"God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions, it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. … And what country can preserve its liberties, if its 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." Nov. 13, 1787, from a letter by Thomas Jefferson to William S. Smith, twelve years after Boston's Liberty Tree elm was cut down by British loyalist hooligans. And, for the “duh,” it's an example of dramatic license not anti-government bombast.
Barack-dude! What's up, my Democratic president? Are you hitting the pipe à la Mayor-for-Life Marion Barry? Your administration is attracting more problems than Apple Inc. has tax lawyers. Some folks maintain that one can sidestep just about anything in life except for meth and taxes (we'll see if they're right with this Fall's final eight episodes of AMC's Breaking Bad), and maybe even the finest kind can't avoid Congressional scrutiny. Okay, so Marion Barry was smoking a crack cocaine pipe, according to the Maine Methamphetamine Prevention Project: 2012 Report on Trends in Maine, arrests are down and the number of meth-producing labs are up, and I've never smoked crystal methamphetamine nor have I watched more than several minutes of a few episodes of Breaking Bad. I've heard good and not so good things about both. If there's a problem in government and the Supreme Court isn't available, we have Congress to champion truth, justice, and the American way. Well, actually it's not like Jerry Siegel's Superman comic-book character's fighting for “truth, justice, and the American way,” but rather it's Congress's madcap malfeasance of Congressional truth, Congressional justice, and the Republican way. Yeah, Supes is assuredly a Republican, but ...as a comic-book character, he gets things done. And, Walt on Breaking Bad is likely a conservative Democrat who gets things done (and doesn't pay his taxes). Congress, malisciously malingering in poopy-diaper mode, seldom gets anything done other than bitch and moan.
I would argue that our dear Pres. Obama should have gotten in front of the current “scandal” over the Iternal Revenue Service targeting “Tea Party” organizations filing for non-profit and tax-free status, by openly admitting that he wished he'd thought of it first. Ever since the Supreme Court's questionable ruling in 2010's Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (558 U.S. 310) case, money's all over Washington D.C. and it would seem the IRS's job is to thoroughly investigate who pays taxes and who doesn't (especially in Washington D.C.). I get the Republican implication that the IRS's actions are identical with racial profiling practices of the police and the TSA. Racial profiling is an accepted investigatative tool, though it's often associated with the widespread subsequent poor attitude and (often criminal) arrogant bulliness which follows an initial check or contact. Mention The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran and that's a strip-search. Begin a populist anti-government (née less government) political group as somewhat local and “grass roots” and then reform them as a anonymous Super-Pac funded populist anti-government quasi-political group, and that's an IRS Exempt Organizations Determinations investigation. The IRS continues to drop the ball with tax-exempt cults like Scientology and the LDS, but it should be careful and thorough with any declared anti-government group. What? The Tea-Baggers aren't anti-government? Right...
From 1855 through 1879, various German chemists isolated and refined cocaine from the Coca plant, a Romanian chemist in Berlin synethisized amphetamine from the Ephedra plant in 1887, Bayer, the German pharmacutical company, extended the Poppy plant > opium > morphine sequence and invented and sold heroin in 1898, and the Japanese created methamphetamine from amphetamine in 1919. “Meth” usage spread to Korea and Southeastern Asia and was used extensively in World War Two, most noteably by the Japanese Kamikaze pilots who bombed Pearl Harbor (though in fairness, such drugging was and remains widespread in all of the world's militaries). After WW2, meth usage and abuse diffused across the Pacific to Hawaii and the West Coast of the United States. In the 1980s, a smokeable version of methamphetamine, “Ice,” made the crossing from the Phillipines to Hawaii, and was followed by the Mexican drug cartels including crystal meth in their illegal sales pharmacopea (because pot, cocaine, and heroin production and marketing is sometimes not enough), as ephedrine from the Ephedra plant is largely unregulated in Mexico. And, with teeth falling out, amateur cooking recipes were developed in the 1990s and 2000s which sometimes enabled the determined to buy several boxes of Sudafed and mix up some “shake n' bake” with a 2 liter soda bottle. Sometimes, be mindful, as accidental explosions are common, if not probable. ...Especially in the Down East region of Maine!
Even though America held firm against England with its declarative rhetoric, “No taxation without representation,” and somewhat successfully established a constitutional republic (with evolving suffrage) in 1789, the cost of maintaining a federal government with its judiciary, executive, and legislative tripartite branches necessitated taxation with representation ...or as close to it as agenda-based populism allows. As Americans, in theory, we pay taxes for representation on local, state, and federal levels and get what the majority votes for. While I've always been proud to be a part of the ongoing “great American experiment,” it's a lot like belonging to a big family with lots of bad uncles and crazy aunts. Usually holidays and get-togethers work out, yet every now and then the whacks get their way. I'd ask how easily much of Congress and the fools that voted for them sleep at night, but ...that would be foolish. Following the cliché, “There's no accounting for Republicans and reality television,” we admit our sociopolitical road is unpaved in parts.
It's fitting that America's first income tax was imposed by Pres. Abraham Lincoln to raise revenue to defend against the secession of the slave states with their ideology of “Corporations are people and some people should be able to own other people.” Taxing was discontinued after the Civil War, reinstated, suspended, debated, and finally legalized with the Sixteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution in 1913. It was Congress then, all the various tax code amendments of tax-breaks and loop-holes were the doing of Congress, and it remains the responsibility of Congress to ...change what they perceive as “broken.” Though, the IRS has an established unemotional rigidity to its collection methods and investigating upstart tax-exempt groups is par for the revenue course. But, in FAIRNESS, the IRS is supposed to be equally mean to everyone. Of course, this latest pseudo-scandal presupposes that Pres. Obama directly ordered the IRS to investigate the Tea Party “patriots.” He didn't and it matters not the least if he or his assosiates did. As the appearance of impropriaty and unfairness is Congress's business (cough, choke), this pseudo-scandal should continue until McDonald's makes a significant change to its Dollar Menu or something else makes the Witch-Hunt more interesting comes along. In other words, when the news-cycle moves on...
Gotcha' politics is nothing new. Dear Pres. Clinton survived a poopy-diaper Congressional impeachment with stains and many continue to regard him as a good man (with poor judgement). I would argue that the majority of Congressional whining is a preemptive attack on Mrs. Clinton in advance of 2016. The Pauls, Ron and Rand, have admitted as much. Winners win, losers lose, and there're some who complain for complainings sake. Come to think of it, when was the last time we were proud of Congress? Health care reform in 2010? With Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine voting against reform even though she was in favor of it? And, then there was Studly Voteright, Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts, who replaced the recently deceased Ted Kennedy and took the wrong turn during his first outing as an “Honorable.” Right! When did Right become a contronym like Michael Jackson's Bad?
America is doing reasonably well for a nation held hostage by Profit. Remembering a time when one could smoke on airplanes and in hospitals and theaters is pointless, as is complaining about the post-9/11 Patriot Act under the Cheney/Bush administration, and as our general economy is dependant on the whims of Big-Biz, Big-Phamra, Big-oil, and Big-Jerks (or Conservative Republican Billionaires), we shrug and remind ourselves that every age has its challenges. Meth's a Hell of a problem, we're stuck in a new crusade against radical Islamic fundementalists for a sad many years to come (according to Frank Herbert's Dune series), and our economy can only get better with a nationally supported fiscal restructuring with the vision of our quest to go to the Moon and the raw and real commitment of the New Deal. I hope it happens one day... Now, our economy could get much worse immediately if the diversified and leveraged buy-out Big-Jerks get their candidate. Some avoid meth and taxes, but sooner or later all Americans will compare tea leaves with the IRS. Maybe the Department of the Treasury could produce mega-blockbuster movies and rake in both domestic and foreign ticket-sales and producer profits?