Saturday, August 16, 2003
Today and tomorrow are the Free Enterprise Society's annual Freedom Rally in Sunnyvale CA, just down the road a couple of miles from my house, next town over.
I was at the hotel lats evening far too late schmoozing with people from all over the country. Had dinner, shuffled around, had a good time.
I left at about 11:30 PM. Bill Stegmeier (WTP state coordinator, Sount Dakota) wasn't there yet. Flights from the East were still messed up. Bob Schulz, WTP president, got there close to 11. Had to detour through Las Vegas.
Larry Becraft was there. He said the reason they were so slow in answering questions was that Fox set the scene as casual, telling them they would have about ten minutes. And then blindsided them.
Gotta go; Tim Randolph, CA WTP state coordinator, and I as Santa Clara County WTP coordinator, are setting up and manning the WTP table from 8AM through the day, with assistance of Rick George, San Mateo County (CA) WTP coordinator.
BTW, Renee, Larry's not mad at you....
Wednesday, August 13, 2003
Not care who Doug took from.
Gonna say Faux News from now on.
Thanks Doug Kenline!
Well, there you have it.
Anybody who thinks the Fox News Channel is objective is breathing his own swamp gas.
But then, as I've discussed below, our side helps the other side far more than it needs to.
When Hannity asks Kuglin something to the effect that, "So what you're saying is that none of us should be paying this tax?" WHY NOT JUST SAY "Yes, that is exactly what I'm saying!"
We should not be trying to explain all this legalese. We should just say it simply:
"No, you're wrong in accusing me of not paying when everyone else is, you should be accusing everyone else of being ignorant and doing something the law doesn't appear to require them to do!"
"Of course I'm paying my fair share. And I pay all of the taxes I know I owe. But I am not in the habit of paying over my money without question to just anyone who sends me a bill and won't tell me what my legal obligation is to pay it."
How about if Vernie had just said,
"Really, Sean, aren't you just a little bit jealous that you don't understand the world around you and I've gotten free?"
And what's with that little no-chance-to-reply segment-closing remark by Alan Colmes that "We just want to see that the law is obeyed and the taxes are paid."
Is that an agenda or what? And a false one at that? And to pursue it, they had to deflect all the conversation away from the simple fact that the whole case was about whether or not there actually is a law!
Remember this folks:
There are stupid people.
They don't know they're stupid.
And stupid people are stubbornly pushy that they know all about something they really could never understand.
"We stupid people believe that there's a law. Therefore you have to obey it."
Tuesday, August 12, 2003
The NY Times has broken the story on Vernice Kuglin's trial. Here is the article on their website.
According to the article, Kuglin says that the remark attributed to the judge that he doesn't work for the IRS is a false report.
Note also that the article is by David Kay Johnston and includes his usual spin and cock-eyed editorializing.
Fox News is covering the story today, three times:
1. John Gibson's "The Big Story"
Vernie Kuglin and Attorney Larry Becraft
This one already happened. I watched it. Comments below.
2. Hannnity & Colmes
8:30 p.m. Central
Vernie Kuglin and Attorney Larry Becraft
3. Gretta Van Susteren
Attorney Robert G. Bernhoft
Larken is right
Larken Rose says we are in a propaganda war. I agree.
The evidence is in the way we talk about the issue. All of the TV people I've seen so far consistently refer to "paying your taxes", "paying her taxes", etc. The language used to discuss the issue prevents intelligent discussion of the issue.
You can see that fact in the tone of Mr. Johnston's article. Very clearly, he has the thing set up in his mind that either you know the truth, which is that you owe everything anybody alleges you owe, or you are criminally intent on tax evasion. And if you speak against the tax, it matters not why, you must be a promoter of a scheme.
This was further evidenced by the little difficulties Kuglin had in framing her responses to John Gibson's questions: she had to think about how to say these things correctly. Not because she isn't sharp, but because you can't use the common language associated with the issue to attempt to enlighten people on the issue.
It makes no sense to say, "I didn't pay my taxes because I didn't owe them." If you say, "my taxes", you are saying you do owe them. So you have to say something else. You have to think of what the truth is and then devise a truthful and accurate response, such as, "I didn't pay the alleged tax because there was no evidence that I owed it."
And even better, you should always challenge questions that use the installed language that traps the issue: "Sorry, Mr. Gibson, but what information do you have that supports a question presupposing that I owe anything? You have to stop people from saying "your taxes" --until you do, you are not answering the questions they ask. You have to make them ask the correct questions, or you have to restate their inquiry into a correct question, and then answer that question.
It's called repositioning.
Put the ball back into their mouth instead of trying to re-spin a trap question.
Or take the ball away from them completely.
That's the belligerent claimant's Way.
Monday, August 11, 2003
It's worse than you think out there!
My neighbor Dick and his wife Carol have moved away to Kansas City and put their house up for sale. It's a 1006 square-foot cottage with one bath and one-and-a-half bedrooms. (You have to go through one or the other bedrooms to get to the bathroom, so while people can sleep in both rooms, those in the central room won't have any privacy whenever company is over.)
The house is on a 50x135 lot. It's listed for $628,000.00 and after 4 days on the market it appears there will be a bidding war.
Obviously, this house will not sell to your average garage mechanic. It will go to someone who made a lot of paper money during the tech boom. One of, as they like to call themselves, "the best and the brightest".
Anyway, here's the stupid stuff.
This morning, Chuck, the real estate agent, told me that one of the people who wanted to buy the house was concerned because "the next door neighbor has a militant flag on the front of his house!"
That would be me.
That would be the Culpeper Minute Men / Patrick Henry Brigade battle flag that two of my ancestral cousins fought under back in the good ole days. Says "Liberty or Death" right on it.
I confess. I put that flag up the day after 9-11. Everyone else was putting up Old Glory. But I thought somebody ought to put up something to remind the real perpetrators, the domestic enemies in Washington and on Wall Street, that they'd better watch out.
The Old Glorys are all gone now, but the Culpeper is still flying.
Because the domestic enemies are still in power.
Yes, I am militant. I am, after all, the belligerent claimant in person, Yes?
And I get a lot more positive feedback than negative from the thousands of people who've seen my flag. Particularly from people over 50, people who grew up before the commies got control of the government schools.
There are neighbors who talk to me who don't talk to anyone else on the street.
And a lot more neighbors than that who feel free to call on me; nobody around here calls the cops anymore. They know where the fastest response time is. The cops don't even patrol this street any more.
So Chuck, who happens to be another neighbor of mine, and a friend if not a kindred spirit, asked the caller if he knew the history of my flag. "No." The guy didn't know.
Chuck explained that it was a historical flag, a battle flag from the revolution. Chuck had a feeling that he'd need to explain a bit, so he added, "The American revolution."
Guess what? The caller gets really indignant. He is nearly screaming into the phone: "The American people have never revolted against their government!"
There you have it, right from the mouth of the best and the brightest.
Chuck was stunned. The guy didn't have a clue. The conversation went downhill from there and ended quickly. (I asked Chuck, "Please don't sell the house to that guy!" He told me not to worry, the guy was out of the picture.)
That, my friends, is what we're up against.
Courtesy of Freedom Law School, here is the legal citation for Vernice Kuglin's win over the IRS:
U.S. District Court, Western District of Tennessee (Memphis) # 03-CR-20111, USA v. Kuglin
As most people who care about these things must know by now, Kuglin, 58, was charged with six counts of tax evasion that could have meant up to 30 years in prison and $1.5 million in fines. The government accused Kuglin of filing false W4 forms for the period from 1996 to 2001. Kuglin, a pilot for FedEx since 1985, said she had paid taxes like anyone else for most of her life. But about 10 or 11 years ago, she began to question the federal tax system. She began to read court documents, legal opinions and the federal tax code.
She said she found what she felt were contradictions. She wanted to know where in the federal tax code it said she was liable for taxes. Kuglin wrote the Internal Revenue Service twice in 1995 with questions but said she didn't get a response.
Note that in the report on this story that provided the above information (the August 9th edition of the Memphis daily newspaper, The Commercial Appeal), prosecuting US Attorney Murphy, is quoted in closing arguments on Thursday, as saying Kuglin did have an opportunity to discuss her situation with the IRS, to learn what she owed and what documents she was required to file "and she didn't."
Note that even Murphy is non-responsive and misdirecting in his pretended response to Kuglin's question!
Kuglin didn't ask how much she owed, because she had stopped assuming that she owed anything at all. And she didn't ask what forms to file, because she had stopped assuming that she was required to file any forms at all.
Kuglin asked only that the IRS tell her where in the federal tax code it said she was liable for taxes.
US Attorney Murphy was probably only trying to redirect the jury into thinking something different than the facts. Or he had just spent the night on Mars and hadn't yet gotten over rocket lag.
Obviously, the truth means nothing to these people. And apparently, neither does respecting the intelligence of the jury.
It's true that there are a lot of hopelessly stupid people around, but to treat a jury like idiots is a sure-fire path to losing. At least it was in this case, where the jury didn't buy the smoke and mirrors.
Truth or Fiction?
Truth via Paris