Thoughts & Quotes of

the letter and you will be brought to the beginning of the thoughts beginning with that letter.


§ See blupete's commentary of -- September 13th, 1998.
§ See blupete's commentary of -- December 13th, 1998.
¶ We have all been drugged into complete apathy by the all invasive tax regime.
¶ Income tax was instigated to finance in part the Napoleonic Wars. Prior to the 19th century it was not a tax employed by governments; but rather what was preferred was to tax commodities. "True, there was an income tax from 1798 to 1802 and again from 1803 to 1816, but this mild imposition, which never exceeded 10 percent, produced less than one-quarter of the tax yield." [Spater, William Cobbett: The Poor Man's Friend (Cambridge University Press, 1982), vol.#1, p. 200.]
¶ Prior to the reign of Edward I (1274-1307) parliament consisted but of magnates, great men of noble families who the king must support in order to maintain power. When Edward called his parliament together it was, in addition to the nobles, to consist of the "knights from the shires and burgesses from the boroughs." Edward meant to institute a system of national taxes, and, to do so, it was necessary "to gain in advance the assent of the moneyed mercantile interests ... and the promise of their co-operation, and that of the knights of the shires, in their collection." [Prof. Hanbury, English Courts of Law (1944) (Oxford University Press, 1957) at pp. 66-7.]
¶ "It is trite law that His Majesty's subjects are free if they can make their own arrangements so that their cases may fall outside the scope of the taxing Acts. They incur no legal penalties and, strictly speaking, no more censure if, having considered the lines drawn by the Legislature for the imposition of taxes, they make it their business to walk outside them." (Lord Sumner, Levene v. Inland Revenue [1928] A.C. 217,227.)
¶ Not just the tax itself, indeed worse than that, if we might pretend for the moment that the tax money is put to some good use, nor the drag effect it has on the economy particularly in international trade, it is the massive amounts of expensive time devoted to the business of tax avoidance which is a complete waste.
¶ MORTON'S FORK was a system of tax collection devised and made famous by John Morton, Lord Chancellor in 1487. Morton was one of the most powerful men in England in the reign of King Henry VII and by visiting noblemen of the time he would judge their tax for the coming year. If the hospitality he was given was economical, it was reasoned that his host was saving money and could afford a large gift to the King. If, on the contrary the hospitality was sumptuous, he was evidently wealthy and could afford a large gift to the King. These arguments were the two prongs of the Fork.
¶ "Everyone who receives the protection of society owes a return for the benefit." (John Stuart Mill, On Liberty, ch. 4.)
¶ "The most unjust and impolitick of all things, unequal taxation." (Edmund Burke)
¶ "The immense sums, thus pinched from the millions, and put into the hands of thousands." (Cobbett)
¶ "The best taxes are such as are levied upon Consumptions, especially those of luxury." (David Hume)
¶ "National debts cause a mighty confluence of people and riches to the capital." (David Hume)
¶ "Taxes when carried too far, destroy industry, by engendering despair." (David Hume)
§ See blupete's commentary of -- September 26th, 1999.
§ See blupete's commentary of -- January 2nd, 2000.
¶ "It needs no great experience of affairs to judge that, when menace has been attempted and has failed, expostulation is only an opportunity for insult." [Lord Rosebery, Pitt (London: MacMillan, 1891) at p. 107.]
¶ "O Time! the beautifier of the dead, Adorner of the ruin." (Lord Byron)
¶ "Time, the avenger, unto thee I lift My hands and eyes." (Lord Byron)
§ See blupete's commentary of -- October 17th, 1999.
¶ "I [Bertrand Russell] spent [four days in 1902] with my Aunt Agatha at Pembroke Lodge. A strange, melancholy, weird time it was: we talked of merriment long since turned to sadness, of tragedies in which all the actors are gone, of sorrows which have left nothing but a fading memory. All the life of the present grew to me dreamy and unreal, while the majestic Past, weighed down by age and filled with unspeakable wisdom, rose before me and dominated my whole being." (Autobiography.)
§ See blupete's essay -- "Rights: Not Absolute: But Very Nearly So."
§ See blupete's commentary of -- May 13th, 2001.
¶ "All government, indeed every human benefit and enjoyment, every virtue, and every prudent act, is founded on compromise and barter. ... Man acts from motives relative to his interests; and not on metaphysical speculations." (Edmund Burke)
¶ "The cause of humanity would be far more benefited by the continuance of the trade." (Edmund Burke)
¶ "Before men can transact any affair, they must have a common language to speak otherwise all is cross-purpose and confusion." (Edmund Burke)
¶ "I act almost always from my present impulse, and with little scheme or design." (Edmund Burke)
¶ "The value of money must be judged, like every thing else, from it's rate at market." (Edmund Burke)
¶ "We owe an implicit reverence to all the institutions of our ancestors." (Edmund Burke)
¶ Life being so short, tradition is important; if one is to catch the drift of things. Where the course of events are rapid, and in our "modern age" events unfold with an increasing rapidity, maybe tradition is not as important as it once was. Pope observed that while it was trade that built civilizations, it was tradition that preserves them.
"Convey'd unbroken faith from sire to son;
The worker from the work distinct was known," (Essay on Man, 1734.)
¶ In the middle ages the trial was largely in the nature of an appeal to the supernatural through the ecclesiastical representatives here on earth, those who ran the Roman Catholic Church. The trial process did, however, progress beyond just prayers and penance. Early on we see where the "plaintiff must first produce his secta, a body of friends who testified orally to the genuineness of his case." The defence would then be given an opportunity to have its say, after which the court would pronounce what issues arise from this preliminary process and at the same time determine the mode of trial. It may have been determined that the two parties or their champions would do physical battle. Another method of trial was that of compurgation, viz. the action of clearing a man from a charge or accusation by the oaths of a number of others (called from its use in the Canon Law, Purgatio canonica). All that was then necessary was for the defendant to find twelve "compurgators" and that would defeat the other side, never mind that the twelve may well have lied through their teeth. All that the plaintiff could do was to attack the veracity of the compurgators or their inadherence to the correct ritual. As Hanbury observed, "battle laid a premium on brute strength, compurgation on bold perjury."
¶ "Convictions are more dangerous enemies of truth than lies." (Nietzsche.)
¶ "Misrepresentation is always beautifully brief; refutation always tediously long." (John Stuart Mill.)
¶ The bringing of anyone to recognize the truth of what he has not before accepted, is a most difficult task. It requires evidence which is not likely to be heard or understood by one with a firm or settled persuasion of a contrary view. If one is to have success, demonstrations must be piled up: proof upon proof, argument upon argument. It will usually weary the patience of the demonstrator's audience. Likely it is, that in addition to not being able to triumphed over their apprehensions, he adds to his reputation of being a bore.
¶ "Though all the winds of doctrine were let loose to play upon the earth, so Truth be in the field, we do injuriously by licensing and prohibiting to misdoubt her strength. Let her and Falsehood grapple: who ever knew Truth put to the worse, in a free and open encounter?" (John Milton, Areopagitica.)
¶ "Veracity does not consist in saying, but in the intention of communicating truth." (Coleridge)
¶ Historical Truth: When it comes to a belief or a hypothesis, what is it that a person should be continually testing for? The answer is whether the belief is true. It cannot be declared bogus simply because it is a belief that causes pain: the truth can be quite painful at times; it can be offensive. We cannot jettison the truth to make another person or group of persons feel better.
§ See blupete's commentary of -- February 14th, 1999.
§ See blupete's essay -- "On Truth."



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Peter Landry