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Author Topic: [2006-12-24] “Superstate North America vs. Individual Sovereignty”  (Read 29384 times)
DennisLeeWilson
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« Reply #15 on: 2012-May-20 11:38:37 AM »

Federal Asset Seizures Rise, Netting Innocent With Guilty
http://dennisleewilson.com/simplemachinesforum/index.php?topic=18.msg1284#msg1284

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111903480904576512253265073870.html

Federal Asset Seizures Rise, Netting Innocent With Guilty

By JOHN R. EMSHWILLER And GARY FIELDS

New York businessman James Lieto was an innocent bystander in a fraud investigation last year. Federal agents seized $392,000 of his cash anyway.

An armored-car firm hired by Mr. Lieto to carry money for his check-cashing company got ensnared in the FBI probe. Agents seized about $19 million—including Mr. Lieto's money—from vaults belonging to the armored-car firm's parent company.

He is one among thousands of Americans in recent decades who have had a jarring introduction to the federal system of asset seizure. Some 400 federal statutes—a near-doubling, by one count, since the 1990s—empower the government to take assets from convicted criminals as well as people never charged with a crime.

Last year, forfeiture programs confiscated homes, cars, boats and cash in more than 15,000 cases. The total take topped $2.5 billion, more than doubling in five years, Justice Department statistics show.

The expansion of forfeiture powers is part of a broader growth in recent decades of the federal justice system that has seen hundreds of new criminal laws passed. Some critics have dubbed the pattern as the overcriminalization of American life. The forfeiture system has opponents across the political spectrum, including representatives of groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union on the left and the Heritage Foundation on the right. They argue it represents a widening threat to innocent people.

[ Both links are now "dead" which makes the case for copying instead of linking! ]
Quote

"We are paying assistant U.S. attorneys to carry out the theft of property from often the most defenseless citizens," given that people sometimes have limited resources to fight a seizure after their assets are taken, says David Smith, a former Justice Department forfeiture official and now a forfeiture lawyer in Alexandria, Va.

Backers of the system say there are adequate protections for the innocent, and describe the laws as a powerful tool for returning money to crime victims.

The government has recovered for eventual distribution to victims more than $650 million from imprisoned swindler Bernard Madoff and others who received money from his scheme. Federal officials are in the process of recovering over $6.5 billion more from the Madoff fraud.

Last year, federal authorities say, some $293 million of forfeiture proceeds were returned to crime victims nationally, nearly double the amount in 2009. The Justice Department filed about 90,000 criminal cases last year. There were forfeiture actions in a total of about 3,700 criminal cases, double the number of five years earlier.

Supporters further say there should be many more forfeiture actions. Even an imprisoned criminal "can have a smile on his face because he is going to be able to enjoy the proceeds of his crime when he gets out," says Charles Intriago, a former federal prosecutor and now president of the International Association for Asset Recovery, a Miami organization for asset-recovery specialists.

Forfeiture law has its roots in the Colonial days, when it was used to battle pirates and smugglers. In the 1970s and 1980s, Congress began giving law-enforcement officials power to go after the assets of other criminals, such as organized-crime figures.

The more than 400 federal statutes allowing for forfeiture range from racketeering and drug-dealing to violations of the Northern Pacific Halibut Act, according to a December 2009 Congressional Research Service report. The report shows that seizure powers were extended to about 200 of those laws in 2000 in a major congressional overhaul of the forfeiture system.



Top federal officials are also pushing for greater use of civil-forfeiture proceedings, in which assets can be taken without criminal charges being filed against the owner. In a civil forfeiture, the asset itself—not the owner of the asset—is technically the defendant. In such a case, the government must show by a preponderance of evidence that the property was connected to illegal activity. In a criminal forfeiture, the government must first win a conviction against an individual, where the burden of proof is higher.

Raul Stio, a New Jersey businessman, is caught up in the civil-forfeiture world. Last October, the Internal Revenue Service, suspicious of Mr. Stio's bank deposits, seized more than $157,000 from his account. Mr. Stio hasn't been charged with a crime.

In a court filing in his pending civil case, the Justice Department alleges that Mr. Stio's deposits were structured to illegally avoid an anti-money-laundering rule that requires a cash transaction of more than $10,000 to be reported to federal authorities. Mr. Stio made 21 deposits over a four-month period, each $10,000 or less, the filing said. [Why would ANYONE continue to use the banking system after reading that?...DLW]

Steven L. Kessler, Mr. Stio's attorney, says there was no attempt to evade the law and that the deposits merely reflected the amount of cash his client's businesses, a security firm and bar, had produced. Mr. Stio was saving to buy a house, he says.

A Justice Department spokeswoman declined to comment on the case.

Speaking about civil forfeiture broadly, another Justice Department official called it a tool of "critical" importance in taking away the ill-gotten gains of international criminal organizations operating in the U.S. Otherwise, participants in criminal operations such as these might often be beyond federal authorities' reach, leaving asset seizure as one of the ways authorities can target an operation.

In fiscal year 2010, there were more than 11,000 noncriminal forfeiture cases, according to available federal statistics. That figure has held fairly steady the past five years.

It's tough to know how many innocent parties may be improperly pulled into the forfeiture system. Last year, claimants challenged more than 1,800 civil-forfeiture actions in federal court, Justice Department figures show.

Justice Department officials say they rarely lose such cases, a fact they cite as evidence the system is working properly. Forfeiture attorneys counter that the government often settles cases, returning at least part of the seized assets, if it thinks it might lose.

Part of the debate over seizures involves a potential conflict of interest: Under a 1984 federal law, state and local law-enforcement agencies that work with Uncle Sam on seizures get to keep up to 80% of the proceeds.



Last year, under this "equitable-sharing" program, the federal government paid out more than $500 million, up about 75% from a decade ago.

The payments give authorities an "improper profit incentive" to seize assets, says Scott Bullock of the Institute for Justice, a libertarian public-interest law firm in Arlington, Va. It's a particular concern amid current state and local government budget problems, he contends.

Justice Department officials say the 8,000 state and local agencies in the equitable-sharing program have greatly expanded the federal government's ability to go after criminal activities, particularly the movement of drugs and drug cash along the nation's highways. The program is monitored to ensure seizures are handled properly, they add.

Seeming abuses occasionally emerge. In 2008, federal Judge Joseph Bataillon ordered the return of $20,000 taken from a man during a traffic stop in Douglas County, Neb. Judge Battaillon quoted from a recording of the seizure, in which a sheriff's deputy complained about the man's attitude and suggested "we take his money and, um, count it as a drug seizure."

The judge's order said the case produced "overwhelming evidence" that the funds were clean.

Douglas County Sheriff Tim Dunning said the remarks made by his officers on the recording were "uncalled for" and "had a potential for tainting the case." But overall, he says, the seizure was handled properly. Since 2002, he says, his department has earned $11 million in equitable-sharing money.

A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's office in Nebraska said the deputy's remarks were "a rare and isolated event."

About a decade ago, the forfeiture system got a major overhaul. The 2000 Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act, or Cafra, put in protections for individuals, including increasing the government's burden of proof in many proceedings. Cafra also extended forfeiture powers to additional crimes.

Cafra's new safeguards didn't go far enough, critics argue. For instance, reformers failed to win a broad guarantee that poor people would have access to a lawyer. "It isn't much good to say you have the right to get your property back if you can't afford a lawyer," said the late Rep. Henry Hyde (R-Ill.) at a 1999 congressional hearing.

Jorge Jaramillo, a construction worker, says he couldn't afford a lawyer after more than $16,000 was seized from him last year in a traffic stop. "I had all of $20 left," he says.

In a Delaware federal-court filing, the Justice Department argued the money was related to drug dealing. It pointed to air fresheners in the car, which could mask the smell of drugs, and a fast-food bag containing cigar tobacco, which the filing said was often a sign that the cigar wrapper had been used to smoke marijuana.

The filing also said a police dog had signaled that the cash carried residue of illegal drugs. Such "dog sniffs" are a common but controversial feature in forfeitures.

Mr. Smith, the Virginia attorney, represented Mr. Jaramillo at no upfront cost. In court documents, Mr. Jaramillo, who wasn't charged with a crime, said he was carrying the money because he was traveling to buy a car from a seller who wanted cash.

The government in May agreed to return Mr. Jaramillo's money, with interest. Mr. Smith was also awarded $6,000 in attorney's fees. Under Cafra, attorneys' fees in civil-forfeiture cases are at least partially payable if the claimant wins.

The Cafra reforms helped Mr. Jaramillo find a lawyer even though he says he had no money. Still, forfeiture attorneys say this feature of the law is being eroded in some instances. In April, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals found that the Cafra attorney's fee should be paid to the client, not directly to the lawyer. Lawyers say this makes it possible for the government to seize their fees if the client has a tax lien or other obligation.

Mr. Lieto, the New York businessman, discovered the frustrations an innocent party can face as he worked for months to keep open his check-cashing business after federal agents seized his firm's working capital.

For years, according to court filings, Mr. Lieto used an armored-car company to pick up cash from his bank for delivery to his check-cashing outlets. The sealed bank bags were routinely stored overnight in the car company's vault. In February 2010, the FBI raid seized the $19 million as part of the fraud probe.

Under the law, an innocent third party generally can't seek an asset's return until the underlying criminal case is resolved, which can take time. In this case, two men pleaded guilty last fall to a multi-million-dollar fraud.

An innocent party's money is returnable if it's clearly separate from the fraud. Mr. Lieto's two sealed and marked bank bags with the $392,000 qualified, his attorney, Mr. Kessler, argued in court filings. Others among the scores of customers made similar claims.

The government countered that the crooks' operation, which included the armored-car service, routinely commingled customers' money. Thus, everyone had to get in line as fraud victims.

Court records indicate that fraud victims might get about 25 cents or less on the dollar. However, in February the government agreed to give Mr. Lieto's money back in full.

Mr. Lieto's lawyer, Mr. Kessler, had filed a deposition from a vault manager who had watched Mr. Lieto's two still-sealed bags being loaded onto the FBI's truck. If the bags were opened and commingled, it was done by authorities, a Lieto court filing argued.

Write to John R. Emshwiller at john.emshwiller@wsj.com and Gary Fields at gary.fields@wsj.com

Corrections & Amplifications
James Lieto's surname was misspelled Leito in photo captions accompanying an earlier version of this story.
« Last Edit: 2012-May-20 02:33:23 PM by DennisLeeWilson » Logged

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« Reply #16 on: 2012-May-20 12:03:44 PM »

Selected comments from the previous article:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111903480904576512253265073870.html#articleTabs%3Dcomments

   * 266 days ago
    * Thomas Sheehan Wrote:
  
I have been stopped by cops on Western and Mid-Western interstates when driving in
a rental with East Coast state license plates at least 6 times. Always the same M.O. - they say they
are giving me a "warning" for some bogus reason - lane change violation, following too close,
once even for going too slow,etc. Then they ask you to sit in their patrol car and they start
asking you every question under the sun - where are you going, the name of the person,
you are seeing, where have you come from, etc. One cop in Wyoming asked me if I was
carrying cash - I said yes $150 which was true. He said no - I mean thousands of dollars
in cash. I laughed, of course not. Then he asked to search my car. They all ask to look
in your trunk too. He rooted around behind the panels in the trunk, not believing me
obviously, Then he asked to have his drug dog which I did not realize was in back of
his SUV cop vehicle. Sure I said, Sniffs the whole outside of the car. Nothing of
course and I am let go with a warning for a lane change infraction! This game is too
put cash in the POCKETS of these officers when the hit a drug courier. Some of
the cash might get turned in but I guarantee the amount of times this has happened
to me (single white guy with East coast plates) they are out to line their pockets.
They should be catching speeders - instead they are using public resources and
their power over motorists to engage in a big money hunt. We live in a country
where our Governments are corrupt to the core and these cops are just part of
the shakedown. Innocent people like the people in this article and myself get
swept up in their corruption. Don't carry cash over $1,000 in your vehicle on
an interstate and if you are stopped and asked, don't ever admit if questioned
about cash, that you have more than a few bucks. Otherwise it is going to
be taken for drug money. These guys are looking for cash for themselves
from the minute they saw my plates and hit the flashing lights. Trust me -
it took me awhile but the frequency and enthusiasm they showed me means
only one thing - most of any cash they find goes into their pockets.

   *
          o 272 days ago
          o Larry Whited Wrote:
          
      Big Brother is not a nice entity. Control is a growing addiction for government bureaucrats who realize that they are above and beyond the law. This is not good.
      37 Recommendations
        
                + 271 days ago
                + Jose Calabro Replied:
                
            There's a simple solution. Don't steal, defraud, hide, or knowingly walk a line too close to the realm of the illegal. And don't do business with people that do such things either. Unfortunately, this is all that this nation has become, at least a good portion of the private enterprise part of it. Everyone is looking for ways to shaft the government out of tax money owed to it, the entire banking system was shown to be a laughable chicanery of unimaginable magnitude that needed bailouts, insurance companies had to be reigned in, the high frequency traders are having a field day in the worst possible economic climate, the rating agencies are a joke that gave trillions of worthless paper AAA ratings, military contractors charge thousands for showers that electrocute soldiers, etc. Name it and you will find it.

            These actions are a RESPONSE to swindlers' actions, NOT a CAUSE for them. If you don't like such RESPONSE don't evoke it in the first place, or don't try to circumvent it by extralegal loopholes invocation. Otherwise it will only get worse. And it should. Until it becomes impossible for the charlatans and their associates to make a living at all. After all, that is the object of such enforcement actions.
            1 Recommendation
                
                      # 271 days ago
                      # Larry Whited Replied:
                         Liar. Everyone is not looking for ways to "shaft the government out of tax money owed to it". I don't even claim my charitable deductions on my income tax because it is my personal conviction that others should not subsidize (by me paying less) my choices for donations. Additionally, the lady who does my taxes would tell me to take a hike if she thought I was cheating--her integrity is at stake as well as mine. I could go on, but you are a liar, plain and simple.

                  Your post implies that the government is some benevolent organization that always looks out for your best interests. You, sir, are worse than naive--you make it easy for the bureaucrats and politicians who are abusive to practice their trade.

                  Life is not simple. Our government is neither all good nor all bad. Checks and balances were realized as vital to freedom, and slowly but surely we are seeing a powerful and unaccountable element within the government begin to flex its muscles and sidestep accountability. You may be comfortable with this leviathan, but not all of us are--and putting the onus on us to walk a perceived perfect course (by fickle others) so as to not incur the wrath of the beast is unacceptable.

                  Finally, having supposed "noble" objects (intentions) for enforcement actions is hardly a persuasive argument. Much harm has been done in the name of good intentions.
                  1 Recommendation
                     +
                      # 270 days ago
                      # ALAN WELLS Replied:
                      #
                      So you trust the government? Not me, guy. I can spot conflicts of interest and they're obvious here. "shaft the government?". Now there's the pot calling the kettle black.
                  1 Recommendation
                      
          o 272 days ago
          o Kevin Neilson Wrote:
          o
             I don't see how these seizures comply with the fifth amendment, especially when there is no conviction. The fifth, however, has been seriously weakened by such cases as Kelo vs. New London.
      23 Recommendations
        
                + 272 days ago
                + Hagbard Celine Replied:
                +
            I think the theory in the asset grab is that the government is "arresting" the money.
            3 Recommendations    *
          o 272 days ago
          o John Bonadeo Wrote:
          o
            Don't believe everything you read in this article. For years federal prosecutors and agents watched white collar and other non-violent criminals walk through a revolving door. The only way to truly put criminals out of business is to seize the assets of the operation. If your teenaged son is printing counterfeit money on the family computer/scanner/printer and driving your car to pass the bogus bills with his friends, you are going to lose your computer and car, at least for a time. If you buy a house with someone growing marijuana on the property, you are going to lose your house. It's about time we realized that if criminals have a 'stash' to return to after short imprisonment, they will return to their criminal enterprise. The idea is to strangle the money flow and kill the enterprise completely. (John's wife)
      5 Recommendations
          
                + 272 days ago
                + Larry Whited Replied:
                +                  
            Have you ever been wrongly charged of a crime and never even been interviewed by a detective or representative of the prosecutor before the trial? (I have, in Louisiana. Defended myself in court and prevailed, fortunately.) Have you ever had your credit card charged by a state agency (that would be Massachusetts, this year) for an infraction attributed to a rental car's location...10 hours AFTER you returned the vehicle, but yet the state refuses to refund the false billing? In your tidy world where only the bad guys get what they deserve, then the innocent do fine. However, the real world does include abuse, and it does very much include bureaucrats who are addicted to power & control and don't mind abusing it. THAT is what this article is about.
            75 Recommendations                
                +
                      # 272 days ago
                      # Mark Steffy Replied:
                      #                      
                  Good post, Larry! Couldn't agree more.
                  11 Recommendations                      
                +
                      # 272 days ago
                      # Terri Christopher Replied:
                      #                      
                  Throw in a bevy of new, vaguely written rules/regulations, little or no due process (as in civil court and many agency hearings), and judges convicting without criminal intent, and America becomes scary place to live.

                  http://www.overcriminalized.com
                  12 Recommendations                      
                +
                      # 272 days ago
                      # Steve Fleischer Replied:
                      #
                  Once a bureaucrat enters an adverse ruling (tax lien, credit card charge, asset forfeiture etc), it is very hard to reverse the process.

                  The effort to correct a government error is entirely yours, with the bureaucrat deciding whether to reverse himself (typically unlikely from either ego or inertia).

                  The downside of a mistake to the bureaucracy is small, while the upside is great - witness the story about Sheriff Dunning in Douglas County, Neb.

                  Mrs. Bonadeo - if all bureaucrats were both honest and competent, I would have some sympathy with your post, but given that so many government officials have incentives to err on the side of forfeiture, I have to disagree with you.

                  Just because a forfeiture is legal doesn't make it right.
                  8 Recommendations
                      
          o
                + 271 days ago
                + Joel Ruig Replied:
          
            "Greater Good" As soon as you hear this code phrase you know you are being 's c r e w e d'.
            Recommend
                +
    *
          o 272 days ago
          o John Bonadeo Wrote:
          
      The abuses are the exception, not the rule. Innocent people rarely just happen to fall into the criminal justice system. (John's wife)
      4 Recommendations
        
          o
                + 272 days ago
                + Donald Brady Replied:

            Abuse happens frequently enough that "law enforcement" IS part of the problem. An AUSA with uncontrolled ambition is a WMD.
            12 Recommendations
              
                +
                      # 271 days ago
                      # Jose Calabro Replied:
                      #
                  They don't happen that frequently according to the article. They happen tens of thousands of times a year in a country with hundreds of millions of people. YOU figure out the ratio - it's not bad at all. So what alternative do you suggest then ? Not enforcing the laws ? Letting these fraudulent entities self-police ? Because the third alternative is asking for MORE funding, to more accurately perform such forfeitures without ensnaring innocent people, a thing that is immediately shut down in the name of government expansion and what not. You can't castrate the government of its powers day by day and then expect it to work like a Swiss watch. Need to make your mind up. You wanna fund a government properly so that it can catch the crooks ? Or do you want to reduce its size and live among same crooks and be preyed upon by them ?
                  Recommend
          o
                + 272 days ago
                + Jack Davidson Replied:
                
            So? And that justifies just seizing property without any evidence that something illegal has occurred? You had better pray that YOU never "just happen to fall into the criminal justice system."
            23 Recommendations
                +
          o
                + 272 days ago
                + Michael Gretchen Replied:
                +
            John's wife: You are naive. 1 abuse is too many.
            7 Recommendations
                +
                      # 271 days ago
                      # James Holmberg Replied:
                      #
                  Absolutely. It is the foundation of our nation. Our laws mean nothing.
                  1 Recommendation
                    
          o
                + 272 days ago
                + Hagbard Celine Replied:
                +
            Better that a 100 innocent men go to jail lest 1 guilty man go free.
            5 Recommendations
              
          o
                + 271 days ago
                + Mike Percy Replied:
                +
                

Innocent people regularly fall into the trap of the criminal justice system. Combine that fact with the potential corruption that civil forfeiture engenders, with the proliferation of laws under which just about anyone can be found to have done *something* worth seizing assets for (even if it's 100% fabricated by the corrupt officials) and the scope of the problem becomes apparent.

Of course, this was foreseen...

"Did you really think that we want those laws to be observed?" said Dr. Ferris. "We want them broken. You'd better get it straight that it's not a bunch of boy scouts you're up against -then you'll know that this is not the age for beautiful gestures. We're after power and we mean it. You fellows were pikers, but we know the real trick, and you'd better get wise to it. There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What's there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted -and you create a nation of law-breakers -and then you cash in on guilt. Now, that's the system, Mr. Rearden, that's the game, and once you understand it, you'll be much easier to deal with."
3 Recommendations

    * 270 days ago
    * ALAN WELLS Replied:

Works as long as you're not the innocent victim. Your point of view would (and yet may...) be different if it has happened to you. Empathy is not a gift given to all. The nature of injustice has nothing to do with it's frequency.

Continued at
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111903480904576512253265073870.html#articleTabs%3Dcomments
« Last Edit: 2012-May-20 12:48:17 PM by DennisLeeWilson » Logged

Objectivist & Sovereign Individual
Creator of Atlas Shrugged Celebration Day & Artemis Zuna Trading Post
Signatory: Covenant of Unanimous Consent
DennisLeeWilson
Creator of this site
Administrator
Forum/Blog Owner
*****
Posts: 1316


Existence exists & Man's mind can know it.


WWW Email
« Reply #17 on: 2012-July-25 06:00:44 PM »

[2012-07-25] Personal Secession – Reactions and Suggestions - by Roger Young
Links to this article:
bit.ly/Personal-Secession
http://tinyurl.com/Personal-Secession
http://dennisleewilson.com/simplemachinesforum/index.php?topic=18.msg1308#msg1308

THIS is an excellent supplement to my article [2006-12-24] “Individual Sovereignty” at
http://tinyurl.com/Individual-Sovereignty


I Personally Seceded
bit.ly/I-Hereby-Secede
Now what?


Roger Young on reactions and suggestions.

http://archive.lewrockwell.com/orig6/young-r11.1.html

Personal Secession – Reactions and Suggestions

by Roger Young
July 25, 2012


A Declaration is Only the First Step

I received a lot of feedback after posting my latest video inspired by my previous essay, "I Hereby Secede." I also received a number of recommendations on how to make such a declaration into a physical reality. From this I realized I should make clear the nature of such a personal declaration.

Please understand that this declaration/affirmation is just a first step. It must be followed with concrete action. Many folks contacted me offering a number of viable options to choose from. I think whatever plan of action you devise and execute is only limited by your creativity. If that runs out, you have the creativity of the entire human race to draw upon, which I believe is unlimited.

I remember years ago listening to personal improvement gurus. The one belief they had in common was the power of personal affirmation as the first step toward achieving a goal. Such an affirmation settles into your subconscious and directs conscious action toward achieving this goal. By sincerely creating a personal declaration of secession/independence, you have, in a sense, wired and programmed your subconscious into directing conscious thought toward achieving your ambition.

This conscious thought manifests itself as ideas that materialize into action.

Though your plan of action is up to you, I would only caution against substituting your personal plan of action with joining a "movement" of some kind. Such movements are useful in locating and exchanging ideas with like minded individuals, but it would be unwise on counting on "mass produced" action to bring positive change to your particular, individual situation. Make sure you remain the director and not the directed. Don’t expect change (as it relates to you personally) to result from merely following and supporting the leadership of such a movement, even if they seem to share your interests and expectations.

The only real‍ power an individual has is how he lives his life – a life structured by his philosophy, his decisions, his actions. Multiply this by millions and the result is change.


Submission is Not Consent

The state’s legitimacy only exists in the mind of those who accept it. To those that don’t, it is a fiction, a meaningless abstraction.

However, surviving in a state dominated world requires, in some cases, submission to this abstraction that also possesses overwhelming firepower to enforce that domination. But don’t confuse submission with consent.

When a robber sticks a gun to your head and demands your money, more than likely you will submit to such a demand, as you value your life more than whatever money you have on you. Of course, you have not consented to such a forced transaction and transfer of property, as the decision was made under duress and an undeniable threat to your life.

People try to tell me that having a social security number is some kind of contract with the US Government. Of course, this is balderdash since a gun was put to my head at the age of 15 to get one. No number meant no employment. I responded to the robber by submitting, but I most certainly did not consent to any kind of contract. You can’t be coerced into a contract. And I most certainly wasn’t knowledgeable enough at that age to consent to such an arrangement. Of course, today you are branded with this number at birth and are given absolutely no opportunity to opt out.

Many readers label me a "citizen" and insist I am therefore bound with certain obligations toward the ruling state that labels me as such. "Citizen" is merely another word for "subject" or "slave" used by the state to designate and categorize you as their property, not the property of a competing state. The reality is that the state/citizen relationship is just a variation of the classic master/slave arrangement. But I am not the property of any state as I have not given consent to anyone to categorize me as such. Therefore, the issue of "citizenship" is irrelevant to me.

I approach the questions of self-proclaimed rulers from a philosophical view. Such a view can be articulated by asking two questions:

1) When I am born, am I born a free man or am I born a subject/slave to another individual or a collective entity?

The answer to this question is either yes or no – there is no in between. You can’t be mostly free or a little enslaved.

If your answer is the latter, I then have to ask the next question:

2) Why? By what authority does such a ruler have to make such a claim without my explicit consent?

By the divine proclamation of a deity or some other supernatural entity? By the "authority" of a mob, manifested as a state sponsored and controlled election?

When the state puts a gun to my head, demanding obedience, I will most likely submit. However, I will not voluntarily petition and beg, by political or legal action, for the return of a personal possession (my individual sovereignty and liberty) that is already mine! The Magna Carta, eloquent document that it is, was an appeal to a self-proclaimed ruler to respect certain liberties already owned at birth by his self-proclaimed subjects. It was a request to a self-proclaimed king/ruler to give up a small part of his authority. But that authority was illegitimate from the day it was proclaimed!

Some readers mention the error of referring to the USG as a government, when it is technically a corporation; as if such a designation changes the fact that this body (by whatever name you call it) is a criminal organization that unjustly claims ownership over my life and body. As one reader reminded me: You are Sovereign. You are a Creator. A corporation is a creation. A creation cannot rule a Creator. Why is that so hard for so many to understand?

Government, state, corporation – give it whatever title you wish. They are all abstractions. I was not born a subject or slave to any such fictions created by others. Without my consent, they have no legitimate authority over me. The fact they can offer only violence in response to my resistance further strengthens this claim. Wal-Mart is a corporation. If they claim me as their property, is that claim legitimate? Corporations don’t own people, people control corporations


The Constitution of No Authority

A constitutionalist is one who believes that a Piece of Paper will protects one’s life and liberty from a predator disguised as a benevolent government master.

Some viewers of my video brought up the US Constitution. They either encouraged me to work for its restoration or claimed it to be a contractual authority preventing my secession.

I highly recommend everyone read the works of Lysander Spooner and his critique of the US Constitution. Not only does he prove such claims as spurious but he essentially destroys this document’s legitimacy in two sentences:


  • "But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain—that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist."

And he wrote this in 1867! Seeing what has happened in the years since, the above statement seems to be even more relevant today.

The US Constitution was written by a group of self-appointed elites in 1787. Among other illicit powers, it claimed that the US Government had the power to rob individuals. And not just individuals then alive and residing within the geographical boundaries "ruled" by the government, but any future, unborn individuals finding themselves living within those same arbitrary boundaries. In essence, the authors made the audacious proclamation that those not yet born are to be ruled by this new government and are bound by its constitution.

What gives the Founders (intelligent, educated individuals they may be) the gall, the temerity, the arrogance to rule me from the grave?

Please remember, that a constitution is not a contract. A constitution merely charges an institution with the power and responsibility to regulate itself – which any honest constitutionalist will have to admit requires a healthy dose of faith in the moral rectitude of his rulers. However, a contract is an agreement among two or more consenting parties who agree that definite consequences will be suffered by any party that violates this contract. All parties are aware of this responsibility and agree to be held accountable. If a dispute arises, a pre-determined, agreed to, third party decides the outcome of any disagreement – not a court operated by one of the parties involved in the dispute.

The fact that an institution is so feared by its creators that a regulating document is required indicates the admitted creation of a master/slave relationship. The expectation is that the master will be refrained from abusing its monopoly of power by obeying this regulating document. The hope is the master will regulate himself and hold himself accountable. In other words, the Constitution is written by my master to regulate my master, is interpreted by my master, and enforced by my master. In more cases than not, it is ignored by my master.

But if this particular master/slave relationship is so feared, why voluntarily get into such a relationship in the first place? This curious action seems eerily similar to a woman, on the eve of consenting to a relationship with a man, obtaining a restraining order as future protection. Are you sure, madam, this is a guy you want to spend time with?

It can be concluded then that a relationship with a state institution, no matter its regulating structure or guiding ideology, is not conducive to protecting an individual’s cherished inalienable liberties. And it can also be reasoned that any such relationship with this institution cannot be considered valid without the explicit, non-coerced, contractual consent of the individual.


Jumping Through Hoops

My video inspired several individuals to suggest methods to secede that are "legally enforceable," as relates to that fictional abstract known as the US Government. Here is one such approach. These are all viable courses of action, if that is the direction you choose. But I still am bothered by the elemental question that continually goes through my head: By what authority does an individual or group of individuals claim rule and dominion over my life without my consent? There is none, of course, and such an illegitimate authority can only be enforced through fraud and violence.

When I am born into this world, am I born a free man or someone else’s property? The state has created a maze of legalese to distract you and cloud and hide this inconvenient question that the state can’t answer. I don’t understand why intelligent and awake people allow the state’s matrix of propaganda to obscure that basic question in people’s minds. The state creates these legal games to confuse its subjects and keep them oblivious to the simple, rational truths contained in the answers to such questions.

How can any individual or entity (that I had no part in creating) rightly claim me as their property and then require me to navigate through all sorts of hoops and obstacles and legal nonsense to regain a condition (freedom) that I was born into?

It’s no different or no less reprehensible than a chattel slave being required by his master to complete whatever perverse directives this despot can imagine, in order for the slave to win or "earn" his freedom – a freedom that was taken from him at birth! How is this slavish relationship any different than the relationship the state forces upon me? Why is the burden upon me to abolish or rectify this relationship – particularly since this entity claims to rule "by consent of the governed?" Asking these questions exposes the reality of the state’s existence – it is a tyrannical, criminal band of thugs with a great public relations agent.

Any legitimate "contractual" arrangement with this beast is rather one sided. I’m expected to keep my end of any "agreement," but the state rejects any demand that they keep theirs. They can change the terms of any "agreement" at any time and without any input or consent by me. That’s why I never opened a Roth IRA. I fully expect them to eventually change the rules so you’ll be paying taxes on that money twice! That’s of course, if they don’t nationalize (confiscate) everyone’s retirement money first.

The burden is placed upon the wrong party. As it is now, the individual is expected to prove why he is not a property of the state. It should be up to the state to prove such an abominating supposition.

Why should I spend my time fighting one legal fiction by replacing it with, or defensively using, another legal fiction? Even if that is successful, what is to stop the state from creating still another legal fiction that I must then counter? Where does it end? I am sovereign. I am born that way. I need no document or state decision to make that a reality. The fact of my sovereignty is confirmed by the fact of my birth as a conscious human being, a property of no one, nor any self-described ruling entity. If you believe otherwise, than you have to believe that all men are born as other’s property. You also then have to admit to the tyrannical nature of the entity that you legitimize and obey. And what does that say about you as a person?


July 25, 2012

Roger Young [send him mail] is a freelance photographer in US-occupied Texas and has a blog.


Copyright © 2012 by LewRockwell.com. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.
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« Reply #18 on: 2013-September-17 11:59:49 PM »

[2013-09-17] Withdrawing Consent Means More Than It May Seem - by Michael S. Rozeff
Links to this page:
bit.ly/Withdrawing-Consent
http://dennisleewilson.com/simplemachinesforum/index.php?topic=18.msg1541#msg1541


http://www.lewrockwell.com/2013/09/michael-s-rozeff/withdraw-your-consent-from-the-state/

Withdrawing Consent Means More Than It May Seem

By Michael S. Rozeff

September 17, 2013


Withdrawing consent to the state means more than this innocuous phrase may suggest.

To withdraw consent is far-reaching. It means a divorce from the state insofar as this is possible. It means having no loyalty to the state, seeing the state as fundamentally unfair and a source of continual injustices, being unwilling to help the state in any way, assuming and feeling no responsibility for the state’s actions, and seeing the state as hostile to peace and society. It means not participating in its rituals and having no appreciation of its symbols or myths. It means a psychological divorce from feeling positive about or approving of its victories. It means working toward the state’s opposite, that is, living together in freedom, friendship, comity and peace, i.e., in society. It means no longer thinking of oneself as a citizen, and not believing that as a citizen one has obligations toward the state or other citizens.

Withdrawing consent from the state means not looking upon oneself as owning the state or influencing its activities or doing a sort of duty for the state. It means viewing the state as a nuisance. It means abandoning all forms of patriotism directed at the state and adherence to its symbols, parades, flags, pledges, songs, anthems and monuments. It means no veneration of any political figure, past, present or future. It means no veneration of the Constitution. It means as much as possible avoiding all interactions with government.

Withdrawing consent does not mean being anti-social. Just the opposite. Going toward a natural order and society of life, freedom and property is the natural law alternative to the state and its artificial legalistic order.

Withdrawing consent can go much deeper than these changes. It can mean seeking out the underground economy, homeschooling, leaving the country, and avoiding the mainstream media interpretations.

Withdrawing consent is actually a creative challenge, to be met by many and varied individual techniques. It might be that a person boycotts movies that glorify the military. It surely means not supporting the troops and not pasting decals to that effect on one’s car. It might mean educating others or counseling young men and women not to join the military and not to seek government jobs. The scope for withdrawing consent is broad. I cannot possibly say what all it involves. What works for me is surely very different from what works for others, and what I am saying here is no blueprint for sure. Just because I don’t organize or attend protests or go on hunger strikes doesn’t mean that others shouldn’t do this or that I disapprove. I don’t participate in any political parties or vote, but neither do I get bent out of shape if others do. To the contrary, God moves in mysterious ways and we never know what series of events may trigger important changes. I am only suggesting that withdrawing consent is actually a much more important thing than what it sounds on the surface.

For me personally, withdrawing consent does not mean being angry at the state, hating it or turning to violence. I have never liked feeling either anger or hatred, and I try to eliminate them. I do not go around confronting state people intentionally or showing hostility to them. I feel that the state is winning if it “gets” to me. I pay my taxes and register my car. I have no inclinations to use violence whatsoever to the state or state people.

I have the faith that the natural order of life, freedom and property is going to prevail eventually without using violence and that the state will some day be viewed as a perverse aberration based on false ideas. I believe that as time goes on, even if takes a few hundred years, the falsity of the basic ideas underlying the state will become so clear to most people that they will look upon this era as mad and uncivilized. The ways by which freedom will win are way beyond my powers to know. The important thing is to get the tide flowing toward justice and away from the state, and that people have a clear understanding of what this means and why they should move in that direction.



Michael S. Rozeff [send him mail] is a retired Professor of Finance living in East Amherst, New York. He is the author of the free e-book Essays on American Empire: Liberty vs. Domination and the free e-book The U.S. Constitution and Money: Corruption and Decline.


Copyright © 2013 by LewRockwell.com. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.
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« Reply #19 on: 2016-October-26 07:14:14 PM »

[2011-12-30] I Hereby Secede - by Roger Young
Links to this page:
bit.ly/I-Hereby-Secede
http://dennisleewilson.com/simplemachinesforum/index.php?topic=18.msg1973#msg1973


http://archive.lewrockwell.com/orig6/young-r7.1.1.html

I Hereby Secede

by Roger Young
December 30, 2011


Secession is a topic that seems to increasingly pop up in conversation, discussion, and written opinion. I believe that more people every day are seeing state secession as a viable and even necessary action to counteract increasing personal oppression, stolen liberties, and monetary incompetence and thievery by the United States Government. According to the Declaration of Independence, when such conditions become intolerable for the people, "it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."

But why wait for your state to secede? In the meantime, why not make a personal declaration of secession? Below is my idea of what a personal declaration would look like. I encourage others to make this same declaration and add or subtract any statements you deem relevant. Or write your own. Make copies and distribute to friends and relatives, encouraging them to do likewise. By all means, send copies to your Congress critters and other ruling tyrants. Convey the message that you no longer willingly submit to their arbitrary rules, and the theft and violence committed against you personally and against others in your name.

Some will dismiss such a declaration as merely symbolic, lacking any legitimate authority. By how does it contain any less authority than a state and constitution created by others a couple centuries before you were born? Here is my declaration:

I, Roger Young, a sovereign, free-born individual, and a child of God/Nature, do hereby declare my personal secession from the political entity known as the "United States of America." Though reason tells me that this entity has no inherent legitimacy toward ruling my life (as this arrangement was not created by me, nor obtained my consent), I find it necessary to declare such a separation.

By this act of secession, I hereby withdraw any present and future consent toward being ruled by this authoritarian organization. Any laws, edicts, regulations, executive orders, or demands issued by this organization will be ignored as so much verbal static emanating from tyrants lacking any legitimate authority.

By this act of secession, I declare I will no longer consent to being described as a willing citizen or subject, collectively enslaved under the rule of the "United States Government," nor its permanently ensconced ruling class. I hereby refuse to be labeled a participant of, nor a collaborator with, the criminal actions executed by those individuals declaring to be representatives, employees, or agents of the "United States Government." Such actions include waging war and stealing the property and wealth of other individuals. Any such actions declared to "be in my name" or "for my benefit or protection" will be considered blatantly fraudulent. I will hereby consider myself only as a sovereign individual residing on the North American continent, responsible only for the actions I commit as an individual.

By this act of secession, I will no longer be a party to the collectivist "we" used to describe those residing within the geographical boundaries claimed by some as the "United States of America." I will no longer be subject to the responsibilities, agreements, debts, or liabilities, claimed by that institution and "shared" by its subjects

By this act of secession, I will no longer consider my body subject to the rules and regulations of that entity known as the "United States Government." Any attempt to restrict my consumption of any food or drug will be branded as illegitimate and ignored Any attempt to actively apply such restrictions by this entity will be considered an act of violence and dealt with accordingly in a peaceful, though effective and persuasive, manner.

By this act of secession, I will no longer consider my physical, property (tangible or intangible) subject to any "laws" or regulations put forth by the entity known as the "United States Government." Any taking or taxing of such property will be considered theft and will be dealt with accordingly in a peaceful, though effective and persuasive, manner.

By this act of secession, I will no longer deem any restrictions, regulations, or limits on the use of my labor as legitimate, nor the taking or taxing of the fruits of such activity. The interference in the voluntary, contractual associations and agreements that involve my personal labor will not be tolerated. Such agreements and contracts will be considered sacrosanct and immune to the dictates and interventions from that entity known as the "United States Government."

By this act of secession, I will no longer maintain any allegiance or loyalty to the political abstraction named "The United States of America." I will not recognize its "boundaries" as legitimate nor use their existence as a regulator or hindrance toward interacting with those individuals who reside outside said "boundaries." I will also declare no aggressive intentions toward destruction or take-over of this entity. I will also by this act declare no immediate allegiance or loyalty to any other present or future political abstraction.

By this act of secession, I hereby declare absolutely no reverence or respect for that political entity known as the "United States of America" nor its self-declared ruling body known as the "United States Government." I will from this time forward view both with suspicion and as dangerous predators, preying on the lives, fortunes, and liberties of free individuals.

By this act of secession, I will not automatically obey any illegitimate "laws" or orders, not previously mentioned, put forth by that entity known as the "United States Government." Any perceived obedience by me will be the result of carefully calculated submission to an entity exhibiting superior firepower.

Any state agents sent forth by the "United States Government" to contact me will be dealt the equivalent respect and kindness that is shown toward me by such agents. Any perceived obedience by me will be the result of carefully calculated submission to an entity and its agents exhibiting superior firepower.

By this act of secession, I will not tolerate, as a free-living, free-thinking, peaceful individual, any violent, unjustified attacks on other such individuals and private organizations or their property by this entity known as the "United States Government." I will utilize all available time, talents, and resources available to me to expose and ridicule those agents of the "United States Government" that initiate such attacks. I will also help and support any active, peaceful countermeasures to help prevent or overturn any such violent, aggressive actions against sovereign lives and property.

By this act of secession, I will no longer listen to any speeches, comments, or information communicated by that entity known as the "United States Government." All such information will be instantly declared not credible and subject to verification and confirmation by reliable, non-state sources. Any verbal or written communication emanating from this entity will automatically be considered a lie until proven otherwise.

By this act of secession I remain open to the idea of being ruled by similar such entities, but such an action will occur only with unequivocal consent by me and legitimized by mutual contractual agreement.

By this act of secession, I do not make the arrogant assumption of speaking for other sovereign, free-born individuals. This declaration is relevant only to me and not to any other sovereign individuals known personally to me or related by birth. However, I encourage other like minded individuals to do the same. I encourage and even implore them to stand up for their lives, liberties and property. I passionately advise they throw off the yoke of bondage that inhibits, strangles, and even kills them, destroys and steals their wealth and property, and poisons the futures of all who seek to live unchained. No shedding of blood or violent extremism is necessary. Just take the time to officially declare withdrawal of your consent.

"Resolve to serve no more, and you are at once freed."


December 30, 2011

Roger Young [send him mail] is a freelance photographer in US-occupied Texas and has a blog.

Copyright © 2011 by LewRockwell.com. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.

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« Reply #20 on: 2016-October-29 07:14:39 PM »

[2012-05-23] 'To Alter or Abolish' – Questions for My Rulers - by Roger Young
Links to this page:
bit.ly/Questions-for-my-rulers
http://dennisleewilson.com/simplemachinesforum/index.php?topic=18.msg1974#msg1974
Another copy is posted on Judge Narragansett's New Constitution Project at:
http://atlasshruggedcelebrationday.com/simplemachinesforum/index.php?topic=324.msg682#msg682

http://archive.lewrockwell.com/orig6/young-r8.1.1.html

'To Alter or Abolish' – Questions for My Rulers

by Roger Young
May 23, 2012
    
     
"All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride legitimately, by the grace of God."

~ Thomas Jefferson


What makes government, government? What gives this institution, created long before I was born, the power and legitimacy to rule my life? Some would say if I object to or reject the legitimacy of any government’s rule over my life, I have the power to alter or abolish it. Do I have that power individually? Can I merely declare this government is hereby abolished as relates to me personally? Can I even alter it, only as it relates to me personally? No? I must accomplish this through the political process and elections? I must convince a majority of those now ruled to "vote" for this abolishment? But why?

America’s founding documents include the phrase, "We the people." We the people? How can anyone speak for other people without their consent? To take this question further, how can anyone speak for "we the people" as relates to people who are yet to be born?

If only a relative handful of people created this government that I’m obligated and forced to obey, (though I was not involved nor had a choice in creating) then why can it not be argued that only an equal number of people (or less) can abolish it? Why should more votes be required to abolish this government just because it’s ruling area is larger? Is that my fault? Why should I be, essentially, punished because this government has increased its ruling area since it was created?

Why must this act of abolishment be done collectively? Who sets the rules and procedures for such an act, and who or what blessed them with the power to set such rules and procedures? Why wasn’t I consulted?

All governments seem to be collectivist, in that none can be altered or abolished (at least peacefully) without collectivist action by "the people." Individuals, through their own means and actions, for some reason, do not have this power. Why not? And when I say "altered or abolished" in this case, I say that with respect to that individual only, not the collective.

I’m told that governments rule "by the consent of the people." In other words, only people collectively have that power. Why aren’t individuals recognized as having that power? What if millions of people, each on their own, declared absolutely no consent to be ruled by their declared rulers? Would that declaration be recognized? What if the majority of people (each on their own, not collectively) declared no consent toward being ruled by this declared ruler? Would this ruling state then abolish itself? What gives this ruling state the power to determine how its legitimacy is determined (through political action, debate, and elections) rather than the supposed "free" individuals? If the government rules at the consent of the governed, shouldn’t it be up to the governed how they declare their consent?

I’m told that if you don’t like the government that rules you then you can move to where the government is better. But what if I don’t want any government ruling me? Where, realistically, can I move to where no government declares to rule me? And why should I move? What gives the government dominion over a particular geographic area? It appears that someone, before I was even born, declared that this government has not only declared dominion over the particular geographic region I happen to live in but the power to rule me as long I reside there! Therefore I was born being ruled. Doesn’t that make me a slave – merely property owned by this declared ruler? What happened to my consent?

Why did this government not ask me (when old enough to understand) for my consent? It appears that it has assumed I’ve consented to its rule by merely continuing to reside in its declared geographic region. Why? How does merely living on a particular patch of dirt mean giving consent to being ruled by a government that I had absolutely no part in creating? And if I am truly "free" and I have not consented to its rule, why cannot I not therefore be free of the harassment and violence directed against me and my property?

No man or group of men has the moral authority to rule another man without his explicit consent. No man need feel obligated to obey and serve a government created before his existence as a sovereign human being. No man should need to petition or beg such an institution (created before his birth and lacking his consent) to cease and desist further encroaches upon his sovereignty, liberty and property.

William F. Buckley claimed, "It is not a sign of arrogance for the king to rule. That is what he is there for." Oh, really? Who or what put this "king" in that position? Why can some declare themselves "king" but others cannot?

Even the revered Aristotle professed, "For that some should rule and others be ruled is a thing not only necessary, but expedient; from the hour of their birth, some are marked out for subjection, others for rule." Is that so? What if an individual decides not to be ruled, that it is not "necessary" nor "expedient" as regards his personal interests? And exactly who does the "marking" of who will be rulers and who will be subjects? From whom or what do they get this authority?

Stay angry and suspicious my friend, toward those who assume such an arrogant position.

May 23, 2012

Roger Young [send him mail] is a freelance photographer in US-occupied Texas and has a blog.

Copyright © 2012 by LewRockwell.com. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.
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