Abuse of Power

AddamsHouse1My entire case with the IRS is due to its abuse of power. Congress gave guidance by listening to citizens and created the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights which outlines the due process one can expect to follow during an audit and other dealings with the IRS. However it fell short of stripping the IRS of its power to forego due process. Congress also created the Tax Advocate a part of the IRS that reports directly to Congress. But let us not forget that Congress first created the IRS and later the United States Tax Court. The USTC is a hybrid between the Judicial and Legislative branch of government in violation of the checks and balances that our forefathers attempted to permanently establish.

Play this while reading following.

This all reminds me of when I was in the second grade and living on Thrift street. In my neighborhood I made friends with a boy named Bruce. At the time it was fun to play with him but one day he proposed a very bad game. On the corner was an old dilapidated house that resembled the mansion in the Addams Family. He convinced me it was abandoned and that we should pretend that we were in a battle and throw rocks at it. We should aim for the windows and see how many we could break.

It sounded like fun but something in me said this is wrong. I told Bruce it was wrong but he convinced me that no one lives there and that he himself has done this before. So we started and it was indeed fun. Whoosh and crash and then the tinkling sound of broken glass as it fell in bits and pieces to the ground.

Suddenly a policeman appeared near the house. Bruce yelled “RUN!” and we began to run. Then I heard the police yell “Stop! Or I’ll SHOOT!!!”.

I   F R O Z E  !  !  !.

Bruce said “Come on keep running, he won’t shoot!”. But nothing he could say would persuade me. I had seen a lot of television and if there was one thing I was convinced of it was that he would indeed shoot and then I would be dead!

It wound up that a kindly old lady who was also a piano teacher lived in that house. Our parents paid to repair the damages. I wound up taking some lessons from her but we did not have a piano so that did not last. I was also no longer friends with Bruce.

It was wrong of Bruce to persuade me that no one lived there. I should have gone up to the door and made sure for myself. However even if no one lived there it was wrong to damage that house and break its windows by throwing rocks at it. At that time I did not know what a “Spidey Sense” was but I had it and it tingled and told me I was wrong. But I went along with Bruce because to me it sounded like lots of fun and when we started I enjoyed doing it so much! So you see it did not take much for Bruce to convince me of doing a bad thing.

But now I am thinking back to what Bruce had said as we were trying to escape. I do not know that we could have actually outrun the police but did they in fact have a right to shoot us? My respect for authority and all those cop shows I had watched convinced me that they would. This was at a time shortly after Miranda had become law and perhaps before it became popular to have cops in show read the alleged criminal their Miranda rights.

“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you. Do you understand the rights I have just read to you?”

I cannot recall if the policeman had actually drawn his weapon. I was making a beeline away from him and did not turn around to face him when I froze. I only recall looking into Bruce’s face as he made desperate pleas for me to continue running. However I now question if the policeman actually had the right to shoot me, an unarmed child, running away from a crime scene. Did he have a right to yell and announce that he was about to shoot an unarmed child, even if he did not intend to shoot? I question even more my friend Bruce knowing he was proposing to do something wrong and using his position as my friend to convince me to do it with him. He clearly knew his rights. He knew the policeman would not shoot.

Both are to me examples of an abuse of power.