Ashland, Oregon Screening of America: From Freedom to Fascism, Continues Popular National Tidal Wave for New Documentary
Lindsay A. Gerken
© Copyright 2006, From The Wilderness Publications, www.fromthewilderness.com. All Rights Reserved. May be reprinted, distributed or posted on an Internet web site for non-profit purposes only.
March 14, 2006 1430 PST (FTW) - ASHLAND - Do you ever ponder where all the money given to the IRS goes? And have you ever questioned whether there is a written law that says you’re required to pay taxes on your wages? Answers to these and many more engaging questions were logically explained in a screening of Aaron Russo’s documentary, America: From Freedom to Fascism, in Ashland, Oregon on Saturday, March 11. Aaron’s ground-breaking documentary is currently traveling across the nation, with screenings occurring from Chicago to Spokane. Saturday’s screening brought a crowd of over five hundred to Britt Hall, on the campus of Southern Oregon University. Five minutes before the show began the hall was nearly packed with environmentalists, conservatives, politically-active young people and Ashland community members interested in hearing the truths in Russo’s film.
While many gathered along the walls to watch, Bob Schulz of the “We The People Foundation” began the screening with an oration and a short DVD about the last clause of the first amendment, which states that citizens have the right “to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” Bob explained that this clause allows American citizens to hold their government accountable for its actions, and it is also rarely used. Being “pro-Constitution,” the “We The People Foundation” is formally addressing four separate grievances currently with the government, including grievances concerning the non-transparency of the Federal Reserve System and the taxation of America’s labor and wages. The “We The People Foundation” is an all-volunteer group that represents the minority of American citizens that would go to the trouble and expense to engage in legal battles for the sake of American citizens’ rights. Every day, the government hires more people and is spending more money to retaliate against citizens that would go to such great judicial lengths to address their grievances, which is their first amendment right. One of Bob Schulz’s suggestions to combat this government retaliation is to construct at least one building in each state with distinctive architecture where the citizens are known to be investigating government practices. In other words, instead of the government watching the people from their lofty edifices, the people should have an ivory tower of their own to watch their government.
The “We The People Foundation” has organized the multitude of Aaron Russo’s nationwide screenings on practically no budget, while founders Bob and Judy Schulz have defended the rights of American citizens for over seven years without pay. Compensation for the work of the Foundation is certainly not a priority when the higher duty of gaining and maintaining respect for the constitution is the Foundation’s main objective. In addition to addressing citizens’ concerns, the Foundation’s members are also exercising their right to withhold any tax monies that may be due while their grievances are being addressed. Wishing for the lawful authority and proper functioning of our government, the Foundation hopes to enforce government officials’ oaths to defend the Bill of Rights and the Constitution so that these documents do not become “a dead letter.”
The nearly one-hundred-minute screening of Russo’s documentary began with the sentiments of George Orwell who stated: “In a time of deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” And telling the truth about tax law is exactly what Russo’s film accomplishes, while also exposing the deceit of the Federal Reserve System. The lie that Russo exposes first and foremost is that a law exists somewhere which states that American citizens are required to be taxed on their income. In seeking the true definition of “income,” Russo finds that it does not apply to the wages and labor of the American people, but is defined as gains acquired from corporate activities. Considering that corporations pay only about 10% of America’s income taxes, it is not fair that the citizens have been falsely required to make up for the rest. In addition, economist Catherine Austin Fitts explains in the documentary that if American citizens go to great lengths to fill-in detailed information about where they received their monies on their 1040 forms, then the IRS should also be required to respond to Americans with an allocation of where the citizens’ funds are being spent.
Of course, everyone who’s ever filed a tax return is simply grateful to receive a check in the mail, or they’re upset when having to send a check of their own back to the IRS. But what would happen if the IRS was required to be accountable for the monies they collect, and publicly announce to each citizen where the money is flowing? What most Americans do not realize is that other taxes, such as gas taxes, end up paying for the highways and infrastructure that most citizens believe their income taxes are paying for. In fact, income taxes collected by the IRS serve the sole purpose of attempting to decrease America’s interest on the national debt. Moreover, most Americans do not realize that the Federal Reserve System is not a public entity, but a private bank held by a small group of wealthy investors. Russo’s film is based upon the idea that both the government and the Federal Reserve System should be transparent to the people about both their practices and their accounting.
Throughout the documentary, the Ashland crowd laughed and whistled at the points Russo made, while swimming through a range of emotions brought on by Russo’s logically sequenced argument. The music accompanying the film was accurately in step with the topic, including songs like The Buffalo Springfield’s “For What it’s Worth (Stop, hey what’s that sound),” the Beatles’ “Taxman,” and Pink Floyd’s “Money.” In addition to Russo’s mosaic of interviews with experts, interspersed intelligently between film clips were significant quotes made by famous people about the state of a government run by its people.
One of the most alarming points made in the documentary that caused audience members to cringe was the suggestion of a required radio frequency identification chip (RFID) in every citizen’s skin. The reality of this chip’s existence and enforcement was presented by the chip’s manufacturers and by the government, which intends to begin requiring RFIDs for every American by May of 2008. If enforced, checkpoints across the nation that hark back to the times of a Nazi Regime would require citizens to “present their papers,” or chips for any authority who asks. In addition, an ID chip would be planted in every product consumers purchase for product-tracking purposes and to provide the government with detailed information about every citizen’s whereabouts. Whether you buy Twinkies or condoms, the government will know when, where, and how many you bought. Furthermore, even the cash a consumer uses to purchase chipped goods would have chips implanted between the papers, so that the flow of cash currency we now consider to be liquid would be tracked similarly to your credit card purchases. Therefore, products and services that the government would like to deny individuals, such as cigarettes for someone with a strict life-insurance policy, would be denied to the individual at the point-of-purchase. More in-depth coverage of RFIDs is explained in Mike Ruppert’s book, Crossing the Rubicon: The Decline of the American Empire at the End of the Age of Oil. In the film, Congressman Ron Paul (R.-TX) describes a police state as a place where the people are unable to take action without the government’s permission and emphasizes that RFID chips are the next step towards a police state in America.
Southern Oregonians were in for a fantastic treat due to the presence of one of Russo’s experts, Mike Ruppert, who spoke after the film about the connection between Peak Oil and the essential reform of the monetary system. In Russo’s film, Ruppert explains that the definition of fascism is a perfect merger between corporations and the state, which is just what’s happening in America today.
A flurry of networking occurred after the film ended, bringing numerous representatives of ecologically-aware groups and tax-reform advocates together to chat and exchange names and ideas.
The film makes several powerful suggestions for action that Ashland viewers cheered for, including not to accept a national ID chip or card, and to vote for representatives that will sign an affidavit to question and possibly extinguish the Federal Reserve System. The film leaves our bi-partisan viewers with the suggestion to stop being good democrats and good republicans, and join together.
As Aaron Russo’s documentary, America: From Freedom to Fascism, circulates throughout the country, overflowing auditoriums and receiving standing ovations, our fingers and many others’ are crossed in the hope that Russo’s film will actually screen in a theatre near you.
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