Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Conversation Stemming From Gold and Freedom

I recommended this article about the relationship between gold and freedom to my in-laws in general. The good sister-in-law responded. "This was an excellent article, easy to understand and informative. So is there any of the "gold standard" left in our country to any degree today? and if not, why is it important to buy gold for saving if it doesn't have any set money value, or does it? Why not stock up on food or other precious commodities instead? And the most important question, when and how fast do you think that inflation is going to start rising again?" My way-too-long answer:

Short answer at the bottom.

Nixon officially ended any link to gold in 1971. Foreign countries were allowed to redeem US dollars for gold although American citizens (or individuals of any nationality) weren't. To keep the dollar from falling straight to zero (which it did for a few weeks anyway) he and whoever was actually in charge made a deal with oil producing countries that oil would trade exclusively in dollars, making dollars unofficially backed by oil. This has been the case until the last few years, when some countries decided not to accept dollars for their oil. The list of countries that have made their intentions public might be of interest. Iraq was one of the first, probably because Saddam Hussein was so belligerent and thought he was untouchable. Everyone knows what happened there. Iran is one of the most vocal about ditching the dollar. I don't recall much concern for the rights and freedoms of the terribly oppressed Iranian people until the matter of dollars and oil came up. Venezuela is also on the list, and the US happens to be building seven military bases in Columbia right now. Columbia is next to Venezuela. I probably don't need to fill in many blanks. A short and informative article about the whole mess.

As far as buying gold, I have no idea. It would have been nice to have bought some ten years ago. It doesn't have a set dollar value because the dollar doesn't have a set value. As soon as the oil countries stop using the dollar it will go straight down to zero. It has no actual, inherent value, except the value a piece of paper that size generally has. You can ponder what that value is next time you visit the restroom or need to light a fire. And hopefully those two things aren't going on at the same time. So, if all of your savings are in dollars, someday you will have literally no money. I don't know when that day is. Gary North (I like Gary North) doesn't know either, but he does have some indicators and potential scenarios.

We've been told it's a good idea to have a lot of food stored. We haven't been instructed to buy as much gold as possible. Food and other useful commodities are better than gold in a Mad Max situation, but if there is some remnant of normal economic activity then garbage cans full of wheat are extremely inconvenient to use if you want to buy gas or shoe laces. 9mm or .45 rounds are better, but gold and silver are even better than that, and the market will determine prices and values in the absence of a functioning dollar. I guess it just depends on what you expect to happen. In the short term, if everything chugs along like it has, then at the very least you can beat inflation with gold. Gold has increased almost 50% in the last year, and over 250% over the last ten years. Beat that with the stock market Dave Ramsey! Silver is up 60% from a year ago, and just under 250% over the last ten.

The Fed has been quietly monetizing chunks of debt since the first bailouts. That just means they're printing more money (or just creating it on computers), which means more dollars chasing goods, which means prices go up. Inflation! How fast inflation rises depends on how much they print and how long it takes people to catch on. They'll have to print at least several tens of trillions over the next few years to pay off Congress' handouts because China, Japan, and Russia are not buying our debt anymore. They figured out we have too much of it and we don't make anything to sell to pay off our debt. All we can do is start a war with them to try to force them to use our (non)money. That is not very near the top of my list of good reasons to start a war. You can probably guess the likelihood of me encouraging any of my six sons to sign up for killing Chinese, Japanese, or Russian people (or Iranians. I didn't forget you Iranians!) in order to force them to use worthless dollars. No fighting for The Fed at my house.

Short answer: The dollar is absolutely unbacked by anything other than the good faith and credit of the United States, which is the same thing as nothing. I don't know when and how fast inflation takes off. Sooner than anyone is ready for, and faster than we think.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Letters to the Whitehouse

When a white house flunky requested we citizen-soldiers report any "fishy misinformation" we heard about health care reform, I couldn't help but do my patriotic duty. I hope I made an impact and was of some help in getting people straightened out about this whole thing. Unfortunately, so many patriots reported things that the mini-program had to be discontinued. Here are my reports.

Aug 5
Hey Macon Phillips,
I found some fishy stuff. http://www.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/31690.html This guy over at lewrockwell.com seems to think that the health care plan is an evil plot covered up by some sort of Soviet-style Stalinist propaganda. Ha! We all know that the propaganda leans to the Maoist style. Anyway, you might want to check it out. Also, I've been hearing some fishy misinformation on AM radio. You know the guys, I'm sure. Anyway, good luck correcting all of this fishy misinformation.


Aug 5
Are you a czar? That would be cool if you were a czar. Which spelling do you prefer, czar or tsar?


Aug 6
Did you see that video of everyone yelling at Arlen Specter? You should be able to identify at least some of them and track them down, then you could give them a good talking to about the real health care truth. Give that a shot and let me know how it goes.


Aug 7
You know who's been saying fishy stuff lately? My wife. It is so fishy what she says. Things like, "They already regulate the medical field almost to death anyway, why do they need to completely take it over?" Please! As if the federal government (or do you guys prefer "national" now? Federal has such a 10th amendment ring to it) regulating something would be motivated by anything but altruism. Ha! We know you're just trying to help, especially children. But you know, my wife just isn't getting it. She thinks rich doctors will be able to figure out what patients need and not be driven by sheer greed and lust for money. Without the government involved, rich doctors and insurance companies would be running this country like warlords by now. Maybe you can talk some sense into her. She lives at **** Butternut in Richland, Washington (not DC). But you probably already know that since the census people have been getting GPS coordinates and stuff. She can be reached at 509-***-**** if you don't have time to make a personal visit.


Aug 7
I know I already wrote today, but I figure the more the merrier, right? Am I right? So I found another fishy naysayer. Tom DiLorenzo, another guy who writes for lewrockwell.com. He has the audacity to compare health care reform to food rationing. Does he think he's some kind of genius economist or something? The problem with people like this is that they're too educated. Or at least they think they're educated. Maybe you could suggest to the president, or some other person in charge, a new program that would help people become educated about important things. You could even call it the Re-Learning program. It could be like rehab where people go to a special resort or camp and relearn important facts about government and government programs like health care reform. Re-Learning isn't a very catchy name, I know. There's probably a better name for it, but I know you guys can come up with something. But doesn't a Re-Learning camp sound like fun?

Til next time,

Hey Macon,
Long time no email! I went camping this weekend, which I think is a Green activity, but on the way up there I hit a deer, which I'm guessing is not Green at all. But one thing I did do was pick up a bunch of junk from the stream near the camp site, like cups and cans and things like that. Even though it is good to pick up litter, I regret that I didn't do it under the direction of a government sponsored program like Americorps or whatever else you have like that. It would have been way better if an official group was down at the stream officially picking up trash and creating jobs for Americans! Like House Speaker Pelosi said recently, Green bills like the cap and trade bill are all about jobs, jobs, jobs, and more jobs! Green = jobs. Yes.

Speaking of House Speaker Pelosi, did you catch what Ron Paul is doing right in Congress? He's trying to get some bills going that will hinder health care reform as envisioned by President Obama and others. For instance, HR 3394, The Health Information Protection Act, inhibits the FTC from acting against any entity for communicating the health benefits of its products unless the FTC presents "clear and convincing" evidence that those statements are false. Talk about fishy, right? So if the FTC can't protect people from misleading information, they might take a bunch of non-FDA approved stuff, and then when they got sick they would cost the health care system billions or trillions of dollars. Ron Paul is costing the government trillions of dollars! This is fishy misinformation! Someone get a handle on this guy before people start listening to him. That's the idea, right? Am I right?

Can't wait to hear from you,

Aug 12
Did you catch Laura Ingraham's show yesterday? Whoa. Super fishy. She even got angry at her guest and started almost yelling. As we have seen, those kinds of words and that kind of behavior can be a stepping stone to maybe possibly starting to think about pondering some violent actions, or inciting others to possibly start pondering them. This has gone too far, do you not think so? Anyway, she asked the expert guest if the democratically-minded health care reform bill would allow you to keep your own plan or your own doctor under various circumstances. He said that yes, of course, as long as it was government approved, and then she flew off the handle. As if we don't need the federal (or is it national? You haven't answered that one yet) government to help us sift bad plans from good ones. The guest even compared it to the auto industry—and you guys know a thing or two about that now, don't you? Am I right?—by saying that the government wouldn't allow people to buy cars that were dangerous, so obviously dangerous insurance plans were out of the question also. I think that was a good point. I mean, if no federal regulation existed, I would almost for sure be dead from driving a car with no windshield, no brakes, and an inefficient NASA surplus rocket engine. I would not be able to tell the difference between safe and dangerous. Air bags are another good example. People are safer now, lives have been saved because of the air bag requirement. Except those kids who were sitting in the front seat and were killed from the airbag deployment. An insincere person could argue that a case could be made that government policy and regulation actually caused those deaths, and that if car buyers had an opportunity to choose whether or not their car had an airbag then some children would still be alive. What they aren't taking into account is collective safety. Collectively, we are safer now because of mandatory airbags, and that's really what matters, right? The collective.

So you might want to put Laura Ingraham on the list. I mean, I know there is no list, but you know what I mean. Maybe you could also sign her up for one of the re-learning camps when you get those going.

Talk to you later,

PS Write back soon!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Butler Shaffer on Monopoly

"Police officers killing innocent persons with impunity (and immunity) is essential to the nature of the state. Given that the state is an institution with a monopoly on the use of violence, to make functionaries of the state responsible for their wrongs is to erode that monopoly; to impose upon the state some standard higher than its own will. Such behavior is but an extension of the logic that underlies every state system, a truth the founders understood quite well when they created the Second Amendment as a partial check on that monopoly."

Butler Shaffer

Friday, June 26, 2009

Three Related Essays

Pep Rallies and Public Schools: How the State Programs Us for War
Why Do They Just Giggle?
Question Authority: Always and Forever Hereafter

There is a common thread running through these essays. If you find it, you get a prize. The prize is a free trip to an undisclosed detention camp for an indeterminate period of time, or one .22LR bullet. Your choice.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Those who do not understand history are doomed to repeat it.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Taxpayers in Revolt, Chapter 4

Taxpayers in Revolt, David T Beito
Blog: Chapter 4, part 3

In further attempts to destroy resistance and prevent the "overthrow of government," the county/city contingent threatened to cut the strikers off from government services. Fred Sargent, chairman of the Committee on Public Expenditures, proposed strategic elimination of water, police protection (how that would be accomplished I don't know), and even legal standing in court. Sargent insisted the strikers should pay their taxes "if they are to claim the rights of American citizenship," which is an interesting concept, but one that doesn't have much backing. A quick perusal of the Declaration of Independence reveals that all men are created equal (which is a self-evident truth), and are endowed by their creator with certain* unalienable rights. So was Fred Sargent claiming the government of the city of Chicago to be the creator of the people who lived there? Or was he claiming that paying taxes gave these people life? Maybe he was stating his belief that the ambiguous and officious entity of bureaucratic government in general provided the validation people needed for existing. I can't say for sure what he was thinking (if he was at all, but I think he and his ilk were just getting desperate), but I do know that any one or any thing that claims to be the source of freedom has appointed themselves in the place of God. A government that claims to provide people with rights that come from God is committing blasphemy.

So after a few measly and cowardly attempts at making an example of high profile ARET members by revoking their government-provided privileges, the executive arm of government turned to the judicial arm for support. Judge Edmund Jarecki dismissed ARET's objections and entered a judgment for the sale of the tax strikers' properties. In a moment of graciousness and charity, he "announced a tempting 50 percent reduction in accumulated penalties for all taxpayers who came into court (bowed before the throne), received judgment (threw themselves at the mercy of the agent of the omnipotent state), and made partial payments (repented of their grievous sins)." I added the parenthetical statements, but is it really that much of a stretch? Is it really so ridiculous to say that government has appropriated God's right to bestow and revoke liberty? Government also attempts to make itself the granter of life, allowing and disallowing as it's mediums see fit, so how far does it have to go before we recognize it as blasphemy?

"And that law of the land which is constitutional, supporting that principle of freedom in maintaining rights and privileges, belongs to all mankind, and is justifiable before me. Therefore, I, the Lord, justify you, and your brethren of my church, in befriending that law which is the constitutional law of the land; And as pertaining to law of man, whatsoever is more or less than this, cometh of evil." "Wherefore, honest men and wise men should be sought for diligently, and good men and wise men ye should observe to uphold; otherwise whatsoever is less than these cometh of evil."

*in this context, does the word "certain" mean a few specific rights, or does it mean rights that are certain, as in secured and unassailable?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Taxpayers in Revolt, Chapter 4

Taxpayers in Revolt, David T Beito
Blog: Chapter 4, part 2

The All-City Publicity Committee (ACPC) and their summer jam plan "gave teachers a golden opportunity to turn their publicity for tax collection into an all-pervasive operation." A dream come true, all-pervasiveness! Every government school's fondest wish. Mary Leitch (what an unfortunate but oh-so-appropriate name), the chair of the committee (can we call her a commissar?) pledged 10,000 teachers to volunteer as special collectors. To show what a special lady she was, here's what she said about collecting taxes: "It's a selling job—this collection of taxes. You must make it easy for the customer to buy. You must break down the sales resistance, and there is resistance to paying taxes. There is a mental complex that we must look for." How convenient that the victim can become the customer at the convenience of the state.

So an army of unimind slave trainers was slated to go house to house and convince families to hand over the dough by studying the "mental complex" and breaking down resistance. I've never been to a re-education camp (not including my government school years), but that sounds ominously similar to what might happen at one. This is proof that teachers are underpaid!

Hilariously, the attempt to buoy up a massive parasitic bureaucracy was stifled by bureaucracy—"Swearing in the teachers to serve as deputy collectors presented difficulties because of the prohibitive expense of bonding requirements." In addition, there was a threat of "racketeers posing as teachers to collect money for themselves." (That would be horrible. It's much better for racketeers to pose as tax collectors to collect money for the state beast. As always, don't steal—the government hates competition.) Due to this unfortunate turn of events, it was decided that the teachers would still visit homes to break the will of the tax dodgers, but wouldn't actually collect the money. They would escort the broken mental complex to an official and authorized collector. Somehow that seems even more insidious.

Alas, the whole despicable plan was sunk due to Ms Leitch's lust for power. She was "adamant that teachers be authorized to collect money." Although it would be interesting—but not extremely difficult—to dissect and examine the reasoning behind such a demand, there is no need. The Leitch said it herself. "We want to capitalize on sociological effects of asking for taxes. If we are not deputies our work will be futile." Not only did she want control of the minds of all children, she also wanted teachers to become gendarmes.

And thus we see that government schools are inevitably and inextricably linked to state power, so much so that there is no visible link—they are the same body. One in purpose, you might say. Like the court system, it can't be reasonably expected that there would ever be a significant opinion or practice from the government school system that would result in the promotion of individualist ideas or behavior. Some people refer to this as "socialization," as in "It's important for kids to go to school to become socialized." Indeed, but important for who? Or is it whom? I didn't pay attention in school.

But the teachers could not be discouraged from their righteous cause. A mass meeting of teachers was held in July "to consider what steps to take against those taxpayers who ignored appeals to civic pride and patriotism." Interesting that they thought it was their right to decide what to do about it, but not surprising, since they had already fancied themselves as an elite constabulary. "Among other demands, the gathering endorsed prosecution of tax strikers for criminal conspiracy." Again, the government and all it's tentacles obviously hate competition. Hayden Bell, State's Attorney for Cook County, supported the teachers in their demands because an organized strike is "always immoral, always criminal, as it brings loss and suffering to public workers, and tends directly to the embarrassment and overthrow of government." Nothing is worse than something that exposes the uselessness of government, eh Hayden? Without the complex and criminal apparatus of government you might actually have to work for a living, and that would be a terrible tragedy. Once again, irony is displayed in full view, but goes unperceived by the glorious instructors of youth. Tax strikers are a criminal conspiracy because they conspired to avoid monetary deprivation by an even larger criminal conspiracy which has the resources to extract the property of others by force*. I see. Turns out might does make right.

Next, tools of the state claim the throne of God.

*A more thorough examination of this idea can be found here.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Taxpayers in Revolt, Chapter 4

Taxpayers in Revolt, David T Beito
Blog: Chapter 4, part 1

For the past eight years we've heard about "tax cuts for the rich" and other such nonsense. That aspersion has been around for much longer though. Available records of ARET membership show that the tax protesters were, for the most part, far from the stereotypical real estate tycoons just trying to keep more of the people's money. Many of the members were businessmen (The Rich!), but "were mostly small shopkeepers and other petty proprietors." "Skilled blue-collar workers constituted the biggest single group of members." Does that sound like a revolt against The Righteous Workers of the Proletariat? Sounds like the actual proletariat to me. Will Grigg is succinct in his summation of the process: "Each of us invests a portion of our most perishable possession – time – to earn money. Thus every forcible imposition on our earnings, through direct taxation, or its more subtle surrogate, inflation, represents an increment of life stolen by the state." People were trying to survive in a harsh economic climate (one created by government intervention), only to be villified by government for daring to make the attempt without the munificent hand and gracious help of the variety of government appartuses supplied at public (tax victim) expense.

As is always the case when a group challenges the power of government, Cook County and Chicago fought back harder than ever. Anton Cermak—the mayor of Chicago and thereby King of Cook County—"made clear his readiness to go to almost any lengths to destroy ARET." Amusingly, when they actually had to get down and do something about ARET, "he and the rest of the city administration betrayed their buffudlement." Amusing, but when are elected officials anything other than befuddled? Just as with the threats to close schools, another campaign of scare tactics was launched. The All-City Publicity Committee (committees are so Soviet) went as far as to commission a song with the catchy title Be Fair to Chicago's Boys and Girls! Pay Your Taxes Now. Sounds like a number one summer jam to me. The goal, of course, was to bamboozle, hoodwink, and guilt the people in such a way that "the various opposed interests will not dare to attack further that foundation of all democracy—free and full education for the child." The committee apparently forgot "compulsory" in their description of the foundation of Soviet-style mind-bending.*

Next, teachers become storm troopers.

*See Article 26 of the UN Declaration of Human Rights, (a document full of double speak if there ever was one), and item number 10 on the Communist Manifesto's list of requirements.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Until I get it together, read a great essay by one person whose bad list I would not want to be on—the inimitable William Grigg.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Still on pause

I'm close to finishing Taxpayers in Revolt. For those of you on pins and needles waiting (I guess that's just me), I'll try to get some done tomorrow. For now, enjoy this lovely image.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Taxpayers in Revolt, Chapter 3

Taxpayers in Revolt, David T Beito
Blog: Chapter 3, part 3

When the Wave Motion Gun tactic didn't work, Cermak and his cronies (or was he their crony?) went to DC to beg for a bailout (we are truly living on a perverse Möbius Strip). No small-time hack, he swung for the fences by demanding "money now or militia later." The main difference between than and now is that he went home empty handed. Our empathetic modern congressweasels would have sent him back with promises of billions, and the means with which to subdue any further dissent. Hopefully the real militia would be ready to meet them.

Soon after that, the Illionis Supreme Court overruled an important case on the tax issue, which took ARET's trump card away. Beito says, "The ruling underscored a problem that dogged ARET to no end. When forced to choose between literal enforcement of the uniformity article or protecting the power of government, the courts invariably opted for the power of government." But how can we expect anything more of the courts, which are just another tentacle of the state?

Taxpayers in Revolt, Chapter 3

Taxpayers in Revolt, David T Beito
Blog: Chapter 3, part 2

In the face of increasing tax delinquency, politicians (and their minions and masters, the newspapers and banks) predictably groveled, begged, and threatened the public to pay their taxes. One particular ARET pamphlet urging non-payment asked, "Shall I pay a tax which by general admission is unfair and illegal and which by court order is fraudulent and void and which is more than double the amount that would result from a fair, reasonable, legal assessment of the taxable wealth of Cook County?" The answer to that seems obvious. It was obvious to the residents of Cook County as well—a group with a membership of 35 at the beginning of 1931 grew to 8,000 by October, and by June 1932 passed 20,000. Those numbers must have struck a glorious fear in the hearts of the elected pillagers.

But the pillagers still had the newspapers to rely on. While denying ad space (paid ad space) to ARET, the papers regularly donated full page ads to the city government's "Pay Your Taxes" campaign. Donald Duck was on board at the national level.

In their desperation for tax money, some of the propaganda posters asked people to "Pay What You Think Is A Fair Tax." This capitulatory request was met with scorn by Mauritz Hallgren of the Nation magazine. "He sensed in this slogan dangerous evidence of civic impotence, or worse, anarchy." Oh no, the peasants might catch on! Hallgren continued: "This is not only a tax strike, it is open revolt against government. One must consider the present state of affairs little short of anarchy when civic societies feel impelled to flood the town with posters calling upon the residents to 'Pay What You Think Is A Fair Tax! Pay Now! Keep You Schools Open!'" A little short of anarchy actually sounds good to me. The alternative is made quite clear by Hallgren, although maybe not purposely. The opposite of paying a voluntary amount to the city government is paying the amount they say, when they say to pay it, and there had better not be any grumbling or else! At least the mafia works for their extorted income.

So tax protesters are anarchists. What other slanderous label can be applied to them? Irvin Wilson of the Chicago Principals' Club (a club? Were girls allowed? Did they have a secret password?) predicted a Bush tactic when he said the tax strike was the "most dangerous form of terrorism and public disorder." Terrorists! You're either with us or against us, and if you're against us, you're with the terrorists, but if you're not actually with the terrorists, but you're against us, then you're really with the terrorists, so pay your taxes. Why doesn't it surprise me that Dubya didn't come up with the terrorists slam on his own?

So with tax money trickling in and credit with the banks drying up, what could possibly be done? Members of ARTE's board had an idea. Cut spending! Novel. One of the board saw the tax strike as "the best way to guarantee a reduction in costs and force politicians to 'relinquish the powers they have built up through governmental machinery and the allotment of jobs… which have no natural part of government. The only time the politician understands the people mean business is when the money is shut off. So shut the money off!'" I don't think it could be any clearer.

Up against unassailable reasoning like that, and losing ground, the city and it's various appendages decided to pull out the big guns—The Children. You can never argue with The Children. The city began to indirectly threaten to close the schools as a cost-cutting measure, but only as a means to strike a blow to ARET and similar groups, not as a way of actually cutting costs. That would be a little too much to ask. "Prominent educator" George Strayer authored a study that recommended closing schools "as a device to shock the public into realizing they could no longer "emasculate" the school system." I think public education is good enough at emasculation without any help from tax payers or non-taxpayers.

It would have been historical if they had done it though. What would public school be like today if a major city like Chicago had a debilitated—or even extinct—school system? The emperor would have no clothes. Alas, they were smart enough to realize that closing the public schools would have accentuated the fact that there was competition. Some teachers feared that "closure might result in a massive and permanent switch of allegiance away from the public schools." Oh dear, our propaganda mills and brain washing centers are empty! What shall we do? One teacher observed, "There are plenty of other schools in the city for all the children to go to if we do [close the schools] and they will go. There are private schools, there are Lutheran parochial schools and there are Catholic parochial schools." Nicely said Teacher, but observing and verbalizing your own obsolescence and desuetude must have been painful.

ARET called the School Closing Crisis bluff. Peter Foote, head of an ARET branch office, welcomed the money-saving idea of school closure. "Let them learn to sew on buttons and other sensible things for a while." And he was no bystander—he had ten kids (although I would be curious to know what his wife thought of the idea). Others were of a similar opinion. Another Chicago parent said, "If closing the schools for six months or a year is the price we have to pay for the abolition of corrupt, incompetent and extravagant government, I should say without hesitation, let us close the schools." So you get rid of corrupt and incompetent government, and as a bonus your kids don't get the collectivist mind-meld for six hours every day? Sign me up! (You may or may not be interested to know what my wife has to say on that matter.)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Taxpayers in Revolt, Chapter 3

Taxpayers in Revolt, David T Beito
Blog: Chapter 3, part 1

From Portrait of a Tax Racket to Taxpayers on Strike in Chicago. Interesting stuff right off the bat. The crash of 1929 sparked the nation's interest in tax rebellion, but Chicago's revolt had been brewing for years already. According to Beito, the "breakdown of the tax-appeals system provided the immediate spark." So many people were appealing their assessments that the aforementioned insufficient appeals system required an alternative. "In one day alone, 29 November 1930, 4,000 taxpayers jammed into the board's offices to file protest. When the board's members turned a deaf ear to the mountain of pending appeals, aggrieved taxpayers resorted to the only avenues of protest left open to them. In Chicago, this meant court litigation and/or nonpayment of taxes." Avenues of protest—what an important concept, eh? What an important reality too. Do we have any? Before you get all Glenn Beck-y and start talking about changing the system by working in the system, let me ask you if you really think the system would agree to change itself. OK, here goes: do you think the system would agree to change itslef? Well, we have the court system, right? But who appoints judges? Sure, some are elected, but those ones are just peons. The big guns what have the final word are appointed. What is the source of funding for the court system? Taxes. Elected officials who have the power to tax have the ability to fund or defund the court system. How do you think the court will find? For their employers or against? You don't have to raise your hand, just answer it in your mind.

Chicago and Cook county had suspended real estate tax collections for two years following a court battle over assessment issues. Some favored renewed collection ASAP. "Many defenders of renewed collections feared permanent damage to the psychology of orderly taxpaying." Orderly taxpaying! Images of orderly Jews shuffling into trains and showers and ovens comes immediately to mind. I suppose Spartacus drowning a cook in the soup damaged the psychology of orderly slaves, right?

The new mayor, Anton Cermak (if he saw the road named after him he'd be embarassed), got elected on a "limited government" platform (we've heard that before, haven't we? Ahem, Reagan, Bush, etc) but proceeded to demonize proponents of lower taxes. What a surprise. Cermak was supported in his falsities by the press, of course. Beito says, "All five of Chicago's daily newspapers closed ranks against the strike." Taxpayer groups and the like were called undesirable citizens, racketeers, and who knows what else. I guess things haven't changed all that much. The media (or at least media outlets with large audiences) were shills for state (or city) power then, and they are now. I think that may be a little generous. Maybe I should say the (collective) mainstream media is a tentacle of the state. Or city.

And speaking of tentacles, I'll go ahead and say the state is a tentacle as well. I know, you're on the edge of your seat wondering who or what this tentacle is attached to. Well, the big rush to resume taxing everyone everywhere was due to the "need" for the city and county to maintain lines of credit. The banks were becoming impatient. They had bonds and notes from the city that were contingent on future tax receipts, and they wanted the dough. But some reforms (or deforms, more appropriately, supported by "leading bankers") were in order. Instead of an elected board of assessors, they wanted to "substitute a single appointed assessor." And who, pray tell, do you think would be appointed? And who do you think would do the appointing? So the tentacles are all attached to banks. That's the big, fat, disgusting, slimy body. And it smells like Little Timmy Geithner. So the banks pay for their man to get elected, their man regurgitates the required instructions to the media (owned by guess who), and the media get everyone behind policy that supports, of course, the banks. Or maybe I'm mistaken. Or maybe I'm not.

Remember the Socialidiot mayor of Milwaukee and his fear of the lack of government programs? The specter of tax resistance caused the newspapers' knees to quiver. While the papers were running front page editorials (front page!) urging passage of bankster bills and reforms proposed by the banks, the Chicago Daily News was warning that "the danger of violence, fire and disease is so imminent as to warrant immediate preparation of possible invocation of martial law, under which civil rights in a normal community are automatically suspended." (How can you tell that fire is imminent? Shouldn't that person be working for the fire department?) The Chicago Evening Post claimed that "refusal to pay taxes strikes at the very root of government as effectively as an armed revolt." Yes, but that's a good thing. I seem to recall some of our Congressweasels being threatened with the ol' martial law ploy during the recent hand-over-trillions-of-dollars-or-else debacle. My, how things don't change. Lucky for them people don't change much either. "Oh please mastah gubmint, save us from the horrible things like unemployment, recession, global climate in crisis, sickness, death, killer asteroids, black holes, spiders, cold wind, British comedy, and the Oort cloud." Look to God and live. Look to government and die.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Taxpayers in Revolt, Chapter 2

Taxpayers in Revolt, David T Beito
Blog: Chapter 2, part 3

Finishing up chapter two, one statement struck me as odd. "ARET's [Association of Real Estate Taxpayers, a Chicago group formed to support real estate owners, obviously] leaders resorted to something resembling a benefit theory of government as their theoretical starting point. The benefit theory, in contrast to the ability-to-pay theory, held that taxes should be levied in proportion to the services that an individual received from government."

The logical question to ask (according to my own personal logic, which may be different from yours) is why do taxes need to be levied just to get the money back? If you get back the same proportion you paid, why pay at all? I say if you're going to redistribute wealth, at least be straightforward about it and say that's what you're going to do. If tax money were distributed "fairly," it would only serve to reveal the nonsensical nature of the tax in the first place. So then the logical conclusion has to be that taxes must be redistributed unfairly to keep the tax—and by extension, and perhaps more importantly, those who levy and collect the tax—from revealing itself as obsolete.

Semi-related writing from Lew Rockwell.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Taxpayers in Revolt, Chapter 2

Taxpayers in Revolt, David T Beito
Blog: Chapter 2, part 2

So the Chicago Tax Racket continues. Operating costs for real estate owners (remember, they "provided" 80% of the tax revenue) increased, about 2% between 1927 and 1932. Not bad, but income fell 70% for the same time period. That's a problem, in case you didn't go to business school.

With that dilemma in mind, here's a shocking revelation from the book. A 1933 study of apartment buildings in Chicago found that "taxes made up the single largest portion of all operating expenses, including heat, repairs, water, light, and management." Think about that for a minute. What would happen if taxes were taken out of the equation? Either the greedy capitalist landlord would raise the rent in order to make even more profit, or he would leave it as is and have more money to spend on other budget items (better paint, nicer carpet, energy efficient windows?), or he could decrease rent to compete with other building owners who decreased their rent due to their lower costs. So who loses? Gubmint. Who wins? Everyone else.

I think a tax that constitutes the largest portion of a budget could be labeled as grievous. Hey Mormons, remember King Noah? The big gripe against him was his wickedness, and in order to support that wickedness he set up a tax (part of which his henchmen/priests got to keep, kind of like a bribe) that was so grievous that the people had to "labor exceedingly to support iniquity." What would we describe as a grievous tax today? I mean, besides people like me who think any is too much. I'm talking about reasonable people, like Bill O'Reilly (sarcasm alert). Remember his big interview when he made friends with Obama (go to about 6:30)? They dickered about the capital gains tax for a minute and came up with 20% as an OK number. Taxes are neighborly! Huzzah! O-ba-ma! O-ba-ma! How much did Noah tax the people to the point that they had to "labor exceedingly?" Verse 3 says "he laid a tax of one fifth part of all they possessed, a fifth part of their gold and of their silver, and a fifth part of their ziff, and of their copper, and of their brass and their iron; and a fifth part of their fatlings; and also a fifth part of all their grain." Again, non-business school people should be aware that a fifth is the same as 20%. So if 20% was so terrible then, where are we at now?

This might be a good time to break out That Which Is Seen and That Which Is Unseen. What would you do with the money that gets taken from you? The list is as endless and varied as the people who make the list, which gets at the reason to keep what is yours—you know what you would like done with it. What if your employer didn't have to pay half of your Social Insecurity taxes, or payroll taxes, or whatever-else-there-is-in-the-world taxes? Would "rich" people buy more stuff if they kept more of their money? Keep thinking about how that moves down the line, and where you fit in, because I'm going to sleep. But here's one last thought: would you rather have your money confiscated to buy things you didn't choose to buy (big guns, new helicopters, salaries for Congress-weasels, abortions for Africa, new buildings for bureacrats, fuel to make corn into fuel, a nose job for Joan Rivers, etc etc ad infinitum), or would you rather keep it and spend it (or not) how you decide?

Read This

I like Bill Buppert.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

More of Less

Still no blog for the rest of chapter two. I had to take some time off to win the chili contest thing. In the meantime, if you're looking for something to read that will make you want to punch someone, try this article on the Law of the Sea treaty, brought to us by our good friends at the UN and promoted by the fabulous and darling CFR.

I am greatly embarrassed by our senators from Washington. Seriously, which state has a more shameful duo? Maine's have been acting up lately, and there's always California and Massachusetts near the top of this list. So we have to be in the top five, right? I just know those two insensate bunglers would vote for this in a heartbeat. I wish they would come around here and give speeches or something so I could make a big sign with a picture of a pitchfork on it. That would show 'em.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Taxpayers in Revolt, Chapter 2

Taxpayers in Revolt, David T Beito
Blog: Chapter 2, part 1

I'm not imagining I have a multitude of readers, but for those that may exist, I won't be posting a lot tonight. I've been missing some sleep this week due to the RPM challenge. There just aren't enough days in February.

Chapter two focuses on the Chicago tax racket and it's role in tax resistance. Has Chicago been corrupt since the very beginning? Is there something in the water? (Wait, I know there is something in the water. Lots of things, and not good things. Once I crossed the Adams St bridge and saw a bloated raccoon floating gently down stream. And I never swam in the lake for a reason.) My need for sleep requires relative brevity, so here it is. What chapter two has shown so far, simply by the factual description of government corruption (or do I repeat myself?), is that government "leaders" will always violate rights they don't have the authority to violate. Here's a good quote to ponder: "The tax system has become the mere adjunct of whatever political organization is in power." Can you give me an example of when that has not been true? Get back to me on it. How about this one: Two houses adjacent to each other, similar in style, etc (have you seen the endless rows of bungalows? You know what I mean if you have.) were assessed for taxes. "One of them, owned by Chief of Police Detectives Michael Grady, had an assessed value of $500 while his neighbor's house showed an assessed value of $2,450." Cronyism!

The fact that you aren't surprised should prove that the very nature of the power of taxation is corrupt. It doesn't foster corruption, it doesn't allow it, encourage it, cultivate it, or even tolerate it—it is it. Stories of malfeasance are as old as taxation itself. Of course, you can always leave a comment and tell me the great positive tax stories you've been collecting over the years. I'll wait here while you type them up.

See? I just waited through an entire John Frusciante guitar solo and I'm still waiting. Good night!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Taxpayers in Revolt, Chapter 1

Taxpayers in Revolt, David T Beito
Blog: Chapter 1, part 2

Of the explosion of taxpayers' leagues, Dan Hoan, mayor of Milwaukee, said that taxpayers' groups "who are always damning their government because they have to pay taxes are doing more to undermine faith in government than all the communists in the world." Hoan's party was the Socialist Party, so no big surprise that he was opposed to taxpayers' organizations, but he reveals something in his statement that every honest socialist (or Socialist, or any other statist sympathizer) will admit is true—the State is their god. Christians should shudder at the thought of having "faith in government," and so should Jews, Muslims, and any other religion that worships a supreme being. Exodus states clearly that "thou shalt have no other gods before me." Jesus Himself said, "Have faith in God." Paul defines faith as "the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." This is why Socialism demands the watering down and eventual destruction of religion—because their one true religion is the State. It obviously follows that no truly religious person can be a socialist without being a hypocrite and/or blasphemer (and I'm looking at you Sojourners). Anyway, enough lecturing on faith.

Later on in the chapter the Wisconsin Taxpayers' Alliance is quoted on a related topic, but not quite so doctrinal in nature. Beito uses the quotation as an example of how these groups "frequently linked their efforts to a general hostility toward governmental paternalism." From the WTA: "Instead of simply protecting the citizen in the enjoyment of the natural right to live and to follow his vocation unhindered, government is now telling him how he must live, and is, regardless of his wishes, charting the path which he must follow." Once every god is replaced by the State this is how it goes. There are no more natural rights, only rights given by the State. No more choosing your own path, or following a religion. The State chooses for you. Think about the Soviet Union for a minute if you don't believe me.

Unfortunately, people rarely learn from the past. Even more unfortunately, politicians (and their various instruments) learn from the past very well (notice I don't include politicians in the same group with people). In 1932 the Milwaukee Leader, a Socialist daily paper, warned of the dire consequences resulting from the various "tax dodging" groups. "If the taxpayer should go on strike, all services would have to stop…. Epidemics of disease would sweep the city. Burglars would ply their trade unhindered. Fires would rage unabated, burning up the homes of the taxpayers." Oh, the humanity! Such tragedy and ruin resulting from the refusal of an ignorant few to pay tribute to their mighty masters! The Milwaukee Leader apparently assumed the average citizen would be incapable of preventing disease (should I wash my hands? Should I not wash my hands? Whatever shall I do?), defending themselves and their homes (Oh no, a burglar! Everyone stand still, and whatever you do, don't point a gun at him!), or even using common sense. Destruction and utter desolation result when taxes aren't paid, don't you see? Last year I filed my taxes late* and three houses on the next block burst into flames. In reality, taxpayers are supporting much more than government "services," they are supporting the growth of government. It's a vicious cycle of programs and taxes, one feeds on the other, until nothing can be done without the permission and funding of the largest available government agency. No houses can be bought, no trash can be cleaned up, no dogs can be walked, no hurricanes can be fled from, no television can be broadcast without interference from government. What a pitiful existence.

There may be hope. Beito asks about the motivation of once complacent taxpayers to suddenly get cranky about paying. He says they didn't just suddenly become anti-big-government when the depression hit, but that "the depression forced taxpayers to think for the first time about the burden and perforce the purposes of high taxes." They became "tax conscious." Conscious of not only how much is taken from you, but what is done with it. Have you ever thought about what happens to your money after it gets passed through so many grubby bureaucratic hands? Probably nothing that you would voluntarily do with it if you were allowed to keep it. Kinda stinks, huh? The biggest danger to the statist staus quo is thinking. A thinking person is a dangerous person to manipulators and finaglers, and thinking is exactly what the state doesn't want us to do. I'll hold up public school and American Idol as irrefutable proof for my argument.

*Not really

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Taxpayers in Revolt, Chapter 1

Taxpayers in Revolt, David T Beito
Blog: Chapter 1, part 1

The first chapter starts out with a whole lot of numbers, I suppose to provide some historical perspective on the tax resistance movements. I was surprised to learn that state and local governments increased taxes more than the federal government did.

One stat that really caught my attention was real estate related: the value of new residential building fell 92% from 1929 to 1933. This is significant not only because it resonates with what is going on now, and not only because that meant a lot of people in related industries were out of work, but because the real estate tax was the major revenue source at that time. Journalist Anne O'Hare McCormick wrote in 1932 about tax protest meetings, "For the first time in a generation taxpayers are wrought up to the point of willingness to give up public services." Uh-oh. An editorial in The New Republic from November 1932 stated, "Farmers are in fact revolting against this burden in many parts of the country. They are doing so by direct action—they are not paying their taxes. The authorities are, in many of these cases, not trying to collect. That is why armed resistance has not followed." While some viewed this as an opportunity for Marxist thought to take root with the farmers (have these Marxist idiots always been around, and will they never go away?), it was observed by the one observant leftist that the farmers were revolting in order to save private property, not abolish it. Still, it was revolutionary in one respect. Beito writes, "…from the perspective of local and state governments, the rural tax protest may have merited greater animus because, unlike a challenge to capitalism, it posed a direct danger to the state apparatus."

Sounds good to me. I mean, who doesn't want to pose a direct danger to the state apparatus? I know I do. For those of you who may be wondering, that was not a sarcastic statement. But more on that later.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Taxpayers in Revolt, Introduction

Taxpayers in Revolt, David T Beito
Blog: Introduction

Sometimes I skip reading the introduction to a book, sometimes because whoever wrote the intro has a boring name, sometimes because I just want to get to the important stuff—the book. I read this intro, and a darn good thing too. If I hadn't read it I would have missed this gem: "The state's claim to power over a society would be a toothless pretension were it not backed up by a capable system of extracting money from the population." I just might memorize that and recite it every time I get into a discussion about the gubmint and all the related foofaraw. It doesn't get much more concise than that (not much more*), but it still has great words like toothless, pretension, and extracting.

I was talking to Becky about some political something-or-other a few days ago and she mentioned that the most important step to ending the whole Federal Reserve/inflation/wild corruption debacle we have going on (and has been going for a very long time) is to do away with the income tax. Even though the Fed could still continue to print fake money and endlessly inflate, people would suddenly realize what a horrible game the Fed was playing ("Wait a minute, they're not taking my money anymore and they can still spend trillions of dollars?"), and the jig would be up. Poof.

Important questions were raised in the intro as well, which I trust will be covered elsewhere in the book. One question I fear we will have answered for us all too soon is how do governments maintain authority and legitimacy when their source of money is challenged? Here's a hint—our friend FedGov will not be asking nicely. Hope you picked something up at that shotgun sale last week. Anyway…

Judging by the introduction alone—not to mention the title—I'm pretty sure I'm going to enjoy this book.

*Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.
—George Washington

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

This is not about punching

I got two books in the mail Tuesday, both of which I have agreed to "live-blog." Blogging in general is not my first choice for recreation, but this might actually turn out to be interesting, if not for you then at least for me. And that's what really matters, right?

The first book, which I hope to start tomorrow (probably Friday since I have stuff going on from the time I get home from work to late that night), is Taxpayers in Revolt. For all of you Twilight fans, this is what we call a non-fiction book, which means it has words about actual real things that actually happened, and there is probably no romantic nonsense, and there isn't a "plot" to follow, but a whole bunch of facts and ideas related to the given topic. The given topic in this case is most likely to be the history of taxpayer rebellion during the 1930s depression. Hopefully there will also be some rationale as to why we should emulate our courageous ancestors. I know you can feel the excitement.

You should get on board this blog thing before I explode into the big time, otherwise you'll look like some kind of lame bandwagon hopper.

Saturday, January 10, 2009


Snow makes me want to punch people, so everyone should feel lucky that it's gone now.

The truthfulness of punching

Sunday, January 4, 2009


Sledding, tons of blood, staples in the head. Sounds like a recipe for a great time.