Just like his fellow "tax protester" co-defendants.
1) The IRS is a legitimate government agency.
2) There isn't any way of claiming you aren't a US citizen unless you're a citizen somewhere else.
3) If you're within their territorial boundaries, US federal District Courts do have jurisdiction to prosecute you.
If you disagree with any of these things, that's okay, but if you defy any of them, you're going to jail. This becomes a challenge to federal sovereign power, and, well, you lose.
The Economist has a fantastic essay describing the inherent flaws of "Rousseauian," neo-Luddite "wishful thinking." It directly refutes the assertion that man previously existed in some kind of bucolic, pre-agricultural paradise when all had enough to eat and social problems were non-existent. On the contrary, the picture looks far more like the one Hobbes paints. Money quote:
"It is irrelevant to ask whether we would have been better off to stay as hunter-gatherers. Being a niche-shifting species, we could not help moving on. Willingly or not, humanity had embarked 50,000 years ago on the road called 'progress' with constant change in habits driven by invention mothered by necessity. Even 40,000 years ago, technology and lifestyle were in a state of continuous change, especially in western Eurasia. By 34,000 years ago people were making bone points for spears, and by 26,000 years ago they were making needles. Harpoons and other fishing tackle appear at 18,000 years ago, as do bone spear throwers, or atlatls. String was almost certainly in use then—how do you catch rabbits except in nets and snares?. . . .
"Incessant innovation is a characteristic of human beings. Agriculture, the domestication of animals and plants, must be seen in the context of this progressive change. It was just another step: hunter-gatherers may have been using fire to encourage the growth of root plants in southern Africa 80,000 years ago. At 15,000 years ago people first domesticated another species—the wolf (though it was probably the wolves that took the initiative). After 12,000 years ago came crops. The internet and the mobile phone were in some vague sense almost predestined 50,000 years ago to appear eventually."
I've said it before and I'll say it again: the social ills we deal with are significantly caused by the fact that there are more of us than there were before, and the number increases faster than existing social models' capacity to deal with increased numbers.
For those who are interested, I have accepted an internship at the International Bureau of the FCC for the summer of 2008. I'll be working with the Strategic Analysis and Negotiations Bureau, probably helping them prepare for a major telecommunications conference later this year.
Here's hoping the work helps me get a clerkship or an actual job in 2009...
Courses I'm taking for this semester.
- Federal Administrative Law
- Land Use Planning
- Information Technology Law
- Regulatory Innovation & Democratic Governance
- Federal Courts
- Directed reading (historiography of copyright)
That's fifteen credits. Should be fun.
The ongoing writers strike has had an unintended but predictable consequence: video sites are seeing a lot more traffic. This isn't necessarily solely caused by the strike, but I'm sure it isn't helping. The days when consumers' only option for video was broadcast TV on terms set by broadcasters are over.
Very interesting post regarding Hillary and her candidacy. Coming from a Democrat, this is pretty damning.
Brilliant long essay by John Hockenberry, formerly of NBC news. Newscritters are less and less relevant, and if the major networks closed their newsrooms permanently, no one would care, even if anyone noticed. They no longer make a serious contribution to American culture or American politics. It's all online now.