We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Friday, December 21. 2012
"If you love wealth more than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, depart from us in peace. We ask not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains rest lightly upon you and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."
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for the most part, I don't disagree with the author's sentiments and he's certainly entitled to prepare for the mayan apocalypse UN invasion revolution bad times, and he makes some good points about a citizenry armed to the same degree as the army, which was true up to the Civil War and mostly possible throughout the 19th century.
but a lot of the rest is just an ugly fantasy. there are good reasons why making M2 machine guns or anti-tank rockets available over the counter is stupid, and no one is going to fight cuban invaders the army without those.
all fun aside, what I don't want is the author or other militia wannabes gassing around in the woods playing rambeaux to decide what is a "morally required insurrection" because after that, sure as shi'ite, he's going to personally decide what the constitution "morally" holds, and what "moral" justice demands of those who don't toe his "moral" line.
and if he starts taking pot shots at the police or army or the IRS or members of the government, there are a lot more people (like me) who will remember their own oaths to defend the constitution from all enemies.
Without agreeing or disagreeing with mot of the points you've made, can you tell me how an IRS audit squares with the 4th and 5th Amendments (not how it squares with Supreme Court decisions)? In that case, who are the enemies of the constitution?
you're always entitled to protection against unreasonable searches and seizures, entitled to due process and a right against self-incrimination. beyond that, you've asked broad questions without any context other than "tax audit" so its impossible to answer except in these broad statements.
you have your ideas about what process is due, and so do I, but the only opinions that ultimately have consequences are what the judiciary says. so I'm going to go out on a short limb and state that federal courts have defined the parameters of an IRS audit process that passes constitutional muster re the 4th and 5th amendments. you might not like it, and for my part, I don't like a lot of how the system works, but axiomatic assertions that something isn't constitutional won't get you far.
if you're curious, I'd start with opinions of the US Tax Court, a unconstitutionally established court; its rules and opinions; 28 U.S.C. (the internal revenue code); IRS rules, etc.
and you're free to challenge the constitutionality of any rule, statute, procedure in federal court via an action for declaratory relief. its done all the time, and often the challengers prevail.
Here, let me help you out. We're all pretty familiar with the 5th amendment - you do not have to incriminate yourself to the authorities - but let's look at the text:
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
I think we know that tax evasion and lying on your tax forms is a criminal offense. So when it says "nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself" it means you don't have to tell the Feds anything you might have done that might have been illegal.
However, the Supreme Court was more interested in putting Al Capone behind bars. So they said it was a crime not to put illegally obtained income on your tax forms. This is important because without independent information, the government has no reason to think you have done anything illegal.
Now, let's review the 4th amendment:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Notice how it says you have the right to keep your papers secure from search without a warrant. Since we've already determined that they cannot legally suppose you have done anything illegal if you don't disclose it (barring other independent information), they would not have incriminating information to get a warrant from a judge. But of course, it's worse than that because they don't bother going to a judge for a warrant, they just send you a letter saying you have to bring all your information for them to pour over regardless what you say about it.
If the government were actually bound by the Constitution, there is no way they could audit somebody about whom it has no reason to believe has broken the law.
Beyond the issue of a tax audit, the 5th amendment says:
nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law
The IRS is given the power to drain your bank account without warning (obviously no due process) if it says you have broken the law. It doesn't have to go to court or enter into any other process than to tell the bank to lock your account. I know. This happened to my wife while she was making minimum wage. She went to cash a check so she could buy groceries but the IRS took her money.
The government can pass any law it wants to support the ability of the IRS to perform its function. In a Constitutional Republic, those laws have to conform to the Constitution and the IRS clearly operates outside the Constitution. The excuse that without those laws, the IRS would not be able to do its job should be their problem, not mine. They have to write laws that conform to the Constitution. If they can't do it then either the function the IRS is supposed to be performing or the way it performs it is illegal.
If the government ignores the Constitution and the Supreme Court ignores the Constitution, then who is breaking the law? And if it's the government that is breaking the law, then who is going to fix that?
You can be beholden to whatever laws you want - IRS tax law, the right that Obama has asserted that he can kill a US citizen in the US if he suspects him of being a terrorist, or any other law or dictate you can name. Those are NOT the Constitution you've pledged to defend.
As to your point that I can complain about this all day long and not get far, you are right. As obvious as all this is to anybody who thought about for more than a minute, challenging some of the IRS rules would not be considered by any court much less the Supreme Court. That is my point - and the point of the 2nd amendment for that matter. Of course, it all comes down to how much freedom are we willing to lose and how much our freedom and the Constitution mean to us. We can keep sliding down this slope and wake up one day and wonder what happened.
I'm not advocating armed insurrection (which was the original point) but at a certain point, we have to decide what is important.
there are many way to successfully dissent short of armed insurrection, which nobody seriously advocates. there's civil disobedience if you want to face fire hoses and police dogs and be a guest at the birmingham jail, then there's taking on the government in court and winning, e.g., Brown v Board, Heller, and probably a thousand other examples.
you have an opinion about what due process, search and seizure and right against self incrimination mean in the context of tax audits, which isn't shared by courts or the government, or, for that matter, most regular citizens.
but that's not the point, at one time "separate but equal" was the law of the land until someone took a stand.
so the only question is, what are you going to do about it?
There is no civil disobedience or fire hoses with regard to the government's money, there is only jail time and poverty.
It is not only my opinion about search and seizure and right against self incrimination, it is the authors of the Constitution whose "opinion" are counter to the courts, government, and most citizens. That we sit still for that shows how far we've moved from the original vision of freedom our country was founded on. There is a case to be made (one that I will not argue) that technology has complicated some of the original intent of the Constitution, but I can't see the IRS as one of them.
As for what I'm going to do about it. That really is the question. WRT taxes, I'm still hopeful that something legislatively will be done. Of course, this issue isn't in a vacuum. It's part of a wide range of issues that some people are starting to feel is important.
The other question is what are you going to do about it. From your earlier post, I assume you are in LE, the military, or something similar. You have sworn to uphold the Constitution and not a bunch of tyrannical laws that are counter to the words, let alone intent, of it. Most likely, your oath was to defend the Constitution and only the defend the country by implication. Given that, if there is a conflict between those who want to uphold the Constitution but not the government, which side will you be on?
I'm not anything in particular now.
There is no civil disobedience or fire hoses with regard to the government's money, there is only jail time and poverty.
some (actually many) people are prepared to risk life and limb if not merely cash for something important, and some aren't.
you have your beliefs, everyone's entitled to an opinion and the internet lets everyone blow off steam.
there's probably nothing more pernicious about the internet than that: its a dump valve that defuses anger before it becomes action. its easier to complain than act, if you act, you might only get a police dog and prison and no reward. but the internet is a safe place for grousing.
Keeping up target practice with a Ma-Deuce is beyond most folks financial resources.
I've decided the AR-15 isn't kewl enough. when the UN FEMA comes to get me, I'll be waiting wif my 12 gauge Mossblaster Defendinator, 18" barrel, tactical heat shield, tactical bayonet lug with real bayonet, tactical bipod, tactical folding stock, tactical pistol grip, tactical laser sights, tactical flashlight, tactical ghost sights, tactical three point sling, extended tube mag/sidesaddle so I can carry/hang two boxes of AntiGov Special Loads, tactical parkerized tactical finish, preripped wifebeater t-shirt, dew rag and the King James Constitution (Authorized) handed up to God by the Founding Fathers. bring it. I'll be in the woods battling Predators until then.
You make fun, but that is indeed what the 2nd amendment was created to accomplish. Just as the founding fathers hoped the 1st amendment would insure a free and neutral press that would keep the government honest. I think that not too long ago that hope for the 1st amendment was still working but now the press actually pimps for the worst in our government.
And it's true there are those who dress in camo and drill with guns and state openly they would defend themselves and their fellow citizens from a oppressive government. Of course we all know that will never happen because it has never happened before in history where a government oppresses it's citizens after seizing there guns. You would have to be crazy or delussional to actually believe such a thing could ever happen here.
Also, it's not impossible or improbable that a couple million armed citizens and good old boys could indeed overthrow an army of invaders. I spent 20 years in the military and I personally would prefer to invade a country where the citizens are unarmed. Some of those good ol' boys can reach out a long way with their rifles.
In my humble opinion we have a perfectly good constitution and we should make our government follow it. I like it just fine the way it is but if it needs to be changed there is a process to do just that and I don't want some appointed judges taking away any of my rights. As a proud life NRA member I say "molon labe".
in an ironic twist of gun grabbery, the civil war started with rebel attempts to seize federal weapons - armories, the navy yard, fortresses, etc.
over 750,000 american casualties in the civil war, billions of dollars of property destroyed and the total failure of southern war aims might suggest to the rambeaux tooling around in the woods that armed conflict to resolve constitutional disputes is an unusually stupid idea better left to hollywood and John Milius-style wetdreams.
federal judges are, per the constitution, appointed for life. you might not like all of what the constitution says, but you have to live with it, just as you have to live with the power of the federal judiciary to interpret the constitution. you have a right to an opinion, but you don't have the power that goes with it.
unless you start taking potshots at federal employees and then win the revolution.
I think the current balance of private rights and public interest under second amendment rubric is within an acceptable range. no one is going to take your AR-15 or my Perazzi, but you're not going to be buying RPGs anytime soon.
and the disorganized militiamen playing Soldier in the woods can do so until it gets dark, when they have to come home to dinner.
Even if I accept your version of how the civil war started I think you miss the point. If you cherry pick and distort the facts you can indeed make an arguement against private ownership of guns. But if you simply look at all the historical data the evidence falls heavily in favor of private ownership of weapons of defense. There were six million jews in Europe who should of had weapons of defense. This issue is not one that can be decided by the worst case you can think of or one event like Newtown. We should not decide lightly to take away our natural rights and our constitutional rights. And on that point if a judge chooses to make a anti-constitutional ruling and makes a political ruling instead then he or she is wrong and we have no responsibility to follow it. Considering who Obama has appointed to the Supreme court and in anticipation of him appointing 2 or 3 more far left judges we may well see that happen soon.
don't misrepresent my position, which I repeat: the current balance of private rights and public interest under second amendment rubric is within an acceptable range. no one is going to take your AR-15 or my Perazzi, but you're not going to be buying RPGs anytime soon.
regarding judges .... you're saying it an unconstitutional ruling if you decide its an unconstitutional ruling, meaning, if you don't like it. is that how it works? tell me who decides what is constitutional and what isn't.
you? me? the renfaire rejects militia?
if you like the concept of civil disobedience, have at it -- buy an AR-15 modified to shoot full auto. maybe a court of appeal or the USSC will eventually eventually agree with you. civil disobedience is pure american political tradition and I hope for the best. (starting shooting wars is, arguably, a "tradition", but a very stupid one).
but its one thing to talk, its another to risk getting mauled by police dogs. some talk and some act. I'm satisfied with things as they are, although I expect the grabbers to overreact and the NRA to counter-overreact, little barry and reid have put gun legislation on hold for now, so not much is going to change.
but if you're not satisfied ... what are you going to do about it?
Most of your post is so far over the top I won't respond to it. You seem hung up on "militia" and in your face civil disobedience. I am not interested in either topic and simply can't respond to it.
But regarding obeying unconstitutional laws and unlawful orders: We are indeed responsible for doing the right thing. I refuse to obey unconstitutional laws but I wouldn't go out of my way to search for them just so I can belligerently disobey them. My preferred method would be by jury nullification. On the other hand I intend to obey all lawful orders and constitutional laws. And, YES, I am required as a adult citizen to know which is which just as you and everyone else is.
I don't have an AR-15. What I am lobbying for is to uphold the right for any U.S. adult citizen to buy and own one. I think the 2nd amendment is important and certainly no less important then any part of the constitution.
I will vote and lobby my friends and family and do what I can. I will continue to keep myself informed. I fear for this country and I'm not alone in that feeling. Obama and an unexpectedly large number of useful idiots are putting us at risk. To be honest I was not all that suprised with the 2008 election I myself considered not voting for Rino McCain. But after seeing Obama in action for four years it is simply impossible to believe that 60 million or so voters actually thought he did a good enough job to get reelected. That more then anything else has me very concerned for our future. That there could be 60 million plus voters so uninformed, so mistaken and so willing to emulate lemmings is truely scary. Whatever the reason; the failure of public schools, tribalism, the desire for free stuff, whatever; the fact that 60 million voters voted for Obama again is scary and may prove fatal to our beloved country. Who do those 60 million people vote for next? If they are that easily bought they will vote for any despot promising them to rob peter to pay them. Is this how our Republic will end?
Turns out millions did not depart. They stayed and they vote. How perilous it is to free a people who prefer slavery, or regulation and fairness as we call that state now.
Read up on the Tambov Rebellion.
Armed freemen in the woods found the red army simply came out of the cities, went to their villages, rounded up the fighters' families, tortured and murdered enough of 'em to make an impression, sent the rest to the gulags where they mostly died of maltreatment, and then moved along to the next village.
JR Nyquist has an essay on it, searcch [ nyquist origins of a killer state ]