The greater liberty movement suffered a loss on October 16th. Irwin Schiff, a prominent income tax protester and father of Peter and Andrew Schiff passed away. He did not die comfortably, having succumbed to cancer whilst chained to a bed in a Texas prison. Despite the pleas of a caring family, Irwin was not released to enjoy his final moments with his family.
Certainly Irwin must have been a danger to you and me if he had to be chained to a bed during his last days. What could have been his crimes? Answering a question about one of his books on the Income Tax, in public. After a judge ordered him not to discuss his book further.
Let that sink in. Irwin harmed nobody. He committed no murder, no rape, and inflicted no loss upon any individual.
However, he was sentenced to one-hundred and fifty one months in prison.
It's not uncommon for inmates to be released early, regardless of crime. Provided they behave. This includes murderers and rapists - those who have clearly initiated aggression against another individual and caused real damage.
But a tax protester? Obviously, this is the cardinal sin of the State religion. Ba'al demands his tithes and slaughtered lambs, after all. To shackle an ill and dying eighty-seven year old man to a bed would otherwise be called elderly abuse. But for heresy against the State, this may be invoked as a righteous retribution against an unruly sinner.
It begs to ask, what champion of liberty is immune to the state? In an age of increasing hostility toward individual liberty, it's getting a little less hard every day to foresee a near future where disenters of State action could be rounded up as a "National security risk". Irwin was sentenced in 2006. We're now in 2015, an age where State Aggression is no longer something talked about in the corners of Conspiracy Theorists. It's out in the open, no longer disguised, openly admitted to by it's executors without shame, regret, or apology. Just the opposite, in fact.
When will the communication of any idea hostile to the State apparatus be punishable? A day where the likes of Ron Paul or Lew Rockwell being in the same position as Irwin Schiff doesn't seem as unreal now as it would have on October 15th.
Irwin Schiff's strength and conviction are praise worthy, willing to take his fight against theft to his grave. Though ill and elderly, his strength clearly frightened a weak, fragile Leviathan.
I'd say in many ways, Irwin won this fight. It takes a monster to make a martyr.