[pullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”ff0000″ class=”” size=”18″]The happiness of society is the end of government. ~ John Adams[/pullquote]
The Sixteenth Amendment (Amendment XVI) to the United States Constitution allows the Congress to levy an income tax without apportioning it among the states or basing it on the United States Census. This amendment exempted income taxes from the constitutional requirements regarding direct taxes, after income taxes on rents, dividends, and interest were ruled to be direct taxes in the court case of Pollock v. Farmers’ Loan & Trust Co. (1895). The amendment was adopted on February 3, 1913.
Bottle up the champagne, pack away the noisemakers, and toss out the party hats.
There is no cause for celebration.
We have secured no major victories against tyranny.
We have achieved no great feat in pushing back against government overreach.
For all intents and purposes, the National Security Agency has supposedly ceased its bulk collection of metadata from Americans’ phone calls, but read the fine print: nothing is going to change.
The USA Freedom Act, which claimed to put an end to the National Security Agency’s controversial collection of metadata from Americans’ phone calls, was a sham, a sleight-of-hand political gag pulled on a gullible public desperate to believe that we still live in a constitutional republic rather than a down-and-out, out-of-control, corporate-controlled, economically impoverished, corrupt, warring, militarized banana republic.
You cannot restrain the NSA. The beast has outgrown its chains.
You cannot reform the NSA. A government that lies, cheats, steals, sidesteps the law, and then absolves itself of wrongdoing does not voluntarily alter its behavior.
You cannot put an end to the NSA’s “technotyranny.” Presidents, politicians, and court rulings have come and gone over the course of the NSA’s 60-year history, but none of them have managed to shut down the government’s secret surveillance of Americans’ phone calls, emails, text messages, transactions, communications and activities.
I still notice some people saying, “I’m proud to pay my taxes!” And it’s still pathetic, for several reasons. 1) Being “proud” that you did something you were FORCED to do is absurd. If you voluntarily contribute to the well-being of your fellow man, great. But it’s not charitable–you get no credit for compassion or generosity–if you had no choice in the matter. Taking “pride” in being robbed is looney. 2) Unless you completely approve of everything “government” does, then being “proud to pay your taxes”
Source: (1) Larken Rose
Today, 21 October 2015 and over the coming days WikiLeaks is releasing documents from one of CIA chief John Brennan’s non-government email accounts. Brennan used the account occasionally for several intelligence related projects.
John Brennan became the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency in March 2013, replacing General David Petraeus who was forced to step down after becoming embroiled in a classified information mishandling scandal. Brennan was made Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism on the commencement of the Obama presidency in 2009–a position he held until taking up his role as CIA chief.
According to the CIA Brennan previously worked for the agency for a 25 year stretch, from 1980 to 2005.
Brennan went private in 2005-2008, founding an intelligence and analysis firm The Analysis Corp (TAC). In 2008 Brennan became a donor to Obama. The same year TAC, led by Brennan, became a security advisor to the Obama campaign and later that year to the Obama-Biden Transition Project. It is during this period many of the Obama administration’s key strategic policies to China, Iran and “Af-Pak” were formulated. When Obama and Biden entered into power, Brennan was lifted up on high, resulting in his subsequent high-level national security appointments.
We now have less than one year until the 2016 presidential election.Despite the dire state of our nation, however, you can rest assured that none of the problems that continue to undermine our freedoms will be addressed in any credible way by the presidential candidates–certainly not if doing so might jeopardize their standing with the unions, corporations or the moneyed elite bankrolling their campaigns.The following are just a few of the issues that should be front and center in every presidential debate. That they are not is a reflection of our willingness as citizens to have our political elections reduced to little more than popularity contests that are, in the words of Shakespeare, “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”