getting some food in their stomachs, they felt better, and got out notebooks and pencils and their scriptures. 

And they prayed, offering thanks that they were surviving, and that they had time to now try to tackle the legalistic problems, and asking for help to set up a meaningful charter or constitution.

"I have an empty notebook, should we use it?" Karel suggested.

"That sounds like a good idea. It'll be our book of laws."

"First thing, I think we need to describe the island so that we can establish our being here without recourse to the support of existing law."

"I'll copy my map. Should we call this island Karelsland?"

"That could be confused with the Carolines. Not that I'm completely sure this island isn't in the Carolines."

"I wish we did know just where we are. No coordinates. Hmm. What do you suggest for a name?"

"Bobbiesland."

"Bob Island. I'm a shy girl."

"After your dad, and you! Okay. We can name the lagoon Anna."

"And name the northern lake Maria."

"And the mountain, Paul."

"And the crater lake can be Wycliffe."

"Wait a minute!" complained Wycliffe. "I'm not sure I want that lake named after me."

"Well, I guess, maybe we can wait to name the crater lake until after we've actually seen it." Bobbie recanted.

"Wycliffe!" Hanaka scolded.

"Hanaka?" said Karel. "Are you guys there?"

"Shhh." Wycliffe and Hanaka shushed each other in mock sternness.

And Bobbie and Karel, after waiting half-expectantly for a minute or so, chuckled together. And Bobbie said, "I guess my suggestion for the name of the lake startled someone. Sorry guys. Wish we could see you. It'd feel much more like company."

"Yeah. It'd be much more fun to have company we could see sometimes. Uhm, where were we? The map. Wait. I have a fountain pen." And Karel dug his fountain pen and ink out of his suitcase.

"I'm not good with fountain pens," said Bobbie.

So Karel copied the map into first page of the charter book, labeling the island, "Bobbiesland". "No offense to your dad, but this island is Bobbiesland."

"Okay, I guess I have to live with it." Bobbie smiled lopsidedly.



The Charter of Bobbiesland


Surveyed by Roberta Whitmer and Karel Pratt [date elided]



"I think we need to state who we are and why we are setting up the charter."

"That this is for the sole purpose of giving ourselves a marriage license?"

"No, I don't think that would be a good idea. A marriage license does not a constitution make."

"Then what? I don't want it to be too complicated."

"A preamble, something like, "Understanding that the island is yet uncharted, the island having no known inhabitants except ourselves, we incorporate, etc."

"Okay, a preamble. Then what? Do we need a senate and house of representatives?"

"I think we are both the senate and the house."

"Hmm. Could one of us be the senate and one the house?"

"You're joking. Of course it would work better for both of us to be the senate and both of us the house. Otherwise, I vote with myself and you vote with yourself and all we have left is to argue."

"In that case, we only need one house. And there's still no way to get a majority if we don't agree."

"True. But I think that's not really a problem. We really do seem to know how to cooperate and work around disagreements."

"Famous last words. Courts?"

"We are the courts, aren't we?"

"Guess I can't argue with that. President?"

"We should be co-presidents. Otherwise, one of us always wins."

"Okay. You know, you were right yesterday. With just the two of us, it's going to be hard to have a representative government. But that's good, because it eliminates an awful lot of writing and politicking."

"If we want to leave most of the structural stuff until we need it, it could be really simple. Just declaring our authority to make laws and contracts here. Maybe like this." and Karel wrote in his journal:




This island having at this time no known inhabitants 
except ourselves, 
 in the understanding that the island is yet 
uncharted and unclaimed, 
we claim and incorporate this island, 
depicted on the foregoing page, 
and name it Bobbiesland.

To provide a framework under which to act under law, 
we declare this island incorporated under the following charter:

Be it known that the government of this island consists of 
the following citizens and co-presidents, 
  • Roberta Whitmer, and 
  • Karel Pratt, 
originally of the United States of America, 
and not disclaiming their citizenship 
in the United States of America. 

I. All acts under law on this island of Bobbiesland shall be performed by the mutual accord of the co-presidents,or not at all.

II. All amendments to this Charter shall be made by the agreement and mutual accord of the co-presidents, and recorded in this book.

III. All laws and legal acts shall be made and performed by the agreement and mutual accord of the co-presidents, and recorded in this book, or in another book as specified herein, according to the terms of the Charter.

IV. All agreements and contracts entered into by mutual accord of the co-presidents shall have full force and efficacy under the law of this island. 

We witness and seal it, this day [date elided].



"That still seems a little excessive, do we really need it?"

"Otherwise, how do we claim to be able to make the law that allows us to issue marriage certificates?"

"Okay. So you write that in our book of laws with your fountain pen."

And Karel copied it to the new notebook, and they both signed it.

"So, how many laws are we going to write?" Bobbie asked, a little petulantly.

"How many do we need?"

"I don't think we need any."

"How do we convince someone the marriage license is meaningful if we just don't bother making any laws?"

"Why do we have to convince anyone?"

"When we are found, do we want to go back to the US or stay here?"

"If we go back to the US, then what?"

"We have to convince the state governments and the immigration service and the IRS that our kids are legally our kids. Although, I suppose, if we don't have any kids, we could just get re-married when we get back."

"But we are going to have kids. If we stay here?"

"How do we convince the US that we don't need them to come in and tell us everything we are doing is wrong?"

"Okay. But we don't want to rewrite every law on the books over there."

"Do we want to refer to the laws of our home states for default context? I think that might work, and we would just specify the marriage law and whatever else we need as exceptions."

Bobbie did not look impressed. "I don't think the laws of our home states were written with this island in mind. And I'm not sure I know enough about my home state's laws to use them. Do you know enough about yours?"

"Not really."

So they thought for a while.

"How about the scriptures? They are pretty much the context and basis of western law, anyway."

"I could deal with that."

So Karel started writing in his journal, and Bobbie made some suggestions, and this is what they ended up copying to their book of law:



Act 1: Concerning morality, common law, and religion:

Part 1: The scriptures of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints shall provide the moral context of interpretation of the laws of this island of Bobbiesland.

Part 2: Particularly in view of the eleventh Article of Faith of said Church, nothing in this Act shall be construed to restrict or constrain the religion of any inhabitant of this island.

Part 3:  The book of the Doctrine and Covenants of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints shall provide the basis of law for this island.

Entered into law by Roberta Whitmer and Karel Pratt on this [date elided].



And they both signed it.

"Okay, now we need to give ourselves the power to issue marriage licenses."

"Right now, I'm thinking I just want to seduce you, and then we can do common law marriage."

"If I weren't trying to keep us as ready as possible to go to the temple, I'd let you do just that. Then again, looking at what we've written, I'm not sure this actually buys us anything, either. Feels sort of silly."

"Let's see where it leads. If we don't like it, we can always burn it."

"Good point."

After some discussion and more writing in Karel's journal, they came up with this:



Act 2: Concerning marriage:

Part 1: The government of this island of Bobbiesland shall have power and authority to issue marriage licenses valid for this island. 

Part 2: The license, together with a valid certificate of marriage, shall authorize, permit, and require the persons named in the license to perform the duties of marriage for and in behalf of each other, both in this island and in all other parts of the world.

Part 3A: The marriage license shall be signed by the issuing officer(s), and, of their own free will, by the partners to the marriage, or it shall not be valid. 

Part 3B: The marriage certificate shall be issued and signed by the performing officer(s), by two witnesses, and, of their own free will, by the partners to the marriage, or it shall not be valid. 

Part 4: The government of this island shall have power and authority to invest an officer or officers with authority to issue marriage licenses. It shall also have power and authority to invest an officer or officers with authority to perform marriages. And it shall have power and authority to rescind such investitures of authority.

Part 4A: In the case of the marriage of the co-presidents, if no other witnesses may be found, they may witness for each other. 

Entered into law by Roberta Whitmer and Karel Pratt on this [date elided].



And they signed and dated this one, too.

Karel checked his watch. "It's after one in the afternoon. When is this rain going to let up?"

Bobbie said, "Maybe it will let up when we have the marriage license done. Let's get some lunch."

Fortunately, they had more leftovers, and they ate mango for desert. Then they read their scriptures for about fifteen minutes.

Bobbie was reading in section 132. "Karel, what do you make of the law of polygamy?"

"What law of polygamy?"

"Section 132."

"Calling that the law of polygamy is confusing. It's a law of sealings, including marriage, under which the validity of polygamy when God directs it can be understood by us mortals."

Bobbie reread several verses and said, "Wow. You're right. This is one of those questions my dad got hung up on. It'd worried me, too. How did you know that?"

"Same way you see it now. I don't remember who pointed it out to me, but the Spirit explained it."

"Okay. Let's get back to business. It's time to invest each other!" Bobbie paused and giggled. "... with the authority to issue marriage licenses and perform marriages. Doesn't this feel silly?"

"As we both well know, a lot of government stuff is more than a little bit dealing with the silliness of social requirement."

"You didn't have to say that. No, you did have to say that."

After a short discussion, they had this:



Record of appointment 1: Roberta Whitmer is hereby invested as a justice of the peace and judge in this island of Bobbiesland, with authority to resolve disputes at suit and law according to justice and mercy, to establish contracts, and to solemnize marriages.

Entered into law by Roberta Whitmer and Karel Pratt on this [date elided].

Record of appointment 2: Karel Pratt is hereby invested as a justice of the peace and judge in this island of Bobbiesland, with authority to resolve disputes at suit and law according to justice and mercy, to establish contracts, and to solemnize marriages.

Entered into law by Roberta Whitmer and Karel Pratt on this [date elided].

Record of appointment 3: Roberta Whitmer is hereby invested as a registration agent, authorized to record events of importance including births, marriages, deaths, contracts, etc., and authorized to issue marriage licenses and other standardized licenses.

Entered into law by Roberta Whitmer and Karel Pratt on this [date elided].

Record of appointment 4: Roberta Whitmer is hereby invested as a registration agent, authorized to record events of importance including births, marriages, deaths, contracts, etc., and authorized to issue marriage licenses and other standardized licenses.

Entered into law by Roberta Whitmer and Karel Pratt on this [date elided].




"Lotta repetition." Karel grumbled. "Now I think we can issue the marriage license." And with a bit more working things out, they recorded this in their book of laws and copied it into each of their journals:




The Island of Bobbiesland, seat of government

To whom it may concern: 

This license is witness that 

Karel Pratt, [age elided], of the Island of Bobbiesland, originally of [county and state elided], the United States of America,

and 

Roberta Whitmer, [age elided],of the Island of Bobbiesland, originally of [county and state elided], the United States of America,

are hereby authorized to join each other in Holy Matrimony according to their investiture as justices of the peace of the Island of Bobbiesland and pursuant to the laws thereof, and to act in concert in solemnizing the marriage.

Witness our hands in official capacity this [date elided],
Roberta Whitmer, registration agent, Island of Bobbiesland 
 and Karel Pratt, registration agent, Island of Bobbiesland, 
on this [date elided].
[signature elided]

We do hereby certify that on the ________ day of ________________ 
in the year of our Lord _______________________________________, at the seat of government of the Island of BobbiesLand, we, the above named Justices of the Peace of the Island of Bobbiesland, did join the above named Roberta Whitmer and Karel Pratt in the Holy Bonds of Matrimony according to law in a civil ceremony and according to a present mutual agreement of marriage between the parties for all time.

Signatures of the parties married:
Groom ___________________________
Bride ___________________________

Signatures of the officers performing the marriage: 
________________________________
________________________________

Signatures of the witnesses:
________________________________
________________________________




"Hmm. This is beginning to feel real."

"It felt silly writing it, and I'm sure lawyers and officious government ossifers will laugh at it, but at least we can claim we are making some sort of effort to follow God's commandments here."

"Ossifers? Karel, tell me more about these rebellious teenage years you've been hiding from me."

"Do you hear the rain? I don't think I hear the rain. What time is it? Let's get out of here."

"You're dodging!"

"It's not really all that interesting. Let's check the camp for damage."

The rain had been gentle, if a bit long, and there was no damage. It was damp under the tarps, but the trunks were dry inside. And the sun was out, and drying the tarp and other things that had been soaked.

They leaned those four fallen culms against the trunks and hung their bedrolls across them.

"It's late. Why don't we just go for a hike? I'd like to see some more of the forests on the north end."

On the north, they found gourds, bok choy, daikon and other vegetables. They even found wild watermelon. And they found mandarin oranges, citron, and yuzu.

And wild apples, which were cause for rejoicing.

And the real surprises, cacao, and pecans and walnuts. "God is spoiling me!" was Bobbie's jubilant response to those.

"Guess so. He'd have pretty much had to specifically direct the birds that brought those seeds here."

On the way back, they crossed the ridge to the south of the artesian lake and found another stand of bamboo, this one primarily half-inch in diameter.

"Is this the Garden of Eden?" Karel commented to Bobbie. "It's in the wrong hemisphere, but it sure seems like God has just dropped everything we need to live in our laps. Now our job is to learn to take proper care of all this."

After a late supper, their prayers that night were a lot about gratitude.

"Should we sleep in the tent or risk more rain?" Karel asked Bobbie.

Bobbie looked at him and sighed. "Two weeks. I guess we'll risk the rain."


(The link to the next chapter will be here when it's ready is here: http://free-is-not-free.blogspot.com/2016/05/economics-101-novel-ch34-construction.html.)

(The chapter index is here: http://joel-rees-economics.blogspot.jp/2016/04/economics-101-novel-index.html)

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