The Next Step

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Are we there yet?

No, but we are getting very close.

We are now at the point, I suspect, that our colonial ancestors were in the early 1770s. They were still British subjects, but had begun to question the relationship – the supposed right of the British sovereign to rule them. Within a very short time, they would reject the relationship in toto – on principle – and would become Americans.

I believe we are in roughly the same spot as those soon-to-be-Americans of the early 1770s.

An awakening is taking place. Millions of people are wising up to the fraud that is contained in the sentence, “consent of the governed.” Are learning to reflexively cringe for their soon-to-shorn freedoms whenever a politician utters the word.  Have come to understand that the sprawling beast in Washington no more represents them – let alone has the slightest interest in protecting them (let alone respecting their rights) than the ossified oligarchs of parliament represented the colonists or had any interest in protecting anything other than their power and the sacks of loot that always accompany its exercise.

We – millions of Americans – now understand the nature of the relationship: Master – and slave. That due process itself has been taken away from us. That we are now to be denied even the elemental decency of being informed of the charges against us before we are taken away into the night, to be “indefinitely detained,” on the mere say-so of men with guns and badges. That when we are “asked” to “contribute” it means guns will be shoved under our chins. That we no longer have a single right that’s not conditional at best – if not entirely defunct.

Submit. Obey.

We have become aware that almost no aspect of our lives is left unmolested. We cannot eat, work or even sleep in our own beds without government supervision – and that very soon, even our recreations and private habits will likely fall under the “commerce clause” since these may be said to affect “health care” and thus, are of “interest” to the government.

We – that is, almost half the population – also knows the futility of voting.

Tweedledee replaces Tweedledum – and the machine rolls on.

We see, in the immortal language of Thomas Jefferson, “… a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object.” One that “… evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism.” The parallels are clear – and ominous.

It begs the question: What shall we do?

Some advocate violent resistance – and that day may yet come. It is as natural – and as right – to fight back against an evil government as it is to fight back against evil individuals. But it is the response of last resort, when every other effort at a peaceful resolution has failed – and when the only alternative is abject submission and the formal acceptance of the master-slave relationship.

We are not there yet.

We may still speak, and write – and within certain bounds, are still free to act. In particular, we are free to not act.

We can decline to participate in (and thereby, help to legitimize) things we know in our hearts – and minds – to be dangerous and wrong.

We can decline to vote, if voting means voting for “the lesser of two evils.” Rather than sanction evil, we can withhold our consent and force evil to operate without it. Consider what the result would be if, next year, we are presented with the false choice of Obama or Gingrich (or Romney) and, rather than hold our noses and vote for one or the other in the desperate hope that it makes a difference, millions upon millions of us just stayed home instead. Enough of us such that the “winner” could claim no mandate – no consent of the governed.  He would be forced to be what the current Dear Leader is – but openly.  No more gauzy talk of “democracy.”

Just: Submit and Obey.

It could not go on for long.  Open tyranny never does. But give the masses the illusion of consent; let them believe they have “democracy” – and tyranny can be open-ended. Endless.

It is within our power to end this sham. If only we will refuse to act, when acting amounts to endorsing the sham.

If Ron Paul is not on the ticket, stay home. Withhold your consent. Force the system to bare its fangs and reveal itself for what is.

And:

Decline to fly.

Or rather, decline to submit to outrageous violations of your dignity as a human being, to loathsome assaults on your rights as a human being. For the moment – perhaps a brief one – we have the opportunity to stop Gate Rape and much worse to come besides. If only a few million of us simply announced that we will not enter an airport terminal (or attend a sports event) until we can do so without being subjected to warrantless, probable cause-free searches, it is a sure bet that warrantless, probable cause-free searches would end. The TSA does not care about your rights but the airlines most emphatically care about your money. If even 20 percent of current flyers openly declared that they will not fly again until the TSA is abolished – or at least, that only individuals who have given some specific cause for suspicion be subjected to searches – then group gropes of children, women, the elderly – and most important of all, the innocent traveler – would end.

The system depends on your voluntary cooperation. Withhold it now, while you still can.

And so on.

Force authoritarian thugs to state openly what they advocate – what they are – by calling them on their euphemisms. Ask your local board of supervisors official precisely what he means when he “asks” that county residents “contribute” for the betterment of the local school system – or some such. Ask him how he feels about sending men with guns to the homes of peaceable people who might say “no, thank you” and decline to “contribute.” Make him – make them – say it:

We are going to force you to hand over money by threatening you with violence. If you resist in any way, we will do you violence.

Not “public” schools. Government schools.

Maybe opt-out of government mandates that have made new cars absurdly complicated and expensive – by buying (or keeping) an older car.  And tell the automakers why you’re boycotting their current products.

If stopped at a “checkpoint” by a cop, ask him – politely – how he feels about subjecting his fellow citizens to random, probable cause-free searches.

Etc.

Let’s get it all out in the open.

Perhaps enough people will recoil from the edge of the abyss before it is too late to step back from it. Reason and appeals to the human conscience are always preferable to the alternative.

I hope there’s still time.

Throw it in the Woods?

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Author of "Automotive Atrocities" and "Road Hogs" (MBI). Currently living amongst the Edentulites in rural SW Virginia.

80 COMMENTS

  1. Dear Mr. Peters,

    After reading The Next Step the other day, I’m compelled to share a nagging corollary with you and perhaps others.

    Your article’s meme of an American Awakening to the master-slave nature of today’s national government begs the question: just who are those whom we oppose, and what are their numbers?
    Aside from the parliament of whores in congress, what real American would embrace this slouch towards totalitarianism?
    What American is so lost to history he fails to see swastikas when he enters an airport? What American does not think STASI when he encounters a VIPR roadside checkpoint?
    Who does not feel revulsion at the I-95 travel signs saying “See something – Say Something”?

    I fully accept and understand that legions of cops, prosecutors, bureaucrats, and sundry other armed and costumed agents believe America is Government and Government is America.
    They cannot reason in terms of right vs. wrong, rather only in terms of legal vs. illegal.

    But now for my nagging corollary:

    For each million of Americans who now understand the nature of the Master-Slave relationship and fully reject and are prepared to use violence to oppose it, how many million will not?
    How many million will submit and obey? How many million will eschew the self-reliant American spirit of the early 1770’s and willingly board the cattle cars?

    This multitude of sheep, this horde of spiritless lemmings, these clovers I fear the most.

    I pray my fear is exaggerated, I pray the awakening you mention is nearly universal, that truly enough Americans will recoil from the edge of the abyss.

    Please keep up the good work.

    Sincerely,

    Thomas Hallett

    • The problem of “Little Hitlers” (more accurately, Hitler’s little helpers) is a very serious one – and I agree that millions of Americans, possibly a majority, are indifferent to the concept of liberty or are actively hostile to it because it (in their minds) represents a threat to “order,” or “safety” or on a more mundane level, simply threatens their financial well-being. See Clover’s posts here, for instance.

      That said, it is always an active minority that determines the course of history – for good or ill. Most Americans in the 1770s were Royalists and wanted rapprochement with Great Britain. Lenin and his crew were a minority, too.

      So, don’t lose heart.

      I haven’t.

      While we can still act, all’s not lost.

  2. We are not there yet but we are so very close. There are those of us who are active in local Milias and we are training for this exact scenario. Trained by current and former military i might add. The sheep may not know but those of us in the know do, the vast majority of US soldiers will immediately defect to the revolution as they understand who the real enemy is, those that don’t join us will not get my mercy when the times come for shooting. I hope it does not though because open violent revolution will not be good for this country but it is better than being a slave to TPTB.

    As for voting for Ron Paul, he will have my vote as he is the only hope of restoring our country and avoiding the violent confrontation that is coming. If Ron Paul is not on the ballot write his name in, there is a spot for that on the ballot, at least in NH anyway. That will be my way of protesting…..the other way involves throwing lead down range with my AK or AR.

  3. Dear Mr. Peters,

    Greetings, and a Happy New Year.

    I just finished reading your article titled, “The Next Step.” While I agree with the content and intention behind it I have one question.

    What if Ron Paul did win the Presidency?

    Would either the House or the Senate allow him to act on any of his proposed policies? Think it through. I seriously doubt they would.
    Just a thought, figured I’d pass it along.

    (P.S. As an aside, I gave up voting for the lesser of two evils years ago and plan to continue that practice.)

    • Hi CJ,

      Oh, I agree. I wouldn’t expect a sudden return to limited government or the resurrection of liberty, if Ron Paul by some miracle won the presidency. But Paul would, I think, at least try to stop further encroachments and advocate for the scaling back of existing ones. No small thing, that.

      Just having someone who is decent – a moral man – in the White House would be revolutionary change.

      It’s worth trying, at least.

      Don’t you agree?

      • We have been traveling this road to tyranny at least since 1860 (some would argue even longer). Restoring Liberty to these United States will require first that we stop this journey and reverse course. Putting Ron Paul in the White House would would merely be taking the first steps in that direction.

    • Absolutely, CJ!

      I’ve made the same point again and again to the Ron Paul “base” over at the WSJ comment pages and elsewhere.

      Elect Ron Paul (which btw, I’d love to see happen – but the truth is, it’s NOT going to happen) and he might well be impeached and removed from office before serving a year.

      (And that would bring on a civil war…)

      But taking the ultimate betrayal off the table (talk of impeachment) you’d still have a situation where both the Democrat Party and large chunks of the establishment GOP would be against Paul – and Paul being Paul… he wouldn’t “stretch” presidential powers to combat congressional backstabbing.

      Ahh… but GINGRICH…

      With all his faults, just think back to Gingrich ’91, ’92, ’93, ’94, ’95…

      Don’t block out the occasions where Gingrich has betrayed our ideals, but look at the totality of his record.

      If there’s ANYONE connected to the establishment GOP who COULD at least make progress against not only the Dems, but the media, and the RINOs, it’s Newt Gingrich.

      The GOP establishment hates Gingrich largely because of his trying to fulfill the bullet points of the Contract With America.

      Jeez… the man attacked the seniority system! He supported term limits! This is why they hate him!

      Gingrich is far, FAR from the perfect candidate, but of all the viable candidates (meaning him or Romney) I’ll place my hopes of “The Good” Gingrich.

      I fear there isn’t really “The Good” Romney.

      And… Ron Paul just AIN’T gonna be the GOP candidate or the next president.

  4. Hello Eric,

    This is one of the best “to the point” articles that I have read thus far about the way our country is now.

    I have started doing exactly the same things that you mention in your article to show my opposition to the unlawful, treasonous tyranny that occurs everyday, all day in our United States of America. 

    Unfortunately, I did fly for the first time in several years over Christmas to visit family up in Boston.  I’m in Texas.  I was so irate dealing with those “wanna-be” authorities; the TSA, that I almost could not contain myself.  The questions they were asking me made it seem if I was trying to cross “check point Charlie”.

    I’m 49 and and this country is far worse than what it was when I was a kid.  For the first time, I’m even open to leaving Amerika behind just as soon as I can if it does not change.

    I was perusing Youtube last night and I’m baffled (happily I must say) by the amount of militia groups that are forming across the U.S., because of our current state of affairs.  I’m not talking about crazies.  These groups sincerely want to avoid conflict at all possible, but they are prepared to sacrifice themselves for our country just as their early ancestors here did to rid themselves of England.

    Anyway, thanks for a great article that is short and to the point.  I will be sharing this.

    May you and yours have a very blessed and happy New Year as best as possible.  We can only pray that Dr. Ron Paul is elected as our next United States President.

    Sincerely,

    Mitch

    • Thanks, Mitch!

      I’m also encouraged by what I see in terms of an awakening. More and more people are discussing issues that would have never been discussed outside of “fringe” circles even 10 years ago. The Fed scam, for openers. And more broadly, I think a lot of people are beginning to question some of the fundamental assumptions they’ve held all their lives about the nature of the society they live in, those who rule it and the laws which govern it.

      Good to have you with us –

    • “I was perusing YouTube last night and I’m baffled (happily I must say) by the amount of militia groups that are forming across the U.S., because of our current state of affairs. I’m not talking about crazies. These groups sincerely want to avoid conflict at all possible, but they are prepared to sacrifice themselves for our country just as their early ancestors here did to rid themselves of England.”

      Ahh… but here’s the flip side of the coin:

      Notice that the NRA has been largely absent from the stage of public political theatre for literally years now.

      Think about it: If you were the head – or a top executive or board member – at the NRA wouldn’t you have been pushing with all your might for the NRA to “ride the bandwagon” of anti-government feelings so as to enlarge the membership?

      Of COURSE you would have!

      Why isn’t the NRA doing so? Why haven’t they been going “all in” during the last three years in terms of print ads, radio ads, television ads?

      The only reason I can imagine is fear… fear of how the Feds would react.

      Funny… I’m 49 as well. Never in my wildest imagination would I have ever imagined the reality of America 2012 if I’d been asked to outline a scenario back in my college days… the days of Reagan.

      God help us.

      • I’m not a big fan of the NRA. I’m a member of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, which does not have multimillion dollar executive suites (and executives making millions of dollars) but does have a committed group of mostly volunteer organizers who have done a lot of good work toward protection 2A rights and educating people on the fence about the silliness (and tyranny) embodied in “gun control.”

        For example, VCDL was instrumental in getting the laws changed so that CHP holders may lawfully “carry” in parks as well as restaurants. VCDL is working hard to get rid of idiotic “gun free” zones (that is, disarmed and easily killed civilian) zones on college campuses.

        • “I’m not a big fan of the NRA.”

          Neither am I, Eric; just look at how they betrayed people like us on the free speech issue. HOWEVER… not being a big fan doesn’t make my point any less valid.

          “For example, VCDL…”

          That’s great, Eric, but besides the point.

          My point was that a huge, extremely well-financed, and relatively politically powerful national organization is obvious so scared of the federal government that they’ve simply refused to serve their own interest in expanding their dues-paying base.

          • Yes, agree. I’d only add that the NRA – which has its HQ in Northern Va.,just outside DC, has (like some “conservative” think tanks) become part of the establishment it purports to fight. It makes millions and millions of dollars doing so, too.

  5. Greetings Eric,
    Agree completely with the ideas in “The Next Step” and am doing all I can to quietly withdraw any and all support from the ‘powers’ that be. When the foundation is removed (blind acceptance) the structure falls.

    If a 30% voter turnout is considered good and a simple majority prevails then only 16% of semi-blind voters actually approved of any of this deadly nonsense.

    As theologian and author G.K. Chesterton famously said.. “When faced with choosing the lesser of two evils…choose neither”.

    Keep it up.

    I will too.

  6. “Momma take this badge off’a me
    I can’t use it anymore.
    It’s gettin’ dark, too dark to see,
    I feel like I’m knockin’ on heavens’s door.

    Knock knock knockin’ on heaven’s door.
    Knock knock knockin’ on heavens door…”

  7. If Ron Paul is not on a ballot, I’m not voting in the general. I see things this way: a candidate has to earn my vote, its not something I give away. If none meet my litmus test, I will stay at home.

    • And of course, we now have these fraud-friendly electronic voting tablets. No write-in possible. And effortlessly possible to tilt the results however one wishes.

  8. Eric,

    Great article! But I disagree on one point. We, and MANY people we know, are going to vote, and we are going to write in Ron Paul’s name on the ballot rather than vote for either of the establishment prostitutes. That will send a much bigger message than not voting at all. And it will at least put the bought & paid for GOP on notice that it’s not business as usual.

    • Don’t mean to come off as ignorant, but how exactly will you put Ron Paul’s name on the ballot? I voted last election and never saw a place for alternatives. Everything was electronic and limited to X, Y and Z.

      • dom

        May not be possible everywhere – but out here in rural America we still have old fashioned paper ballots (no hung chads, etc.) where we can do a write-in. Is it possible to vote in a different precinct? Hope you can find a way to do it.

        • I’m glad you brought this to my attention, but I will not be voting if Ron Paul is not on the ballot. I’ve completely lost faith in our system and just focus on doing my best to not get tangled with it.

      • It varies from state to state and perhaps even county to county. The only way to be sure is to check with your local election board.

        Some places have very strong anti-write in rules.

        Write-ins don’t send much of a message because they are just thrown out. I still do it because I try to vote for someone not the lesser of two evils because the lesser is still voting for evil.

      • Dom, you’ll need to check with your district election officials on how write-ins work, but I believe in most cases if you ask for a paper ballot or wish to write in a candidate they have to make the means available to you. It may be a bit of a pain, but it will also be a pain for the polling place officials. Anything we can do to make any government leech actually work a little is a good thing. Plus if there is no avenue to write in a candidate, you need to be aware of that and even raise the issue in your community. We have to fight each seemingly insignificant encroachment as they rear their ugly little heads.

  9. You are right, Mr. Peters, when you say that we should “not vote if it means voting for the lesser of two evils.” Wouldn’t it then be better to vote FOR Ron Paul and those like him rather than not vote at all? If we don’t vote for ANY Democrats or Republicans, wouldn’t we then be giving our consent to Paul and those like him”? As I say in my book … VOTE THE BASTARDS OUT! That would be a great way to withhold “consent of the governed” and make an actual difference.

  10. I agree with this almost 100%. I’d say, though, that if Ron isn’t on the ballot, I plan to work for and vote for Gary Johnson (if he’s on the ballot.)

    I was really moved by your line about asking the cop if he enjoys what he’s doing. It reminded me of a thought I had long ago. Why don’t more people, when the cops come to their house for, say, a pot plant located with a heat-seeking helicopter, simply say “is this what you expected to do, when you were a child growing up in America? Are you proud of yourself?” I think this would be an effective non-violent protest. I also think we liberty-lovers really need to appeal to the honest, good reasons people became cops – want to protect the innocent from the guilty and the weak from the strong – and get them on our side.

    • The cops in the field doing the dirty work are only taking orders. Anything you say won’t make a difference! Last time I got a ticket at a “safety stop” for my registration on my hog being 10 days dated cemented the fact. I said to the cop “what does my registration sticker have to do with safety?” He said, “I’m only doing my job.”

      • That’s a sample size of one. Of course they’re only taking orders – they certainly didn’t come up with this stuff. They can, in many cases, be reached, but not if we write them off without trying.

        • I’ve had interactions and driving encounters with a fair number of cops in my life and less than 10% acted in such a way that they earned respect.

          It is the cops’ ‘just following orders’ mentality that has helped make things as bad as they are and it is going to be the mechanism by which it gets a lot worse. I think the public needs to stop worshiping them as ‘heros’ and see what they really are, ‘muscle’.

          • It’s a self-fulfilling Catch-22 situation:

            We have a system of laws that’s to a great extent unjust if not not outright evil. Who would consciously want to hire on as an enforcer of such?

            Result: Three kinds of cops.

            Type one: The robotic “just doing my job” type. He is either not smart enough or introspective/thoughtful enough to consider the nature of the system, whether the laws are just or even reasonable. He just unconsciously follows orders. And it’s our job to Obey.

            Type two: The power-luster. This one enjoys wielding power over others. It makes him feel big and strong. He may even be sadistic. He absolutely lacks empathy. He sees us as ” civilians” – or worse. And it’s our job to Submit.

            Type three: The old school cop. He is usually old, literally. A relic of the days when cops didn’t expect immediate submission, when cops were expected to treat citizens civilly. He has mellowed – or become aware (and thus, cynical) about the nature of The Job. He tries to be decent, within the boundaries of whats possible given “the law” and current cop culture. He’s close to retirement, though, and doesn’t want to make too many waves. He’s also rare. You might get him one out of ten times these days.

  11. Eric,

    I am in complete agreement with your ideas as expressed in “The Next Step.”

    As for voting, in 2008 I wrote in my dog’s name for president — that’s how little choice I saw between the establishment candidates. I also vowed that it would be my last time to vote, ever (and I suspect I have a few years on you; I have been voting since 1972!). However, if Ron Paul makes it through to the North Carolina primary, I will certainly vote for him, for the psychic pleasure if nothing else. And I will do the same in the general election if he is on the ballot, whether as the Republican nominee, as the nominee of a third party, or as an independent.

    Along this line, you might be interested in the online petition I started: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/message-to-the-GOP/ and its associated facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MessageToGOP

    As for travel, I have already curtailed my flying — and I have let my local airport authority know why (the radiating and the groping, of course, but more importantly, the degradation of being treated as a terrorist simply for wanting to fly from point A to point B).

    The larger problem, though, is that this will not stop with airports. Already, “viper” teams are descending on our highways to conduct random stop-and-searches of vehicles, and TSA goons have conducted practice drills in bus stations and train terminals. Eventually (sooner rather than later, probably) we will have to choose between the possibility of being stopped and having our papers inspected at any random street corner, and being prisoners within our own homes. What will we do then? Submit, just to get on with daily life? Or resist, and be subject to fines, detention, or even execution?

    I do hope that more Americans begin questioning authority, at least, as you suggest. And I pray that it is not too late.

    Sincerely,
    Steve Smith
    Chapel Hill, NC

  12. I hear gubment is already subsidizing airlines an extra amount, because of loss of business due to TSA.
    Suggest if voting – vote for Ron Paul, or vote 3rd Party.

  13. I fear our only hope is a Tom Clancy/Vince Flynn scenario.

    We now have tens of thousands of combat blooded Americans between the ages of 18-50.

    In addition, we have hundreds of thousands who have served in a combat theatre.

    As it becomes more and more clear that the politicians really are gonna do a “Thelma and Louise” on America if not stopped…

    (*SHRUG*)

    I can only hope and pray that those braver than I… those with skills and resources to back up their courage… take action sooner rather than later.

    William R. Barker
    http://www.usalyright.blogspot.com

  14. Rich in Illinois: “Either you stand as a man and carry the world on your capable shoulders or you clog up the on ramps for those who do.”

    YES! Love this!

  15. Good piece, Eric. And some very good comments. Howsoever, the Unanimous Declaration (of Independence) is still one of the four “organic documents” from the Founding Fathers. We forget, “government is based on the CONSENT of the governed” and we still possess UNalienable (not in–) Rights. Folk must be educated to the powerful words we must direct to our servants, “I DO NOT CONSENT.”

    How many know, and speak them to the Agent from a “private company” when stopped on OUR roads? We have discovered that State Hiway Patrol, DoT’s, local police departments, even the courts, are NOT public offices but private companies wanting to contract with “sheeple.” My County Tax Collector is upset since I showed her the proof from Dunn and Bradstreet that she is the ‘manager’ of a private company. She is guiltly, like all county collectors, of impersonating a public official, fraud, mail fraud all very serious!!!

    Much, black ink on white paper has been brought to light in the last couple of years, along with several rulings from North Carolina administrative law judges recently revealing these and other critical areas of government deception.

    Those who care have NOT given up. Plans are underway for law suits nationwide, against state DoT’s, Troopers (No they have no authority over you, anymore than a WalMart guard!), judges, etc. It takes time, but we have the law and the once buried Congressional Record to stand on.

    If you doubt, visit http://www.rodclass.com/N.C.html or google Rod Class. Believe me. It will blow your mind when you comprehend the deception.

    • Wally, I don’t mean any offense, but even if true how is remedy going to come from the courts? I’ve been to court a few times in my life and presented the law and showed that either the government was in violation of the law or that I or a family member had not violated the actual law. In each case the judge or the administrative hearing employee pretending to be a judge simply dismissed the actual law out of hand for what he “knew”.

      You can have all the documentation in the world that government has been supplanted by private corporations and it wouldn’t matter because the judge is well most likely a feeling clover and not someone who will rationally evaluate your argument and evidence. Plus, he would be someone working for that corporation and you’ll be there shattering his illusion. Either one he helps perpetuate or one that he lives in. In either case spoiling the illusion will do nothing but generate anger on his part.

      Even when it comes to setting precedents the judges often just ignore them or don’t accept them going forward. The scams continue on.

      There aren’t many judges like Andrew Napolitano on the bench and those who that get there don’t seem to stay there. It would be a hostile work environment for them.

      Only when the masses of people won’t put up with it anymore will the judges stop it. Until then some people will fight and win most will lose. Oh and judges generally don’t seem to like people who aren’t initiated for the temple arguing cases too.

      • Brent, having been through the legal wringer myself a time or two, I agree with most what you assert. However, if you file the applicable statutory law and case law as *evidence* the tax feeder has no choice but to recognize them. I know this because I’ve actually had this tactic successfully used against me! It looked like the judge was about to rule in my favor in a civil case when the other party’s attorney actually filed copies of the case precedents he was relying on as evidence. The judge and both of our attorneys were already aware of these case precedents, but as soon as they became *evidence* the judge looked me in the eye said “I’m sorry, but I have no other choice than to rule against you.” He knew the decision was unfair, but at that point his hands were tied and he knew how it would go on appeal.

        You may have heard of a man named Peter Eric Hendrickson. He’s sitting in prison right now for a tax related matter (not tax evasion, not failure to file, but for contempt of court for refusing to redo his returns the way judge wants them done). What makes this interesting is the fact the judge is so adamant about making him submit and obey voluntarily, since federal law says the secretary of the treasury can simply prepare the returns for him if he actually owes a tax.

        When Pete wanted to show the jury the actual language of the law (and some of the jurors wanted to see it), the judge told them no. He said he would tell them what the law meant, they didn’t need to see the law itself. I think his case may have turned out differently if Mr. Hendrickson had filed the law itself as evidence (as crazy as that sounds). The whole system is based on trickery, legalistic absolutism, sophistry and intentional obfuscation. Most of us have neither the time nor inclination to sift through this vast wilderness of words and that’s what the players in the system count on. Add in some unscrupulous opportunists and power hungry sociopaths and you have the court system we see now.

        • Boothe, this is extraordinarily valuable advice. I’ll just add that a good research tool if ever anyone is in need of the tactic is a website called Findlaw. It’s at http://www.findlaw.com/casecode. There’s a search box wherein you type the court you’re in and the legal topic, and you get back the relevant information.

          • Thanks for the link Gail. The Internet has put a world of legal information literally at our finger tips. That’s probably another reason the establishment wants an Internet kill switch. One more thing we can do to take our country back is spread the message of http://fija.org/

            As more people become aware of how bad we’ve been screwed by the very people we entrusted to protect us, it is essential that we know how much power we actually have as jurors. The right to trial by jury is essential, because it gives us the ability to rule not only against the misapplication of the law, but to also rule against bad laws themselves. Of course the tax feeders don’t want us to know this so it’s very important that we spread this information far and wide. Any step we can take to restore individual Liberty must be taken.

        • References were made to Pete Hendrickson’s tax situation and several good suggestions as to introducing “law” into “evidence” were made. I agree that most of what happened were as a result of not forcing the court to take judicial notice of the actual language of the IRS Code. (why do they call it “code” by the way?)

          The following is directly from the “code” Section 3401(c) and gives the definition of ’employee’.

          3401(c) Employee
          “For purposes of this chapter, the term “employee” includes an officer, employee, or elected official of the United States, a State, or any political subdivision thereof, or the District of Columbia, or any agency or instrumentality of any one or more of the foregoing. The term “employee” also includes an officer of a corporation.”

          Does that describe anyone you (or I) know who isn’t directly employed by a government agency. It is by the way the exact phrase the IRS agent I spoke with claimed to not understand. Seems plain to me.

          I underline the word ‘includes’ as it is a strict legal definition that excludes anything not specifically described.

          Shakespeare had it right about lawyers. Even my brother in-law (who is one) can’t stand them. Obfuscation as an income generator.

          Happy New Year (I hope)

          • Is it thought that the people running government don’t know they are operating a scam? That misguided government employees will just wake up and side against their paymasters? That some how someone will make it on to the jury that can see through the scam? It just doesn’t happen with enough frequency to bet one’s freedom one. First a person has to see it and then that person has to be brave enough to not go along to get along so it isn’t surprising that practically everyone who takes a stand like this ends up in prison and those that don’t end up being hassled over and over and over again until they do or they just give in not to be hassled.

            Those *passing* the bills into law don’t even read them, let alone understand them. Can we really expect our fellow americans to put aside what they believe the law is and then read it carefully for meaning when judges can’t even be bothered to that? Anyone who reads the laws and finds these things, these holes that are left because we used to have rules, a window on to scam is just branded a kook and people go on about their day.

            It comes down to perception and who’s got the guns. The only way to make the guns not matter is to change the perception. To get people to see its a scam. Standing in front of a judge at present just means going to prison. It’s our neighbors who need to see the scams for what they are.

          • Hi Neil. You’re quite right. I’ve studied the tax issue for years now. I challenged the “conservatives” that claimed Tim Geithner was a “tax cheat” on the grounds that working for the IMF did not qualify him as an “employee” under the code. Of course he’s in a position where the other predatory tax feeders won’t mess with him anyway. But based on the plain language of the tax code, he’s apparently not guilty of tax evasion.

            Yet when some guy from Michigan spends a lot time researching the tax law, writes a book about it and tries to do basically the same thing Geithner did, they give him an extended vacation at the Hotel Graybar. Never mind that he filed a return (just not the way the IRS wanted him to) or that the government thugs wouldn’t rebut him in kind, but instead made up what they claimed he was arguing. They got the judge to deny the jury access to the law to give the IRS the outcome they wanted. The wiki that BrentP linked to about Hendrickson was written by a tax lawyer (an officer of the court) who is a de facto tax feeder himself. I would refer him to Luke 11:46. If men like Hendrickson started to prevail in court, men like that shyster would be looking for new jobs.

            Look what they’ve done to Bernard von NotHaus. He introduces real silver coins, Constitutional money, back into the economy. But no one is allowed to compete with Fed monopoly money. So when the Liberty Dollar started to catch on (because it was real money, not bogus paper) he was convicted of counterfeiting and declared a domestic terrorist. If the federal prosecutor had actually been doing her job, she’d have indicted Bernanke and Geithner for the same charges, not von NotHaus.

            As Brent points out, the people involved (at least at the higher levels) know it’s a scam. It doesn’t matter what the plain language of the law says or even what’s right. As is typical of thugs, when someone exposes them, they’ll do anything to discredit, silence and dehumanize the whistle-blower.

  16. Ok, I drove to my vacation destination this year. It cost a lot more than flying, the businesses in the state of Florida probably lost $2000 to $4000 because I spent almost a week driving there and back instead of staying in Florida the whole time like I could have if TSA goons weren’t doing their thing making People such as myself feel like criminals or livestock for flying.

    I’ve learned that when I do things, at a minimum 25,000 others just like me are doing the same thing, add in a spouse, and that’s 50,000 People right off the bat Not spending thousands of Dollars, I suppose places like Florida have all the tourists they want right now and they wouldn’t miss the revenue,… or do they?

    As fun as it was, next year I plan on a staycation and saving the money.

    Also, I was amazed at all the brand new highways paved across the country. My, has the state ever been busy.

  17. The cart has certainly been in front of the horse for so long that most consider that ‘normal’.

    A small thought about ‘voting’ (expressing my preferences) – I contend that I do it ALL the time – each day with my actions and choices. However I don’t participate in balloting (official nose count tool of dumbocracy) as that doesn’t honor my choices or needs and worse yet creates an appearance of my approval/submission to any enFORCEment deemed ‘necessary’ by those who consider themselves The Powers That Be.

    • Hi Jain,

      I agree, generally. But if Ron Paul – a principled man – got on the ballot, I’d vote for him as a way of voting against the system we have (as well as those who represent it).

      Probably, it will go nowhere – but so long as there’s a chance of recovering our liberties (or a good portion of them) peacefully I think it’s incumbent on us to try. Then, if we’re faced with the final recourse, we will know in our hearts we tried everything else first.

        • It’s a valid point. But, ideally (and I think as regards Ron Paul) you’re voting for a person whose stated intent is to protect and defend your rights against government assault rather than assault your rights (or the rights of someone else to “help” you). So, it’s a vote for civilization rather than barbarism.

  18. The real problem is that everyone thinks that they’re the good and righteous guy… “We” are no longer singularly those that compete in the market place for jobs, resources and opportunities to make our clan more comfortable. “We” or about half of us anyway are now employed by tyranny inc. and another good chunk of “us” receive some benefit or entitlement, enabling the existence of the beast in the first place. Unfortunately that half of “us” also shows up to cast their vote for MORE every “election”. I think it’s high time to differentiate the clover class from Americans. Either you stand as a man and carry the world on your capable shoulders or you clog up the on ramps for those who do. Half of us are in a depression and financial straits because of the existence of the other half. It may not be time to start shooting just yet, but it’s way beyond time to start pointing fingers at who is working for freedom and which ones of us have risen above such pedestrian pursuits. Anyone who accepts a benefit or job from the government (ANY level of government) IS the problem. Everyone who looks to the government for solutions instead of resolving there own issues… IS the problem. It really is us-against-them and the best we can do is to kill the dependent idiot in our self. It’s time to start earning headstones again.

    • True – but they were still able to make it appear as though “most people” had voted. If the number drops to below 40 percent in a presidential cycle, that would be hard to cover up.

      I’d rather vote for Ron Paul. Let’s hope we get the chance….

  19. Enjoy Every Sandwich: “I know where you’re coming from. I only vote when it amuses me to. I’ve taken on H.L. Mencken’s approach to politics: seeing it as a “carnival of buncombe”. It’s only value is as entertainment.”

    I used to think so, too. Funny clowns poured forth from the Volkswagen, like Newtie’s Contract on America and Daddy Bush horking all over the Japanese Prime Minister, Bill Clinton’s difficulty with the “is” word, John Goodman’s hilarious impression of Linda Tripp on Saturday Night Live, George Bush — who almost rated a Volkswagen of his very own — saying things like “nucular” and “rocket surgery” and “misunderestimated”. A laff riot, these guys.

    Then the happy cartwheeling clowns started to change … Their big toothy smiles got pointed and sharp like steel knives, and their eyes grew slitted and *predatory* somehow. Some of us gradually stopped laughing and started to feel uneasy, others looked around for the exits.

    Of course, most of the audience is still munching their Cracker Jacks and grinning in anticipation of the big seltzer trick. What they don’t see is the writing along the side of the bottle: Acme Flamethrower Company.

    • Gail: we know all of those things, though. That’s why it’s amusing, albeit in a black humor kind of way. The entertainment value comes in mocking their pretensions.

  20. Force authoritarian thugs to state openly what they advocate – what they are – by calling them on their euphemisms.

    Amen to that! Maybe I’m just being pedantic, but the euphemisms just plain aggravate me. Call things by their right names!

  21. I think you lose some of your message when you advocate not voting but vote for Ron Paul.  I like him plenty.  I think we’d be much better off with him as president. But, I’ve withdrawn consent and will never vote. I voted for him last time as a write in. I felt sick. And I’ll never vote again.

    • Hi Andy,

      I understand – but my argument is we have an obligation to pursue every peaceful recourse before pursuing other options. If Paul somehow got on the ballot, I would support him because it would matter. Paul is an honest man who would at least try to put the country back on a constitutional footing, scale back (if not end entirely) our wars of dominion and attempt to restore our much-abused civil rights. It’s not impossible he could spark an awakening – indeed, I’d argue he already has – and that there’s still time to return the country to a better (though not perfect) state without the need for violence or violent upheavals. The latter could end in much less freedom rather than more, which is why I hope that option never has to be explored.

      Good to have you with us, by the way!

    • Andy,

      I know where you’re coming from. I only vote when it amuses me to. I’ve taken on H.L. Mencken’s approach to politics: seeing it as a “carnival of buncombe”. It’s only value is as entertainment.

      I realise that may seem a trifle cavalier, until we remember that our votes have no impact whatsoever on the policies enacted by the government. And one of tyranny’s greatest enemies is mockery.

      So I’ll vote for Paul in my state’s primary because I know it will infuriate the Clovers. It’s just one more way to mock them, to give them “the finger”.

      I don’t expect to see Paul on the presidential ballot. I know this sounds nutty to some people, but I am sure that if Paul starts winning too many primaries the Republican oligarchy will sabotage his campaign or failing that Paul will have an “unfortunate accident”. Yeah, I think they’re that evil and I do think they would stoop that low.

      • Sandwich,
        I think if it really looked like Ron Paul was going to win the nomination and the Presidency, they would do some kind of false flag operation and declare martial law and never even have the election. People wouldn’t tolerate that for long, so they’d probably start a large-scale draft war to keep us distracted and focused on “those damn [insert any group of innocent foreign people here]”. I think right now it’s just a race against time to get prepared and educate as many people as possible before a collapse of the world reserve currency and (probably) a full-blown police state.

    • Andy, I agree with you (and Eric) on principle that voting implicitly grants the establishment consent. As a Spanish voter put it: We merely get to select which sauce we will be cooked in. We don’t get to choose whether or not we will be cooked. The problem with not voting in the upcoming presidential election is that legions of tax feeders and special interests WILL vote. The establishment will declare the results a popular mandate even if only 20% (or less) turn out. The talking heads will blame “voter apathy” on the economy or contrive another excuse. Some pundits will use low turnout numbers to “prove” that Amerikans simply don’t care and that matters of foreign, domestic and economic policy should be handled by the “experts”.

      If you could get 100% participation in non-voting it might work. Put ten people together and try to get 100% agreement on what kind of pizza to order. Two will make the decision, six will go along to get along and two will want salad and bread sticks instead. The other eight will still expect the two dissenters to pay a tenth each for pizza they aren’t going to eat along with what they ordered extra. Withdrawing your consent by not participating will be perceived as implicitly giving your consent for the establishment to do whatever they want. You will still be forced to “pay your share” regardless of the outcome. Fortunately, voter apathy can work in our favor by making our combined votes more effective.

      Keep in mind that we (in the general human sense) often give up right before we accomplish a goal. Whether it’s a race, an exam or an invention, usually if you push just a little harder, hang in there a little longer and persist in the face of discouragement, you will prevail. Individual Liberty is a perpetual relay race against the state and its dependents. We have had the baton of Liberty passed to us from front runners like Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry. We’ve seen the baton slip from our grasp and our runners fall behind in the past. But men like Mises, Rothbard, Hazlitt and Block have stayed in the race against all odds. Through the efforts of these men and others like them (e.g. Lew Rockwell and our own E-Roc) we’re still in the race and Dr. Paul has the baton right now. He deserves our support and voting for him is not the same as holding your nose and voting for the “lesser of two evils”. Dr. Paul is not evil and he shares a common goal with us that is within our reach: reestablishing the Constitutional Republic and individual Liberty in our time.

      Our first and most important step in restoring Liberty right now is to get Ron Paul elected president. We can only do that by garnering enough support from family and friends to secure the Republicrat nomination first. We are already seeing the establishment propaganda machine do everything it can to take him down before he even gets on the ticket. That tells you right there that he’s their biggest threat. Look at it like a war. Our ideas, discussions, writings are our bullets. Our time, money and persistence are our rifles. The primaries, conventions and elections, “the system”, are the fortifications, artillery positions and block houses we must capture to prevail. In physical combat, only fools would not deign to use the enemy’s own weapons and strongholds against him.

      Don’t look at yourself as contributing to the system because you participate now. View your participation as the act of a sapper working behind enemy lines to take them down. This may be the last chance we have to do this peacefully. The alternative is not something a decent person even wants to consider. Don’t give up when we’re just inches from the taking the prize.

      • “Put ten people together and try to get 100% agreement on what kind of pizza to order. Two will make the decision, six will go along to get along and two will want salad and bread sticks instead. The other eight will still expect the two dissenters to pay a tenth each for pizza they aren’t going to eat along with what they ordered extra.”

        Excellent!

  22. The time is indeed becoming ripe.

    Popular culture is an excellent indicator of public sentiment.

    The fact that the TV series “Jericho” could be made a few years ago, shows that a second American Revolution is no longer “unthinkable.”

    • Yes. The government has already arguably lost its legitimacy in terms of the much touted “consent of the governed.” Polls routinely show that less than 30 percent support what Congress does. The Fuhrer (oops, president) has maybe the support of slightly less than half the people.

      It’s no longer possible to credibly argue that the federal government “represents” the people, or even a majority of the people.

  23. Eric: “Or imagine mass disobedience at “checkpoints.” Dozens of drivers just putting it in Park, rolling up the windows and locking the doors, shutting off the ignition and just sitting there. All across the country at once.”

    Oh, what a great vision. Cars parked all along the roadway, cops standing around nonplussed … Clover driving by going, “Where’s the yord sale at?!”

    There *are* hopeful signs. Montana is launching a recall campaign against its two Senators in response to their yes vote on NDAA. It may not be successful, but that’s not even the important thing. What matters is that they’re doing it, and the doing of it is making the news. Full story: http://lewrockwell.com/slavo/slavo84.1.html.

    There are ways to use your 1st Amendment rights to opt out of mandatory vaccinations, here: http://lewrockwell.com/mercola/mercola165.html. Joe Mercola’s website is extremely popular; this will be read by many. Again, it’s in the news.

    Thanks to sites like Mike Rogers’ NaturalNews, FDA’s war against raw milk and food supplements are now widely known.

    Ron and Donnie Kennedy, aka ‘the Kennedy Twins’ are working to introduce the concept of state nullification of federal laws states find unacceptable. Their website: http:kennedytwins.com.

    And, of course, Ron Paul’s advance in Iowa, despite the machine’s relentless tactics to keep him sidelined. And Gingrich’s fall. The public flat-out does not want Gingrich, whether because of his big mouth or because he’s so yesterday, and through polls they have made it clear. (Not to mention Virginia’s acceptance of Paul and rejection of Gingrich for its primary slate, Yay, VIRGINIA!) If Paul’s candidacy never grows much beyond the first few primaries, he still has caught the public’s eye more forcefully than any non-PTB pick since Ross Perot. He’s raising millions with his money bombs, from citizen donations. The GOP’s strategy of throwing hand-picked candidates against the wall until one of them sticks will likely be successful, but they had to fight to do it; the polity isn’t as docile as it once was.

    And the Occupy movement.

    These and other things may not amount to a full-scale assault on the barricades by themselves, but you know what they say about little acorns. And though the clovers and the zombies may not know it, 2012 promises to bring much more tribulation. The little acorns could sprout mighty quick. As the Chinese curse goes, “May you live in interesting times.” 2012 is going to be mighty interesting.

  24. I believe we have been there for years. The day the first “free speech” zone was constructed and enforced was the day the great experiment failed.

    I agree that peaceful civil disobedience is the answer but when the gov’t tries to arrest one for a non-crime, then that person has every right to defend himself with whatever means necessary. That only makes sense.

  25. Although I agree with your assessment of what’s wrong, I think that the steps you suggest are going to come up very short.

    Opportunity (and extreme danger) will arrive when our economy really crashes. It will be impossible for even the sheep to remain in denial. The corruption and inefficiencies of the so called “Powers That Be” will be thoroughly exposed. Their powers will be, at least temporarily, weakened. It is then that we may be able to restore our Constitutional rights and fiscal sanity. Or we may lose what little freedom and wealth we have left.

    We need to be planning what we will do when that day comes. Not much time left.

    • Probably – but I sure wish enough of us would at least try.

      I’d like to see the results of a large percentage of air travelers simply – and very visibly – opting out of traveling by air. If they did, either the airlines would go bankrupt within a year or the federal government would have to resort to open and widely applied police state measures – which might just awaken more people to the peril.

      Or imagine mass disobedience at “checkpoints.” Dozens of drivers just putting it in Park, rolling up the windows and locking the doors, shutting off the ignition and just sitting there. All across the country at once.

      If only…

  26. I hope and pray the people of Iowa will get this Ron Paul ball moving.

    If Romney wins, Iowa will be called a true test of middle America. If Paul wins everyone will tell the masses to ignore it and move on to New Hampshire.

  27. I think your assessment is correct Eric: We still have time to steer away from the chasm. But there are a lot of other people on this bus wrestling over the steering wheel and they don’t seem to realize how close we are to the edge. Proliferation of anti-terrorism legislation (i.e. the Patriot Act, the NDAA, etc., ad nauseam) takes down another section of our Constitutional guard-rail. When this bus we call America goes over the side, all the posturing and finger pointing on the way down won’t stop the impact at the bottom.

    So do we jump off the bus now (expatriate) and suffer some road rash (lose some assets and start over in a strange place)? Do we jump into the fray over the steering wheel (get more involved politically)? Or do we just fasten our seatbelts and brace for impact as best we can (the term “prepper” comes to mind here)? I personally think the last two options are the best bet for those of us over 40, but YMMV.

    I would (and have for the last few election cycles) gone one step farther on the ballot: I’ve written in Ron Paul even when he wasn’t on the ticket. I’ve tried to write in principled candidates whenever there’s no decent choice on any ballot. If the consensus here is correct that my vote doesn’t really count (and I think it is), what harm have I done? Quite the contrary, not voting for the lesser of two evils and standing on principle, I would hope, sets a good example. When you confront your peers with the fact that voting for the lesser of two evils is still voting for evil, it may piss them off and they may not speak to you again; but they have to confront the truth of it in their own minds.

    If enough of us openly and actively object to the status quo, TPTB must take notice. When people think for themselves, engage in the underground economy, produce some of their own food, arm themselves and vote with their wallets, the system loses wealth and the power that goes with it. Take every opportunity to openly ridicule the global etatist system and spread the ideas of Liberty and things can change for the better. Speaking truth to power is a force the establishment can’t resist; so we need to do it as often as we can. WE are the minority, so WE must be tireless in our efforts.

    • dollarvigilante.com is a great resource for folks who would like to expatriate or simply acquire a second slave card (oops- passport).

    • Hi Eric,
      I like your Next STep article but I think you should change it. Instead of staying home if Ron Paul is not on the ticket, there should and hopefully will be a massive write in campaign for him. Write in campaigns worked with the congressional election last cycle. I believe every state should have some way to write in a candidate in the general election. Paul supporters have the capability to get the word out about a write in campaign. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.

      Kathy

  28. Good ole’ Eric Strikes again. You know that up until I read this piece I was convinced we were already there (still am)……But as you point out, “force” is not actually exposed in the light of day yet. I guess to me it is plain as day right now….but until it becomes obvious to the general public, people who think like you and I are just radical and crazy in the minds of the “submit and obey” crowd. When violent force is exposed for what it is without question the time will be right to declare independence once again, and there will be widespread support…..and victory. In that respect, I believe now that you are correct…we are not there YET.

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