Movie Review: Vice (2018)

Well-done multimedia distractoid from what’s daily eating out our substance
By Brian R. Wright

A number of deep ironies this afternoon on the penultimate day of 2018. For one thing, the person inviting me to join him and his son at the Waterford MJR Metroplex is none other than  Peter Eric Hendrickson, author of Cracking the Code, THE people’s liberator from misunderstanding and mispayment of the federal income tax—so long as we have the individual courage to stand up for the knowledge.

It’s probably been five years since I’ve taken in an actual film at a modern public cinema. The previous time was still LOUD. Today they’ve toned it down some, and added the plush, wide-butt recliner seats with at least a meter of aisle space at your feet for others to pass in front of you. These gentle envelopes remind me of the do-everything-for-you hover chairs for the uselessly fat passengers on the giant space-escape-cruiser in the movie WALL-E. [Escaping from the waste-world Earth in its death throes that the single, stranded WALL-E (Waste Allocation Lift Loader—Earth Class) robot still tried to clean up.]

Load up on the excitotoxin-dripping snacks and beverages—my small popcorn and carbonated beverage a steal at $8.25—then head back to your cocoon, fix your eyes and ears on the big screen, and assume the receive-program position. Despite its slyly powerful political content Vice is still a modern American movie—disconnect your critical faculties to absorb the full perceptual-emotional impact of the audio-visuals laden with unquestioned premises brushed in with the subtlety of a Mack Truck.

El Supremo False Premise: The Official Story of 9/11[1]

When Pete offered to meet me there with tickets, I gathered from cursory reviews that the Vice of Vice referred to none other than VP Dick Cheney during the Dubya years… and, silly me, I actually expected that Hollywood would be spilling some of the major beans behind Cheney’s planning and operational role in the Crime of the Century and the multitrillion-dollar, multimillion-killing-spree War of (Western Cabal) Terror that it launched.

NOT. I’m 69 years old, how could I have been so naïve? Continue reading

Movie Review: Ayn Rand: A Sense of Life

Ayn Rand: A Sense of Life
Story of a once-in-a-millennium spirit __ 10/10

Written by Michael Paxton
Directed by Michael Paxton

Sharon Gless … Narrator
Michael S. Berliner … Himself
Harry Binswanger … Himself
Sylvia Bokor … Herself (artist)
Daniel E. Greene … Himself (artist)
Cynthia Peikoff … Herself
Leonard Peikoff … Himself

Ayn Rand: If a life could have a theme song, and I believe every worthwhile one has, mine is a religion, an obsession, or mania, or all of these expressed in one word: individualism. I was born with that obsession and have never seen and do not know now a cause more worthy, more misunderstood, more seemingly hopeless, and more tragically needed.

… as the camera approaches the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor at night with crisp, pensive piano chords accentuated with a couple of low drum rolls penetrating the quiet space. Then Sharon Gless‘s soft, pleasantly firm voice narration continues to identify the source of that quotation: Ayn Rand. Calling it fate or irony that she was born in a country least suited to a fanatic of individualism, Ayn Rand (born Alice Rosenbaum) herself provides most of eloquent verbiage that Gless and others use to document her exceptional life.

Michael Paxton’s Sense of Life, a splendid achievement in its own right, is as thorough and objective a treatment of novelist-philosopher Ayn Rand— from her coming to America from the bowels of collectivism, to her perseverance and accomplishments as a writer, to the succinct description of her writing artistry and her philosophy of Objectivism, to the chronicling of Ayn Rand’s “presence” as a public figure—as one will probably ever see. His film is also dramatically compelling… at least for those of us who care about the progress of individualism. Continue reading

Guest Column: What’s Really behind the 16th Amendment

An Illuminating Snippet of 16th Amendment History
By Gregory Sutton [Excerpted from full original article in Lost Horizons here.]

Editor’s Note: The following column appeared recently on the site as a Christmas present from its author. Here is the intro from the author on the California Cracking the Code forum:

Dear Family, Friends, Business Associates, Casual Acquaintances and Libertarian Mentors:

In this time of appreciative giving I wish to share with all of you the precious gift of knowledge. I give this gift with the sole intention of making everyone who has helped make my development as an ardent seeker of freedom, in an otherwise unfree world, more free. In fact if the knowledge that I freely give is actively pursued you may just end up freer that you’d ever imagined you could be. Of course being truly free is not something that is free from effort or achieved by luck alone. But if you build upon the revisionist historical foundation that I give you freely this Christmas your chances of achieving that blissful state of so far unimagined and unrecognized freedom will be vastly improved. I’ll leave it at that other than to hope that however you react to my gift that you all have the best and merriest Christmas’s of all!

The only requirement on your part is to be able to connect to the internet: ANice16thAmendmentSnippet.htm

I consider the information in this column by Greg Sutton perhaps the most vital icing on the cake one can imagine of the liberating discovery of Pete Hendrickson in his groundbreaking epic, Cracking the Code: The fascinating truth about taxation in America. Please, please spread this information and Greg’s column on the 16th as if our lives and liberties depend on it. They do. — ed. (brw)


IN 1913, AFTER AN EIGHTEEN-YEAR HIATUS, Congress enacted its 20th century revival of the income tax as part of the Revenue Act of 1913. The act became law on October 3 of that year.

The undeservedly maligned and often misunderstood and misrepresented tax was included in the comprehensive revenue legislation package as a result of the 16th Amendment being ratified by the states on February 25, 1913. The Amendment’s intended effect of overturning the Supreme Court’s bare-majority Pollock decision of 1895 had returned to Congress the full palate of taxable privileges that it had originally possessed for revenue purposes before the destructive decision of the Pollock court.

Professor Thomas Powell of Columbia University explained that whole sordid affair succinctly:

“The Pollock Case [1895], with its abandonment of previously well established doctrine, provoked widespread popular criticism. Then followed the movement for the Sixteenth Amendment and its ultimate adoption. The Amendment was very probably widely regarded as in effect a “recall” of the Pollock Case, as the Eleventh Amendment was a recall of Chisholm v. Georgia. … [T]he Income Tax Cases of 1895 were regarded as amendments of what had gone before and that the Sixteenth Amendment was looked upon as a restorative … [and] was a device to repair the damage done to the [unanimous decision] Springer Case [1880] by that bare majority in the Pollock Case.”

Columbia Law Review, 20 Col. L.R. 536  (1920), Prof. Thomas Reed Powell.

The Pollock decision had in effect exempted from the otherwise uniformly applied privilege tax the interest, rent and stock dividends derived from the vast holdings of land granted by Congress to railroad, mining and lumber corporations. The land give-away was one of the means to fulfill the country’s religious like belief in manifest destiny. It began after the southern states had seceded leaving Congress dominated by Henry Clay’s American System proponents. Even with the “Civil War” not going as well as expected and the treasury treacherously diminished, the land give-away started anyway in 1862 with the Pacific Railway Act and continued on unabated by war or economic downturn almost to the turn of the century. Continue reading

Brian’s Column: Proposal of a Common Sense Coalition Third Party

What stands in the way?
By Brian R. Wright

As a longtime tilter at windmills, with little success at toppling any, I feel I’m a natural authority on the subject of what doesn’t work politically. The second paragraph of my recent ‘white paper’ suggesting such a coalition 3d party presented to assembled Libertarian Party of Michigan (LPM) leadership on December 8, 2018, reads:

In the recent 2018 mid-term elections, the LPM candidate for governor, Bill Gelineau—in the writer’s opinion the best-ever candidate for major office in terms of competence, understanding the workings of state government, personability, and practical application of principles of freedom to extant problems (and running a robust though part-time campaign)—received a paltry 1.33% of the popular vote.

The paper continues with the basic logic…

Core Proposal and Argument

Create a third party named Independents[1]—for Michigan, other states, and nationally—by uniting the four major existing 3d parties in the country {LP, Green, Constitution (US Taxpayers, UST), and Natural Law (NL)} around a minimalist platform of securing American First Principles’[2] individual freedom en masse… against corrupt public officials and their state-privileged cartel bosses.[3]

Qua national entity, the Independents’ Party stands for the secular-libertarian aphorism: “peace, civil liberties, and a noninterventionist foreign policy,” generically Þ “socially liberal, fiscally conservative.” In other words, common-sense, small-government individualistic humanism Þ zero-privilege, full-cost capitalism. Note that studies have shown 20-25% of Americans self-identify with this spectrum location. Continue reading

Book Review: Conspiracy Theory in America (2013)

The Conspiracy Theory [and Proof] of 20th-21st Century ‘Conspiracy Theory’
by Lance deHaven-Smith (University of Texas Press)

conspiracy_theoryThis marvelous book is a deep, practical scholarly dissection of the origin and application of the term ‘conspiracy theory,’ particularly in America in the late 20th century. DeHaven-Smith is Professor in the Reubin O’D. Askew School of Public Administration and Policy at Florida State University and former president of the Florida Political Science Association; he’s written several books and appeared on numerous national mainstream-media news and talk shows, as well as Alex Jones’ Infowars and other alternative outlets.

This investigation goes straight to the heart of the problem of the coercive state and its sycophants in mainstream academia and media (academedia) who dismiss causal ex- planations of political events with the simple utterance, “Well, that’s only a conspiracy theory.” From the book description on Amazon:

From the book description on Amazon: Ever since the Warren Commission concluded that a lone gunman assassinated President John F. Kennedy, people who doubt that finding have been widely dismissed as conspiracy theorists, despite credible evidence that right-wing elements in the CIA, FBI, and Secret Service—and possibly even senior government officials—were also involved. Why has suspicion of criminal wrongdoing at the highest levels of government been rejected out-of-hand as paranoid thinking akin to superstition? Continue reading

Movie Review: Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead

Geez, you gotta draw the line somewhere _____ 2/10
Reviewed by Brian R. Wright

Screenplay by Kelly Masterson
Directed by Sidney Lumet

Philip Seymour Hoffman … Andy Hanson
Ethan Hawke … Henry ‘Hank’ Hanson
Albert Finney … Charles Hanson
Marisa Tomei … Gina Hanson

“Nobody was supposed to get hurt.”

What do you say about a movie everyone loves—Rotten Tomatoes gives it 88% critics, 74% community—but everything that makes any sense to you at all says this emperor wears absolutely no clothes? That’s how I feel about Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead. From the graphic opening scene (“Awe, man, we shouldn’t have to see this.”)—which supporters can properly argue goes to the essence of the principal character Andy Hanson (Philip Seymour Hoffman)—to the final credits, this superbly acted, gold-plated turkey is an unrelenting descent into depravity.  [If I were still a judgmental Randian, I’d have said “descent into moral depravity.”  But this depravity jettisons morality entirely.]

Let me give you the synopsis without giving anything away: Andy Hanson, who is married to Gina Hanson (Marisa Tomei) has a crummy job and issues with his father (Albert Finney).  He basically rationalizes these unhappy circumstances to commit petty larceny from his company, abuse cocaine and crack on a regular basis, and plan a serious jewelry heist.  Hank Hanson (Ethan Hawke), Andy’s screwup brother, is a well-meaning, good-looking young divorced alcoholic with money problems.  For mostly unfathomable reasons Andy decides to cut Hank in on the operations side of the robbery. The movie is all about the deterioration of the characters as a consequence of the (unlikely) plot.

I guess I can tell you the prospects for a happy ending for are slim. Continue reading

Donut Whole: Free Ted Visner… and the Michigan 10 Million

… from the clutches of a typical county in the most corrupt state in the union[1]
Update by Brian R. Wright

Who is Theodore Joseph Visner?

The voice of Christmas present and all those to come, the hope and focal point for victims of public officials running amok all over the late great state of Michissippi… and for the rest of the country, perishing from self-inflicted danger-of-loss of their First Principles[2]—life, liberty, and property.

I’m simply putting this up today, and will elaborate later: To this humble columnist, Ted seems to have gotten the ultra royal shaft by local kangaroos of the foulest character and currently sits in their Bay County kidnappers’ compound, having been convicted by an insider-drone jury of anti-peers, and then in the early days of December sentenced to two years (minus time served) of state time on bogus firearms charges arising from calculated, fraudulent police-theft-motivated entrapment of the slimiest ground-slug nature.

I think.

The problem is that I don’t have phone access to Ted, so I have to try to get the details of his situation thru his wife, Dani, who lives understandably ‘beside herself’ with their young ‘un in Pinconning. [Note: Even if I were to go to the Bay City Jail, apparently I would not be able to visit with him. I can only sign up to do video. This appears to be a bold new policy sweeping the country of violating habeas corpus.]

For the time being, while Ted remains in Bay City, you should be able to send to him a postcard or a letter—mine got thru—it has to be black or blue ink on white paper and white envelope: Send to Honorable [ 🙂 my own special title for good people who are not public officials; you can just use ‘Mr.’] Ted Visner, 503 3d Street, Bay City, MI 48708. The problem is that I don’t know exactly where they are in the process, and he may be going to state for 30 days, then elsewhere, awaiting appeal, transfer, etc. Dani also mentions that you may set up an account at and connect with him that way, for how long I don’t know. His name is Theodore Joseph Visner, and I provide a Facebook page address below as well. It would be great if he got an avalanche of Christmas well wishes. I believe his email address,, is still monitored by Dani. 

From what I’ve been able to gather—and Dani and I, et al, would surely welcome a first-rate independent journalist working for a major independent metropolitan daily newspaper with a team of staff and budget adequate to uncover what looks like MAJOR CRIMINAL CORRUPTION AT THE TOP LEVELS OF AT LEAST THREE MICHIGAN COUNTIES (KENT, ISABELLA, AND BAY)—the latest tale, and why Citizen Ted sits in jail while the average Michiganian, like me, enjoys the holidays, festivities, and fond remembrances of family—listening to carols and sipping Evan Williams by the fireplace, is this:

Somewhere in 2017, on orders from above—those who feared that Ted’s exposure of official corruption would send them to serve out multi-decade felony convictions—a pack of official mid-Michigan gangster-muscle [drooling, steroid-junkie bandits disguised as police] 1) seized Ted’s lucrative, legal medical marijuana crop, then 2) used CAF (civil asset forfeiture) to take all the good stuff from his family’s belongings, and divvy up the proceeds among themselves.

[According to Dani, apparently it’s a major industry up north these days seizing medical marijuana crops and their owners’ personal property to pay the bills of local government… so as not to have to lay off, well, themselves.]

Poster child for people’s independent grand juries

Continue reading

Brian’s Column: New Leaf for a New Year

Or should I say new ‘old’ leaf
By Brian R. Wright

Many would say that we-the-human-race on the man-on-the-street level—especially with the escalating pervasiveness of television through the end of the 20th century and now with the Internet coming of age in the early decades of the 21st—have caved in to the Neil Postman Amusing Ourselves to Death (1985) scenario. [Sorry, I have to forgive the analysis here, because frankly the number of readers who a) ‘get it’ or b) care, are vanishingly small. Which is perhaps THE major reason for my turning over a new leaf… to be discussed shortly.]

A shortcut way to state the above is that most people have become comfortable with the perceptual-emotional or ‘see, hear, feel’ means of consciousness… with a corresponding loss of interest in the conceptual mode of same—reasoning things out thru reading, writing, and exercising independent logical judgment. Give you an example, turn on the mainstream nightly news, see the calming anchor, view the footage accompanying the anchor’s even assuring cadence announcing what meaning and solace you’re to take from the audio-visuals (or at least from the anchor’s voice-overs): “This is true and what all good people of society believe. Don’t worry, be happy, go to work as usual.”  [Then the ads for the broadcast interweave to give you the context and range of acceptable material choices. This is what Postman called the Age of Television.] And it may be our species’ undoing…

[Note also that ALL the major mainstream networks convey the exact same root news.]

Please read the following short essay from a collection of short stories by Jack Kline, Blowing Carbon (2010).[1] Continue reading