"If the major opportunities for future growth of government lie in the area of conventional taxation, are there any defenses available to the citizenry? ... Perhaps the most fruitful advice comes in two parts. The first piece of advice is to avoid war and the rumor of war: this is history's greatest boon to the tax man. ... The second piece of advice is to seek ways of inhibiting government's ability conveniently to increase its collections. Possibly the very increase in that ability that is in prospect can be turned to account by a constitutional provision which forbade the income tax, and perhaps even the storage of information regarding individual incomes by third parties, including government." ~ Benjamin Ward
Psycho Terrorists from Outer Space
IMAGINE, if you will, a Power even greater than the U.S. Military:
'Aliens! Terrorists! They're jealous of our Freedoms and our stock options!' cries Dubya, crouched in a fetal position under the Presidential desk.
It's true. Psycho Terrorists from the Galaxy of Pissed Off Aliens have begun amassing squadrons of flying saucers over Planet Earth, and they mean business. They want us to catalog and submit all our WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION (WMD) in three weeks or there'll be hell to pay.
Gadzooks! We wouldn't be able to hand over the WMD on one military base, let alone the hundreds we keep throughout the world, not to mention various loose canons ' literally ' planes, nuclear subs, secret laboratories, in Universities mostly. Fuhgetaboudit. We'd need years, decades perhaps. But THREE WEEKS is the Psycho Terrorist Aliens' ultimatum ' or else.
Furthermore, they want to bring democracy and freedom to America. Seems like Earth is not the only planet that deems us a bunch of dithering serfs. Word gets around.
But we Americans are non-violent. We can't even stand up to a gaggle of donut-bloated cops with pistols, let alone the AWESOME MIGHT of the U.S. Military. How could we possibly bring freedom to America? Impossible.
'Tough noogies,' the Pissed Off Aliens say. 'Bring back freedom of speech and the Bill of Rights or WE will.'
Now, it would be fine if the Psycho Terrorists From Outer Space went through the appropriate political channels, so to speak, to free Americans from tyranny, but that's not the game plan. Seems the only way to free us is by pummeling us with e-bombs that'll darken our cities and Shocking and Awing us with the relentless bombardment of weapons terrible to behold ' all delivered conveniently from outer space, so there's no way for us to retaliate.
Holy Moly! What're we gonna DO?
Well, we can hope for COMPASSION. Maybe these Pissed Off Aliens also have lives ' work, love, friends, family, homes, hobbies, pets, toys, cherished tchotchkes, etc., just like us. They probably do. But maybe they just don't give a good goddamn. Appeals for compassion and understanding will go nowhere. They do not and never will consider us 'just like them' ' we're Americans.
Perhaps we can hope for COURAGE and DIGNITY among the alien generals? Surely they know we are no match for them, that it'll be like shooting fish in a barrel, that we'd be no challenge to their much vaunted skill and bravery at all.
But they make it perfectly clear that they don't want a fight. They want to snap the spine of America, break the peoples' will, destroy everything we know and love as quickly and easily as possible with zero casualties on their side. Oh, also, they want to check out the effectiveness of their latest weapons.
Last-ditch effort to reason with them: 'It's impossible to satisfy your ultimatum, especially within the given time frame. We know our leaders are cruel assholes but it's our problem, not yours. We pose no threat to you or your galaxy, leave us the f**k alone!'
But the Psycho Terrorists from Outer Space have no mercy. In fact, they kinda get off on our helplessness and terror.
Finally, we appeal to Earth's other nations (strange, but off all the Nations with WMD and ruthless governments, the Aliens chose only to go after us).
'Americans,' our Co-Terrestrials at the UN spit. 'Wicked, spoiled children. May you rot in Hell!'
And so we bid farewell to our friends and loved ones and the homes we love, and wait for the Terrorist Aliens to zap us to dust and ashes. Of course, we know they're not really after our WMD, which are merely toys to the likes of them, but our cherished, universally envied CONSUMER GOODS.
We also know that while most of us 'plain folk' and our progeny will die, our asshole leaders, the ones the Psycho Terrorist Aliens claim to be after, will come out of this without a scratch. There may even be room for some of them in the New Regime.