Author Archives: rickrajter

Iran’s President Backs Down on Holocaust Claims

President of IranI can certainly tell when I strike a nerve. My previous article about the President of Iran questioning the severity of the holocaust put everyone in a tizzy, and I was apparently fortunate enough to only have 2 clarifications being tacked on to my original post (hooray for me).

Let me make one thing clear. Iran’s president is a dumbass and I do not deny it. I also do not wake up every morning and verify my worldly views against his. However, with his claim on this particularly topic I wholeheartedly agree. I also applaud him for taking a stand in making such a seemingly bold claim.

Of course, political pressure came in and he caved in. His interior minister (not to be confused with the interior decorator, aka the US equivalent of Laura Bush) stated that the president was merely misunderstood. Ummmm…. Bullshit. He backed down and ran away.

Now many reading this blog are probably jumping up and down screaming, “YOU SEE YOU SEE, he was wrong and now he knows what an idiot he was!” While that certainly is an option, other issues make me believe that he backtracked simply as an attempt to avoid an inevitable war with the US/Israel.

After all, Israel is already getting prepared for war, citing the need to strike before Iran goes nuclear. This conveniently requires them to forget that they themselves have a very large and developed nuclear program, as exposed by the 17 year political prisoner Mordechai Vanunu. The real irony of this story kicks in when realizing that Israel used the holocaust as one of their reasons for protecting themselves with nuclear arms in the first place! You are wrong Iran, and if you keep talking, we’ll kick your ass!

But “he said, she said” aside, a war with Iran could potentially turn out to be quite grim, particularly if Russia decides to step in.

And for those of you who believe that truth speaks for itself, don’t worry. Shortly after, a bunch of people ambushed him for a polite debate (alleged) assassination attempt. Now if there was an attempt on our President for every lie HE said, the number of assassins being flown in would probably overload the DC subways (note: I do not condone such an activity. The subways are too crowded there as it is).

Update by Stephen VanDyke:

Agreeing with Iran’s president on the proportion of killing debate is just a bad idea. Hell, this is would be like using a Hitler speech on train schedule efficiency to make an argument on how to better manage the NYC subway system. You may be right on the facts, but I’d end up looking like a nutter for even bringing that up because it’s just not credible.

Iran’s president has ZERO credibility in anything he says about Jews or Israel or the Holocaust because… dun dun dun… he admits to hating them. His remarks on some Holocaust accounting issues that may have a nugget of truth to them is simply overshadowed by the fact that he’s a bigot.

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$300 Million Buys a Lot of Propaganda

Sure, we didn’t want to blow any money preventing or cleaning up after Katrina… but the federal government spares no expense when it comes to buying positive press to tell the Iraqis just how lucky they are to have us there.

News Flash! – most of them don’t want us there, most of us don’t want to be over there as well.

Based on this, I think the current score is Honest Media – 1, Ministry of Truth – 0, Bush – negative infinity (approximately).

Seriously though. The nation went rip shit when it discovered Bush bought support for the oh-so-successful “no child left behind” abomination… and that bribe was chump change compared to this. But it’s cool because they called it “psychological warfare operation” instead of propaganda, which makes everything all better.

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Iran’s President Questions the Holocaust

President of IranMy my my, the masses are waking up! This time, the president of Iran is questioning the actual severity of the holocaust.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad makes a very good point, stating that

“Some European countries insist on saying that Hitler killed millions of innocent Jews in furnaces and they insist on it to the extent that if anyone proves something contrary to that they condemn that person and throw them in jail,”

Exactly. European countries are doing everything they can to quickly imprison and silence these revisionists. But why? Why not show them the facts and shut them up? Well, unfortunately the facts are not in their favor. So imprisonment becomes their ‘final’ solution :)

Of course, the media is having a hissy fit with his statements, and the ADL probably shat a brick upon hearing someone question the standard old “6 million died” rhetoric that we’ve been fed for years. Don’t worry, we’ll invade them soon and set the record straight.

Many other resources point out the contradictions and science of why the 6 million figure is preposterous. I guess even saying that makes me anti-semitic eh? But I’d rather tell the truth than worry about what people think about me.

Update by Stephen VanDyke: Ahmadinejad is also the guy who has said “Israel must be wiped off the map.” And Iran’s sad state of human rights is enough to make Hitler proud, so take his comments with a grain of salt, there’s an agenda here.

Update by Nicholas Sarwark: This post does illustrate the fundamental problem with the speech restrictions in Germany and other European countries regarding specious claims about the Holocaust; the laws, though they may be well-intentioned, provide fodder for conspiracy theorists to allege a cover-up.

Only facts can put false claims to rest. In that vein, The Nizkor Project has extensive and thoroughly researched replies to most (if not all) claims made by Holocaust deniers and/or revisionists. Specific to the Institute for Historical Review (linked above), Nizkor has responded to each of their “66 Questions and Answers about the Holocaust” pamphlet, along with background information on IHR and its founder. The argumentative techniques used by Holocaust deniers are dissected as well.

If we’re going to have a debate on this topic, it’s best that everyone be well informed, no?

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In Case You Missed It

Life becomes quite hectic at times, so here are some recent stories that you may missed because I was frankly trying to catch up on work/life/sleep.

While it’s certainly true that real friends can’t be bought, the mainstream media doesn’t seem to mind getting paid off by the government to run favorable stories about Iraq and other hot topics. Now the media and government are best friends!

In fact, the US government has actually run out of ideas how to fix Iraq. Applications to fix it can be downloaded here. Please note, that the plan “nuking the towel-heads” is probably already taken by Cheney, though he can’t enter his own contest.

Police are planning to go undercover at Colby college to “curb drinking”. I assume this means the cops will just drink all the beer before the kids do.

Iran is trying to sell oil in Euros, which would be disastrous to the US dollar. Of course, Saddam tried to pull the same currency switch before we showed up at his doorstep and bitch slapped him.

Michael Moore is still an idiot for owning Halliburton stock, but even more stupid for denying it. Hey Mikey, we know you’re career depends on those darned republicans, but can’t you make your wealth off of them a little less discrete?

BYU has distanced itself from Professor Steven E. Jones’ controversial theory that ‘pre-positioned explosives’ took out World Trade Center 7 on 9/11. Apparently, neither the WTC buildings nor BYU could take the ‘heat’.

Benson is still going against the IRS, citing certified government documents that prove the 16th amendment was never ratified. Somewhere on the internet… an IRS tax shill has already recieved notice of this posting and will comment shortly :)

Another Iraq war link? Sure why not. An NSA historian analyst admits that the alleged Gulf of Tonkin attacks never happened. He was going to release this report in 2001, but it wasn’t because they didn’t want the ‘flawed intelligence’ of yesteryear to negatively affect the WMD lies of today.

That’s all ladies and gents. Tune in next week for more “In Case You Missed It” goodness. Please comment if you like/dislike this format.

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The 2005 Gold Surge

Mr. T's gold blingIt’s a little known secret that our US currency (also known as Federal Reserve Notes) devalues every year due to the increase in quantity of circulation. Normally this devaluation is so small that it only becomes appreciable over long periods of time. However, the printing press has been cranking away quite heavily over the last few years to keep the market bubbles afloat, so much so that the Fed has decided to hide it’s tracks and discontinue it’s publication of M3 data. Now it will be a bit harder to determine just how many dollars are floating around the world, which has made many nervous.

Because let’s face it, fiat currencies are all a fraud. The ability to just create funny money out of this air is a power so great it can’t help but be abused. For those that feel this is merely hyperbole, I give you a quote from Sir Josiah Stamp, president of the Bank of England in the 1920′s.

The modern banking system manufactures money out of nothing. The process is perhaps the most astounding piece of sleight of hand that was every invented. Banking was conceived in inequity and born in sin. Bankers own the earth. Take it away from them but leave them the power to create money, and with a flick of a pen, they will create enough money to buy it back again. Take this great power away from them and all great fortunes like mine will disappear, for then this would be a better and happier world to live in. But if you want to continue to be the slaves of bankers and pay the cost of your own slavery, then let bankers continue to create money and control credit.

Even Ron Paul is weighing in on this issue, noting among others that gold has surged to a 24 year high. In fact, all the precious metals are kicking ass lately, though some of it is certainly the result of rampant speculation and some panic.

There are alternatives to unbacked paper money, though they are somewhat impratical for the impatient. The Liberty Dollar and the newly introduced Phoenix Dollar offer silver backed currencies to replace the Federal Reserve Notes. But hey, that’s what free market competition is all about!

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EPA to Allow Pesticide Testing on Handicapped

We all know that testing on animals doesn’t necessarily correlate to similar effects with humans, so there are times when testing on humans would be far more beneficial. I totally support such testing on humans, IF AND ONLY IF there is willing consent from the person, as well as reasonable disclosure of the possible side effects for the particular test.

But what about orphans and mentally handicapped children? Well we are in luck! This article lists the EPAs proposed exceptions for chemical testing, which include:

1. Children who “cannot be reasonably consulted,” such as those that are mentally handicapped or orphaned newborns, may be tested on. With permission from the institution or guardian in charge of the individual, the child may be exposed to chemicals for the sake of research.
2. Parental consent forms are not necessary for testing on children who have been neglected or abused.
3. Chemical studies on any children outside of the U.S. are acceptable.

Ahh great. So if social services determines that your kids are neglected or abused, they can legally be taken and tested on. The “outside of the U.S.” is particularly cryptic, as I imagine we could take some Iraqi children with that one. Though, I’m sure they will be taken care of really well, at least until everyone stops paying attention. After all, they’d still be lab rats eh?

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The Great Thanksgiving Hoax – Richard Maybury

No, I’m not trying to rain on anyone’s parade. This is actually an inspiring article on how free market principles allowed the early colonies of this country to thrive after brief and largely unsuccessful attempts with socialism.

To rectify this situation, in 1623 Bradford abolished socialism. He gave each household a parcel of land and told them they could keep what they produced, or trade it away as they saw fit. In other words, he replaced socialism with a free market, and that was the end of famines.

Many early groups of colonists set up socialist states, all with the same terrible results. At Jamestown, established in 1607, out of every shipload of settlers that arrived, less than half would survive their first twelve months in America. Most of the work was being done by only one-fifth of the men, the other four-fifths choosing to be parasites. In the winter of 1609-10, called “The Starving Time,” the population fell from five-hundred to sixty.

Then the Jamestown colony was converted to a free market, and the results were every bit as dramatic as those at Plymouth. In 1614, Colony Secretary Ralph Hamor wrote that after the switch there was “plenty of food, which every man by his own industry may easily and doth procure.” He said that when the socialist system had prevailed, “we reaped not so much corn from the labors of thirty men as three men have done for themselves now.”

I’ll end by saying that Richard Maybury is one of my favorite authors. His ‘Uncle Eric‘ series is a great introduction to the theory of individual liberty. They make great Xmas gifts for younger family members (hint hint).

Happy holidays.

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UN Declares Universal Ban on Revisionism

I’m not a betting man, but I always thought that we’d lose the 2nd amendment well before we’d lose that dearly held one mentioning speech, press, and apparently religion. Either way, if we lost either, we’d all still lose. But at least I’d make some money on some side wagers to pay off the cops to not arrest me for emphatically saying “our administration is full of uncaring douche bags”. But then again, maybe they’d agree and let me off anyway.

Well, the UN has decided to make things interesting. The simple ‘hate crime’ was so 90′s. On Nov 1st, they decided to kick it up a notch (their absurdity goes to 11) and pass what I believe is the first ‘thought crime’. The legislation? To make January 27th the “International Day of Commemoration in memory of the Holocaust.” Ok, that’s cool. Let them have their day in the sun. Fine. But there is a more sinister clause. The resolution:

“Rejects any denial of the holocaust as a historical event, either in part or full”

Woah woah woah – back up there fellas. They specifically decreed that they reject someone denying the holocaust happened? Most likely, this will blossom into a punishable offense. How absurd! What’s next? Is it going to be a crime to deny that God exists? What about making it a crime to believe OJ was guilty? How about believing that diet Dr. Pepper really doesn’t taste like regular Dr. Pepper? If given enough alcohol, I can also be persuaded to believe a lot of things! That is, of course, till the hangover kicks in.

But denying something exists? So what! Well the problem is that some of these “revisionists” are getting deported back to Germany to either re-educate themselves or go to jail. Remember, Oceania is at war with Eurasia. It’s always been at war with Eurasia. And don’t you little bastards think otherwise, or we’ll jail you!

This is not a question of whether these people are right or wrong, but if one can’t speak about it, then one can’t argue his case. If one can’t argue their case, then apparently truth is decided by legislators. Ugh…

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GOP Memo: Terrorist Attack Will Save Us!

Words cannot express how unbelievably upsetting this is. I hope and pray this memo is a hoax. But considering that the PNAC paper called for a “New Pearl Harbor“, I won’t put it past them.

This memo scores a hefty 8.5 on the “What the hell were they thinking” meter. The key words are emphasized:

A confidential memo circulating among senior Republican leaders suggests that a new attack by terrorists on U.S. soil could reverse the sagging fortunes of President George W. Bush as well as the GOP and “restore his image as a leader of the American people.”

The closely-guarded memo lays out a list of scenarios to bring the Republican party back from the political brink, including a devastating attack by terrorists that could “validate” the President’s war on terror and allow Bush to “unite the country” in a “time of national shock and sorrow.”

I believe this fits this definition perfectly.

vul·ture
2 A person of a rapacious, predatory, or profiteering nature.

For these guys, another 9/11 is a wet dream. Their constituents will run to them for protection, while simultaneously forgiving them for screwing up the economy, our liberties, and frankly anything they touch.

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American POWs: Still Alive?

POW signThis is not late breaking news, but more of a problem that our elected servants in Washington find kind of embarrassing and of little concern.

It’s been painfully obvious for many years that many of our nation’s soldiers that put their lives on the line, were left in Vietnam and Korea. Family members trying to find real answers are met with nothing but bureaucratic red tape. A concerned relative writes:

Two of the major corrupt politicians he wants to expose as liars and two-faced traitors, in what he calls the “biggest military cover-up in the history of our country,” are former Presidential candidate and Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), a former Vietnam POW declared a national hero.

“He’s no hero,” said Dumas, 74, in an extended conversation this week from his Connecticut home. “He’s anything but a hero. Ask why he had the Senate, through Kerry’s influence, seal all his POW records in Vietnam? He had these records sealed for life and is hiding the true story of how he sided with the North Vietnamese to save his own skin.”

Even Ron Paul is calling for an investigation. I agree, it’s long overdue.

While I’m adamantly opposed to this war in Iraq, I certainly would forgo immediate departure to pick up all the remaining soldiers before leaving. Pretending they don’t exist is sooo dick, particularly when the administration is bemoaning the lack of recruits and the need to invade most of the Middle East.

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13 Predictions for the ‘War on Terrorism’

G. Edward Griffin, founder of Freedom Force International made a bold list of predictions 3 days after 9/11 on how the “War on Terrorism” would play out.

So how did he do? Well on my score card, he hit 13 out of 13. No, he’s not a psychic. He just understand the collectivist’s agenda. When you know you’re enemies’ playbook, you’ll finally have a chance to beat the bastards. Anyway, here is a quick summary of the first 3 predictions.

1. The first prediction is that we will not be given genuine options regarding the war on terrorism. We will have only two choices, both of which are disastrous. It will be similar to the Vietnam War in which Americans were expected to be either hawks or doves. Either they supported the no-win war or they opposed it.

2. Most American political leaders are now committed to world government, so the second prediction is that they will crow about how America will not tolerate terrorism, but they will not act as Americans. Instead, they will act as internationalists. They will turn to the UN to lead a global war against terrorism.

3. The third prediction is that the drive for national disarmament will be intensified. This will not lead to the elimination of weapons of mass destruction, but merely to the transfer of those weapons to UN control.

Seems to me like he’s on to something.

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Germany Wishes for “Free Speech Zones”

As much as I complain about the ever increasing restrictions our speech here in America, I had absolutely no idea how bad it has become elsewhere.

Take a peek at this article by Germar Rudolf.

So what is the truth about Germany today? The truth is that in Germany

– folksingers are threatened with imprisonment for singing peaceful songs;
– a professor who writes his disbelief about certain historical events in a footnote, written in Latin(!), in a scholarly anthology(!) was prosecuted and threatened with jail, and the anthology was confiscated and burned;
– a judge, writing a well-founded, but highly controversial book on historical topics, saw his book confiscated and burned, his pension cut, and his PhD title withdrawn as a result of this;
– a history teacher was sent to jail for uttering historical dissent in a private letter to a high-profile personality;
– a professor criticizing internationalism was kicked out of his job, harassed, prosecuted and driven into suicide;
– a historical dissenter was sent to prison for more than two years just because he published peaceful, scholarly historical material;

Holy shit! Imagine, being a scientist or a historian and getting arrested for having a different belief and *gasp* publishing it! That’s exactly what happened to a man named Ernst Zundel, a well known holocaust denier. Say what you want about his beliefs and the merits of his work, but think of the precedent that this sets. History cannot be debated?

At least in this country, even the completely moronic can still have opinions. Publishing said opinions will only subject them to ridicule if they truly deserve it. However, they won’t be imprisoned because of it.

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Scott McClellan: Weapon of Mass Deflection

Scott McClellanGeorge Bush doesn’t pay this guy enough. Scott McClellan, ‘Master of Deception Deflection’, faced an onslaught of questions regarding the administration’s simultaneous denial of torture being use for interrogations and request for torture exemptions. The resulting dialogue, I swear, looks like it was pulled from an article at The Onion.

Q I’d like you to clear up, once and for all, the ambiguity about torture. Can we get a straight answer? The President says we don’t do torture, but Cheney —

MR. McCLELLAN: That’s about as straight as it can be.

Q Yes, but Cheney has gone to the Senate and asked for an exemption on —

MR. McCLELLAN: No, he has not. Are you claiming he’s asked for an exemption on torture? No, that’s —

Q He did not ask for that?

MR. McCLELLAN: — that is inaccurate.

Q Are you denying everything that came from the Hill, in terms of torture?

MR. McCLELLAN: No, you’re mischaracterizing things. And I’m not going to get into discussions we have —

Q Can you give me a straight answer for once?

MR. McCLELLAN: Let me give it to you, just like the President has. We do not torture. He does not condone torture and he would never —

Q I’m asking about exemptions.

And on and on for several minutes… He apparently made just one slip up, and despite numerous transcribers and audio recordings catching the slip, the White House Transcript doesn’t show it.

Even champions lose battles here and there. Better luck next time.

Update: Think Progress has an update. Shockingly enough, the administration is standing behind what they “recall” and not what the actually was said. Gotta love these guys. Stubborn till the end.

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Hurricane Katrina’s 521,000 Pink Slips

The official numbers are out. Katrina took about a cool half million jobs out of the economy. Now granted, some of those jobs included “bead necklace maker,” “crappy radio station WSUX 95.5,” and other jobs that won’t have a real impact on the rest of the country… but that’s still a large chunk of fresh job hunters that will add to already pressure to the already dwindling supply.

If only they were willing to move to India… they might actually find our lost manufacturing base!

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PA Operation Clean Sweep’s First Victory!

clean sweep pigPeople say activism doesn’t work anymore. Well it has in this case. Maybe it was the 129,000 signature petition rolled out at the capital’s doorstep. Maybe it was the 25 foot inflatable pig. Either way, the pressure has become high enough and the situation embarrassing enough that the Pennsylvania Senate and House have already passed a bill lowering the salaries back.

The Senate, reacting to months of fierce backlash from constituents, unanimously voted early in the evening to repeal the pay increase. The bill included a provision lowering judges’ pay as well, which some lawmakers argued is prohibited by the state Constitution.

Around 11 p.m., the House took up the bill, but added an amendment that tied together each part of the bill. So if a judge strikes one part down, the entire bill is repealed and the raise might return.

So it’s not through yet and there is some rider amendments that may piss some people off, but the ball is rolling. And remember, PA Clean Sweep’s goal is to get every incumbent out of office for the audacity of their 11th hour move to jack up their salaries by as much as 54%. Good Luck!

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Landmark Case Decided For Disabled Veterans

Despite my staunch stance against the war in Iraq, I believe in keeping promises to the soldiers that served and did so in a way that didn’t disgrace the nation (like those at Abu Ghraib).

Yesterday, November the 1st 2005, after 14 years of denial, a military tribunal has finally recognized ‘Gulf War Syndrome’. This is huge, as it will finally allow Vets that were promised medical care by the government to get medical treatment for their disabilities.

There is a great documentary out there, ‘Beyond Treason’, which shows the evidence and just the sheer magnitude of this problem. In a war that only had a coalition causality count of 378, The American Gulf War Veterans Association is claiming the post war casualties are as high as 15,000 from exposure to things like depleted uranium.

Hopefully the vets can get some of the help they were promised, and hopefully no more of our troops will have to suffer in such a manner (particularly for this debacle of a war we have going on now).

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N.H. Residents Fight ‘View’ Tax

No, it’s not your political views being taxed (as I’m sure I’d be broke right now if it was the same rate as NY’s sales tax). Residents of NH are getting upset from rising property taxes because their homes have more ‘value’ because of their scenic views.

I remember growing up in an upper-lower class part of upstate NY (hey, it can always get worse!) and having people absolutely dread the time when their homes were to be re-appraised. I knew many people that purposely left some renovations incomplete for as long as possible in order to delay the inevitable increased tax burden. I do recall one guy leaving out a wall of his garage for this exact reason. Hey, it’s not a garage yet! You can’t tax it as such! Yes, it was a stupid technicality, but it was just one of the many lengths people would go to stymie the tax man.

Getting back to NH

Whether tax or factor, Orford residents find the increased costs difficult to bear and are leading a tax revolt that is gaining support in other rural New Hampshire towns. Pressured by residents, the Orford Board of Selectmen voted in September to set aside soaring revaluations of property until the state legislature develops objective standards for valuing views.

Yes yes. Just what we need. Viewing value standards. It sounds like an FCC project gone awry. Let’s see here. I can see 3 trees, 4 shrubs, about half a pond, and it looks like your skyline angle during sunset is about 20 degrees (not too shabby). So based on our NH land value calculation sheet, your house is worth an extra 20,000.

I guess it pays to live in a dank dark swamp area then.

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The Sham Trial of Irwin Schiff

Many of you may be aware of the recent “trial” (if one can even call it that) of Irwin Schiff, the grand-daddy of the tax honesty movement. You may not like him, but this man has put his life on the line to expose just how corrupt the american judiciary has become.

In a previous posting, I’ve discussed that it really doesn’t matter what the law says if we don’t hold the government and ourselves to them. People say the USA PATRIOT Act was a sign of the beginning of the end. Not true. The government was already exceeding it’s constitutional limitations already. Merely making the unconstitutional laws was more a slap in the face than a change in American Jurisprudence.

So why was this a sham? As one Schiff supporter summarized:

Judge Kent Dawson stated he was the LAW, and anything that Congress wrote was of no bearing in his courtroom.

We would like to resolve the matter, but it appears that Irwin Schiff, 77 years old, will be spending the rest of his life in prison because Judge Kent Dawson stated he was the LAW, which Congress was NOT.

Judge Kent Dawson:
1) Refused to allow the Internal Revenue Code to be read in the courtroom unless it supported the prosecution.
2) Sustained every objection by the prosecution when the defense was asking the questions, which was more than 80% of the defense’s questions.
3) Had only the defense’s witnesses Mirandized and not the prosecution’s witnesses.
4) Had only witnesses in for the defense to be questioned on the character of Irwin Schiff and nothing about his books or other materials on tax law.
5) Allowed the prosecution to state to the jury before they went to deliberate; “You are hereby notified that if you do not bring back a decision of guilty you will be breaking the law.”/span>
6) Denied the jurors from seeing the Internal Revenue Code when they asked for it, thus making the jurors guilty of; “ignorance of the law is no excuse.”
7) Had Irwin Schiff and Cindy Neun convicted on “WILLFULNESS” which was not given in great detail of what it was.
8) Denied bail for both Irwin Schiff and Cindy Neun as they were both flight risks for their promoting the TRUTH of the law, and NOT for any felony!!!

If we are going to try and win back this country, the first thing we need to do is actually adhere to the laws that exist. If the laws on the books are stupid, then repeal them. It’s that simple. But let us not enforce laws that don’t exist.

Update by Stephen VanDyke: In my view this is yet another loss for the legality (loophole) argument of tax evaders, which has always struck me as the intellectually lazy way to fight back. Contrast with tax resistance or tax protesting — not paying based on political beliefs or actual opposition to paying taxes regardless of their legality — and you’ll notice that historically there is a much better case to be made for simply not paying (because you oppose how it is spent or just don’t want to part with your money), whether you’re legally required to or not.

Update by Rick Rajter:Apparently, I did not make this clear. Irwin is an ACTIVIST. He never just quietly stood back in the background and didn’t file just to save a few bucks. The guy has wrote numerous books, joined up with We The People at GiveMeLiberty.org and their petitions for redress of grievances, and has testified and helped numerous people get in the government’s face at every turn.

Finally – Riddle me this. How does one repeal what doesn’t exist?

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Rick Stanley’s “The Revolutionary Coalition”

Note: this article contains dead links, the url is still in the hover/alt text. Keep the web working, curate content well!

Rick StanleyI know what you’re thinking. A revolution? That’s sooo 18th century. Well unfortunately, the same is being said for our beloved US Constitution. For most lawmakers and law enforcers, the Constitution is pretty much a dead letter or a ‘quant relic’ of the past.

Stanley is no stranger to the Patriot movement (and no, not the George Bush definition of roll over and play patriot). He was arrested on Bill of Rights Day in 2001 for openly carrying a firearm without a permit. What ensued was one of the most well documented and disheartening cases of power abuse by the judiciary. Despite proving, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that both the US and Colorado State Constitutions forbid laws limiting the right to keep and bear arms, Stanley was put through the legal wringer. Last February, he gave a powerful speech to the rotary club about the ordeal, and an mp3 of this can be heard here. I’ve listened to it at least 6-7 times and it still gives me chills.

Rick Stanley’s platform is one line – “To defend our God given (natural), unalienable, Constitutionally protected and guaranteed rights.” It’s that simple folks. I agree with Rick, because if we can’t even support the framework of law, then getting elected as libertarians and passing or repealing laws means nothing without people actually respecting those changes.

So dismiss it as a pipe dream if you like, but we are losing the battle to an ever encroaching federal government which essentially does at it pleases. The choice is yours. I stand with Stanley.

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Prison Industry: Cheap Labor for Big Business

jail cellSo you want to pay your employees less than illegal-immigrant rates? Well you are in luck! Prison labor is dirt cheap, and you don’t even have to have an HR department to worry about silly things like healthcare.

They don’t have to worry about strikes or paying unemployment insurance, vacations or comp time. All of their workers are full-time, and never arrive late or are absent because of family problems; moreover, if they don’t like the pay of 25 cents an hour and refuse to work, they are locked up in isolation cells.

That sounds pretty darn good for menial tasks… but how many potential workers are we talking about?

There are approximately 2 million inmates in state, federal and private prisons throughout the country. According to California Prison Focus, “no other society in human history has imprisoned so many of its own citizens.” The figures show that the United States has locked up more people than any other country: a half million more than China, which has a population five times greater than the U.S. Statistics reveal that the United States holds 25% of the world’s prison population, but only 5% of the world’s people.

“Land of the free” my ass. 2 Million inmates? Are we really that much safer having a bunch of pot heads or deadbeat dads (and moms) behind bars? This reminds me of one of my favorite books, Go Directly to Jail: The The Criminalization of Almost Everything . And finally.

“The private contracting of prisoners for work fosters incentives to lock people up. Prisons depend on this income. Corporate stockholders who make money off prisoners’ work lobby for longer sentences, in order to expand their workforce. The system feeds itself,” says a study by the Progressive Labor Party, which accuses the prison industry of being “an imitation of Nazi Germany with respect to forced slave labor and concentration camps.”

Boy, I can’t wait for the day when they start invoking the USA PATRIOT Act a bit more and we all become political prisoners for questioning Big Bro. But hey, at least we’ll get 25 cents an hour. Only 20 hours of work for a value meal at McDonalds if inflation stays low.

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Vermont Pulls Out the Secede Card

Secede PicObviously this is more a symbolic gesture, but a group by the name of theSecond Vermont Republic is trying to garner support to secede from the Union.

The organizations goals are two fold:

Organizers of the convention say it has two objectives: First, to raise the level of awareness of Vermonters of the feasibility of independence as a viable alternative to a nation which has lost its moral authority and is unsustainable. And second, to provide an example and a process for other states and nations which may be seriously considering separatism, secession, independence, and similar devolutionary strategies.

Personally, I applaud their efforts. But you know there is not a chance in Hell that the federal government would not fight tooth and nail to prevent this from occurring. I mean, where else would people go and, um, ski in the winter? More importantly, this would give other states the green light to jump ship.

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Schools Discourage Kids from Using Playgrounds

Ahhh, the nanny state continues to grow by leaps and bounds, unlike the school children who are now told “not to run” and are advised against using the swings, merry-go-rounds, and teeter-totters. Apparently, fun involves risk and parents don’t want to take that chance. And neither do the county officials that are worried about lawsuits.

The National Program for Playground Safety (I wish I was making this up) is one of the organizations trying to get rid of the classics, stating that “Kids aren’t using them the way they’re supposed to.” Apparently one can’t try to launch their kid brother in the air with a teeter-totter anymore. I guess we should just put fences around the playgrounds and have kids just imagine having fun with them. In fact, we can put vending machine right next to them so they can get fatter too!

Getting back to the amusing NPPS, if you’re a parent that doesn’t know how to have fun, you can actually buy videos that will give you step by step instructions on how to make your child equally not fun and overly protected from such harms as “the plastic seat was hot” and “the monkey bars were too cold.”

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Bush and the Boogeyman

homeland security chartThis isn’t news to me, but it’s the first time I’ve seen an actual statistical analysis of the President’s approval ratings versus terror warnings. The crux argument or hypothesis is simple human nature. People look towards higher authority (be it their God or their leaders) in time of great strife… but could give a rats ass about them when things are fine. There is a good book called “The Progress Paradox“, which goes into more detail for those that are interested.

The results match up quite well. Every time the president is getting heat (say for indictments over the Valerie Plame outing) – Al Qaeda appears to scare us back into the corner. If things are getting really bad, the Department of Homeland (In)Security will play with their color coded chart. Oh no, we’re up to orange! I guess it’s not safe to go to the store and buy some pears today. Terrorists might get me.

Of course, those “authentic” documents come into question when Al Qaeda later calls them forgeries. So these terrorists who go out of their way to claim responsibility for all these attacks, all of a sudden retreat when we supposedly stumble upon a letter? This is as stupid as the under cover British soldiers getting caught dressed up as insurgents and shooting at the Iraqi police.

Point being, Bush might say he hates Al Qaeda, Saddam, Syria, Iran, and everyone else we’ve deemed terroritsts… but it’s the best thing that’s happened to him. If it wasn’t for 9/11 and Iraq, where would he be? 9/11 alone gave him a 30 percentage point gain! Bush would have to hand every american a cool 10 grand before he would see a non-terrorism related ratings jump of that magnitude (IMHO).

Update by Stephen VanDyke: Rick beat me to this post by a few minutes, so I want to add that MSNBC’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann did a great story on this tonight, highlighting over ten examples of strange conincidences between Bush approval slumps and terror warnings (video links). Sayeth former Secretary of Homeland Security Ridge looking back on the terror alert level changes, issued on his watch:

“More often than not we were the least inclined to raise it. Sometimes we disagreed with the intelligence assessment. Sometimes we thought even if the intelligence was good, you don’t necessarily put the country on (alert): there were times when some people were really aggressive about raising it, and we said ‘for that?’

We’ve also covered these weird coincidences in the past. It’s good to see them finally getting some mainstream media coverage.

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