In this document, I will attempt to lay a philosophical groundwork upon which my choice to begin action to assert unalienable rights was taken. I want to attempt an explanation of what I believe, why I believe it, and where that belief came from, in order to make clear what is happening when I challenge agencies such as the IRS.
I have no hope of being really complete in this effort; in particular, I have a distinct feeling that completeness would force me to generate far more text than anyone would be willing to read. Nonetheless, I will provide a number of the high points.
It is important to realize that a fair amount of what I intend to say here is raw assertion: I believe it, and I have a philosophical position behind it, but I don't feel a grave need to go into deep hermeneutics about it. That doesn't mean that I don't think such defense could be written, much less doesn't exist at all. The issue has to do with how much I'm willing to write here, how far back into the fundamentals of natural rights I'm demanding to be assumed. While I will describe and defend a certain amount of natural rights theory, by no means will I start from square one. The Declaration of Independence similarly asserts without justification the concept of "unalienable rights," spending not one sentence in defense of its validity ("We hold these truths to be self-evident..." ).
This entire work will be done outline-style, highlighting and emphasizing the significant issues to me, where we have gone wrong, and what can be done to correct it, and why.
"Men think in herds, go mad in herds, but recover their senses, one by one." --Charles Mackay
1.The proper role of government.
What is government?
What should government do?
What should government not do?
The chain of command of government.
Rights versus powers.
2.Some important and relevant quotations.
3.What's wrong with this picture?
The Treaty of Paris.
Who is in charge here?
4.Sovereigns and subjects.
"The sovereignty," as seen by the Supreme Court. Applicability of law to "the sovereign."
Direct -vs- indirect taxes.
Conflict of taxation and property.
Loss of freedom to bureaucrats.
The need to re-assert the chain of command. The problem of attitude when addressing bureaucrats.
7.The beginning of a personal search for unalienable rights. Recovering one's senses -- what was lost. Selection of a good target. The problem of "approach to target."
How the target reacts.
1.The proper role of government.
We must define what government is, where it belongs, and, more importantly to myself, where it does not belong. I hold a libertarian-leaning viewpoint on this matter; however, I am a long way from a "Libertarian" (capital L).
What is government?
Government is force. And force is dangerous.
That's enough on that subject for now; more later.
What should government do?
As little as possible: Unnecessary use of force breaks things.
Government should exercise functions in those areas where men cannot operate well on their own and for themselves. Thus, government is useful in the creation of road systems, in defining where a road should be laid, and how it should be constructed. Government proper does not build the road, of course, but arranges for its construction. Typically, either taxes from the general population or user fees from travelers finance the construction of roads.
What should government not do?
Government should not get in the way.
That is a simpler statement than it turns out to be in practice. Fundamentally, men have unalienable rights. Their plain existence is by natural right. Their continued, unmolested existence is also by natural right -- no one, and especially no government, has the power to limit a man's existence, until and unless he has abused some other in a manner which naturally and implicitly results in loss of rights: A voluntary choice, by having abused another's rights, to give away exactly such rights of one's own. To this end, we empower government to act on behalf of all men, to punish the abuser, to make concrete that loss of rights: So we execute the murderer, we force restitution to the robbery victim, and (in some societies) we castrate the rapist. (Quiz question: Why don't Americans do any of these any more?)
This also means that government should not intrude unnecessarily into the day-to-day lives of men. When there is genuine need to intrude, it should be to balance conflicting, multiple needs. Unnecessary intrusion is unnecessary use of force, causing things to break.
This is the beginning of trouble: Government intrudes in the belief that it knows better how to do certain things than the men whose lives are affected by what government does. This betrays a grave inconsistency: Men operating as agents of government are still just men. There is no reason to expect that men who have aspired to governmental power and force are any more intelligent, more aware, more facile in managing the lives of men, than men who have not aspired to such power. Reasonable men will disagree; but men as agents of government have the coercive force of that government behind them, and are capable of intruding in ways that men operating alone cannot. Again, intrusion is breakage, and conflict begins when government force is used inappropriately to compel men to do things they do not wish to do.
One must be wary of these men who aspire to positions of governmental power. There is something fundamentally different, and dangerous, about a man who believes that his rightful place in society is a position of authority over many others who are otherwise like himself -- as opposed to the ordinary man who merely wants to live a quiet life, raise a family, and work a career. Such aspiring men must be contained, restricted, boxed in, and reminded as a matter of routine that they are in such positions on the grace and permission of those over whom they wish to lord their position.
Government is a living thing, with needs and desires, beyond and independent of those of the individuals making it up. Particularly, it seems to me, government wants to feed and it wants to grow. The only way for a government to continue to feed more and to grow larger over a fixed territory is to tax ever more heavily, and to require ever more stringent demands on the people in how they live. To function properly as the agent of Us The People, government needs regular pruning, just as an orchard grower or vineyard keeper trims back his plants. We have lost the pruning function entirely, if we ever had it in the first place.
The proof of this in day-to-day life is left as an exercise.
The chain of command of government.
It is a plain fact that men institute governments. Governments do not spring into existence spontaneously and of their own accord; men build them consciously. This is important: If I make something, then at a very important level, I own that thing. I take some raw materials which I already own, and I create something new out of them with the labor of my hands. The new thing is mine. Hence, when men make a government, men own that government.
Government does not own men.
At least, in those societies which do not recognize the divine right of kings, men own government. Men build it, and men will do with it what they wish. They will destroy it and start over again, if they find the result sufficiently unsatisfying. "But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security." -- Declaration of Independence
Let us address this in the context of the American governmental system:
The chain of creation was, quite explicitly, [a] the presence of men, having full natural rights, who created [b] state governments to act on their behalf for those purposes where men acting alone cannot, followed lastly by the creation of [c] the federal government, demonstrably as agents of the states, to act on the states' behalf for those purposes where individual states acting alone cannot. Thus, the military is a function of the federal power, prevented from exercise within the states, so that provision for the "common defense" is at the level of the entire Union; treaty making power is done at the border of the whole Union, not the individual states; coinage is done by Congress, so that commerce among the states has a common means of barter.
But observe well that the 10th Amendment (in particular) explicitly reserves all powers not explicitly given the federal government to the states and the people themselves. The fact that the states and the people have the power to limit the federal government is evidence of who is at the top of the chain of command. We The People head that chain, the states follow Us, and the federal government follows the states. Note who is at the bottom, as far as we have gone here.
Rights versus powers.
Men have rights. Governments have powers. Powers are delegated from men. In a society lacking support for divine right of kings, it is never appropriate to claim a government's "right" to do anything -- never.
2.Some important and relevant quotations.
These have absolutely no order one could discern; they are not all specifically government-related, but they do all in fact have bearing on government. Some are obvious; others will require quite some thought. (Yes, the quotation from my father is relevant. Think about it, a long while.) The sources of some of these quotes are sometimes personal, sometimes literary, sometimes downright silly: The honor given the source has positively no bearing on the relevance of the quotations.
"All rights are inherent in the people."--Thomas Jefferson
"Government is not reason; it is not eloquence; it is force. It is a dangerous servant and a fearful master." --George Washington
"Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place." --Frederic Bastiat.
"A little rebellion now and then is a good thing." --Thomas Jefferson
"Corruptisima republica plurimae leges." (The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws.) --Tacitus, Anals III 27
"This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember it or overthrow it."
- --Abraham Lincoln, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1861
"If the legislature is wrong, or has created a law based on false pretenses, then should we simply bow down as cooperative subjects are expected [...] and let the defective law stand? Worse yet, do we use it as justification for more defective laws?" --Bob Hale, email@example.com
"The most important question in the study of government is, `how can we prevent government from going beserk and killing off half the population?'" --John Kormylo
"The price of liberty is, always has been, and always will be blood: The person who is not willing to die for his liberty has already lost it to the first scoundrel who is willing to risk dying to violate that person's liberty! Are you free?" --Andrew Ford
"The American Republic will last until its politicians discover that they can bribe their own people with their own money." --Alexis DeTouqueville, 1785
"A desire not to butt into other people's business is eighty percent of all human wisdom." --Robert A. Heinlein
"The beginning of wisdom is to call all things by their right name." --Wm L Kleinpaste, Jr (my father)
"The very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. Instead of altering their views to fit the facts, they alter the facts to fit their views ... which can be very uncomfortable if you happen to be one of the facts that needs altering." --Doctor Who
"Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil." --Ecclesiastes 8:11. (No doubt, this is the antithesis of a good answer to the quiz question previously asked.)
"The right of the citizens to bear arms is just one more guarentee against arbitrary government, one more safeguard against the tyranny which now appears remote in America, but which historically has proved to be always possible." --Vice-President Hubert Humphrey
"...And what country can preserve its liberties, if it's rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to the facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure." --Thomas Jefferson, Nov. 13, 1787
"Corrupt politicians make the other ten percent look bad." --Henry Kissinger
"People who object to weapons aren't abolishing violence, they're begging for rule by brute force, when the biggest, strongest animals among men were always automatically `right.' Guns ended that, and social democracy is a hollow farce without an armed populace to make it work." --L. Neil Smith, The Probability Broach
"This transition of the basis of law from principle to will has the effect of analytically separating law from morality; there is the dissolution of any guarantee that fidelity to law necessarily will mean equal fidelity to principles of moral conduct." --Sanford Levinson, UTexas School of Law
"We make men without [sentiment] and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honour and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful." --C.S.Lewis
"All power comes from the barrel of a gun. The communist party must control the guns." ---Chairman Mao
"The typical American of today has lost all the love of liberty that his forefathers had, and all their disgust of emotion, and pride in self-reliance. He is led no longer by Davy Crocketts; he is led by cheer leaders, press agents, word-mongers, uplifters" --H.L. Mencken
"Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom: it is the argument of tyrants, it is the creed of slaves." -- William Pitt
"Once a culture passes its zenith, as ours has, many people devote themselves to finding lives in which bravery will be unnecessary. A lot of agony occurs because this is not possible." -- Michael Ventura, L.A. Weekly.
"You must either master politics or be mastered by those that do." --Anonymous
"It's said that `power corrupts,' but actually it's more true that power attracts the corruptible. The sane are usually attracted by other things than power. When they do act, they think of it as service, which has limits. The tyrant, though, seeks mastery, for which he is insatiable, implacable." --David Brin, The Postman
"He who will not reason is a bigot; he who cannot is a fool; and he who dares not is a slave." --Sir William Drummond, Academical Questions
"Insisting on perfect safety is for people who don't have the balls to live in the real world." --Mary Shafer, NASA Ames Dryden
"They that give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
- --Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759 "Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it." --George Bernard Shaw
"One of these days the talking will be over and the citizenry of the United States will decide whether or not to remain free." --Dan W. Shoemaker
"Don't should on me."
- --Pat Allen
"A gun in the hands of a free man frightens and angers the autocrat, not because he fears the power of the gun, but, rather, the spirit of the man who holds it." --unknown
"I was not born to be forced. I will breathe after my own fashion. ... If a plant cannot live according to its nature, it dies; and so a man." --Henry David Thoreau
"The only reason some people get lost in thought is because it's unfamiliar territory." --Paul Fix
"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that `Nothing is worth war' is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself." --John Stuart Mill
"Generally speaking, the Way of the warrior is resolute acceptance of death." --Miyamoto Musashi, 1645
"Compare the average politician today with the average of 150 years ago in terms of intelligence, education and native ability. Fools and crooks we find at any age, but the degree of blank witlessness has certainly increased with the equalization of political opportunity." --John Douglas Minyard, The University Bookman
"We can't be so fixated on our desire to preserve the rights of ordinary Americans..." --President Clinton, as quoted in USA Today, 11 Mar 1993, page 2A.
"The Constitution is a radical document ... it is the job of the Government to rein in people's rights." --President Clinton, again, May 1994, MTV's "Enough is Enough."
Jefferson, Lincoln, and Mao were entirely correct. If all else fails, their assertions are the final answer. It's a bad answer, but it is still the only answer.
3.What's wrong with this picture?
Here we are: We have asserted the chain of command of government, and the purpose of government, in the most general of terms.
So why does it seem that government is the master now?
Some will tell you that the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution makes them so. This is nonsense. It is so laughable an idea that I can't be bothered to defend a rigorous refutation. It is a plain fact: Men defined states; states' delegates created the Union; the Constitution defining the powers of that Union includes an amendment which explicitly reserves all unspecified powers to those earlier, higher points in the chain of command.
Nonetheless, it is certainly the case that the federal government has become the master. Notably, the government will approach individuals in a coercive fashion and demand that they pay confiscatory taxes, adhere to federal law in areas that are flagrantly outside the powers of the Constitution (unless one is inclined to take seriously the ridiculous abuses of the Commerce Clause, which are so far out of reason that the Supreme Court has recently asked, in hearing the Gun-Free School Zones case, exactly what is forbidden to Congress if the Justice Dept's overly-expansive view of the Commerce Clause is correct -- the United States Solicitor General had no answer), and respect an ever-increasing number of heavily-armed "police forces."
The Treaty of Paris.
The treaty which ended the Revolutionary War in 1783, in Article 1, contains the admission by "His Brittanic Majesty" that the States are "free sovereign and independent states" and that he "relinquishes all claims" to everything about them. Thereafter, it delineates the physical borders, provides some mechanics by which to repatriate people who've found themselves on the wrong side of those borders, and several other things along the way.
So...if the treaty acknowledges (note that it did not grant) the sovereignty of the states...Who owned them?
We The People did, of course. We became the owners of the places we inhabited. This was essentially the beginning of the creation of the chain of command, and following the treaty, governments in these states were set up on the basis of constitutions. People gave their consent, not to be owned by a new government, but to create new governments subject to themselves. This is where the phrase "sovereigns without subjects" came from -- individually, everyone in the now-free states was sovereign, and delegated authority to a new government.
Who is in charge here?
We are. Or, we are supposed to be.
4.Sovereigns and subjects.
We The People are sovereign around here. In Britain, Her Majesty has subjects. We don't.
"The sovereignty," as seen by the Supreme Court.
Yick Wo vs. Hopkins, 118 U.S. 356, 370 (1886) "Sovereignty itself is, of course, not subject to law, for it is the author and source of law; but in our system, while sovereign powers are delegated to the agencies of government, sovereignty itself remains with the people, by whom and for whom all government exists and acts. And the law is the definition and limitation of power."
Perry vs. United States, 294 U.S. 330, 353 (1935) "In the United States, sovereignty resides in the people who act through the organs established by the Constitution. [cites omitted] The Congress as the instrumentality of sovereignty is endowed with certain powers to be exerted on behalf of the people in the manner and with the effect the Constitution ordains. The Congress cannot invoke the sovereign power of the people to override their will as thus declared."
Applicability of law to "the sovereign."
Wills vs. Michigan State Police, 105 L.Ed.2d 45 (1989) "In ordinary construction, the law does not refer to the sovereign."
So we have created a government. Legitimately, we expect that government will accomplish certain goals for us. The accomplishment of goals invariably has associated costs. How do we finance it all?
Taxes, of course. The questions which arise are:  What kind of taxes?  How legitimate? and  Against whom are they levied?
Direct -vs- indirect taxes.
Our Constitution defines two flavors of taxation, direct and indirect. Specifically, in Constitution 1:2:3, direct taxation "by apportionment" is mentioned, and in 1:8:1, we have the definition of what are called "indirect taxes," being "duties, imposts and excises."
Apportioned direct taxes are those which are levied on the states. Note well that they are not levied on the people: "[D]irect taxes shall be apportioned among the several States..." This means that, if the federal government needs funds for some purpose, it must divvy up the collection of those funds by taxing the States in proportion to the census of each State. That is, if the federal government wants $1 billion, and if Pennsylvania contains 8% of the total population of all of the States, then Pennsylvania must cought up $80 million to the federal coffers.
Indirect taxes are those which are levied upon goods, notably. This is how we fund highways, for example, via the "indirect tax" on gasoline.
Conflict of taxation and property.
The right to own property is recognized as one of the fundamental, natural rights of human existence, the right to hold something and say, "This is mine." In the case of Redfield vs. Fisher, there is an important statement as part of the decision, that ownerhip of property is a fundamental right, that one cannot be taxed for the simple holding of property, and, especially, that one owns the labor of one's hands. When one does work for hire, one is exchanging one form of property, one's labor, for another, either currency or other materials for direct barter.
Having this fact before us, consider the recognition given it by the Treasury Department:
Gross income excludes the items of income specifically exempt by ... fundamental law free from such tax. --Treasury Decisions under Internal Revenue Laws of the United States, Vol. 21, Article 71
The result is that the payment received in exchange for one's labor is not taxable. Nearly everyone is unaware of this. And that lack of awareness is horrifying...in myself (until recently) at least as much as in anyone else.
The federal government, and the IRS in particular, are quite aware of this. They act on the basis of coercive manipulation, not plain facts. Read the Internal Revenue Code, Title 26 of the United States Code. Try to figure out what is meant by the word "includes" when the IRC defines a term to say that it "includes" certain other things: Does it mean a limiting inclusion, that the term in question includes only and exactly the listed other things? Or is it an expansive inclusion, that the term in question includes the listed other things as well as things not listed? The ambiguity is apparently deliberate, given that in certain cases (notably, liquor taxes) the IRC uses the word "means" when it wants to define a term, and "means" is clearly a limiting definition: "A means B, C, or D" is exact, while "A includes B, C, and D" is inexact, since in the latter case you can't tell whether A may also include E, F, and G.
Further, it is a plain fact that income tax payment is voluntary:
Let me point this out now: Your income tax is 100 percent voluntary tax, and your liquor tax is 100 percent enforced tax. Now, the situation is as different as day and night. --Internal Revenue Investigation, Mr. Dwight E. Avis, head of the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Division of the Bureau of Internal Revenue; Hearings before a Subcommittee of the Committee on Ways and Means, Feb. 3 thru Mar. 13, 1953.
Each year American taxpayers voluntarily file their tax returns and make a special effort to pay the taxes they owe. --1971 Form 1040 instruction booklet
The mission of the Service is to encourage and achieve the highest possible degree of voluntary compliance with the tax laws and regulations .... --Donald C. Alexander, Commissioner of Internal Revenue, Federal Register, March 29, 1974, Vol. 39, No. 62, page 11572.
Our tax system is based on individual self-assessment and voluntary compliance. --Mortimer Caplin, Commissioner of Internal Revenue, Internal Revenue Audit Manual, 1975 edition.
The IRS's primary task is to collect taxes under a voluntary compliance system. --Jerome Kurtz, Commissioner of Internal Revenue, Internal Revenue Annual Report, 1980.
Other examples abound. But what the IRS does is to scare people to death, thinking that all manner of horrible things will happen if they fail to file returns and pay these taxes.
We encourage voluntary compliance by scaring the heck out of you! --Roger M. Olsen, Assistant Attorney General, Tax Division, Department of Justice, Washington, D.C., Saturday, May 9, 1987.
But let's leave taxation behind briefly, and look again at the larger picture of governmental intrusion.
We now have a governmental system based on agency action which have the effect of force of law. The origin of this is plainly from the presidency of FDR, when the Supreme Court knuckled under (or, depending on your point of view, bowed down to) threats to pack the court unless FDR's need/desire for agency operation was accepted.
Thousands of unelected petty bureaucrats can create (what amounts to) law when they have no actual authority to do so.
Loss of freedom to bureaucrats.
This bureaucratic infrastructure that has been inflicted upon us is horrendous. It is wrong, both legally and morally. Here's a quiz:
Albert opens a business. Albert hires Betty to work for him. In turn, and with the approval of Albert, Betty hires Charles to work for her.
Question: At what point does Charles become Albert's boss?
Answer: When Albert lets him.
We The People (A) created the governmental system of the sovereign states which make up the Union (assorted Bs). These Bs went off to create the federal government (C), because certain things were seriously inconvenient for the Bs to do individually on their own. It is objectively obvious that this was the manner and order of creation of these governmental systems.
For C to have arrived at a point where he lords his position over the rightful creators, A, is deeply offensive.
The need to re-assert the chain of command.
There is no reason why this sorry situation needs to continue. There is no reason why government cannot be pared back to something minimal, where it does what it must, instead of merely what it can. Refer to the Sanford Levinson quote, a ways back there, in the Good Quotations section, regarding a transition observed in law, moving from principle to will.
There are 250 million of us in this Union. It is undoubtedly true that a certain, and surely non-trivial, amount of government infrastructure is going to remain necessary. But the incredible weight and bloat under which we currently suffer is not necessary. Yes, a quarter billion is a lot of people to be asking to get along. But we can do it. We are a civilized people -- we can do this, if we are willing to do so.
That is what I am up to. I am in search of ways to assert my full, unalienable rights as a free man, to tell petty and pinheaded bureaucrats that they lack authority over me.
On the other hand, I'm rather fatalistic: Shit happens; there's no such thing as gravity, the earth sucks. So my primary emphasis in what I'm doing here is for myself, because I lack confidence that a sufficient fraction of the quarter billion of us can really get it all together sufficiently in a test of wills against government, before the matter first comes to a test of arms. I work on these issues for me, mostly alone -- and then I make available a bunch of materials such as my own source references, and the correspondence I've been sending, in the hope that others will see it, put it to use, and increase the likelihood of that fraction becoming sufficient to win the test of wills without needing to resort to the test of arms.
The problem of attitude when addressing bureaucrats.
Two paragraphs ago, I made a statement that is indicative of a problem with which I struggle in this manner: I know I'm right, I can prove I'm right, I have court precedent to say that I'm right, I can cite government documents that agree I'm right, I can name several dozen people who've already performed the necessary steps to assert that rightness...
And I develop an attitude of something approximating haughtiness.
Bad, bad, bad. One must be cautious, careful, and, above all, respectful when dealing with this problem. There are several reasons for this. One, it is just as bad for me to be haughty in my position as it is for the petty bureaucrat to be haughty in his; it is a moral failing on my part to show such disrespect. Two, on a plain practical basis, the petty bureaucrat still has a lot of raw, coercive, government force behind himself, people with guns and courts and lawyers trained in this crap, and unless you play the game just so, one can find oneself badly screwed. Three, it is a mark of civilized man that he can get along with his fellows, even when he disagrees with his fellows. In fact, it is not unreasonable to say that the coercive force of government is necessary only in exactly those situations where civilized men have failed in their civility: Men disagree over their respective rights, they fight, and government steps in, armed (sometimes literally) with the agreement by all to arbitrate the dispute.
7.The beginning of a personal search for unalienable rights.
So I want my unalienable rights back. I want to cancel the implied contracts by which I have given over control of myself, my life, my children, the value of my labor, and reclaim them all for myself.
How does one do that? How does one even know what one is looking for?
It's arguable that, the situation having become so complex, one can never know everything that one has lost. I know that I, myself, am routinely finding new and amazing (and horrible) ways in which government has laid claim to bits and pieces of myself. So one is left with finding the pieces as one runs across them, and dealing with them one at a time. The achievement of one success leads to confidence in one's ability to succeed the next time -- and so on.
The "how" is sometimes tough...and then one finds that it's easier than one might expect. Essentially, one has to learn what it is that's been lost, who took it, and how they claimed it, and then demonstrate that this was improper from the word Go.
In particular, there is a great deal of background and theory to the idea of "implied contracts." When you sign your name to some government document, you are actually willingly accepting participation in a contract offered to you by the government. The kicker is that the full terms of the contract have not been disclosed to you. For example, you are probably not aware of the fact that, by signing your Forms 1040 every April 15th, you are agreeing to be considered to be, in effect, a resident of the District of Columbia, and to be an employee of the federal government.
This is what is known formally as "constructive fraud." Specifically, it is the "sin of omission" in not having disclosed full terms of the contract. This is deeply nasty, of course. Fortunately, it is also shockingly simple to take care of: In any of its forms, fraud is always justification for cancellation of the contract under which the fraud occurred. So the short answer to recovering rights lost to such implied contracts is: Cancel the contracts by revoking your signature on them. Thereby, you step out of the contracts and recover everything lost. There is no recourse to the government in having done so. They can, of course, offer you other contracts, to do it to you again...but you then become wary of signing government documents since you recognize the implied contractual nature of them, and you step lightly over them.
Recovering one's senses -- what was lost.
We need to know what has been lost to these implied contracts. Consider what birth certificates are, for example. Lately, a lot of states have birth certificates which no longer specify a "name"; instead, they specify a "subject." Look up "subject" in a dictionary: It means one who owes fealty to a sovereign. But this is backwards: We are the sovereigns in the first place. By signing a birth certificate, parents are handing over their children as subjects to the government which accepted the certificate.
Fortunately (again), the idea of constructive fraud is applicable, and, as an adult no longer under one's parents' command, one can revoke the signature of one's regents at birth (one's parents), thereby revoking the entire birth certificate.
Revocation of birth certificates is probably not something to be done first -- it's comparatively drastic for a lot of reasons. So what other things have been lost? What lost rights exist which would be less traumatic to recover?
There is quite a selection. The right to travel freely, for example: Driver's licenses were originally instituted as a means of control of commercial activity, not a mechanism for Joe Average. As such, your driver's license is not applicable outside your use of vehicles in the pursuit of your occupation. (Do you drive a delivery truck? You need a license...while working. Otherwise, you don't.) It is possible to revoke one's driver's license on the basis of constructive fraud, and yet continue to drive. Similar thoughts apply to vehicle registration: By what legal fiction did your state gain an interest in your car? Why is a title issued for it? It's a piece of property, which (if you didn't finance it, or have paid off the loan) is entirely your own -- why does the state have any interest in it? Answer: They don't. You can revoke your vehicle registrations.
But there's an even better spot from which to start working, and it hits rather closer to home anyway. It's a relatively easy first target, because the body of law and experience behind it is so large, and becoming so well-known, that the attack is clear and the results are very predictable: Income taxation.
Selection of a good target.
I've discussed tax theory at some length above, and for good reason: It's my first target, and it's a good one, exactly because the materials with which to work are plentiful and good.
Under my ftp area, you will find a number of excellent starter resources. Notably, The Federal Zone is there in its electronically distributable form, as well as some extensive materials on the nature of implied contracts and a few other random bits and pieces. (I haven't read them all yet myself, by the way. I can't vouch for their stature personally. However, I use TFZ extensively.)
One must be willing to become something of a student of the law in these matters. You will need to learn to navigate a law library. You will need a decent legal dictionary. ("Decent" is a difficult adjective. I have a Black's Sixth Edition at home. However, there are problems with Black's Fifth and later, due to gratuitous changes.) You will need to learn to read the flowery prose of Supreme Court decisions, and you will need to find other people with whom to work. It is not easy. But the rewards, especially for this target, are extremely tangible: One can get one's rightfully-owned compensation for the personally-owned labor of one's hands back. It is even possible to demand payback of all previously-paid taxes using Form 1040X.
The problem of "approach to target."
Having picked this target, one must begin to "take shots" at it. I mentioned this previously, but it bears a second address: It is possible to approach the target, namely the IRS, in a combative fashion right from the start. One can start right off the bat with assertions of one's place in the sovereignty, the inapplicability of the tax code to oneself, any number of entirely true but still quite rude statements. It is possible that one would get the same results that I did. But if one starts aggressively, one should expect to see a strong defensive reaction. Defensive reactions from large, well-funded, armed governmental organizations are bound to be...distasteful.
On the other hand, such a start betrays exactly that haughtiness which one must try to avoid, at least in the early stages. Eventually, the goal is indeed to assert the invalidity of the IRS' demands upon oneself, and so ultimately one will have to make some assertions that IRS officials won't like. But one is better off getting there slowly and lightly. And even at the end, one must always portray oneself as a reasonable man, demonstrating proper use of the legal mechanisms available, and never showing outright disrespect or dishonor for the target.
How the target reacts.
What happens when you start doing things like this?
One would like to think that, having learned the true state of unalienable rights, the appropriate government agencies would respond by agreeing to the plain truth set before them.
One might also wish for Utopia in a day.
What one finds is that, first, the IRS would like to ignore these sorts of things. If the IRS gets a letter from someone claiming their rights, and the IRS just does nothing about it, perhaps the person will give up.
Naturally, one cannot permit that to happen. For myself, I sent one letter which, in a friendly, inquisitive, tell-me-what-you-think sort of way, asked some important questions of status and jurisdiction, asking how the IRS views both itself and myself. I got no response. So I sent a second letter, still quite friendly (on its face), asking the same questions a second time but insisting on response and threatening, ever so carefully, that specific legal solutions are available to me if they don't answer me.
I did in fact get one letter in response. And a real mess it was -- see the correspondence actually sent. It is entirely possible that the abysmal state of this letter was a calculated attempt on the part of the IRS to re-assert their bogus claims upon myself: They mis-addressed it, trying to treat myself as someone other than I am; they tried to dodge the issue entirely by asserting their preferred conclusion of my status; they tried to pass off the entire question to an improper office. As important as any of this, they tried to make it appear that I was causing trouble, by referring me to the "Problem Resolution Office," when in fact it is clear that I had merely asked tough questions.
Lastly, of course, they ultimately failed to respond at all. They tried to specify a new deadline for their own response...and missed it entirely. I still haven't received any response. I didn't agree to their handling of the matter in any way, I called them to the carpet on it, and in effect, they acquiesced to me in that failure to respond. It is important that I have asserted the legal doctrine of estoppel, because it means that I know my rights, I know their obligations as a government agency, and I have placed them on formal, legally-binding notice that I am not to be bothered about these issues again.
That's where things stand, so far. I won't be surprised if I see one last effort from them in response to my last letter, trying to trip me again into accepting their view of things, which would be another implied contract into which I would be sucked. I can't let that happen, of course. At this point, waiting until 30 days have passed since they received my letter (which date I know from the return receipt), I will be writing another letter to announce formally to the IRS my status, their lack of claim to me or my compensation for my personally-owned labor, and my demand for re-payment of previously paid taxes.
Upon completing that, I will also be doing a few other things: Cancellation of my social security number. (I'm 34; do you seriously expect that social security will survive fiscally until I hit 65 or 70? If so, please share that exceptionally potent stash you've got.) Revocation of my driver's license and registration. Acquisition of "allodial title" on my house. Revocation of birth certificate. Revocation of voter registration. (Yes, I'm going to revoke my voter registration. This pains me no end, but please examine a registration form, and observe that it asks you to assert that you are a "United States citizen" rather than a citizen of the state where you reside.)
It's a sometimes-scary proposition, going to all this effort to reclaim my liberty. But the end result is important, desirable, and critical to placing myself in proper relation to the government which wants, literally, to own me.
Those who have not figured out death do not yet know how to live. There is no one more free than the condemned man. Life without risk is death.
I am alive.