I have no right to freedom and have as much as I deserve. Neither a state nor anyone else is obligated to provide me freedom. The exercise of my will and any resulting consequences are matters of judgment for which I hold no other responsible. If I had freedom to exercise my will without interference, I would fly. Gravity owes me no more freedom to fly than my neighbor owes me the freedom to paint my house green. I am aware that actions and inactions have consequences, and some consequences are preferred over others. Good judgments result in favorable consequences, while poor judgments result in unfavorable consequences. To make one person responsible for another’s poor judgment is conducive to making haphazard judgments, since critical consideration of one’s actions becomes less consequential. When states get out of the way of equalizing consequences, people will take greater care in the judgments they make relative to their acts and perceived consequences. Self-reliance is a better tool to peace and prosperity within a societal structure than is the tool of state-reliance, because it promotes a greater perceived value of prudence. My motivation as an individual anarchist is to seek an understanding of my life and attempt to structure it based on what makes sense to me. I do not seek a universal societal structure that serves my beliefs. My opposition to those who represent the state or other forms of institutionalized coercion is their claim of eminent domain over the lives of their subjects. I find their claim of domain over my life to be invalid and false. For me to believe their claim would be to mentally enslave myself. How others view such claims over their lives is their business. Some may feel it necessary and rewarding to partake in the selection of a new claimant periodically; I find such participation for myself degrading. The idea that freedom to vote makes one free is false. It is no less slavery when one is allowed to select their master every few years. To be free is to believe your life is of your creation and domain and not the creation or domain of a demagogue. Demagogues and their advocates lure their victims by demeaning self-reliance. Without self-reliance someone else becomes responsible for your life - a very attractive, hypnotic notion. "Why become responsible for anything? Just sit back and enjoy the ride through life at the expense and obligation of someone else." I find the notion of giving up my life too great a price to pay for such a ride.
Lou Carabini, 2004
Friday, July 13, 2012
Thursday, July 12, 2012
In 2007, Morgan Stanley paid out $4.4 million to settle a class-action lawsuit by its clients after Morgan Stanley charged them to buy and "store" precious metals for them, but neither bought or stored the metals.
(Similarly, a 2011 class-action lawsuit filed in federal court in New York accused UBS Financial Services of misleading silver investors and harging them storage fees for metal that was never actually purchased, segregated, and stored for them.)
Take possession of physical gold. http://burndownthefreakingmission.com
Some particularly brainwashed slaves think that anyone leaving their tax farms is some sort of turncoat. And, when expatriates leave with a large amount of money, many slaves pull out their knives and reveal their bloody fangs and call for that person to be murdered or robbed of his wealth because it is our wealth, as they did with Eduardo Saverin of Facebook who actually whipped Charles Schumer into a frenzy and set off a chain of events that would result in him launching the Expatriation Prevention by Abolishing Tax-Related Incentives for Offshore Tenancy” Act (EXPATRIOT).
An interesting take on Denise Rich - http://iperpetualtraveler.com
Presently in America, nearly half of all households receive either a salary or substantial benefits from the government. Presently in America, nearly half of all adults pay no federal income taxes. Presently in America, the half that pay no income taxes receive the bulk of their income courtesy of the government, but ultimately from the half that do. This money is extracted involuntarily from the paying half by a permanent bureaucracy that extracts and gives away more each year no matter who is running the government. The recipients of these transfer payments rely upon them for subsistence, so they have a vested financial interest in sending to Washington those who will continue to take your money and give it to them.
I've always said the way to bring down welfare is not to kick people off but for everyone to apply and crash the system. http://burndownthefreakingmission.com
Another Lost Freedom: The Freedom To Move
It’s been the norm for several generations now, so we hardly even notice it. But it’s insidious. It’s the curtailment of our freedom to move.
I live in India, but I’m currently in Japan visiting my in-laws. On the way back to India, I’d like to swing through China, just for three days, to visit my sister, brother-in-law, and nephew. But in order to do this, I need a passport with a Chinese visa in it. I do not have the freedom either to leave the jurisdiction of the Japanese Government without an inspection of these documents or to enter the jurisdiction of the Chinese Government without these documents. So I look up the location of the Consular Section of the Chinese Embassy in Tokyo and make my way to it.
After walking through a metal detector and having my bags and pockets searched, I am free to board the elevator to the third floor of the building. I walk out and am greeted by multiple counters, each sporting long lines, plus a waiting room filled with people holding numbers or frantically filling out visa applications. I had printed and filled out mine at home, so I stepped into the first line. When I reached the window, the woman behind it informed me that since I was a non-bussinessperson American, I was not allowed to get my Chinese visa processed there. Americans (engaged in non-business travel) must obtain their visas through an external travel agency.
I left the building more than a little perturbed. These are the hoops of government, I thought. They say jump.
Down the street I found a travel agency. I was informed that they could certainly process my visa. It would cost me 15000 yen, plus a 4000 yen service charge for the agency. My total? 19000 yen; that’s US$240. I pointed to my application – to the part where I explained that I would only be in China for three days. The woman pointed to my passport and said, almost apologetically, “You’re American.” Ah. That again.
It turns out that for any other citizen of every other country, the Chinese Government charges 4000 yen (US$50) or less. But thanks to the political squabbles between the gang of thieves “running” the United States and the gang of thieves “running” China, we lowly citizens are hit with retaliatory fees and penalties apparently exacted based on where you happen to be born. I happen to have been born in California. I did not choose my place of birth, but there you have it. A U.S.-issued passport equals a US$240 entrance fee, compared to a US$50 fee or less for everybody else in the world. What, you’re only staying for three days on your way to India? Doesn’t matter.
Of course, few if any governments exceed the United States’ in humiliating or frustrating visa applications. I’ve helped several of my Indian and Nepalese friends go through the long and often degrading process, with mixed success. Most of them will never be able to visit my country. This is a tragedy. But since I’m not the U.S. Government, I feel no need to apologize for that particular corrupt body. Besides, just to leave my own country, I had to shell out US$750 for passports (for me, my wife, and my three children), not to mention the time and frustration involved in going to the post office on multiple occasions to fill out forms, hand over my money, re-fill out forms, have photos taken, and wait in long lines. That kind of money might be chump change for some people, but not me. For me, this was a considerable financial bite. This was the cost of crossing my own border.
Think about that. You are not allowed to leave your country unless you pay up. And I’m not talking about paying a foreign government. I’m talking about paying your own government. In my case, I had to shell out another thousand dollars to the Indian Government just for permission to enter its sacred space.
Taking into account the additional fees and taxes that went into my airline tickets (including tax-funded subsidies and extra costs forced upon airlines by government that get passed on to you and me), all-in-all I paid about $3,300 just to Government to make the trip to India from the United States. Without all of that, my round-trip tickets – all five of them – would have cost a mere two grand. With it, I paid almost five-and-a-half.
So much for freedom of movement. If you don’t pay up, you’re stuck. This is not an exaggeration. Try crossing the border without a passport. Watch what happens. You will not be allowed out. Let me repeat: You will not be allowed out! Resist, and you’ll be thrown in a cage. Resist well, and you might be shot. The only way you are getting out is by paying up. And only when you’re done paying can you purchase your government-inflated airline ticket.
When did we lose the freedom to move, to travel, to go places? As usual, we can trace it back to a war.
World War One, perhaps the most ridiculous war in human history, boosted fascism, enabled communism, cost millions of lives directly and millions more indirectly, and set the stage for a second (even greater) global conflict. All of this is true, but here we’re concentrating on something smaller – just another stick in your eye, compliments of the governments involved in WWI. I’m talking about passports and visas – those ever-more-costly controls on the freedom of the individual to move.
Before the Great War, very few countries required any sort of documentation at a “border crossing.” If you were from, say, Yorkshire, and you wanted to visit a family member in, say, Philadelphia, you simply paid a sea-going vessel to take you there. You could obtain a passport-like document if you wanted, but it wasn’t necessary for travel. This was considered the civilized way. Only “barbaric” states (like Russia and the Ottoman Empire) had the gall the demand papers (much less mounds of cash). Passports, or something like them, did exist much earlier, but they were not generally required by the ordinary traveler or immigrant. If you wanted to visit your sick mother who happened to live on the other side of the imaginary line we call a border – well, you just went and saw her, without any sort of visit to a consulate, without an exchange of a flurry of papers, without long lines and numbers, and without the mandatory financial fleecing.
There were exceptions, of course. But these were usually tied to wars and other crises, too. The War to Prevent Southern Independence saw the brief introduction of travel controls. The French Revolution, too. As to the latter, Paul Boytinck describes it thus:
The heated debate continued in the French Assembly. One Thuriot, a man without a given forename and hence an object of curiosity and even suspicion as is only right for a man without a given name, was a partisan of passport controls. His measure soon came up for debate if debate it can be called: “By now, the Assembly was churning with controversy, and a proposal to adopt Thuriot’s amendment by acclamation drove the house wild. Pandemonium had erupted in the chamber in response to his proposal to require those wishing to leave the Kingdom to carry a passport in which that intention was inscribed. One legislator insisted on a roll-call vote, calling the provision ‘blood-thirsty’; another denounced it as ‘destructive of commerce and industry, and contrary to the interests of the people.’ That steadfast opponent of passport controls, Girardin, returned to the attack, demanding that the Assembly ‘not be permitted to destroy commerce and freedom without discussion. . .’” (41) Yet when it was all said and done, the French were under the passport yoke once again, and the foreigners within France, diplomatic missions excepted, were placed under special surveillance and they were suffered to remain on French soil only if they remained on their good behavior. The punishment for bad behavior, however defined, was expulsion. And so it came that the “optimistic cosmopolitanism of the early days of the revolution [was] obliterated; and the high-flown ambiguities of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen had been resolved in favor of the nation-state.” War breeds bureaucracies and regulations beyond measure and it is the graveyard of hard-won liberties.
Fast forward to 1914 and “the war to end all wars,” the biggest up to that time in world history. If “war is the health of the state,” as R. Bourne suggested, then certainly a fight of this magnitude would result in a major increase in the size and scope of government, with no hope of returning to pre-war levels (this is called the Ratchet Effect, elaborated upon by Robert Higgs in Crisis and Leviathan and Against Leviathan and warned against by James Madison, who described it as “the old trick of turning every contingency into a resource for accumulating force in government.”) With each new crisis – and particularly with each war – the scope of government widens, rarely if ever to be restored to its prior size once the perceived crisis is over. The 20th century has been particularly painful in this regard (Boytinck characterized it as “a passport chamber of horrors”), thanks in large part to World War One, the Great Depression, World War Two, and the Cold War.
During World War One, the gangs of thieves “running” the various states involved in the conflict, fearing espionage, began requiring documentation at their borders. For example, in Britain (where the government had already, in the first decade of the century, tried using travel controls to stem a perceived Jewish tide into the country) the British Nationality and Status Aliens Act (1914) was passed so that Brits could be distinguished from more suspect “foreign nationals.” Most European countries followed suit, not just to frustrate spies but also to prevent soldiers from deserting. Before the war, large numbers of people had traveled more or less freely across the Europe without passports, apparently without the world coming to an end. Not so any more. In 1920, the League of Nations agreed on a standardization of passports, and several other conferences continued the standardization/centralization trend (1926, 1927).
Ponder that: your passport was born out of fear of Jews (or other specified nationalities, depending on the country), deserting soldiers, and spies during war-time.
In America, an executive order requiring passports was issued around the same time, followed four years later by the Travel Control Act (1918). The latter declared that the president could, during times of war, make passports required for travel.
When the war ended, did such measures, previously considered barbaric, come to an end? Nope. The floodgates had been opened, after all; Government had been handed the keys during a “crisis,” and Government never gives keys back.
In America, the USG’s Travel Control Act requirements lasted until 1921 (when Harding was inaugurated). Even without the requirement, however, travel abroad was made difficult for Americans by other countries’ new requirements, which mostly continued after the war ended. The point became moot anyway, when the USG revived the requirement again in 1941 thanks to…well, you likely guessed it: World War Two (another score for Higgs’ theory!). Finally, in 1978, an amendment to the Immigration and Nationality Act (1952) made entry into the U.S. without a passport illegal, in war or in peace. A major part of what made America America died with this amendment, though it had obviously been in its death throes for several decades already.
The 20th-century passport phenomenon is perhaps best described by the erstwhile Interior Minister of Germany, who said that “All the experts essentially recognize that the really dangerous people almost always find a way to get in and out. Passport requirements, and especially visa requirements, thus result in a heavy burden on the movement of the broad mass of innocent travelers. An enormous – and largely useless – administrative effort is expended trying to get a few wrongdoers by issuing millions of passports and visas to innocent people.” [Source: Boytinck, again.]
In 1980, a conference of the International Civil Aviation Organization (a “specialized agency of the United Nations”) standardized passports across the world. The passport had been bureaucratized, institutionalized, standardized. Now there would be no escape. There could be no cross-border movement without this document, plus the necessary visas. And most passports now – around the world – include biometric data.
These days, if you want to travel, you must pay exorbitant fees for the necessary documents. You must give away lots of personal information. And governments use visas – their granting/denying and their costs – to teach other governments a lesson. Government A doesn’t like how Government B is treating it? We’ll show ‘em: let’s slap on a strict visa requirement plus a hefty fee. Forget the fact that the ordinary citizen has virtually nothing to do with the stupid squabbles of the political elite (and forget the fact that this political elite don’t even pay for their own passports and visas – the ordinary citizens do!). That will teach ‘em to disrespect.
Nowadays, carrying a U.S. passport is a liability.
Of course, if you carry an Israeli passport, you won’t even be considered for entry in half a dozen “Muslim” states, plus North Korea and Cuba. And if you’re from a “Muslim” state, you’re likely to run into trouble at some point traveling in the west. If you’re from a “poor” country, you’re find it hard traveling to “rich” countries. I was recently in Pakistan doing research for my Ph.D. and wasn’t allowed to even set foot in half of the places I wanted to go – not because they were dangerous, but because my passport bore the seal of the United States of America. I remember thinking, Come on! I paid good money for this thing! Can I return this to the USG and get my money back? All of this frustration because of a document that was originally instituted to prevent espionage, Jewish immigration, and military desertion.
How long will we put up with this?
I long for the day when people everywhere will organize and carry out passport-burnings in protest of Government’s curtailment of the basic freedom to move.
This originally appeared at The Loadstar.
July 12, 2012
Copyright © 2012 William Jackson
Good look at the history of passports. You should start working on a second one, given all the crap over a couple of rich expats renouncing US citizenship. http://iperpetualtraveler.com
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Just stop sending in ALL credit card payments – even the ones you think you can pay. They will call you, so use your call display and don’t answer any number you don’t recognize. They will write to you, so throw the letters in the garbage. You’ll get letters from lawyers threatening to sue you, so throw those in the garbage, too.
The only time you need to worry is if you receive a court document, (served by a process server) with a real case number you can verify, suing you for monies owed. But guess what? If you have no money in your bank account to pay, they’ll know, and I can pretty much guarantee they’re going to write off your debt and you’ll never get that summons. Find the statute of limitations for credit card debt online for your state here.
http://burndownthefreakingmission.com - a good start
Monday, July 9, 2012
New Hampshire Strikes a Blow Against the Sovietized Amerikan 'Justice' System by William Norman Grigg
When New Hampshire Governor John Lynch signed HB 146 into law on June 18, the Granite State became the first in the nation to enact a measure explicitly recognizing and protecting the indispensable right of jury nullification.
New Hampshire’s jury nullification law reads, in relevant part: “In all criminal proceedings the court shall permit the defense to inform the jury of its right to judge the facts and the application of the law in relation to the facts in controversy."
There is nothing novel about the principle and practice of jury nullification, which dictates that citizen juries have the right and authority to rule both on the facts of a case, and the validity of a given law. This is widely recognized in judicial precedents in both American history and in Anglo-Saxon common law dating back to the Magna Carta (or earlier). At the time of the American founding it was well and widely understood that the power of citizen juries – both grand and petit – was plenary, and that their chief function was to force the government to prove its case against a defendant – and the validity of the law in question.
I never thought any state would do the right thing. http://burndownthefreakingmission.com