(This article was originally published on June 20th, 2007. I was beginning to get back in a groove. This article explains my feelings to the situation Ed and Elaine Brown found themselves in.)
Do you remember the story of Robin Hood? He was a hero to nearly every child. Why was he a hero? Remember he stole from the rich to give to the poor? We were always taught that stealing is wrong. What would make it right to steal from a merchant who had made his fortune honestly? Nothing. Ah, but we all know that’s not what Robin Hood was really about. He wasn’t about stealing from just any old rich guy and giving to just any poor person. Remember, he was an aristocrat before he turned to his life of crime. No, he was about fighting injustice. He was about stealing from the evil Prince John and his enforcer, the Sheriff of Nottingham, and giving to the down trodden citizens who had worked hard to try to make ends meet. He was about taking back the taxes that the government of the day had stolen and giving it back to the people who had rightfully earned the money. He didn’t steal from the rich and give to the poor, he recovered stolen treasure and returned it to the rightful owners.
In the early part of the twentieth century prohibition proved a boon for crime. Criminal gangs found that selling illegal alcohol to speakeasies and other establishments that catered to the populace’s demand for the intoxicating beverages was extremely lucrative. The money they got from this illegal venture gave them power. They were able to pay off the police, politicians and others involved in the legal system so they could keep and protect their territories. They used the force of the gun to keep other criminal gangs away so that they had a monopoly. Anyone that wanted the illegal goods would have to pay the price the gang demanded. They were also able to diversify into other services that there was a public demand for. They became involved in gambling and prostitution. They also began to shake down honest businessmen located in their neighborhoods. They would maybe scare them a little by breaking some windows or robbing them a couple of times, then offer them “protection” for a small service fee. Some businessmen resisted. They refused to give their honest, hard earned income to a gang of thieves. Some of these businessmen ended up dead to serve as a warning to others.
Which of the two above examples does the federal government of the United States of America remind you of? Some might believe them to be like Robin Hood, taxing the rich to give to the poor. I don’t see that happening. I’m not rich. I'm an honest, hard working man. I doubt very much that Robin Hood would rob from me. If he did, he wouldn’t get much. It seems to me that the federal government is robbing from everyone and keeping it for themselves. I’m guessing that if Robin Hood were around today he’d be robbing from the Federal Reserve and giving American citizens back the money which was taken from them. No, the federal government seems much more like the second example. They take money by force from the citizenry consisting of both businessmen and laborers to “protect” them from many perceived threats. If someone wants to keep their hard earned money for themselves and refuse to give it to the feds, the feds will try to “reason” with them through the justice system. If they still refuse to pay they will be threatened with kidnapping and forced imprisonment. If they resist this action and try to protect themselves, there is a good chance they will end up dead. If organized crime does that it’s called extortion which there are laws against. If the federal government does it it’s called collecting taxes.
There’s been a movie going around called “America, Freedom to Fascism” by Aaron Russo. It’s an interesting movie. In it, Aaron goes around asking to be shown the law that says one has to pay income taxes. Authorities are tested when trying to find such a law. Example after example are given in which the law is not found. He even documents an Illinois court case where a man is exonerated on tax evasion charges by a jury of his peers because the prosecutor refuses to show them the law that states one has to pay income taxes. This is all very interesting, but I say “so what?” Even if there is no law, what’s to keep them from writing such a law? It doesn’t matter. What does matter is that there should be no law, and there should be no income taxes collected. Extortion is extortion and should not be legalized. Bad law is bad law. A rose by any other name. If anyone is ever brought to trail for breaking such a bad law, the jury should find him not guilty. This is because juries do have the right to judge the law, no matter what those people running the legal system would have you believe. This is where the true power of the people lies, in judging such laws to be bad laws. All one has to do, one informed juror, is find anyone being tried for not paying income taxes not guilty. Such jury nullification is what brought about the end to prohibition. If this happens enough, those in power will figure it out and these taxes will be done away with. Neither money nor private property should be taken from people by force. If the federal government provides such great services then taxes should be voluntary.
Today, there is a brave couple in New Hampshire who are under siege. Their names are Ed and Elaine Brown. They have already lost their businesses to the feds for refusing to give them their protection money. They had a trail but were not allowed to present their defenses to a jury, therefore they stayed away from the courthouse and were found guilty in absentia. Now their housee is under constant surveillance by federal agents. They are trapped in their home and awaiting the next move from the feds. They are ready to die. These people have done nothing to harm another, nor did they steal the private property of another. They just wanted to keep the money they earned honestly. They just wanted to present one of a variety of defenses during their trail. They just wanted to be shown a law that said they were required to pay income taxes. They were not allowed to do any of those reasonable things. They should simply be left alone.
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