Monday, March 5, 2007
Where or where to begin? A few examples should suffice.
Signing Statements (added to bills when the Pres signs them into law) have been utilized by many past Presidents, not just King George. In the past, however, the purpose of such a Statement has been to clarify a portion of the law for the use of the department/agency which will be responsible for implementing and enforcing the law; the clarification may be necessary in order for the department to write its regulation, which is the implementing tool.
[For those readers not familiar with the difference between a law and a regulation, let me explain. (For seven years I worked for a large County's environmental management department, HazMat Division; in that capacity I became intimately familar with County, State, and Fed laws and regulations in the environmental field.) When a bill is passed into law, the raw law is handed over to the department which will implement the law, so that the department can write a (usually) much more detailed regulation. It is the regulation that is enforced. Should a matter go to court, both the law and the regulation are cited; however, the law reigns supreme... or at least, it should. In the Fed realm, a "law" is designated by the letters "USC"; a "regulation" is designated by "CFR".]
King George (please excuse the well-deserved sarcasm) at times uses Signing Statements for a completely different purpose. Sometimes he uses them to say, in effect, "If I so choose, this law (or some portion of it) does not apply to me."; he does this because certain NeoCon theorists have convinced him that he possesses an expanded "Unitary Presidency" (a theory), which basically means that Congress has virtually no control whatsoever over his actions.
"The Bush administration has interpreted the theory more expansively than previous administrations. As for what specific constitutional limitations on the judicial power President George W. Bush may have in mind, the argument used by the President and his supporters is widely regarded as consistent with legal positions promulgated by John Yoo, particularly as recorded in several of his legal memoranda while working at the Department of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel under Bush. Yoo's positions include that the use of military force is, like presidential vetoes and pardons, an unreviewable matter. Yoo's opinions are widely seen by legal scholars as controversial and contrary to most scholars' understanding of the Constitution." [Emphasis added] From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unitary_executive_theory .
Let's move on to the Individual Income Tax. After the 16th Amendment was ratified (there is some argument about that, but to me it's an issue not worth pursuing), Congress passed the Income Tax LAW---USC Title 26. Then the raw law was turned over to the IRS (a part of the Treasury Dept., which is a part of the Executive Branch) so that they could write the REGULATION---the IRS Tax Code---CFR Title 26. Once that was done, the taxation of individuals began. Challenges to both the law and the regulation followed.
Between 1918 and 1923, eight Supreme Court rulings (none of which have been overturned or reversed) concluded that the word "income"---or perhaps it was "incomes", can't recall offhand---meant "gain from corporate activity", and that the Amendment conferred "no new taxing powers" upon the Fed Govt. Congress then revised the law, incorporating the conclusions of the Court. The IRS then revised the regulation---the IRS Tax Code---but, purposely (an opinion) buried and scattered the relevant revisions in the voluminous and convoluted Code. It continued to tax individuals, referring to them (in small print) as "voluntary taxpayers"; the word "voluntary" was dropped in 1954 or thereabouts. The Tax Code has been revised since then as well, but the basic premise above still holds.
It is important to note that phrases such as "Married Individuals", "Heads of Households", and "Single Individuals" do not appear in the first revision of the Income Tax LAW, but only in the regulation--- the IRS Tax Code. A few years ago, We the People Foundation ran a full-page ad in USA Today, offering $50,000 cash to anyone who could produce a law requiring a tax on an individual's labor---in other words, a tax on a wage-earner's compensation. Two IRS Agents, Joe Banister and Sherry Jackson, independently decided to claim the money; for them, they figured, it would be a slam-dunk. On their own times, each began researching. After months of exhaustive research, both came up empty. Banister then approached his IRS superiors, inquiring as to the location of the law (not the regulation); he was "asked" to resign. [On his website, http://www.freedomabovefortune.com/ , on the left side of the Home page click on "Resignation Documents" for some interesting reading. One can also download his Preliminary Report on his investigation (about 50 pages, as I recall) for more details.]
No one has successfully claimed the $50,000 because there is no such LAW. For years, I believed that "tax resisters" (members of the Tax Honesty Movement) were kooks and crazies. It turns out they were correct regarding their claims. All those years, I was a tax chump, along with most Americans. The IRS Tax Code is impeccably Constitutional (assuming that, in fact, the 16th Amendment was properly ratified), but it is MISapplied to all wage-earning individuals.
Next is the Executive's treatment or mistreatment of the Fourth Amendment. Need I say more? Unless there is a duly authorized warrant, we are to be secure in our houses, persons, papers, and effects. Warrantless eavesdropping, warrantless mining of bank records, warrantless monitoring of phone call destinations and frequencies of calls ALL violate the Fourth Amendment. Surprisingly, the subverted courts have agreed...at least on the issue of warrantless eavesdropping. King George finally dropped the Executive's appeals on that topic and now (supposedly) no longer engages in the practice.
Due to time constraints, I refer you to my previous post--- "Legislative Absolutism". I shall expand on that subject later, in a different post.
A couple of examples should suffice.
I remember when the fairly recent Eminent Domain case involving the seizing of land (private homes) and then giving/selling it to private developers reached the Supreme Court. I thought to myself, "This is a slam-dunk; Eminent Domain is to be used for public roads, govt buildings, etc."---imagine my shock when the 5-4 decision was revealed. The justification given was that such action expands the tax revenues of the City/County. No one's home or land anywhere is any longer safe from the tentacles of the government.
Finally, going back to the Individual Income Tax, court judges do not allow tax case defendants to submit into evidence any of the eight Supreme Court rulings mentioned above---"not relevant". Nor are they allowed to introduce into evidence any revealing portions of the IRS Tax Code (CFR) or the Income Tax Statute (USC). This...in a tax case! In effect, the Judge invariably says, "I'll tell YOU what the law is; you're not allowed to tell me."--- So I ask, where is due process?
To a large degree, individual sovereignty in this country has been superceded by a Collectivist State---Fascist State, if you prefer. [Totalitarianism is totalitarianism.] The individual has been subordinated to the State. It is our fault as a People; we have not been vigilant. Our Founders must be turning in their graves.
To those who believe that voting still matters, and that our current situation is a "Bush problem", or a "NeoCon problem", or a "Republican problem", I offer this. Bill Clinton also made use of warrantless wiretapping. Bill Clinton also used the military for purposes other than the Constitutionally authorized repelling of invasions and/or quelling of insurrections. FDR and LBJ were the KINGS of Legislative Absolutism, even though they were Executives.
Something must be done, and time may be short. It is entirely possible that de facto President Cheney (sorry, that's how I see him) may resign due to ill health well prior to 2008. King George will then appoint his (W's) virtual successor, and the NeoCon troops will rally the conned base of evangelicals (that's the way I see it...conned) and non-evangelical Conservatives...thus continuing the dynasty. Make no mistake---the election in 2008 will be the dirtiest campaign in the history of the Alpha Quadrant. That's not even considering the possibility of a rigged election due to the use of electronic voting machines.
I urge everyone to get involved in re-establishing the Freedom envisioned by our Founders. Take a look at the "Recommended" websites, the links for which are in the upper left of this page. If you agree, sign the Petitions for Redress found at givemeliberty.org, view the film, "America: Freedom to Fascism", learn the basics at originalintent, and if possible, participate in civil disobedience events or protests described at givemeliberty and freedomtofascism.