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Volume VII - Issue #57 - March 2006

"Civil Disobedience"

        The U.S. tax deadline of April 15th fast approaches, and the need for Civil Disobedience is clear – the vote of the People continues to be a choice for the lesser of several evils offered by the corrupted party machinery, even if the black box ballot process actually counts all votes. But you can vote with your pocketbook, for that is where the Oligarchy lives, and where the Culture-Structure operates.

        I wrote in the WMail Issue #21 in 2002 about a ‘Tax Revolt’, and about a ‘Virtual Tea Party’ in Issue #19. Since then, Bush has busted the economy, bungled a war in Iraq, and is now preparing for a second major front, the unprovoked invasion of Iran. The U.S. military is incapable of any such increase in efforts, and the only solution will be to re-instate the draft – the Rangel-Hollings Bill has been on the table in Congress for several years, and is now 109 HR 2723 “Universal National Service Act of 2005” (as reported in several WMail issues, as far back as #33).
        The neo-con fascist Bush-Cheney-Rove Gang will use some specious excuse – another attack by Al Qaeda, another environmental disaster (like Katrina), some event elsewhere on the planet – in order to proceed with their apocalyptic agenda. Or they may decide that Congress and the people have become so powerless that the Gang can just take any action that they want, rule of law be damned, and declare the U.S. Constitution null & void.
        When any such event happens, it will be too late.
        So the best plan is prevention. Activism, mass Civil Disobedience, and non-violent protests will at least slow down the imminent civil war, and at best may indeed intervene and prevent events that belong in the history books. If the people do not regain control of both houses of Congress in November, future generations may have no idea that Individual Freedom ever existed in the world.
        Our lives are at stake, our freedoms are at stake, America is at stake. Freedom and democracy are at the brink of extinction.

* *          * *          * *          * *

        The study of Objectivist philosophy led me to a concern for economics, which is the engine of civilization. Economics and politics work hand in hand, though they should not be so intertwined as they are today. (Fascism is defined as the merger of business and government; theocracy is the merger of religion and government.) Politics should be about solving the problems of living, making a better life for all, extending the natural freedoms and values formerly enjoyed by Americans to all our fellow humans, and to ensuring a good life for future generations.
        Not happening now, dude.
        Given the situation at this moment in history, economic action is where indivi­duals can and must grab back the rights lost (or surrendered) to the machinery of the Oligarchy.

        First, revisit the WMail Issue #51 essay “The Three Economies”, which details actions that everyone – you and members of your family and communities – can likewise perform, the result of which will be taking back your personal sovereignty and revocation of your status as indentured servants under the Oligarchy.

        For those who are employed, there are simple actions available that serve multi­ple purposes – still further removal from the Virtual Economy, a tad more protection against economic cataclysm, the act of Civil Disobedience – which also protest ‘taxation without representation’, a traditional American complaint.
        Go to your personnel or human resources department and request a W-9 or W-4 tax form. (Or print one from www.boycottW9.org, the site built and announced last month.) Sign the W-9. Or fill out the W-4 with NINE dependent deductions, and sign it. Turn your form in. For most employees, this will reduce your state and federal tax withheld to zero.
        The I.R.S. takes the withholding by force; you all think that there is no choice. But the guvvermint pays NO interest on the year-long extraction of funds, presuming that taxpayers are without power, and, like slaves, have no will to protest. This act of Civil Disobedience is simple, and people in personnel / payroll / H.R. must comply with your form submission.

        This does require Responsibility, however – see WMail Issue #37 – which for many is an undeveloped value or practice. (The matter is measurable: Do you even know how much you owe on your credit cards? Are all your cards paid off every month?)
        Look at a recent pay stub. Responsibility requires that after revising your W-9/W-4 form, you set aside the amount that was formerly deducted for state & federal withholding and deposit that amount (or more) in a savings account. One of the symptoms of the rocky, Bush-damaged economy is that the latest statistics on American savings practices for last year showed a negative figure: Savings deposits by Ameri­cans shrank last year, net savings went down, a dire circumstance not seen since The Great Depression.
        Keep retaining your withholdings and add to the savings account from each paycheck. Then when your taxes come due in April of 2007, you will have earned interest on your self-deducted tax monies – nyah, nyah, nyah I.R.S.!

* *          * *          * *          * *

        U.S. banks and savings & loans pay a pittance in interest on savings accounts, recently below 1%. Tie your money up in money market CDs or other non-liquid financial instruments, and you might make 2½%. Big deal. I found a Dutch bank [ www.INGdirect.com ] operating in the U.S. that is giving 4.75% until April 15th on completely liquid savings accounts. Simple choice here: 4.75% paid to you versus zero interest on your withheld tax monies. (Credit unions also are usually better than banks and S&Ls.)

        Given the scary and unstable state of the U.S. and world economies, I suggest another investment strategy, not from direct knowledge (nor suggested from any benefit to me).
        When the Air Force sent me on temporary duty to Thailand, I was surprised to find that the rural peasants had learned that the best hedge against the uncertainties of war – all of Southeast Asia was a war zone in 1968 – was the personal ownership of gold. The farmers and merchants and bar-girls and samlor-drivers of Takhli set aside whatever they could and bought gold jewelry. Their gradual accumulation of wealth could be used for a down payment on a rice-paddy farm or on a house or automobile or motor-scooter, or used as a dowry. Central to their concerns was the fact that gold is real and compact and portable.
        Forget the 'make a fortune in gold' hype, just make the investment. When Bush's idiocies come home to roost and the world economy nose-dives, those who own their homes and-or have some stash of gold (or gems), those who take the lesson from the peasant wisdom of Asia, will have a slight edge for survival over those who do not. The cataclysm that seems to be the intention of the Bush-Cheney-Rove Gang – holy war! Armageddon! whoo-hah! – may not be survivable, but if you wait until the next Pearl Harbor cum September 11 event suddenly appears on your home or office TV screen, it will be too late.

        Somebody – each of us – must take steps to prevent such a recurrence of Pearl Harbor. Political activism, personal responsibility and economic prudence are manda­tory. Those who also take steps to prevail against impending mass disaster will be able to lead others back toward the free and just civilization that is being lost (destroyed from within) and soon may disappear altogether.
        The poor underclass of New Orleans never had a chance against hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Dubya’s intentional elimination of the levee-building efforts of the Army Corps of Engineers wiped out a culture and shattered millions of lives – thousands of American citizens are still missing, and F.E.M.A. has no interest in what happened to them, nor any interest in restoring the infrastructure in Louisiana and Mississippi.
        The middle class of New Orleans might have been able to restore their lives, or at least recover their communities, had they been willing or able take the actions set forth here:

••      Pay off your debt immediately – credit cards (to halt usury), automobiles (for independence), and mortgage (for sovereignty). The mortgaged residents of New Orleans have lost their homes and chattel AND the G.O.P.’s recent changes to the bankruptcy laws require them to pay off those mortgages (on nothing) or go to jail!
••      Retain and save your withheld tax monies from each paycheck. In the event of some economic cataclysm (beware the imminent change from petro-dollars to petro-euros), you and your loved ones will have a meager nest egg, while your neighbors do not. If your nest egg consists of in-hand gold or gems, you can restart somewhere else in a trice.
••      Remove yourself from the Virtual Economy, and operate in the Cash Economy: If you don’t have the cash to pay for an object or event or toy, then do not buy it. [WMail Issue #51 essay “The Three Economies”]

* *          * *          * *          * *

        With the above changes in place, or in the works, you then have an entirely new option. On April 15th, all American residents are required to file and pay income taxes. But what if you don’t?
        (Taxes are valid; what government does with taxes is cause for serious doubt and concern. In other countries, adjust for your local conditions.)
        If enough Americans simply ‘forget’ to send in the money that they owe this April, the I.R.S. may notice. And if the shortfall is significant, the problem will be reported up the chain of command. You can protest what is being done to the economy by reclaim­ing sovereignty over your personal finances, and by bringing others in your family & workplace & other communities into the protest.
        Think of it: Millions of taxpayers say “No!”, with possibly billions of dollars that are needed for bribery and pork-barrel projects and war-profiteering NOT coming in to the Treasury. The economy will teeter and the Oligarchy will have to dig into their deep pockets to keep the system going, to maintain the flow of the ‘fountain of wealth’ that they drain dry by their greed and stupidity.
        (But of course, do file if you are owed a return, and note that no interest is paid to you on your ‘loan’ of the excess withholdings to the Treasury. Deposit that return in your ‘protest’ savings account.)
        And in April 2007, when you have a nice pile earning interest in a savings account, you will again have the option of not filing, a double whack at the greed of the Oligarchy, whose puppet is George Dubya Bush.
        What makes this a real protest, however, with Responsibility included, is that the end of the protest is declared when the Bush-Cheney-Rove Gang is impeached, all of’em. On the day that they are removed from office, you mail the check/s for your back taxes to the I.R.S. And in the meanwhile, you live inside the revolutionary stance that the government cannot tax you without your consent.

        The Oligarchy has taken away your vote (redistricting, black-box tampering by Diebold, etc.), has stripped power from Congress (oversight is not happening), and has placed neo-con Federalist ideologues on the Supreme Court – Constitutional checks & balances are impossible while the Oligarchy has absolute control of the government.
        If the attempt to remove the Republi-fascists from office, to take back Congress, is not successful, then the Bush-Cheney-Rove Gang will be free to declare Dubya dictator before he steps down in January 2009. If progressives do win either the House or the Senate in November 2006, there will be an impeachment trial, in which case the Bush-Cheney-Rove Gang will manufacture some excuse in 2007 to declare martial law, to rescind the Constitution – ‘for national security sake’, of course – and history starts to unravel.
        In the event that any scenario such as the above comes to pass – September 11th plus Al Qaeda plus Dubya gives Armageddon – the only recourse for Americans will be further Civil Disobedience. When Pearl Harbor III appears on your tele­vision screen, consider that your job is a trap, and stay home and protect your family. The country cannot hum merrily along if the workers, the laborers, if all the indentured servants and wage slaves, refuse to participate. Buy food on your credit card/s and huddle around the campfire until the men in brown shirts come for you.
        Or fight back.

        The one place where you (still) have control is in the economic sphere, because, while the Oligarchy can & will repeal the Constitution, there is no way that they can repeal any Law of Nature – and one of the Laws of Nature is that “Labor is the source of all wealth.” Retain and maintain the results of your labors and the Oligarchy will starve like a cancer starved of blood.
        Though the Oligarchy tells you different, you are responsible for your Future, which is determined not by the Past, but by the actions that you take in the Present.
        Be very concerned about the Future that is coming our way.

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[copyright 2006 by Gary Edward Nordell, all rights reserved]

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