Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Who's Yer Daddy?

Larry Mitchell Hopkins is 69 years old, plenty old enough to know the difference between himself and a real Border Patrol officer.

But he's a bigshot in a group that calls itself the United Constitutional Patriots, an armed militia that spends its time not reading and understanding the Constitution, but, rather, running around detaining hundreds of migrants at the border.

The New Mexico attorney general's office takes rightful objection to people pretending to be law enforcement officials, and that's why he's under arrest since Saturday.

New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas said Hopkins -- also known as Johnny Horton Jr. -- was arrested on felony charges of being in possession of firearms and ammunition, according to a statement from the FBI's Albuquerque field office.

"This is a dangerous felon who should not have weapons around children and families," Balderas said. "Today's arrest by the FBI indicates clearly that the rule of law should be in the hands of trained law enforcement officials, not armed vigilantes."

The group posts videos of themselves on Facebook, showing men wearing fake Army uniforms identifying themselves as "Border Patrol" and stopping immigrants.

A US Customs and Border Protection spokeswoman said the agency "does not endorse or condone private groups of organizations taking enforcement measures into their own hands."

That's one issue, and the courts and the FBI and all of them can deal with that. What really caught my eye about this particular oddball, among all the other loose cannons roaming the west, is that he bills himself as an entertainer under the name "Johnny Horton, Jr."

Johnny Horton was a fairly well-known country singer during his lifetime, which ended in 1960 when he was killed in a car wreck in Texas. His career saw hits such as "Honky Tonk Man," "When It's Springtime in Alaska (It's Forty Below),"  "North To Alaska," "Sink the Bismarck," and his biggest tune, "The Battle Of New Orleans." He was also known for marrying Billie Jean Jones Eshliman Williams in 1953, just months after she was widowed by the death of Hank Williams after a three-month marriage.

Williams, Jr.
There is a rich tradition in country music of sons following their father's footsteps, a trend which began when Hank Williams's first wife, Audrey, put their son Randall "Hank Williams Jr" on a stage to perform. Hawkshaw Hawkins, Jr, followed suit after his father passed, to dubious success, and the sons of Faron Young, Bobby Bare, Waylon Jennings, and Hank Williams, Jr. have tried to cash in on the family names. Why not? It's show business.

However, Hopkins might fool some people, and his fellow prisoners might enjoy hearing his songs, but whoever his father was, he was not Johnny Horton, who had two daughters, Yanina (Nina) and Melody with Billie Jean's , and also adopted her daughter, Jeri Lynn.

It will come as no surprise to readers that Donald Trump, Jr, is in fact the son of Donald Trump, current president of the United States!

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