I was on a plane the other day and these two guys across the aisle from me started talking to the guy behind them about how the Illuminati and the world bankers want to enslave us all, which you can tell because currency is not backed by gold anymore. Then they started telling the flight attendant about how those in the know don't pay income taxes, and this is legally fine because there isn't actually any law requiring individuals to pay taxes.
The only explanation for what happened next is that I lived in D.C. for too long and have become one of those annoying wide-eyed East Coasters who can't really believe that there really, really crazy right-wingers out there, and vaguely believes that such people will see the error of their ways if presented with rational arguments. What happened is, I started talking to them. I told them that they could do whatever they wanted themselves, but it's really irresponsible of them to go around telling innocent strangers that they don't have to pay taxes, since people go to jail for tax evasion.
Oh good God. I spent the next 10 minutes trying to figure out whether it would be easier to jump out the window or hide under the little toy airplane seat, as these two guys tripped over themselves to tell me how the 16th amendment, which gives Congress the power to collect taxes, isn't really part of the Constitution because it wasn't ratified by the right number of states, and there are laws that say they require the payment of income taxes but they aren't really laws, or they only apply to corporations and not individual income, and did I know anything about horses? because they are farriers, which means they put horseshoes on horses. In fact, what they're doing now is going to Cincinnati for a farriers' conference, which is part practical applications and part theory and business. Also, I should really see a documentary called America: Freedom to Fascism, which is about the history of the Federal Reserve and how it's a big plot by corporate interests and lawyers to control the world, and they'd be happy to write it down for me, in case I might not remember the title.
I eventually told them I didn't really want to talk about politics and anyway, I had work to do, but I hoped they enjoyed their farriers' conference. Was this my inner polite Midwesterner taking over, or was it just a rational instinct for self-preservation? I don't know, but I came away with a strong impulse to spend some quality time with TurboTax.