16 July 2009

More War for American Independence

Believe it or not, I have a lot in common with the average colonial at the time of the War for American Independence. They considered themselved British and that was a major part of their grievance at their being taxed without their consent.

I saw something in the Philadelphia Weekly that struck a chord with me about the "tea Parties" which are occurring over in the States. As Joel Mathis says: "It’s getting so you can’t tell regular Republican insanity from the lunatic fringe anymore."

I liked the part where antitax activist Larken Rose took the microphone and praised America’s Founding Fathers as “cop killers”—and wondered aloud why today’s citizens are too wimpy to follow in their footsteps.
 (A rough transcript of Rose's speech is available at his website).

“Those people were criminals, they were tax cheats, they were traitors,” Rose told the audience, which had dwindled to a few hundred people in the late afternoon. “Truth be told, some of the colonists were cop killers.”

Where, asked Rose, were the Americans who were willing to break the laws passed by crooked politicians and fight back against “crushing” governmental taxation?

“I’m not talking about voting and whining to your congressman,” he told the audience. “I’m talking about resistance.”

Needless to say, the organisers wanted to distance themselves from this type of talk.
“The speakers we had at our tea party gave the message we wanted to portray—period,” says Chris Clemency of the Independence Hall Association.

Pennsburg resident Rob Pepe helped organize the second tea party under the “ReTeaParty” banner. He says he wasn’t the person who invited Rose—but suggests Rose’s speech was to be taken metaphorically.
 “This is an educational revolution,” Pepe says. “It’s time to understand what liberty is all about.”

Rose—an author who served prison time for tax evasion—denies the legitimacy of the federal government and writes angry tirades against “Gestapo” police tactics on his website. It sure didn’t sound like he was speaking in metaphors. He mocked “Freedom Movement” members who vote and obey the law, and smilingly acknowledged a shout of “9/11 Truth!” from the crowd.

“If 2 to 3 percent taxation justified a revolution in 1776, why doesn’t 50 percent and growing justify a revolution?” Rose asked. “If a few little excise taxes on pieces of paper and tea justified open lawlessness from these rebels that were all celebrating, why don’t the myriad of incomprehensible, unavoidable, crushing taxes—state, local and federal—why don’t they justify a revolution today?”

By the way, Rose didn’t respond to an interview request from PW . But it’s worth noting that despite his fiery talk, he doesn’t always walk the walk. He urged his audience to refuse to recognize the authority of the government­—but when convicted of tax evasion in 2005 he didn’t exactly go down in a hail of bullets: Instead, he was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison and lived to write and speechify another day.

Now, this is a good point. Most of the "patriots" were pretty conservative. And, Like Rose, were quite willing to raise taxes on themselved beyond the low taxes which caused the rebellion. As I say, they didn't like taxation without representation, but would go on to tax the crap out of themselves.

The Tories were correct, things were pretty good and far from "tyranny", unless you take into account the standing armies. The problem is that rebellion for the hell of it would lead to people like Larkin Rose.

236 years of a mistake, it's time to go back!