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SOVEREIGN MAN

Destroying America, bill by bill

As you’re probably aware, yesterday was the much ballyhooed blackout of several popular web sites in protest of new legislation that threatens the Internet as we know it.

The United States Congress has teed up two separate bills which give government agencies sweeping new powers to punish millions of innocent users, criminalize harmless activities, and effectively make entire web sites disappear at their sole discretion without any judicial oversight.

In a nutshell, these bills would create the online equivalent of Nazi Germany.
But what can we really expect from these people? It’s not the first time that Congress has gone out of its way to destroy freedom and prosperity, and it certainly won’t be the last. Just look at the last decade for a plethora of examples:

USA PATRIOT Act, 2001. The US Constitution officially became toilet paper when this bill of over 60,000 words just happened to be introduced only a few weeks after 9/11. Roving wiretaps, suspension of due process, and a complete loss of privacy became the norm.

Sarbanes-Oxley Act, 2002. In the wake of the Enron scandal, Congress did the only thing it knows how to do– pass stupid laws with no thought of long-term consequences. SOX, as it became known, was one of the most burdensome pieces of legislation to American business in history.

The disclosure requirements alone added millions of dollars of unnecessary expenses to US businesses and sent foreign companies who were thinking about listing on the formerly prestigious NYSE running for the hills. Places like Hong Kong and Singapore benefitted from such short-sighted regulation, and the US became less competitive. Again.

Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment Act, 2010. The inappropriately named HIRE Act essentially puts a gun to foreign banks’ heads and forces them to make a decision: any bank with US clients must either enter into a costly information sharing agreement with the IRS, or be subject to a 30% withholding tax on US-sourced capital flows.

Consequently, a number of foreign banks have begun dropping their US clients. Taken in conjunction with various US Securities rules, many foreign businesses have also begun dropping US citizens as partners, shareholders, and directors. It’s simply too onerous to have to deal with all the disclosure filings and risk action by the SEC or IRS.

Net result? US citizens are less capable of competing internationally in a world where the economic power is shifting overseas.

National Defense Authorization Act, 2011. Signed by President Obama on Saturday, December 31st with little fanfare when hardly anyone was looking, NDAA is the latest gem in a long line of liberty-destroying legislation that authorizes indefinite military detention (without trial) of suspected terrorists.

Thing is, NDAA provides a ridiculously broad definition of ‘suspected terrorist’, essentially giving carte blanche to local, state, and federal police agencies who no longer need to worry about justifying their decisions in front of a judge.

Don’t worry, though. President Obama issued a statement acknowledging the controversy of the bill, but clarified that his administration “will not authorize the indefinite military detention without trial of American citizens.”

Heartwarming. But hardly a secure guarantee. President Obama isn’t exactly batting 1,000 on his promises to the American public, and future presidents certainly won’t be obliged by the same pledge.

There are, of course, dozens of other examples. Obamacare. Dodd-Frank ‘financial reform’. And now the Stop Online Piracy Act / Personal Information Protection Act.

Hey, these laws like SOPA and PIPA always have great names. Just like wars. Operation ‘Enduring Freedom’ was the moniker given to the early days of the US War of Terror. It all sounds very noble. The reality is always different.

Throughout history, governments on the brink of insolvency have routinely enacted similar policies. Sliding into economic obscurity, they’ll engage in reckless, cannibalistic initiatives– higher taxes, burdensome regulation, war, destruction of the productive class, etc. It only hastens the end game.

This time is not different. And we can expect more and more of the same. Up next will be new laws that:

- restrict cash transactions over a certain amount (Italy has already passed such measures for amounts exceeding 1,000 euros)

- nationalize pension funds and private retirement accounts (again, has already happened around the world from Ireland to Argentina)

- impose a national sales tax and reduce death tax exemptions (already at the forefront of the ongoing tax debate in the US)

- ban gold and silver personal holdings (if you think this can’t happen, ask any of the 250,000 people who used to own Liberty Dollar coins before they were seized by the FBI in 2007…)

And more.

The thing is, every time one of these new bills crops up, there always seems to be a small resistance movement fighting it tooth and nail on the ground. Hence yesterday’s SOPA/PIPA blackout.  But ultimately, the political establishment wins.

It’s impossible to shake the public from its apathy… to steer people from the mind-numbing drivel of prime time airwaves… to rescue them from the PSYOPS campaigns of the 24/7 news channels.

We can only take care of ourselves. Any money or energy spent fighting the government or rousing grassroots support is inherently better spent looking after your own interests and making sure that you and your family aren’t victims of historical certainty.

And make no mistake, collapse of empire is a historical certainty. From the Babylonians to the Persians to the Romans to the Mayans to the Mongolians to the Ottomans, no empire is built to last. And the final years are anything but smooth-sailing.

About the author: Simon Black is an international investor, entrepreneur, permanent traveler, free man, and founder of Sovereign Man. His free daily e-letter and crash course is about using the experiences from his life and travels to help you achieve more freedom.

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • http://www.bzemic.com/impossibleInstinct/ steve ward

    You know Simon ONE of the things i have noticed over many years of being in business, is this when a business starts talking about cost more than product they will most likely die soon.

    It seems that apply’s to to other organisations as well

  • http://justen.us Justen Robertson

    As far as SOPA goes, it’s more bark than bite (other than the financial portions, which are troubling but not impossible to overcome if you follow the strategy of internationalization preached here). The internet is one place were we don’t have to fight governments on their own turf and terms. We (the programmers, the sysadmins, the hackers, the youth) are the natives of this world, where they will always be immigrants (h/t John Perry Barlow). Their fundamental failure to understand how this world works, let alone why they cannot and will not control it, leaves them at a severe disadvantage in the war they’ve chosen to initiate against it.

    Lofty declarations aside, circumventing the “powers” granted by SOPA/PIPA is trivial. They’ll only harm the law-abiding “vanilla internet” users, while doing little more than providing some amusement and bragging rights to their declared enemies. That’s not a claim, it’s a certainty. We already have the tools to do it; and in fact, we’ve been doing it since ICE started seizing domains and the NSA started recording our communications a decade ago. You’ve already talked about some of the tools available to aid in this. Here we don’t have to fight the government, we just choose to win. Making that choice is definitely a part of looking out for your own interests.

  • HypeFree

    This is why we need more pro-liberty candidates to get elected to office so we can fight there bills. USA is the liberty battleground if we go, so goes the world!

    Dan Stojadinovic
    http://Back2Liberty.org

    • DoesNotMatter

      Pro-libert candidate? First there is hardly such a thing. and scondly, Please don’t say Ron Paul. I like Ron. I just don’t want to get into that debate. And lastly, stop looking at solutions that have never been proven to work. The solution you are looking at is the ballot box. Excuse me, but when has this ever worked?  The real solution is to make anti-liberty candidates pay dearly in some manner which they don’t like. Which they really don’t like. And I don’t mean the loss of their jobs. even if they get un-elected, they have granted enough favors to several lobbies that these lobbies will now take care of them for the rest of their lives. Look man, when you catch a thief, do you just take the money he stole and let him go? Ofcourse not! You put him in jail. You take away his freedom. If you just took back the money he stole and let him go, what do you think will happen next. But this is exactly the insane thing we do with our legislators. and they even get to keep the money they stole. No, no! we must deprive our anti-freedom legislators of something even more valuable. Something they value very much. something they value so much that they would think very carefully before depriving us of our freedoms. No, I’m not talking about putting them in jail. You cannot put them in jail. To put them in jail, you essentially need help from ……. other legislators. Think about it carefully. What must we deprive our anti-freedom legislators of? If you can’t figure it out even now…….well, I better go to a cave and meditate. you people are so stupid that to be around you makes me afraid.

      • mexicano

        I once read of a society in ancient Greece (the Laconians, I think) in which anyone suggesting a change to the law was made to stand on a chair with a noose around his neck. A vote was then taken and if the electorate rejected the suggested change the chair was kicked away. Needless to say, very few changes to the law were ever suggested.

  • Contrarianism

    Simon -  you’re observations are absolutely correct. Some say when it gets really bad the electorate will finally wake from their long stupor and vote the bums out of office. Some say as soon as the abuses become intolerable the people will rise up and take to the streets.

    Unfortunately the evidence shows the contrary. People have been anesthetized by the accumulate effect of each act which is worse than the last, but only a little worse. You wait for
    the next act thinking that others will finally wake up and share your
    dismay, but instead they say, ‘it’s not so bad’, they pooh-pooh your
    observations and consider you ‘just paranoid’, a ‘pessimist’ or they
    call you an ‘alarmist’. 

    The
    government has been waging war on our personal liberties through
    hundreds of little steps, some of which are imperceptible, but each of
    them preparing you not to be shocked by the next. Our freedoms are being
    slowly eroded and accumulative weight of all these steps will
    eventually cause the scales to tip, at which time the extent of the
    problem becomes obvious everyone, but by this time it will be too late.

    Ask the German Jews of 1933-1945 who where in collective denial about the clear and present danger the state had become.
    George Bernard Shaw said the power of accurate
    observation commonly called cynicism by who have not got it.

    http://www.contrarianism.net

    • Lori_Bane_Wise

      It’s worth mentioning that this is by no means one party or another.  Government in its entirety is waging war on the American people and no one is fighting to stop it.  I can foresee a taking to the streets as you stated, but by then we will be so far underwater coming up for a breath will be nigh on impossible.

  • Superluminal Man

    —and take a look at THIS too: Attacks on the Constitutional Right of Anonymity/Privacy: http://goo.gl/bfr2j

  • http://www.facebook.com/ljw198 LJ Larry Jon White

    Our founding fathers & soldiers who gave everything would be so ashamed of what we have done with our precious liberties. Now is the time men, to unite as a force for God for Good. Humbly honoring Him will restore America.

  • http://www.mikekey.com/ Mike Key

    I totally agree with your finally closing statements. For the longest time, I was obsessed with trying to wake others up. But no one truly cares. And I strongly feel that ship has sailed, which is why I’m not active in caring about things like the tea party anymore. Good luck, but wasted effort IMO. There will be a second round in which we can implement new liberties and new ideas after the collapse.

    In the mean time me and mine.

  • http://www.facebook.com/christian.h.nesheim Christian Henrik Nesheim

    Thank you for calling attention to the noose that’s tightening around American necks in such a strongly worded post. With the introduction of Facebook credits, there’s been a lot of discussion of the potential for online currencies. I’d like to hear your thoughts on it. What if this enabled unobstructed movement of money across borders? What could a currency that belongs to no government do for liberty?

    • STEVEBONZAI

      BITCOIN

    • Lori_Bane_Wise

      The argument for online currencies is that it’s illegal to create currencies other than the named currency of the United States.  That’s not to say that the government would make exceptions for the sole purpose of getting their cut.

  • http://www.wanderingtrader.com WanderingTrader

    One thing I’d like to mention to you Simon is the fact that I have recently seen changes in Colombia as well in terms of restrictions and regulations, I usually carry a few thousands of dollars with me to make sure I dont get charged atm fees while traveling and Colombian customs had be enter a special room and count the money in front of them and put me in a little notebook full of names… seems like you can’t get out of the system anywhere you go

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dann-Rivera/100002162076271 Dann Rivera

    It’s all a conspiracy, they create the environment, a pretext, an excuse to be able to codify laws with the purpose of taking away peoples rights.  Rape and kill “LIBERTY.”

  • Someuser

    Simons says:  “We can only take care of ourselves. Any money or energy spent fighting
    the government or rousing grassroots support is inherently better spent
    looking after your own interests and making sure that you and your
    family aren’t victims of historical certainty.”  This is the best advice in the entire piece.  1) Water, 2) Food, 3) Clothing, 4) Shelter.  Those are the basics – clean drinking water, and food – enough for say 3 weeks, for starters, long-lasting, durable clothing, for hot and cold weather, and some form of shelter.  Definitely get as prepared as you can, now – do a little at a time – triage your preparedness list, placing those most essential items first on the list.  Don’t get carried away, though.  Only essential , necessary items.  I’d add, that exchanging Federal Reserve Notes for SILVER (or GOLD) is an excellent idea – particularly for fractional (1/10th, 1/4, 1/2) rounds, which can be used for smaller barter items.  Old mercury dimes are 90% silver, and can be used as ‘coin-of-the-realm’ for smaller store purchases. 

    • Lech Dharma

      I would also add firearm-and-ammunition to your “basics” list.

  • mexicano
  • Hiday_happy

    honey!this is my new email,im hiday,i want to go there,please sent me message

  • Noel Falconer

    America is the Fourth Reich, with a lickspittle propaganda machine – Hollywood and television – that stops you even realising the deadly peril you’re in.

  • Ken

    This hits the nail directly on the head. Doublespeak all the way down the line.
    The best individual strategy: grow your own food and energy far from everything. Can you imagine what will happen to the cities when the bureaucrats lose their jobs, the elderly lose their SS and Medicare, and the poor lose their welfare and food stamps.
    Check out the coloniae in Rome. They left the cities and founded their own settlements far away from population centers when they realized the inevitable. (The city Cologne (German Köln) is derived from the word coloniae.)

  • Mkovar

    To me the younger generation has no idea what they are in store for. They give out their information without even thinking.

  • http://www.thedailyprep.com/ Urbivalist Dan

    Simon, 

    I know you rarely moderate and/or answer questions in the comments, but I’m going to ask anyway–are you a U.S. Citizen? 

    If you’re not now, have you ever been? 

    Your “About Me” page says that you are a PT, but I’m interested in hearing if you went through a formal renunciation process. 

    Love to hear more about your experience if you have, or if you haven’t, why you haven’t. 

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