Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Interesting message on Politech about the freedom of speech issue of the recent banning of Mr. Irwin Schiff's book on how not to pay taxes.

Date: Sun, 30 Mar 2003 02:29:56 -0500
From:Texas Spitfire
To: Declan McCullagh
Subject: Since you brought up the Freedom of speech issue

Mr. McCullagh,

I do not know whether you have been following the Irwin Schiff saga or whether you personally support his position in the IRS/Income Tax issue so I would like to bring this subject to your attention.

I believe that regardless of whether Mr. Schiff is telling lies or truth, he should be allowed to have his viewpoint. If what he is putting forth is false, word will quickly spread and he'll be out of business. The fact that the IRS is going to such great lengths to censor him only makes his position more creditable. In fact, I don't think a person can be found, who has put his procedures into action, who will say that "it didn't work".

At any rate, I just thought you might like to check it out.

BTW, a copy of his "banned" book, "The Federal Mafia: How the Government Illegally Imposes and Unlawfully Collects Income Tax" was auctioned on eBay recently for $117.75....the regular price is only $38!

Sherry Hightower


I need your help. Can you get this out ASAP and get the Inernet burning up with this information? Thanks

Regardless if you believe in Irwin Schiff's tax program, this is not about TAXES, it is about the 1st Amendment! WE MUST PROTECT IT!

Read articles about Irwin Schiff's book being banned, in the Las Vegas Tribune Newpaper at: and also join "The Committee"

A "Committee to remove Judge Lloyd George's name from the new Las Vegas Federal Building, is being formed.

We want to remove him from the Federal bench, but this will most likely be more difficult, than having his name removed from the Bldg., since Federal
Judges are appointed... FOR LIFE!! However, this option is being investigated.

We need all the help we can get! This is NOT just a Nevada problem. This pertains to everyone in every state in America! We need your help!

We would like to know if:

1.. You have the courage to take a stand with us?
2.. You would like to be a member of this committee? [ ] Active participant? or [ ] In name only?
3.. You have a radio program, will you help us promote this?
4.. You have a TV show, will you help us promote this?
5.. You will forward this to your personal e-mail list?
6.. You will sign our petition to remove George's name from the Federal Bldg.?
7.. You will sign our petition to remove Geroge from the Federal bench, if possible?
We will need all the help we can get.

This not only involves the 1st Amendment, if a judge can do this to the 1st Amendment (totally ban a book), next wit might be the FREEDOM OF THE PRESS, THE FREEDOM OF RELIGION, OR THE 2ND AMENDMENT the could be "totally" banned as well, and we would have NO WAY TO PROTECT THE REMAINING BILL OF RIGHT'S!

Effective Monday, June 23rd, you can call us at (702) 366-0167 This number will be available 24 hrs. a day. If no one is in the office, you can leave
your name and number. Sorry, we can not return any long distant calls at this time. You can also e-mail us at:

If all goes as planned, we will have a website set up by Monday as well, and the Las Vegas Tribune has agreed to put a link on their website, to our new

Anyone wishing to link to our new website, is invited to do so, once we have the site up and running. Besure to let the Webmaster know you are linking
to our site, and we can link to yours as well.

COMMITTEE: To Remove Judge Lloyd George

PHONE: (702) 366-0167


Website: Log on to Monday, June 23rd for our link

We appreciate all the prayers you can send our way.

May God bless America, and our Bill of Rights.

Joi, be more precise in your choice of words. There is no such thing as "banning" of a book in the United States. There is no process for doing that. If you mean something else, please specify it.

A book can be dropped by a major publisher if it is too controversial, requiring the author to self-publish. A book can be ruled to be libelous by a court, resulting in monetary damages (in a civil, not criminal action, brought by the victim), thereby financially discouraging the author from continuing to publish it. A local or regional library system can decide not to stock the book. The author of a book can be harrassed or sued in such a manner that he can no longer afford to self-publish a book. A book can be deemed to contain copyright violations, resulting in minor modifications to content. In a very, very small number of cases, the content of a book can violate national security laws (cryptography, nulear weapons); nevertheless even books containing secret government information (e.g., the Pentagon Papers) can continue to be published, even if the author has to collect his royalty checks from prison.

Thus, there are many things that can happen to a book, but "banning," in the sense used of totalitarian governments, does not exist. There is no such governmental entity tasked with such actions or with the power to "ban" a book in the overall sense of the word.

BTW, the book in question is still available from a number of sources, and if worse comes to worse, any book is available used from one of the U.S. or non-U.S. used booksellers at