Thursday, February 18, 2010

Revolutions Start Small

Today, Joseph Stack's actions have been plastered all over the news. His anger and indignation at the corruption of the present American political system, the freedom that has been lost, and the injustices perpetuated by our government led him to crash his little airplane into an IRS building in Texas. Fifteen years ago, when Timothy McVeigh bombed the Murrah Federal Building to decry the wrongful tyranny of the Federal Government and the injustice tax system, most people viewed him simply as a radical. He was merely a political outlier with some crazy ideas. Today, however, there is a much different attitude towards the American system of government. The sentiments expressed by Joseph Stack in his final letter are not merely the rantings of a radical. People are awakening to the truth. Many of the sentiments he expressed today are ones that increasing numbers of people are coming to agree with wholeheartedly.

Here are some excerpts from his letter:

We are all taught as children that without laws there would be no society, only anarchy. Sadly, starting at early ages we in this country have been brainwashed to believe that, in return for our dedication and service, our government stands for justice for all. We are further brainwashed to believe that there is freedom in this place, and that we should be ready to lay our lives down for the noble principals represented by its founding fathers. Remember? One of these was “no taxation without representation”. I have spent the total years of my adulthood unlearning that crap from only a few years of my childhood. These days anyone who really stands up for that principal is promptly labeled a “crackpot”, traitor and worse.

While very few working people would say they haven’t had their fair share of taxes (as can I), in my lifetime I can say with a great degree of certainty that there has never been a politician cast a vote on any matter with the likes of me or my interests in mind. Nor, for that matter, are they the least bit interested in me or anything I have to say.
This is a pivotal truth. While our government is supposed to truly provide liberty and justice for all, it certainly doesn't provide that. It provides a "more equal" justice for some people than for others. Joseph insightfully raises the point that representation isn't the same as merely being able to cast a vote every year or two. Properly understood, representation means that someone in a place of political power is actually acting on behalf of its constituents. One isn't being represented unless their best interests are being acted upon and protected by the governing body. When legislative politicians pass laws that actively harm a large percentage of the people they supposedly represent, this is not "representation," it is tyrannical oppression.

And justice? You’ve got to be kidding!

How can any rational individual explain that white elephant conundrum in the middle of our tax system and, indeed, our entire legal system? Here we have a system that is, by far, too complicated for the brightest of the master scholars to understand. Yet, it mercilessly “holds accountable” its victims, claiming that they’re responsible for fully complying with laws not even the experts understand. The law “requires” a signature on the bottom of a tax filing; yet no one can say truthfully that they understand what they are signing; if that’s not “duress” than what is. If this is not the measure of a totalitarian regime, nothing is.
Not only is the current tax code utterly indecipherable by even the brightest of the master scholars, but every taxpayer is required to contractually bind themselves to validity of their tax returns. Even minor tax issues can cause major complications, which are extremely difficult to rectify, even when the mistake is made by the IRS and not by the taxpayer. Last year my dad had some major difficulties with the IRS because of the mangled ways they handle personal and business income. Every time they called him, some new person, unfamiliar with his case, would follow up to try to amend his tax return properly. My dad spent countless needless hours justifying his return and re-explaining the situation, simply because of the ridiculously complex tax laws, the ineffectivity of the IRS, and the clerical errors made on their end.

During 1987, I spent close to $5000 of my ‘pocket change’, and at least 1000 hours of my time writing, printing, and mailing to any senator, congressman, governor, or slug that might listen; none did, and they universally treated me as if I was wasting their time. I spent countless hours on the L.A. freeways driving to meetings and any and all of the disorganized professional groups who were attempting to mount a campaign against this atrocity. This, only to discover that our efforts were being easily derailed by a few moles from the brokers who were just beginning to enjoy the windfall from the new declaration of their “freedom”. Oh, and don’t forget, for all of the time I was spending on this, I was loosing income that I couldn’t bill clients.

After months of struggling it had clearly gotten to be a futile exercise. The best we could get for all of our trouble is a pronouncement from an IRS mouthpiece that they weren’t going to enforce that provision (read harass engineers and scientists). This immediately proved to be a lie, and the mere existence of the regulation began to have its impact on my bottom line; this, of course, was the intended effect.
Often, when a person voices a complaint about the way the government is handling things, well-meaning people reply, "If you really care about the issue, then you should get involved." As Joseph Stack quickly discovered, even getting involved and being vocal about an important issue rarely yields any real results. While I certainly haven't invested as much of my time and money as he did, I certainly have written quite a number of letters to my Senators and Representatives. Every single time I have done so, I have always received a short, generic response, before my politicians quickly go and vote in opposition to my will. I have send letters protesting the economic bailout programs, protesting hate crimes legislation, protesting the Healthcare Reform bill, as well as other various pieces of tyrannical legislation. The government is primarily concerned with gaining more power and stealing more money from its citizens. The Federal Government continues to take more from its citizens while giving less and less in return. This directly affects us.

I remember reading about the stock market crash before the “great” depression and how there were wealthy bankers and businessmen jumping out of windows when they realized they screwed up and lost everything. Isn’t it ironic how far we’ve come in 60 years in this country that they now know how to fix that little economic problem; they just steal from the middle class (who doesn’t have any say in it, elections are a joke) to cover their asses and it’s “business-as-usual”. Now when the wealthy fuck up, the poor get to die for the mistakes… isn’t that a clever, tidy solution.
Presently, the system serves to redistribute wealth in an injust and unequal manner. Unlike Robin Hood, who at least had the decency to steal for a somewhat reasonable cause, the Federal Government steals from the middle class to give to the rich (and to throw a few rotting remnants to the poor to keep them dependent) and to fund their own problematic plethora of programs. When ordinary people are financially irresponsible, they must reap what they sow, but when large corporations and banks are fiscally irresponsible, the government is quick to step in and give them free money... our money. Irresponsibility and greed are encouraged and incentivized. Stealing is actively encouraged, so long as you are a government official, a government agency or a large corporation. Justice? I think not!

I know I’m hardly the first one to decide I have had all I can stand. It has always been a myth that people have stopped dying for their freedom in this country, and it isn’t limited to the blacks, and poor immigrants. I know there have been countless before me and there are sure to be as many after. But I also know that by not adding my body to the count, I insure nothing will change. I choose to not keep looking over my shoulder at “big brother” while he strips my carcass, I choose not to ignore what is going on all around me, I choose not to pretend that business as usual won’t continue; I have just had enough.

I can only hope that the numbers quickly get too big to be white washed and ignored that the American zombies wake up and revolt; it will take nothing less. I would only hope that by striking a nerve that stimulates the inevitable double standard, knee-jerk government reaction that results in more stupid draconian restrictions people wake up and begin to see the pompous political thugs and their mindless minions for what they are. Sadly, though I spent my entire life trying to believe it wasn’t so, but violence not only is the answer, it is the only answer.
Here's a man who is willing to take a stand for what he believes in. Here is someone who values liberty and justice, and was willing to sacrifice his life for his ideal. Regardless of your position on his actions, it is clear that his courage and resolve are admirable. Perhaps he was misguided, and perhaps his actions were foolish, but he truly took a stand for what he believed in. No one can rightfully call him ignorant, and no one can rightfully call him cowardly. When systemic solutions and political involvement ceases to make a difference, people's anger provokes them to violence.

Today's events are but a harbinger of what lies ahead. Having forsaken that end and those principles which were original set forth as the aims of the American experiment, there is a spirit of unrest in the air that is palpable. Revolution is not yet upon us, but perhaps it is not nearly as distant as some might think. Already I know of many who discuss their desire for anarchy rather than the present form of government. Some friends of mine are beginning to purchase weapons and train themselves in the use thereof. Another friend of mine, a philosopher, often asks how different people in our social circle would respond to revolution. As Thomas Jefferson prophetically declared: "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." On this day we see that one man has spilt his blood for the sake of liberty. The yearning for freedom is something that is reawakening in the hearts of many, and there is little doubt that unless the government lessens its tyrannical grip on its citizens, there will be blood. We have nearly completed a full circuit in returning to many of the opinions and ideals espoused by the Founding Fathers at the birth of our nation. Either America must be politically cleansed and reborn, or it shall fall and be replaced. There is no other alternative.

The ordaining of laws in favor of one part of the nation, to the prejudice and oppression of another, is certainly the most erroneous and mistaken policy. An equal dispensation of protection, rights, privileges, and advantages, is what every part is entitled to, and ought to enjoy.
Benjamin Franklin (1706 - 1790)

If, from the more wretched parts of the old world, we look at those which are in an advanced stage of improvement, we still find the greedy hand of government thrusting itself into every corner and crevice of industry, and grasping the spoil of the multitude. Invention is continually exercised, to furnish new pretenses for revenues and taxation. It watches prosperity as its prey and permits none to escape without tribute.
Thomas Paine (1737 - 1809)

I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.
Thomas Jefferson (1743 – 1826)

A revolution of government is the strongest proof that can be given by a people of their virtue and good sense.
John Adams (1735 – 1826)

Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined. - Patrick Henry (1736 - 1799)

I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. - James Madison (1751 - 1836)


  1. Truly remarkable. I have gone through this mental transformation myself. The United States is no longer a political body I can root for or support. From just about every analytical level, it has become an agent of evil.

  2. We live in a culture of death and greed. I also have become increasingly concerned of the state of the political system and society.

    I left Germany because I was disgusted, and now I arrive here and find that America isn't the "Home of the free" any longer. It is truly a sad end to such a great country.

    Perhaps we can still turn this around?

    But the politicians are part of the problem, not the solution. They only serve themselves and their benefactors.

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