Every once in a while I can't help but wonder what is in the water. Something is making people crazy. Conspiracy theories abound, general insanity rules, and most of them revolve around various schemes to get rid of government (national, local, whatever).
We have a wide variety of crack-pots up here. I remember one who showed up in court stating that, since there is no mention of traffic laws in the Constitution, therefore said laws were unconstitutional and illegal to enforce. That was fun. But we also have the real jerks who tie up the court system with endless bulls**t lawsuits, from suing lawyers and judges, down to trying to claim their neighbor's land using bogus "quitclaim" deeds. And we have endless tax protestors, from the casual kind who just mouth off (includes all of us, I'm assuming, at some point), to the Sovereign Citizens (or any of a hundred other names, from expats to strawmen) who decide that they not only don't have to pay any taxes (including local), but often are up to their necks in some of the shadiest "investment" deals you've ever heard of.
Yes, they don't just claim tax immunity for themselves, they make money in the process. They sell phony insurance, fictitious United States Treasury obligations (so-called “private discharging and indemnity bonds”, “private offset bonds”, and “bonded promissory notes”), and "sovereign citizen" ID cards.
“American Citizens are to abide six laws; U.S. citizens are subject to 60 million statutes. What would you rather do -- obey six laws or try to obey 60 million statutes?" He claims that the split came with
- the 14th Amendment, the one that freed Negro slaves and made us all U.S. citizens and thereby slaves &
- the Expatriation Act of 1868, passed by the 40th Congress which says: “An Act concerning the Rights of American Citizens in foreign States...Be it enacted by the Senate and the House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, that any declaration, instruction, order or decision of any Officers of this government which denies, restricts, impairs or questions the right of expatriation, is hereby declared inconsistent with the fundamental principles of this government.”
Now, Cooper says that the use of the term "American Citizens" had a hidden meaning: that the United States is the proper name for the federal government and its territories and possessions and is, therefore, a state foreign to a person born into American citizenship. “The 40th Congress, knowing what was coming the following day, gave us the ability to expatriate ourselves from the U.S. side, and repatriate ourselves back into the American side, where... you [have] all the power in the world to do anything you want so long as you don't injure a person or his property, or take the rights of others. As a U.S. citizen, you are a possession of the United States government and therefore are subject to its 60 million statutes.”
You also don't have to pay taxes. If you buy one of Mr. Cooper's packages (they're $1,600 each, but what price freedom, eh?), you never have to pay federal income taxes again! You'd be amazed at the number of people who buy these packages, at least up here. Some just have them; others try to live by them, and end up in court. And then they end up in prison, because neither Mr. Cooper nor any of his ilk come to anyone's aid. They take the money and vanish. It would all be hilarious, except one of the most famous members of the Sovereign Citizen Movement was Terry Nichols of the Oklahoma City bombing...