Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Keep Your Eye on this One

As I have reported on in the past, there is a story brewing up in little Plainfield, New Hampshire that has the potential to turn into another Ruby Ridge or Waco fiasco. Just some quick background for those who have not read about this (or were too lazy to click on the link I provided you): Ed and Elaine Brown have been convicted of federal tax evasion in January of this year, but have refused to turn themselves in to the proper authorities. Instead, they have barricaded themselves into their home in NH, which comes equipped with all the amenities - including power generators (these came in handy when the feds cut their power off) and a turret with a 360 degree view of the property (SUVs that have been blocking the driveway sold seperately). The situation between the government and the Browns seemed as if it were coming to a head when Ruby Ridge icon Randall Weaver went to visit the home upon a heavy federal build up in Plainfield and rumors of a raid. Now we all know what happened at Ruby Ridge and I'm pretty damn sure the feds don't want a repeat of that. Weaver said that he was there to lend his "cult-like celebrity" to the Brown's cause.

That got me thinking: just what is the Brown's cause? Ed and Elaine claim that they should not go to jail for hiding $1.9 million in income from the IRS, saying that "income taxes are voluntary, and any tax on labor amounts to slavery." Tax law itself is extremely confusing, and then trying to disprove something that the tax codes allegedly say is a whole other ballgame. But I will paraphrase the best I can (President Bollinger may not like it). Apparently, the only way that Congress, which by Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution had the right to levy taxes, would be able to create a direct tax upon the people is by the apportionment of the states. Because the states have not divided up and decided what a proper income tax would be, the income tax should apply to no one within the U.S. This view was essentially upheld in Pollock v. Farmers' Loan and Trust Company, 157 U.S. 429 (1895). However, with the advent of the 16th Amendment, all question of direct tax was tossed out the window, as this essentially exempted income tax as a direct tax. So apparently the Browns might be arguing that the 16th amendment is not Constitutional or something of that nature? I'm not exactly sure and would appreciate any help in the comments.

So, why am I writing about this now? The U.S. Marshal has claimed today that four associates of the Browns have been arrested. The four, who are from all over the country and range in age from 22 to 50, were charged with accessory after the fact and some weapons charges for their role in assisting the Brown couple. Now, this may come as a surprise, but Ed and Elaine don't particularly like the po-po messing with their affairs, and this could lead to another standoff like the one we saw this summer. Plus, with the two parties on edge (it's fall, the weather's changing the kids are back to school, the two sides want the other dead, etc.), something big could go down. Ed Brown has said that he will not go down without a fight, and has threatened to kill almost every cop and fed who has stepped foot in Plainfield, including the judge who convicted him. If you want to hear their cause straight from the horse's mouth, then check out their MySpace page (which proves that now EVERYONE must have one if these two do). So keep an eye on this situation and if you do figure out what their actual argument is, let me know. Peace.

Photos - Top: Ed Brown talks to the press as Randall Weaver stands behind him (, Middle: The compound where Ed and Elaine Brown have been holed up since Janurary (, Bottom: The happy couple (

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