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05/13/2005 Archived Entry: "Government desperation"

FRIGHTENING THOUGH IT IS, it's encouraging to realize that the Real ID Act and a lot of other fedgov horrors are the acts of desperate people who see their control slipping away from them.

Found a couple more such examples on Dave Gross' Picket Line blog.

Army recruiters, having failed to meet their goals three months running, are resorting to using the illusion of power as a substitute for real power. For example:

In late April, Army Staff Sgt. Thomas Kelt left a voice mail message on the cell phone of Christopher Monarch, 20, of Spring, telling him to show up at the Greenspoint recruiting office by 2 p.m. or a warrant would be issued for his arrest, according to Monarch and an Army official.

Monarch said he didn't receive the message until after the designated time. "I was scared," he said.

He said he had not made an appointment to meet the recruiter and was not interested in joining the military.

Monarch said he called Kelt the next day to clear up the matter. Kelt told him threatening to issue an arrest warrant was a "marketing technique," according to Monarch, a version of the story the Army confirmed.

Dave also reports that a highway-safety bill currently making its way through Congress would increase the infamous "frivolous tax return" penalty tenfold, from $500 to $5,000. (This is where they whack you with an unconstitutional, no-due-process fine for doing things like writing "filed under protest" on your 1040.) The same highway safety bill (yes, highway safety bill) would also increase penalties for "failure to file" income taxes and even create a new crime of "aggravated failure to file."

The Senate memo (pdf document) describing these provisions confidently predicts the amount of revenue the government will make off these new (or 10x worse) "criminals."

But much of this is a grand illusion. Although certainly the IRS does make showcase examples of a few "failures to file," the government's ability to track the millions of quiet resisters is virtually nil. And hitting people with $5,000 fines for exercising free speech on a tax return is simply an act of frustration and fear. It's very similar to the even larger fines they threaten you with for showing disrespect to TSA screeners.

These things are creepy indeed. And dangerous. It would be foolish to minimize the havoc a frightened govenment can wreak. But -- like Real ID -- these new developments aren't signs that the tyrants are winning. They're signs that the tyrants are freaking out with fear and frustration because central control via law, threats, and diktat ultimately does not work.

Every increased penalty, every new act or threat of violence, is an admission of impotence. An admission of failure.

We don't have to engineer the tyrants' fall. They'll do that themselves. We just have to help them along and be ready when their illusions of power finally collapse around them.

Posted by Claire @ 09:14 AM CST

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