8-5-2005 A moitie fou


While President Bush has made physical fitness a personal priority, his cuts to education funding have forced schools to roll back physical education classes and his Administration's efforts to undermine Title IX sports programs have threatened thousands of women's college sports programs.--Democratic National Committee press release

His personal habits indicate that physical fitness is not just fun and games for him. Don't our kids deserve the same opportunities to be physically fit? President Bush should stop running from his responsibility and make sure that all American children have access to physical fitness programs.--DNC spokesman

Since when is physical fitness the responsibility of the federal government?--Neal Boortz

You know, there's certainly no shortage of uncouth people in this city willing to glom onto whatever issue for their own self-aggrandizement. But this Times Leader story sickened me:

Posted on Fri, Aug. 05, 2005

W-B man is offering reward in killing

The local businessman puts up $2,500 for information on the slaying of Mary Leo, 87.

By KEVIN AMERMAN kamerman@leader.net

WILKES-BARRE - WILKES-BARRE – An anonymous Wilkes-Barre businessman has put up a $2,500 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in connection to the stabbing death of Mary Leo, 87.

Leo was found dead Tuesday in her ransacked South Main Street apartment above Abe’s Lunch, which is owned and operated by her nephews, Scott and Gary Druby.

The reward was announced Thursday by Robert Kadluboski of Wilkes-Barre, a friend of the businessman offering the reward.

Kadluboski, who owns City Wide Towing & Repair, said his friend didn’t want his identity known in fear of retaliation. “He’s afraid for his safety, and I don’t blame him,” said Kadluboski, who says he used to chat with Leo when he visited Abe’s.

Scott Druby hopes the reward will help put the person who killed his aunt behind bars.

“I think it’s a wonderful thing this businessman is doing,” Druby said. “I think it might help. I’m very appreciative.”

Druby said he can’t understand why a robber would kill his frail aunt, who was estimated to be 5 foot 3 inches tall and 120 pounds and couldn’t put up too much of a fight.

“It was sadness at first and a little bit of anger, but I know police are doing what they can do,” said Druby, who closed the store earlier this week while he, Gary Druby and other family members were on vacation.

Capt. Donald Crane said there soon will be more of a police presence around the 400 block of South Main Street, where the killing and several reported burglaries have occurred recently.

Two mounted police officers will be stationed there later this month after they finish training officers from Williamsport, Crane said. He said the mounted police were there last year, then moved to another location on South Main Street before patrolling Public Square.

Crane said the area near the 400 block of South Main Street is the region most in need of the mounted police now. He said it’s not possible to have patrol officers stationed there all of the time because they have to respond to areas throughout the city. He said mounted police don’t respond to calls and can maintain a presence.

Crane said “years ago,” when he patrolled the 400 block of South Main “it was worse than it is now.”

“We are aware of some criminal activity there. It’s been there for a while.”

He said cleaning up that section will take “a combination effort” from the community, not just police patrols.

“It has to be multipronged,” he said. “Neighborhood impact teams, people cleaning up the yards. … A few businesses need to be better neighbors. People are sitting on the sidewalks with brown paper bags. They didn’t get the brown bags from the police department.”

Crane said businesses could limit alcohol sales, maybe not sell it so late and “be prudent to who they’re selling it to.”

Kadluboski said the businessman who put up the reward money lives in South Wilkes-Barre. He said the man was outraged by the killing and contacted Kadluboski because Kadluboski and another local business owner offered a reward last year when Wilton Michael Lowman of Wilkes-Barre lost the lower part of his right leg in a hit-and-run outside Milestone Pizza on Division Street.

David Bresse, 33, of Hanover Township turned himself in to police and was arrested on charges of striking Lowman, so the reward was never distributed, Kadluboski said. Breese was sentenced to three months to a year in jail, according to court papers.

Kadluboski said if people with information are afraid to talk with police, they can contact him and he’ll relay their message to officers.

“A lot of these druggies are afraid to go to police,” Kadluboski said. “These street-type people are afraid of retaliation. But $2,500 for these type of people is a lot of money.”

Leo, who was legally deaf but could speak and read lips, bled to death from a stab wound to her chest, according to Luzerne County Coroner Dr. George Hudock.

A neighbor found Leo dead in her apartment on 419 S. Main St. and called 911 on Tuesday night, but police aren’t sure when she was killed.

Wilkes-Barre Police Capt. Wayne Cooney said police have conducted “numerous interviews” as part of the investigation, but wouldn’t say if the interviews were with suspects or people who claim to have information on the homicide.

Luzerne County District Attorney David Lupas said he can’t say if there’s a suspect in the case because he doesn’t want to jeopardize the investigation, according to spokesperson Carol Crane.

Anyone with information about the killing is asked to call police at 826-8106.

He said his friend didn’t want his identity known in fear of retaliation.

“He’s afraid for his safety, and I don’t blame him."

That is so full of sh*t, it flys off of the bullsh*t scale. And in this town known for community activists taking sledgehammers to walls and then complaining to the press about the crumbling walls, that's saying something.

I can't even imagine using the untimely demise of, by all accounts, a sweet, lil' old lady to score some political points.

I snagged this from yesterday's Citizen's Voice:

On Wednesday afternoon, a man began begging China Queen customers for 13 cents, the amount he was short for a 40-ounce beer. As people turned him down, he screamed at them.

I wish he'd scream at me while out and about. But that's a whole other subject.

Now let's examine this, shall we? If this hapless, hopeless street beggar managed to score another thirteen cents, would he buy a 40-oncer, or would he rush off to the Anthracite for a copy of either of our two city-based newspapers? My point is, how would these street scurfs even come to know about the big reward money? What? Would the hookers make them aware of it? I mean, we all know that hookers are voracious readers, right?

And exactly who's kidding who about the level of attention our police department has paid to this area? Our two horse cops had literally made the Bilo parking lot their base of operations until they got to training those two horse cops from Williamsport.

Funny though, Zach and I spent considerable time in that area today while enjoying a bikeabout, and we happened upon nothing as described by the Citizen's Voice reporter. I tried. I looked. I rode around in circles. Nada. No loonies. No begging for quarters. No nothing. Maybe they took a day off. Maybe the detectives fanning out through the area have got them to lying low for a while. Maybe the usual activist suspects should just pipe the f**k down already and allow the cops to do their jobs.

If Wilkes-Barre were to one day become the model of public safety for all other municipalities to copy, I seriously doubt that it'd come about because of anything that Bob and his cowardly cohort had to offer.

Who knows? Maybe the $2,500 reward will actually lead to an arrest. And maybe Martians will sign on to remodel the Hotel Sterling complex in it's entirety.

Have no fear, Wilkes-Barre. "F.B.I. Bob" has got your back.

I feel safer already.


$5.8 million to buy the Market Street Square complex? Passenger train service from here to New York City? Are the folks employed by the county government subjected to random drug testing? Am I missing some plum of urban planning genious, or are the folks calling the shots in this county losing their last available marble? What in the f**k is going on under that rotunda?

Seriously, am I missing something here? Who is going to be riding these trains after we all take that one ride solely for nostalgic purposes? Sound off, kiddies.

Is it me?

Let's have at a couple of recent forum posts.

If you build a theatre, the crime will come -- Mr. Oblivious, 23:31:46 08/04/05 Thu [1]

From today's Voice article dealing with S. Main St. crime.

"We are aware that particular area is a problem - the South Main Plaza," Crane said. "This nuisance stuff has the potential to grow."

Grow? My man, this 'nuisance stuff' is in full bloom. Has been for many years. Is going no where. And is likely to get worse before it will get better.

The pimps and their staff have been working that street like Bud salesmen at the Meadowlands for many a hot night. The drug dealers work without fear and drunks loiter looking for the next '13 cents' for another 40 according to today's Voice article.

So now a little old deaf lady gets stabbed. Dead. End of story. And it's on the doorstep of Wilkes and close enough to a future theatre to gets people's attention in a very bad way.

You're presuming to know who killed that lil' old lady, aren't you? Take a chill pill, Inspector Oblivion. For all we know, it could have been anyone. And if street urchins begging for spare quarters have got you so completely frightened, don't ever wander into any of our larger cities. Grow a pair.

Uh, let me guess which would make you the happiest. I'm thinking you'd prefer to see Wilkes-Barre disappear into the ground much like Carrie White's house did, just so you could say, "I told you so." Right? If it's negative news, you're right on top of it. If it's positive news, you're nowhere to be found. Wouldn't it be cool if someone got gang-raped on Northampton Street under those steel beams? That'd get you to typing right quick. If you build it...blah, blah, f**king blah.

Idiot!

how sick -- upset, 18:20:11 08/04/05 Thu [1]

mark, just read your joke that included the name larry and linda and the hundred dollar bill. i know larry and linda and i could almost say that the e-mail was from your firemen friend larry! mark i've known these two people for a long time and let me tell you i thought that joke put linda more or less down and i had to say something. i doubt very much that linda the firemen larry's wife would tolerate that kind of joke and i'm sure that if she gets wind of it you will hear from her. as my parents always taught us children that there is two sides to every story.

You could "almost" say who sent that joke along? Where I come from, they call that speculation. Actually, there's a local who sends me these jokes and whatnot on "almost" a daily basis. Most of them are quite clever, but I only post one every now and then. So what precautions do I need to take before posting any more of them in the future? Do I need to post a disclaimer?

The names in the following dirty joke have been changed to protect the innocent???

How 'bout, the names in the following dirty joke have been changed to protect the thin-skinned???

Or we could choose two names to be used in every dirty joke from this day forward that would probably never offend anyone's sensibilities. How 'bout Quentin Robert Denameland and Suzie Creamcheese?

Quentin Robert Denameland and Suzie Creamcheese went up the hill, each with a buck and a quarter. Suzie Creamcheese came down with two-fifty. OH!!! That f**kin' whore!!!

Better?

I'm prescribing another chill pill.


Yikes! Check this piece I ran across at PittsburghLive.com. Can we order tar and feathers in bulk? Anybody know?

Overblown and overpaid

By Ralph R. Reiland
Monday, August 1, 2005

As it turns out, the price tag on the middle-of-the-night pay grab that Pennsylvania's legislators voted to give themselves has produced the most expensive state Legislature in the nation, according to an analysis by the Pennsylvania Economy League.

With the new pay hike, ranging from 16 percent to 34 percent, on top of the 5.2 percent cost-of-living pay hike the legislators received in January, Pennsylvania's taxpayers will pay $20.5 million per year to cover the salaries and benefits of the state's 253 legislators. That's nearly double the $11.9 million annual outlay that taxpayers in California, the nation's most populous state, pay for the compensation of their 120 state legislators.

Note that California, with triple the population of Pennsylvania, i.e., a populace of 35.9 million in California versus 12.4 million in Pennsylvania, manages to operate with less than half as many state legislators as Pennsylvania.

Texas, the nation's second-most populous state, carries out the business of state government with 181 state lawmakers who are paid $7,200 per year - a total annual cost of $1.3 million to the taxpayers. In New York, the nation's third-most populous state, the annual cost to taxpayers of compensation to state legislators is $16.9 million -- $3.6 million less than the new cost of salaries and benefits for Pennsylvania's 253 legislators.

Closer to home, Ohio has 132 state lawmakers who are paid $53,707. New Jersey has 120 legislators who are paid $49,000. In Maryland, where the Legislature meets for only three months a year, the state's 188 lawmakers are paid $31,000.

In Pennsylvania, the base compensation for state legislators after this latest pay grab ranges from $81,050 to $145,553, not counting the free cars, gas, generous defined-benefit pensions, fully paid prescription coverage, free dental and vision insurance, free parking, "walking around money," fully paid life insurance and long-term care insurance, expense accounts, and the no-receipt $128 daily reimbursement for every day the Legislature is in session, whether the legislator spends the money or not.

And that's not the end of the self-aggrandizement. By way of a provision that's built into this year's pay raise, on top of automatic and inflated cost-of-living increases, lawmakers' paychecks in Pennsylvania will go up each time the House and Senate members in Washington give themselves a raise.

Additionally, in order to sidestep the section of Pennsylvania's Constitution that forbids lawmakers from voting themselves raises that take effect during their current terms, the politicians will pocket the new money by use of no-receipt "unvouchered expenses."

None of the above costs to taxpayers includes the price of the legislators' staffs. Not surprisingly, Pennsylvania is at the top of the pile when it comes to the number of friends, relatives and other assorted helpers the state politicians have added to their payrolls. With a legislative support staff that's 2,947 strong, that breaks down to 11.6 staffers per Harrisburg lawmaker. In Maryland and North Carolina, respectively, the state governments manage to keep things on track with 4.5 and 1.7 staffers per legislator. Only New York operates with a larger number of staff members per legislator than Pennsylvania.

In the 2005-2006 state budget, the cost to Pennsylvania's taxpayers of the legislative branch, i.e., the salary and benefit package for the Legislature's politicians and staff and other operational support, is $462 million. Based on the 77 days per year that the Legislature averages in session, that comes out to $6 million per day. That's not the cost of roads, welfare and education per day -- that's just the price tag for those who are passing out the money.

By and large, Pennsylvania's overblown and overpaid Legislature might be less objectionable (and more affordable) if the state's taxpayers were rolling in money. Quite the contrary, the nation's most expensive Legislature is being supported by a state population that ranks 24th among the 50 states in per capita income, 34th in the median value of owner-occupied homes, and 28th in median household income.

Chief Justice Ralph Cappy, of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, has praised the lawmakers for their "courage" in voting themselves a raise (and voting Cappy a 14.4 percent salary boost, to $176,800). State Sen. Patricia Vance has a more down-to-earth take on how the pay raise is viewed by the public. "I have never," she says, "been called so many names in my life."

Ralph R. Reiland, the B. Kenneth Simon professor of free enterprise at Robert Morris University, is a local restaurateur. E-mail him at rrreiland@aol.com.

From the e-mail inbox What's new regarding the development of the Forty Fort airport?

Forty Fort Airport – in early 2005 the Board of Commissioners will end the current Fixed Based Operator (FBO) lease and create a separate authority made up of experienced residents committed to exploiting the benefits of the Wyoming Valley Airport.

Care to expound upon that?


Now that The Fair Tax Book is quickly becoming a best seller which I intend to read, take a gander at the following. It was written by W.Cleon Skousen, a senior FBI agent under J. Edgar Hoover, the police chief of Salt Lake City, a professor at BYU, and author of several dozen books including The Naked Communist, The Naked Capitalist, and The Miracle of America.

I first snuggled up to a copy of The Naked Communist while still in junior high and I was awestruck by it. I have reread it many times since. In a nutshell, that book written in 1958 detailed exactly what was in store for America during the decades to follow. Basically, the Communists realized a long time ago that the only way we could be defeated was from within. And their long-term plan is working perfectly.

Anyway...

The History of the 16th Amendment

W. Cleon Skousen

Strange as it may seem, the Sixteenth Amendment (which gave the American people the affliction of confiscatory income taxes) was never supposed to have passed. It was introduced by the Republicans as part of a political scheme to trick the Democrats, but it backfired.

Here's the story:

The Founding Fathers had rejected income taxes (or any other direct taxes) unless they were apportioned to each state according to population. Nevertheless, an income tax was levied during the Civil War and upheld by the Supreme Court on somewhat tenuous reasoning. When another income tax was enacted in 1893, the Supreme Court found it unconstitutional. In connection with the two Pollock cases reviewed in 1895, the Court declared that the act violated Article I, section 9 of the Constitution.

During the following decade, however, the complexion of the Court changed somewhat, and so did public sentiment. There was great social unrest and the idea of a tax to "soak the rich" began to take root among liberals in both major parties. Several times the Democrats introduced bills to provide a tax on higher incomes but each time the conservative branch of the Republican party killed it in the Senate. The Democrats used this as evidence that the Republicans were the "party of the rich" and should be thrown out of power, forcing President William Howard Taft to acknowledge in political speeches that income taxes might be all right "in principle", but it was well known among close associates that he was strongly opposed to such a tax.

The Bailey Bill

In April 1909, Senator Joseph W. Bailey, a conservative Democrat from Texas who was also opposed to income taxes, decided to further embarrass the Republicans by forcing them to openly oppose an income tax bill similar to those which had been introduced in the past. He introduced his bill expecting it to get the usual opposition. However, to his amazement, Teddy Roosevelt and a growing element of liberals in the Republican party came out in favor of the bill and it looked as though it was going to pass.

Not only was Bailey surprised, but Senator Nelson W. Aldrich of Rhode Island, the Republican floor leader, frantically met with Senator Henry Cabot Lodge of Massachussetts and President Taft to work out a strategy to demolish the Bailey tax bill. Their own party was split too widely to permit a direct confrontation, so the strategy was to pull a political end run. They announced that they favored an income tax but only if it were an amendment to the Constitution. Within their own circle, they discussed how it might get approval of the House and the Senate, but they were quite certain that it could be defeated in the more conservative states-three-fourths of which were required in order to ratify the amendment.

Thus, the Democrats were off guard when President Taft unexpectedly sent a message to Congress on June 16th, 1909, recommending the passage of a constitutional amendment to legalize federal income tax legislation.

The strategy threw the liberals into an uproar. At the very moment when their Bailey bill was about to pass, the Republicans were coming out for an amendment to the Constitution which would probably be defeated by the states.

Reaction to the Amendment

Congressman Cordell Hull (D-Tenn., and later Secretary of State under FDR) saw exactly what was happening. He took the floor to excoriate the Republican leaders. Said he:

"No person at all familiar with the present trend of national legislation will seriously insist that these same Republican leaders are over-anxious to see the country adopt an income tax...What powerful influence, what new light and deepseated motive suddenly moves these political veterans to 'about face' and pretend to warmly embrace this doctrine which they have heretofore uniformly denounced?" {1}

He went on to expose what he considered to be a political trick. He needn't have been so concerned. The slogan of "soak the rich" automatically aroused Pavlovian salivation among politicians both in Washington and the states. The Senate approved the Sixteenth Amendment with an astonishing unanimity of 77-0! The House approved it by a vote of 318-14.

When Republican Congressman Sereno E. Payne of New York, who had introduced the amendment in the House, saw that this end run was turning into a winning touchdown for the opposition, he was horrified. He went to the floor and openly denounced the bill he had sponsored. Said he:

"As to the general policy of an income tax, I am utterly opposed to it. I believe with Gladstone that it tends to make a nation of liars. I believe it is the most easily concealed of any tax that can be laid, the most difficult of enforcement, and the hardest to collect; that it is, in a word, a tax upon the income of honest men and an exemption, to a greater or lesser extent, of the income of rascals; and so I am opposed to any income tax in time of peace...I hope that if the Constitution is amended in this way the time will not come when the American people will ever want to enact an income tax except in time of war." {2}

The end run of the Republican leadership did indeed backfire. State after state ratified this "soak the rich" amendment until it went into full force and effect on February 12, 1913 (Ed.note: Mr. Bill Benson, in his book "The Law That Never Was" has since documented massive...and outcome changing...federal interference in the certification of the votes of the individual state legislatures. The votes for and against from Kentucky, for instance, were switched by then Secretary of State Philander Knox.)

Did it Soak the Rich?

Certain writers such as Alfred Hinsey Kelly and Winfred Audif Harbison (authors of "The American Constitution: Origins" [New York: Norton, 1970]) rejoiced that this amendment "shifted the growing burden of federal finance to the wealthy."{3} Nothing could be further from the truth! The wealthy, especially the super-wealthy, had anticipated this development and had created a clever device to protect their riches. It was called a "charitable foundation". The idea was to cosign the ownership of wealth, including stocks and securities, to a foundation and then get Congress and the state legislatures to declare all such charitable institutions exempt from taxes. By setting up boards which were under the control of these wealthy benefactors they could escape the tax and still maintain control over the disposition of these fabulous fortunes.

Long before the federal income tax was in place, multimillionaires such as John D. Rockefeller (who once said "I want to own nothing and control everything"), J.P. Morgan and Andrew Carnegie had their foundations set up and operating. The next step was to make certain that the new tax bill passed by Congress contained a provision specifically exempting their treasure houses from taxation.

The tax bill which the Sixteenth Amendment authorized was introduced as House Resolution 3321 on October 3, 1913. It turned out to be somewhat of a legislative potpourri for tax attorneys, accountants and the federal courts. In the ensuing years, untold millions of dollars have been spent trying to figure out exactly what this tax law, and those which followed it, were intended to provide. However, tucked away in its inward parts was that precious key which safely locked up the riches of the super wealthy. Here are the magic words under Section 2, paragraph G:

"Provided, however, that nothing in this section shall apply...to any corporation or association organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific or educational purposes."

All of the foundations of the super-rich were designed to qualify under one or more of these categories.

How the Cute Little Monkey Grew into a Gorilla

When the first income tax was sent out to the people, the Congress chortled confidently that "all good citizen will willingly and cheerfully support and sustain this, the fairest and cheapest of all taxes." That was the cute little monkey part. After all, the first tax ranged from merely 1% on the first $20,000 of taxable income and was only 7% on incomes above $500,000. Who could complain?(Ed. note: In 1994 "dollars" that $20K is now over $250K and the $500K is today over $6 million!)

At first, scarcely anyone did. Little did they know that before the tinkering was done in Washington, this system would be described by many Americans as the most unfair and expensive tax in the history of the nation. Within a few years, it had become the principal source of income for the federal government.

In the beginning, hardly anyone had to file a tax return because the tax did not apply to the vast majority of America's work-a-day citizens. For example, in 1939, 26 years after the Sixteenth Amendment was adopted, only 5% of the population, counting both taxpayers and their dependents, was required to file returns. Today, more than 80% of the population is under the income tax.

Withholding Taxes

The collection process was greatly facilitated in 1943 by a device created by FDR to pay the costs of WWII. It was called "withholding from wages and salaries". In other words, the tax was collected at the payroll window before it was even due to be paid by the taxpayer. Economists point out that this device, more than any other single factor, shifted the tax from its original design as a tax on the wealthy to a tax on the masses--mostly the middle class. Investigations disclosed that the truly wealthy pay relatively little or no income tax at all.

Some idea of how the cute little monkey grew into a gorilla is perceived from the fact that nearly half of all federal revenue is now raised by income taxes. Furthermore, the higher brackets are literally confiscatory--but by "due process", of course, under the Sixteenth Amendment. Rates have been as high as 94% in the upper brackets during wartime, and even in peacetime they are presently 50%. (Ed.note: This piece was apparently written when the top rates were higher than in 1992. Not to worry, however: Watch for higher rates coming soon to an IRS office near you!) Medium income people up through the upper middle class pay between 12 & 35%. Nevertheless, at all levels it has become sufficiently burdensome to discourage the attainment of basic economic advantage which most Americans seek.

Weaknesses of the System

The most damaging aspect of the Sixteenth Amendment is the fact that it vitiated the unalienable rights provided in the 4th Amendment. This is the amendment which protects privacy--privacy of the home, business, personal papers and personal affairs of the private citizen. None of these are disturbed by a poll (head or capitation) tax because it is so much per person regardless of the circumstances, but when the tax is based on income, the IRS is assigned the most unpleasant task of making certain that everyone pays his fair share. This task is physically impossible without prying into the private papers, private business and personal affairs of the individual citizens. By any standard, it is a miserable assignment. Furthermore, it is impossible to run audits and surveys of all taxpayers and so the audits seldom check more than 2% of them.

There are many things wrong with this approach. Worst of all, it puts the government tax collectors in the gorilla role and intimidates citizens who are unlucky enough to be audited with the feeling that they are "victims" of an unfair system.

The IRS also finds it difficult to avoid the attitude that each taxpayer is a cheat, even a criminal, who must somehow be cornered and caught. This has brought the structure of the entire income tax collection process into question.

For example, the underground economy of monetary transactions (which is conducted without records) is well known. It is estimated that losses in federal revenues from this underground economy are at least $100 billion per year. (Ed. note: Probably closer to $200-300 billion!) Obviously, this is not fair to those who are paying their share. Then there is an estimated $65 billion per year which is lost because it is not reported. This is considered unfair. There is a lot of padding on expense accounts, which is estimated to reduce the tax total by another $18 billion. Other operations, both legal and illegal, jump the total up a few billion more.

There has also been extensive criticism of the prosecution of tax cases. The appeal is through a system of tax courts which are without juries. In order to get a tax case into a regular court where there is a jury, the citizen must pay the tax and then sue the government.

Thousands of complaints have also poured into the IRS concerning the tactics used by some of its agents. Citizens feel they are treated as criminals rather than suspects who are innocent until proven guilty.

Is there a better way? Here is one answer by a former head of the IRS.

A Former IRS Commissioner's Statement

T. Coleman Andrews served as commissioner of IRS for nearly 3 years during the early 1950s. Following his resignation, he made the following statement:

"Congress [in implementing the Sixteenth Amendment] went beyond merely enacting an income tax law and repealed Article IV of the Bill of Rights, by empowering the tax collector to do the very things from which that article says we were to be secure. It opened up our homes, our papers and our effects to the prying eyes of government agents and set the stage for searches of our books and vaults and for inquiries into our private affairs whenever the tax men might decide, even though there might not be any justification beyond mere cynical suspicion.

"The income tax is bad because it has robbed you and me of the guarantee of privacy and the respect for our property that were given to us in Article IV of the Bill of Rights. This invasion is absolute and complete as far as the amount of tax that can be assessed is concerned. Please remember that under the Sixteenth Amendment, Congress can take 100% of our income anytime it wants to. As a matter of fact, right now it is imposing a tax as high as 91%. This is downright confiscation and cannot be defended on any other grounds.

"The income tax is bad because it was conceived in class hatred, is an instrument of vengeance and plays right into the hands of the communists. It employs the vicious communist principle of taking from each according to his accumulation of the fruits of his labor and giving to others according to their needs, regardless of whether those needs are the result of indolence or lack of pride, self-respect, personal dignity or other attributes of men.

"The income tax is fulfilling the Marxist prophecy that the surest way to destroy a capitalist society is by - _steeply graduated_ taxes on income and heavy levies upon the estates of people when they die.

As matters now stand, if our children make the most of their capabilities and training, they will have to give most of it to the tax collector and so become slaves of the government. People cannot pull themselves up by the bootstraps anymore because the tax collector gets the boots and the straps as well.

"The income tax is bad because it is oppressive to all and discriminates particularly against those people who prove themselves most adept at keeping the wheels of business turning and creating maximum employment and a high standard of living for their fellow men.

"I believe that a better way to raise revenue not only can be found but must be found because I am convinced that the present system is leading us right back to the very tyranny from which those, who established this land of freedom, risked their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor to forever free themselves..."{4}

REFERENCES

1. Congressional Record-House, July 12,1909,p.4404
2. Congressional Record-House, July 12,1909,p.4390
3. Original edition, p.626
4. The Utah Independent, March 29, 1973

From the e-mail inbox

Hey Mark,

Time to party soon? We are there. Wouldn't miss it. Put JXXXX, WXXX and I down. What are the phone numbers to call for sign ups again? Clock is ticking and procrastinators like me need to get in gear.

Later

Deb

Yup. One week and counting. This is gonna be one monster of a party. And it's not too late to join in the fun.

Lemme know.

I do

WARNING: The names in the following dumb blonde joke have been deleted to protect the thin-skinned.

From the e-mail inbox

A blonde lady motorist was about two hours from San Diego when she was flagged down by a man whose truck had broken down.

The man walked up to the car and asked, "Are you going to San Diego?"

"Sure," answered the blonde, "do you need a lift?" "Not for me. I'll be spending the next three hours fixing my truck. My problem is I've got two chimpanzees in the back which have to be taken to the San Diego Zoo. They're a bit stressed already so I don't want to keep them on the road all day. Could you possibly take them to the zoo for me? I'll give you $100 for your trouble."

"I'd be happy to," said the blonde.

So the two chimpanzees were ushered into the back seat of the blonde's car and carefully strapped into their seat belts. Off they went.

Five hours later, the truck driver was driving through the heart of San Diego when suddenly he was horrified!!

There was the blonde walking down the street and holding hands with the two chimps, much to the amusement of a big crowd. With a screech of brakes he pulled off the road and ran over to the blonde.

"What the heck are you doing here?" he demanded, "I gave you $100 to take these chimpanzees to the zoo."

"Yes, I know you did," said the blonde, "but we had money left over---so now we're going to Sea World.

Tomorrow we'll be able to read all about our newest petitions for a referendum question. Isn't that wonderful? Yet another half-witted, short-sighted attempt to further f**k up the works. But, this is Wilkes-Barre. And in Wilkes-Barre, petitions are like assholes: Everybody's got one (and hoping to get plenty of political mileage out of it).

Make checks payable to: Carey for City Council

Buh-bye.

'Cause I'd rather stay here
With all the madmen
Than perish with the sadmen
Roaming free
And I'd rather play here
With all the madmen
For I'm quite content
They're all as sane as me

David Bowie


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