Russo Movie Update

This comes from We The People:

Standing Room Only In Tucson: Russo Film Scores Big With Audience

On to Denver and Austin

Aaron Russo and WTP scored a one-two punch in Tucson on Saturday.

A crowd of several hundred packed a Tucson movie theater Saturday afternoon. First, they were treated to an advance screening of Aaron Russo’s latest movie, “America: From Freedom To Fascism,” a powerful and engaging 95-minute film about the problem in America — the loss of Freedom. Then they viewed our new 55-minute DVD about the Right to Petition as the only non-violent solution to the problem.

Russo’s DVD is a dramatic wake up call that stirs the full range of emotions. It presents, in an absorbing, credible, fact-filled fashion, America’s chief domestic problem: the fall of Freedom and the rise of fascism, tyranny, despotism and the police state. The film begins by documenting the dual frauds of 1913, the federal income tax and the Federal Reserve System, and covers topics such as the national ID card, human chip implants, vote fraud, government lying and spying, CODEX and the New World Order.

Aaron Russo is the producer of movies like The Rose and Trading Places, is credited with bringing Led Zeppelin to America, and ran for the Libertarian Party presidential nomination in 2004.

Stephen Gordon

I like tasteful cigars, private property, American whiskey, fast cars, hot women, pre-bailout Jeeps, fine dining, worthwhile literature, low taxes, original music, personal privacy and self-defense rights -- but not necessarily in this order.

  1. Is Aaron a WTP member, or just a fellow traveler?

    WTP keeps losing in court and following their advice (though I think they just say that they provide “information” now, for legal reasosn) will get people fined at a minimum and thrown into jail (a la Simkanian) at a maximum.

    In any event, it’s one thing to suggest that the current tax system is too complex, too overburdensome, immoral, and evil. To varying degrees, I think everyone would agree with all of those things. The tax protest movement goes one step beyond, by essentially saying that the rules don’t say what it looks like they say, court decisions aren’t binding (or only ones from 80 years ago are binding, not ones from 10 years ago), and generally behaving like three-year-olds sticking their fingers in their ears and chanting, “I can’t hear you.”

    People judge you by the company you keep.

    Yours truly,


  2. Nick,


    Since the “income tax” has been imposed for at least (spit balling here) 60 years, shouldn’t there be court cases running back 60 years which unequivically prove this matter? Otherwise, at what point did it go from non-law to law. Or were the court cases just catching up what was merely enforced as law?



  3. Rick,

    1) The Sixteenth Amendment (link to text with annotations) was ratified in 1913, so that’s 93 years.

    2) There are court cases going back nearly that long (see annotations above). They can’t go quite that far back, since a person has to challenge an issue in court and trials and appeals take a while. This FAQ has citations to court cases addressing most (if not all) of the tax protester arguments.

    3) Cases generally resolve controversy over gaps in the law (i.e. does this law regulating automobiles apply to mopeds) or questions of Constitutionality (i.e. does government regulation of moped violate my freedom of association rights). Once a particular issue is settled in court, that gap is filled and the courts don’t (usually) entertain a new case on that issue (res judicata). Every issue doesn’t get litigated.

    Yours truly,

  4. Are you sure the 16th Amendment was ratified?

    The authority of the federal government to collect its income tax depends upon the 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the federal income tax amendment, which was allegedly ratified in 1913. After a year of extensive research, Bill Benson discovered that the 16th Amendment was not ratified by the required 3/4 of the states, but nevertheless Secretary of State Philander Knox fraudulently announced ratification.


  5. Wikipedia (although it has it’s issues, it’s still a good source of information) has a good history of the 16th Amendment and controversy surrounding it:

    The final paragraph of the Controversy section reads:

    Federal courts have rejected appeals based on claims of non-ratification, and some now consider them “frivolous” suits that are subject to sanction. In Knoblauch v. Commissioner, 749 F.2d 200, 201 (5th Cir. 1984), the court held, “Every court that has considered this argument has rejected it.” when that court was presented with an argument that there were defects in the ratification of the Sixteenth Amendment by the states.

  6. Josh,

    First, anyone can write/edit anything on wikipedia. Truth is not done by a majority vote.

    Second, the ratification issue has never been thoroughly decided, but it looks like it’s about to at Benson’s trial

    Though, there are many who will state, that the ratification of the 16th is a non-issue, as even it didn’t give said powers to tax salaries. But if Benson wins, the IRS will be caught with it’s pants down without being able to extol their favorate default answer.

  7. Rick,

    I know about Wiki’s issues – thus my disclaimer in the first sentence. I thought that the information it provided may be helpful to the argument as it provides an additional, albeit broad, source of information. Limiting your sources to only the ones that support your opinion is no way to validate truth either.

    And for the record the 16th amendment written by Congress reads as follows:

    The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.

  8. Second, the ratification issue has never been thoroughly decided, but it looks like it’s about to at Benson’s trial


    From the denial of Benson’s motion to dismiss in the current case:

    By way of background, Benson was prosecuted and convicted of criminal tax evasion in the early 1990s. See United States v. Benson, 67 F.3d 641 (7th Cir.1995) (affirming Defendant’s criminal conviction for willful failure to file tax returns and willful tax evasion); United States v. Benson, 941 F.2d 598, 607 (7th Cir.1991) (overturning, on other grounds, jury verdict that found Benson guilty of same criminal tax evasion offenses, but rejecting Benson’s alleged defense that the Sixteenth Amendment is not valid); accord id. (“As the district court noted, we have repeatedly rejected the claim that the Sixteenth Amendment was improperly ratified.”).

    Benson will lose, again. The faithful will keep saying that they’re right anyway. The more things change…

  9. ‘Cracking the Code-…’ warrior P. D. understands why it matters. P. has risen on behalf of the rule of law, and has demanded the return of every penny of his money that the federal government– solely on the basis of “information return” allegations– would have claimed for itself as “income” taxes for 2003 had P. let those allegations go unchallenged. Enjoy P.’s evidence that the law says what it means, and means what it says (as long as Americans insist that it be so), at


  10. I can’t wait to see Russo’s film…but for anyone interested in the issue of CODEX and how it affects America, they should see Kevin Miller’s OUTSTANDING film called WE BECOME SILENT. I heard on COAST-TO-COAST that the guy produced it on a shoestring in THREE MONTHS (!) but it is really powerful…i have watched it three times and bought five copies for the health food stores in my area. GO to and watch the movie, narrated by actress Judi Dench……

  11. As an aside, Nick, the page you link to “proving” the ratification of the 16th amendment only dispels one of the non-ratification arguments (there are others, including the reasonably sound one that since different states ratified different amendment texts, they weren’t ratifying the same amendment, i.e. if I vote for XYZ and you vote for WXZ, we aren’t voting the same thing).

    But that IS just an aside. Guess what, folks … they are the ones with the concentrated number of guns in the hands of those who shoot when told, and shoot who they’re told to shoot at. A good argument and fifty cents will get you a cup of coffee from the guy who runs the prison snack cart.

    I prefer my own argument:

    Tom Knapp

  12. Tom,
    That link was in response to one of the arguments. There are others to respond to the differences in the wording. While you may find some of those arguments compelling, our society is set up in a way that the courts ultimately decide controversies and they’ve not found them compelling (nor are they likely to in this latest go-round with Mr. Benson).

    As to your argument, good luck and godspeed. It’s not something I’d advise or do myself, but at least you’re being honest about it.

    Yours truly,

  13. Nicholas Sarwark seems to be an IRS cheerleader, hoping and wishing for the wonderful day when Bob Schulz and Bill Benson will be locked up to die in prison.

    Nicholas Sarwark probably was jumping for joy when Irwin Schiff was put in chains and shuffled away to a cement cell to die.

    Nicholas Sarwark probably was very depressed and disappointed to hear that Joe Banister was not going to have to be torn from his family to serve 16 years in prison.

    Mr. Knapp sounds like a good an true patriot to me.

    Nicholas Sarwark sounds like an IRS shill.

  14. Dear Anonymous/Bert/Doug,
    I’m not an IRS cheerleader, but that doesn’t matter. Arguments don’t stand or fall based on their proponents, but on their merits.

    Schulz, Schiff, Banister et al keep losing their cases in the courts. Following their advice will result in civil and criminal penalties.

    I respect Tom because he’s honest about what he’s doing and doesn’t try to sell people a bill of goods. Schiff and Benson, despite numerous criminal convictions, are still getting rich off of convincing others that they aren’t breaking the law by not paying income tax.

    That’s not civil disobedience, that’s preying on people who don’t know better, and it’s disgusting and unethical.

    Yours truly,

  15. Nick,

    I’m going to disagree with you again. Take off your lawyer hat for a minute:

    Just because a court said it, that doesn’t mean it’s right, or that anyone saying the opposite is wrong.

    As a matter of fact, I’d even go so far as to say that courts have more of a propensity to be wrong than private citizens — if for no other reason than that courts have swarms of officers bearing Glocks to force everyone to pretend that they’re right even when they’re not, which eliminates an element of consequence that would tend to encourage good judgment.

    I have no particular reason to believe that Schiff, et al are saying things they don’t believe. It’s just that their opponents are empowered to kidnap them and throw them in jail for saying those things. So were the Gestapo, but that doesn’t mean they were right.

    Tom Knapp

  16. What’s even better, is that even the cited caselaw.lp.findlaw appears to show that salaries are not income.

    For example, when it mentions “Income Subject to Taxation”, it cites the relevant cases.

    Stratton’s Independence v. Howbert, 231 U.S. 399 (1913); Doyle v. Mitchell Bros. Co., 247 U.S. 179 (1918).

    Eisner v. Macomber, 252 U.S. 189 (1920); Bowers v. Kerbaugh- Empire Co., 271 U.S. 170 (1926).

    Which, and I’ll admit I’m biased, doesn’t seem to suggest a salary under normal circumstances to be “income”. I guess we have to read every tax court case (which even the IRS admits to only be binding to that particular individual).

    But I agree with Tom Knapp. Even if you’re right legally, the government will trample you anyway, and then use said trampling to claim “precedent”, for which to get more victims. I mean shit, it’s not a moral law anyway (it’s one of the 10 planks of communism afterall). So even if someone did show me a law, I’d be hard press to just bend over and take it

  17. Nick states

    I respect Tom because he’s honest about what he’s doing and doesn’t try to sell people a bill of goods. Schiff and Benson, despite numerous criminal convictions, are still getting rich off of convincing others that they aren’t breaking the law by not paying income tax.

    That’s not civil disobedience, that’s preying on people who don’t know better, and it’s disgusting and unethical.

    so what do you feel about H&R Block, which makes millions a year by simply knowing the convoluted code? After all, the code being so unbelievably unreadable benefits them and tax lawyers the most. Do you not feel it’s also sad that people make a living off of just keeping people “honest” with what they owe? I mean, it’s a whole business built upon the law being too complicated to follow

  18. Quick responses, then I’m done.

    Tom: I’m not speculating on what Schiff et al believe, rather I’m pointing out that they know what the consequences are and they either hide or downplay those consequences in selling their books, DVDs, and seminars. I think it’s unethical to counsel people to do something that will end them up in jail, especially without being upfront and honest about it; that’s not a “lawyer hat,” it’s human decency.

    Rick: The courts have held, for good or ill, that salaries are income. They will not entertain arguments to the contrary, as the issue has already been decided. You’re free to disobey the law, but disobedience is what it is. All the selective reading of old cases in the world is not going to change that.

    I agree that the tax code is too convoluted, the IRS is too powerful, and that these things need to change. However, the blame is with Congress. H&R Block is advising people how to deal with the (shitty) reality; not selling them a dream.

  19. If there is a law legalizing a tax on a citizen’s individual income – why weren’t they able to give it to the defendant or to us the jury?