Saturday, January 10, 2009

They shall not fly over my house

Its a long story. No one who hears it seems to care. Am I the only one who is upset about this?

See that flag, the Stars and Stripes riding the breeze above the big office building. My ancestors fought for freedom under that flag. So did I. It stands for the promises from God enshrined in our Bill of Rights. The people who operate that office building took an oath to preserve, protect and defend our Constitution and its Bill of Rights. They serve under our flag, so they are our friends, right?

Well, I've met those people. And they are not our friends. They are the Internal Revenue Service, the Federal agency charged with administration of Title 26 of the United States Code.

Like I said, nobody cares. So I won't bother you with my details. But you should watch out for those guys. They require impossible standards of proof, and failure to meet their standards can lead to imprisonment or worse.

Among the amendments to our Constitution are the Fourth and the Thirteenth. They recount the guarantees of our freedom, forever to be preserved and defended by our elected public servants and their employees.

The Fourth Amendment says "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated ..."

I regard the disclosure requirements of the IRS to be an unreasonable search of my papers. Can you imagine anyone else being allowed to demand to know your precise income and its sources? To whom else would you surrender detailed information about all of your expenses?

The Thirteenth Amendment to our Constitution says "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude ... shall exist within the United States ..."

I regard the mandatory Federal levies upon the fruit of my labor as similar to those of the owner of my indenture if I were a bond servant, or a slave, of the Government. Those of you who are subject to Government withholding know that your pay check consists of that which is left after the Government has taken their first interest in your production. He who owns the producer takes the first share of his production.

Why do Americans, the Sons of Liberty, allow themselves to be abused in this manner?

Certainly our community requires our common support. Taxes can be a way for us to fund our community projects. But Americans are not the guilty bond servants of a governing elite.

So long as the Stars and Stripes fly over an IRS office building, they shall not fly over my house.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Bad Government

Current events in Gaza are a great human tragedy. Many people are losing their homes, even their lives, as the Israeli military campaign grinds forward. Gaza is one of the most densely populated areas on earth, a place where it is impossible to conduct a military campaign without causing civilian losses.

When I see news photos of smoking rubble and crying children, my heart is broken. And my memory is drawn to similar images from dozens of other conflicts that continually beset the people of our enlightened age.

Some are blaming the Israelis for this latest sadness. Others are blaming the Palestinians. But most journalists seem to miss the common thread in all of this misery.

Bad Government.

In the present situation, the people of Gaza have allowed themselves to be governed by a terrorist organization sponsored by a foreign power, both of whom support and encourage those few of the Palestinians who persist in firing rockets at their Israeli neighbors. Now, the long suffering Israelis have responded to these rocket attacks, thus bringing about predictable tragic consequences for the Palestinian people.

Just about everyone agrees that the Palestinian people need a homeland where they can live in peace. But that can never happen until the Palestinian people take responsibility for themselves and for their government.

Liberty comes with responsibility. One cannot be free and unaccountable. A people cannot claim the rights and privileges of national sovereignty while avoiding the consequences of bad government.

One hope that emerges is the possibility that the present tragedy will be the undoing of the Hamas government, and that more responsible leadership will arise from among the Palestinian people.