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Free Citizen

This writer espouses individual liberty, free markets, and limited government.

Location: Jackson, Mississippi, United States

Monday, November 30, 2009

Income Tax: Why We Have It

by Alan Stang

Tote that barge, lift that bale, and make sure you pay on time. April 15th approaches and my guess is that only a relative handful of Americans knows why we have the income tax. With rare exceptions, they will exclaim that we must have the income tax to "pay the expenses of the government." Of course the truth is exactly the opposite. The income tax has nothing to do with paying the expenses of the government.

First an obvious fact, something you already know. When was the country created? Pick a date. Many would pick July 4th, 1776, when the Continental Congress adopted the nation’s birth certificate, the Declaration of Independence. Many others would pick the date of ratification of the Constitution. Let’s arbitrarily use 1776.

Now, when did we get the income tax? Except for the temporary income tax during Lincoln’s Communist War to Destroy the Union, there was no income tax in this country until 1913, when the U.S. Supreme Court upheld its validity in Brushaber, 240 U.S. 1. Indeed, even then it did not affect more than a handful of our people.

As late as 1942, only 3% of our people paid income tax. Until that date, most people probably had heard of it, but they didn’t pay it and had never seen the form. It didn’t apply to them. Indeed, if you check the records, you will see that in 1941, when the reader may have already been alive, the federal government collected more in alcohol and tobacco taxes than it did in income tax. Remember "moonshine" and the "revenooers?"

The income tax finally did hit the people in a big way only in 1942, and then only because we were of course in the middle of the war Franklin Roosevelt had finally succeeded in tricking us into by arranging Pearl Harbor. Even so, the conspiratorial warmongers could put the tax over only by calling it the "Victory" tax, a "temporary" tax collected by withholding, which would be repealed as soon as we had won the war.

Question: Name for me a year, just one year, between 1776 and 1942, when the nation couldn’t function because we had no income tax. Can’t find one? Okay name a month, just one month, when the nation collapsed, couldn’t pay its bills, because we had no income tax. How about a week?

Indeed, remember that during all that time, we fought many wars. We won them all. Yes, we won World War II with the income tax because it was "temporary," not yet a permanent part of our lives, but mainly because we fought that war on behalf of Stalin. With the income tax we have not outright won a war since, from Korea to Iraq.

Remember, you knew all this. I am simply reminding you of something you already knew. So, if we didn’t have an income tax, yet never collapsed, where did the federal government get the funds to pay for itself? Read more>>>>

Manhattan Declaration

Manhattan Declaration: A Call of Christian Conscience

Drafted October 20, 2009
Released November 20, 2009


Christians are heirs of a 2,000-year tradition of proclaiming God’s word, seeking justice in our societies, resisting tyranny, and reaching out with compassion to the poor, oppressed and suffering.

While fully acknowledging the imperfections and shortcomings of Christian institutions and communities in all ages, we claim the heritage of those Christians who defended innocent life by rescuing discarded babies from trash heaps in Roman cities and publicly denouncing the Empire’s sanctioning of infanticide. We remember with reverence those believers who sacrificed their lives by remaining in Roman cities to tend the sick and dying during the plagues, and who died bravely in the coliseums rather than deny their Lord.

After the barbarian tribes overran Europe, Christian monasteries preserved not only the Bible but also the literature and art of Western culture. It was Christians who combated the evil of slavery: Papal edicts in the 16th and 17th centuries decried the practice of slavery and first excommunicated anyone involved in the slave trade; evangelical Christians in England, led by John Wesley and William Wilberforce, put an end to the slave trade in that country. Christians under Wilberforce’s leadership also formed hundreds of societies for helping the poor, the imprisoned, and child laborers chained to machines.

In Europe, Christians challenged the divine claims of kings and successfully fought to establish the rule of law and balance of governmental powers, which made modern democracy possible. And in America, Christian women stood at the vanguard of the suffrage movement. The great civil rights crusades of the 1950s and 60s were led by Christians claiming the Scriptures and asserting the glory of the image of God in every human being regardless of race, religion, age or class.

This same devotion to human dignity has led Christians in the last decade to work to end the dehumanizing scourge of human trafficking and sexual slavery, bring compassionate care to AIDS sufferers in Africa, and assist in a myriad of other human rights causes – from providing clean water in developing nations to providing homes for tens of thousands of children orphaned by war, disease and gender discrimination.

Like those who have gone before us in the faith, Christians today are called to proclaim the Gospel of costly grace, to protect the intrinsic dignity of the human person and to stand for the common good. In being true to its own calling, the call to discipleship, the church through service to others can make a profound contribution to the public good. Read more>>>>

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Wonders of Socialized Medicine

"In Canada, the population is divided into three age groups in terms of their access to healthcare: those below 45, those 45–65, and those over 65. Needless to say, the first group, who could be called the "active taxpayers," enjoys priority treatment."


by Yuri N. Maltsev

In 1918, the Soviet Union became the first country to promise universal "cradle-to-grave" healthcare coverage, to be accomplished through the complete socialization of medicine. The "right to health" became a "constitutional right" of Soviet citizens.

The proclaimed advantages of this system were that it would "reduce costs" and eliminate the "waste" that stemmed from "unnecessary duplication and parallelism" — i.e., competition.

These goals were similar to the ones declared by Mr. Obama and Ms. Pelosi — attractive and humane goals of universal coverage and low costs. What's not to like?

The system had many decades to work, but widespread apathy and low quality of work paralyzed the healthcare system. In the depths of the socialist experiment, healthcare institutions in Russia were at least a hundred years behind the average US level. Moreover, the filth, odors, cats roaming the halls, drunken medical personnel, and absence of soap and cleaning supplies added to an overall impression of hopelessness and frustration that paralyzed the system. According to official Russian estimates, 78 percent of all AIDS victims in Russia contracted the virus through dirty needles or HIV-tainted blood in the state-run hospitals.

Irresponsibility, expressed by the popular Russian saying "They pretend they are paying us and we pretend we are working," resulted in appalling quality of service, widespread corruption, and extensive loss of life. My friend, a famous neurosurgeon in today's Russia, received a monthly salary of 150 rubles — one third of the average bus driver's salary.

In order to receive minimal attention by doctors and nursing personnel, patients had to pay bribes. I even witnessed a case of a "nonpaying" patient who died trying to reach a lavatory at the end of the long corridor after brain surgery. Anesthesia was usually "not available" for abortions or minor ear, nose, throat, and skin surgeries. This was used as a means of extortion by... Read more>>>>

Click here to view the extensive comments on this article.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

NC Independents May Vote in Either Party's Primary

North Carolina is one of the three former Confederate States-- the others are Florida and Louisiana-- that registers voters by party.

Republicans in the Tar Heel State, who have invited independents to vote in GOP primaries since 1988, recently decided overwhelmingly to keep doing so.

"Republicans pushing the change argued party members should be the ones picking their nominees because independents are more inclined to back moderates.

"But many state leaders worried changing the rules could damage Republican chances to win elections in 2010.

"Unaffiliated voters have been allowed in Democratic primaries since 1996."

Mississippi is one of the states that mandates that any party's primary be open to any registered voter. Several years ago, of course, the Democrats filed a federal suit (Mississippi Democratic Party v. Barbour) against this law, since they wanted to be able to block Republicans from voting in Democratic primaries. If the law had been struck down, the Democrats said that they would invite independents to vote in Democratic primaries, while the Republicans indicated that they would keep GOP primaries open to ALL voters. Thus Republicans would have been the only voters who would have had less choice on primary day.

U. S. district judge Allen Pepper declared the Mississippi law unconstiutional. The 5th U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, however, threw out the case on procedural grounds.

A similar lawsuit is now pending in U. S. district court in Boise, Idaho (Idaho Republican Party v. Ysursa).

Thanks to Ballot Access News for the link.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Commies Find a Home in the Democratic Party

A post at Ballot Access News notes the possibility that consumer advocate Ralph Nader will run in 2010 for the U. S. Senate seat now held by Chris Dodd of Connecticut. There are some interesting comments on this post, one of which really caught my attention. It's from an ultra-leftist from California who has recently joined the Democratic Party. It speaks volumes about the current state of that party:

"... most members of the Communist Party USA work within the Democratic Party. Just yesterday, I resigned from CPUSA and rejoined the Socialist Party USA.

"... I am the same Phil Sawyer who was an activist in the Peace and Freedom Party of California. The Democratic Party is, indeed, a capitalist party. However, many people who are socialists or communists work within that Party because they think that it is the most practical approach in our country."

Van Jones and Anita Dunn, President Obama's recently-resigned "czar" and communications director, respectively, obviously aren't the only communist sympathizers in the administration and the Democratic Party.

Dunn, of course, said that Mao Tse-Tung, the greatest mass murderer in human history, is one of her favorite political philosophers.

Former ambassador Alan Keyes says that Obama (mmm, mmm, mmm) is himself a communist. I'm beginning to think he may be right.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Southern Political Report Wrong on 1860 Presidential Race

Stephen Douglas was a U. S. senator from Illinois, having defeated Abraham Lincoln in 1858. John C. Breckinridge, a Kentuckian and the incumbent vice president, later served as secretary of war for the Confederacy. John Bell of Tennessee was the candidate of the Constitutional Union Party.

Breckinridge finished second in electoral votes, Bell third, and Douglas fourth. ~~ SR


From Ballot Access News:

Southern Political Report of November 16 has a story about divisions in the present-day Democratic Party over health care. The article starts by saying, “Most folks don’t know that Democrats won more votes than Abraham Lincoln in the 1860 presidential election. But given that those popular votes were split between Stephen Douglas and John C. Breckinridge, Lincoln was able to take advantage of the division and win the Electoral College even though he had less than 40% of the popular vote.”

That second sentence is not true; Lincoln’s victory did not depend on the fact that the Democrats were split. Even if all the popular votes for both Douglas and Breckinridge had been cast for a single Democratic presidential candidate, Abraham Lincoln still would have won a majority in the Electoral College. Lincoln got a majority of the popular vote in all the states that he carried, except for California and Oregon, which only had 7 electoral votes between them. Back in 1860, a majority in the Electoral College was 152 electoral votes, and Lincoln won 180 electoral votes.

The Democrats in 1860 had been aware that their chances were injured by having two presidential candidates, and they had formed “fusion” slates of presidential elector candidates in some states to counter the effects of their division. There were fusion slates in Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island (some of these fusion slates also included some electors for the Constitutional Union Party candidate, the fourth strong candidate in the race). There was also a Constitutional Union-southern Democratic fusion slate in Texas. None of the fusion anti-Lincoln slates won any electors, except three in New Jersey, all of which went to Douglas. Click here for the Southern Political Report story.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Republican Party in Mississippi

A post at Majority in Mississippi discussed the switches of the Simpson County officials to the Republican Party and touched on the GOP's recent history in the Magnolia State. Here is my comment.

"Following Reconstruction, the state had supported a Democrat [for president] the previous 18 times."

Third party and independent tickets gave Mississippians non-Democratic choices other than the Republicans. In 1948, the state voted 87.2 percent for the States Rights ticket, which featured our governor, Fielding Wright, as Governor Strom Thurmond’s running mate. In 1960, a slate of unpledged electors carried the Magnolia State with 39 percent; our electors wound up voting for Senator Harry Byrd Sr. of Virginia, rather than either the Democrat John Kennedy or the Republican Richard Nixon.

In 1964, as you noted, the Republican Barry Goldwater carried Mississippi with 87.1 percent. The GOP's Prentiss Walker, a Mize chicken farmer, was elected to the U. S. House on Goldwater's coattails, defeating the 22-year incumbent Democrat, Arthur Winstead of Philadelphia. In 1966, Walker foolishly gave up his House seat to run against Senator Jim Eastland (that fall, I attended a Walker rally at the Mississippi Coliseum in Jackson, at which Goldwater spoke).

In 1968, the independent George Wallace of Alabama won the state, with the Democrat Hubert Humphrey coming in second and Nixon running third with 13.5 percent. Nixon won the state in 1972 with 76.1 percent, and except for the Democrat Jimmy Carter’s narrow win in 1976, the Republicans have carried this state in every presidential election since.

It’s worth noting that GOP congressman Thad Cochran was elected U. S. senator in 1978 with 45 percent. Running as an independent, Charles Evers got 22.9 percent, almost all of which would have otherwise gone to the Democrat Maurice Dantin, who got 31.8 percent (another black independent, Henry Kirksey, got 0.3 percent).

It should also be noted that the black vote, which routinely goes 90-plus percent Democratic, is a major reason why more candidates don’t run as Republicans. A candidate in a jurisdiction with a sizable black population knows he would be kissing off a big chunk of the vote if he ran as a Republican.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Keep Your PC Clean and Quick

From Breitbart:

(ARA) - What you don't know can hurt you - big time - when it comes to what's hiding in your PC. From "naturally" occurring registry errors to more insidious threats like spyware, hidden problems can slow your computer performance to a crawl or even cause it to crash.

A little pro-active maintenance, however, can go a long way towards preventing problems. Keeping your PC "clean" and running at its best is as simple as establishing a routine maintenance schedule and using the right kinds of software to address the most common problems. The good news is, many of these maintenance tasks can be automated, thanks to software developers who understand how busy the average PC user is - and how baffling trouble-shooting can be.

Here are three key "cleaning" tasks that you should perform on a regular basis (at least once a week):

Run a registry cleaner

If your computer is slower now than when you first bought it, the problem may be registry errors. Installing and removing software, playing online games, application crashes and upgrades of software problems can all create "natural" errors in your PC's registry. They accumulate over time and the more errors you have, the higher the likelihood that you'll experience trouble.

To protect your system, install a one-click tool called Advanced Registry Optimizer 5 (ARO 5). The software ferrets out and corrects registry errors. Manufacturer Sammsoft offers free trials of ARO 5 so people can check their systems for errors. Go to www.Sammsoft.com to download your free trial. Once the download is complete, just click "run" to install ARO 5. The program will scan and diagnose your PC's registry, tell you how many errors it found and then fix the first 20 errors for free. If you like the trial version, you can upgrade to the full unlimited commercial system for just $29.95.

Industry watcher Softarea51 recently gave the software 5 stars, calling it "a remarkable product, best of breed in its class, rising above its competitors by its innovative approach."

Out spyware

Did you know that 61 percent of PCs have spyware on them? And of those infected, 92 percent of users didn't know spyware was present on their computers, according to a poll by AOL and the National Cyber-Security Alliance.

Spyware - software that gets installed on your computer without your knowledge or consent - is considered a serious security threat. Not only can spyware collect information about your Internet usage, it can install additional software, hijack your browser, change your computer settings and slow down your computer performance.

Scan for spyware daily if you are on the Internet often and download frequently. Many companies offer completely free anti-spyware software for download.

Be vigilant to viruses

With so many other computer threats cropping up, it may be easy to overlook virus protection. But viruses continue to be a major threat to computer security, costing consumers and companies billions of dollars worldwide each year to prevent virus transmission and clean up after infection.

The best defense is a good offense when it comes to computer viruses. Subscribe to a virus protection software that provides constant updates since new viruses emerge and old ones evolve into new forms every day. Scan for new viruses at least once a week - more frequently if you are a heavy Internet user or receive large volumes of unsolicited e-mail.

Don't wait until it's too late...go to www.Sammsoft.com to download your free trial. Once the download is complete, just click "run" to install ARO 5. The program will scan and diagnose your PC's registry, tell you how many errors it found and then fix the first 20 errors for free. If you like the trial version, you can upgrade to the full unlimited commercial system for just $29.95.

Sponsored content provided by ARALifestyle. Copyright ARAnet, Inc.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

The "Open Primary" in Louisiana

The outcome of Louisiana’s 1991 and 1995 gubernatorial races belies the contention that the "open primary"[1] favors “moderates” or “centrists.” The 1991 runoff featured ex-Gov. Edwin Edwards (D), who had already been tried for fraud, and David Duke (R), an ex-Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan. The incumbent governor, Buddy Roemer, who had switched to the Republicans in March 1991, finished third; he had the endorsement of President Bush I and the national Republicans. Another Republican was backed by the state GOP, and he ran fourth.

Duke was repudiated by the Republican leaders, all of whom supported the Democrat Edwards in the runoff (a similar thing had happened in the 1990 U. S. Senate race). Many Louisianans held their noses and voted for Edwards, who won with 61 percent.

The 1995 gubernatorial runoff featured a white conservative Republican and a black liberal Democrat; now-U. S. senator Mary Landrieu, a moderate Democrat, had finished third, and ex-Gov. Roemer (R) ran fourth. Like the 1991 runoff, the 1995 runoff was not competitive, as the Republican, Mike Foster, won with some 66 percent.

The 1991 and 1995 elections are examples of how the “open primary” enables extreme candidates like Duke and Cleo Fields (’95) to reach the final election. If Louisiana had had party primaries, neither Duke nor Fields would have been on the general election ballot, as they would have been beaten in the primary (remember that, when Louisiana has party primaries, 50-plus percent is required to win).

In the 1996 race for the open U. S. Senate seat, there were five or six serious Republican candidates, and it seemed likely that they would split the GOP vote and enable two Democrats to make the runoff. At the 11th hour, the Republican leaders endorsed Woody Jenkins, who made the runoff against the Democrat Landrieu.


[1] "Open primary" is the popular name for nonpartisan elections, in which all candidates, including independents, appear on the same ballot. The top two vote-getters, regardless of party, advance to the runoff. "Top two" is a much more accurate name for this system, which Louisiana now uses to elect its state and local officials. The Bayou State restored party primaries for its congressional elections in 2008.