“Someone doesn’t like our message,” a constitutional activist has concluded after his streaming web-based broadcast urging Americans not to pay taxes to the federal government until it addresses a series of “grievances” got knocked off the air.
Bob Schulz, founder of the constitutional education organization We The People and planner of numerous tax-reform protests – including a personal 20-day hunger strike – to press the federal government to prove the legality of the income tax, suspects his latest endeavor may have been intentionally thwarted.
On Jan. 7 Schulz launched the debut of WTP-TV’s live multicast streaming broadcast “The Liberty Hour,” a program designed to lay out the rationale for a citizen action movement to “bring our servant government back under the control of the people and our Constitution.”
Schulz maintains it’s un-American to pay taxes to the government until it answers to “grievances” regarding the income tax, the USA Patriot Act, the War Powers Act and the Federal Reserve.
“As our Founding Fathers clearly held, retaining and keeping in our possession the money that we would otherwise have turned over to the government, is the only real practical, non-violent method to corral those that have seized power from the people,” Schulz said, according to a transcript of the
Schulz quotes the Founding Fathers in an act of the Continental Congress in 1774 in asserting the right of redress of grievances before taxes is deeply embedded in U.S. law.
“If money is wanted by rulers who have in any manner oppressed the people, [the people] may retain [their money] until their grievances are redressed, and thus peaceably procure relief, without trusting to despised petitions or disturbing the public tranquility,” he said in the broadcast.
But not much more of the broadcast was heard.
According to Schulz, 3 minutes and 40 seconds in, the transmission of the broadcast was cut off. WTP-TV’s Internet provider, who prefers not to be named, reported everything on his end to be working properly and immediately began working with his provider, Time Warner Cable, to investigate the problem.
On Friday, the provider reconfigured his system to offer an archived version of the WTP-TV broadcast for 1,500 viewers at a time. WTP provided links on its website for readers to download the file.
Schulz said the next day computer logs indicate that two computers at the White House were used to watch the entire hour-and-23-minute event and eight computers at the IRS were used to view and download the file.
By Sunday evening, 10,031 people had viewed the broadcast and another 5,300 people downloaded the file to their computers, according to WTP.
But thousands began experiencing “sluggishness” in downloading the file, with the process taking up to 15 hours instead of 15 minutes.
“Something or somebody had so severely throttled our provider’s ‘big-pipe’ transmission bandwidth that downloading was slowed to a ‘crawl,'” WTP reports. “Urgent calls by our provider to his provider, Time Warner, for an explanation of the reason for the loss in transmission capability resulted,
finally, in Time Warner’s suggestion: ‘Turn them off’ … referring to WTP.”
In the interest of protecting his own business, which was also suffering from the bandwidth interference, WTP’s provider reluctantly removed them from his server on Monday afternoon. As soon as he did so, his full bandwidth capability was restored.
“We sincerely hope that on top of the other constitutional problems and issues we don’t have someone interfering with our constitutional right to free speech and the right to petition,” Schulz told
A spokesman for Time Warner Cable, a division of media giant AOL Time Warner, could not comment on WTP’s problem but citing the company’s general policy said, “We do not throttle or block
individual websites or portals of any content.”
“We have an obligation to manage traffic so that all customers get the service and speed that they purchased,” he added and explained that when they get complaints from other customers about “bandwidth hogs” they take action. He defined “bandwidth hog” as “someone using so much bandwidth
that it causes degradation in the network and other customers experience a decline in service and speed.”
The size of the broadcast’s data transmission was 63 megabytes. Schulz said his provider’s “big-pipe” transmission bandwidth was capable of handling 1.5 million viewers at one time without the quality of the broadcast being affected. The provider’s numbers indicate only 113,000 viewers accessed
or tried to access the broadcast, using up less than 10 percent of his purchased bandwidth capacity.
“I hope that this incident will wake people up to the fact that, even in America, there are ‘gatekeepers’
and censors who decide what you need to know and what you do not need to know,” wrote former IRS Criminal Investigation Division Special Agent Joseph Banister in an e-mail to WND seeking support for WTP.
“As hard as Americans work every day to provide for themselves and their families, it is unconscionable that the ‘gatekeepers’ have decided Americans don’t need to know the truth
about the income tax system that they struggle with year after year after year,” he said.
WTP decided to launch its “pro-active, non-violent mass” citizen action movement, in November after government officials ignored an invitation to respond to its petitions – endorsed by approximately 14,000 citizens and hand-delivered to President Bush and all 535 members of Congress – at a rally on
the National Mall.
Holding to its motto “Acta, Non Verba,” or “Deeds, Not Words,” WTP plans to provide “How to Stop Withholding” instructions and forms for employers and “How to Stop Filing Tax Returns and Paying” instructions and forms for employees, retirees and the self-employed.
It also plans to set up a legal defense fund, institutionalize citizen vigilance in all 435 congressional
districts in the country, called “Internet Ward Republics,” and schedule national strikes, boycotts, and days of prayer and fasting.
Schulz told WorldNetDaily his organization is taking “various technical and non-technical steps to insure the continued availability” of its Internet broadcasts.
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