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Ron Paul Shall Overcome

Attended a memorial service for Aaron Russo, the film producer and libertarian activist, this afternoon at Hollywood's House of Blues. It was one of the "celebrating a life, not mourning a death" variety.

Rep. Ron Paul was there and said some words about Russo the freedom fighter, and Russo's pet causes of abolishing the IRS (got a big round of applause from this Hollywood crowd) and the Federal Reserve. (See Russo's conspiratorial documentary on the topic, America: From Freedom to Fascism, if you are curious.)

Interestingly, it seemed a given to Paul and his introducer that everyone knew who he was. He was introduced merely as "Ron Paul," not "Congressman Paul" or "presidential candidate Paul" and he referred within his speech to talking to Russo about his "decision to run" without saying what for. It may be that any friend of Aaron Russo's is presumed to be knowledgeable about this sort of politics; or it may be that the general run of Americans know more about Ron than I might have guessed at this point. (Or maybe half the 300 or so person crowd had no idea what was going on, but they sure seemed to.)

Paul's talk was part memorial tribute to Russo's passions and friendship, part stump speech of sorts (stressing the importance of this moment in time to strike a blow for the cause of liberty the way Russo would have wanted it--voting for Ron himself was an implied, if not explicitly spoken, way to do so). As soon as Paul's talk was over an 11-voice gospel choir with funky organ, bass, drum and guitar accompanyment took the stage for a triumphant "We Shall Overcome" with crowd singalong.

I'm guessing this was the first time this happened after one of Ron Paul's campaign talks--the choir was entertaining throughout the memorial--but I tell you, it shouldn't be the last.

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  • ||

    That is cool.

  • ||

    Careful, or the Republicans will start pretending to be horribly offended by the politization of a political activist's funeral.

  • ||

    Okay, I could dig a funky choir after a stumping stop but what'd really jazz things up would be a good ol' fashioned ho-down. Think Drew Carey meets Fred Thompson. It'd be a knee slapping good time I tell ya' what.

    Oh, and joe, niiiicce. That makes two very sharp sticks you have pulled out today.

  • ||

    Just watched the Ron Paul-only debate footage (I can't take anymore of the RudyMcRomabee choir reciting talking points).

    Guiliani is a fucking asshole. Show a little respect for the whole 9:48 of debate time Paul was given.

    I couldn't help but cringe every time I heard that bald fucker chuckle.

    DebateFootage-OtherPeople=Here

  • ||

    I couldn't help but cringe every time I heard that bald fucker chuckle.

    He'll be laughing out the other side of his ass one of these days.

  • ||

    Two things:

    1) Where's Dondero?

    2) You usually don't make such tasteless comments, joe. I'm surprised.

  • ed||

    That's way too psychedelic for me to even think about responding to,
    but I did enjoy the narrative. Thanks.

  • ||

    joe,

    I'm assuming you're comparing this to the Wellstone funeral...and, considering that Paul didn't even mention his candidacy or anything, there's no comparison. But, nice try.

  • ||

    Ron Paul is a man of character, integrity, and plain spoken constitutional honesty.

    We need a man to lead by example. The man is Ron Paul.

    The time for action is NOW. Do all you can to get the word out!

    Ron Paul for President!

  • ||

    crimethink,

    Russo wasn't running for office. Paul Wellstone was.

    Yes, it was a nice try. And spot on. Right up to the Republicans pretending to be offended.

  • ||

    crimethink,

    Did you miss this part?

    Rep. Ron Paul was there and said some words about Russo the freedom fighter, and Russo's pet causes of abolishing the IRS (got a big round of applause from this Hollywood crowd) and the Federal Reserve. Ron Paul spoke about carrying on Russo's causes. Just like at the Wellstone funeral.

  • ||

    In a prior life I would stalk newly minted MD's for purposes of selling them insurance. As part of my indoctrination, I learned the personality type of the various specialties.
    Ron fits his sterotype for sure. (At ease around exposed vaginas?)
    I love the guy.
    (I met him in Sinincincinnati when he was the Libertarian candidate for Prez.)

  • Mike Laursen||

    Careful, or the Republicans will start pretending to be horribly offended by the politization of a political activist's funeral.

    The smarter move for the Republican strategists would be to marginalize Paul by ignoring the whole thing. Which they may well do by default just because they weren't even aware of Russo.

  • ||

    joe,

    At the Wellstone funeral, speakers were urging voters to elect Wellstone's replacement on the ticket. It's not like they were just praising the causes Wellstone was involved with.

  • ||

    If you want RP footage of various sorts, click here.

    I copied and pasted that open letter and sent it to yourcomments@foxnews.com

    I only have one thing to say about Rudy.

    Fuck that guy.

  • ||

    crimethink,

    Wellstone was a professional politician and United States Senator, in the midst of an election campaign.

    Electing a Democrat to that Senate seat WAS the cause he was involved in, and the central cause of his life.

    If a speaker at MLK's funeral had urged the attendees to go to the march he was planning, would you be aghast at that?

  • ||

    The day of the Chicago March at Millennium Park, Jim Guest read a touching letter from Ron Paul honoring Aaron Russo. A moment of silence was included. I believe the event is captured on you tube: Rep. Jim Guest at The Bean.

    PLEASE donate what ever you can to the Ron Paul campaign.

    Ronpaul2008 dot com

    Please tell your friends about Ron Paul!

    Please join a meetup group and bring your friends!

    In such a very short time the Republican Neocon Machine will be picking a candidate and we have much work to do for that day. Let it not be said we did not do our best!

    "I accept the definition of patriotism as that effort to resist oppressive state power." --Ron Paul

  • ||

    joe,

    So electing a candidate to public office now qualifies as a cause? Does that mean that nonprofits should be able to advocate electing specific candidates to specific offices and remain tax exempt?

  • ||

    crimethink,

    Only when the candidate is Ron Paul, I guess.

    No, I'm not terribly interested in debating legalistic crap with you.

  • ||

    This is off-topic, but I don't remember coming across the subject anywhere else and I am curious--maybe someone here can help me out. What's Paul's position on abortion? I imagine there is some conflict between his libertarian and Christian beliefs here, and would be interested to know how he stands. Anyone have any relevant links?

  • ||

    Sage -- The liveblogging of the debate on Reason -- did that blogger watch a different debate than the one you posted clips of? You'd think from the liveblogging Paul tanked, but in the clips you posted Ron Paul rocked.

  • ||

    Is there any video?

  • ||

    VM -- Ron Paul is pro-life. No conflict between libertarianism and that, if you believe that a fetus is a human being and thus deserving protection from harm.

    Most libertarians don't see it that way, based on the premise that a fetus isn't a human being, and thus the mother's right to determine what to do with this non-human lump of flesh would prevail.

    This isn't a cut-and-dried libertarian issue, unlike, say, being pro-preemptive war or pro-War-on-Drugs.

  • ||

    VM,

    Ron Paul as an OB/GYN who takes the Hippocratic oath seriously is personally opposed to ending the life of a viable fetus. However, as one who believes in states rights he would like to see Roe v. Wade overturned and the issue returned to the individual states.

  • ||

    First, to answer the question above: Ron Paul is against abortion personally, but would leave the decision-making to the individual states. This applies to many issues, including the legalization of drugs, education, health care and so on. The states are sovereign entities.

    For Ron Paul to attend Aaron Russo's memorial service was fantastic. This is a guy who apparently jumped on a plane right after the debate in order to attend. This is one Gandhi of a guy; to honor another without fanfare or self-promotion. We will not see his like again any time soon, and this is all the more reason to support him while we can.

  • ||

    Prolefeed, I thought so too. Of course, I didn't actually watch the debate, so I didn't see all of Dr. Paul.

    And let me say this about Sean Hannity: someone should stick a bone up his ass and let the dogs drag him off.

    Fuck that guy.

  • Patrick Kirkpatrick||

    VM

    Ron's outstanding interview at Google HQ covers his position on that any good many other subjects. You find it at the link below
    http://www.salem-news.com/articles/september072007/ron_paul_oped_9607.php

  • ||

    guys,

    Dr. Paul is unabashedly and unapologetically in favor of restoring legal protection to unborn human beings.

    This seems to bother some pro-abortion leftists, one of whom wrote an article whose basic message was: "OMG, this guy *means* it!"

    http://tinyurl.com/2wl9lp

    It's so unusual and refreshing for a Republican to believe in the pro-life cause for real, not just as a vote-catching device.

  • Mad Max||

    More about Ron Paul in more recent posts on my blog, to whose URL I've linked.

  • rho||

    Others have covered it, VM, but more or less: Dr. Paul is a baby-doctor. I imagine his outlook re: abortion colors that greatly, but he's still principled enough to devolve the question to the States.

    Since he's an OB/Gyn, he has legal duties towards the fetus that compel him towards caution. It's not surprising to me that after delivering 4,000 or so babies he's more than a bit biased one way. Yet, he still presents the issue logically and according to the rule of law. It's refreshing to hear.

  • ||

    I just watched a youtube on Aaron Russo and sent to a friend. It's an interview recalling his meeting with Nick Rockfeller who gave the details of 'an event' which would bring the US to invade Afghanistan and Iraq and a prediction that soldiers would be "looking in caves in Afghanistan" for terrorists but there would be nobody there. It was 11 months before 9-11. It's a fascinating interview and for me legacy of Aaron as a courageous truth seeker. See it at:
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-1777865020434008209&q=Aaron+Russo+tells+of+Nick+Rockefeller&total=1&start=0&num=10&so=0&type=search&plindex=0

  • ||

    So Bette Midler was a no show? pitty

  • ||

    Just wondering, if RP was running as an independent or with the LP, in a 3-way presidential election, would he win NH? Just wondering.

  • ||

    in a 3-way presidential election

    Ooh, that's hot...

  • Patrick Kirkpatrick||

    VM,

    Or go straight to the source;

    http://www.ronpaul2008.com/

  • ||

    Ooh, that's hot...

    Not that three-way :-)

    I guess that is the only 3-way Americans know of, but that happening in presidential elections, uh uh they have no idea what that is!

    Come on, seriously... Just wondering.

  • JengoPop||

    Ron Paul can't win! Who do you favor for Republican nomination? Who will win, Rudy, Mitt, Ron Paul, Fred? Vote today at http://www.pollicious.com

  • ||

    None of the above.

    BrianH - There's nothing to be proud about for Truthers. It's interesting how Russo can come up with a bunch of fallacious logic for why 9/11 doesn't make sense, yet it never occurs to him to try and clarify why Rockefeller would confide the great Globalist Agenda with some film maker who tried to run for governor of Nevada.

    Russo was a great entertainer who misplaced his priorities into "truth seeking" conspiratorial nonsense. At least he was a good guy who just got caught up in a load of horse shit, which is more than I can say for those Loose Change "scholars."

    God rest his soul.

  • ||

    The way things look today, the republican party establishment has a better chance of finding a huge stash of WMDs in Iraq than they do of seating another neocon puppet in the oval office.

    If they prevent Ron Paul from gaining the nomination, I hope that it will be possible for him to run as an independent.

  • ||

    Joe -- I suspect that whatever the GOP's minions thought of Wellstone's funeral, the votes of the people of Minnesota were rather more decisive vis-a-vis the "politization" (I hate it when things get politized!) of the funeral referenced above.

  • ||

    Russo would have been a much better champion for liberty, if he didn't get sidetracked into conspiratorial nuttery. In the movie mentioned above, he keeps asking "show me the law". I know he's dead, and it's too late, but in case you're interested, here it is. Two minutes of googling would have found it.
    http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/uscode26/usc_sup_01_26.html

    Also of interest:

    http://docs.law.gwu.edu/facweb/jsiegel/Personal/taxes/F2F.htm
    http://evans-legal.com/dan/tpfaq.html
    http://www.publiceye.org/conspire/flaherty/Federal_Reserve.html
    http://www.fff.org/freedom/fd0703b.asp

  • ||

    Doherty your book is boring. You should have let Russo do some editing. That shit would have been wicked.

  • ||

    Wish I'd had the chance to meet him. He sounds like someone whose company I'd enjoy greatly.

    -jcr

  • ||

    A quote from Aaron Russo...

    "You may have heard that the Honorable Congressman Ron Paul is exploring running for the Republican nomination in 2008.

    Congressman Paul will be the only uncompromising defender of the Constitution in the race.

    I can't tell you how grateful I felt, how full of heartfelt joy, and how much enthusiasm I felt when I heard the news of his Candidacy. I am 1000% behind him!

    Ron Paul has stepped up to the plate because he knows what we all know: the noose is tightening, and there isn't much time if we hope to restore to Constitutional Government.

    I called Ron yesterday to tell him I am on board to do ANYTHING it takes to support his campaign.

    NOW is the time for the ENTIRE Freedom Movement, all Third Parties, ALL GOOD AMERICANS EVERYWHERE, from all political stripes and persuasions, to unite to overtake the weakened Republican Party. Stand firmly behind Ron Paul, and work to restore our Constitutional Republic.

    Do not let partisan politics get in the way. No matter what your Party affiliation, we must support Ron Paul as the Candidate.

    Everything in the movie, America: Freedom to Fascism IS Ron Paul.

    In my conversation with Congressman Paul, I told him I'll make copies of America: Freedom to Fascism available for his campaign. We will spread them far and wide.

    What better way to introduce him to the public than for him to talk to them in their own living rooms?! What better way to help awaken them to governmental intrusions into their private lives than to see it in their own homes?

    Congressman Ron Paul is the man with the strength to stay the course until Enemies, Foreign and Domestic, are put in their rightful place!

    There isn't a better man for the job. He has an impeccable voting record. He is "right on," on Freedom and Sovereignty issues.

    In a time of universal deceit, Congressman Paul dares to commit the revolutionary act of telling the truth. How refreshing!

    But now the work begins.

    Ron Paul needs not just our "affirmative nod," he needs our time, energy, financial contributions, and willingness to see him win. He needs us to use our precious accrued "vacation time" to go to New Hampshire to knock on doors, pass out AFTF DVDs, to be as dedicated to helping him win as he is to running the Race. His campaign must be organized District by District.

    The entire AFTF Network must focus on helping Ron Paul. You have already awakened a lot of Americans to the dangers we face.

    NOW, help me, won't you, as I do everything within my means to promote the only HONEST, Constitutional American in the 2008 Presidential race.

    With the right Candidate and a passionate grassroots effort, it is possible to take over a weakened Republican Party. I've told you many times of how we overtook the Republican Party in my Gubernatorial race in Nevada. I KNOW it can be done!

    Well, HERE is that Candidate!
    NOW IS THE TIME to join with me and support Ron Paul.
    I've seen you at work. You can do this. WE can do this!

    I Am Most Sincerely Yours in Freedom,

    Aaron Russo "

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    Uhhh, Dan, if Brian's book is boring, well, maybe you could direct us to your latest book. You know, put a little fire in the pipe so to speak.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    I thought I posted a comment to the effect....

    Thanks Brian, appreciate you posting this stuff.

    I don't see it, but I'm 3/4 through a good bottle of cab so maybe I just don't see it.

  • ||

    This is a real book

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0971853312/reasonmagazineA/

  • ||

    Bradford C: Agreed it is mysterious as to why Nick Rockefeller would confide in Russo. But since his predictionsof 9-11 were so accurate it seems crazy to dismiss it because we cannot understand what the motive was. It could be as simple as ego - wanting to brag about having inside information and being so super confident that nothing Russo could do would make any difference to the outcome. Since Russo says Rockefeller was laughing about it, and Russo himself laughed as he recalls the conversation this seems a likely explanation to me.

  • ||

    @Doherty:

    Perhaps Ron Paul was there as citizen and friend rather than a candidate for presidency. I think this is an expression of his decency.

  • ||

    Ron fits his [gynecologist] sterotype for sure. (At ease around exposed vaginas?)

    Too bad he wasn't a proctologist. He would have wiped the debates.

  • penxv||

    http://bp2.blogger.com/_TkJI48RMXwM/Rt-A0e8YgzI/AAAAAAAAAag/qaSGjGyq4EY/s1600-h/ronpaulparking.jpg

    Interesting Ron Paul sign.

  • ||

    Mike says Paul "is personally opposed to ending the life of a viable fetus." That is false. He is politicially and personally opposed to abortion of a fetus at any stage. He has said that life begins at conception and has voted to have the federal government recognize that concept. He argues the states should decide but if the constitution is amended to recognize life begining at conception then the 14th amendment would kick in and the states would not have a choice on the matter. His vote to have life defined as beginning at conception undoes his purported view of state's rights. And again, I remind libertarians, that state's don't have rights -- individuals do. This is part of the infection that Paul is spreading -- a distortion of libertarian theory to fit his social conservative agenda.

  • VM||

    That wasn't me, by the way...

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    Pardon Me, for the sake of argument let's say that your take is correct (I'm not sure it is but I ain't going to look it up right now).

    I don't care because he's a 90 percenter (meaning I agree with almost everything he stands for). Everyone else is a ten percenter except our LP guy. But he's only a 90 percenter as well.

    There are way more issues on the table here, many of which are far more important than viability. If Roe v Wade was repealed tomorrow, abortion would not go away in any meaningful sense.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    This is a real book

    LOL

    Donderooooooo? In 41 languages? Our Donderooooo?

  • ||

    PardonMe,

    Your argument is misleading. It's true Ron Paul did vote to define life as begining at conception for the Federal Code. But since Ron believes the Federal Government should have nothing to do with abortion, this is hardly significant. It's no different than the earmark issue, where Paul puts in his district's requests and then votes against the Bill. Ron Paul doesn't believe the Federal Government has the Constitutional authrotiy to do anything about abortion, and he has long been on record opposed to the Federal Right to Life Ammendment. He believes that abortion, like murder, assualt, property theft, fraud, ect. is an issue for the states to handle throught their criminal code. Now would Ron Paul vote against abortion at the State level were he a state Rep? Absoutely. But he isn't running for State office, and his convictions regarding the scope of Federal Authority make him no threat at all to abortion.

  • ||

    This isn't a cut-and-dried libertarian issue, unlike, say, being pro-preemptive war or pro-War-on-Drugs.

    Agreed, in the libertarian world the pro-choice/pro-life debate is pretty much recognized as one in which principled people can disagree. Recognizing that there are no easy or unequivocal moral solutions, I disagree with myself on the issue from time to time. In fact sometimes I'm forced to tell myself to burn in hell. Fortunately, I haven't had to beat myself up over the issue yet.

  • VM||

    Open thread topic?

    woman asked to change clothes before flying with southwest

    Southwest explained its treatment of Ebbert in a letter to her mother, saying it could remove any passenger "whose clothing is lewd, obscene or patently offensive" to ensure the comfort of children and "adults with heightened sensitivities."



    WTF????

    Hey people with "heightened sensitivities". Fuck off and stay at home.

    At least they do it for the chidren (sic).

    article by Gerry Braun

  • ||

    Wow, VM. I'm offended when chicks that don't look like that sit next to me, much less are on the same plane.

  • VM||

    See?

    Southwest clearly caters to the incorrect HEIGHTENED SENSITIVITIES.

    And their planes don't remotely qualify on the WOMBY VAULTAGE scale.

    Weibskobold plans on flying in provocative outfits to test their will.

  • Larry Ward||

    Re: "You usually don't make such tasteless comments, Joe. I'm surprised." What could be more tasteless than Chris Wallace stating that Ron Paul takes marching orders from Al Quaida, or laughing into the mic on national TV or Rudi's double think theory that foreign policy has nothing to do with the way the world perceives America. I doubt the Carpenter from Galilee Himself could refrain from dropping an occasional F-bomb in the presence of such arrogance and lunacy.

  • rho||

    If they prevent Ron Paul from gaining the nomination, I hope that it will be possible for him to run as an independent.

    Dr. Paul has said on multiple occasions that he's not interested in a 3rd-party bid. The Republican party wanted to kick him out of the debates--do you think they'll tolerate his presence in the post-primaries debates?

  • ||

    Southwest is implementing their strategy to corner the market for women who don't want to fly next to someone who looks better than they do. They'll be test marketing their new slogan, "Southwest: where the ugly women fly!" pretty soon. Watch for it.

  • ||

    Just how does Aaron Russo's conspiracism further the cause of liberty? It's truth, not crackpot nonsense, that makes you free. Crackpot nonsense makes you stupid.

  • dhex||

    from freedom to fascism was my first introduction to mr. russo, and it left me very puzzled when people spoke of him as a champion of liberty.

    (people who don't normally bump the alex jones angle, i mean)

  • Rick Fisk||

    Anyone who calls AFFTF "conspiracism" needs to go look at US Title 26 and show us where a citizen working within the states is made liable. There is actually a claim of liability in the code. Can you find it?

    I'm shocked that people who claim to be "reason"able casually dismiss Russo's film. If there is a section of the code that imposes liability on the citizens of the U.S. for tax on their wages, it should be easy to produce.

    It doesn't bother anyone that the IRS won't produce a cite for such a statute even during trials against alleged tax criminals?

  • ||

    What could be more tasteless than Chris Wallace stating that Ron Paul takes marching orders from Al Quaida, or laughing into the mic on national TV or Rudi's double think theory that foreign policy has nothing to do with the way the world perceives America. I doubt the Carpenter from Galilee Himself could refrain from dropping an occasional F-bomb in the presence of such arrogance and lunacy.

    Agreed and agreed.

    By the way, it's nice to see that our troll Edward still can't keep himself off of this board. What exactly are you looking to learn from here, Edward?

  • ||

    Brandybuck wrote, "In the movie mentioned above, he keeps asking 'show me the law.' I know he's dead, and it's too late, but in case you're interested, here it is. Two minutes of googling would have found it."

    Language such as "There is hereby imposed on the taxable income of-
    (1) every married individual... and
    (2) every surviving spouse ...
    a tax determined in accordance with the following table:," which I found at the link you provided, seems fairly straightforward and beyond misinterpretation. The imposition of a tax entails the obligation to pay under the stated terms. Sections within Title 26 also require that various classes of people file tax returns.

    So the question are these: If the law exists and is so straightforward, why don't IRS representatives routinely point people to the relevant provisions, instead of allowing all of the "conspiracy nuttery" to develop? Why does former IRS agent Joe Bannister say that he studied the tax code carefully, yet could neither find relevant provisions nor get his superiors to point them out?

    I'm not asking these questions to be confrontational, but merely to wonder how, if the misinformation is so easily countered, it can possibly persist. For instance, the IRS could print excerpts from the relevant sections (and citations for further reading) on every income tax form. Media representatives could point out (directly, or through quotations from IRS representatives) that the relevant sections of code exist, and cite them by number. There seem to be innumerable opportunities to spread reliable information on this topic, so that nobody would ever have cause to doubt the legal underpinnings of income taxation. Yet general ignorance on this topic seems common -- even overwhelming, and I just can't understand why. What do people actually gain from participating in and promoting this mass-ignorance, generation after generation?

  • ||

    Do intelligent libertarians really want to be associated with garbage like this?

    "Why do you think 9-11 happened and nothing since then? Do you think our security is so great here . . . ? Nine-11 was done by people in our own government, in our own banking system to perpetuate the fear of the American people into subordinating themselves to anything the government wants them to do . . . that's what it's all about." Aaron Russo

  • ||

    If the law exists and is so straightforward, why don't IRS representatives routinely point people to the relevant provisions, instead of allowing all of the "conspiracy nuttery" to develop?



    I detest tax conspiracists, because they force me into the extremely uncomfortable position of defending the IRS. But the truth is the truth. The IRS *DOES* routinely point people to the relevant provisions. Russo ambushing former IRS commissioners with the camera rolling is NOT EVIDENCE the law doesn't exist! I've given you a link to the law, and you've quoted the first few words of it, where it saws you have to pay taxes on your income. THAT IS the liability you're looking for!

    You tax conspiracists are obsessive legalists. You quibble over picayune definitions of words like "income". Go look up the word "income" in dictionary contemporary to the 16th amendment. You'll find that it includes salaries and wages. You argue over stupid ass stuff like punctuation in ratification documents.

    The IRS doesn't willingly consent to the conspiracist nuttery. The only thing keeping you guys from sharing Irwin Schiff's jail cell is the First Amendment. Be thankful there's not a parallel conspiracy arguing that the Bill of Rights was not properly ratified. Be shit-freezing scared that the Bill of Rights will be soon eroded into nothing because nutbags like yourself are diverting attention away from reality.

    It would be nice if you could just wish away laws that you don't like. But the real world doesn't work like that. If you want to get rid of a bad law, you work to get rid of that bad law. Don't pretend it doesn't exist, that's beyond stupid.

  • ||

    Mr. Merritt:

    I think you have to consider the likely possibility that if the IRS did promulgate information related to any particular conspiracy, the conspiracy landscape would just shift and mutate itself around them. The IRS deniers would just shift to new stories.

    You can't kill urban legends like these when they get going. The government actually has devoted a lot of resources to promulgating the fact that the "reparations deduction" thing is a scam, but people still fall for it every day.

    I don't like the modern tax and regulatory state either, but given the supermajorities that acquiesce to it and the consensus supporting it in mainstream political thought, I have to concede that if there WAS something technically wrong with the legal framework supporting it, the legal framework would simply have been modified and corrected. Had someone raised the issue of punctuation discrepancies at the time of the amendment's ratification, any discrepancies would have been reconciled. If there was no law on the books, the Congress would pass one without incident. It's just silly to think otherwise and the guys who push these theories are caricatures out of Foucault's Pendulum.

  • Vince Daliessio||

    To those who worry about Rep. Paul's position on abortion - have you ever voted for a Republican? Every last one of them since Roe v. Wade has been on record demagoguing the issue, yet nothing has changed.

    Meanwhile, Romney has lifted Ron Paul's position on abortion word-for-word - you want to re-think your stance?

    The problem you people have isn't his pro-life stance per se, it's his sincerity that angers you. How pathetic.

    I for one, while pro-life, am extremely leery of allowing government to interfere. Remanding the issue to the states is probably the best possible outcome, CA, NV, NY, IL, AZ, CO, OH, OR, WA, PA, NJ, NY, MA, CT, DE, MD, would probably pass state constitutional amendments forever legalizing, most other states would have restrictions on aborting viable fetuses, and Utah would ban it. You know, more or less what we have now.

  • ||

    Wine C.

    Read the comments. It looks like Dondero used some online translator for most of it. Then, he self-published.

    Of course, there are a dozen 5's from dondero alter-ego's who mysteriously never reviewed anything else. A bunch of others are making fun of him.

  • ||

    By the way, it's nice to see that our troll Edward still can't keep himself off of this board. What exactly are you looking to learn from here, Edward?

    Nothing from you, moron.

  • ||

    EDWAAAARRRRRRDOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

  • ||

    Edward, You raise an interesting question about why should intelligent Libertarians want to associate with garbage ... and follow with a quote from Russo. It seems to me Liberty is about limiting centalised power and maximising individual rights and power. And questioning those who have power over the government is central to that - most notably the Federal Reserve. Russo has been a champion to this cause. Ron Paul is embracing all who support this cause and that seems to me to be a good move. Of course if we maximise individual rights and power we naturally get increased diversity of opinions. That seems to me a healthy thing.

  • ||

    BrianH

    Supporting crackpots with lunatic fantasies is never a healthy thing. Facts matter. Truth matters. All totalitarian systems are built paranoid lies.

  • ||

    Supporting crackpots with lunatic fantasies is never a healthy thing.


    Yes, but it's not my fault; I keep voting against them, yet the Democrats and Republicans keep winning elections.

  • ||

    Ron Paul's record is clear, and has been for over 20 years. It is factual and it is abundant across the country, but most of the media (especially FOX), the other candidates, and the ruling powers despise and fear him because he stands for truth and he reminds them every time they hear him speak, and look in the mirror at home, of what they have become... lackeys for the military industrial complex, traitors, and domestic terrorists.
    Ron Paul threatens everything they stand for, and is the only political voice that is defending American freedom, sovereignty, our way of life, and the Constitution. The media and elite with such attitudes against him, and America, are traitors, and the lowest of humanity.
    Is America so asleep at the wheel that they still believe in the Republican v Democrat mythology? Do they really accept what the mainstream media says? Are they so addicted to the mindless pablum government and media put out that they cannot think for themselves, or research the real issues? Have Americans discarded the American dream, selling out their children for couch time, and receiving limited freedoms? Bring out troops home now.
    Are there any leaders who take personal responsibility for where we find ourselves as a nation? Dr. Ron Paul is one who loves country, freedom and sovereignty enough to stand up and speak the truth. He has always spoken the truth and we are behind him, growing in numbers... those who realize that freedom is NOT free, but requires vigilance, responsibility and fearlessness. Will the media continue to ignore the most popular candidate in the country? Wake up America. Ron Paul is the only Republican candidate that can beat Hillary.

  • ||

    VM -- Ron Paul is pro-life. No conflict between libertarianism and that, if you believe that a fetus is a human being and thus deserving protection from harm.

    Most libertarians don't see it that way, based on the premise that a fetus isn't a human being, and thus the mother's right to determine what to do with this non-human lump of flesh would prevail.

    This isn't a cut-and-dried libertarian issue, unlike, say, being pro-preemptive war or pro-War-on-Drugs.


    I think Murray Rothbard held the position that life begins at conception, yet he was nonetheless supported abortion on the ground that no human being has the right to be a parasite.

  • ||

    Mike says Paul "is personally opposed to ending the life of a viable fetus." That is false. He is politicially and personally opposed to abortion of a fetus at any stage. He has said that life begins at conception and has voted to have the federal government recognize that concept. He argues the states should decide but if the constitution is amended to recognize life begining at conception then the 14th amendment would kick in and the states would not have a choice on the matter.

    This is only half right in that the states have a say in whether a proposed amendment to the Constitution actually becomes an amendment.

  • ||

    "Ron Paul is the only Republican candidate that can beat Hillary."

    collin28,

    I see three possibilities: 1) You're dumb as a box of hair; 2)You're smoking some really powerful weed; 3) You're working for Hillary.

    So, which is it?

  • ||

    From the Onion News Network

    America: Freedom To Fascism
    Director: Aaron RussoDocumentaryRated: Not Rated
    95 minutes

    Reviewed by Nathan Rabin
    July 26th, 2006

    One-time Libertarian presidential candidate and Rude Awakening auteur Aaron Russo has some very good news for you: You don't have to pay income taxes anymore! Congrats! Don't spend all that extra money in one place! According to Russo, at least, there's no law on the books forcing individuals to pay any kind of graduated income taxes. In fact, according to Russo's documentary America: Freedom To Fascism, income taxes are downright unconstitutional. Now the bad news: any day now, jackbooted thugs will break down your door, seize your belongings, and insert a computer chip inside you so you can be monitored at all times by the looming one-world international government. Yes, America: Freedom To Fascism gives the Michael Moore muckraking-underdog treatment to the kind of delirious conspiracy theories generally associated with mentally ill homeless people screaming at passersby to stop stealing their brainwaves.

    Forget The Da Vinci Code: Russo's rambling, bizarre op-ed piece of a movie posits a conspiracy so sweeping and far-reaching that it makes Dan Brown's revisionist take on Christian history seem positively modest by comparison. In his wildly digressive quest to uncover the (supposedly nonexistent) law forcing Americans to pay income tax, Russo unconvincingly indicts a rogue's gallery of scoundrels and heavies from both sides of the political divide.

    From the IRS to the greedy bankers behind the Federal Reserve to The Patriot Act to globalization and multinational corporations, Fascism rails semi-coherently against bogeymen on the left and right, employing public-access production values and a world-changing sense of purpose wildly disproportionate to its paltry resources and amateurish direction. The film somehow manages the formidable task of being far more paranoid and hysterical than even its screaming tabloid-headline title would suggest.

  • Dave Woycechowsky||

    [i]HnR:[/i] Thanks for not sending out Dave "Weigs" Weigel out to cover this memorial svc.

  • ||

    Thanks for not sending out Dave "Weigs" Weigel out to cover this memorial svc.

    Why? Is Weigel squeamish about being associated with nut cases?

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    Here's the thing. While many of us go about our business relatively unmolested by the man, there are some who, if they get in the way of the wrong government people, will get steamrolled or mowed down like Bugs Moran's people on St Val's Day.

    Here's an example. Get caught driving in Ca without insurance. After your car is seized and you can't bail it out of the impound yard in order to stay out of jail you must buy car insurance even though you do not own a car. And you think Aaron Russo's a nutcase?

    Just cuz you ain't paranoid doesn't mean they ain't out to get you.

  • ||

    Yep, that's the thing. I've just realized that the mental age of those who buy into Russo's shit is about six. Thanks, Wine Commonsewer, for the insight.

  • ||

    By the way, I don't include Jesse Walker,David Weigel, Brian Doherty, et al. in the mental- age-of-six category. They're all way too smart and sophisticated not to realize that most of what Aaron Russo spewed is utter drivel. That they nonetheless sing Russo's praise as a great "Libertarian activist" puts them on a par with the most cynical Stalinists. Whatever advances the party's cause, however stupid and banal, is objectively true and good.

  • ||

    The Stalinists, alas, actually got somewhere. Happily, the Reasonoid crowd is hopelessly inept.

  • ||

    Brandybuck says, addressing me, "You tax conspiracists are obsessive legalists..."

    Cool your Jets Captain Video. I am not a "tax conpsiracist." In my post, I basically agreed with your position concerning the law, even though you found a way to put me on the other side and flame me. But I have also been aware of and paying attention to the tax conspiracy movement, since first joining the Libertarian Party, decades ago, and I'm rather disgusted with the government's apparent incompetence to effectly counter the conspiracist story. People were spreading tax conspiracy stories in 1980 and they are still doing it today. You'd think that, in almost 30 years, the government would have figured out how to educate people about the existence and provisions of the law, and that, by now, the conspiracist position would have no credibility whatsoever because the public would know the facts as well as they know that a red light means "stop." That's all I'm saying. If the government can't even propagate the facts of something so basic as individual tax liability, how do we expect them to successfully prosecute the war on drugs, or Iraq? On the other hand, they're not doing so well in those other arenas, are they?

    Nice "vehemently agreeing" with you. :-)

  • ||

    Fluffy addresses me with, "I think you have to consider the likely possibility that if the IRS did promulgate information related to any particular conspiracy, the conspiracy landscape would just shift and mutate itself around them. The IRS deniers would just shift to new stories."

    I've been paying taxes since the 1970s. For nearly all of those years, I have done my own tax forms (by hand, or with computer assistance in recent years). I read through the documents they send. Even so, after all those years, I found myself unable to answer the tax conspiracist question "show me the law," without having to delve into the actual code (which has only been readily available to the average person over the internet for just a few years). I should have run across it in the Form 1040 instructions TWENTY TIMES IN TWENTY YEARS.

    I'm not convinced, whatever publicity efforts the IRS has engaged in, that they were particularly seriously pursued, much less effective. In the face of simple language from the US Code, the only position that the conspiracists could take would be that the 16th Amendment was somehow invalid. I don't find that position especially credible, but many people find credible the "show me the law" challenge, when the government fails to respond or seems to answer in a non-helpful manner. That's easy to change, so why hasn't the government made the necessary changes, at least in the three decades that I have been paying taxes?

  • ||

    ...so why hasn't the government made the necessary changes, at least in the three decades that I have been paying taxes?

    Maybe because the conspiracy nuts who demand to be shown the law are so marginal that the government is unaware of their exitence. The government has a lot on its plate what with the war in Iraq and all.

  • ||

    Actually, Russo thought the government (ours) was behind the 9/11 attacks. How can a government that's busy flying planes in the WTT and making it look like a radical Islamist job have time for pesky questions about the tax law? The government has its hands full keeping thousands of co-conspirators quiet, for heaven's sake. Let's give the government a break.

  • ||

    Christ, Edward, do you ever get tired of attacking Ron Paul? Don't you, you know, support someone?

  • ||

    Cesar,

    Who said anything about Ron Paul? I've been commenting on the crackpot Libertarian activist Aaron Russo. I don't support any crackpots. Do you?

  • ||

    By (your) definition, every libertarian (notice the small "l") activist is a crackpot. Do I have it right?

  • ||

    John-David,

    Not at all. I think libertarians who think the income tax law is a fraud perperated by a conspiracy and that the American government is directly responsible for the 9/11 attacks are crackpots. Libertarianism has much to recommend it, especially on social issues.

    I apologize for the moron remark. Sometimes I get carried away.

  • ||

    Tax Scams - How to Recognize and Avoid Them


    To help the public recognize and avoid abusive tax schemes, the IRS offers an abundance of educational materials. Participating in an illegal scheme to avoid paying taxes can result in imprisonment and fines, as well as the repayment of taxes owed with penalties and interest. Education is the best way to avoid the pitfalls of these "too good to be true" tax scams.

    Common Scheme Types

    * Anti-Tax Law Schemes
    * Abusive Home-Based Business Schemes
    * Abusive Trust Schemes
    * Misuse of the Disabled Access Credit
    * Abusive Offshore Schemes
    * Employee Plans Abusive Tax Transactions
    * Exempt Organization Abusive Tax Avoidance Transactions

    More Information

    * IRS Fact Sheet 2005-15, IRS Obtains More Than 100 Injunctions Against Tax Scheme Promoters
    * IRS News Release 2005-19, IRS Announces the 2005 Dirty Dozen
    * IRS News Release 2004-48
    IRS, Justice Department Note Increase in Tax Enforcement: Civil and Criminal Enforcement Against Tax Cheats on the Rise
    * IRS News Release 2004-47
    IRS Warns Businesses, Individuals to Watch for Questionable Employment Tax Practices
    * IRS News Release 2004-42
    IRS Warns of "Corporation Sole" Tax Scam
    * IRS News Release 2004-26
    IRS Updates the 'Dirty Dozen' for 2004: Agency Warns of New Scams
    * IRS News Release 2004-19
    IRS, States Move Forward in Fight Against Abusive Tax Avoidance
    * IRS News Release 2003-111
    IRS and States Announce Partnership to Target Abusive Tax Avoidance Transactions
    * Listed Abusive Tax Shelters and Transactions
    * Tax Fraud Alerts
    Information from the IRS Criminal Investigation Division
    * Department of Justice and IRS Civil and Criminal Actions
    * IRS Article About Abusive Employee Plan Tax Schemes

  • ||

    The Law: The requirement to pay taxes is not voluntary and is clearly set forth in section 1 of the Internal Revenue Code, which imposes a tax on the taxable income of individuals, estates, and trusts as determined by the tables set forth in that section. (Section 11 imposes a tax on the taxable income of corporations.) Furthermore, the obligation to pay tax is described in section 6151 , which requires taxpayers to submit payment with their tax returns. Failure to pay taxes could subject the noncomplying individual to criminal penalties, including fines and imprisonment, as well as civil penalties.

    In discussing section 6151, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals stated "when a tax return is required to be filed, the person so required 'shall' pay such taxes to the internal revenue officer with whom the return is filed at the fixed time and place. The sections of the Internal Revenue Code imposed a duty on Drefke to file tax returns and pay the . . . tax, a duty which he chose to ignore." United States v. Drefke, 707 F.2d 978, 981 (8 th Cir. 1983).

    Relevant Case Law:
    United States v. Bressler, 772 F.2d 287, 291 (7 th Cir. 1985) - The court upheld Bressler's conviction for tax evasion, noting, "[he] has refused to file income tax returns and pay the amounts due not because he misunderstands the law, but because he disagrees with it . . . . [O]ne who refuses to file income tax returns and pay the tax owing is subject to prosecution, even though the tax protester believes the laws requiring the filing of income tax returns and the payment of income tax are unconstitutional."

    Schiff v. United States, 919 F.2d 830, 833 (2d Cir. 1990), cert. denied, 501 U.S. 1238 (1991) - The court rejected Schiff's arguments as meritless and upheld imposition of the civil fraud penalty, stating "[t]he frivolous nature of this appeal is perhaps best illustrated by our conclusion that Schiff is precisely the sort of taxpayer upon whom a fraud penalty for failure to pay income taxes should be imposed."

    Packard v. United States, 7 F. Supp. 2d 143, 145 (D. Conn. 1998) - The court dismissed Packard's refund suit for recovery of penalties for failure to pay income tax and failure to pay estimated taxes where the taxpayer contested the obligation to pay taxes on religious grounds, noting that "the ability of the Government to function could be impaired if persons could refuse to pay taxes because they disagreed with the Government's use of tax revenues."

    United States v. Gerads, 999 F.2d 1255, 1256 (8 th Cir. 1993) - The court stated that "[taxpayers'] claim that payment of federal income tax is voluntary clearly lacks substance" and imposed sanctions in the amount of $1,500 "for bringing this frivolous appeal based on discredited, tax-protestor arguments."

  • ||

    But wait, we don't judge Libertarian activists on the basis of facts and the quality of their arguments. We judge them on the passion of their rhetoric and the creativity of their conspiracy theories. Everybody else is held to rigorous standards, but not our Libertarian saints, especially when they're dead. Aaron Russo lives on in the hearts and addled brains of the faithful. Amen.

  • ||

    Edward,

    Thanks, but I think I'll keep this nickname for a while, if only to remind myself that I'm not as smart as I think I am.

    By the way, big-L Libertarian activists do tend to be nuts like blue-faced guy, statue-of-liberty guy, and Eric Dondero. Small-l libertarians are varied in beliefs, and not all of us hold to bizarre conspiracy theories. Personally, I found Russo's documentary fascinating, although at the same time I agree with you that it is in a sense pointless because it will not change anything. That doesn't mean that interesting ideas weren't raised in it, and perhaps some truth was contained within. I don't for a second believe that the income tax is unconstitutional, or that a gold-fringed flag in a courtroom means you are facing a military tribunal, or any other nonsense that a lot of Libertarians (and, sadly, some libertarians) believe. I think the one thing that binds us is the rule of law, and the basic principles in the Constitution, which is something one would think any freedom-loving American would agree with. Maybe not every detail, but the general idea.

  • ||

    Okay, That Moron John-David, I'll adopt a humbling nickname, too, but just for this post.
    I don't think Russo's documentary is pointless because it won't change anything. I think it's complete and utter shit. Russo should be an embarrassment to libertarians because he called himself one. But the shameless ideologues that that run Reason post adulatory garbage about him here. What's the point?

  • Allen||

    It's too bad that on my road trip in the Southwest and West the only sign I saw for Ron Paul was outside of Cane Beds (?), Arizona. Surely there are more towns than some lil' spot on a map of people staying outside of the crazy Hindale/Colorado city FDLS scene where folks actually support Ron Paul. Heck, I'm surprised with all the No Trespassing signs up around the FDLS mini-compounds they didn't have a few Ron Paul signs up to boot. Afer all, what other candidate just may legalize pologamy?

  • GARKO||

    thanks my friend,
    i was there and this is a beautiful summary of the day's events and of Dr Paul's brilliant tight rope walk of not being political while sharing his love for his fallen brother in the freedom movement.
    I was very moved by the whole proceedings and I told Heidi later that she helped a lot of people that day to move on past their loss. Aaron gave a voice and a face and a major kick in the ass to the freedom movement while waking up millions of people. We need to redouble our efforts so that his legacy will live forever.

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