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Belief vs. Understanding

(originally launched into cyberspace on 03/24/2007)

Dear Subscriber,

My biggest frustration regarding the income tax issue is that the
beliefs of most people are based on faith, rather than knowledge.
For example, my jury understood nothing about the law. The chance
that any of them had ever even briefly browsed the tax laws before
my trial is slim to none. They chose to BELIEVE, based on no actual
evidence at all, that I was required to file. The judge said so,
the DOJ said so, the IRS said so, and the jury chose to believe
them (and chose not to believe me, even though I showed where the
law ITSELF supports my position--something the government never

Most people take most of what they "know" on blind faith. They
don't bother investigating or questioning anything. They pick
someone to believe (usually the majority or someone with
credentials) and skip those inconvenient things like study and
thought. Well, I'm sorry to say, most of those in the "tax honesty
movement" seem to do the same thing. They want a fad to follow, a
"leader" to adhere to, a claim to believe in, but they don't want
to put in the effort to find out for themselves what is true and
what is not.

The "movement" has been one long series of theory after theory,
from claims which are at least debatable to completely daffy
fabrications. It's been going on since before I was born, and it
shows no sign of slowing. Most people prance from one "argument" to
another, understanding little or nothing for themselves, hoping
that some magic words will save them from the big, bad IRS.

And please, don't bother e-mailing me to tell me that you really DO
know the magic words. As most of you know, I investigated a lot of
those theories BEFORE I ever heard of 861 (which I did NOT
"discover"). I didn't want a pipe dream or cheap salvation; I
wanted the TRUTH, whether it was pleasant or not. And most of the
time, the truth was nowhere to be found in what the "movement" was
spreading. And when I would question those making various claims,
it very quickly became apparent that I was usually dealing with
"true believers," not thinkers. They couldn't rationally discuss
the issue or even cite any evidence supporting their conclusions;
when challenged, they would resort to insults--exactly what the
status quo "tax professionals" do.

For those among us who choose to think and understand, very little
sways our opinions. Only evidence and logic have any business
impacting what a rational being thinks. The sun didn't start going
around the earth after Galileo was imprisoned. The evidence didn't
change; reality didn't change. The earth didn't become flat because
a bunch of "learned" men said it was flat. The evidence didn't
change; reality didn't change.

Likewise, what the law itself actually says does NOT depend on
whether someone got a refund, whether someone has an injunction
against them, or whether someone went to prison, nor does it depend
upon what most people think or what credentials people have. The
evidence is all that matters, and the evidence doesn't change;
reality doesn't change.

Apparently eager for some new "get out of oppression free" card,
lots of people have flocked to an older mistake from the
"movement," but with a new paint job. I'm speaking of the claim,
advanced by Pete Hendrickson in "Cracking the Code," that what you
get paid for doing work isn't "income." Lots of people have told me
I should look into it. I did, as soon as it came out, which was
quite a while ago. It was wrong then, and it's wrong now. I know
people don't want to hear that; they want us all to join against a
"common enemy" (the IRS). But my allegiance is to the truth, and my
enemy is falsity (whether intentional or inadvertent). I have no
interest in aligning myself with one falsity in order to combat
another falsity.

A lot of you aren't going to like this, but it's time for me to
(once again) point out the flaws in the fad du jour. (I'll also
respond to Mr. Hendrickson's supposed refutation of the 861
evidence.) If you just want someone to BELIEVE, then by all means,
ignore the next couple of messages. If you're one of those people
who want to UNDERSTAND, instead of taking things on faith, then you
won't be scared of a little discussion and a little quoting of the


Larken Rose

Sins of Omission

(originally launched into cyberspace on 03/10/2007)

Dear Subscriber,

It's time now to address the second web page of
Mr. Siegel (law professor at George Washington University). On the
first page we looked at, he asserted (with no legal support) that
861 and its regulations don't "matter" and are "irrelevant" to
determining the taxable income of most U.S. citizens. Now let's see
what his second page says. Here is the link to it:

On that page, he sets out to dispute the claim that "Section 861
shows that the domestic income of U.S. citizens is not taxable."
First of all, that's not what I claim. Section 861 itself is NOT
where the limited nature of the tax is demonstrated. Sections 861
through 863 categorize ALL income, whether taxable or not, as
either domestic or foreign. It is the rest of Subchapter N, and the
regulations under 861 which explain how all the pieces work
together, which show the limited nature of the tax.

Setting aside
the slight mischaracterization of the issue, let's see what Mr.
Siegel has to say. He makes it clear that he is specifically
attempting to respond to my "Theft By Deception" video ( ), and uses the example from my video of
"Andy Green," a hypothetical U.S. citizen who lives and works in
Ohio. Mr. Siegel begins by running through the same basics my video

1) Section 1 imposes a tax on "taxable income";
2) Section
63 generally defines "taxable income" as "gross income" minus
deductions, and;
3) Section 61 generally defines "gross income" to
mean "all income from whatever source derived," and lists a few of
the most common items of income (compensation, interest, etc.).

Mr. Siegel then asserts that for the income Andy Green receives,
"It is not necessary to determine the geographic source of this
income because gross income includes income 'from whatever source
derived.'" Then, however, Mr. Siegel refers to Section 861(a)(3),
which addresses "Compensation for labor or personal services
performed in the United States." He even quotes from my video
where, at the end of Step Three, I state that based on what we've
seen up to this point, including 861(a)(3), the law apparently
seems to show Andy's income to be taxable.

At this point what
strikes me as curious (to put it nicely) about Mr. Siegel's
article, is what he OMITS. He has obviously seen the video, so he
knows the statutory history of Section 861. If you look at
217(a)(3) from the 1920's, the "grandfather" of 861(a)(3), it very
obviously was NOT saying that the compensation of people like Andy
Green is taxable. Behold:

“Sec. 217. (a) In the case of a
  • , the following items of gross income shall be
    treated as income from sources within the United States:...
    Compensation for labor or personal services performed in the United
    (b) From the items of gross income specified in
    subdivision (a) there shall be deducted [the allowable deductions].
    The remainder, if any, shall be included in full as net income from
    sources within the United States.” (Section 217, Revenue Act of

    (* A citizen could only be "entitled to the benefits of
    section 262" if most of his income came from federal possessions,
    such as Guam or Puerto Rico.)

    My video shows that section, and
    shows how the section has "evolved" over time, WITHOUT changing in
    substance, into the current Section 861. I must wonder, why did Mr.
    Siegel say nothing about that? As a law professor, he of course
    knows the importance of legislative history, and having seen my
    video, he knows where 861 came from. So why does he imply that
    861(a)(3) means that Andy Green's income is taxable, when he knows
    full well that that is NOT the case?

    And that's not all he fails
    to mention.

    1) He harps on the wording "from whatever source
    derived" (in Section 61), but never mentions the fact that the
    regulations say that "Section 861 and following... and the
    regulations thereunder determine the SOURCES of income for purposes
    of the income tax" (26 CFR 1.861-1). My video quotes that
    repeatedly. Why didn't he address it, or even mention it at all?

    2) He cites Section 61, but doesn't mention the fact that for many
    decades, since before I was born, Section 61 itself was followed by
    a cross-reference which specifically referred to Section 861
    regarding "Income from sources within the United States." (That
    cross-reference was part of the actual text of the statute
    previously, as 22(g) in the 1939 Code.) My video mentions it. Why
    doesn't Mr. Siegel?

    3) He quotes from Section 61, including the
    list of common "items" of income. He doesn't mention the fact
    (which my video does mention) that the regulations say that those
    items make up "classes of gross income," which in some cases
    include EXEMPT income (i.e., they are NOT always taxable) (26 CFR
    1.861-8(a)(3), 1.861-8(b)(1)). He also never mentions the list of
    non-exempt income which those regulations then lead to (26 CFR
    1.861-8T(d)(2)(iii)), though my video quotes from it.

    4) He
    quotes the very broad wording of the general statutory definition
    of "gross income," but doesn't mention at all the fact that income
    tax regulations, past and present, show that notwithstanding the
    broad wording of the section, there ARE Constitutional limits upon
    what is taxable, because some income is, "under the Constitution,
    not taxable by the Federal government" (26 CFR 39.22(b)-1 (1956)).
    My video specifically quotes that, but Mr. Siegel doesn't mention
    it at all. (See also 26 CFR 1.312-6.)

    5) He doesn't mention any
    of the places, such as those quoted in my prior message, where the
    regulations say, unequivocally and unconditionally, that 861 and
    its regulations give the rules for determining one's "taxable
    income from sources within the United States." He ASSERTS we
    shouldn't look there, but doesn't address (or even mention) all the
    citations that say the exact opposite--citations which ARE included
    in my video.

    In short, Mr. Siegel parrots the exact mistakes made
    by the status quo tax professionals, and ignores the citations
    which demonstrate their error. He doesn't refute them or respond to
    them: he acts as if they don't exist. And since he's seen the
    video, this can't very well be explained by mere ignorance.

    example, he quotes from 26 CFR 1.1-1 (as does my video), which says
    that citizens are liable "to the income taxes imposed by the Code,"
    whether their income is "from sources within or without the United
    States." Of course, the taxes "imposed by the Code" apply only to
    one's TAXABLE income (not all income), as 1.1-1 also states. So how
    does one DETERMINE his taxable income, foreign and/or domestic?

    “(c) Determination of taxable income. The taxpayer’s taxable income
    from sources WITHIN OR WITHOUT the United States WILL BE DETERMINED
    under the rules of Secs. 1.861-8 [and following].” [26 CFR § 1.863-

    My video quotes this, specifically as it relates to the
    wording in Section 1.1-1, yet Mr. Siegel doesn't mention it at all,
    instead asserting again that we need not look at 861 and its
    regulations. Why? It can't be because he's not aware of that
    regulation; he's seen the video.

    It's not that I expect Mr.
    Siegel to respond to every point I make, but it would be nice if he
    wouldn't just ignore evidence, acting as if it doesn't exist or as
    if he's never seen it. When I give specific citations refuting
    various assumptions and claims made by the status quo tax
    professionals, to simply REPEAT the same claims, without doing a
    thing to address the contrary evidence, is a very strange method of
    debate, if you ask me. If his goal is to change my mind, or yours,
    wouldn't it be better to ADDRESS some of those citations, instead
    of acting as if they don't exist?


    Larken Rose
  • Aluminum Foil

    (originally launched into cyberspace on 03/09/2007)

    Dear Subscriber,

    After I sent my message to this list concerning
    the comments of Mr. Siegel, law professor at George Washington
    University, having to do with the 861 evidence, a bunch of you
    apparently sent him comments. In response, he made some additions
    to his web page, adding (as he put it in an e-mail to me) "more
    quotations, citations, and arguments demonstrating the error of
    [my] position." Here are the two links he gave me:

    I'll address the first one here, and the second one in my next

    Once upon a time, someone discovered a clever way to foil
    (no pun intended) radar-guided missiles. (Yes, this does relate to
    the discussion at hand.) When a missile locked onto a plane's radar
    signature, the plane would release a cloud of aluminum foil shreds,
    giving a mess of a radar signature that would confuse the missile,
    which couldn't distinguish between the plane and the distractions.
    It would be drawn to the aluminum, of course, and blow up nothing.

    Much of the discussion of the income tax ends up being an attempt
    to isolate the target from the irrelevant debris, while some are
    throwing out aluminum-foil-style distractions. Let's look at a few
    shreds. Here are ALL of the "citations" and "quotations" which Mr.
    Siegel added to the web page I referenced in my last message:

    He mentioned 26 USC 2(d), which explains that, in the case of a
    nonresident alien, the income tax "shall apply only as provided by
    section 871 or 877." Mr. Siegel then quotes Section 871 as imposing
    a 30 percent tax on "the amount received from sources within the
    United States by a nonresident alien individual." Not to be
    nitpicky, but Mr. Siegel seems to be confusing the purpose of
    subsection 871(a) and
    subsection 871(b): the former imposes a
    separate, flat tax (NOT the normal income tax) upon U.S. income
    received by foreigners which is NOT connected with doing business
    in the U.S. (such as passive investment income), while the latter
    states that nonresidents "shall be taxable as provided in section 1
    or 55 on his taxable income which is effectively connected with the
    conduct of a trade or business within the United States."

    Siegel then explains that "foreigners need to know whether their
    income is from sources within or without the United States, because
    they are taxed only on their U.S.-source income." That is, to a
    certain extent, true (though actually, a foreigner CAN have taxable
    foreign-source income, if it comes from business conducted inside
    the U.S.). Mr. Siegel then asserts, however, that U.S. citizens are
    taxed on all of their income, regardless of source. He (again)
    gives no citation supporting that assertion.

    Now let's stand back
    for a moment, and see if we've been looking at a plane or at
    aluminum foil. The discussion has to do with the purposes of 861
    and related regulations: are they really "irrelevant," and do they
    really not "matter" for most U.S. citizens (as Mr. Siegel
    suggests), or are they the sections to use to determine everyone's
    taxable domestic income (as I suggest, and as the regulations
    state)? Notice that the citations and quotations added by Mr.
    Siegel don't even MENTION 861 at all. (Section 871 mentions 861
    only in one obscure rule regarding certain interest and dividends
    which aren't taxable.) So how do citations which DON'T MENTION 861
    support Mr. Siegel's claim about what that section is for? (Note
    that everything I cited very explicitly talks about 861 and/or its
    regulations, and very clearly states what
    those sections are for.)

    Once again, distinguishing between domestic and foreign income IS
    one thing which 861 and following (and related regulations) do. (It
    would be pretty dang tough to give rules about determining taxable
    domestic income and determining taxable foreign income, without
    including rules about determining what is domestic and what is
    foreign.) How does it follow that no one else should look there to
    determine their taxable income? It doesn't.

    2) The only other
    citations added to that page were references to Sections 27 and 901
    of the tax code, which discuss the foreign tax credit. Again,
    neither section mentions 861 at all. More aluminum foil.

    again, distinguishing between domestic and foreign income, which IS
    one thing that 861 and 862 (and related regs) do, does come into
    play in determining foreign tax credits. How does it follow that
    the rest of us should ignore those sections? It doesn't, especially
    since the regulations repeatedly tell us, unequivocally and
    unconditionally, to look there to determine our "taxable income
    from sources within the
    United States.")

    Mr. Siegel then says,
    "That's really all one needs to know," but then gives a link to
    another page on his site (which I'll address in my next message).
    Um... where's the plane? All he added was a few citations that
    don't even MENTION 861, and then he repeated his still unsupported
    assertion that you and I don't need to look to 861 at all, because
    all income we receive, be it foreign or domestic, is taxable.
    Sorry, but I still fail to see the error of my ways.

    In closing,
    Mr. Siegel throws in this little dig: "Readers might also be
    interested to know that Mr. Rose served a substantial jail term
    following his conviction on tax evasion charges. One might wish to
    consider this in deciding whether he is a trustworthy source of tax
    information." Ah, one of my favorite logical fallacies: he got
    punished, so he must be wrong. (Wasn't I just discussing Galileo on
    this list?) Incidentally, it was willful failure to file, not tax
    evasion. More importantly, as I've mentioned before, at trial the
    court and the prosecution avoided the actual issue like the plague
    (and kept my report, my video, all the letters I wrote to the
    government, the transcripts of my meetings with the IRS, everything
    from my web sites, and basically everything I've written in the
    last decade, away from the jury). Those of you who were at the
    trial know full well that there was no debate at all over the
    substance of the issue. Their entire case was "We TOLD him he was
    wrong!" And Mr. Siegel wants you to take that as proof that my
    conclusions are incorrect?

    Well, one good dig deserves another:
    Readers might also be interested to know that Mr. Siegel served a
    substantial term as a lawyer for the DOJ. One might wish to
    consider this in deciding whether he is a trustworthy source of tax
    information. (Just kidding... sort of.)


    Larken Rose

    Credentials versus Evidence

    (originally launched into cyberspace on 03/06/2007)

    (Please pardon the length of this e-mail. Unlike some people, I
    have a nasty habit of actually quoting citations to support the
    points I make, which tends to lengthen things considerably. Plus,
    I'm naturally long-winded.)

    Dear Subscriber,

    Yet another "expert"
    opinion poo-pooing the 861 evidence was recently brought to my
    attention. It would be a full-time job to respond to all of them
    (the status quo always has a lot of beneficiaries, and therefore
    proponents), but the general gist of most of them can be addressed
    with one response. The example I'll use this time comes from a
    professor of law at the George Washington University Law School (in
    DC), so one would think that it would at least be a little more
    credible than the remarks of some untrained paper-pusher. Here is
    the link to the (attempted) refutation of the 861 evidence:

    important first thing to note about the article is that it cites
    absolutely nothing from the law. Not one word. Anywhere. As is
    often the case, it consists of a string of unsupported assertions.
    The closest thing to legal support Mr. Siegel gives is to say that
    "the rest of the tax code (especially sections 1, 61 and 63) shows
    that U.S. citizens are taxed on their income from all sources,
    whether from within or outside the United States." Again, nothing
    from the law is quoted.

    As many of you know, Section 1 imposes a
    tax on one's "taxable income." It says nothing about how to
    determine what is and what is not "taxable income." Section 63
    generally defines "taxable income" to mean "gross income" minus
    deductions. It says nothing about how to determine what is or is
    not to be included in "gross income." Section 61 not only says
    NOTHING about geographic origin of income, or the type of commerce
    which generates the income (which is addressed in great detail in
    Subchapter N of the code, beginning with Section 861), but Section
    61 itself, for many decades, was followed by a cross-reference
    referring the reader to Section 861 regarding "Income from sources
    WITHIN the United States," and to Section 862 regarding income from
    OUTSIDE of the United States. (If the wording of Section 61 meant
    that geographic origin didn't MATTER, why on earth would we be told
    to look somewhere else concerning geographic origin?)

    I expect
    that Mr. Siegel is basing his conclusion upon the wording "all
    income from whatever source derived" from Section 61, though he did
    not bother to quote even that. But the first thing that should be
    addressed is actually a psychological point: WHY did he feel no
    need to cite ANYTHING from the law? My guess is that, being a
    professor of law, he is accustomed to having his students assume
    that he knows what he's talking about. In other words, his
    credentials ARE his support, and the only support he thinks he
    needs. (Conversely, many people might view my LACK of credentials
    as all that is needed to render my "opinion" worthless, despite the
    fact that I quote from the law itself constantly, as you'll see

    Mr Siegel asserts that 861 and its regs exist, not to
    determine whether domestic income is taxable, but merely to
    "determine[] whether income is considered to be from a source
    within the United States or from a source outside the United
    States." While that is ONE thing that those sections do (though he
    cites nothing demonstrating that), the implication is clearly that
    one should NOT look there to determine whether his domestic income
    is TAXABLE. Again, nothing is cited supporting such a claim.

    sans credentials myself, I must defer to the statutes and
    regulations. Mr. Siegel states that whether one's income is foreign
    or domestic "doesn't matter" and that 861 "is irrelevant" for most
    U.S. citizens, "because U.S. citizens are taxed on all income from
    all sources." However, here is what the official Executive branch
    regulations say:

    “(c) Determination of taxable income. The
    taxpayer’s taxable income from sources WITHIN OR WITHOUT the United
    States WILL BE DETERMINED under the rules of Secs. 1.861-8 [and
    following].” [26 CFR § 1.863-1(c)]

    Of course, to determine what
    (if anything) you owe, you must first determine your TAXABLE
    income, be it foreign and/or domestic. So how does one DETERMINE
    his taxable domestic income? I think the above is pretty darn clear
    about that. I believe the following is pretty darn clear as well:

    “Sections 861(b) and 863(a) state in general terms HOW TO DETERMINE
    after gross income from sources within the United States has been
    determined. Sections 862(b) and 863(a) state in general terms how
    to determine taxable income of a taxpayer from sources WITHOUT the
    United States after gross income from sources without the United
    States has been determined.” [26 CFR § 1.861-8]

    Clearly implied in
    Mr. Siegel's comments is that you DON'T NEED to go to Section 861
    and its regs to determine the "taxable income of a taxpayer from
    sources within the United States." The rest of the code, he say
    (without quoting anything from it), says that citizens are taxed on
    their income regardless of its geographic source. Someone can have
    taxable domestic income, taxable foreign income, both, or neither.
    (There can't be taxable income that doesn't come from anywhere.)

    Consider the following, which is what the first section of
    regulations under 861 says, and has said since before I was born
    (with minor wording changes). While reading it, keep in mind that
    this professor of law says you should NOT be looking to 861 to
    determine your taxable domestic income:

    Ҥ1.861-1 Income from
    sources within the United States
    (a) Categories of income. Part I
    (section 861 and following), subchapter N, chapter 1 of the Code,
    and the regulations thereunder DETERMINE THE SOURCES OF INCOME FOR
    PURPOSES OF THE INCOME TAX. ... The statute provides for the
    following three categories of income:
    (1) WITHIN the United
    States The gross income from sources within the United States,
    consisting of the items of gross income specified in section 861(a)
    plus the items of gross income allocated or apportioned to such
    sources in accordance with section 863(a). See §§ 1.861-2 to 1.861-
    7, inclusive, and § 1.863-1. The TAXABLE INCOME FROM SOURCES WITHIN
    THE UNITED STATES, in the case of such income, shall be determined
    by deducting therefrom, in accordance with sections 861(b) and
    863(a), the [allowable deductions]. See §§ 1.861-8 and 1.863-1.

    (2) Without [outside of] the United States ...
    (3) Partly within
    and partly without the United States ...
    (b) Taxable income from
    sources within the United States.
    WITHIN THE UNITED STATES shall consist of the taxable income
    described in paragraph (a)(l) of this section plus the taxable
    income allocated or apportioned to such sources, as indicated in
    paragraph (a)(3) of this section.” [26 CFR § 1.861-1]
    In giving his
    reason for 861's existence, without (in his words) "going into all
    the situations where section 861 matters," Mr. Siegel gives two
    examples: 1) a foreigner distinguishing between taxable domestic
    income and non-taxable foreign income, and; 2) a citizen entitled
    to the foreign tax credit, who must determine domestic versus
    foreign to figure out the limit on the credit. Again (sorry to beat
    a dead horse), he cites nothing supporting his claim that 861 is
    only to be used in such unusual circumstances. Above, you can see
    for yourself what the OFFICIAL government regulations say about
    what the sections are for. Notice that they give NO indication that
    only CERTAIN people should be referring to those sections. Here is
    yet another example of an official IRS document summarizing the
    purpose of 861 and following. See if you see ANY indication that
    most people should ignore the section entirely, as Mr. Siegel

    “Rules are prescribed for DETERMINATION OF GROSS INCOME
    AND TAXABLE INCOME derived from sources WITHIN AND WITHOUT the
    United States, and for the allocation of income derived partly from
    sources within the United States and partly without the United
    States or within United States possessions. §§ 1.861-1 through
    1.864. (Secs 861-864; ‘54 Code.)” [Treasury Decision 6258]

    I just
    can't relate to this strange psychological phenomenon wherein
    someone with credentials can assert ANYTHING, and somehow people
    think it needs responding to. "That section is only for
    foreigners/Americans with foreign income/albino wombats named
    Edmund." They ASSERT who should look there, and people
    automatically give it credibility, though the asserters cite
    NOTHING from the law supporting it. They can assert until they're
    blue in the face that 861 is for someone other than you, but when
    have you ever seen any of them QUOTE anything from the statutes or
    regulations which comes close to supporting that claim? Show me ANY
    citation which says that 861 is NOT to be used by everyone to
    determine their taxable domestic income. You will NEVER see one.
    I've done text searches through ALL of the tax statutes and
    regulations, reviewing EVERY mention of Section 861. NEVER is there
    any indication, or even a subtle hint, that most people should
    IGNORE 861 when it comes to determining their taxable domestic
    income. Quite the opposite, as you can see above.

    So let's review:
    we have lots of assertions but ZERO citations saying that we
    shouldn't use 861--that's it's not for us--and at least half a
    dozen official citations (including those shown above) which say,
    unequivocally and unconditionally, that those ARE the sections to
    use for "determining taxable income from sources within the United
    States." Why are people so reluctant to believe their own eyes, or
    to accept what is right in front of them in black and white? Why do
    they continue to give weight to the provably-false, utterly
    baseless assertions of people, just because those people have
    credentials (i.e., pieces of paper that say they SHOULD know what
    they're talking about)?

    I must admit, my respect for Mr. Siegel
    dropped a few notches when his otherwise civil comments ended with
    a reference to a completely substance-free attempt by Irwin Schiff
    to discredit the 861 evidence. Mr. Siegel mentions Mr. Schiff's
    comments, and adds that "When even the tax protestors reject your
    tax protestor argument, you know it's got problems." Aside from the
    fact that he uses the ever-popular spin
    of mischaracterizing the
    issue as being about "protesting" a tax (when anyone with basic
    reading comprehension can see that it's not), his little dig is
    intellectually dishonest, if not borderline schizophrenic. I'm sure
    Mr. Siegel's deferring to Mr. Schiff as some sort of authority
    would not apply when Mr. Schiff is disagreeing with conventional
    wisdom--only when he's disagreeing with me. Furthermore, a
    professor of law should certainly be able to recognize that Mr.
    Schiff's comments about Section 861 and its regulations--which Mr.
    Schiff ADMITS to not understanding--are not a substantive rebuttal
    at all, but merely a complaint that I don't argue what Mr. Schiff
    wants people to argue (that wages aren't income). What kind of
    rebuttal is that?

    I've long since lost track of how many supposed
    experts have ASSERTED that we shouldn't be looking at 861 at all,
    but I know exactly how many actual citations of law I've seen
    supporting that claim: ZERO. If you ask me, lots of evidence and no
    credentials is more compelling than lots of credentials and no
    evidence. (I'm funny that way.) I should add, however, that there
    ARE some people who have credentials AND cite evidence. For an
    excellent example, put on a pot of coffee, make a sandwich, and dig
    into THIS:

    (I haven't yet read the entire motion, but I
    agree wholeheartedly with the parts I've reviewed so far.)


    Larken Rose

    The Long Run

    (originally launched into cyberspace on 03/04/2007)

    Dear Subscriber,

    When combatting a current and ongoing
    injustice, it's easy to get impatient. I know I do. Every day that
    someone is wrongfully imprisoned, every day that the IRS is
    terrorizing someone, ruining someone's life, swiping someone's bank
    account, etc., is a day too many. And it was my desperation to end
    that, not some day in the distant future, but NOW, which led me to
    invite the government to prosecute me. And when I lost--when twelve
    (presumably) randomly-selected Americans gave their blessing to the
    government's vilification and intimidation tactics--when, with
    their verdict, they declared that us peasants have no business
    looking at the law, and that it is a mortal sin for us to ever
    disbelieve a federal bureaucrat who makes an assertion (however
    ignorant the bureaucrat and however bogus the assertion)--it was a
    huge letdown for a lot of people. It was an opportunity lost, which
    could have been a giant leap towards ending the largest financial
    fraud in history. Instead, it was a leap backwards, giving the feds
    another trophy for their mantle-piece; another example to point to
    and say, "If you don't blindly believe us and do as you're told
    (and ignore all those pesky statutes and regulations and stuff),
    here's what will happen to you." (And by the way, for those who
    have asked, I never expected the government or the courts to follow
    the law or provide justice; I did, however, have a shred of hope
    that a jury of "normal" folk might be able to see the bleeding
    obvious, and do the right thing. Apparently not.)

    All things
    considered, it's easy (and tempting) to sit around wallowing in
    discouragement, depression, frustration, anger, and so on--and I've
    done my share of that in the last year. But there's some good news
    as well. Let's do a flashback to something that happened 335 years
    (and two days) before I was born. There was this dude who was
    saying stuff that the authorities of the day couldn't refute, but
    really didn't like. And so, as people with power often do, they
    decided to use the time-honored "debating" method of using brute
    force, locking the guy up and threatening to do nasty things to
    him, if he didn't stop contradicting their official doctrine.
    Eventually their thuggery paid off, and the dude wrote this (not in
    English, though):

    "I, Galileo, son of the late Vincenzo Galilei,
    Florentine, aged seventy years, arraigned personally before this
    tribunal, and kneeling before you, Most Eminent and Reverend Lord
    Cardinals, Inquisitors-General against heretical depravity
    throughout the entire Christian commonwealth, having before my eyes
    and touching with my hands, the Holy Gospels, swear that I have
    always believed, do believe, and by God's help will in the future
    believe, all that is held, preached, and taught by the Holy
    Catholic and Apostolic Church. But whereas -- after an injunction
    had been judicially intimated to me by this Holy Office, to the
    effect that I must altogether abandon the false opinion that the
    sun is the center of the world and immovable, and that the earth is
    not the center of the world, and moves, and that I must not hold,
    defend, or teach in any way whatsoever, verbally or in writing, the
    said false doctrine, and after it had been notified to me that the
    said doctrine was contrary to Holy Scripture -- I wrote and printed
    a book in which I discuss this new doctrine already condemned, and
    adduce arguments of great cogency in its favor, without presenting
    any solution of these, and for this reason I have been pronounced
    by the Holy Office to be vehemently suspected of heresy, that is to
    say, of having held and believed that the Sun is the center of the
    world and immovable, and that the earth is not the center and

    I find it particularly amusing that he "confessed" to
    giving "arguments of great cogency" for the earth orbiting the sun,
    without giving any compelling contrary arguments (since none
    exist). Sounds familiar. Anyway, that Galileo dude went on to
    declare "with sincere heart and unfeigned faith" (under threat of
    punishment) that he was wrong, that he was really, really sorry,
    and he swore that in the future he would never again suggest or
    teach that the earth moves, and that it goes around the sun.

    tempting to think, based on that example, that not a whole lot has
    changed with the way the world works: "authority" declares what
    beliefs are acceptable, and terrorizes those who voice contrary
    beliefs. (Who needs logic, evidence, and reason, when you have guns
    and prisons?) That's not exactly encouraging. But here's something
    else to consider: who won? Whose ideas prevailed? What became of
    that dude's radical, ridiculous, heretical "theory"?

    It became
    the universally-accepted, undisputed truth. Despite all of the
    threats, vilifications, and punishments dished out by those in
    power, the truth won. It sometimes takes a long time (it only took
    300 years for that particular authority to apologize to Galileo),
    but the truth will ALWAYS outlast a lie in the long run. Why?
    Because a lie requires an ongoing, perpetual effort to preserve it.
    And once it falls, it's nearly impossible to revive. (Do you think
    it will ever again be conventional wisdom that the sun goes around
    the earth? Not likely.)

    At my trial, the "authorities" didn't
    bother to try to refute any of the evidence on which my "belief" is
    based. They avoided the substance of the issue entirely, except for
    a quick, provably flawed blurb which the prosecutor gave AFTER my
    closing argument, knowing I would have no chance to respond.
    (Incidentally, it was a blatant violation of the rules of court to
    let the prosecutor advise the jury on what the law is, but the
    judge let him do it anyway, while making sure I was prohibited from
    doing so. As usual, I obeyed the rules, and they didn't.) The
    prosecution knew they didn't have to deal with substance or logic.
    They could declare "we TOLD him he was wrong," and to most people
    (twelve in particular), that's good enough. The powers that be had
    declared the accepted doctrine; who was I to doubt it?

    But they
    can't refute the evidence, and it's not going to go away. They
    can't make it disappear, and they can't keep people from being
    exposed to it. They can vilify people, slander people, threaten
    people, rob people, imprison people--who knows, they may get around
    to killing someone for this kind of heresy (Ed Brown comes to
    mind). But intimidation and violence can never outlast evidence, or
    keep it suppressed forever.

    As long as people are being extorted,
    vilified, persecuted, etc., I'm going to be impatient to see
    justice happen. And I know the same is true of a lot of you. But,
    if you need a little pick-me-up amongst the barrage of bad news
    these days, here it is: it may not happen soon, but the truth will
    always win. When it does, even if it's after I'm dead, I'll be glad
    to have been on the right side. There are a lot of people in power
    who now gloat, who history will remember as the lawless thugs and
    tyrants they are. They cannot hold off the truth forever. As a
    (fictional) radical extremist once put it, ideas are bulletproof.


    Larken Rose

    (P.S. I managed to
    lose the contact info for the couple who so graciously had a copy
    of "V for Vendetta" sent to me. So I'll thank you in front of 6,000
    people instead (right now), and hope you notice this.)

    More Emphasis

    (originally launced into cyberspace 02/20/2007)

    Dear Subscriber,

    I probably didn't do a good enough job
    prefacing my prior message with something saying how important it
    was. If you only read one thing from me, and especially if you only
    act on one thing, have it be my prior message, "A Good Cause." If
    you're not eager to put what you have on the line to battle the IRS
    yourself (which would be understandable), or to draw the attention
    and wrath of the feds by being vocal about the issue, then at least
    give a little help--anonymously, if you prefer--to someone who did,
    and is now paying the price. That message, "A Good Cause," and all
    of the messages in the series leading up to it (in case you missed
    any), can be found at the link below:

    I will
    probably shut up again for a few days, as I have things to do
    around the house. As I've said before, don't be offended or
    insulted if I can't respond to all of my e-mails on an individual
    basis. Just know that Tessa and I are extremely thankful for all
    those who have supported us along the way.