The Militant Libertarian

I'm pissed off and I'm a libertarian. What else you wanna know?

Saturday, January 31, 2004

"Dumping" Federal Citizenship status (i.e. 14th and 16th Amendment status)? BE CAREFUL!

On Friday in this blog (below), I reprinted an article entitled "WOW! STATE CITIZENSHIPS DUMP 14TH AMENDMENT STATUS" which is about obtaining a letter of sovereign state citizenship. During my reading of Boston's Gun Bible, I came across this tidbit of information, checked it online, and thought I'd better warn people.

If you do decide to attempt to declare yourself NOT a resident of the United States and instead a resident only of your particular state in the Union, be VERY careful how you word your request. Why? You may not be able to pass a federal background check and therefore be unable to purchase a new firearm! Here's what I mean:

The following is 18 USC Section 922(d) entitled "prohibited possessors"
(d) it shall be unlawful for any person to sell or otherwise dispose of any firearm or ammunition to any person knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that such person--
(1) is under indictment for, or has been convicted of any count of, a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year;
(2) is a fugitive from justice;
(3) is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance (as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 USC 802));
(4) has been adjudicated as a mental defective or has been committed to any mental institution;
(5) who, being an alien, is illegally or unlawfully in the United States;
(6) who has been discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions;
(7) who, having, been a citizen of the United States has renounced his citizenship, or;
(8) is subject to a court order that restrains such person from harrassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner of such person or child of such intimate partner or person, or engaging in other conduct that would place an intimate partner in reasonable fear of bodily injury to the partner or child, except that this paragraph shall only apply to a court order that--
(A) was issued after hearing of which such person received actual notice, and at which such person had the opportunity to participate; and
(B)(i) includes a finding that such person represents a credible threat to the physical safety of such intimate partner or child; or
(ii) by its terms explicitly prohibits the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against such intimate partner or child that would reasonably be expected to cause bodily injury.

So there you go, you may cause yourself problems if you don't very carefully word that document of denial of U.S. citizenship. I'm no lawyer, so I don't know how to legally word it so that you would be denying citizenship in the U.S. without DENOUNCING said citizenship (and therefore being a "prohibited possessor" in 18 USC).

Just be warned. If you figure out how to get around this, lemme know. :)

Got comments? Email me, punk!

Book Review: Unintended Consequences by John Ross

Unintended Consequences
by John Ross

This is by far the best book I've read...ever. I swear. This book not only outlines the plight of anyone who believes in their right to keep and bear arms (enumerated by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution), but shows how the BATF (aka "ATF", aka "Bureau of American Tyranny and Fascism") literally entraps people into breaking the law. This agency is NOT about "upholding the law," nor do they "investigate crimes." This agency is all about CREATING crimes and then enFORC(E)ing them.

They don't show up to your house during the day with a warrant, knock on the door, and serve that warrant. Nor do they arrive at your home, shout that they have a warrant, and then barge in (e.g. DEA-style) from all sides. Nope. They wait until you're gone, then they storm your house (usually using local cops and FBI agents as their fodder) and take everything there. They then find you, wherever you may be, and arrest you in public where you have the least chance of fighting back. They aren't stupid. The BATF knows that their "enemies" are armed and dangerous. Nevermind it's our RIGHT to be armed and dangerous in order to FIGHT BACK against this kind of tyranny!

Anyway, this book centers around a man who grew up BEFORE significant gun law had been enacted. He became a part of the "gun culture." The book nicely outlines gun control laws, in a chronological manner, and how they affected those who were a part of the "gun culture." Eventually things come to a head after a great interlude by a rookie agent attempting to bait Henry (the main character) into an illegal proposition at a gun show.

The best thing about this book is that it MUST have the powers that be worried. After all, it outlines a clear and simple way for a relatively non-violent revolution to take place...

I highly suggest you read this book! I don't care who you are! If you're an agent of the government, you'd better read it as a matter of self-defense so you'll know what could be coming. If you're an average Joe on the street, read this book so that you know what CAN be done to make change really happen. GET THIS BOOK!

Conveniently, I've included a link to it at I'd suggest going there NOW.

Remember: after the first one, the rest are free...

Got comments? Email me, punk!

Friday, January 30, 2004



Posted By: kbcjedi
Date: Saturday, 3 January 2004, 2:07 a.m.

Letter Of Sovereign State Citizenship

If you are an old timer in the “patriot movement”, then certainly you will have heard commentary at one time or another about Sovereign state Citizenship. Eddie Kahn talked to us about it in past editions of TaxTruth Newsletter. He told us about how such citizenship status is distinctly different from 14th Amendment U.S. citizenship. He also told us about how prior to the Civil War there was no such thing as a “U.S. citizen”; there were only state Citizens.

Last November, Eddie began to explore the expatriation/repatriation process. It was a means to get us back to our proper citizenship status and shake off the unwanted U.S. citizenship. That process involved expatriating to renounce one’s 14th Amendment U.S. citizenship, whereas the repatriation process served to reaffirm one’s state Citizenship. However, the repatriation process still offered no official document from the government identifying the state Citizenship status of the person repatriating.

This week, however, we have something very interesting to report. Eddie told us about a man born in Nebraska who sent him a copy of a state issued passport that he got from the Nebraska Secretary of State. The man also sent Eddie a copy of the letter that he sent to the Secretary, which led him to get that document. In his letter, the man stated that he and his wife were de jure Citizens of Nebraska state (not State of Nebraska) who each wanted a Letter of Nebraska state Citizenship. Then he attached a proposed sample of how he wanted the document to look, which was just a typed letter that he composed himself. Furthermore, Eddie assumed that they sent their birth certificates along with the letter as evidence of their identity.

Interestingly, the Secretary of State sent them both a certified one-page document that was word-for-word exactly like the proposed sample. The document also contained the Nebraska Secretary of State’s signature, the Nebraska state flag and official state seal. This is quite amazing to say the least. People have been trying to figure out how to get such an official document for years without success. Yet, this man got one and all he did was send a simple letter to ask for it.

The document that the Nevada Secretary of State issued, dated July 20, 1992, is entitled “Letter Of Nebraska State Citizenship”. It says, “The Nebraska Secretary of State, Nebraska State, United States of America; hereby requests all who it may concern, to permit this sovereign Nebraska State Citizen, named herein, to pass without delay or hindrance and in case of need, to give all lawful aid and protection.” Then it lists the name of the Nebraska state Citizen and the Citizen’s date and place of birth. Lastly, the Nebraska Secretary of State and the Nebraska state Citizen to whom it was issued signed the document.

According to Eddie, the couple from Nebraska are not the only people who were able to get a state passport. ARL staff member, Jay Arr, recently told a man from New Jersey about all of this and sent him the documents referred to above. The New Jersey man then went to the New Jersey Secretary of State’s office in person and got an identical state passport in 25 minutes.

The purpose in getting these state passports is obvious; it’s all about your status. If you have a document from the Secretary of State of the state saying that you are a sovereign state Citizen, then that is officially what you are. Nobody can ever say otherwise. Such status puts you way above this 14th Amendment U.S. citizenship that the government currently has all of us in right now.

Got comments? Email me, punk!

"Free" Education and Literacy

Here is a great article on the idea of a "free education system" and its impact on literacy as opposed to a private or paid educational system... The link above is to the original article.

"Free" Education and Literacy
by Barry Dean Simpson

[January 28, 2004]

A common view promoted by advocates of "free" or public education is that a system primarily based on fees would cause many children to forego an education. Subsequently, literacy rates would decline, and America would slide down a slippery slope toward low economic growth and stagnation. Whether education is part and parcel to economic growth is not the concern of this article. Rather, the charge of illiteracy in a fee-based or privatized system seems to be weak at best, considering the history of education in America and England.

England's system of education was not completely "free" until 1870. However, literacy and attendance had been steadily climbing for hundreds of years. In 1640, male literacy in London was more than 50%, and more than 33% in the countryside. These rates were obtained under a privately administered fee-based educational system.[i] As the demand for education rose during the Industrial Revolution, however, private schools grew to supply consumer needs. By 1818, one of every fourteen people in the total population attended school for some period. Twice as many children attended school only ten years later. A Government Report of 1833 (criticized for underreporting attendance levels) found a 73% increase in the number of schooled children between 1818 and 1833.[ii] During 1833, 58% of attendees paid full fees, while only 27% received endowments for education.[iii]

The private system continued to grow in England. Attendance in day school had reached one of every 8.36 of the total population by 1851, and one of every 7.7 by 1861. The Education Act of 1870 provided "free" schools for the entire population. In 1975, however, after over 100 years of "free" schooling, the figure dropped only to one of every 6.4 citizens.[iv] The private investment in education in England prior to the Education Act is phenomenal considering the circumstances. The wages of children were still an important part of the average family budget. Eddie West estimates that a full one percent of Net National Income was spent on day-school education alone in 1833. This figure exceeds that of America in 1860. Moreover, it exceeds the figures of 1860 Germany and 1880 France where education was free and compulsory.[v] West argues that the goal of educating 100% of the population is unattainable. But if universal education means at least 90% attendance, then a private system of universal education had been achieved in England by 1860—a full ten years before education became "free."[vi]

The situation in America roughly parallels that in England. In 1650, male literacy in America was 60%. Between 1800 and 1840, literacy in the Northern States increased from 75% to 90%, and in Southern States from 60% to 81%. These increases transpired before the famous Common School Movement led by Horace Mann caught steam. Massachusetts had reached a level of 98% literacy in 1850. This occurred before the state's compulsory education law of 1852. Senator Edward Kennedy's office released a paper in the 1980s stating that literacy in Massachusetts was only 91%.[vii]

While some people might wonder exactly what literacy entailed during the early Nineteenth Century, anecdotal evidence points to a highly educated and refined populace. In his book Separating School and State, Sheldon Richman gives a variety of examples of the sophisticated nature of America's readers. Thomas Paine's Common Sense sold 120,000 copies to a population of three million—the equivalent of ten million copies in the 1990s. Noah Webster's Spelling Bee sold five million copies to a population of less than twenty million in 1818. Walter Scott's novels sold the same number between 1813 and 1823—the equivalent of sixty million copies in the 1990s. James Fenimore Cooper's The Last of the Mohicans also sold millions of copies. Scott and Cooper are certainly not written on today's fourth-grade level. Travelers to America during the period such as Alexis de Tocqueville and Pierre du Pont were amazed at the education of Americans.[viii] The reading public of Victorian England is so famous that numerous books and college literature courses are devoted to the subject. In fact, England eventually passed a paper tax to quell a public the leaders felt was too smart.

The reason behind the successes of private, fee-based systems should be elementary to any student of economics: Private businesses are consumer oriented. The feedback of profit and loss tells an entrepreneur when they satisfy, or fail to satisfy, the needs of consumers. Entrepreneurs who continue to lose eventually cease to be entrepreneurs. Conversely, profit is a reward to entrepreneurs who correctly anticipate consumer wants. A brief look at the private schools of the period attests to these facts. Private schools offered a varied curricula to students. While public schools concerned themselves with the three R's, private schools offered courses in geography, bookkeeping, geometry, trigonometry, surveying, French, German, history, and sometimes dancing.[ix] Specialty and night schools emerged to meet the growing demand of consumers. Many states cut local funding for schools after the American Revolution, but private education thrived.

Why then, did Mann and other so-called reformers lead a call-to-arms to bring public, free schools to all children? One reason is that consumers preferred the quality of the private schools. Although attendance per se did not decline from 1830 to 1840, attendance in public schools began to fall faster and faster. Mann and his followers developed many arguments to attack the private schools. Such arguments ranged from bad parents who refused to educate their children, to calls of private education being "undemocratic." Economic arguments concerning economic growth, crime, and educated voters were also used in an attempt to solidify the position of public schools. Once educators and administrators organized into powerful lobbying groups, the die of our modern public system was cast. Few people can afford to pay for education twice: once through fees, and once through the fiat of taxation.

Most people now realize the failure of public schools, even those who seek only to reorganize a bad system. Parents certainly realize this fact, since private and home schooling is again on the rise. Apparently, many people find that paying twice for education is better than receiving little education at all. Economic theory shows us that private businesses cater to the needs of diverse consumers far better than bureaucracies. History tells us that a private system is feasible, that those at the bottom of the ladder will gain the education they need, and that literacy will not suffer if the mass of the pubic education system disappears—if only we will listen.


Barry Simpson teaches economics at the University of South Alabama.

[i] Cremin, Lawrence A. 1951. The American Common School: An Historic Conception. NY: Columbia University. P. 17.

[ii] High, Jack, and Jerome Ellig. 1988. "The Private Supply of Education: Some Historical Evidence." In Tyler Cowen, ed. The Theory of Market Failure. Fairfax: George Mason University Press. P. 363.

[iii] West, E.G. 1970. "Resource Allocation and Growth in Early Nineteenth Century British Education." Economic History Review. 23: pp. 83–84.

[iv]High. 1988. Pp. 364–65.

[v] West, E.G. 1975. Education and the Industrial Revolution. NY: Harper & Row. P. 201.

[vi] West. E.G. 1967. "The Political Economy of American Public School Education." Journal of Law and Economics. (October): Pp. 127–28.

[vii] Richman, Sheldon. 1994. Separating School and State. Fairfax: Future of Freedom Foundation. P. 38.

[viii] Richman 1994. Pp. 38–39.

[ix] High. 1988. Pp. 367–69.

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Thursday, January 29, 2004

Ripped From Today's Headlines: A Tragic Fire

"REUTERS - Washington, D.C.: A tragic fire on Monday destroyed the personal library of President George W. Bush. Both of his books have been lost. A Presidential spokesman said the President was devastated, as he had not finished coloring the second one."


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John Stossel on 20/20: Debunking the Top Ten Myths

Last week on 20/20, John Stossel had the whole show to himself. He framed it after his new book "Gimme a Break" and debunked the top ten myths we believe as Americans. He hit on subjects like whether being cold will make you catch a cold and whether the Republican Party is really for small government...

GREAT show! You can read the synopsis here:

Got comments? Email me, punk!

My Responses to the RNC's "Set the Record Straight Poll"

Republican National Committee's "Set the Record Straight Poll"

My answers/comments in blue.

1. Do you think the Democrats go too far in their consistent and immediate rejection of almost every positive policy proposal advanced by President Bush and our Republican Congressional leadership?

Yes      No      No Opinion

2. Do you feel that President Bush and the Republicans in Congress are doing everything necessary to help revive America's economy and create jobs?

Yes      No      No Opinion

3. Do you support the recent legislation that Congress passed and President Bush signed into law that improves Medicare while adding a prescription drug benefit?

Yes      No      No Opinion

Note: the above answer was marked by circling it repeatedly and drawing little cartoon "action lines" around it.

4. When it comes to national defense, President Bush proposed and Congress created the Department of Homeland Security. Do you agree this department is critical to protecting our country?

Yes      No      No Opinion

Note: marked as above with the addition of exclamation points.

5. Do you support President Bush's efforts to permit families to use school vouchers to pay for alternative schools when local schools fail their children?

Yes      No      No Opinion

I wrote in: "NO MORE GOV SKOOLS!"

6. Do you support President Bush's faith-based initiative program to provide federal grants to local religious charities and service organizations to help them carry out social, school, anti-poverty and anti-crime programs?

Yes      No      No Opinion

Additionally, I wrote in "Better yet, get government out of charity altogether!"

7. Do you support cutting the amount of dues the United States pays to the UN to make them more in line with the amount paid by other large nations?

Yes      No      No Opinion

I added: "Better yet, get US out!"

8. The Democrat Party has vigorously opposed any meaningful legal reform legislation. Do you support Republican legal reform legislation that would bring an end to frivolous lawsuits?

Yes      No      No Opinion

9. Do you think President Bush's nominees to the federal court should be entitled to a simple "up or down" vote in the U.S. Senate rather than be held hostage by Democrat filibusters?

Yes      No      No Opinion

10. Do you think President Bush's "Leave No Child Behind" legislation is a positive step towards improving the quality of education for ALL of America's children?

Yes      No      No Opinion

11. Should President Bush and the Republicans in Congress continue their fight to permit drilling for oil and gas in the Arctic in an effort for us to gain greater energy independence?

Yes      No      No Opinion

12. President Bush wants to permit Americans to be able to personally invest a small portion of their Social Security payments so that they can "own" more of their benefits. Do you support this proposal?

Yes      No      No Opinion

Added: "Or drop S.S. altogether!!"

13. Which of the following comes closest to your thoughts on Social Security reform?

Needs total overhaul (I added: "GET RID OF IT!")

Needs substantial reform

Needs to be changed somewhat

Leave it as is

14. Which political party do you trust more to do the following:

Reduce Taxes     Republican Libertarian Democrat
Create Private Sector Jobs     Republican Libertarian Democrat
Strengthen Homeland Security     Republican Libertarian Democrat
Fully Fund National Defense     Republican Libertarian Democrat
Rein-in Government Spending     Republican Libertarian Democrat
Protect Social Security     Republican Libertarian Democrat
Improve Education     Republican Libertarian Democrat
Limit Government Regulations     Republican Libertarian Democrat

Note: I added "Libertarian" as a choice and voted as indicated. On Gov. spending and gov. regulations, I put THREE checkmarks under Libertarian. :) Additionally, next to "Strengthen Homeland Security" I added "(i.e. "defense"!) and I added an underline to Defense on the national defense funding below that.

15. Do you agree that the Senate Democrats are wrong in recently blocking White House supported legislation that would limit damage awards in medical malpractice lawsuits which are driving up the cost of health care in America?

Yes      No      No Opinion

I wrote in: "The problem w/ high med. Costs is government over-regulation!"

16. Do you think the Democrats are becoming more beholden to special interest like the trial lawyers, the big labor union bosses and the anti-war left wing of their party?

Yes      No      No Opinion

I added: "Now let's discuss who the Repubs. Are beholden to..."

17. Will you work with the RNC in the coming months to ensure that the TRUTH prevails against the Democrats lies and deceit in the 2004 elections?

Yes      No      No Opinion

I thought about maybe adding a comment about GOP lies and deceit after this one, but didn't have the room to fit all of my remarks... :)

Got comments? Email me, punk!

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Beg Letter from the RNC

My comments in blue. This letter is EXACTLY as it appears in printed form regarding punctuation, emphasis, etc. I actually got two letters from the RNC today and will be posting the other soon.

Letterhead: Republican National Committee, Ed Gillespie, RNC Chairman

Wednesday Morning

Dear Friend and Fellow American,

I must alert you to an important matter - At this very moment, a fierce battle is being waged for America's heart and soul.

And - the decision you make in the next few moments could determine the outcome.

But let me explain:

Since taking office on January 20, 2001, President Bush has transformed our party, our country, and our world. For the worse…

He has passed two of the LARGEST TAX CUTS in history, igniting the fastest rate of ECONOMIC GROWTH since 1984 - and creation of new jobs is on the increase. Yeah, considering we were in the worst economic SLUMP in recent history, it wasn't too hard…

And, on November 25, 2003, President Bush and our Republican Congress passed a historic Medicare prescription drug bill, which allows for the first modernization of this senior health care program in nearly 40 years. You mean a new, unfunded entitlement…

In addition, President Bush has signed into law the most important education reform in a generation, transformed the federal government to protect our homeland, AND led our Nation courageously in the War on Terrorism. NO MORE GOV SKOOLS!

But - despite these tremendous accomplishments - the fight for America's future is far from over. No kidding. Time for a new Revolutionary War.

In fact, the real battle is just beginning… Yeah, we still have some rights left…

You see, the liberals are retrenching! And now, they're hungrier than ever to undermine President Bush, and his agenda for a better, more prosperous America. Just consider this quote from a prominent liberal activist:

"Now the President is out of control and threatens American democracy and the peace of the world…Bush must be beaten in 2004. Not only the nation, but the world, depends on it." Yeah, well, I'm a Libertarian and I happen to agree with them here.

That's why I'm asking you to STAND UP for America's future by becoming a Sustaining Member of the Republican National Committee (RNC) today. Your pledge of support, along with a membership contribution of $25, $35, $50, $100, or more, will help President Bush enact his agenda for a stronger, safer and better America.

Should be re-written to read: That's why I'm asking you to STAND UP for America's future by becoming a Sustaining Member of the Libertarian Party today. Your pledge of support, along with a membership contribution of $25, $35, $50, $100, or more, will help The People enact their agenda for a stronger, safer, freer, and better America.

As a Sustaining Member, you'll be entitled to a number of benefits which I'll describe for you in a moment.

But more important - you'll feel a strong sense of personal pride knowing that you're part of the team fighting for a better future for all Americans.

While President Bush has already passed two of the largest tax cuts in history…sparked the fastest pace of economic growth in nearly 20 years…passed a historic Medicare prescription drug bill…AND led our country courageously in the War on Terrorism… ALL BAD as they are DEFICITS…

…we must ALL continue to FIGHT for America's future!

And - as a Sustaining Member of the RNC, you'll be doing your part to help President Bush further his agenda to strengthen the Economy, secure our Homeland Since when is this a Fatherl…er…Homeland?, safeguard Social Security Our National Ponzi Scheme, and win the War on Terrorism that Bush invented.

We've done so much in the past year! To screw everything up…

I know you're as proud about what we've accomplished as I am. Believe me, you're much prouder than I am… But now is not the time to rest. It's the time to build, and the decision you must make is simply this:

Will you stand up NOW and FIGHT for the future of America? Hell yeah!

I hope that your answer is YES - and that you'll join the RNC as a Sustaining Member today. Wait..I thought we were fighting for a BETTER America? Why would I join you morons?

Your show of support, and generous membership donation of $25, $35, $50, $100 or more will be a strong statement of personal support, and a pledge of commitment to the future of our country. Yeah, well, if I had a JOB or any kind of reason to LIKE Bush and the rest of you neo-cons, I'd consider it. As it is, kiss off, we have a nation to bring liberty to…and it ain't Iraq…

By standing up and joining the RNC today, you'll be doing your part to fight for opportunity: Opportunity for yourself, and opportunity for every American. …to continue to get f…ked.

You see, President Bush has a bright, bold vision - one of unity, and common purpose which draws strength from the timeless American principles of empowerment, independence, individual liberty, and free enterprise. Since when did he change his mind and start pushing this great stuff? So far, he's been all about screwing the economy, screwing our future generations, and buttf…king personal liberty…

He wants you to be able to chart your own course in life, empowered to take your own risks and succeed, rather than be caught in a web of government dependence. Yeah, well, remember the whole "actions and words" saying…you can do all of this right after you've ponied up your 50% of income to theIRS (not a typo).

He wants every child - regardless of the color of their skin, regardless of their house of worship, regardless of whether they live on a small farm or in a big city - to have the opportunity to succeed. That's nice, too bad he's spending their future on votes in the now…

But the LIBERALS don't agree with President Bush. They want BIGGER GOVERNMENT, HIGHER TAXES, and LESS PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY! Which is funny, since that's exactly what Bush has been giving them… You know, they'd like him more if he'd just start using the same words they do to describe what it is they want (and he's doing)… "for the children" and "to help the (insert minority here)" and so forth. In fact, if Bush is looking for a highly-paid consultant to help him with this, please gimme a call.

And now, they're more determined than ever to take TOTAL CONTROL of the federal government in 2004! Hmm…like Bush and the neo-cons have now? That's a rough decision to make...who do I want messing up my life for me...

Make no mistake: The liberals will stop at nothing to undermine President Bush and his agenda for a better America. You mean a better Police State…

That is why I must have your support today!

Please take a moment right now…

The rest is more "begathon" stuff asking for cash. Luckily, they sent along a postage-paid envelope in which I could put a copy of this letter with my responses. Thoughtful bastards, considering how hard they're working to screw us over.

Got comments? Email me, punk!

The Tax Poem

I'm not sure where this comes from, but it's off of an announcement made in April of last year for a tax protest to be held at the main Post Office here in town as people pulled in to mail their last-minute tax forms to the Infernal Revenue Service.

The Tax Poem

Tax his land, tax his wage,
Tax his bed in which he lays.
Tax his tractor, tax his mule,
Teach him taxes is the rule.

Tax his cow, tax his goat,
Tax his pants, tax his coat.
Tax his ties, tax his shirts,
Tax his work, tax his dirt.

Tax his chew, tax his smoke,
Teach him taxes are no joke.
Tax his car, tax his ass
Tax the roads he must pass.

Tax his tobacco, tax his drink,
Tax him if he tries to think.
Tax his booze, tax his beers,
If he cries, tax his tears.

Tax his bills, tax his gas,
Tax his notes, tax his cash.
Tax him good and let him know
That after taxes, he has no dough.

If he hollers, tax him more,
Tax him until he's good and sore.
Tax his coffin, tax his grave,
Tax the sod in which he lays.

Put these words upon his tomb,
"Taxes drove me to my doom!"
And when he's gone, we won't relax,
We'll still be after the inheritance tax.

Got comments? Email me, punk!

Something to Mull Over Today

Here's something that was sent to me a while back, but that has a lot of implications that can be tossed around today. Consider history and whether we're doomed to repeat it...

A warning from Scots Historian Professor Alexander Tyler circa 1787 re the fall of the Athenian Republic.

"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse (generous gifts) from the public treasury. From that moment on the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, (which is) always followed by a dictatorship."

"The average age of the world's greatest civilization has been two hundred years. These nations have progressed through this sequence. From bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to great courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance, from abundance to complacency; from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependence, from dependence back into bondage."

I've got my own ideas on where we are in this sequence as of 2004. I think we're in the "apathy to dependence" area and are fast working towards bondage. You make up your own mind.

Got comments? Email me, punk!

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

The Internet Brigade: Taxation Through the Ages

While I'm a fan of Pat Buchanan, I'm not a BIG fan, if you know what I mean. I subscribe his "Internet Brigade" mailing list and got this today. Great stuff.

Taxation Through the Ages
by Joseph Sobran

I’ve told this story before, but I’ll tell it again.

In the summer of 1965, when I’d just finished my freshman year in college, I was reading a little book called The Law — a long pamphlet, really — by the nineteenth-century French legislator Frédéric Bastiat, when I was riveted by a single sentence: “Look at the law, and see if it does for one man at the expense of another what it would be a crime for the one to do to the other himself.

In Bastiat’s view, government, beyond the strictest limits of justice, became “organized plunder,” a device by which “everyone seeks to enrich himself at the expense of everyone else.” In other words, government itself tends to become the very evil it is supposed to prevent: crime. But it confuses people because it enacts criminal acts under the forms of law.

The simple insight rocked me. It upset my faith in my country and its basic justice. If Bastiat was right, the United States was already profoundly corrupt. It took me years to come to terms with this idea. Today it seems to me almost self-evident. I marvel that anyone with common sense thinks otherwise.

This means, for openers, that taxation is a gigantic system of fraud, robbery, and extortion. Most taxpayers receive nothing to justify the amounts they are forced to pay. Yet it’s the taxpayer, not the ruler, who is treated as a criminal suspect and required to “confess” his earnings and holdings. The ruler isn’t penalized for anything he does to the taxpayer.

This fact makes me wildly indignant, and I’m frustrated and baffled that so few Americans share my feelings. We are being robbed and cheated on an astonishing scale.

Once, during a radio interview (I’ve been known to repeat this story too), I was asked, “Why don’t you ever criticize big business the way you always criticize big government?” I answered, “I’m not forced to do business with General Motors. If I do so voluntarily, I get a car for my money. But I am forced to do business with the government. Every year I’m forced to pay it roughly the price of a new car. And I’ve never seen that car. Someone else gets it.”

Bastiat, a devout Catholic, reasoned about the state from a natural law philosophy. He concluded that the state violates the most basic principles of natural justice. Once you start thinking that way, you can hardly avoid thinking of politics as a largely criminal activity.

At some level, most people know this intuitively. I think this accounts for the huge popular appeal of The Godfather. We are all taught that the government is there to protect us from criminals. The Godfather audaciously reverses our civics lessons: it shows us a benign master criminal who will protect us from the corrupt government. This is another sentimental myth, of course — unlike real mafiosi, Don Corleone never extorts “taxes” from shopkeepers in the form of protection money — but it has enough truth to seize our imaginations.

But the state’s myth still prevails, and we submit. Most people see nothing questionable about state taxation, and politicians complacently assume their right to take our wealth.

Some Oklahoma politicians, for example, are currently in a tax-boosting mood. They want to raise taxes of all sorts —
income taxes, sales taxes, property taxes, excise taxes, you name it.

According to the National Taxpayers Union, the average Oklahoman already pays more in taxes — Federal, state, and
local — than for food, shelter, clothing, and transportation combined. This amounts to 26.5 per cent of per capita income.

How much is enough? What is the limit? At what point, short of taking 100 per cent of our earnings, do our rulers feel they are taking too much from us?

The obvious answer is that they recognize no limit. The subject never comes up. They view the taxpayer as an inexhaustible resource.

And why shouldn’t they? The sad fact is that the American taxpayer is a remarkably passive creature. He merely grumbles at conditions far more oppressive than the tyranny that drove his ancestors to rebel against British rule in 1776.

One of the chief complaints of the American colonist was that he was taxed without his consent. Yet by today’s standards, his taxes were amazingly low. Precise figures are hard to come by, but in 1764, for example, the average American was taxed by the Crown at the rate of sixpence per year. That is not a misprint. Six pennies per year. One penny every two months. Even adjusting for inflation, that is a pretty light tax burden. Today’s children pay more than that in sales taxes.

And the British were cautious about raising taxes. Even a slight tax increase, as on a commodity like tea, could bring the colonies to a boil.

The Americans knew that a principle was at stake. Unlimited taxation could mean slavery. That is why they tried, at every turn, to nip it in the bud.

Under slogans like “No taxation without representation,” Americans fought for independence and established their own governments. They thought self-government was their bulwark against tyranny and overtaxation.

But the problem turned out to be more complex. Even elected officials found it easy to abuse the taxing power, and self-government could be as predatory as foreign rule. Senator John C. Calhoun remarked that the most surprising thing experience in government had taught him was that it was easier to raise taxes than to cut them.

The Lincoln administration imposed the first Federal income tax to meet the costs of the Civil War. But again, by our standards the rates were amazingly low: the basic rate was 3 per cent, with a top rate of 5 per cent. Even so, after the war the U.S. Supreme Court soon ruled that a Federal levy on incomes was unconstitutional.

In 1913 the Federal Government surmounted this obstacle by winning a constitutional amendment authorizing taxes on incomes. No upper limit was set, but most Americans were unaffected. “Incomes” were narrowly defined; an unmarried taxpayer had to make about $50,000 (in today’s money) to pay the tax at all; and the top rate, a mere 7 per cent, reached only the very rich. It wasn’t until after World War II that most Americans paid income taxes, but then the rates rose to their current punishing levels. And in recent decades most states have imposed income taxes too. Other taxes have also increased at dizzying rates.

At nearly every step, the government has had its way. Taxpayers have mounted only sporadic resistance, in what are often called “tax revolts.” The phrase is significant. If our rulers are really our “servants,” as self-government implies, why are the wishes of the ruled considered “revolts”? Can we “revolt” against our own servants? Or have they really become our masters?

The question answers itself. We might also ask, At what point does taxation become confiscation, theft, and even involuntary servitude? Our rulers — we may as well say our masters — never address this point. The Ruler of the universe asks only 10 per cent of our wealth. Our earthly rulers won’t settle for such a modest share. They consider us “greedy” for wanting to keep more of our own money; they consider themselves “compassionate” for wanting to take more of it — 20 per cent, 40 per cent, why not 80 per cent?

If the politicians had any respect for our rights, our property, our liberty, even our dignity, they would impose taxes only reluctantly, and they would acknowledge some just limit. They would act as if the money they take and spend is our money, to be used for the common good of all, and not for buying the votes of special interests and government dependents. In short, they would recognize that taxation is a moral issue, not a mere political convenience to be exercised arbitrarily and irresponsibly.

I know of only one history of taxation, Charles Adams’s 1993 book For Good and Evil: The Impact of Taxes on the Course of Civilization. It’s not a totally satisfactory book; the writing is uneven, some of its judgments are open to question, and the subject is far too vast to cover in 530 pages. But it’s about the only book dealing with the topic for the general reader, and it’s full of fascinating information and anecdotes, backed by a basic wisdom.

Adams isn’t categorically against taxation. He thinks there are “good” taxes as well as bad ones, and he argues, for instance, that the Roman Empire fell because it wasn’t collecting taxes efficiently. He blames tax evasion for its demise, but blames its policies for fostering evasion.

Nevertheless, his narrative makes it hard to deny that “organized plunder” has been the very lifeblood of most states throughout history. In most times and places taxation, like slavery, was simply taken for granted as an inescapable fact of life; now and then there have been tax revolts, just as there have been slave revolts; and at times, especially since the Christian era, taxation has been recognized as presenting serious moral problems.

Aside from the Roman Empire, Adams thinks states have usually destroyed themselves through overtaxation. Greed is almost the defining mark, not of the capitalist, but of the state. Ingenious rulers have found a thousand ways, from slavery to debasing money to tariffs to exacting tribute, of appropriating others’ wealth. At the same time, they fail to foresee how their own oppression will breed tax resistance.

Adams finds abundant records for this. In fact, many important archeological discoveries have been of tax inventories. The fabled Rosetta stone is essentially a tax record. “A large percentage of all ancient documents are tax records of one kind or another,” he writes. “The day may come when historians will recognize that tax records tell the real story behind civilized life.... They are basic clues to the way a society behaves.” After reading his swift review of history, you can hardly doubt it.

Taxation has always been big business, the biggest business of government. Hebrew complaints about the “oppression” of the Egyptian pharaohs seem to have been chiefly about the taxes imposed on them, which often amounted to, and were hard to separate from, slavery. (The Egyptians were cruel taxers, even sending scribes into every home to make sure people weren’t preparing their food with untaxed cooking oil!) Sometimes we hear of taxation so casually that we hardly notice it, as in the Gospel accounts of Joseph and Mary going to Bethlehem to submit to a great Roman tax census.

As Adams sees it, history is largely the story of men’s constant efforts to get the wealth produced by other men, with politics and the state as the main means of acquisition. It’s amazing that this ever-present dimension has been so slighted in most history books. Men have fought for power for many reasons, but the strongest has always been their own enrichment. It’s hardly too much to say that the story of taxation is the story of mankind.

Adams sees Old Testament history as the constant struggle of the weak Jews against powerful predatory neighbors, Egyptian, Babylonian, Persian, Assyrian, Greek, and Roman. Losing a war, or avoiding one, meant paying tribute. (We tend to read words like tribute without grasping their concrete meaning.)

In the often deadly game of politics, tax exemptions and immunities as well as taxes were key weapons. Exemptions were irresistible privileges and definers of social class; Islam owed much of its original appeal to its offer of tax immunity to converts. This sufficed to lure the great majority of Christians and Jews in the Middle East, still heavily taxed by the dying Roman Empire, to the Muslim faith. But in time, Muslim rulers, having run out of taxable infidels, became eager taxers of their own people, and Islam lost its zeal even in its own domains. “Islam ceased to spread when converts were not offered a tax break.” Conversion had become a tax “loophole” that worked only too well.

In the Middle Ages, struggles between Church and state were usually over taxes and the authority to tax. Stern moral limitations inhibited taxation, especially new and “unheard of” taxes (exactio inaudita). Rulers who raised taxes were widely regarded as wicked tyrants who “incurred sin and would be punished by God.” But churchmen sometimes had greater taxing powers than secular rulers.

Like Rome, argues Adams, the mighty Spanish Empire finally broke down because it taxed too many too much and was unable to enforce its demands on a resentful population. But one of his most original chapters says that Aztec Mexico fell to the tiny forces of Cortés because of its own short-sighted greed in taxing its provinces.

Adams likewise sees taxation, not chattel slavery, as the issue that precipitated the American War Between the States. His sharp reading of Lincoln’s first inaugural address confirms this. (He has developed the argument further in another book.)

Only one country, as Adams tells it, has gotten it right: Switzerland. The Swiss have kept their government under control pretty well, in great part because they have had the wisdom to keep the taxing power and the spending power under separate agencies. He says this practice also preserved English liberty for a long time, but the vaunted American constitutional separation of powers overlooked this crucial distinction. The U.S. Congress taxes and spends. So we lack checks and balances where we most need them. Moreover, the Swiss federal government can’t raise taxes without a popular majority, which is usually denied. The Swiss taxpayer, unlike the American, has learned to defend himself.

According to Adams, America’s downfall may come gradually through its failure to control and limit the taxing power. A nominally “federal” system is in vain when the spending and taxing powers are combined and centralized. It’s at least a provocative idea; but if his book teaches anything, it’s that Swiss wisdom isn’t contagious.


A version of this piece was presented as a speech to the
Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs ( in
September 2003.

(Reprinted from SOBRAN’S, December 2003)

SOBRAN’S and Joe Sobran’s columns are available by
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KRCL Radio Appearance Yesterday

Yesterday, I was on KRCL radio as part of a show on the USA PATRIOT Act. The other guests included a spokesperson from Utah's ACLU and a librarian from Vermont (head of the library at the Univ. of Vermont).

I was speaking here officially on behalf of the Libertarian Party of Utah and had a good time. We spoke about infringements, our rights, and where the ACLU, the ALA (American Library Association), and the LP stand on the issue of the USAPA.

It was a lot of fun and entertaining. I was impressed at the insight of the host, who told me afterwards that he should have had me on for the entire show instead of just half an hour. :)

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Political Cartoons...and Bush Specifically

Well, I flipped on the email this morning and after the usual 5-million spams and watching Norton deflect the latest bogieman, I started sifting through my email. Some good stuff on technical matters, of course, but this blog is about politics! :)

Here's a couple of great cartoons that were sent this morning...

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Monday, January 26, 2004

Utah's Legislative Session 2004

Since I've announced I won't be tracking bills specifically this year in my email lists (as I have before), I thought that I'd better come up with a resource for those who depend on me for this (HA!). Here's the best one I know of so far. I know most of those involved in Accountability Utah pretty well and have very little to say in the negative about their politics. They have a Utah legislative list I would highly recommend you watch if you want truly conservative views:

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Sunday, January 25, 2004

Underground Yourself?

The following is forwarded from an online discussion group. I've removed contact information and group information for privacy reasons:

> Interesting site--very well done, actually. Nevertheless, to be so boldly
> militant, I couldn't help but notice that there were no direct references
> to your real name while I was poking around. Did I miss one? I had to do
> a whois to find out who owned the domain.

They may or may not appear in posts, I didn't hide the domain registration, and haven't completed much of the site's non-blog areas (including links to other sites of mine, such as which contains my full name all over it).

> Oh, and if you're so tired of " 'under the radar' morons who hide from the
> government and therefore do not fight for change [as if you had any way of
> knowing this]" why are you on this list? We are, among other things, a
> group interested in flying under the radar.

We've had this discussion, Edward. Since people are on this list discussing things (and, by the way, therefore NOT hiding under the radar as it's extremely easy for someone who knows how to find out who/where you are once you log onto any network) and specifically discussing change, they are NOT "under the radar morons." They are now "under the radar and informed."

That statement was targeted towards persons like my neighbor, who is completely "off paper," and enjoys shoving that in people's faces who he deems "unworthy" of his greatness for doing so. He, however, does nothing to affect change and even works to cause divisiveness and derision AGAINST those who attempt change. In his puny little mind, if it's not a Second Amendment issue, it's bullshit and probably "liberal" (a word he spits like your or I would use the
word "mother___er").

Anyway, the site is under construction, but is coming along nicely.

--- End forwarded message ---

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FW: You Can't Do That! (Without a License)

You Can't Do That! (Without a License)
by Charles Stone, Jr., canam@m...
Number 255, January 18, 2004

The land of the free and the home of the brave, eh? That's what they say, but try to do any one of hundreds of things without a government license and you'll find out just how unfree we really are.

Want to cut someone's hair, trim someone's nails, build a house, fill somebody's teeth, practice law, treat a cold, spray for bugs, bury a corpse, watch somebody's kids or give a massage? You need the government's permission. In some places if you want to sell flowers or cars or homes or decorate somebody's interior, you must be licensed by the government. Want to haul folks from place to place for a fee, fit someone for a pair of glasses or use your expertise in the classroom to help educate future generations? Not without the validation of some government hack.

If you ask them, they'll tell you "it's for your protection" or "it's the only way we can be sure the people doing these things are competent." Nonsense, on both counts.

One hundred years of increasing bureaucracy and generations of children brought up in government schools make it seem that way though. How can it be possible for any type of profession to insure the competence of its members without government regulations? Actually, it's easy once you get through the layers of bombast and bafflegab slathered around by the regulators.

In the state of Florida, for example, home inspectors are required to be licensed by the state but there are no real tests for competence or any method of punishing those whose incompetence may cost their clients money or indeed their very homes. Yet there are several private accreditation groups that do lay out stringent requirements for membership. That is the answer.

It's not necessary to involve the government at all. You simply make it in the best interest of the inspectors to become part of one of the accrediting organizations and convince the home-buying public to only use accredited inspectors and the problem is solved.

Unscrupulous people are still free to call themselves home inspectors and foolish home-buyers are still free to use these fly-by-nights but they do so at their own risk. Isn't that the way it should be? You provide proof of your qualifications and the consumer looks them over and makes what should be an informed decision. What could be simpler and more in line with the free enterprise system.

That's why the Liberal/Democrat/socialist/statists hate the idea. It takes government out of the loop and leaves them no portal through which to enter the lives of others. It does away with the dependency that they must foster in order to gain control.

Independent people need no nanny watching over them. They are capable of handling their own affairs or if things get too complex, of finding the proper professionals to aid them. That makes them much harder to control.

The reasons that this is not the way of things in the America of today are numerous and disparate. In some cases it is pure paternalism on the part of government. The belief that only the government can be wise and powerful enough to look after the interests of the masses. In others it is tradition. "It's always been that way." In still others it is the hijacking of the police powers of government by those within a profession to minimize competition. There are even case in which the government is used to stop competition just because some group has enough political clout to have restrictive regulations implemented.

The unions do their part to keep the market un-free as well. They see competition as anti-worker because you have to perform to compete. Union people don't want to have to perform. They prefer to extort advancement from employers and use the spoils to keep their members in line. It's a lot easier to move up through the ranks of a career by seniority than it is by merit. That, for example, is why the teacher's unions are so adamantly against merit pay plans.

Businesses also use the licensing power of government to keep competitors off their backs. If you have a business that is doing marginally well with a minimum of effort and risk on your part and you see that there are other folks who might be thinking about competing with you, what is easier and cheaper? Invest in expanding your business or make changes that will make it run more efficiently, or get your friendly local politician to set up some regulations that make it difficult or impossible for new people to play in your yard? For a lot of people the latter seems preferable.

But what about activities that may involve human life or health, shouldn't government be involved there? Not necessarily. Take prescription medications for example. How do you keep people from misusing or abusing possibly dangerous drugs? The simple answer is; you don't. The doctor or the pharmacist should be responsible for informing you of the proper dosage and methods of administering medications, if you are too stupid or incompetent to follow their instructions or you are purchasing drugs for other than their intended use and you harm yourself, tough! Your ignorance should not be my problem.

One of the great, under-appreciated scams in America is the licensing of the electronic media. The Federal Communications Commission has massive power to control the transmission of information and since it is made up of political appointees, the possibility of corruption, either monetary or political, is always present. Politicos on both sides of the aisle think that somehow their dogma should be freely disseminated while that of their opponents should be restricted for the good of the people. That's why we are saddled with such goofy ideas as "broadcasting in the public interest" and the horribly misnamed "fairness doctrine."

The former is an anachronistic holdover from the early days of broadcasting when it was thought that there would only be two or three broadcasters in any given area, the latter is an attempt to force all broadcasters to air all sides of every issue or more accurately, no sides of any issue. Both cases serve only to prevent the free circulation of information among people.

In a perfect world, government would restrict itself to dealing with those activities in which one person can cause harm to another through force or fraud. Everything else would be left to the individual or private enterprise. It's not likely to happen though because government derives much of its power from the ability to restrict the activities of its citizens. They're never going to give that up.

It makes you wonder how we got along for the first century of this nation's existence when there weren't vast offices filled with bureaucrats and assorted functionaries whose only job was to create jobs for themselves. Could we actually have been expected to solve most of our own problems by ourselves, without governmental nannies to hold our hands (and pick our pockets)? But, by golly we did so and along the way we built the greatest nation in the history of the world. Too bad we are too venal and self-absorbed to keep it.

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