VNS Exclusives Archive
A Nation of Cowards
by Jeffrey R. Snyder
(C) 1993 by The Public Interest.
OUR SOCIETY has reached a pinnacle of self-expression and respect for individuality rare or unmatched in history. Our entire popular culture -- from fashion magazines to the cinema -- positively screams the matchless worth of the individual, and glories in eccentricity, nonconformity, independent judgment, and self-determination. This enthusiasm is reflected in the prevalent notion that helping someone entails increasing that person's "self-esteem"; that if a person properly values himself, he will naturally be a happy, productive, and, in some inexplicable fashion, responsible member of society.
And yet, while people are encouraged to revel in their individuality and incalculable self-worth, the media and the law enforcement establishment continually advise us that, when confronted with the threat of lethal violence, we should not resist, but simply give the attacker what he wants. If the crime under consideration is rape, there is some notable waffling on this point, and the discussion quickly moves to how the woman can change her behavior to minimize the risk of rape, and the various ridiculous, non-lethal weapons she may acceptably carry, such as whistles, keys, mace or, that weapon which really sends shivers down a rapist's spine, the portable cellular phone.
Now how can this be? How can a person who values himself so highly calmly accept the indignity of a criminal assault? How can one who believes that the essence of his dignity lies in his self-determination passively accept the forcible deprivation of that self-determination? How can he, quietly, with great dignity and poise, simply hand over the goods?
The assumption, of course, is that there is no inconsistency. The advice not to resist a criminal assault and simply hand over the goods is founded on the notion that one's life is of incalculable value, and that no amount of property is worth it. Put aside, for a moment, the outrageousness of the suggestion that a criminal who proffers lethal violence should be treated as if he has instituted a new social contract: "I will not hurt or kill you if you give me what I want." For years, feminists have labored to educate people that rape is not about sex, but about domination, degradation, and control. Evidently, someone needs to inform the law enforcement establishment and the media that kidnapping, robbery, carjacking, and assault are not about property.
Crime is not only a complete disavowal of the social contract, but also a commandeering of the victim's person and liberty. If the individual's dignity lies in the fact that he is a moral agent engaging in actions of his own will, in free exchange with others, then crime always violates the victim's dignity. It is, in fact, an act of enslavement. Your wallet, your purse, or your car may not be worth your life, but your dignity is; and if it is not worth fighting for, it can hardly be said to exist.
The Gift of Life Although difficult for modern man to fathom, it was once widely believed that life was a gift from God, that to not defend that life when offered violence was to hold God's gift in contempt, to be a coward and to breach one's duty to one's community. A sermon given in Philadelphia in 1747 unequivocally equated the failure to defend oneself with suicide:
He that suffers his life to be taken from him by one that hath no authority for that purpose, when he might preserve it by defense, incurs the Guilt of self murder since God hath enjoined him to seek the continuance of his life, and Nature itself teaches every creature to defend itself. "Cowardice" and "self-respect" have largely disappeared from public discourse. In their place we are offered "self-esteem" as the bellwether of success and a proxy for dignity. "Self-respect" implies that one recognizes standards, and judges oneself worthy by the degree to which one lives up to them. "Self-esteem" simply means that one feels good about oneself. "Dignity" used to refer to the self-mastery and fortitude with which a person conducted himself in the face of life's vicissitudes and the boorish behavior of others. Now, judging by campus speech codes, dignity requires that we never encounter a discouraging word and that others be coerced into acting respectfully, evidently on the assumption that we are powerless to prevent our degradation if exposed to the demeaning behavior of others. These are signposts proclaiming the insubstantiality of our character, the hollowness of our souls.
It is impossible to address the problem of rampant crime without talking about the moral responsibility of the intended victim. Crime is rampant because the law-abiding, each of us, condone it, excuse it, permit it, submit to it. We permit and encourage it because we do not fight back, immediately, then and there, where it happens. Crime is not rampant because we do not have enough prisons, because judges and prosecutors are too soft, because the police are hamstrung with absurd technicalities. The defect is there, in our character. We are a nation of cowards and shirkers.
Do You Feel Lucky? In 1991, when then-Attorney General Richard Thornburgh released the FBI's annual crime statistics, he noted that it is now more likely that a person will be the victim of a violent crime than that he will be in an auto accident. Despite this, most people readily believe that the existence of the police relieves them of the responsibility to take full measures to protect themselves. The police, however, are not personal bodyguards. Rather, they act as a general deterrent to crime, both by their presence and by apprehending criminals after the fact. As numerous courts have held, they have no legal obligation to protect anyone in particular. You cannot sue them for failing to prevent you from being the victim of a crime.
Insofar as the police deter by their presence, they are very, very good. Criminals take great pains not to commit a crime in front of them. Unfortunately, the corollary is that you can pretty much bet your life (and you are) that they won't be there at the moment you actually need them.
Should you ever be the victim of an assault, a robbery, or a rape, you will find it very difficult to call the police while the act is in progress, even if you are carrying a portable cellular phone. Nevertheless, you might be interested to know how long it takes them to show up. Department of Justice statistics for 1991 show that, for all crimes of violence, only 28 percent of calls are responded to within five minutes. The idea that protection is a service people can call to have delivered and expect to receive in a timely fashion is often mocked by gun owners, who love to recite the challenge, "Call for a cop, call for an ambulance, and call for a pizza. See who shows up first."
Many people deal with the problem of crime by convincing themselves that they live, work, and travel only in special "crime-free" zones. Invariably, they react with shock and hurt surprise when they discover that criminals do not play by the rules and do not respect these imaginary boundaries. If, however, you understand that crime can occur anywhere at anytime, and if you understand that you can be maimed or mortally wounded in mere seconds, you may wish to consider whether you are willing to place the responsibility for safeguarding your life in the hands of others.
Power And Responsibility Is your life worth protecting? If so, whose responsibility is it to protect it? If you believe that it is the police's, not only are you wrong -- since the courts universally rule that they have no legal obligation to do so -- but you face some difficult moral quandaries. How can you rightfully ask another human being to risk his life to protect yours, when you will assume no responsibility yourself? Because that is his job and we pay him to do it? Because your life is of incalculable value, but his is only worth the $30,000 salary we pay him? If you believe it reprehensible to possess the means and will to use lethal force to repel a criminal assault, how can you call upon another to do so for you?
Do you believe that you are forbidden to protect yourself because the police are better qualified to protect you, because they know what they are doing but you're a rank amateur? Put aside that this is equivalent to believing that only concert pianists may play the piano and only professional athletes may play sports. What exactly are these special qualities possessed only by the police and beyond the rest of us mere mortals?
One who values his life and takes seriously his responsibilities to his family and community will possess and cultivate the means of fighting back, and will retaliate when threatened with death or grievous injury to himself or a loved one. He will never be content to rely solely on others for his safety, or to think he has done all that is possible by being aware of his surroundings and taking measures of avoidance. Let's not mince words: He will be armed, will be trained in the use of his weapon, and will defend himself when faced with lethal violence.
Fortunately, there is a weapon for preserving life and liberty that can be wielded effectively by almost anyone -- the handgun. Small and light enough to be carried habitually, lethal, but unlike the knife or sword, not demanding great skill or strength, it truly is the "great equalizer." Requiring only hand-eye coordination and a modicum of ability to remain cool under pressure, it can be used effectively by the old and the weak against the young and the strong, by the one against the many.
The handgun is the only weapon that would give a lone female jogger a chance of prevailing against a gang of thugs intent on rape, a teacher a chance of protecting children at recess from a madman intent on massacring them, a family of tourists waiting at a mid-town subway station the means to protect themselves from a gang of teens armed with razors and knives.
But since we live in a society that by and large outlaws the carrying of arms, we are brought into the fray of the Great American Gun War. Gun control is one of the most prominent battlegrounds in our current culture wars. Yet it is unique in the half-heartedness with which our conservative leaders and pundits -- our "conservative elite" -- do battle, and have conceded the moral high ground to liberal gun control proponents. It is not a topic often written about, or written about with any great fervor, by William F. Buckley or Patrick Buchanan. As drug czar, William Bennett advised President Bush to ban "assault weapons." George Will is on record as recommending the repeal of the Second Amendment, and Jack Kemp is on record as favoring a ban on the possession of semiautomatic "assault weapons." The battle for gun rights is one fought predominantly by the common man. The beliefs of both our liberal and conservative elites are in fact abetting the criminal rampage through our society.
Selling Crime Prevention By any rational measure, nearly all gun control proposals are hokum. The Brady Bill, for example, would not have prevented John Hinckley from obtaining a gun to shoot President Reagan; Hinckley purchased his weapon five months before the attack, and his medical records could not have served as a basis to deny his purchase of a gun, since medical records are not public documents filed with the police. Similarly, California's waiting period and background check did not stop Patrick Purdy from purchasing the "assault rifle" and handguns he used to massacre children during recess in a Stockton schoolyard; the felony conviction that would have provided the basis for stopping the sales did not exist, because Mr. Purdy's previous weapons violations were plea-bargained down from felonies to misdemeanors.
In the mid-sixties there was a public service advertising campaign targeted at car owners about the prevention of car theft. The purpose of the ad was to urge car owners not to leave their keys in their cars. The message was, "Don't help a good boy go bad." The implication was that, by leaving his keys in his car, the normal, law-abiding car owner was contributing to the delinquency of minors who, if they just weren't tempted beyond their limits, would be "good." Now, in those days people still had a fair sense of just who was responsible for whose behavior. The ad succeeded in enraging a goodly portion of the populace, and was soon dropped.
Nearly all of the gun control measures offered by Handgun Control, Inc. (HCI) and its ilk embody the same philosophy. They are founded on the belief that America's law-abiding gun owners are the source of the problem. With their unholy desire for firearms, they are creating a society awash in a sea of guns, thereby helping good boys go bad, and helping bad boys be badder. This laying of moral blame for violent crime at the feet of the law-abiding, and the implicit absolution of violent criminals for their misdeeds, naturally infuriates honest gun owners.
The files of HCI and other gun control organizations are filled with proposals to limit the availability of semiautomatic and other firearms to law-abiding citizens, and barren of proposals for apprehending and punishing violent criminals. It is ludicrous to expect that the proposals of HCI, or any gun control laws, will significantly curb crime. According to Department of Justice and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) statistics, fully 90 percent of violent crimes are committed without a handgun, and 93 percent of the guns obtained by violent criminals are not obtained through the lawful purchase and sale transactions that are the object of most gun control legislation. Furthermore, the number of violent criminals is minute in comparison to the number of firearms in America -- estimated by the ATF at about 200 million, approximately one-third of which are handguns. With so abundant a supply, there will always be enough guns available for those who wish to use them for nefarious ends, no matter how complete the legal prohibitions against them, or how draconian the punishment for their acquisition or use. No, the gun control proposals of HCI and other organizations are not seriously intended as crime control. Something else is at work here.
The Tyranny of the Elite Gun control is a moral crusade against a benighted, barbaric citizenry. This is demonstrated not only by the ineffectualness of gun control in preventing crime, and by the fact that it focuses on restricting the behavior of the law-abiding rather than apprehending and punishing the guilty, but also by the execration that gun control proponents heap on gun owners and their evil instrumentality, the NRA. Gun owners are routinely portrayed as uneducated, paranoid rednecks fascinated by and prone to violence, i.e., exactly the type of person who opposes the liberal agenda and whose moral and social "re-education" is the object of liberal social policies. Typical of such bigotry is New York Gov. Mario Cuomo's famous characterization of gun-owners as "hunters who drink beer, don't vote, and lie to their wives about where they were all weekend." Similar vituperation is rained upon the NRA, characterized by Sen. Edward Kennedy as the "pusher's best friend," lampooned in political cartoons as standing for the right of children to carry firearms to school and, in general, portrayed as standing for an individual's God-given right to blow people away at will.
The stereotype is, of course, false. As criminologist and constitutional lawyer Don B. Kates, Jr. and former HCI contributor Dr. Patricia Harris have pointed out, "[s]tudies consistently show that, on the average, gun owners are better educated and have more prestigious jobs than non-owners.... Later studies show that gun owners are less likely than non-owners to approve of police brutality, violence against dissenters, etc."
Conservatives must understand that the antipathy many liberals have for gun owners arises in good measure from their statist utopianism. This habit of mind has nowhere been better explored than in The Republic. There, Plato argues that the perfectly just society is one in which an unarmed people exhibit virtue by minding their own business in the performance of their assigned functions, while the government of philosopher-kings, above the law and protected by armed guardians unquestioning in their loyalty to the state, engineers, implements, and fine-tunes the creation of that society, aided and abetted by myths that both hide and justify their totalitarian manipulation.
The Unarmed Life When columnist Carl Rowan preaches gun control and uses a gun to defend his home, when Maryland Gov. William Donald Schaefer seeks legislation year after year to ban semiautomatic "assault weapons" whose only purpose, we are told, is to kill people, while he is at the same time escorted by state police armed with large-capacity 9mm semiautomatic pistols, it is not simple hypocrisy. It is the workings of that habit of mind possessed by all superior beings who have taken upon themselves the terrible burden of civilizing the masses and who understand, like our Congress, that laws are for other people.
The liberal elite know that they are philosopher-kings. They know that the people simply cannot be trusted; that they are incapable of just and fair self-government; that left to their own devices, their society will be racist, sexist, homophobic, and inequitable -- and the liberal elite know how to fix things. They are going to help us live the good and just life, even if they have to lie to us and force us to do it. And they detest those who stand in their way.
The private ownership of firearms is a rebuke to this utopian zeal. To own firearms is to affirm that freedom and liberty are not gifts from the state. It is to reserve final judgment about whether the state is encroaching on freedom and liberty, to stand ready to defend that freedom with more than mere words, and to stand outside the state's totalitarian reach.
The Florida Experience The elitist distrust of the people underlying the gun control movement is illustrated beautifully in HCI's campaign against a new concealed-carry law in Florida. Prior to 1987, the Florida law permitting the issuance of concealed-carry permits was administered at the county level. The law was vague, and, as a result, was subject to conflicting interpretation and political manipulation. Permits were issued principally to security personnel and the privileged few with political connections. Permits were valid only within the county of issuance.
In 1987, however, Florida enacted a uniform concealed-carry law which mandates that county authorities issue a permit to anyone who satisfies certain objective criteria. The law requires that a permit be issued to any applicant who is a resident, at least twenty-one years of age, has no criminal record, no record of alcohol or drug abuse, no history of mental illness, and provides evidence of having satisfactorily completed a firearms safety course offered by the NRA or other competent instructor. The applicant must provide a set of fingerprints, after which the authorities make a background check. The permit must be issued or denied within ninety days, is valid throughout the state, and must be renewed every three years, which provides authorities a regular means of reevaluating whether the permit holder still qualifies.
Passage of this legislation was vehemently opposed by HCI and the media. The law, they said, would lead to citizens shooting each other over everyday disputes involving fender benders, impolite behavior, and other slights to their dignity. Terms like "Florida, the Gunshine State" and "Dodge City East" were coined to suggest that the state, and those seeking passage of the law, were encouraging individuals to act as judge, jury, and executioner in a "Death Wish" society.
No HCI campaign more clearly demonstrates the elitist beliefs underlying the campaign to eradicate gun ownership. Given the qualifications required of permit holders, HCI and the media can only believe that common, law-abiding citizens are seething cauldrons of homicidal rage, ready to kill to avenge any slight to their dignity, eager to seek out and summarily execute the lawless. Only lack of immediate access to a gun restrains them and prevents the blood from flowing in the streets. They are so mentally and morally deficient that they would mistake a permit to carry a weapon in self-defense as a state-sanctioned license to kill at will.
Did the dire predictions come true? Despite the fact that Miami and Dade County have severe problems with the drug trade, the homicide rate fell in Florida following enactment of this law, as it did in Oregon following enactment of similar legislation there. There are, in addition, several documented cases of new permit holders successfully using their weapons to defend themselves. Information from the Florida Department of State shows that, from the beginning of the program in 1987 through June 1993, 160,823 permits have been issued, and only 530, or about 0.33 percent of the applicants, have been denied a permit for failure to satisfy the criteria, indicating that the law is benefitting those whom it was intended to benefit -- the law-abiding. Only 16 permits, less than 1/100th of 1 percent, have been revoked due to the post-issuance commission of a crime involving a firearm.
The Florida legislation has been used as a model for legislation adopted by Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and Mississippi. There are, in addition, seven other states (Maine, North and South Dakota, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, and, with the exception of cities with a population in excess of 1 million, Pennsylvania) which provide that concealed-carry permits must be issued to law-abiding citizens who satisfy various objective criteria. Finally, no permit is required at all in Vermont. Altogether, then, there are thirteen states in which law-abiding citizens who wish to carry arms to defend themselves may do so. While no one appears to have compiled the statistics from all of these jurisdictions, there is certainly an ample data base for those seeking the truth about the trustworthiness of law-abiding citizens who carry firearms.
Other evidence also suggests that armed citizens are very responsible in using guns to defend themselves. Florida State University criminologist Gary Kleck, using surveys and other data, has determined that armed citizens defend their lives or property with firearms against criminals approximately 1 million times a year. In 98 percent of these instances, the citizen merely brandishes the weapon or fires a warning shot. Only in 2 percent of the cases do citizens actually shoot their assailants. In defending themselves with their firearms, armed citizens kill 2,000 to 3,000 criminals each year, three times the number killed by the police. A nationwide study by Kates, the constitutional lawyer and criminologist, found that only 2 percent of civilian shootings involved an innocent person mistakenly identified as a criminal. The "error rate" for the police, however, was 11 percent, over five times as high.
It is simply not possible to square the numbers above and the experience of Florida with the notions that honest, law-abiding gun owners are borderline psychopaths itching for an excuse to shoot someone, vigilantes eager to seek out and summarily execute the lawless, or incompetent fools incapable of determining when it is proper to use lethal force in defense of their lives. Nor upon reflection should these results seem surprising. Rape, robbery, and attempted murder are not typically actions rife with ambiguity or subtlety, requiring special powers of observation and great book-learning to discern. When a man pulls a knife on a woman and says, "You're coming with me," her judgment that a crime is being committed is not likely to be in error. There is little chance that she is going to shoot the wrong person. It is the police, because they are rarely at the scene of the crime when it occurs, who are more likely to find themselves in circumstances where guilt and innocence are not so clear-cut, and in which the probability for mistakes is higher.
Arms and Liberty Classical republican philosophy has long recognized the critical relationship between personal liberty and the possession of arms by a people ready and willing to use them. Political theorists as dissimilar as Niccolo Machiavelli, Sir Thomas More, James Harrington, Algernon Sidney, John Locke, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau all shared the view that the possession of arms is vital for resisting tyranny, and that to be disarmed by one's government is tantamount to being enslaved by it. The possession of arms by the people is the ultimate warrant that government governs only with the consent of the governed. As Kates has shown, the Second Amendment is as much a product of this political philosophy as it is of the American experience in the Revolutionary War. Yet our conservative elite has abandoned this aspect of republican theory. Although our conservative pundits recognize and embrace gun owners as allies in other arenas, their battle for gun rights is desultory. The problem here is not a statist utopianism, although goodness knows that liberals are not alone in the confidence they have in the state's ability to solve society's problems. Rather, the problem seems to lie in certain cultural traits shared by our conservative and liberal elites.
One such trait is an abounding faith in the power of the word. The failure of our conservative elite to defend the Second Amendment stems in great measure from an overestimation of the power of the rights set forth in the First Amendment, and a general undervaluation of action. Implicit in calls for the repeal of the Second Amendment is the assumption that our First Amendment rights are sufficient to preserve our liberty. The belief is that liberty can be preserved as long as men freely speak their minds; that there is no tyranny or abuse that can survive being exposed in the press; and that the truth need only be disclosed for the culprits to be shamed. The people will act, and the truth shall set us, and keep us, free.
History is not kind to this belief, tending rather to support the view of Hobbes, Machiavelli, and other republican theorists that only people willing and able to defend themselves can preserve their liberties. While it may be tempting and comforting to believe that the existence of mass electronic communication has forever altered the balance of power between the state and its subjects, the belief has certainly not been tested by time, and what little history there is in the age of mass communication is not especially encouraging. The camera, radio, and press are mere tools and, like guns, can be used for good or ill. Hitler, after all, was a masterful orator, used radio to very good effect, and is well known to have pioneered and exploited the propaganda opportunities afforded by film. And then, of course, there were the Brownshirts, who knew very well how to quell dissent among intellectuals.
Polite Society In addition to being enamored of the power of words, our conservative elite shares with liberals the notion that an armed society is just not civilized or progressive, that massive gun ownership is a blot on our civilization. This association of personal disarmament with civilized behavior is one of the great unexamined beliefs of our time.
Should you read English literature from the sixteenth through nineteenth centuries, you will discover numerous references to the fact that a gentleman, especially when out at night or traveling, armed himself with a sword or a pistol against the chance of encountering a highwayman or other such predator. This does not appear to have shocked the ladies accompanying him. True, for the most part there were no police in those days, but we have already addressed the notion that the presence of the police absolves people of the responsibility to look after their safety, and in any event the existence of the police cannot be said to have reduced crime to negligible levels.
It is by no means obvious why it is "civilized" to permit oneself to fall easy prey to criminal violence, and to permit criminals to continue unobstructed in their evil ways. While it may be that a society in which crime is so rare that no one ever needs to carry a weapon is "civilized," a society that stigmatizes the carrying of weapons by the law-abiding -- because it distrusts its citizens more than it fears rapists, robbers, and murderers -- certainly cannot claim this distinction. Perhaps the notion that defending oneself with lethal force is not "civilized" arises from the view that violence is always wrong, or the view that each human being is of such intrinsic worth that it is wrong to kill anyone under any circumstances. The necessary implication of these propositions, however, is that life is not worth defending. Far from being "civilized," the beliefs that counterviolence and killing are always wrong are an invitation to the spread of barbarism. Such beliefs announce loudly and clearly that those who do not respect the lives and property of others will rule over those who do.
In truth, one who believes it wrong to arm himself against criminal violence shows contempt of God's gift of life (or, in modern parlance, does not properly value himself), does not live up to his responsibilities to his family and community, and proclaims himself mentally and morally deficient, because he does not trust himself to behave responsibly. In truth, a state that deprives its law-abiding citizens of the means to effectively defend themselves is not civilized but barbarous, becoming an accomplice of murderers, rapists, and thugs and revealing its totalitarian nature by its tacit admission that the disorganized, random havoc created by criminals is far less a threat than are men and women who believe themselves free and independent, and act accordingly.
While gun control proponents and other advocates of a kinder, gentler society incessantly decry our "armed society," in truth we do not live in an armed society. We live in a society in which violent criminals and agents of the state habitually carry weapons, and in which many law-abiding citizens own firearms but do not go about armed. Department of Justice statistics indicate that 87 percent of all violent crimes occur outside the home. Essentially, although tens of millions own firearms, we are an unarmed society.
Take Back the Night Clearly the police and the courts are not providing a significant brake on criminal activity. While liberals call for more poverty, education, and drug treatment programs, conservatives take a more direct tack. George Will advocates a massive increase in the number of police and a shift toward "community-based policing." Meanwhile, the NRA and many conservative leaders call for laws that would require violent criminals serve at least 85 percent of their sentences and would place repeat offenders permanently behind bars.
Our society suffers greatly from the beliefs that only official action is legitimate and that the state is the source of our earthly salvation. Both liberal and conservative prescriptions for violent crime suffer from the "not in my job description" school of thought regarding the responsibilities of the law-abiding citizen, and from an overestimation of the ability of the state to provide society's moral moorings. As long as law-abiding citizens assume no personal responsibility for combatting crime, liberal and conservative programs will fail to contain it.
Judging by the numerous articles about concealed-carry in gun magazines, the growing number of products advertised for such purpose, and the increase in the number of concealed-carry applications in states with mandatory-issuance laws, more and more people, including growing numbers of women, are carrying firearms for self-defense. Since there are still many states in which the issuance of permits is discretionary and in which law enforcement officials routinely deny applications, many people have been put to the hard choice between protecting their lives or respecting the law. Some of these people have learned the hard way, by being the victim of a crime, or by seeing a friend or loved one raped, robbed, or murdered, that violent crime can happen to anyone, anywhere at anytime, and that crime is not about sex or property but life, liberty, and dignity.
The laws proscribing concealed-carry of firearms by honest, law-abiding citizens breed nothing but disrespect for the law. As the Founding Fathers knew well, a government that does not trust its honest, law-abiding, taxpaying citizens with the means of self-defense is not itself worthy of trust. Laws disarming honest citizens proclaim that the government is the master, not the servant, of the people. A federal law along the lines of the Florida statute -- overriding all contradictory state and local laws and acknowledging that the carrying of firearms by law-abiding citizens is a privilege and immunity of citizenship -- is needed to correct the outrageous conduct of state and local officials operating under discretionary licensing systems.
What we certainly do not need is more gun control. Those who call for the repeal of the Second Amendment so that we can really begin controlling firearms betray a serious misunderstanding of the Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights does not grant rights to the people, such that its repeal would legitimately confer upon government the powers otherwise proscribed. The Bill of Rights is the list of the fundamental, inalienable rights, endowed in man by his Creator, that define what it means to be a free and independent people, the rights which must exist to ensure that government governs only with the consent of the people.
At one time this was even understood by the Supreme Court. In United States v. Cruikshank (1876), the first case in which the Court had an opportunity to interpret the Second Amendment, it stated that the right confirmed by the Second Amendment "is not a right granted by the constitution. Neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence." The repeal of the Second Amendment would no more render the outlawing of firearms legitimate than the repeal of the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment would authorize the government to imprison and kill people at will. A government that abrogates any of the Bill of Rights, with or without majoritarian approval, forever acts illegitimately, becomes tyrannical, and loses the moral right to govern.
This is the uncompromising understanding reflected in the warning that America's gun owners will not go gently into that good, utopian night: "You can have my gun when you pry it from my cold, dead hands." While liberals take this statement as evidence of the retrograde, violent nature of gun owners, we gun owners hope that liberals hold equally strong sentiments about their printing presses, word processors, and television cameras. The republic depends upon fervent devotion to all our fundamental rights.
"A Nation of Cowards" was published in the Fall, '93 issue of The Public Interest, a quarterly journal of opinion published by National Affairs, Inc.
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Bob Kerrey... Return Bronze Star!
by William Cooper
Veritas News Service -- Exclusive, April 27, 2001 -- Nobody should ever receive a medal for killing unarmed innocent old men, women, and children. Bob Kerrey should never have accepted the Bronze Star medal under the circumstances that truthfully occurred.
It is the fact that he accepted the medal even though he knew the citation was a fraud, along with the testimony of the eye witnesses that totally destroys the credibility of Kerrey's story. The eyewitnesses cliam his tale is a fabrication.
I am a Vietnam combat veteran. I was in Vietnam in 1969 at the same time as Kerrey as a River Patrol Boat Captain. I don't believe a word he says.
Bob Kerry, by accepting a medal and a citation that he knew was nothing less than a bold faced lie, has cheapened the legitimate medals worn by men and women who earned them the hard way. He has disgraced himself by using that lie to seek, obtain, and hold public office.
In a story that appeared in this mornings press Senator John McCain said the following:
"Bob received a Bronze Star for his action that night. He would be the first to agree that his conduct, no matter how unintentional, did not merit commendation. But his conduct on another night, one month later, won him the decoration our country bestows on only her greatest heroes. And were you to read the citation that accompanied his Medal of Honor, you would know beyond a doubt he earned it."
What's wrong with that statement? It's a lie, that's what's wrong. No one in the military is forced to accept medals or commendations. Bob Kerrey accepted the Bronze Star without so much as the slightest protest and he could have declined to accept it... which he did not do.
The statement by McCain that, ..."were you to read the citation that accompanied his Medal of Honor, you would know beyond a doubt he earned it," has now been called into question. You see Senator McCain if I had read the citation that accompanied his Bronze Star I would have known beyond a doubt that Kerrey had earned it... or would I? Because of the truth of what happened that night, his acceptance of the Bronze Star, and the insistance of the eyewitnesses that his story is a fabrication, I cannot now accept either citation as, "beyond doubt". It makes me wonder about the circumstances under which he received his other medals.
I also take exception to John McCain telling me the definition of a hero. McCain had the luxury of flying high above his victims and never saw a one of them. He was shot down, something he was to avoid. He was captured, also something that he was not supposed to allow. John McCain did everything he was not supposed to do.
The kicker is that while his fellow prisoners kept their mouths shut and bore their suffering, John McCain gave classified information in exchange for medical care. In addition John McCain made a film with his captors in which he condemned the United States Navy as war criminals and worse. That film was shown all over the world. His statements were aired over Radio Hanoi. I know... my crew and I listened to them over, and over again, night, after night, after night, usually right after Hanoi Jane Fonda gave her pro communist anti American spiel which demanded that we surrender to our benevolent North Vietnamese freedom fighters.
I know what combat is and I know what heros are... I fought alongside some real heros, both navy and Marine Corps on one of the most heavily contested rivers in history. John McCain is no hero by anyones definition. John McCain makes me sick to my stomach every time I see or hear him.
In addition John McCain wears a chest full of the highest medals that can be given to anyone in military service... non of which were earned by John McCain. All prisoners of war, at least officers, were automatically given the nations highest medals on a regular time regulated basis simply for being a prisoner, not ever for the purposes for which the medals were created.
Bob Kerrey should voluntary return the Bronze Star. He should never have accepted it in the first place. Someone should be investigating the massacre that Bob Kerrey ordered performed. And because of the lies that have emerged someone should also be investigating the circumstances under which he received his other medals to see if they were legitimate or just more lies.
Osama bin Laden Nuclear Weapon Story FALSE!
by William Cooper
Veritas News Service - Exclusive, April 28, 2001 -- Sensationalist Jon Dougherty, a well known writer of pro-socialist tomes on the Internet for years, now pretending to be a conservative, in a column for WorldNetDaily alleges that terrorist leader Osama bin Laden has at least 20 atomic weapons. His assertion is based upon a rumor circulated in a Geostrategy-Direct.com newsletter from an anonymous "source in the Mideast". Dougherty alleges that Osama bin Laden's possession of nuclear devices "is no longer in doubt". It appears that there is serious doubt, and is most probably a fabrication.
Legitimate sources in the United States Intelligence community, known to me personally, say that the US has put so much pressure on Osama bin Laden and his followers over the last 7 years that they couldn't stay in one place long enough to do a tune-up on a small block Chevy. Laden and his lackeys must be constantly on the move just to stay alive. I am informed that the United States has allocated a huge amount of Intelligence and Special Forces assets to destroy Osama bin Laden and his terrorist organizations.
A high ranking Naval Intelligence officer laughed when asked if it would be possible for Osama bin Laden, or any of his terrorist organizations, to have at least one atomic weapon or the capability of making one, "Not a chance," he replied, "If there was even the slightest suspicion of such a scenario we would bring whatever force was required into action to exterminate every last one of them."
A Pentagon source explained, "Contingency plans for such an occurrence would dictate that we invade and occupy whatever nation gives sanctuary to any terrorists or terrorist organization possessing atomic weapons, that was what Desert Storm was really all about. There will always be rumors. I can tell you with certainty that Iraq no longer possesses nuclear devices and neither does Osama bin Laden."
While the newsletter speculates, stating that the anonymous source "believes that Osama bin Laden possesses nuclear weapons," Jon Dougherty says in his column, "Fugitive Saudi terrorist-sponsor Osama bin Laden is now known to have nuclear weapons, putting to rest previous speculation that left the possibility open." Dougherty took a rumor from an anonymous Mideast source that believes and made it into a totally false sensational story claiming that it is known and that, it is no longer in doubt, a stretch of the facts if ever there was one.
Is Jon Dougherty, for years an overt socialist writer, building the scapegoat for the detonation of an atomic device in an American city? Would it be the final blow that would cement the totalitarian socialist New World Odor?
Eyewitnesses dispute Bob Kerrey's story!
by William Cooper
Veritas News Service -- Exclusive, April 26, 2001
"Kerrey ordered us to round up and kill everyone. It was a whole lot of unarmed old men, women and children... a baby was the last one alive. There were blood and guts splattering everywhere." -- Gerhard Klann, US Navy Seal, eyewitness member of Kerry's seal team.
"It was very crowded, so it wasn't possible for them to cut everybody's throats one by one, two women came out and kneeled down. They shot these two old women and they fell forward and they rolled over and then they ordered everybody out from the bunker and they lined them up and they shot all of them from behind." -- Pham Tri Lanh, Vietnamese eyewitness.
Where are the other witnesses and what are their stories? Why did Bob Kerrey accept the Bronze Star medal for this terrible massacre of innocent civilians? Why did he wait until now to come clean? Is he lying? Why wasn't Kerrey prosecuted as a war criminal? Should he be prosecuted? I wonder what Lt. Calley, convicted for the My Lai massacre, would say about this. I wonder what the surviving relatives of those murdered would say?
As a Vietnam veteran I can tell you that many more of these kinds of things happened than has ever been, or probably ever will be admitted. And as a Vietnam veteran I am prone to believe the eyewitnesses more than I am prone to believe Bob Kerrey. I simply cannot believe anything he says after he accepted the Bronze Star for the massacre of innocent civilians. It would have been much easier to believe his story if he had refused the medal.
For more information read the following stories.
Gun Kit Maker Challenges ATF's, Court's Jurisdiction
Bob Stewart is confident he will win a victory for gun owners everywhere.
by Angel Shamaya
April 18, 2001
(The day before the anniversary of Waco -- and Lexington & Concord)
Mesa, Arizona gun-kit manufacturer, Bob Stewart, is challenging the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and he's seeking proof of jurisdiction of the Federal Court itself. While numbers of liberty advocacy groups have for years doubted the alleged legitimacy and authority of the ATF, Mr. Stewart is betting his very life and freedom on the fact that the BATF is way out of line in their strategies and methodologies -- stating directly that they have no authority to assault or even accuse him -- and he's doing so without an attorney and by submitting his own truly explosive documents in his defense.
Mr. Stewart's last move with his attorneys by his side was to submit a motion to dismiss the case based on constitutional vagueness. From the prosecution's (federal government's) perspective, at issue in the case has been whether or not Mr. Stewart's kit is a gun -- and the only clause the ATF has to go by in their "regulations" lies in these two words: "readily converted." Mr. Stewart's motion to suppress the search warrant basically declared that the term is too vague to justify an armed raid, his incarceration and all of the other things the ATF is now widely known for doing and has done to him and his family.
Federal Judge Roslyn O. Silver (District Court in Phoenix) denied the motion to suppress the search warrant, denied the motion to dismiss and basically said the show must go on. According to Stewart, the feds then offered him a plea bargain -- 6 years in prison -- but not only did he refuse the offer that he called "absurd in the extreme," he's going right for their jugular, and he truly believes he will win. Bob Stewart fired his attorneys, argued for over two hours for permission to defend himself pro per, and the judge was finally persuaded to grant his request.
Bob Stewart is taking on the ATF and the federal courts that pave their way -- alone.
If we liken this situation to the biblical story of David and Goliath, Bob Stewart is taking on roughly 42,000 Goliaths, and he repeatedly says the victory is his if these courts wish to maintain their appearance of legality and constitutionality.
In fact, he said just two days ago, "if this court is a legitimate court that still operates under the Constitution, they have no recourse but to admit they had no right whatsoever to do what they did to me and my wife and children -- and no jurisdiction at all."
Jurisdiction, according to Mr. Stewart, is being challenged "by submitting a Demand for Bill of Particulars, and a Stipulated version, with answers, and a Dilatory Plea -- a motion to quash the fatally flawed Indictment." (Each of those documents is available below.) Stewart is convinced that the Prosecutor cannot rebut his claims and therefore has no case. No case would mean no trial.
According to Mr. Stewart, "the Court must now prove that they have jurisdiction." Citing Hagens v. Lavine 415 U.S. 533, Note 3, as his reference -- along with a number of other federal laws, rules and codes and both the Arizona and united States Constitutions -- Bob Stewart is testing a number of long held convictions many strident liberty advocates espouse fervently.
Is it really that simple, cut and dried? Bob Stewart is betting on it: "It is all just that simple. No other issues, just JURISDICTION. The BATF has none, neither does the IRS, and that will rock this nation!!!" According to Stewart, his case can "end BATF/IRS activities on private soil." That would be nice, and you are invited to witness the hearing and to hear the motions, the replies and the responses to the replies. As has been true in previous hearings in Stewart's case, people will come from other states just to be present.
Bob Stewart expects his case to be thrown out then and there -- if it even makes it to the next hearing.
"AND WHEN IT IS THROWN OUT, IT WILL BE THE MOST SIGNIFICANT GUN RIGHTS VICTORY EVER......FOR THE PEOPLE," proclaimed Mr. Stewart. If Stewart could challenge the ATF's jurisdiction on private property and win the challenge, considering the ATF's recent $773 million budget -- their largest ever -- he'd be right.
Bob Stewart has been talking about challenging the ATF's jurisdiction since the raid against him took place in June of 2000. One who knows him personally might wonder why he didn't go straight to the jurisdiction issue -- so I asked him. "When I had three attorneys working on this case, I could never have gotten them to do what we are doing now," he explained. "They simply refused to challenge jurisdiction. I AM challenging it, and now jurisdiction must be proven by the government -- and the government has NO legal way to prove that it has jurisdiction."
Let's hope so, and let's make sure that courtroom is filled to capacity. Read the documents he submitted to the court and you may come to understand why this case needs support -- and why that courtroom should be filled to capacity, with liberty-minded people spilling out into the hallway.
If you are in Arizona, especially in Phoenix, this is plenty of notice to get May 25, 2001 off of work. If Bob Stewart is right, losing a half a day of work would certainly be a good tradeoff for being present to watch the ATF and the federal court lose a jurisdiction case. And if the judge goes against the Constitution -- the Supreme Law of the Land -- it might also be interesting to be there, as well.
25 May 2001, 10:00AM
Judge Silver's courtroom in Phoenix, downtown federal courthouse, 230 N. 1st Ave. @ Van Buren (SW corner)
Documents Bob Stewart has Submitted to the Court
Following are links to scanned images of the actual documents filed with the District Court in Phoenix, Arizona. There are links directly to each page along with links to download each set of documents in .zip files, MS Word files, Word Perfect files and Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) files. We did have some slight glitches in making all versions look exactly the same, but the information is the same -- and the one true copy as submitted to the court is scanned and available below.
Special Demand for Specific BILL OF PARTICULARS with Affidavit of Verification
Filed on April 3, 2001
What you will see in these scanned images immediately below are 66 questions posed to the court and the government's prosecuting attorney to obtain an explanation of the ATF's and the Court's alleged grounds for their actions against Mr. Stewart and his family. The questions appear to get at the heart of jurisdiction and authority and address not only the types of rules and laws by which the federal government is operating but the deeper questions that come to mind when many people explore whether or not the ATF and the federal government are "allowed" to do much of what they do. Also below are links to the affidavit that was filed with the 66 questions:
BILL OF PARTICULARS Proposed for Stipulation
Filed on April 3, 2001
What you will see in this set of documents are the 66 answers to the abovementioned questions that the prosecutor (Mr. Welty) will most likely put forth to defend his claim of jurisdiction. According to Bob Stewart, "he will have to defend his answers in court in order to prove that he does have jurisdiction. This is impossible to do, since there exists no lawful or legal grounds to support his claim to jurisdiction."
Proof of Dilatory Plea by Affidavit of Verification
Filed on April 6, 2001
Following are links to the sworn affidavit that, in essence, openly challenges the venue and jurisdiction of the federal court and the ATF and directly states each specific reason why such a challenge is warranted.
Entry of DILATORY PLEA TO QUASH DEFECTIVE INDICTMENT in the nature and style of a Pre-Plea MOTION TO DISMISS
Filed on April 6, 2001
This is a motion to quash the defective indictment due to the fatal defects and omissions in the colorable indictment and charging instruments, challenging the court's venue and jurisdiction. This document and its implications could prove nationally beneficial in cases where the ATF, IRS, and Federal courts overstep their jurisdiction. This document contains 12 numbered items that, according to Bob Stewart, "are facts which support the motion to dismiss the colorable action." (In other words, this is the meat of why the federal government's alleged "case" against Mr. Stewart is closing in Mr. Stewart's favor -- we pray.)
If you are in Arizona, especially in Phoenix, this is plenty of notice to get May 25, 2001 off of work. If Bob Stewart is right, losing a half a day of work would certainly be a good tradeoff for being present to watch the ATF and the federal court lose a jurisdiction case. And if the judge goes against the Constitution -- the Supreme Law of the Land -- it might also be interesting to be there, as well.
25 May 2001, 10:00AM
Judge Silver's courtroom in Phoenix, downtown federal courthouse, 230 N. 1st Ave. @ Van Buren (SW corner)
It's Official -- Mad Cow disease in Canada
by William Cooper
Veritas News Service -- Exclusive, April 13, 2001 -- The Canadian government confirmed there has been an outbreak of Mad Cow Disease. It is being spread from the ranched elk to wild populations of whitetail deer in Saskatchewan, near Saskatoon, in an area known for trophy class whitetails. Officials plan to kill over 2100 whitetail deer in hopes of curbing spread of the disease.
This follows on reports of Mad Cow infecting deer and elk in Colorado which spread to Wyoming and Nebraska. It has been speculated that the disease in Colorado was spread from escaped deer and elk that was inoculated with the disease for study by the University of Colorado at Fort Collins.
Canadian officials are warning hunters to avoid getting spinal and brain tissue from getting on the meat and infecting you. Quite interesting isn't it. This has occured despite strong warnings from hunting groups and wildlife associations that ranching elk will prove disastrous in future to wild game species.
Treasury Order 150-02 Heyday for IRS Researchers
by Dan Meador
Veritas News Service -- Exclusive, April 11, 2001 -- In the last few days the Department of the Treasury posted Treasury Order 150-02 to the department web page. The order and organizational chart can be downloaded at http://www.ustreas.gov/regs/td00-02.htm
So far as I can tell, this is the first significant Treasury Order relating to the Internal Revenue Service executed by Paul H. O'Niell, the Secretary of the Treasury under Mr. Bush. Its date of execution was March 9th. It was presumably published in the Federal Register but no publication date is provided on the Dept. of the Treasury web site.
T.O. 150-02 prescribes basic Internal Revenue Service structure under the IRS reform and restructuring act of 1998. Per paragraph 18, it cancels T.O. 150-01.
This aspect of the new T.O. is interesting as there is no pretense of the new order establishing internal revenue districts under authority of 26 U.S.C. § 7621 & Executive Order 10289, as amended. The former T.O. 150-01 colorably established IRS district and regional offices, which by appearance might constitute internal revenue districts.
Some time ago I explored the subject of internal revenue districts by tracking 26 U.S.C. § 7601, Executive Order 10289, as amended, 3 U.S.C. § 301, 26 CFR § 301.7621-1, etc., through the Parallel Table of Authorities and Rules (Index volume of the Code of Federal Regulations) to demonstrate that the only thing remotely relating to internal revenue districts is the establishment of U.S. Customs districts under 19 CFR § 101. This was tracked back to the original order, T.O. 150-42, which vested the Commissioner of Internal Revenue with jurisdiction in insular possessions and colorably U.S. maritime jurisdiction. At any rate, abandonment of the 26 U.S.C. § 7621 & E.O. 10289 authority in the new T.O. 150-02 simplifies at least one Internal Revenue Service-related mazes.
Paragraph 6 relating to the Chief Counsel is also interesting:
"The Chief Counsel is the chief law officer for the Internal Revenue Service and an Assistant General Counsel for the Treasury, with duties and responsibilities prescribed by the Secretary of the Treasury and by law. The Chief Counsel is responsible for advising the Commissioner on legal matters and ensuring that the Office of Chief Counsel provides top-quality legal support to all offices within the IRS. The relationship of the Secretary, Commissioner, General Counsel, Chief Counsel, and Chief Counsel staff is further defined in 31 U.S.C. § 301(f)(2); IRC § 7803(b); in Treasury Orders 107-04, "The General Counsel," dated July 25, 1989; 107-07, "Personnel Authority over Personnel Employment by the Office of Chief Counsel, Internal Revenue Service," dated May 4, 1999; 150-10, "Delegation -- Responsibility for the Internal Revenue Laws," dated April 22, 1982; and by implementing Orders of the General Counsel."
Researchers should have a heyday with authorities cited in paragraph 6.
The first item that should come to memory is that the Chief Counsel for the Internal Revenue Service is an office in the Department of the Treasury. It is the only office relating to the Internal Revenue Service acknowledged in Chapter 3 of Title 31, the Department of the Treasury organization chapter.
I've been trying to formulate how to state this so it gets the proper notion across: The Internal Revenue Service is subservient to but is not part of the Department of the Treasury of the United States. On the Department of the Treasury web page, IRS and other related entities, including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, are classified as Bureaus of the Department of the Treasury. However, IRS and BATF are not part of the Department of the Treasury of the United States -- BATF was separated from IRS in the 1970s.
T.O. 150-02 establishes the national office, specific positions in the national office, and various lines of authority by classification.
Responsibilities within IRS are now more vertical by function than geographical in nature. Through various probes we've learned that former district offices are now territorial offices and former regional offices are now campuses. The office of the district director has vanished. In fact, the former Arkansas-Oklahoma district director, Richard Auby, is now director of the Austin service center.
One of the curious authorities in paragraph 6, which is the chief authority IRS hangs its hat on, is T.O. 150-10, which in 1982 succeeded 150-37. Neither of these basic delegations of authority were ever published in the Federal Register in compliance with requirements of 44 U.S.C. § 1505(a). Therefore, application is limited to government under authority of 5 U.S.C. § 301 and territorial jurisdiction in insular possessions, maritime and treaty jurisdictions, the latter three exempt from Federal Register Act publishing requirements.
To date we still haven't located anything that gives a comprehensive account of operations at former district and regional offices. It appears that former regional service centers are simply service centers.
Armed Restoration Possible and Not So Difficult
By Bill Bridgewater
The only "newsies" that I have ever met that I didn't believe wasted oxygen by breathing were Dickey Chappell and Bernie Fall, both of whom were killed in Viet Nam because they believed that you couldn't report battles in the field from a bar in Saigon.
It is not easy to admit that a newsie stopped me cold the other day in the middle of one of their silly interviews. He had asked me to enumerate the reasons that I believed to be valid to support the private ownership of firearms.
We did not disagree over personal protection; he even admitted that hunting is legal in every state. But, when I stated that I believed that the founding fathers intended that we be armed against the possibility of our own central government overstepping its bounds, he quite bluntly asked me if I thought that an armed American citizenry had a snowball's chance in hell in an uprising against our own federal government.
Now, when was the last time you put some really serious thought into that proposition? Not counting the slaughter of the American Indians, we have not seen a serious effort to pit Americans against Americans since the end of the War Between the States that ended 130 years ago.
Is there even a shred of possibility that an armed citizenry could succeed against the strongest military power on Earth today?
Perhaps we should review the years 1960-1975 again. The United States blindly stuck its oar in the muddied waters of Viet Nam very shortly after the French got their heads handed to them on a platter and were invited not to be a colonial power in Viet Nam any more.
Finally, we found ourselves in the position of guaranteeing the survival of an independent South Viet Nam when the Northern part of the country made it clear that they were interested in reuniting the country under their particular brand of socialism.
For a decade and a half, we changed the leadership of South Viet Nam quite regularly; increased the pressure on the Johnson thumbscrews; bombed, quit, bombed, quit, ad infinitum; quantified the war; and finally turned it into an electronic war. At home we kept telling the citizens that we were just about to win decisively and elected another president to drive crazy with this goofy little war.
Finally the president declared that all was over and the troops could come home.
But they did not return home in triumph with the bugles blaring. They came home with their tails between their legs just like every other defeated army in the history of the world. And the reason that they did so, my friends, was that the world's most powerful nation got its backside severely whipped by a small, backward, agrarian nation who started the war against us with an assortment of ancient bolt-action rifles, no lines of support, no manufacturing base, and no infrastructure that the country absolutely depended upon.
It is not a joke that they made sandals from cut-up truck tires - it's the truth. They fought the only kind of war they could hope to fight and win successfully - a guerrilla war.
They had two good models: the American colonies against the British in our war for independence, and the American Indian wars, where the value of slash-and-run against a superior foe was escalated to a fine art by the world's finest light
Twice the North Vietnamese allowed themselves to be suckered into main force set-piece battles, and they got cut into ribbons for doing it. Otherwise, they stuck to General Giap's plan of guerrilla warfare to the finish.
The North finally *did* get to mass their troops and tanks during their final sweep to victory into Saigon.
Why did this happen? Why did the world's most powerful nation get its teeth kicked in and sent home in disgrace? Because we forgot our very own origins! We forgot that we were the ones who hid behind logs, berms, and bushes and shot British troops and their mercenaries as *targets of opportunity* while denying our opponents a target of any kind.
We used the skills of the mountain and plains Indians against an Army that was trained in only one form of combat. We refused to engage in the British methods of combat until we had superior forces and the odds were highly in our favor.
General Vo Nuyen Giap did exactly the same thing against us in the 1960s and 1970s while we used our superior firepower and technology to create ten million deaf monkeys and water buffalo. We defoliated tens of thousands of acres of jungle forest to prove that Giap's troops weren't there. We constructed every kind of trap known to mankind to capture and destroy divisions of enemy troops where there weren't any.
We very patiently fought a European theater-type of warfare against a steadfast foe who fought a completely different kind of war that simply made our complex weapons systems useless. By inflexibly insisting on doing it our way, we lost the whole shooting match to a man who played it his way and won.
Meanwhile, on the exact opposite side of the globe, another shooting match was gearing up that pitted the second most powerful nation in the world against an enemy whose armament consisted of ancient bolt-action rifles, who had no lines of support, no manufacturing base and no infrastructure that the nation depended upon.
Though the Russians were determined that *they* would not be sent home with their tails between their legs, the Afghans were paying particular attention to those tactics that had worked so well for General Giap against the American forces. Even with the advantage of being able to totally ignore world opinion and to essentially ignore the opinions of its own citizens, Russia followed us down the long winding trail to disgrace by doing exactly what we had done in Viet Nam.
High-ranking politicians (some of them in uniform), with absolutely no idea what was going on in the day-to-day conduct of both wars, made stupid decisions and then stuck by them despite advice to the contrary from both American and Russian on-scene commanders.
The Russian methods of combat - mass maneuver and firepower - that were developed against Napoleon and Hitler proved no more successful than our methods against an aggressively waged guerrilla war.
Both major enemies failed to fight the enemy that they faced. Both, in fact, fought an historical enemy who was not present on the field of battle. Both of these superior armies truly believed that superior strength and technical abilities would win the day. Both major armies believed that time was on their side and was working against their foe. Both were totally wrong because they underestimated the growing dislike of the supposedly neutral or "friendly" indigenous forces whose cities, villages, towns and homes were being destroyed by the ongoing flow of large-scale battles by the two major armies.
Whatever the levels of dispute between the Vietnamese, the American forces eventually became the common enemy simply because of the massive damage they were doing in behalf of the south. Exactly the same thing transpired in Afghanistan. The Russians became the common enemy and went home in defeat.
Our armed forces used everything in our weapons inventory in our effort to win except nuclear devices. So did the Russians. They even used some chemical weapons that we didn't try.
What does all this have to do with the question the newsy asked me? Everything.
A revolution could be waged against the current American government far easier than you might imagine without careful examination. Consider:
* The sheer numbers of firearms of all kinds in the hands of the American public would have made the American commanders in Viet Nam quake in their boots. We're not talking junk equipment here, either. The average deer hunter with a .270 or .308 could give a platoon of regular troops more grief than they want. There was a special on the tube recently about military armaments on sale in the black market (including Stingers).
* The population base from which revolutionaries could be recruited is *massive* - 250 million.
* There are literally millions of well-trained men who served as officers and NCOs who learned face-to-face how guerrilla warfare works. They haven't forgotten it, either.
* There are millions of young men out there with military training and experience with weapons of every conceivable kind, who would make top-quality guerrilla troops.
* Every one of the 100 counties in the state of North Carolina could field at least one full company that would be formidable in capability. If one assumes that North Carolina is no more capable than other states, that could amount to 180 divisions. These potential rebel troops would be fast-moving light infantry, with the capability of melting into the general population when necessary.
American military leaders would be in the position of having an inventory of high-tech weapons that they would be dependent upon your son or nephew to use against you. There would be no enemy states in which you could say that any weapon could be used against the rebels. They would be from each and every state and major city.
By the same token, there would be no sanctuary for the federal troops anywhere in the land. No matter where stationed, they would be subject to attack and harassment. The infrastructure on which the federal government depends would be rather easily disrupted by those who live there. Airfields and major lines of communications could be shut down and kept down for days at a time. Disruption of supplies to major bases and to centers of government would be simple. You don't have to cut them off, just keep them hungry.
The federal government would be denied the use of all their major weaponry because they would still "own" the cities and villages. How do you justify bombing your own city just because there is a rebel company in it? One bombing would be the biggest recruiting drive ever for the rebel forces.
Now just how powerful do those 12 Army divisions and those three Marine divisions really look to you? Just how scary is the Air Force against America? What will the Navy do, shell all coastal cities? I don't think so.
One of these days a truly charismatic individual is going to walk out of the heartland of America and point out that the Declaration of Independence has never been repealed and that it *requires* all citizens to rise up against an oppressive government. With the current attitude toward our government and the people who populate it, a massive groundswell of support for throwing the current crop to the dogs and starting over again might not be so difficult.
As for the *ability* of the American citizens to successfully wage a guerrill war on their own government, the likes of which this world has never seen nor contemplated before, I am absolutely convinced that it could be done, and a lot more swiftly than many might believe possible. How many highly-capable long-range snipers can your county put together?
Reprinted in "The Bullet Trap" by permission from Bill Bridgewater, "Alliance Voice", August 1994
"The 'mutual support' of the Jewish community is immoral. If an Irishman or an Italian steals, he goes to jail, and his parish priest might send him a Christmas pie. If an influential Jew steals, be it Vladimir Gusinsky or Mark Rich, the Jewish community demands his impunity." - Israel Shamir
by Israel Shamir
In the movie based on the mammoth tale by Jean Auel, Clan of Cave Bear, there is a glimpse of the sex life of the Palaeolithic people who roamed the earth some 35,000 years ago. Apparently, whenever a Neanderthal wished to have fun, he didn't need to bring flowers or arrange dinner for two. He would make a certain sign with his hand, and the chosen girl would immediately comply with his desire, without further ado.
The sign to submit is still with us. Whenever people discuss the things done in the name of Jews by, say, Sharon or Abe Foxman, the moment the discussion starts to get out of hand, one of the leaders of the community chants the magic word 'anti-Semitism', and, as if under a spell, we immediately bend over. It is amazing that grown men and women who have never personally experienced any prejudice in their life, still respond to this spell like the girl, Ayla, in Auel's novel.
The machine of the official Jewish establishment and its Israeli offshoot nauseates many Jews. Israeli government commits war crimes on a day-to-day basis. It is run by a certified mass murderer. The unprecedented siege, mass starvation and summary executions are now routine. Bombing, strafing and shelling civilians are no longer anything to get worked up about. Many Jews see it, and are ready to say so in a cosy 'entre-nous' environment. They read news from Israel with resignation and disgust, like an English Victorian squire learning of the new exploits of his wild brother in a far away colony.
The American Jewish establishment is not better than Israel's leadership. It provides unconditional support to Israeli and other Jewish criminals, from Sharon to Gusinsky, the Russian media lord. Abe Foxman, the head of ADL, files compromising materials, bugs phone calls and intrudes on the privacy of many Americans. The whining voice of Elie Wiesel and his colleagues traffic in schmaltzy self-righteousness. Conrad Black and others of his ilk take morally unsustainable positions, supporting freaks such as the Chilean torturer, Augusto Pinochet, and Henry Kissinger, the destroyer of Cambodia.
But the moment a word of objection exits our lips, we see the sign of Ayla and bend over. If nobody says it, we whisper it to ourselves: "Sh-sh-sh! It will cause anti-Semitism!" We can not help ourselves, it is too deeply engrained. Like a spoilt child, we take any criticism as a sign of hate. We dared to rebel against kings, but we do not dare to fight our self-proclaimed and self imposed leadership, as "it will cause A-S".
Abe Foxman, besieged for taking a $100,000 check from the Marc Rich Foundation, gave the sign of Ayla in the New York Times (March 21), proclaiming, 'anti-Semitism is a disease, and we have seen a big eruption of that disease in New York'. But it misfired. Rabbi Lapin of Toward Tradition called him 'a guy who's not in close touch with reality', and a 'dealer of the Anti-Semitism Manufacture'. He noted that the ADL gets paid (by contributors) according to how much anti-Semitism it finds.
The Guardian (March 28, 2001), to prove its pluralism, published an op-ed by a Simon Sebag Montefiore, who declared that 'the most energetic media-campaigners against Israel are, in private, virulent anti-Semites'. He pictures the British journalists and public figures as 'dogs besetting the bear'. "Dog" refers to lord Gilmour; "bear" to Conrad Black.
He specifically objects to the 'most wicked implication that Israel is replicating German behaviour: this approaches Holocaust denial in its iniquity'. Well, it is a question of standards. Years ago, an Israeli writer noted that the Jews measure their actions by the Nazi stick, and invariably find themselves 'a good and benevolent occupier'. Maybe even this 'generous' standard has been set aside. Yes, the Nazi chapter in Poland was much worse than the thirty-four year Israeli military rule in the occupied territories. But the Nazi occupation of France was probably milder for the French, than the Israeli occupation is for Palestinians, and mercifully it has been much shorter. Daily life under the Vichy government was certainly better than life in the 'autonomous' Gaza strip.
Montefiore calms the Brits as his 'aim is not to launch witch-hunts, just to warn decent people' of the abyss ahead. Another purpose of this op-ed, which was probably sponsored by Black, is to frighten British Jews silly into supporting General Sharon.
This game is not for the right wing only. An Israeli liberal, Amnon Rubinstein, called his compatriots to fight the danger of anti-Semitism. This plague, in his opinion, was manifested by Greece bringing to court a Jewish stock market swindler, a local Milken or Rich. For Rubinstein, Jews must be immune to prosecution, and all Jews must support every Jewish rascal. The Israeli peace activist, Uri Avnery of Gush Shalom, called Arabs to fight anti-Semitism, as "anti-Semitism brought one million Russian Jews to Israel". He could say anti-Semitism brought half a million of Chinese guest workers to Israel, as well.
In order to deliver peace to your souls, I will give my personal testimony. An aging baby-boomer, I have travelled the world, lived among Russians and Palestinians, Germans and Swedes, the English and the Japanese, Indians and Africans, and I can tell you, on the basis of my experience, anti-Semitism no longer exists. As a Jew, you can walk freely in any city of men; you will be safe everywhere, if you come as a friend. The prejudice to Jews has vanished. You can find a Jew-hater, but there are many more people who hate the Poles or the Irish or have a beef against the WASPs. You are much more likely to encounter an Arab-hater or those who hate blacks or Asians.
I met with many people who have been branded with the scarlet letter of the anti-Semite. These so-called anti-Semites object to the policies of the organised Jewish community, of the unholy alliance of Sharon and Abe Foxman, Gusinsky and Mark Rich, Conrad Black and William Safire. I concur with them wholeheartedly, as it is not a question of prejudice.
The professional anti-Semitism fighters know this very well. Their true purpose is not to fight anti-Semitism, but to frighten ordinary Jews into submission. That is why the pillars of the community write them generous checks, and they report every insult, magnifying it by a factor of ten. The Holocaust Industry is but a branch of the Anti-Semitism Manufacture, a two-pronged weapon: it pumps money from Gentiles and forces Jews into obedience to the leaders of the community.
In 1991, when Iraqi Scuds landed in Israel, and the gas warfare alarm sounded, a dozen Israelis suffocated in their gas masks and died. There was no poisonous gas outside, just the fresh and fragrant air of the Judean hills, but they would not breathe it. They thought they would die the moment they took their masks off. Instead, they suffocated in their masks. This is the paradigm of modern Jewish existence in the shadow of fear.
When Noah released the first dove from the ark, it had to return. The second dove, however, brought back an olive branch. The third dove did not come back. He found the deluge was over, and saw no reason to come back to the stifling air of the Arc. I am your third dove. You may take off your masks. The air outside is perfectly good. The deluge has subsided. Step outside to greet the human race, your brothers and sisters.
Jews and Gentiles, we have the same enemies and the same friends. The enemies are those who push us back into a goy-hating ghetto; for a Jew-hater is but a mirror image of a goy-hater. A few generations separate us from the stifling world of traditional Jewish community life. Those who pine for it can take a trip to Brooklyn.
Yossi Klein Halevi, an Israeli-American journalist, wrote about his childhood: "We lived on the border of Borough Park. Beyond our Brooklyn enclave, ... were Italians, Puerto Ricans, and Scandinavians. They evoked no curiosity in us, only fear. We saw them all as members of the same ethnic group: Jew-haters. Goyim we called them, a Hebrew word that literally means 'the nations' but that we understood to mean the enemy. We lived in a sealed Jewish world.... had it been possible, we would have surrounded Borough park with a moat..... Borough Park's interests were limited to its own borders, and leapt over the Christian neighbourhoods to embrace other Jewish enclaves - as if the only civilized parts of the world were Jewish, the rest being inhabited by rabid creatures capable at any moment of unprovoked violence. 'The world' existed only insofar as it affected Jews. The Jews and 'the world' could never coexist; at best we would endure each other from a distance. Some of our religious laws seemed meant not to bring us closer to God but to separate us from the goyim, and I accepted that estrangement as self-evident".
Keep in mind, he was writing of modern New York with its large Jewish population, not of some medieval town. It is not strange that Halevi, brainwashed in his youth, became an activist of the goy-hating Nazi group, Meyer Kahane's Jewish Defence League. He moved on, but even now, this correspondent for the New Republic in Israel supports settlers, who behave "as if the only civilized parts of Palestine were Jewish, the rest being inhabited by rabid creatures capable at any moment of unprovoked violence". A few generations ago, all the Jews lived in such enclaves, subservient to the Jewish elite of wealth and learning. The rule of the elite was based on patronage and on our fathers' fear of anti-Semitism. The Jewish aristocracy has adapted to new conditions and continues to reinforce this fear in order to control us.
The 'mutual support' of the Jewish community is immoral. If an Irishman or an Italian steals, he goes to jail, and his parish priest might send him a Christmas pie. If an influential Jew steals, be it Vladimir Gusinsky or Mark Rich, the Jewish community demands his impunity. If the Jewish state commits war crimes, the Jewish community supports it without reservations. This is abnormal behaviour for an ethnic community, a shameful remnant of our habit of dealing with the outside world as if we were members of a medieval guild.
Let us help one another to overcome the impulse to bend over. A man should be able to voice objections to the homicidal policies of his leadership without being called a traitor. That was the position of Mark Twain who fought the US intervention in the Philippines. That was the position of Thoreau during the war over Texas. These were the positions of Alexander Solzhenitzyn, Thomas Mann, and Berthold Brecht. It should be easy for Jews to emulate these men, as the self-styled Jewish leadership has no real power over Jews; it can only resort to scare tactics.
The pursuit of the bogey of anti-Semitism leads away from the real problem. During WWII, the brilliant Russian Jewish writer, Iliya Ehrenburg, in a moment of rage called out (on the pages of Pravda) to his countrymen to 'Kill the German vermin'. Marshal Joseph Stalin rebuked him: 'The Nazis come and go, but the German people remain forever'. The German propaganda made a killing out of the hate speech of Ilya Ehrenburg, trying to obscure the fact that the problem was not the anti-German remark of the Jewish writer, but the German war crimes. In the same vein, the problem today is not a mythic anti-Semitism, but Israeli war crimes and US complicity in these crimes.
Anti-Semitism is a weapon of the scoundrel, said Lenin in 1920's echoing the maxim of Samuel Johnson. This sentence, as so many Biblical verses, has retained its validity in a changed context: scoundrels still use anti-Semitism as a weapon, but now most of these scoundrels are Jewish.
Israel Shamir is an Israeli writer and journalist. This article may be reproduced on the Web. Permission from the author should be sought for hardcopy publication. Israel Shamir can be emailed at email@example.com, or written to at P.O.B. 23714 Tel Aviv, Israel 61236.
Would you buy a used car from Stanton T. Friedman?
No? Then how did he sell you a flying saucer? And how
much are you going to pay for it... ahh you didn't ask did you?
by Daniel B. Newby
Veritas News Service -- My family drove up Big Cottonwood Canyon to enjoy the mountain air. Not far up the canyon, signs appeared warning us to prepare to stop and be searched, and that search dogs were in use. In stubborn fashion, I promptly made a U-turn and headed back the way I had come.
An unmarked police vehicle soon pulled out behind our car and followed us down to the mouth of the canyon. There police lights flashed and we were pulled over. An officer in civilian clothes approached our car, asked to see my driver's license and inquired as to why I had avoided the search. In as rational and calm terms as possible, I reminded the officer of the recent Utah Supreme Court decision against such random searches and explained that I did not want to have any part in it.
The officer immediately became defensive. He justified the checkpoint by the number of drugs taken off the street and the safety that was being assured for people like me. I responded that it was very concerning to me that Americans would prefer this type of security over the risks associated with freedom.
The officer explained the difficult situation the police are in: people go up the canyons, do drugs, and kill somebody on the way down, and then everyone demands to know why the police didn't do something to stop it. I could empathize with his predicament, but still did not agree with the supposed remedy.
After some back and forth, the officer walked away from our car and held a discussion with another officer. Upon his return, I was given a warning ticket for making an unsafe U-turn (the officer specified that my violation was not regarding the drug search, which I presume was to avoid any legal action on my part).
As we concluded our debate on whether freedom was more important than efficiency in fighting crime, I learned that we had both served in the military and had law enforcement experience. In fact, he had served in my birth nation of Germany, and my father had served as a police officer in Utah.
As human beings we parted on friendly enough terms, but as Americans we parted with the strongest of ideological differences. As a native of Germany, I had relatives on both sides of the Iron Curtain and also frequented Berlin as a child, passing via train or car between the walls and watchtowers. I vividly remembered the searches, the soldiers with their weapons at the ready, and the intimidation. I remembered Checkpoint Alpha in Helmstedt, where Americans were briefed and prepared for the suffocating ordeal of passage. Those memories made each return to, and moment in, America all the more refreshing and wonderful.
.... As I started my car again, visions of East German checkpoints flew through my head and I wondered to myself, "Has Utah really changed this much? Have we become so dependent on security that we no longer value freedom?"
If traffic checkpoints represent an acceptable loss of freedom today, what will be acceptable tomorrow? If a few fundamental rights can be rationalized away to stop the bad guys today, what additional rights will be disregarded tomorrow?
In the February 4, 2000, Utah Supreme Court case I cited, then-Associate Chief Justice Christine Durnham poignantly argued that:
"Broad-based, suspicionless inquiries are reminiscent of the much hated and feared general warrants issued by the British Crown in colonial days, where British officers were given blanket authority to search wherever they pleased and for whatever might pique their interest. It was precisely this type of activity that the Fourth Amendment was designed to prohibit. Indeed, the use of general warrants was an important factor giving rise to the American Revolution. This state's early settlers were themselves no strangers to the abuses of general warrants ... A free society cannot tolerate such a practice."
These eloquent words fell on deaf ears in Utah's law enforcement community. Exactly one month to the day of this Supreme Court decision, the Utah Highway Patrol (UHP) operated another dragnet traffic checkpoint between Salina and Sigurd in Sevier County in blatant violation of the Supreme Court's decision. The UHP officer in charge even ordered reporters to leave the search area, stating, "No media is welcome here ... This is for troopers and officers only. This is a work area; we don't necessarily want anybody else here."
Dragnet traffic checkpoints continue unabated in Utah.
Two hundred years ago, American sage Benjamin Franklin predicted Utah's growing dilemma: "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Utah should not disregard the warnings of Franklin or those who have tasted what it means to pass through Checkpoint Alpha.
Mad Cow Disease Rampant in Colorado,
Wyoming, and Nebraska
by William Cooper
Veritas News Service -- Exclusive, April 5, 2001 -- The cover-up of Mad Cow Disease in the United States is beginning to self destruct. According to a State of Colorado Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife (DOW) letter, Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy, in Europe it is known as Mad Cow Disease, is rampant in the mule deer, whitetail deer, and elk population of Colorado, Wyoming, and Nebraska. The very same disease in humans is called Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease. It is always fatal in animals and humans reducing the brain to a spongy mass over the period of infection.
According to our confidential souces Colorado State University at Ft. Collins has been experimenting with injecting animals, deer, pronghorn, and elk with the disease. I can't prove it but I believe that some of the animals may have escaped quarantine and contaminated the whole area over a long period of time.
For the last couple years hunters have been required to cut off the heads of their deer, put a tag on them, and drop it in barrels that have been placed at intersections of highways around the mountains. DOW tests the animals promising to notify the hunters if the meat is infected. If the hunter doesn't hear from DOW in six weeks, they are to assume that the meat is okay. Some families who ate the meat after six weeks were notified after 8 weeks that the meat was contaminated.
When hunters send their deer to a meat processor it is mixed with all the other carcasses. There is no way to monitor this as the deer bodies are brought in fresh. Processors cannot hold a deer carcass for over six weeks before processing! There are not enough storage facilities and/or freezers.
To cover-up the true nature of the disease in Colorado it has been called CWD or Chronic Wasting Disease. The problem became so serious that the Division of Wildlife was forced to tell the truth calling for a public meeting on April 7, 2000 to ask for public help in reducing the deer population by 50% in an effort to reduce spread of the disease.
Most of the state of Colorado is infected. The heaviest concentration of the disease has been found in Game Management Unit 9 north of Fort Collins between US highway 287 and I-25 up to the Wyoming state line. Units around the Red Feathers area, Masonville, Glacier View, and Estes Park are also experiencing high levels of Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy.
Click here for full size version
Freedom Law School will offer $100,000 to the first person, who can demonstrate any of the below propositions. The winner can collect up to $300,000 if he/she can demonstrate all of the 3 propositions listed below:
1. Show what statute written by the Congress of the United States requires me to file an Income Tax Confession (Return) and pay an Income Tax.
2. How can I file an Income Tax Confession (Return) without waiving my 5th Amendment protected right to not give any information to the government that may be used to prosecute me?
3. Prove that the 16th Amendment of the United States Constitution, the Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which, according to the IRS and modern American courts permitted the Income Tax to exist, was lawfully added to the U.S Constitution.
Freedom Law School declares that:
There is no statute that makes any American Citizen, who works for a living in the United States of America, liable or responsible to pay the income tax. Individuals only become liable to pay the income tax when they voluntarily file a tax return, and the I.R.S. follows its assessment procedures as outlined in the Internal Revenue Code.
If there were a statute which clearly and unequivocally required the filing of tax returns, such a statute would be unconstitutional under the present income tax system to the extent that it would require individuals to give the government information which could be used against them to prosecute them criminally. Although the IRS and the modern American Courts claim that the 16th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution permitted the Income Tax to be imposed on the compensation for labor of the average working man, this Amendment was not properly added to the U.S. Constitution.
The IRS, under our U.S. Constitution, cannot legally require information on 1040 returns from individuals--this is the reason why the IRS continually refers to the income tax as "voluntary."
To apply for the rewards, mail your documentation to Freedom Law School at the address below. We encourage you to have your accountant, CPA, lawyer or IRS agent apply for the reward. Good luck!
Freedom Law School
1062-C Walnut St.
Tustin, California 92780
...Is offered to anyone who can show me the following:
1. What statute makes me liable to pay an income tax.
2. How I can file a tax return without waiving my Fifth Amendment protected rights.
My name is Bill Conklin and I have searched the Internal Revenue Code for twelve years. It is my opinion, after extensive research, that there is no statute that makes anyone liable for the income tax and that all individuals who file tax returns waive their Fifth Amendment protected rights. The IRS refers to the income tax system as a voluntary tax system so they can continue to use information proffered on 1040 returns against individuals in criminal cases.
What does the IRS say about me? "Mr. Conklin knows the IRS and IRS procedures inside and out."
Russ Vialpando, Special Agent, Denver District Office
Email to Bill Conklin
Write for a free information packet to: N.C.B.A.
P.O. Box 2255
Longmont, CO 80502
Or call: (303) 833-3333
SAVE A PATRIOT FELLOWSHIP WILL PAY YOU
IF YOU CAN PROVE THE FOLLOWING FACTS TO BE FALSE
We have conclusive proof that the following FACTS are correct. That is why we can say - 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 sounds odd to you, read on.
For YEARS, the Internal Revenue Service has RULED the American people in a manner equal only to the Soviet KGB. FEAR and BLUFF and deception have been 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! Samuel Adams, the Father of the American Revolution cultivated and nurtured the theory of the English philosopher John Locke, that mankind needed no godlike mortal rulers to care for his every need. Locke and Adams believed that the common man was perfectly capable of ruling himself, was entitled to his property, and that property could only be taxed by government to pay for the legitimate cost of government functions - the protection of life and property. Sam contended: If men, through fear, fraud, or mistake should in terms renounce or give up any natural right, the eternal law of reason and the grand end of society would absolutely vacate such renunciation. The right to freedom being the gift of Almighty God, it is not in the power of man to alienate this gift and voluntarily become a slave. FEAR can only prevail when victims are ignorant of the FACTS. The Bible teaches that God's people perish for lack of knowledge.
THEREFORE CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING FACTS:
FACT # 1: 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.)
FACT #2: The Constitution gives the Congress the power to lay and collect taxes to pay the debts of the government. Provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States subject to the following rules pertaining only to the two classes of taxation permitted.
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.
FACT #3: The government does not allow either one 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.)
FACT #4: The 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.)
FACT #5: It was established in the Constitutional Convention of 1787 that the supreme Court of the United States would have the power of "judicial review". Which 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.
FACT #6: 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.)
FACT #7: Duties and imposts are taxes laid by government on things imported into the country from abroad, and are paid at the ports of entry.
FACT #8: 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 .)
FACT #9: 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.
FACT #10: 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 .)
FACT #11: 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".
FACT #12: 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.
FACT #13: The above persons are not empowered to interpret the meaning of the United States Constitution! As stated above (Fact #5), 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 that document.
FACT #14: 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.)
FACT #15: Ater 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.
FACT #16: 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 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.)
FACT #17: The United States Constitution gives the national 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. of A. It has possessed this power from the beginning, needing no "amendment" (change) to the U.S. Constitution to authorize the exercise of it.
FACT #18: 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).
FACT #19: 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.)
QUESTION: If all RIGHTS come from GOD (citizens of the States retained 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?
ANSWER: As established in the U.S. Constitution, the federal government cannot directly tax a citizen living within 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 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.
FACT #20: WITHHOLDING AGENTS withhold income taxes. The only section in the Internal Revenue Code that defines this authority is section 7701(a)(16).
FACT #21: 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.
FACT #22: 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...
FACT #23: 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.
FACT #24: 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 making 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 execution 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.
FACT #25: Karl Marx wrote in his COMMUNIST MANIFESTO, ten planks needed to create a COMMUNIST state. The SECOND PLANK is A HEAVY OR PROGRESSIVE INCOME TAX, second only to the ABOLITION OF PRIVATE PROPERTY.
FACT #26: The attorney who successfully challenged the Income Tax Act of 1894, Joseph H. Choate, recognized the communist hand in the shadows. He told the United States Supreme Court, "The act of Congress which we are impugning [challenging as false] before you is communistic in its purposes and tendencies, and is defended here upon principles as communistic, socialistic -- what shall I call them -- populistic as ever have been addressed to any political assembly in the world".
FACT #27: The Supreme Court agreed; and Mr. Justice Field wrote the Court's opinion, concluding with these statements in intensity and bitterness. Prophetic words: Here I close my opinion. I could not say less in view of questions of such gravity that go down to the very foundations of the government. If the provisions of the Constitution can be set aside by an act of Congress, where is the course of usurpation to end? The present assault upon capital is but the beginning. It will be but the stepping-stone to others, larger and more sweeping, till our political contests will become a war of the poor against the rich; a war growing.
NEED WE SAY MORE?
FACT #28: Internal Revenue Code Section 6654(e)(2)(c) (cited fully below) 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 -- EVIDENTLY SO! Just how much of the Communist Manifesto has become part of your daily life?
CONCLUSION OF FACTS: ALL RIGHTS come from God. 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.
TIRED OF BEING CONNED & RAILROADED INTO PAYING TAXES WHICH YOU DO NOT OWE, TO BE SQUANDERED BY ARROGANT BUREAUCRATS?
- You are invited to join in a national Fellowship with other Patriotic Americans whose only goal is to LEARN, REVIVE and PRESERVE our UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION. The SAVE-A-PATRIOT FELLOWSHIP was founded to disarm the IRS of its only actual weapon: FEAR. By standing together we can force these bureaucrats back within the confines of THE LAW...and arrest the wild rush toward PERPETUAL DEBT and a TOTALITARIAN SOCIALIST GOVERNMENT IN AMERICA.
- You can serve your country and NOT FEAR reprisals from bureaucratic THUGS. The EDUCATION and INSURANCE-LIKE PROTECTION provided by the SAVE-A-PATRIOT FELLOWSHIP has been a constant thorn in the side of the IRS since 1984. Come join with others, who have learned how to combat the true TAX CRIMINALS! Email me for more information on the benefits of membership and copy of our membership newsletter Reasonable Action TODAY!
- We encourage you to print and distribute these pages to your family, friends, legislators and the PUBLIC AT LARGE. If you wish to learn more about these facts of law, you may wish to purchase any of our information resources . These resources are based on over 25 years of legal research.
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)
An Open Letter to CBS and 60 Minutes II Producer Raylena Fields:
Some weeks ago I was contacted by Raylena Fields, a producer for CBS and 60 Minutes II. Robert Schulz of We the People Foundation had apparently suggested that she contact me as a potential source of information on the "Tax Movement". Ms. Fields called, indicating that she was indeed gathering information for the purpose of a 60 Minutes II program to be aired in April.
As I recall, our conversation lasted almost 90 minutes, during which time we had what I considered to be a rather frank and open exchange. Ms. Fields seemed to be completely unaware and surprised that several "tax protesters" had been acquitted by juries of "Willful Failure to File" charges. She appeared to have an honest interest in gaining an understanding of the facts and issues motivating people in the Tax Movement.
Subsequent to our phone conversation, I sent a fax of some 30 pages to Ms. Fields. This fax contained a substantial amount of well documented information that should have easily raised serious questions related to the income tax and the behavior of the Internal Revenue Service. In addition to the lengthy fax, I also provided Ms. Fields with the addresses of several locations on the Internet where thousands of pages of information are available on the subject. I have no way of knowing how much, if any, of the available information Ms. Fields and her program staff studied. There are two indications that they studied little or none of it: 1) To my knowledge, neither Ms. Fields nor the reporter who did the interviews on the program ever contacted me or anyone I know for the purpose of seriously questioning or challenging any meaningful amount of the information provided and available, and 2) the 60 Minutes II program contained not one single reference to any of the information I provided.
When Robert Schulz called me to let me know that Ms. Fields would be calling, he was excited and quite taken with her apparently genuine interest in doing an honest story on the subject. In spite of this hearty recommendation by Bob, I was skeptical and told Ms. Fields that in the 10 years or so that I've been studying this Tax Movement I have not seen even one honest program by the mainstream Media on the subject. At various times in our phone conversation I candidly expressed to Ms. Fields my skepticism about CBS's motives, and informed her that, if she did an honest program that openly aired the information -- and questions raised by that information -- that her superiors would never air the program. Ms. Fields sounded so genuine that I must admit by the end of our phone conversation I was believing, along with Robert Schulz, that there was a real chance that CBS might actually present some meaningful facts on the subject and even perhaps ask a few of the important questions on the air. Shame on me.
I now completely understand why John Kotmair of Save-A-Patriot Fellowship has a hard and fast policy of refusing to speak to the Media unless it is a live and unedited format. This will be my personal policy from here on out.
On Tuesday, April 3rd, CBS posted to its Web site an article, including a video clip, entitled "Tax Revolt". That same evening CBS treated the same subject in its program 60 Minutes II. Both the article and the program were truly "revolting". CBS's presentation of this issue amounts to nothing more than slick "infotainment" -- a sickening, typical tax season puff piece. CBS, how dare you dismiss and trivialize over 30 years of brave, honest research and struggles by patriotic Americans with your paltry, glib paragraphs and 13 minutes worth of sound bites. Not one of the serious, legitimate questions raised by those in the Tax Movement was answered or even given a meaningful examination -- and there are hundreds of serious questions that beg an answer.
Yet, rather than raise important, well-documented questions for its viewers to consider, what did CBS choose to do with its 13 minute segment on the "Tax Honesty Movement"? Let's consider just 3 pieces of CBS's slick hatchet work.
1. An "Ivy League" tax professor is brought in for a short, delicious clip of her laughing her head off and dismissing the honest concerns of millions of sincere, good Americans with the word "Hogwash!" Brilliant little piece of imagery, indeed -- completely useless to anyone interested in really understanding the facts of the matter. I must know hundreds of people capable of utterly demolishing the condescending pontifications of CBS's giggling "tax professor". Were any of these people brought on the program to provide counterpoint -- even so much as a sentence? At least CBS doesn't make the Fox Network claim of being "fair and balanced".
2. One "employer" is selected to be "interviewed" by a smirking, prosecutorial "host". Poor Mr. Thompson is supposed to handle the pressure of this moment, the gravity of the issues and a Network host and camera crew obviously trying their best to make him out to be both an idiot and a "tax cheat"! This phony, mocking voice then finishes him off by repeatedly accusing him of "willfully misreading the law". Right! Like this "host" had ever used the word "willfully" in her entire life prior to being "prepped" for this "show". It is important to note that CBS could have chosen to interview any one of several employers who have stopped withholding. Al Thompson is personable, knowledgeable and sincere; Dave Bossett, on the other hand, is a CPA AND A FORMER TAX PREPARER! CBS went to an Ivy League College for its "opposing viewpoint". Gee, I wonder why it didn't choose to interview a CPA AND FORMER TAX PREPARER to articulate the Tax Movement's point of view? Hmmm??? Wouldn't you love an answer to THAT question? Perhaps several hundred thousand people should telephone the offices of CBS 60 Minutes II, ask to speak to Raylena Fields, and demand an answer to exactly that question.
3. Commissioner Rossotti smugly boasted about being "100% successful" against "these arguments". Weeks before the program the producer of the CBS program 60 Minutes II was provided with documentation of quite a number of court cases in which the IRS has 100% failed to make its case, resulting in jury verdicts of "not guilty" for "tax protesters" charged with "willful failure to file" tax returns. Are CBS "reporters" so afraid of the IRS Commissioner that they are unwilling to "ask the hard questions"? Are they afraid to ask him how he could boast of 100% success in light of the Cheek case, the Gabe Scott case, the Hardy brothers' case, the Ray and Dixie Lee Powell case, the Franklin Sanders / "Tennessee 17" case, the Fred Allnutt case, the Lloyd Long case, the Whitey Harrell case, and others? Apparently the Media has neither the courage nor the integrity to mention anything that might publicly embarrass the Commissioner of the IRS.
Due to its vast access to the minds of the American people, the Media has both awesome power and profound moral responsibility. CBS's use of that power on Tuesday, April 3, 2001 constituted a complete abdication. By now, anyone paying the least bit of attention to this issue can see that the gov't has few if any answers to the serious questions raised by the Tax Movement. Rather than stand for and with the American people, CBS put its tail between its legs and publicly wet itself in fear of what an IRS Commissioner can do to people who embarrass him. CBS has not "examined" the issue; it has not asked the hard questions. It has spinelessly allied itself with a gov't campaign of coercion and fear-mongering. What it has done, in my humble, yet experienced opinion, is best described by terms such as "smear", "disrespect", "disinform" and "disservice" -- oh, yes, and "cowardice". I'm beginning to understand why "Pulitzer" starts with the letters "PU".
The American people should be informed that the producer of CBS's 60 Minutes II was provided with more than sufficient documentation to craft serious, even stunning questions that the IRS Commissioner could have and should have been asked on TV -- in front of CBS's millions of viewers. What the producer of 60 Minutes II actually did with this information is unknown, but was any of this information even shown the light of day? No. Were any of the obvious questions raised by this information posed to the IRS Commissioner? No.
For well over 30 years millions of Americans have been acquiring sincere and well-researched views that the IRS's version of the income tax is a convoluted hoax and lawless extortion racket. Any honest gov't would have cleared up the confusion years ago -- and apologized that it ever took place. Instead of that, however, both gov't and Media have now repeatedly proven beyond a doubt that neither has any interest in clarity or honesty -- or human decency, for that matter.
Until gov't officials are willing to directly, fully and publicly answer the questions raised by 30 years of research -- and until the Media demonstrates that it understands the validity and importance of this -- gov't and Media will continue to be viewed as co-conspirators in the tyranny of the status quo.
The sadness and exasperation I feel is indescribable. Sure, in my heart I suspected what was coming, but an honest break in the Media is of such importance that it is difficult not to hope against hope. I won't be making that mistake again anytime soon. Where we go from here, I couldn't begin to tell you.
Harold Thomas http://www.iresist.com/ice/
CBS Story: Tax Revolt
* Small Businessmen Take On Uncle Sam
* Challenge Employee Withholding Tax
* But IRS Promises Tough Consequences
Josh faces "The Big One"
by Meaghan Walker
Veritas News Service -- Exclusive, April 5, 2001 -- I had a very odd experience with Josh this afternoon. He asked me to explain what logic was...
Well.. I stopped everything, because thats a REALLY important
question.. and one which needed to be addressed properly.
I took a few minutes to mull it over..
So I began with the basic definition.
Thinking of the Rand definition..
"logic is the science and art of non-contradictory identification."
Now..How to explain that in terms a 7 year old can understand..
Logic begins in how you think when you are figuring out - what
something is.... and what something isn't...Like for example... "this
is my hand... is my hand a foot?"
And Josh laughs and giggles and says "no"
So I say "And how do you know?"
Josh says (being very bright) "oh.... ok... thats logic?"
(Yes.. yes.. incredible conceptual leap... but it gets better)
"sorta.. thats part of logic.
One way of knowing for sure what something is.. by knowing
what it isn't."
Ok.. he's with me so far..
Onto part 2 of the Logic lesson...
I said "What does my hand have, that my foot doesn't"
Josh says "It's got fingers... feet have toes"
I say "Ok - and what do you do with your hands - that you don't do
with your feet"...
Josh says "Hold things.. but you walk with your feet"
So I said.. "good.. so you know two things about hands, that make
them hands, and not feet"
So I said thinking of Marcus Auerlius..
"Of everything, ask yourself, what is this thing, in and of itself.
What is it's nature" -
And how do I explain that in 7 year old vocabulary.
So I say
"Ok... we know what hands are - because they are not feet, and
they have fingers, instead of toes, and they hold things, they don't
walk - but.. what is it EXACTLY about being a hand, that makes it
Josh puzzles over this - and I admit that I do as well.
Because I realize I am not explaining it well.
So I said... "Look around.. here's a computer, there's a book,
there's a pillow, that's a couch. There's a me, there's a you.
These are all different things - logic is the thinking we use to
help us know what they are.. and why they are different from each
He still wasn't following...
But I don't want to go into Rand's epistemology about a chair and a
table, and percepts and concepts...so I decide we need practice
with playing around with identification - naming the epsitemological
process we are going through, as we are naming things, and
identifying them. Get him used to the terms.
So I say let's play "Animal Vegetable and Mineral".
And this is where the discussion got dicey.
I explain the rules of the game... that just about everything in the
game to begin with can be devided up as either an animal - a
vegetable, or a mineral.
I begin with minerals ... Josh knows from playing Caesar and
various Sim games, that minerals are metals from the earth..
and I explain that rock is a mineral. He suggests *Gold* as another
mineral. I concur... I say now - what is it about minerals that makes
them different from animals and vegetables...
He says rocks aren't alive.
(Smart kid I know)
So I said.. now.. whats the difference between Animals and
And we name some vegetables... We quibble a little bit about
various fruits -because even though they are plants.. he is sure that
apples are NOT vegetables. I explain that for the purposes of the
game.. fruits are a kind of vegetable... because they are unlike
animals - and unlike minerals... They are plants. He gets it...
And we discuss why plants are unlike animals.
Then I made the mistake - (if you can call it that)...
Of saying "and what about you and me...
Are we minerals?"
I ask are we vegetables?
Josh laughs even harder?
I say "So that means you and I are a kind of animal"
And he says "NO!"
And for the next 20 minutes we have a big arguement about
people NOT being animals... but he is getting REALLY angry.
Absolutley adamant that he is NOT an animal.
So I ask him why it's upsetting for him to consider that we are
animals.. I explain... we are alive, we sleep, we eat, we poop,
we pee, we make babies... all these things animals do... and
vegetables and minerals do not...
And here the discussion goes into the DEEP DEEP DARK PARTS
Josh lies on his back - turns his head away and says "I don't want
you to say this anymore."
I say, perhaps a little too used to debating with too many hosers on
various usenet groups "Well.. even if you don't believe it's true - or
want it to be true.. it is" (No weaseling... I mean, I'm ok if he doesnt
want to debate anymore.. but I dont want to give him the idea that
Blanking Out a fact - can negate it's truth.)
And he starts to cry...
And I don't mean a pussywhipped weasling kind of crying...
Like various idiots on the internet...or in University classrooms.
It is the crying of a human being - facing a truth that
people have avoided ever since man became self-aware...
I didn't know WHY he was crying at first. Mommy instinct took over.
These were not the tears of a temper-tantrum...
These were not the tears of losing an arguement.
He curled up next to me on the floor (as this is our favourite
way to discuss things) and said...through sobs
"I don't want to talk about animals - and me being animals.
Animals die. I seen it happen. I'm going to die arent I?"
And all of a sudden, I could remember, the EXACT same moment
when I had the same realization in my childhood. The stark rank
, sinking in the base of my stomach fear that clutches one
when confronted for the first time with the concept of one's own
Yes.. Josh was alive and with me, when Grampa died. He had
heard the word "dead" and understood.. it mean grampa was gone
wouldnt be coming back.. I mean he was 5 then... and thats about
the extent that he wanted to understand or perhaps could
understand... and whatever he did think about my Grampa's death -
he certainly didn't think it would apply to him. He hadn't made that
And - a few months later when Milo - our Dog got gone - by some
jerk-off band office supporter, who made off with him... Josh still
didnt really have to deal with death. Now lately... when we've been
watching movies and a character gets hurt, or killed.. Josh has
gotten upset at the violence. He has imposed a no kill-zone on our
TV set... and no horrible violence against animals rule as well...
So when he's awake.. it's strictly Disney on the tube..
But this afternoon... Josh made the conceptual leap that tied
himself to the human condition.
And it scared him, and saddened him.. but aside from the initial
resistance to the idea - once he got it - he did not flinch.
He did not evade.
And for once in my 8 years of Libertarian/Objectivist study...
I wanted - for HIS sake to believe in something...
I could for a flash, an instant of mother-bear protectiveness...
understand why people made up stories about
Cosmic Boogey men, and fairy tales about Heaven and Hell.
It's a lot easier to tell your kids these sorts of fables
than to simply hold your son - while he crys quietly...
and tell him "It won't happen for a LONG LONG time - and I wish
I could tell you that it didn't have to happen.. but then I'd be lying."
He says "But I don't want it to happen - to me or to you - EVER!"
and starts to cry again...So I say "I don't want it to happen either...
but thats just the way it is"
So he says "Why???"
And I said... "Ever since people started thinking.. thats been
a question that every human being has asked"
And here was the kicker of the whole conversation - which started
about his vigourous denial about being an animal...
I said "You're right about not being an animal... animals don't know.
They don't know that they are alive, and they don't know whats
going to happen, and they don't think about these things
And thats the difference between an animal and a person. We
know.. and we know that we know. Animals don't."
So - on that score - he was happy...
Because he'd beat me at an arguement again.
And so he cheered up quite a bit...asked me to make him a grilled
cheese sandwich... And then went back to playing Majora's mask -
7 years ago, my child came into this world.
This afternoon - a philosopher was born.
SPACE WEATHER BULLETIN #01- 3
*Official Space Weather Advisory issued by NOAA Space Environment Center Boulder, Colorado, USA, 2001 April 02 at 02:48 p.m. MDT (2001 April 02 2048 UT)
**** SEVERE SPACE WEATHER STORM - AURORA WIDESPREAD ****
A category G4 (severe) geomagnetic storm occurred during March 30 - 31. NOAA space weather forecasters reported that the storm began at 5:51 p.m. MST on March 30 (2001 31 March 0051 UTC) and quickly intensified to category G3 (strong) to G4 levels. A storm of this magnitude normally causes adverse effects on a number of systems including public power, gas and oil pipelines, satellite operations, high-frequency radio communications, and low-frequency radio navigation. The storm caused aurora displays that were seen as far south as Fort Davis, Texas and Fowlstown, Georgia; both at about 30 degrees North latitude. Reports of aurora were also received from other locations around the globe. The geomagnetic storm was related to major solar flare activity from a large, complex sunspot group currently making its way across the face of the Sun. The sunspot group, designated as Region 9393, has produced several major flares since March 29. Some of these flares have caused category R3 (strong) radio blackouts as well as a category S1 (minor) solar radiation storm. Forecasters expect Region 9393 to produce more major flares before it crosses to the far side of the Sun on April 5. NOAA forecasters also reported increased activity from beyond the Sun's southeast limb that may indicate the approach of another potent sunspot group.