The Hidden Truth about Income Taxes
American citizens and permanent resident aliens, living and working within the States of the Union are not subject to the filing of an IRS Form 1040 and ARE NOT LIABLE for the payment of a tax on "income"!!! If this surprises you, you are not alone. You are among the vast majority of American citizens who have been mislead and misinformed. Read on.
For YEARS, the Internal Revenue Service has ruled the American people with fear, bluff, and deception, the IRS's major weapons. Americans have been led to believe that they "owe" an income tax on their earnings; that it is their "patriotic duty" to pay it, and there is no alternative to the IRS's abuse. Nothing could be further from the truth! From its beginning, the income tax was levied on non-resident aliens and American citizens living and working in a foreign country and for the federal government. During World War I, the government requested that citizens volunteer to pay taxes as a way to pay for the war. During World War II the government employed Walt Disney and his cartoon character, Donald Duck, to increase the voluntary payment of the income tax. Consider the following facts:
Our Founding Fathers created a constitutional republic as our form of government. The Constitution gives the federal/national government limited powers. All powers not delegated to the United States are reserved to the States respectively or to the People. The Union was created to be the servant of the people! The United States Constitution is the supreme law of the land. (Article VI, Clause 2.)
The Constitution gives the Congress the power to lay and collect taxes to pay the debts of the government and to provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States. Congress is only permitted to levy two types of taxes.
1. DIRECT TAXES, which are subject to the rule of apportionment among the states of the Union.
2. INDIRECT TAXES -- imposts, duties and excises, subject to the rule of uniformity.
The US Constitution does not allow the federal government to use either of the two classifications to tax CITIZENS or PERMANENT RESIDENT ALIENS of the United States of America, DIRECTLY. The intent of the Founders was to keep the government the servant and to prevent it from becoming the master. (See Article 1, section 2, clause 3 of the U.S. Constitution.)
A federal census is taken every ten (10) years to determine the number of representatives to be allotted to each State and the amount of a direct tax that may be apportioned to each State. This is determined by the percentage its number of representatives bears to the total membership in the House of Representatives. (Article 1, section 2, clause 3; Article 1, section 9, clause 4.)
It was established in the Constitutional Convention of 1787 that the Supreme Court of the United States would have the power of "judicial review". This is the power to declare laws passed by the U.S. Congress to be null and void if such a law or laws was/were in violation of the Constitution. This was to be determined from the original intent as found in Madison's Notes recorded during the Convention, the Federalist Papers, and the ratifying conventions found in Elliott's Debates.
Due to the characteristics of the SECOND CLASSIFICATION of taxation, the Supreme Court called it an indirect tax and it is divided into three distinct taxes: IMPOSTS, DUTIES, and EXCISES. These taxes were intended to provide for the operating expenses of the government of the United States. (See Article 1, section 8, clause 1.)
Duties and imposts are taxes levied by government on things imported into the country from abroad, and are paid at the ports of entry.
The Supreme Court says that excises are...taxes laid upon the manufacture, sale or consumption of commodities within the country, upon licenses to pursue certain occupations and upon corporate privileges. (See Flint v. Stone Tracy Co., 220 US 107 .)
In 1862, Congress passed an Act (law) to create an "Income Duty" to help pay for the War Between the States. A duty is an indirect tax, which the federal government cannot impose on citizens or residents of a State having sources of income within a State of the Union.
Congress passed an Act in 1894 to impose a tax on the incomes of citizens and resident aliens of the United States. The constitutionality of the Act was challenged in 1895 and the Supreme Court said the law was unconstitutional because it was a direct tax that was not apportioned as the Constitution required (See Pollock v. Farmer's Loan & Trust Co., 157 US 429 .)
In 1909 Congress passed the 16th Amendment to the Constitution that was allegedly ratified by 3/4 of the States; it is known as "The Income Tax Amendment." Bill Benson has gathered the evidence that it was not legally ratified.
Some officials within the Internal Revenue "Service," along with professors, teachers, politicians and some judges, have said and are saying, that the 16th Amendment changed the United States Constitution to allow a DIRECT tax without apportionment.
However, the above persons are not empowered to interpret the meaning of the United States Constitution! As stated above, this power is granted by the Constitution to the Supreme Court, but limited to the original intent. The Supreme Court has no power to function as a "social engineer" to amend or alter the Constitution as they have been doing. A change or "amendment " can only be lawfully done according to the provisions of Article 5 of the US Constitution.
The U.S. Supreme Court said in 1916 that the 16th Amendment did not change the U.S. Constitution because of the fact that Article 1, section 2, clause 3, and Article 1, section 9, clause 4, were not repealed or altered; the U.S. Constitution cannot conflict with itself. The Court also said that the 16th Amendment merely prevented the "income duty" from being taken out of the category of INDIRECT taxation. (See Brushaber v. Union Pacific R.R. Co., 240 US, page 16.)
After the Supreme Court decision, the office of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue issued Treasury Decision [Order] 2313 (dated March 21, 1916; Vol. 18, January-December, 1916, page 53.) It states in part;
...it is hereby held that income accruing to nonresident aliens in the form of interest from the bonds and dividends on the stock of domestic change corporations is subject to the income tax imposed by the act of October 3, 1913.
In another Supreme Court decision in 1916, the Court, in clear language settled the application of the 16th Amendment. By the previous ruling [Brushaber] it was settled that the provisions of the Sixteenth Amendment conferred no new power of taxation. Rather it simply prohibited the previous complete and plenary [full] power of income taxation possessed by Congress from the beginning from being taken out of the category of indirect taxation to which it inherently belonged... (See Stanton v. Baltic Mining Co., 240 US, 112.) And indirect taxes are limited to imposts, duties, and excises, not on the income of individuals.
The United States Constitution gives the federal government the exclusive authority to handle foreign affairs. Congress has the power to pass laws concerning the direct or indirect taxation of foreigners doing business in the U.S.A. It has possessed this power from the beginning, needing no "amendment" (change) to the U.S. Constitution to authorize the exercise of it.
The DIRECT classification of taxation was intended for use when unforeseen expenses or emergencies arose. Congress, needing funds to meet the emergency, can borrow money on the credit of the United States (Article 1, section 8, clause 2). The Founding Fathers intended that the budget of the United States be balanced and a deficit be paid off quickly and in an orderly fashion. Through a DIRECT tax, the tax bill is given to the States of the Union. The bill is "apportioned" by the number of Representatives of each State in Congress; therefore, each State is billed its apportioned share of the DIRECT tax equal to the number of votes its Representatives could employ to pass the tax. How the States raise the money to pay the bill is not a federal concern (Article 1, section 2, and clause 3).
In the Brushaber and Stanton cases, the Supreme Court said the 16th Amendment did not change income taxes to another classification. So, if the INCOME TAX is an indirect EXCISE tax, then how is it applied and collected? According to the Supreme Court, "Excises are taxes laid upon the manufacture, sale or consumption of commodities within the country, upon licenses to pursue certain occupations and upon corporate privileges; the requirement to pay such taxes involves the exercise of the privilege and if business is not done in the manner described no tax is payable...it is the privilege which is the subject of the tax and not the mere buying, selling or handling of goods." (Flint v. Stone Tracy Co., 220 US, 110.) In other words, if there is no privilege or licensing involved in a business, no tax is payable.
If all RIGHTS are the natural heritage of men and women, citizens of the States retain all RIGHTS except those surrendered as enumerated in the United States Constitution), and PRIVILEGES are granted by government after application; THEN what is the PRIVILEGE that the "income tax" is applied against?
As established in the U.S. Constitution, the federal government cannot directly tax a citizen living within one of the States of the Union. Citizens possess rights; these rights cannot be converted to privileges by government. The only individuals who would not have these rights and would therefore be liable to regulation by government are NONRESIDENT ALIENS doing business and working within the United States or receiving domestic source profits from investments, and United States citizens working in a foreign country and taxable under treaties between the two governments.
Withholding agents withhold income taxes. The only section in the Internal Revenue Code that defines this authority is section 7701(a)(16). Withholding of money for income tax purposes, according to section 7701(a)(16), is only authorized for sections:
· 1441 - NONRESIDENT ALIENS,
· 1442 - FOREIGN CORPORATIONS,
· 1443 - FOREIGN TAX-EXEMPT ORGANIZATIONS,
· 1461 - WITHHOLDING AGENT LIABLE FOR WITHHELD TAX.
Internal Revenue Manual Chapter 1100 Organization and Staffing, section 1132.75 states: The Criminal Investigation Division enforces the criminal statutes applicable to income, estate, gift, employment, and excise tax laws involving United States citizens residing in foreign countries and nonresident aliens subject to Federal income tax filing requirements...
The implementation of IRS Treasury Regulation 1.1441-5 is explained in Publication 515 on page 2, that "If an individual gives you [the domestic employer or withholding agent] a written statement, in duplicate, stating that he or she is a citizen or resident of the United States, and you do not know otherwise, you may accept this statement and are relieved from the duty of withholding the tax.
The ONLY way a United States citizen or permanent resident alien, living and working within a State of the Union can have taxes deducted from his/her pay, is by
· voluntarily filing an application Form SS-5 to obtain a Social Security Number.
· Then by entering that number on an IRS Form W and signing it to permit withholding of "Employment Taxes" -- "Form W Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate" (emphasis added).
That is why the IRS pressures children to apply for a Social Security Numbers, and for employers to obtain the voluntary completion of Form W immediately from all those being hired. However, no federal law or regulation requires workers to have a Social Security Number or sign a Form W to qualify for a job.
Internal Revenue Code Section 6654(e)(2)(c) states:...no tax liability...if....the individual was a citizen or resident of the United States throughout the preceding taxable year. IRS contends the success of the SELF-ASSESSMENT system depends on VOLUNTARY COMPLIANCE
All human rights are natural and cannot be taken away by any legitimate means. This is the premise of the Declaration of Independence. The United States Government can only exercise powers given to it by "We the People" through the U.S. Constitution. The "income tax" is an INDIRECT TAX. There is no section of law in the Internal Revenue Code (Title 26 USC) making a CITIZEN or a RESIDENT working and living WITHIN A STATE OF THE UNION, LIABLE to pay the INCOME (indirect/excise/duty) TAX.
Are you "self employed"? Did you know what the Internal Revenue Code says concerning filing quarterly estimated returns? Read below!
SEC. 6654. FAILURE BY INDIVIDUALS TO PAY ESTIMATED INCOME TAX.
(e) Exceptions. -Where tax is small amount. -- No addition to tax shall be imposed under subsection (a) for any taxable year if the tax shown on the return for such taxable year (or, if no return is filed, the tax), reduced by the credit allowable under section 31, is less than $500.
Where no tax liability for preceding taxable year.--No addition to tax shall be imposed under subsection (a) for any taxable year if:
A. the preceding taxable year was a taxable year of 12 months.
B. the individual did not have any liability for tax for the preceding taxable year, and
C. the individual was a citizen or resident of the United States throughout the preceding taxable year. (emphasis added)
What can you do about it? For one thing, require them to follow their own statutes and regulations. IRS is notorious for violating due process. Get a professional with 20 years experience helping people with tax problems. Click here to GET STARTED NOW!
Contact your congressman and senators to protest and demand hearings to investigate the unconstitutional structure and function of the Internal Revenue Service. You can find their name, address, email address, phone number or fax number at http://thomas.loc.gov . Tell your friends, send them the URL of this page, talk about it, tell your friends to tell their friends.
What else can you do? File your UCC-1 claim on the CORPORATION that carries your name in their ledgers and take control of your Treasury Direct Account. You are considered a citizen of a Federal territory because of Fourteenth Amendment citizenship. Since you have not objected to your status as a subject of the Federal jurisdiction, you may be presumed to be content with your Federal citizenship. To guide you through the legal brambles to freedom you will need the help of an experienced advisor. GET STARTED NOW!
FREE! 2300+ Page Research Report, "The Great IRS Hoax: Why We Don't Owe Income Tax"
Exhaustive overview of the income tax laws and regulations. Excellent legal research and documentation including specific legal cites, court decisions and procedural tools to help in dealing with the IRS. Includes legal opinion letters, information on employer/employee withholding, sample IRS response letters and an overview on strategies and tactics to handle tax situations. Includes transcripts of taxpayer audits with the IRS. (Special thanks to Chris Hansen)
Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports Exposed RealVideo (streaming) :: (37:01) The Biggest Game in Town exposes the two-tiered accounting of all federal, state, county governments. Find out how the issue is confused by focusing on the budget and not discussing the investments. There is no reason for continued taxation.
"Connecting the Dots." The basic flow of law showing WHY there is no income tax.
"Who Was Philander Knox?" Details about the man behind the most expensive fraud in history
Tax the rich more!
Everything you need to know about the US tax system:
I remember tables like this whenever I hear anyone blather on about "tax cuts for the rich..."
But I will make two points:
1. The graph describes income tax, not the payroll tax. Congress does not count the payroll tax in regular revenue, in order to give people - particulary misinformed people in lower tax brackets - the happy impression that they are socking money away for retirement.
If you believe that, the joke will be on you. Ha ha! Congress spent the money long ago! Have fun rubbing nickels together in your Golden Years, gramps!
When Enron did it, it was illegal. But Congress makes laws, so they can get away with it....
2. How can you cut taxes for the bottom 50%? The payroll tax is regressive certainly, but it is off limits (by the order of Congress).
Shouldn't this demographic pay something ?
Time for Republican smackdown
(Republican) Party leaders say they're aware they're in trouble, aware of a sense of stasis in the country. They are going to solve the problem, they say, by passing legislation. They're going to pass a budget. And they're going to pass an immigration bill, too. People will like that.
But no they won't. The American people are not going to say, 'I am relieved and delighted our Congress passed a budget.' They will be relieved and delighted if Congress cuts spending. They would be relieved and delighted if Congress finally took responsibility for the nation's borders. They won't be impressed if you just pass bills and call it progress.
Party leaders are showing a belief in process as opposed to a belief in, say, belief. But belief drives politics. It certainly drives each party's base.
One gets the impression party leaders, deep in their hearts, believe the base is . . . base. Unsophisticated. Primitive. Obsessed with its little issues. They're trying to educate the base. But if history is a guide, the base is about to teach them a lesson instead.
Republicans: When you've lost Peggy Noonan, you've lost your base. And you about to lose in November. Big time.
Here's at least one - usually Republican - voter who sees no reason to go to the polls this election.
Of course, the Democrats will take 2006 as a sign that America is becoming more liberal.
Wrong again. But if they didn't make a habit of being wrong, they wouldn't be Democrats.
Arms: not just for hugging
In the LA Times (of all places), I read this comforting thought:
There has never been an age without war, not ever. Mass violence is a continual aspect of the human condition. Peace, like good weather, is always local and temporary and what is peace anyway but the result of past victories in war and the effective threat of future war against would-be aggressors?
We play with our children, read books, go to work and enjoy recreations only because people with guns stand ready, willing and able to kill other people with guns who would kill us if they could.
It is comforting not because I love war, but because it is both blunt and undeniably true.
But I would go one step further: civilization owes its very existence to the gun. Without the gun, we would scarcely be better off than we were in the 1300's.
Until the gun made its appearence, warfare was fought by professionals. Learning to throw a spear accurately or use a sword required years of training and conditioning.
And the strong were naturally better at it than the weak.
Being a warrior in the Dark Ages was a career, and it was often a lucrative one. In times of "peace," soldiers turned to crime to feed themselves. They lived outside villages in bands - blocking roads, taking tolls and robbing at will. People were foced to live in villages because there was safety in numbers. Travel between population centers was very dangerous.
But people in power had uses for these thugs: they were murderers for hire, and when a king needed soldiers for warfare, they were paid to ply their trade on enemy soil.
And so it had been for thousands of years.
Then came the gun.
For the first time in history, the weak had a weapon. With only a few minutes of instruction, a grandmother could learn to operate a weapon that could kill an attacker. Farmers could defend themselves and their stores of food, and they expanded into the fertile fields far from towns. Travel became safer.
The caloric intake of people increased as the amount of available farmland exploded. Food could be more easily transported and this lowered prices. Cheaper food meant that people could do other things besides farming. People made careers out of things like medicine, law, teaching and science. Horizons were widened as people were able to trade and travel freely.
Thus, the specialization of trades that allowed civilization to grow came into being, and it came into being because people who were physically weak became strong - with the gun.
Growth followed security.
Now, society is so specialized that we forget about the people that hold the guns. In fact, more often than not, they are demonized - especially if they are not from the army or the police (and many times when they are).
It is not that most of us need to have guns. Most of us still live close enough to help, should we need it. But we need to insure that good people have access to guns.
When only the army and police have guns, their power is unchecked. It can lead to corruption.
I've seen it. Firsthand.
In Sierra Leone in the eighties, the police and the army were the strong arms of a corrupt government. They stole and bullied the population, imprisoning anyone who spoke out against them or their political friends. They had the only guns and their power was unchallenged.
And those were the good days.
An unarmed populace is tempting target, and so it was in 1991 when Charles Taylor sent bands of drug-addled teenagers into Sierra Leone to steal diamonds and wreak hovoc. They went from village to defenseless village, raping, stealing, killing and hacking off limbs. Some called it a "civil war," but that it is not what it was. It was merely anarchy unleashed on the world.
What did the army do? They hid in Freetown, complaining that they didn't have the trucks to drive West to confront the attackers. When they got the trucks - from the US - they complained that they didn't have fuel for them. When they got fuel, they needed money to pay the soldiers...and so on.
The best lacked all conviction, and the worst were full of a passionate intensity.
Sierra Leone burned and bled.
How could it happen? How could a dozen kids take over a village after village, each filled with hundreds of people?
Regular citizens were not allowed to own guns. That's how.
During my time there, I often thought of Salone as the Wild West. Many things were similar. Dusty towns, rusty houses, poor communication, slow travel, evil men who were brash and proud, and good people who feared them....
But there was one thing that was not the same.
In the Wild West, the good people had guns just like the bad guys did, and the rule of law won in the end. In Sierra Leone, the bad guys took over the country and now help rule it.
There has never been an age without war, not ever. Mass violence is a continual aspect of the human condition.
The world is slowly relearning this painful lesson, as good people have - time and time again - throughout history.
Our enemies have never forgotten it.
That is why they are our enemies.
MLB Pinch Runner for Midget Dies
CHESTERFIELD, Mo. — A former Major League Baseball player who is best-known for serving once as a pinch runner for a midget has died.
Jim Delsing played outfield for the St. Louis Browns, Detroit Tigers, Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees in his career.
He entered the spotlight on August 19, 1951. That's when the Browns' owner, Bill Veeck, sent a midget named Eddie Gaedel to the plate in the second game of a doubleheader. The Tigers' pitcher walked the midget on four pitches and Delsing took Gaedel's place on first base.
Delsing died of cancer last week at his home in Chesterfield, Missouri. He was 80.
A while ago, I received several letters from a reader who wanted me to believe that LBJ and FDR were socialists. It is unclear whether the writer himself is a socialist, wanting me to believe that socialism has been part of the American fabric for decades, or whether he himself thinks socialism is a quiet threat to the American way of life.
I find the argument tedious, because it is like arguing about whether somebody was a little stupid or a full-fledged moron.
Socialism (and its close cousin communism) has been one of the most unquestionably disastrous experiments in human history. Its death toll is well into the hundreds of millions by now, and it is climbing (way to go, North Korea!). Wherever it is tried there are political prisoners and privileged elites. The more socialist characteristics an economy exhibits, the poorer it will be. It invariably leads to widespread corruption, and amazingly, it has failed on every continent and in every culture.
Yet, hundreds of failed experiments later, socialists endure. They are ridiculous figures, like people who want to wear clown outfits in public and forbid anyone from laughing at them. They tend to populate our universities, where ivory towers can protect them from the sound of giggling.
When this letter writer declared that these presidents were, in fact, socialists, I replied with the dictionary definition of socialism and said that they didn't fit the bill: socialism is the "public collective ownership or control of the means of production ,distribution and exchange, with the avowed aim of operating them for use and not profit." The difference between socialism and communism is slight: substitute "state ownership" for "public collective ownership."
This definition is so stark, and so clearly a failure, that socialists have been retreating from it for the last two decades. Now, they believe, socialism is any vestige of the nanny state in a CAPITALIST economy.
So naturally, they point to the glowing cities of Europe as the "future." They see caring governments and happy people (they don't see privately-owned businesses, making things that people actually want).
I look at Europe and I see the past: sluggish growth, stagnant economies and high unemployment. I see a continent whose entrepreneurial spirit is choked by union work rules and dumb laws, and a numbed populace that looks on passively while a huge bureaucracy puts on jackboots.
I also see a way of life that is unsustainable, one that will be washed away by a demographic tidal wave in the next twenty years.
In America, our future, while by no means secure, is also threatened. It is threatened by our own government's "socialist" obligations.LBJ and FDR did, in fact, create huge governmental programs that will haunt us for the next fifty years.
These programs remove incentives for people to take care of themselves.
Social Security, FDR's darling, is a demographic nightmare. By telling people that they were under no obligation to save for retirement, this program enabled baby boomers to spend thoughtlessly and save little: the average baby boomer is in his late fifties and has less than $80,000 to retire on. I'm in my thirties and I have a lot more than that. I know there will be no social security for me, but I am painfully aware of the fact that I (and my children) will be paying for this program regardless.
Likewise, Medicare told people that your drug costs are someone else's responsibility (mine again...you're welcome). Naturally, those costs have skyrocketed. Everybody wants to go first class when the government is picking up the tab.
And of course, LBJ's welfare programs told the poor that poverty had nothing with them and everything to do with society. And over the last fifty years, we have watched teenage birth rates, drug use and dropout rates go up. We have watched poor families erode (and the black family disintegrate). Poverty has gotten worse, more entrenched and more helpless, and now it is almost impossible to "cure:" single moms beget single moms, and single moms almost always have lower household incomes than two parent families.
Of course, if you were to let the Left go, things would only get worse: health care would become the sole responsibility of the state. So would housing. And food. And fuel...etc. And pretty soon the US would be as big a shithole as Cuba is.
No, LBJ and FDR were not socialists because they made these dumb programs. They just made stupid mistakes, mistakes that have ended up costing much more than they were supposed to.
But the modern Left is as red - and as stupid - as you can get.....And the conservatives have turned a deep shade of pink.
George Will does an excellent job of describing the evolution of modern liberalism (and describing how modern conservatism has just become another flavor of liberalism):
Although Galbraith coined the phrase ``conventional wisdom,'' and thought of himself as the scourge of groupthink, ``The Affluent Society'' was the distilled essence of the conventional wisdom on campuses. In the 1960s, that liberalism became a stance of disdain, describing Americans not only as Galbraith had, as vulgar, but also as sick, racist, sexist, imperialist, etc. Again, and not amazingly, voters were not amused when told that their desires -- for big cars, neighborhood schools and other things -- did not deserve respect.
But for liberals that was precisely the beauty of Galbraith's theory. If advertising could manufacture demands for whatever corporations wanted to supply, there was no need to respect markets, which bring supply and demand into equilibrium.
``The Affluent Society'' was the canonical text of modern liberalism's disparagement of the competence of the average American. This liberalism -- the belief that people are manipulable dolts who need to be protected by their liberal betters from exposure to ``too much'' advertising -- is one rationale for McCain-Feingold. That law regulating campaigns embodies the political class' belief that it knows just the right amount of permissible political speech.
I don't always agree with Will, but he really hit the nail on the head there.
I'm staying home in November:
Every American taxpayer would get a $100 rebate check to offset the pain of higher pump prices for gasoline, under an amendment Senate Republicans hope to bring to a vote Thursday.
Because the government is just made of money, and all the people who bought gas guzzling SUV's are so innnocent.
It's not their fault they just had to have a Ford Expedition in 2000!
Fuck Weldon, Fuck Santorum.
Divided government has to be better than this bullshit.
Gee, what wonderful news:
TEHRAN, Iran -Iran threatened Tuesday to begin hiding its nuclear program if the West takes any 'harsh measures' against it Tehran's sharpest rebuttal yet to a U.N. Security Council deadline to suspend uranium enrichment or face possible sanctions.
Iran's supreme leader, meanwhile, said in a meeting with the president of wartorn Sudan that Tehran was ready to transfer its nuclear technology to other countries.
Change the channel?
Amir Taheri has an interesting editorial that should be required reading for anyone who thinks our immediate withdrawal from Iraq would be a great thing, helping the cause of world peace:
Hassan Abbasi has a dream--a helicopter doing an arabesque in cloudy skies to avoid being shot at from the ground. On board are the last of the 'fleeing Americans,' forced out of the Dar al-Islam (The Abode of Islam) by 'the Army of Muhammad.' Presented by his friends as 'The Dr. Kissinger of Islam,' Mr. Abbasi is 'professor of strategy' at the Islamic Republic's Revolutionary Guard Corps University and, according to Tehran sources, the principal foreign policy voice in President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's new radical administration.
For the past several weeks Mr. Abbasi has been addressing crowds of Guard and Baseej Mustadafin (Mobilization of the Dispossessed) officers in Tehran with a simple theme: The U.S. does not have the stomach for a long conflict and will soon revert to its traditional policy of 'running away,' leaving Afghanistan and Iraq, indeed the whole of the Middle East, to be reshaped by Iran and its regional allies.
To hear Mr. Abbasi tell it the entire recent history of the U.S. could be narrated with the help of the image of 'the last helicopter.' It was that image in Saigon that concluded the Vietnam War under Gerald Ford. Jimmy Carter had five helicopters fleeing from the Iranian desert, leaving behind the charred corpses of eight American soldiers. Under Ronald Reagan the helicopters carried the corpses of 241 Marines murdered in their sleep in a Hezbollah suicide attack. Under the first President Bush, the helicopter flew from Safwan, in southern Iraq, with Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf aboard, leaving behind Saddam Hussein's generals, who could not believe why they had been allowed live to fight their domestic foes, and America, another day. Bill Clinton's helicopter was a Black Hawk, downed in Mogadishu and delivering 16 American soldiers into the hands of a murderous crowd.
According to this theory, President George W. Bush is an "aberration," a leader out of sync with his nation's character and no more than a brief nightmare for those who oppose the creation of an "American Middle East." Messrs. Abbasi and Ahmadinejad have concluded that there will be no helicopter as long as George W. Bush is in the White House. But they believe that whoever succeeds him, Democrat or Republican, will revive the helicopter image to extricate the U.S. from a complex situation that few Americans appear to understand.
That's about the gist of it. Americans seem to be under the impression that we can walk away, change the channel on the Middle East and go back to living in the 90's again.
It ain't gonna happen.
These people want war and we don't.
And if history is any indication, that means we will surely get war - on their terms. If we choose to "stop" fighting this war, we only make the next war inevitable.
And it will make this one look very small by comparison.
In Iraq - over three years - we've lost 2,400 soldiers. It's terrible.
But in the Battle of the Bulge - over one month - the US lost 20,000 soldiers.
A few weeks later, another 7,000 would perish on Iwo Jima. To secure an island taht was never used. And a few weeks after that, another 20,000 would die on Okinawa.
Iraq stinks, but we are trying to avoid a much worse war. The governments that alongside us are elected and legitimate, but they are fragile in the face of fanaticism. They need us.
But we are eager to change the channel. Mainly, because we have forgotten what a large war is like.
Maybe it will take a few sucidal jihadis with nuclear weapons to remind us.
Work = slavery
'They're offering us nothing but slavery,' said Maud Pottier, 17, a student at Jules Verne High School in Sartrouville, north of Paris, who was wrapped in layers of scarves as protection against the chilly, gray day. 'You'll get a job knowing that you've got to do every single thing they ask you to do because otherwise you may get sacked. I'd rather spend more time looking for a job and get a real one.'"
A real job - in France - is apparently a job for life where you don't have to do what your boss wants.
Or so 250,000 French students apparently believe.
I think I speak for most of America when I conclude that the French- the people who once gave birth to the Enlightenment - have gone insane.
How did work - defined in its simplist terms - so quickly become "slavery?"
Doesn't your boss have a right not to pay you for work that isn't getting done?
I would argue that this is natural progression of socialism:
I exist, therefore I am entitled to...
What are you entitled to that you do not earn?
A job for life? A free house? Free health care? A car?
This attitude - held by large numbers of people - can doom a continent, and that is precisely what it is doing to Europe right now.
The attack of Eurogoogle
WE MUST take the offensive and muster a massive effort, said Jacques Chirac, the president of France, who went on to warn of the dangers of losing the battle for the power of tomorrow in a speech made last April.
What is Jacques Chirac worried about?
Is worried that Europeans should do more to explore space or science? Is he contemplating the possibilty of an Iranian nuclear weapon? Is he fretting that French Muslim immigrants are reproducing at a rate three times higher than the native French?
Nope: he is worried about Google.
Before Google, he - and much of France - was worried about Microsoft. Or then it was Yahoo. Or Hollywood. Yes, France plowed tons of government money into a failed effort to wean the French off foreign (read: American) films. Now Chirac is proposing that the French government spend lots of money to create a search engine that will compete with Google.
Chirac goes on, sounding more omninous:
"We must staunchly defend the world's cultural diversity against the looming threat of uniformity."
Google - like Yahoo - is a search engine. It scours websites all over the world for keywords, hints to what people - from all over the world, from any culture - are writing about. It doesn't give you uniformity; it gives you the opposite - if anything, too much diversity.
What will the French government's approved "culturally diverse" search engine look like? Who decides? At the heart of his argument is the idea that free markets shouldn't dictate the direction that the internet will take.
But if free markets shouldn't decide, who should? Governments? Unfree markets?
This reasoning ignores the fact that if it wasn't for free enterprise, the internet would be little more than a few linked government computers (like Minitel - the early "internet" the French government wasted millions on before it was overtaken by the World Wide Web). Almost all internet activity takes places on private websites.
If governments had decided that internet innovation should have been the provence of government bureaucracies in 1992, there wouldn't be an internet today.
But forget France. This could be the government of a large US city. For example, Philadelphia wants to use its legendary management skills to run a city wide WiFi hotspot that would give everyone cheap high speed internet.
Is it a good idea for governments to take on the jobs that are being done by the private sector?
Keep in mind that a government venture like the one Chirac proposes will consume public funds - public funds that might better be spent on education, health, security or transportation.
In contrast, a private company like Google generates government funds by employing people who go on to pay taxes.
And when the government gets involved, it crowds out the little guys with big ideas, who might eventually take on a Google, a Yahoo or a Microsoft.These companies didn't start out as corporate giants. Their ideas took them there, mainly because their ideas gave ideas to millions of Americans, ideas about doing things they once thought impossible.
But my thoughts against government owned business are more heartfelt.
In West Africa, governments "own" all of the agricultural produce in the country. That means that they set the price at which produce will be sold.
Wonderful socialism in practice! But it also means that farmers that refuse to sell at the government price are breaking the law.
Imagine if your boss could have you thrown in jail? Welcome to the life of a West African farmer. Is it any wonder that this is the poorest region on the planet?
My argument against government-business ventures is that they concentrate power.
People who defy the businessman are defying the will of the state, and thus, the people.
This leans toward absolute power. Absolute power corrupts...it is said...absolutely.
So when someone tells me that the government will clean up housing, or car insurance, or that nationalized health care will clean up health care....
I don't see a white horse riding to the rescue.
I see a government concentrating power in its own hands. At first, as a way of giving something to everybody. That sounds nice. But of course, you can't give something to everybody unless you first steal it, or at least compel people to provide it - at your price.
Power is fun. You can steal. Legally.
And eventually, you'll be deciding who will get medicine and who will not. Perhaps old people are onsuming too many resources in futile efforts to keep themselves alive. Maybe rich people are using their money to buy care that is better than what the government provides. At any rate, people close to you - your friends, people who see things your way, your voters - will be well served.
And people who aren't close...well, they might want to figure out a way to change that, shouldn't they?
Absolute power. Doing what it does best.
People who were outraged at the price Google paid for doing business in China - it was forced to reveal information on searches to the Chinese government - should by horried at the prospect at a government running a search engine.
Apologies of a Bush voter
Oh boy. I have been writing as the "libertarian in a cage" at Bring It On - a very liberal blog. Most of the regular writers there are very polite and willing to debate. However, a recent post of mine really got some flak. It was linked by two or three huge blogs, and the traffic flodded in.
I apparently pissed off a lot of people.
They were pleased to hear that I thought America was on the wrong track and headed for financial crisis (!!! - What kind of person is pleased by that?).
But they weren't pleased that I thought most politicans in Washington - and not just Bush - were responsible. Washington's problem is systematic: it is on spending autopilot.
And they were horrified that I STILL wouldn't vote for that loser candidate the Democrats put up (what was his name....)
Sorry about that.
Here's the post:
I wrote most of this in November 2004:
Republicans may someday look on the re-election of George Bush as one of the biggest disasters that has ever befallen their Party
Yes, of course I voted for him.
I earnestly believe that his foreign policy approach is by far the nicest of all the options available to the United States. Assisting the cause of freedom around the world – and particularly in the Middle East – gives us the only chance we have of avoiding a larger and more catastrophic war.
Unstable, nuclear-armed Arab countries pose a real threat to the existence of the West. Letting this threat ferment and strengthen was not much of option: It was suicide. This, admittedly, is arguable, but I think the weight of reason tips the scale in favor of intervening now rather than letting the Middle East develop newer and better-armed forms of tyranny. This is going to be messy, but it must be done.
I enthusiastically voted for Bush mainly for this reason.
Going into the booth, I was well aware of his faults – his protectionism, his indifference to an overbearingly large government, his comfort with the evangelicals, and his love of big ticket programs – but I, like most other voters, ignored them in favor of something that is vastly more important: national security.
But it was more than that: I think the Democrats have lost credibility when they talk about most things. They criticize Bush and the Bible thumpers, but they are in bed with forces that are just as bad (and maybe worse): trial lawyers, unions and left wing academics who make careers of stoppering economic and political freedom. Their populist message can be reduced to “tax the rich to buy benefits for the middle class,” but its import is undercut by the basic unfairness of the tax code. Nearly all our federal revenue (96%) comes from the top 50% of taxpayers (the rich), but the super rich (like John Kerry and John Edwards) use clever manipulation of the code to avoid paying anywhere near their “fair share.”
The Democratic Party has become increasingly protectionist (am I the only one who sees it as odd that a party so full of anti-business sentiment is eager to pass out trade perks to businesses?) and no one would ever accuse the Democrats of being the party of financial responsibility.
Yes, Clinton did balance the budget – so I’ve been told by Democrat after Democrat – but in the ‘90’s, doing that was simple: the economy was growing rapidly. With this growth, tax revenues exploded. The economy was growing because Clinton ignored his liberal impulses and practiced laissez-faire capitalism (I’m sorry to remind the Democrats who had blissfully forgotten this inconvenient fact): he decided that he wasn’t going to nationalize the doctors or destroy the health insurance industry. He signed NAFTA, and left business to do as it pleased. I salute him for it. The Democratic Party, though, has forgotten Clintonian policy while embracing him personally (watch his hands).
But back to Bush. I think there are many reasons why Republicans may someday look on the re-election of George Bush as one of the biggest disasters that has ever befallen their Party. Another Nixon, at a time when the country can least afford it.
Unfortunately for the Democrats, they may not be in much of a position to take advantage of it.
The problem is the dollar. The American economy is an amazing beast. It has rushed onward and upward through wars, terrorist attacks, protectionism, tax hikes, tax cuts, currency crises and stock market crashes.
But this beast needs the food of a healthy, stable currency. And Washington seems intent to starve of it of the one thing it needs to keep going.
It is not all George Bush’s fault: the Bush people are eager to blame others – they say that sluggish growth in Europe and Japan is helping to create a current account deficit (a trade deficit) that threatens the dollar’s value, and there is some truth in this. Indeed, in real terms, both Japan and Europe are poorer relative to the US than they were a decade ago. That is their problem and they seem loathe to do the things necessary to correct that (freeing up their labor markets, reducing government spending and liberalizing trade).
But the Europeans are also right to point the finger back at the Americans: the real problem is the explosion of federal spending that has occurred under Bush’s watch. This spending has cheapened the value of the dollar, and many foreigners are beginning to question why they are holding so much of a depreciating currency.
Sometime in the future, a sell-off is going to happen.
Currency fluctuations tend to be self-correcting: when a currency goes down in value, that country’s exports are cheaper in foreign nations and more are purchased. Cheap currency often causes export-driven growth, which eventually drives up the value of the currency in the home nation.
The problem is that the US is the world’s largest debtor nation, and the dollar underpins the word economy.
Is that about to change? If the dollar can no longer be relied upon to underpin the world economy, what can be? Gold? No one knows the answer to that question.
But if the dollar does tank at some point, the result for the US economy will be very painful. Bush –and the Republican Party – will be blamed.
What is to be done?
The good news – for fiscal conservatives - is that Bush (or someone) now MUST reduce federal spending.
The bad news – for everyone – is that he probably can’t.
The sad truth is that Washington’s spending is out of control. Literally. Only about one third of government spending is discretionary. The rest of that spending is Social Security, Medicare, debt payments and other assorted benefit programs that Bush could not cut even if he wanted to.
It is going to be difficult to cut the remaining third enough to make a big difference.
Not while fighting a necessary war. And beginning the important – and expensive - task of reforming Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
To make matters worse, the new Medicare drug benefit – which the stupid chimp himself signed into law in 2003 – will start taking effect in 2006. It will mandate hundreds of billions of dollars of new spending in that year, and the price of that new program will only go up.
Who ever takes power in 2008 will have their hands tied even more tightly than Bush does, and it will only get worse. We are on course for a disastrous train wreck that every politician would rather ignore.
For fiscal conservatives, the Armageddon that we have been warning about is here. I will take no satisfaction in having predicted it.
Bush is in for a rough four years. And the country is in several very rough decades.
Now back to your regularly-scheduled, big media arguments over bullshit....
In the comments that follow, there is a zoo where you can observe the evolution of modern liberal thought. There are specimens of rational beings, yes. I have befriended some of these people, and I have found them be different, but quite hospitable and welcoming.
But danielpatrick monihanisesius is almost extinct.
These careful cautious creatures have been pushed aside by their raging Cro-Magnon cousins. For these brutish beings, there is no need for thinking when you have a club: you can call someone an "idiot asshole" and threaten his life.
And of course, there are the hippies (tedius kennedinesius)who still think it is the Summer of Love, despite the snow.
And speaking of snow, there are plenty of flakes.....
Richard Cohen's war on algebra
Washington Post Columnist Richard Cohen has come up with a brilliant plan to help American high school students compete with the math whiz kids from Asia.
Let's get rid of the hard classes, written as "advice" to a failing high school student:
You will never need to know algebra. I have never once used it and never once even rued that I could not use it. You will never need to know -- never mind want to know -- how many boys it will take to mow a lawn if one of them quits halfway and two more show up later -- or something like that....If, say, the school asked you for another year of English or, God forbid, history, so that you actually had to know something about your world, I would be on its side. But algebra? Please.
...It has its uses, I suppose, and I think it should be available for people who want to take it. Maybe students should even be compelled to take it, but it should not be a requirement for graduation.
Seriously, I love it when someone "reasons" as Cohen does:
Most of math can now be done by a computer or a calculator. On the other hand, no computer can write a column or even a thank-you note -- or reason even a little bit.
Why, Cohen is right.
And further, most of the great classics of literature are available on VHS or in Cliff's Notes.
Why should we inconvenience teenagers by forcing them to read Shakespeare?
History? You can read all that stuff on the internet! Geography? That's why we have maps, silly. And who ever diagrams a sentence in the real world?
That's reason, Cohen-style. Take it to its natural conclusion and we can just let kids take whatever they want: they could spend all their time in Sex Ed and Fingerpainting!And we can hire Asians to do the math for us.
How long do you think that would work?
Seriously, the purpose of education is to expose children to as much learning as possible. It should not be limited to "life skills." It should be broad spectrum, a true "liberal arts" approach.
Mathematics is problem sovling, and problem solving is "reason."
Of course, Cohen is rational enough to have been a celebrated liberal columnist at the Washington Post for two decades. Pretty good for someone who was stumped by the concept of graphing a line.
But it tells you something about modern liberal thought. (Though I should add that Washington conservatives rarely even try to sound intellectual anymore.)
El Borak's Myopia:
When NASA first started sending up astronauts, they quickly discovered that ball-point pens would not work in zero gravity. To combat this problem, NASA scientists spent a decade and $12 billion developing a pen that writes in zero gravity, upside-down, on almost any surface including glass and at temperatures ranging from below freezing to over 300 C. The Russians used a pencil. Your taxes are due again--enjoy paying them.
They keep talking about drafting a Constitution for Iraq. Why don't we just give them ours? It was written by a lot of really smart guys, and it's worked for over 200 years. This makes a lot of sense since we're not using it anymore.
The real reason that we can't have the Ten Commandments in a courthouse is that you cannot post 'Thou Shall Not Steal,' 'Thou Shall Not Commit Adultery' and 'Thou Shall Not Lie' in a building full of lawyers, judges and politicians. It creates a hostile work environment.
In defense of McCain-Feingold
I once opposed McCain-Feingold. I must admit, I was wrong.
The election of 2004 as one of the fairest and cleanest in history, dominated not by the special interests, but by the power of ideas. Money was almost completely absent, and the election was one of the cheapest in history.
There was little character assassination from shadowy interests groups in the election, and - for once - wealthy people found it difficult to get their voices heard. The political scene was thankfully characterized by respectful disagreement and amiable debate. An unprecedented number of house seats changed hands, and every senator who ran faced a competitive race. As a result, I would say there has never been a cleaner and more resposible Congress in history.
This has energized the political scene in the country, while serving to bring us together as a nation. And politicians are using their new power of incumbency wisely. The new powers enumerated under McCain-Feingold have enabled the government to begin a long overdue regulation of political speech directed against politicians: Now there is talk of restricting the power of bloggers and radio talk show hosts to criticize their elected leaders. Our politicians toil on selflessly on our behalf; the least we can do is spare them criticism from simple people who don't understand the issues.
Yes, I was wrong.
Can we forget about it now?
A spine in Europe?
The Religion of Peace is really freaking out over these cartoons (cartoons courtesy of LGF).
Fundamentalist Muslims are gently threatening editors with murder, meekly advising governments of coming suicide attacks, and reluctantly committing to the mass murder of the infidels.
And Europe has not surrendered! Europe is standing tough - with each day bring news of more courageous editors in more European countries.
Is it a European spine forming?
It may be, but it is too early to call it a spine.
Right now, it is a lateral line of nervous tissue that is hardening with cartilage.
But it may yet calcify into bone.
Wait and see.
No school, no books, no teacher's dirty looks
(CNN) -- It's a child's dream. Wake up whenever you want, with nobody telling you what to do and when to do it. And here's the kicker: No school to rush off to.
Welcome to the world of "unschooling" -- an educational movement where kids, not parents, not teachers, decide what they will learn that day.
"I don't want to sound pompous, but I think I am learning a little bit more, because I can just do everything at my own pace," said Nailah Ellis, a 10-year-old from Marietta, Georgia, who has been unschooled for most of her life.
Nailah's day starts about 11 a.m., her typical wake-up time. She studies Chinese, reading, writing, piano and martial arts. But there's no set schedule. She works on what she wants, when she wants. She'll even watch some TV -- science documentaries are a favorite -- until her day comes to an end about 2 a.m.
Yeah, I bet she'll be a real whiz at math.
She'll probably get around to memorizing her multiplication tables by the time she's 18...
Kennedy goes nuts, conservatives rejoice
I am not a conservative.
I am a liberatarian.
But people like Ted Kennedy make me wonder. He's pushing me to the right.
After the Alito vote, Teddy Kennedy stumbled up to Senate podium, held himself steady on the banister, and managed to hold his pee through seven minutes of stammering, slurring and screaming - at straw men only his unfocused, gin-infused eyes could see:
The march towards knocking down the walls of discrimination that permitted us to pass a 1964 civil right act in public accommodations so people whose skin was not white could go into restaurants and go into hotels. Public accommodation. The 1965 act for voting rights. 1968 Act for public accommodations. The 1973 act to say that women are going to be treated equally. The americans with disabilities act that said the disabled are going to be part of the american family. All of that is the march to progress. And my friends, the one organization, the one institution that protects it is the supreme court of the United States.
I might not be up on the news lately, butI was unaware that Alito intended to revisit the Voting Rights Act or the Civil Rights Act.
Oh yeah, he won't. In fact, I have never heard any mainstream conservative argue in favor of doing so.
Those issues are straw men - slumping, elderly ghost issues from the '60's - and the drunken senior senator from Massachusetts dutifully beats the stuffing out of them, to the cheers of his graying hippy fans.
But those issues are irrelvant.
Alito might someday redefine Affirmative Action, which to Kennedy is no different from repealing the Voting Rights Act. (And the Americans with Disabilities Act could use an overhaul.)
Unfortunately for hacks like Ted, revisiting Affirmative Action is something that 80+% of Americans support.
Yes, politics is becoming like religion, and Ted Kennedy is one of the nuttiest fundamentalist preachers one can imagine.
But I see him a more pitiful creature: he is the dinosaur - at ease in the gentle flora of the 1960's - unaware that the meteor in the sky has already made creatures like him irrelevant.
And if creatures like Kennedy did not exist, Karl Rove would need to invent them, so effective are they at making people say "all liberals are nuts."
All liberals aren't nuts. Many are good and conscientious people, trying to better the nation.
Ted Kennedy isn't among them.
It is a pity. His brother, John F. Kennedy, was a great leader: strong foreign policy, visionary cold warrior, aggressive tax cutter and commitment to racial justice...
Democrats would do well to rediscover him.
And while they are at it, they might want to rediscover Thomas Jefferson.