An interactive and taboo-free journalism based in Japan

Welcome to TokyoFreePress Sunday, March 26 2017 @ 06:35 AM JST

Love it or leave it

If a thousand men were not to pay their tax-bills this year, that would not be a violent and bloody measure, as it would be to pay them, and enable the State to commit violence and shed innocent blood. This is, in fact, the definition of a peaceable revolution, if any such is possible.
- Henry David Thoreau

The Chen family in the
early 1970s
It's cold outside, and inside as well.

When the Snake was taking Dragon's place, I was writing a long letter to the Tax Collecting Department at the Ward Office of the Yokohama municipality to explain, for the hundredth time,
1) I have no reason to pay "Citizen Taxes" when my constitutional rights are in jeopardy, and
2) I have no money to pay them.

A couple of months ago, a friend of mine - it's actually the wife of my friend, to be more precise - said, "You say your right to 'maintain the minimum standards of wholesome and cultured living' is being infringed by the Ward Office. But it seems to me they needn't have forced you to catch up so mercilessly if you had paid these taxes on time since 2006 in the first place."

I appreciated her frankness, but just like the tax collectors, she viewed the causal relationship upside down. At least I wanted her to understand that as former U.S. Congressman Ron Paul wrote in 2008, "economic freedom and personal liberty are not divisible."

It still remained a paper bullet, but I felt now I was exhausting every possible measure to peacefully convince the robbers that the Constitution is a reciprocal agreement between the state and its citizenry.

I added the Yokohama Bureau of the Asahi Shimbun daily to the list of the recipients of CCs, only to show the tax collectors that I was damn serious about my refusal to pay "Citizen Taxes." Actually I knew I couldn't expect any support from the Fourth Estate which has collusive relations with the three branches of the government through the news cartel called Kisha Kurabu.

During this stressful period, some of my friends gave me a helping hand, either directly or indirectly. Especially heartening was the New Year's greeting card from Lara, Chen Tien-shi (the toddler in the above photo.) In the postscript, she wrote to the effect that she does not really agree to the way the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) defines the stateless and classifies them into two categories, de jure and de facto.

The brilliant ethnologist certainly knows any definition of anything which all dates back to 1948 when the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (
NOTE below) was adopted can't serve the purposes of the 21st century. In the last 64 years, the Chinese Communist Party took over power from the Kuomintang, Deng Xiaoping opened up the People's Republic of China, the Cold War came to an end with the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the PRC became the world's second largest economy. Nothing has remained unchanged.

NOTE: Its Article 15 vaguely says, "(1) Everyone has the right to a nationality. (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality."

As I wrote in the previous post, most people in and around the UNHCR have already lost touch with the reality. The Geneva-based international body was founded in 1950 on a principle which is the worst possible combination of the busybody's ideology of America and other victors of WWII and the crybaby's mindset widespread in the rest of the world. It's no wonder the UNHCR still has great difficulty reaching a consensus on how to define statelessness while incorporating all the complexity and subtlety involved in it. As a result, nobody can tell exactly who should be protected exactly from whom. And yet, people there still claim to be exploring effective ways to "ameliorate the situations facing an estimated 12 million stateless people."

In short, the ideology-ridden UNHCR has politicized what should not be politicized at all.

Actually I have owed Lara more than I can repay. Among other things I have learned a lot from her intriguing autobiography just titled Stateless, which is the manifestation of her positive attitude toward life. It's this trait coupled with an unparalleled intellect that made her acquire Japanese nationality after the years of deliberation. According to the author, she wanted to find out what it would give and cost her to voluntarily enter into a contract with this nation-state which inflicted a lot of suffering on the home country of her parents in the 1930s through the first half of the '40s.

Like many of you, I have never been stateless de jure myself. But now I think I know how to deal with the fundamental question about my relationship with the country where I was born and have lived for 77 years.

Now in the face of the existential crisis, in which both my survival and principle of life are at stake, I'm urging the City Hall to immediately stop robbing me of 30% of my pension annuities on the pretext I had refused to pay Citizen Taxes from 2006 through 2011.

The constitutional/extralegal war I'm at can be unwinnable. But I still hope I don't succumb before the municipality does. I don't need any institutionalized support from the likes of the UNHCR because it always remains self-contradictory and empty words. All I need to that end is a moral support from such people like Lara (
NOTE below) and other like-minded individuals, and monetary support from my selfless friends such as "DK" and the dentist. These people always remind me I am not a beggar as yet.

NOTE: Don't take me wrong, however. I have no intention to implicate her in my battle against the municipality in any way. Actually she hasn't approved, or disapproved my way of dealing with the municipality, either explicitly or implicitly.

Without their support, I would have been suffocated to death by what I call the Oxygen Taxes a long time ago. I call them that way because the Citizen Taxes are basically levied on your mere existence. You can't tell the difference between the local and central governments and criminal syndicates because yakuza gangsters, more often than not, demand "protection monies" from the residents who are living on their "turf" no matter whether the small shop owners are prospering.

I think taxation on your business transactions and properties is a different issue because, as the last resort, you can always avert them by refraining from selling or buying goods and services, owning properties, or using the infrastructure.

They always say, "Love it or leave it." I used to be saying this rhetoric was totally unacceptable because if all those who are unhappy with the way it is in their country leave it, nothing will change for the better in the future. But now I've realized I was wrong. If you don't love it, there is no reason you have to worry about the future of you country. They are right, after all: it's not them but you that must go away - from the system, that is. I am not talking about people to whom you are personally committed.

I don't love it. But I didn't leave it on my own either because I thought there was no reason I had to leave. Then, the City Hall stepped in to virtually declare me stateless de facto. That's how it all happened here.

POSTSCRIPT January 9: In the first version of this post, I touched on the pathological behaviors of the American people today because I thought it would be nice if I could have additional moral support from overseas, or they could learn something from my case. But now I have deleted these paragraphs altogether because on second thought it's none of my business. ·

Story Options


Trackback URL for this entry:

No trackback comments for this entry.
Love it or leave it | 6 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Love it or leave it
Authored by: Diogenes on Tuesday, January 08 2013 @ 12:21 PM JST
This “citizen tax” is quite astounding. Do children need to pay? If a pregnancy is confirmed, does it begin at the first quickening? I’ve never heard of such an outrageous and parasitic tax. Perhaps living in the Soviet Union one might have found a similar form of enslavement. What does the state do with beggars? How are the extreme poor, those homeless people I saw in a documentary film once, supposed to pay? Does the state take their clothes; deny them progressively less and less access to water; inject an inert gas in skid road to motivate them to “find” the money, so they will be allowed to breathe? This situation reminds me of the O. Henry short story “The Cop and the Anthem,” where a beggar begins feeling winter coming and devises ways to get arrested and put in a warm building, the jail, for the winter.
Perhaps this may be the basis for some segment of the criminal actions of the poor.

For those of us in the U.S., love it or leave it has a different meaning now. That was a popular chant in the ‘60s and early ‘70s during the Vietnam War, but today it is different. Those of us that are on pensions can’t afford to leave. We live in a sort of Soviet internal exile, exiled within our own country.

Before the industrial revolution that turned men and women into the first robotic factory slaves, the most anti-life change in modern history, there were large extended families. There were no pensions, so when granny and gramps got old, they moved in with their children or other relatives. Pensions weren’t needed because there was family. This situation is still in existence in some few places around the country, but for the most part, every American is either an atomized active robot or an inert one.

In Karel Apek’s classic book “R.U.M. Rossum’s Universal Robots,” these human appearing machines that have been created to replace men and women workers have no hearts, no feelings, no critical thinking. None of these pesky human traits have been programmed into them. The story ends when a human secretly programs these missing human traits into the latest models of male and female robots. A revolution comes after these machines, now filled with emotions and can see their fate, revolt and kill off all the lazy and heartless enslaving humans. Engineered now with all the characteristics of real persons, a new Adam and Eve begin a new race of beings with natural rights given to them by their makers, their gods, who gave them what could be called their god-given rights. The second period of Enlightenment begins.

Our modern situations are devolving in the opposite direction. Our pensions are the electrical energy that keeps us moving. Like robots that are worn out and no longer necessary, and having no family to give us shelter and support, we can be unplugged at some bean counter’s will, whose defense will be the usual, “I was only following orders.” In Japan, McArthur is the god that gave you only robotic rights in your constitution (Spelled with lower case as it is not a legal document that emerged from the floor, but was imposed from above.), while in the U.S., the constitution has essentially been ignored almost from the very beginning, or as George Bush Jr. is alleged to have said, “It’s just a god damn piece of paper.” In either case, we’re all slaves when we are working, and discarded slaves on the ash pile when we are no longer needed. Rossum’s Universal Robots are working at city hall. Those of us that can see this are in hell. Those that can’t…well, maybe they are better off never seeing the chains and shackles binding them. Lovelace claims that “four walls do not a prison make.” That delusion might work for him, but for me it’s still a prison with no way to escape.

Love it or leave it
Authored by: Y.Yamamoto on Tuesday, January 08 2013 @ 05:17 PM JST

As always this is very intriguing.

As to the Citizen Taxes, I didn't want to get into all these details. Of course, they don't send tax bills to kids or the homeless, let alone fetuses. I don't know, and don't want to know what about beggars. But I'm sure any adult who sleeps under anything that looks like a roof must pay the Oxygen Taxes because he consumes oxygen every time he snores. The underlying concept is quite similar to the logic Yakuza uses when collecting Mikajime-ryo (protection money) from small shop owners on his turf.

I still have a question to ask of you: Are you sure that you don't have any such tax in your country today? I ask you this question because the civil disobedience in your country has its origin in the tax resistance movement in the 19th century.

To the best of my knowledge, the idea of levying taxes on your activities, such as selling and buying goods and services and owning properties, is relatively new. Basically it didn't exist in the feudal society. Now we can't use the same method used by Thoreau. All we can do to protest the new ways of extortion is to minimize our activities other than respiration as much as practically possible.

In fact, I AGREE to the idea of the tobacco taxes. That's why I still voluntarily pay as much as 250K yen for the cigarettes I consume every year.

In this context I wanted to tell my American audience to modernize the methods for civil disobedience. Otherwise, they will keep grumbling until the end of time. I'm inclined to call them self-deceptive defeatists. But on second thought, I realized it's none of my business. That's why I have deleted all these paragraphs as you can see in the postscript.

This leaves me fighting a lone battle against the Oxygen Taxes, only with the moral and monetary support from my local friends.

Yu Yamamoto
Love it or leave it
Authored by: Diogenes on Tuesday, January 08 2013 @ 08:11 PM JST
Let me see if I understand this tax that is being used to rob you. A working man lives in a house with a non-working wife and three adult or adolescent sons that are also not working. The government can charge this tax on all of the occupants for a total of five breathing humans.

It doesn't work like that in the U.S. The only person taxed would be, in this example, the working husband, and he would be charged income taxes.

However, and this is an area that might be what you are driving at. I'm not an expert on this, but one day I will find the right book or article to explain it, so that I can speak without notes. Every baby born in an American hospital now and for some decades must be given a Social Security number, a number that identifies them to the state. The Social Security Act clearly states that this number is not to be used for anything but identification purposes for the Social Security pension. Technically, no one in the U.S. is required to have any form of identification, but just try telling that to some cop.

Now there are two U.S. governments: the Constitutional one that we all think of as the U.S., and a U.S. government as a corporation. I don't remember which one uses all capital letters, but in government documents, the corporate one binds every American citizen to the Federal Reserve System as colateral. As I understand it, all Americans and their property are legally considered colateral to back up any money owed to the Federal Reserve Banks, which are actually a private banking cartel, not a federal branch of government at all. The frenzy to get infants registered with a Social Security number is part of this "let's get'em all" policy. Savvy Americans avoid this by home birthing their children with a midwife. So essentially, all American's are hoodwinked slaves. Most of them don't have a clue about this, but this is how the tenticles of these criminals have gotten embedded into the personal lives of every citizen. There is some tie to the Bank of England or the Royal Family in England, but I can't remember that detail. There's just so much to know and so little time to find it out. This is not a tax as such, but it is a form of hidden slavery. I have been told that all attorneys in this country are aware of this, that they learn this in law school. Think about that. Not one of these ambulance chasers that I've ever heard has spoken a word about this. This kind of coup d'etat that has taken over, and the people that are officers of the courts, the knights of the law, are totally silent on it. We live in a lawless land, and literally everything we see is one gigantic illusion.
Love it or leave it
Authored by: Y.Yamamoto on Tuesday, January 08 2013 @ 09:14 PM JST

Here's the website of Unity Township, PA ("Great Place to Live"!!!!) which explains about its "Per Capita Tax" like this:

A Per Capita Tax is a flat rate tax levied upon each individual, eighteen years of age or older, residing within the taxing district. The tax has no connection with employment, income, voting rights, or any other factor except residence within the community. Per capita tax for Unity Twp. is five dollars per individual, while per capita tax for Greater Latrobe School District is ten dollars per individual. A combined per capita tax is billed on August 1 of each year.

I think the underlying concept is quite similar to that of our Citizen Tax. As I told you before, it's not that entire Citizen Tax is unrelated to income, but at least part of it is really flat. In my case, the other part of my Citizen Tax is calculated in proportion to my pension "income." But as I wrote in the initial version of this post, Japan's national pension program is contributory time. In that sense, the pension annuity I'm receiving is not really an income. They insist it IS income because when I was paying the pension premiums from my paycheck, it was tax-deductible income tax-wise. I still think this is a gimmick but I don't want to get into too much detail.

One of the things I wanted to ask you about in the first version of the post is how your fellow countrymen are dealing with the per-capita thing. I knew it's unconstitutional and a modern form of slavery. But to me, it's not an issue anymore. There's no point in discussing that aspect.

More importantly, I wanted to know whether you and your compatriots are taking specific actions against the other form of extortion, i.e. taxation on your activities such as selling or buying goods and services, owning properties, using what they call the infrastructure, etc., and if not, what stops you from refraining from such activities.

When we want to get something, it always entails costs. There's no such thing as a free lunch in the real world.

Yu Yamamoto
Love it or leave it
Authored by: Diogenes on Tuesday, January 08 2013 @ 11:49 PM JST
That tax in Unity Township is likely a locally voted in tax. Counties and cities can't just impose a tax, but need to put it before the citizens for a vote. This might be a local and idiotic tax, but it is likely an agreed to tax by those effected by it, at least enough people to allow it to pass. I'd never heard of this kind of tax in the U.S. or Canada.

Am I going to do anything about any other taxes? No.
Love it or leave it
Authored by: samwidge on Wednesday, January 30 2013 @ 09:17 AM JST
The, "or Leave It," aspect of your article is a deep concern. Increasingly, there is no place to go. Even the most extremely wealthy have no place on Earth where they can live with true, multi-generational independence. We are a world of innocents pursued by pirates.

We are stuck with no alternative but to "kow tow." Even the pirates must live with this. There is no world emperor who brings peace to some select few.

Our only hope with taxes is to convince benign pirates to tax us less and to tax someone else more. The numbers must come out in the end so that the machinery of nationhood survives.

If I could, I would pay your tax for you. I would pay somebody else's tax too.

I sometimes (arrogantly?) recall that I paid somebody else's taxes back when I was an earner. I think that, in a very real sense, I even paid taxes for people I did not know.

Seems only fair that I should now... Well, you know the thought process.

If there is any out at all, it is to convince.

At this point, you have nothing of significance for them to take. It might cost the taxers more to take what they can find of you than what it could pay. The two books on your father's work are extremely valuable. Unfortunately for the taxers, I have them and their benefit will not be lost to the world. Taxers could not get money out of the books anyway.

Will they take your toothpaste and your shoelaces? If they do, that would get into the papers. In fact, such a story could go international. Surely Japan has some counterculture journalists who would be thrilled for the chance to intimidate the taxers? Look for allies.