May 292013

By Dan Kennedy

The IRS targeting conservative groups for extensive review of their nonprofit applications, while allowing those of liberal groups to sail through:  tyranny.

The former acting director of the IRS telling Congress that this is not illegal: tyranny.

Not only the IRS, but the FBI, OSHA, and the ATF targeting a family business after one of the owners formed tea party and voter’s rights groups:  tyranny.

Leaking confidential tax information of conservative groups and donors to the press: tyranny.

We have congressional hearings, IRS executives taking the Fifth Amendment, calls for special prosecutors.  All this, plus promises to reform the IRS and make it harder, if not impossible, for these things ever happen again.

We’ve heard this before, about other agencies after other scandals.  The reforms never really work as intended.  And with the IRS, no reform will ever work.

Because the IRS is tyranny.  And you can’t reform tyranny.  You have to eliminate it.

Don’t misunderstand me.  I’m not advocating violence taken up arms against your nearest IRS office.  The framers gave us tools to make needed changes peacefully.

You see, we had to amend the Constitution to make a direct federal tax on income legal.  The 16th amendment, passed in 1913, gave Congress this power.  And if we had to ratify an amendment to allow an income tax, we can ratify one to repeal the same amendment.

I know what you’re thinking: “Kennedy, there’s no way in hell Congress will ever send that amendment to the states.  They will never cut off that river of money!”  You’re right.  That’ll never happen.  So we’re screwed, right?

Wrong!  The framers provided a way for the states to “go around” Congress and propose amendments on their own.  Article 5 states “… On application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, Congress shall call a convention for the purpose of proposing amendments.”  Note the phrase “Congress shall…”.  No discretion is left to Congress; they must call a convention once two thirds of the states apply.  To do otherwise would violate their oaths of office.

I don’t intend to go into all the details and arguments about the use and operation of an Article 5 amendment convention.  (I wrote about it here, here, and here; Friends of the Article V Convention has done yeoman’s work in the area as well.)  I want to point out that 35 states have applied for a convention to repeal the 16th Amendment.  That’s one more than the2/3 needed to call the convention.

My question is why our state legislators haven’t stepped up and demanded that Congress call the convention.  North Carolina has applications before Congress that have not been rescinded.  Our Congressional delegation is duty bound to move for a convention.  How about it, Messrs. Arp, Horn and Tucker?  What will you do to ensure our state’s rights, under Article V of the Constitution, is not “micturated on”?  The alleged “party of the Constitution” holds both houses of the Legislature.  Will you introduce a resolution calling on our Representatives and Senators to do their sworn duty?  Or will you just let this tyranny stand?  (I know how I’d bet.)


Jun 082012

Union County board approves marker honoring slaves who served in Confederate Army

By Adam Bell

MONROE: Long ignored by history, local slaves who served in the Confederate Army finally will receive some rare recognition.

The Union County Historic Preservation Commission voted unanimously Thursday to approve a plan for a privately funded marker to honor 10 black men, nine of whom were slaves, who eventually received small state pensions for their Civil War service.

It will be one of the few public markers of its kind in the country, and arrives in the midst of state and national commemorations of the Civil War’s sesquicentennial. The granite marker will be placed on a brick walkway at the Old County Courthouse in Monroe in front of the 1910 Confederate monument.

“I’m glad to see Union County is finally stepping out of the Jim Crow era and being all-inclusive of its history,” said Tony Way, the local amateur historian and Sons of Confederate Veterans member who has led the push for the project.

To read more: Union County board approves marker honoring slaves who served in Confederate Army | & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper.

Related Story: Quest to honor black Confederate soldiers continues

Congratulations to Tony May, whose years of effort and persistence paid off.

Dec 292008

When America Gets a Runny Nose
D. Craig Horn, Weddington, NC

It was 5:15 AM when our phone rang on the day after Christmas. Pretty much all of us have the same reaction to such an event; what has happened? Who was hurt or who died? Generally nothing good comes out of a 5:15 am phone call on any day.

The voice was familiar, yet distant. One could immediately tell that the call was from overseas, the line was a bit strange, the buzz and crackle were reminiscent of long-distant phone calls in decades past. “What time is it there?” the deep male voiced asked. “5:15 AM,” my wife replied in a somewhat groggy state. The reply came with a smile, “I should say ‘good morning’ rather than ‘Merry Christmas, then I guess.” The call was from Ufa in Russia, about 900 miles southeast of Moscow. From nearly halfway around the world, came Christmas greetings from Damir Yalilov.

Let me provide a little background, but please stay tuned for the ending of the story. I shall try to make it worth the wait.

Several years ago whilst living in Maryland, my wife and I provided home-stays for visiting young Russian entrepreneurs who would come to this country thru the auspices of the University of Maryland and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to learn western-style business practices. This was during the eighties and early nineties when Russia was in the process of democratizing and moving toward capitalism. Among the several “guests” that we had stay with us during the time in which we participated in this project was Damir Yalilov, a twenty-something young man from Ufa with unlimited and unbridled exuberance, who was determined to draw every drop of excitement and life from this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity in America. And he did! He arrived at our home on the first Saturday in May. This is important to note because that is “Derby Day” in the household of anyone from Louisville, Kentucky. My wife is from Louisville and we do NOT, under any circumstances, forget about Derby Day.

Damir arrived carrying a small overnight bag (which contained his entire wardrobe for his 6-week stay), some kind of balalaika instrument (a gift to us) and wearing a rather unusual cap (also a gift to us). He arrived about 3 minutes before the start of THE race. We immediately rushed him inside, sat him in front of the television and told him to “watch this” and we will explain later.

The next six or so weeks were an adventure during which we fell in love with each other. Damir had an internship with a public-relations firm in Baltimore. Each weekday morning we took him to the Laurel train station and picked him up upon his return each evening. He would then walk from Camden Station in Baltimore the few blocks to his job and then back to the train station at the end of the day. Along the way, and in fact everywhere Damir would go, he would never, NEVER, hesitate to catch someone’s eye, extend his hand and say, “Hi, I am Damir from Russia” in his deep well-accented voice with that mysterious Russian twang. And when I say “everywhere,” I mean EVERYwhere; in restaurants, on the street, around the nation’s capital. He went to the Preakness race at Pimlico and to Fells Point; he went into the US Capitol building, he went to Arlington Cemetery and he went to Ocean City. And in every case, he met and made new friends always with the same opening, “Hi, I am Damir from Russia.”

Damir was often a bit out of control. In Washington, DC, we encountered one of the many demonstrations that occur along the “mall” between the Capitol and the Lincoln Monument. In the flash of an eye, there was Damir introducing himself to the demonstrators. And in another flash he was waving two signs, “Jail to The Chief” and something else that I have forever stricken from my memory. I was aghast! On another occasion, he was invited some unnamed young ladies to our house to meet “Damir from Russia” that he had contacted through the Internet (a phenomenon about which I knew nothing!). I was more than aghast! I rebelled and said “Absolutely NOT!”

And one last Damir story: Each day, or so it seemed, Damir would ask for aspirin. After about a week, we began to seriously question the frequency. He said that he was experiencing severe headaches but insisted that he felt neither ill nor was indulging in any inappropriate behavior. Into the third week of these regular requests, we decided to take him to a doctor. He then confessed that just a few days before coming to the USA, he had broken his glasses. He did not want to miss this great opportunity, so he borrowed glasses from a friend and they were giving him headaches.
Continue reading »

Dec 252008

Christmas Wish
by Myra Scovel

God give you blessings at Christmas time;
Stars for your darkness, sun for your day,
Light on the path as you search for the Way,
And a mountain to climb.

God grant you courage this coming year,
Fruit for your striving, friends if you roam,
Joy in your labor, love in your home,
And a summit to clear.