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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

North Carolina Nursing Home Shooting

Monday, March 30, 2009

I just had a quick thought about the recent shooting at the North Carolina nursing home. While reading this article, I ran across this quote:
The injured included a police officer hailed as a hero for shooting the gunman before more people could be killed.
Did you get that? The gunman was stopped. How? By being shot... with a gun. The news always focuses on the shooter and how terrible his actions were--and that's alright--but they never mention with any kind of praise that it was the exact same tool that ended his rampage. It's like they're saying, "Look, this monstrous thing called a gun created all this death and destruction. It is a terrible instrument." But when it comes to mentioning how his reign of terror ended, it's almost a footnote.

At the end of the linked-to article was this parting statement:
Sunday's rampage happened just weeks after a man killed 10 people, including his mother and several other relatives, in the worst mass shooting in Alabama's history on March 10. On March 11, a teen killed 12 people at his former high school in Germany.
In the Alabama shooting spree, the shooter was brought down by himself, apparently after realizing that he was finished when the police began shooting back at him.
McLendon ... shot himself after engaging in a shootout with law enforcement officers.
The rampage in Germany also ended the same way:
A 17-year-old gunman dressed in black opened fire inside his former high school in southwestern Germany today killing 15 people, 11 of them women and girls, before turning the gun on himself, authorities said.
What do I take from these three articles? What lessons do they contain? Crazy people exist and will do insane things with guns. They will continue on their rampage until they are stopped by a gun. In all the cases above, NONE were stopped by their intended victims. NO ONE in any of the situations was armed and prepared to defend themselves and others around them. The shooting only stopped after the police showed up with their guns and either shot the bad guy or the bad guy decided to shoot himself with his own gun. To me, that's just a sad commentary on how dependent we've all become on the state for our protection.

So, I ask you. Do you want to be the guy or gall hiding in the corner when the shooting starts, hoping the next bullet doesn't find you? Or do you want to be the guy or gall that takes cover behind a desk, waiting to place a well-aimed round into the center of some crazy bastard's chest? All the while knowing you'll be going home to your family and friends because you defended yourself?

This Year's Tax Terrorism Season

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Taxes. It's a topic that most people don't even like to discuss, but not me. I find the subject matter fascinating. It's "legalized" extortion. Protection money, if you will. When the Mob does it, they get thrown in jail. When our government does it, we call it the price for living in civil society. Whatever.

Leaving that aside for the moment, I thought some might find this recent development a bit of food-for-thought, especial seeing as how April 15th looms just around the corner:
Judge Rules: Not Filing Since 1999 Is No Crime!

After a February 24 trial on a Florida Bar Association complaint alleging that Charles "Chuck" Behm, a Florida attorney, had violated bar rules by committing a criminal act in refusing to file federal income tax returns since 1999, Judge Tyrie W. Boyer, a county judge in Florida's Fourth Judicial Circuit Court in Jacksonville, ruled that Behm had committed no criminal act.
(Ed. Note: Keep in mind that Behm hasn't been convicted of any crime. This is just the Florida Bar bringing this case against him because they decided—not a court—that he's broken some law. Innocent until proven guilty? The Florida Bar can't be troubled with that fanciful notion.)
The Florida Bar was obviously assisted by either DOJ, the IRS, or both because its presentation, right down to including the standard name calling and the stale half truths was DOJ SOP. From opening statement to close, the DOJ's fingerprints were all over the case. The only new twist was DOJ's latest slam against patriots, introducing a new name for what it calls anti-government groups like "tax protesters," "tax defiers," and now "Constitutionalists!" [Oh, the horror! Not that!] Behm's defense attorney, Truth Attack's Tom Cryer, had plenty to say about that in his response.
(Ed Note: Including "Constitutionalists" in its list of anti-government groups fits nicely with what we're seeing in other arenas where these groups are being demonized for their positions against what they perceive as government run amok.)
In his cross examination of the Bar's "expert" witness, Cryer was able to force the witness to admit that he could not cite any specific authority making Behm liable for the income tax (Emphasis added), and that the absence of such a statute is not among the official list of "frivolous" arguments. The witness also admitted on cross examination that he did not really have a clear definition of "income."
(Ed Note: Frivolous arguments are what the IRS has established as arguments that have been brought repeatedly before the courts and have been ruled time and time again to be frivolous. IRS has a list of them on their website here.

In addition, note that the "expert" could not:
  1. cite any specific authority making Behm liable for the income tax,
  2. the absence of such a statute is not among the official list of "frivolous" arguments, and
  3. he did not really have a clear definition of "income."
These are all important points in law and should make everyone reading this article question why it is they send a rather large portion of their paychecks to Uncle Sam every pay day.)
Chuck Behm then testified that his research into the code (USC Title 26) and Supreme Court authorities forced him to conclude that he is not liable for the federal income tax and, therefore, not among those required to file returns, that he had no income within the meaning of the Constitution and the Sixteenth Amendment, and that he is engaging in no activity within the federal government's power to tax (Lots of emphasis added). Chuck was very thorough and precise in describing his research and the authorities, making a very clear and convincing account of his command of the subject.
(Ed Note: A quick recap of Behm's testimony:
  1. he had no income within the meaning of the Constitution,
  2. he had no income within the meaning of the Sixteenth Amendment, and
  3. he is engaging in no activity within the federal government's power to tax
In her closing, the Bar Counsel argued that people depend upon attorneys to set an example by following and supporting the government and its laws. Cryer rebutted that argument by contending that people do not depend on attorneys to support the government, but to support the Constitution, to protect their rights, and to stand up to the government when it abuses either. (Emphasis added)

Judge Boyer ruled that Behm had committed no criminal act by refusing to file federal income taxes, but the case is far from over. He also ruled that the failure to file was unlawful although he could give no specific basis for that finding. Now the case goes to the Florida Supreme Court for its ruling, and in that process the court will be challenged to show what law subjects Behm to liability and, hence, a lawful duty to file returns and pay income taxes. (
Did you catch that? The judge holds that Behm had committed no criminal act, but then rules that his failure to file an income tax return was unlawful even though he could give no specific basis for his findings.

Now, I ask you, does this not sound like terrorism? Terrorism is defined as the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion. Their "expert" could not cite any specific authority making Behm liable for the income tax, could not prove his position was frivolous (as defined by the IRS), and couldn't even give a clear definition of "income." Even after all their failings, the judge still had the gall to tell Behm that he's still afoul of the law for failing to file even though no one could tell him where his duty to file was mandated. Coercion, indeed. Pay up or else! The Mob would be proud.

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