[PART 1][PART 2][PART 3][PART 4][PART 5] Patriot Arguments on the Income Tax
And Other Assorted Theories
November 12, 2002
I continue to receive e-mail, snail mail and phone calls from well meaning Americans who are desperate for any relief from the unlawful activities of the IRS. I also continue to hear from these individuals how they have all found the magic bullet in things like the UCC argument or "all names in caps."
I am quite unpopular in the "un-taxing" and "de-taxing" circles of the cottage industry known as the tax movement because I do not subscribe to all this gibberish, and in fact, I find those who sell these fairy tales as reprehensible as the thugs who work for the IRS.
I want the IRS abolished, I don't want to spend the next 20 years arguing their code.
I say cut to the chase: We the know IRS is not part of the federal government by the admission of a U.S. Attorney, the 16th Amendment was never legally ratified and the big stick: jurisdiction.
Why sit and attempt to argue 10,000 pages of a code that does not apply to domestic Americans? Lie down with dogs, get up with fleas.
Play with the IRS and you give them an air of legitimacy with the uneducated American population.
I want the necessary revenues to fund a limited form of Republican government to come from the constitutional basis as set forth by our Founding Fathers, not any schemes cooked up by a bunch of mentally impaired, factually challenged criminals who serve in the U.S. Congress - in both parties.
There is no need for any direct personal income tax, consumption tax, flat tax or fair tax to fund the federal government:
The state and federal prisons are full of individuals who believed some slick salesman selling something that sounded good. If we are ever going to defeat the powerful forces arrayed against our citizenry, we've got to get on the same sheet of music and deal with facts, not fantasies.
In an attempt to do this, I have received permission from Larry Becraft to run his research on all these "legal" arguments floating around the country on how to beat the IRS. I sincerely hope that before you involve yourself with any of the popular schemes out there that you study Larry's meticulous research.
Go to the law library as I have done, look up the case cites and see exactly what the courts said in a ruling and not the bits and pieces offered up by those in the tax movement strictly to make a buck. If after you do the research you still find merit in these arguments, then I respectfully submit that one day you will most likely be the subject of a grand jury investigation or the IRS will simply come along and destroy your life by beating you down with the might of the federal machine.
The single biggest obstacle we face in trying to get the American people to understand the money path and relationship between the IRS and the FED is lack of knowledge.
The one and only reason I put out my Bankrupt America booklet is to get this education into the hands of as many Americans as possible.
I do not nor have I ever made a penny off the 1,520,000 copies of my booklet people have ordered. Time is at a premium for everyone. A great number of Americans don't have home computers because they can't afford it, some are seniors who don't want to learn to use one and many are becoming increasingly wary of computers over privacy issues.
By getting my little 45 page booklet in hard copy, the person you give it to can take their time to read it on the bus, at the doctor's office or just sitting at the kitchen table. We have to continue to reach out to anyone who will listen. You can order my booklet at:
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The UCC Argument
Back in the early nineties, an Oregon patriot promoted the theory that "commercial law" was the foundation for all law around the world. Based upon this contention regarding commercial law, he developed the idea that an "affidavit of truth" submitted "in commerce" could create a lien which simply had to be paid. This fellow claimed that his findings were well known everywhere and that this lien process had been used for thousands of years. I obtained his memo regarding this argument and went to the law library. His contention that this "principle" manifested itself in the law was wrong; I could find nothing which supported this argument. This theory was a complete fabrication.
Did others act upon this man's ideas anyway? Leroy Schweitzer of the Montana Freemen took this patriot's ideas to heart and claimed that he created liens against public officials. Based upon these liens, Leroy started issuing sight drafts drawn upon some "post office" account and started passing them out to many gullible people who believed that such drafts were required to be paid by the feds. Not only did Leroy get into deep trouble, so did many who got drafts from him. There have been lots of people who have been prosecuted, convicted and jailed for using drafts allegedly justified by this crazy theory.
One of the most recent prosecutions of someone for using one of Leroy's drafts is Pete Stern, a patriot from North Carolina. Several years ago, Pete issued some of these drafts to the IRS. Pete has been one of the most vocal advocates of the UCC argument, "we are Brits," nom de guerre, etc. While I like Pete, still he has followed crazy arguments. Pete's federal criminal case was filed in the Western District of North Carolina and he was convicted.
As best I can tell, the popular "UCC" argument has its origins in Howard Freeman's flaky theories, the Oregon patriot's work and the "improvements" made by Leroy. The UCC argument is one of the most legally baseless ideas I have ever encountered, yet organizations like "Wrong Way Law" and people like Jack Smith continue to promote it. Here are some published cases which have correctly rejected this lunacy:
1. Jones v. City of Little Rock, 314 Ark. 383, 862 S.W.2d 273, 274 (1993)(In reference to traffic tickets, the court stated, "The Uniform Commercial Code does not apply to any of these offenses")
2. United States v. Stoecklin, 848 F.Supp. 1521 (M.D. Fla. 1994)
3. Barcroft v. State, 881 S.W.2d 838, 840 (Tex.App. 1994)("First, the UCC is not applicable to criminal proceedings; it applies to commercial transactions")
4. United States v. Greenstreet, 912 F.Supp. 224 (N.D.Tex. 1996)(also raised flag and common law court issues)
5. United States v. Andra, 923 F.Supp. 157 (D.Idaho 1996)("The complaint filed by the plaintiff is not a negotiable instrument and the Uniform Commercial Code is inapplicable")
6. Watts v. IRS, 925 F.Supp. 271, 276 (D.N.J. 1996)("The IRS's Notice of Intent to Levy is not a negotiable instrument")
7. United States v. Klimek, 952 F.Supp. 1100 (E.D.Pa. 1997)(returning lawsuit complaint marked "Refusal For Cause Without Dishonor UCC 3-501" and refusing other court pleadings "for fraud" based upon UCC argument got nowhere; also raised nom de guerre and flag issues)
8. City of Kansas City v. Hayward, 954 SW2d 399 (Mo.App. W.D. 1997).
A substantial part of the UCC argument was "developed" by Howard Freeman. Freeman contended that some super secret treaty back in 1930 put this and other countries around the world in "bankruptcy" with the "international bankers" being the "creditor/rulers." Once these banker/rulers were ensconced in power, they needed some way to "toss out the old law" based upon the common law, and erect commercial law as the law which regulated and controlled everything. Roosevelt and his fellow conspirators then set to work and developed a plan to
achieve the destruction of the "common law" and the erection of commercial law. This was accomplished by the decision in the Erie Railroad case in 1938. According to this theory, Erie RR banished the common law, leaving in its place only commercial law via the UCC. Freeman also alleged that lawyers were informed of this "takeover" by the "international bankers" and that they were required to take a secret oath to not tell the American people about the takeover. Of course, as the direct result of this change in the law from common law to commercial law, no court could ever cite a case decided prior to 1938. (See more complete explanation of this concept here).
But there are the tremendous flaws in this argument. I do not challenge the fact that big international bankers are economically powerful and that such power enables them to secure favorable legislation. However I do disagree with the "secret treaty" contention. Back in the 1930s and indeed all the way up to about 1946, all treaties adopted by the United States were published in the U.S. Statutes at Large. As a student of treaties, I looked for this secret treaty and could not find it and I had access to complete sets of all books containing treaties, especially those in the Library of Congress in DC. The major premise of this argument is this contention regarding the secret treaty, which even the proponents of the argument cannot produce. Their argument, "I cannot produce this secret treaty, but believe me anyway," simply is unacceptable to me as I want proof.
The advocates of this argument also contend that the Erie RR case was the one which banished the common law and erected commercial law in its place. The problem with this contention is that Erie RR does not stand for this proposition. This was a personal injury case; Thompkins was injured while walking along some railroad tracks as a train passed. Something sticking out of the train hit Thompkins and injured him, hence his suit for damages. Please read this case of Erie R. Co. v. Tompkins, 304 U.S. 64 (1938), which stands for the proposition that federal courts must follow the common law of the state where the injury occurred. How this case is alleged to declare the exact opposite escapes me, but in any event, Erie RR does not support the contention of the UCC advocates.
To prove that Erie RR changed the law, it is alleged that no court can cite a case decided prior to 1938. This is perhaps the simplest contention to disprove, achieved just by reading cases (which apparently the UCC activists do not do). All my life I have read cases which cited very old cases and I have never seen such a sharp demarcation where the courts did cite pre-1938 cases before 1938 and then ceased afterwards. Here are just a few post-1938 cases which cite pre-1938 cases, the constitution, the Federalist Papers and lots of other old authority:
INS v. Chadha, 462 U.S. 919 (1983)
New York v. United States, 505 U.S. 144 (1992)
Printz and Mack v. United States, 521 U. S. 898 (1997)
When you scan these cases, please note the parentheses like "(1997)" above for Richard Mack's case. This denotes the year any particular case was decided. You can easily see that these recent cases do in fact cites cases decided as far back as 1798. The contention that pre-1938 cases are not cited is nothing but lunacy, believed by folks like Dave DeReimer, a "redemption process" advocate.
This argument also contends that the States of this nation were placed in "bankruptcy" via the "secret treaty." If this were true, why did the Supreme Court decide in 1936 that states and their subdivisions could not bankrupt? See Ashton v. Cameron County Water Improvement Dist., 298 U.S. 513, 56 S.Ct. 892 (1936).
Finally, I must inform you that neither I nor any other lawyer I know has ever taken the "secret oath" as alleged by this argument. When I was sworn in as an Alabama lawyer in September, 1975, it was on the steps of the Alabama Supreme Court down in Montgomery in front of God, my parents and everybody else. I swore to uphold and protect the United States and Alabama Constitutions. Nothing in that oath could remotely be the alleged "secret oath." I have also been admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, and the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th Circuits; I did not take the "secret oath" when I was admitted to practice before these courts, nor when I was admitted to practice before several U.S. district courts. I have not taken any other oath and I know that the only oath most other lawyers have taken is the same. But, I do not doubt that some lawyers are members of other secret societies who may have taken oaths of which I am unaware.
My advice is that if you hear anyone making some argument about the UCC, run away as fast as you can. The argument is crazy.
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"Nom de Guerre": Names in CAPS
Some advocates of this argument identify its source: a book written by a man named Berkhimer. Allegedly in this book, the author states that a "nom de guerre" is a war name symbolized by a given name being written in capital letters. I have tried to find this passage in this book but have been unable to do so. The argument contends that because of events in 1933, we have been made "enemies" and government indicates our status as enemies by the nom de guerre.
If this is true, then why have the styles of the decisions of the United States Supreme Court since its establishment been in caps? This argument has gotten lots of people in trouble. For example, Mike Kemp of the Gadsden Militia defended himself on State criminal charges with this argument and he was thrown into jail. I have not even seen a decent brief on this issue which was predicated upon cases you can find in an ordinary law library.
In any event, several courts have rejected this argument:
1. Jaeger v. Dubuque County, 880 F.Supp. 640 (N.D.Iowa 1995)
2. United States v. Heard, 952 F.Supp. 329 (N.D.W.Va. 1996)
3. Boyce v. C.I.R., 72 T.C.M. ¶ 1996-439 ("an objection to the spelling of petitioners' names in capital letters
because they are not 'fictitious entities'" was rejected)
4. United States v. Washington, 947 F.Supp. 87, 92 (S.D.N.Y. 1996)("Finally, the defendant contends that the Indictment must be dismissed because 'Kurt Washington,' spelled out in capital letters, is a fictitious name used by the Government to tax him improperly as a business, and that the correct spelling and presentation of his name is 'Kurt Washington.' This contention is baseless")
5. United States v. Klimek, 952 F.Supp. 1100 (E.D.Pa. 1997)
6. In re Gdowik, 228 B.R. 481, 482 (S.D.Fla. 1997)(claim that "the use of his name JOHN E GDOWIK is an 'illegal misnomer' and use of said name violates the right to his lawful status" was rejected)
7. Russell v. United States, 969 F.Supp. 24, 25 (W.D. Mich. 1997)("Petitioner * * * claims because his name is in all capital letters on the summons, he is not subject to the summons"; this argument held frivolous)
8. United States v. Lindbloom, 97-2 U.S.T.C. ¶ 50650 (W.D. Wash. 1997)("In this submission, Mr. Lindbloom states that he and his wife are not proper defendants to this action because their names are not spelled with all capital letters as indicated in the civil caption." The CAPS argument and the "refused for fraud" contention were rejected)
9. Rosenheck & Co., Inc. v. United States, 79 A.F.T.R.2d (RIA) 2715 (N.D. Ok. 1997)("Kostich has made the disingenuous argument the IRS documents at issue here fail to properly identify him as the taxpayer. Defendant Kostich contends his Christian name' is Walter Edward, Kostich, Junior and since the IRS documents do not contain his Christian name,' he is not the person named in the Notice of Levy. The Court expressly finds Defendant WALTER EDWARD KOSTICH JR. is the person identified in the Notice of Levy, irrespective of the commas, capitalization of letters, or other alleged irregularities Kostich identifies as improper. Similarly, the Court's finding applies to the filed pleadings in this matter")
10. United States v. Weatherley, 12 F.Supp.2d 469 (E.D.Pa. 1998)
11. United States v. Frech, 149 F.3d 1192 (10th Cir. 1998)("Defendants' assertion that the capitalization of their names in court documents constitutes constructive fraud, thereby depriving the district court of jurisdiction and venue, is without any basis in law or fact").
More recently, Jon Roland of The Constitution Society web site wrote the following about this argument:
Typographic Conventions in Law
Jon Roland, Constitution Society
"One of the persistent myths among political dissidents is that such usages as initial or complete capitalization of names indicates different legal entities or a different legal status for the entity. They see a person's name sometimes written in all caps, and sometimes written only in initial caps, and attribute a sinister intent to this difference. They also attach special meanings to the ways words may be capitalized or abbreviated in founding documents, such as constitutions or the early writings of the Founders.
"Such people seem to resist all efforts to explain that such conventions have no legal significance whatsoever, that they are just ways to emphasize certain kinds of type, to make it easier for the reader to scan the documents quickly and organize the contents in his mind.
"They also seem to go to enormous lengths looking for dictionaries or court rules to tell them what such typography means, without ever seeming to find what they are looking for, other than the actual usages themselves in important court cases.
"Well, there is an authoritative reference, the one used by courts and lawyers all over the world. It is The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation, compiled by the editors of the Columbia Law Review, the Harvard Law Review Association, the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, and The Yale Law Journal, 16th ed. 1996. Copies can be obtained from any law book store or by writing The Harvard Law Review Association, Gannett House, 1511 Massachusetts Av., Cambridge, MA 02138.
"To explain how typographic conventions originated, and what they mean, I am reminded of the story of the first grader whose teacher became alarmed by the crayon drawings of one of her students. She called in the school counselor and she became alarmed, so she called in a child psychologist, who also became alarmed in turn. Fearing for the mental health of the child, they called in her parents.
"The parents, now themselves concerned about their child, arrived at the meeting. "What happened?", the father said. The school staff persons showed his daughter's art work to him and to his wife. The father looked the drawings over, and said, "Look pretty good to me. I couldn't do that well at that age."
"But the colors!" the teacher said. "She does everything in black, grey, and brown!" said the counselor. "It seems morbid" said the psychologist.
"So the father said, "Why don't we ask my daughter?" The school staff looked aghast at this audacious suggestion, but, not having any better ideas, they asked the little girl to come in.
"She saw her parents, and the school staffers, all gathered around her art work, looking concerned, and became a bit concerned herself. But her father knew what to say. "Hon, your teachers want to know why you are drawing everything in black, grey, and brown."
"I gave most of my crayons to the other kids when they used theirs up", she said. "Black, grey, and brown are the only colors I have left."
"Lawyers continued to hand write legal documents long after typewriters were invented. As a profession, they tend to be the last to adopt new technology. When things were hand written, they had only a few ways to highlight words. They could use block printed characters instead of cursive, or they could underline. Typesetters converted the block printed characters to all caps, sometimes with different font sizes, and the underlined words to italics.
"As lawyers and legal staff began to use typewriters, they could not conveniently underline, and they didn't have italic fonts, so putting words in all caps was about the only way they had to show emphasis. Judges began rewarding lawyers (or so they thought) with better decisions if they put some words, like the names of parties, in all caps, to make it easier for overworked judges to quickly scan through many pages of pleadings and make sense of them.
"Then computers came along. People started using them to produce legal documents. But a lot of them only had capital letters on their printers, or did not distinguish between upper and lower case. Programs in COBOL are examples of this. It was also found that it was easier to read words printed in all caps on forms, and to distinguish the newly-printed words from the pre-printed words on the forms.
"In the meantime, there were advances in typesetting typography. People became able to print special symbols, bold face, different fonts and sizes, superscripts, underlined, and colors. And with that came demands for using differences in typography to highlight words in legal documents, including treatises, law review articles, briefs, etc.
"Now we have personal computers and laser printers that can do anything the typesetter can do, and legal workers are now under pressure to produce nicely composed legal documents according to the same conventions that typesetters are asked to use.
"This explosion of choices could have led to confusion, so the various courts have established rules for how they want legal documents prepared, and these rules are matched by similar but sometimes different rules of the major law review editors.
"Basically, they have settled on three font styles: upper-and-lower case Roman, Italics, and Roman all-caps with larger point size for initials. Of course, if these are saved as ASCII text files, the Italics are lost, and the all-caps only show up as a single point size. Sometimes, to show Italics, as a legacy of underscoring, the words to be italicized are surrounded by underscore characters, as we do in the text above in the text version of this article.
"The Bluebook calls for different typographics for the same kinds of things in different places. For example, a case cite like Marbury v. Madison would be italicized in the body of a law review article, but not in a footnote. Why? Who knows. It doesn't have to make sense. It's what they do. If you submit it using different conventions, the editors will change it to their journal's conventions.
"The important thing to remember, however, is that there is no legal significance to the typography of a name, other than how well it distinguishes one object from others with which it might be confused. It is the object that matters. A misspelling is a "scrivener's error". Doesn't changed anything. Just needs to be corrected. Caps, complete or initial, don't mean anything. Just whatever the writer thought would aid the reader to get through the document quickly and with a minimum of confusion." End quote.
The nom de guerre position is one rabidly advocated by Wrong Way Law. It is all based upon hype and emotions; the speakers who advocate this argument know how to push the emotional "hot buttons" at patriot pep rallies. I have reviewed the "best" briefs regarding this issue and they are all trash. Yet I continue to see people call themselves "John, of smith," "John: Smith," etc., and I just simply conclude that such parties have attended a Wrong Way Law seminar and have accepted a pack of lies. Further, it is remarkable that all the people who believe this idea have never checked it out; they just accept it because some patriot guru claimed it was correct.
Part II Upcoming:
We Are Not Brits
The Redemption Process