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  • 24


     
    Ed Brown's Saga Provides an Important Lesson
    Activism; Posted on: 2007-06-08 09:21:54 [ Printer friendly / Instant flyer ]
    by Quinton Reynolds

    Illustration: Federal Law Enforcement personnel keeping an eye on Ed Brown

    ... armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few ... - James Madison

    Probably, you have never heard of Ed and Elaine Brown of Plainfield, New Hampshire. Their home --occupied only by the elderly couple, and described as a "fortified compound" (where have we heard that description before?) -- is surrounded by scores of state and federal law enforcement authorities, including armored vehicles, even as I write. Unless the Browns submit, I cannot foresee any outcome from this standoff that doesn't end in the unnecessary and violent death of the couple.

    According to an article published by the Union Leader just hours ago, a SWAT team, explosives unit, armored vehicle, helicopter, fire truck and an ambulance along with scores of armed personnel are assembled not far from the Browns' home. The Browns have reported that silent aircraft surveillance of their home is also ongoing.

    Judging by the response of authorities, one would suspect that the Browns are extremely dangerous serial and multiple murderers or even terrorists. What have they done to warrant this level of attention?

    Try to sit down for this, because their crimes will just stun you: they didn't pay their taxes. Yes, you read me correctly. THIS is the federal response NOT to a sexual predator or an illegal immigrant who murdered an American (as happens 12 times a day in this country) or to public servants who lie us into a war causing thousands of needless deaths; but to a tax evader.

    In January, Ed and Elaine Brown were convicted of tax evasion to the tune of $500,000. Ed Brown refused to appear for the subsequent sentencing hearing and both he and his wife were sentenced in absentia to 5 1/4 years in federal prison for scheming to conceal income and (I didn't know this was a crime) paying for their home with postal money orders. The basis for the scheme was, according to Ed Brown, the couple's belief that the Federal income tax is unconstitutional. If he doesn't peacefully surrender to federal authorities soon, there's a good chance he will die for that belief.

    It just so happens that I disagree strongly with Ed Brown's position on the Federal income tax, and with his method of making change. I believe the income tax was authorized by the 16th Amendment, and numerous court decisions since that time have upheld its validity. A person can validly argue that our tax system has become incomprehensible, unfair, and a tool of special interests. But the way to argue that case is NOT by breaking the law. Rather, that case should be argued in the court of public opinion and at the ballot box.

    Taxing authority is the heart of the government's power. You can criticize our government every which way. You can lampoon elected and appointed officials. You can call them vile and hateful things and (as in MoveOn's ad showing Bush as a Nazi) go way beyond decent human discourse. You can even write books filled with blatant lies about the government including conspiracy theories about aliens from outer space. You can lobby in various ways to change practically anything about it - including the complete repeal of the Constitution. You can sue the government. You can do all of this and more and still walk away at the end of the day a free man or woman. But when you blatantly and publicly evade its taxing authority and encourage others to do the same (as Ed Brown and other folks are doing and have done), be prepared for a massive response from the most powerful corporate entity on the face of the planet.

    As John Marshall wrote in a 1819 Supreme Court decision, "The power to tax is the power to destroy." As James Madison noted, taxation is one of the means that allow the many to be controlled by the few, and the ultimate loss of freedom. Clearly, taxation is a big deal and our current system is in need of drastic reform. Right now, our tax code is so big and convoluted no single human being could digest it all in his lifetime; and even CPAs trained in the tax code get confused. It's the kind of tax code that will have a regular person like myself paying more taxes than a major global corporation.

    But there are alternatives available. There is the Flat Tax, the Fair Tax (a national consumption tax), or even the outright repeal of the 16th Amendment as proposed by current presidential candidate Ron Paul.

    Ed Brown's way is the wrong way, and he will pay for it with at least a long prison sentence or possibly his life. If, over the past many years he had put all of the time, money and effort into supporting and recruiting for an alternative (instead of tax evasion), he'd be a free man and the public discourse on our tax system would have been moved in a positive direction.

    Instead, the Browns stand at the brink of personal destruction.

    I am not saying that I support our government essentially killing people for tax evasion. Nothing could be further from the truth. But I DO support the application of intelligence to activism. Whatever your cause, you will not advance it from beyond the grave.

    Our founding fathers were wise men. They gave us a system that will allow us to, within the law and non-violently, change that system in whatever way we desire. There is NO REASON to break the law when we have the right to speak our minds to fellow citizens, petition our government and even elect our own representatives. This isn't easy and it isn't fast. But it DOES work.

    All of this brings me to a central point that another of our writers has brought up before. If you want to CHANGE the system, you must ENGAGE the system.

    The demise (at least for now) of the Senate immigration bill that would have legalized millions of criminal aliens at the stroke of a pen shows that citizen action if loud and consistent CAN work.
    News Source: Email

    Joan
     Posted on: 2007-06-11 08:37:30
    How many people realize that the taxes imposed by the IRS are illegal in the first place? Look it up. The IRS canít even produce the law which says we have to pay!! Look at Ed & Elain Brown... the IRS can't produce the law. That proposed tax law was NEVER ratified! Look it up. We have been lied to and scammed for decades and decades. Taxes and double taxation. If more people KNEW this and stood up for their rights, we would absolutely be able to get rid of this CORRUPT organization. This is nothing more than organized crime. Donít believe me? Spend some time and do the RESEARCH! Youíll be surprised. It is TRUE.

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