Tuesday, July 8, 2008

It's a Thieves' World After All

As I was going over
the Cork and Kerry mountains

I saw Captain Ferrell,
and his money -- he was countin';

I first produced my pistol,
then produced my rapier,
and said,
"Stand and deliver -
or the Devil, he may take ya."


Whiskey in the Jar
(trad. Irish folk tune, most memorably performed by the incomparable Thin Lizzy).




Those who steal on behalf of the execrable state that rules us -- the most powerful and vicious enemy of mankind -- don't have the boldness and character of the relatively honest thief who narrates that ancient Irish folk song.

That nameless Highwayman didn't disguise his greed and violence in sanctimonious platitudes about the public interest. He simply jacked some wealthy and powerful guy, at some personal risk, in order to buy whiskey and impress his perfidious wife, who was named either Molly or Jenny, depending on the version of the song you prefer.


No, those who steal on behalf of Washington and its affiliates don't pick on the powerful. Whether they're stealing a country and its energy resources or ripping off domestic subjects via "civil forfeiture," they prey almost exclusively on those who cannot effectively fight back.


The clothes make the "man": If this tax-devouring thug isn't an armed robber, why does he dress like one? And why do his partners in crime ... er, public service routinely steal the property of honest businessmen (see below)?



State-authorized robbers infest every community across the troubled face of our lovely but tyrannized land.

They are planted thickly at critical points along major highways, lurking in the cut to ambush motorists and rob them at gunpoint on the pretext of fighting the narcotics industry.

The Official Robbers exploit municipal ordinances that permit the seizure of automobiles for trivial or unrelated offenses. They are sent out in swarms to confiscate properties in the name of "eminent domain." They even dispatch squadrons of military personnel to steal children. And of course, they labor on behalf of the IRS and other State-run criminal syndicates whose existence wouldn't be tolerated for a picosecond were the United States of America a free society in any sense.

In his fascinating book Adventures in Legal Land, Marc Stevens -- who advocates building a society on voluntaryist principles (he insists that no "service" supplied by government should be provided -- make that inflicted -- at the point of a gun) -- takes note of a fascinating fact: The only thing that separates public sector robbers from their private sector competition is the incantatory phrase, "without legal authority."


What, exactly, is "legal authority"? Simply put, it is the permission one group of thieves gives itself to steal from people, or commit other acts of criminal violence, with impunity.


The nature of the act remains the same, of course. It is always a violation of the Law -- call it Nature's Law, if you will, or God's Law -- to take an individual's property through force. But when (to paraphrase Augustine) a dominant band of robbers institutionalizes itself as a "government," it anoints itself with "legal authority" and re-baptizes its crimes as acts of public policy.


Thus, as Mr. Stevens points out, Arizona's state criminal code (section 13-1802) states:


"A person commits theft if, without lawful authority, such person knowingly ... Controls property of another with the intent to deprive him of such property...." (Emphasis added.)


Thus it stands to reason that under this statute -- and those just like it that exist in all fifty of Leviathan's sub-divisions -- one can control the property of others, through force and fraud, with the intent to deprive them of it, if said person is endowed with this numinous quality called "lawful authority."


(Interestingly, when Mr. Stevens published his book in 2002, he was able to find identical language in Arizona's statutes regarding murder and child molestation, both of were forbidden only to those who acted "without lawful authority," but obviously permitted to those thus consecrated. Since that time, perhaps because of Mr. Stevens' research, the statutes have been changed.)


"Lawful authority" is therefore a license to do exactly the same things lawless people do to the same innocent victims. This is why the vocabulary of "law enforcement" often has the same flavor of implicit or threatened violence one hears from common criminals, and the behavior of those who supposedly "protect and serve" us is increasingly indistinguishable from that of those from whom we're supposedly being protected.


This is splendidly -- and infuriatingly -- illustrated in two recent case studies, one of them the roadside robbery of an individual, the other the government theft of a huge amount of money from honest people across the nation.


The first case is that of Chris Hunt, a 28-year-old entrepreneur from Atlanta. Hunt, who owns an auto detailing business, was headed south on I-75 to visit his mother in their hometown of Dublin when he was waylaid by a team of robbers in the form of two Lamar County Sheriff's deputies.


Hunt had been speeding, for which he was mulcted via traffic ticket. He had a licensed handgun, something without which no sane person would travel (the gun, not the spurious license). The deputies said that Hunt looked "nervous," which is understandable: He had just fallen into the hands of armed strangers who have official permission to do lethal violence.


One of the deputies noticed curious bulges in Hunt's clothing. He demanded to know if it was money. When Hunt answered that it was, the deputy -- as can be seen in the video of the incident -- used a combination of conscious lies and threats to steal it from the young man.


"OK, man, here's the deal," drawled the barely literate thug with an air of practiced insincerity. "I'm gonna count it out and hand it back to you, OK?"


That was a lie. From the moment the deputy identified the money, he planned to steal (or, as people of his ilk prefer, "forfeit") it.


"Let's see how much you got, OK? Like, eight, nine thousand, maybe?" the deputy prodded an increasingly rattled Hunt, who replied that it wasn't that much. Unnerved by what was obviously shaping up to be a shakedown, Hunt muttered that he didn't want to take the money out of his pockets.


"Do it anyway," demanded the uniformed thug. "I'm tellin' ya to pull it out."


When Hunt hesitates just a second longer, the deputy dismisses the pretense that this is anything other than an armed robbery.


"Put your hands behind your back," he demands. "OK. This is what we're going to do. You can either cooperate, and not get the handcuffs...."


The instrument has yet to be invented that can identify a material difference between that threat, and those made by robbers in the private sector.


That "difference," of course, is the intangible quantity called "lawful authority," which in our system is reportedly contingent on the consent of the governed. Mr. Hunt seems to have remembered that principle, for all the good it did him.

Victim of Highway Robbery: Atlanta business owner Chris Hunt.



The deputy/robber told Hunt, "Look man, here's the deal: we're gon' take this money into our possession, OK?"


"Oh, no," Hunt replied, his anger in the face of armed intimidation doing him credit, "I'm not giving you authority for you to take that money into your possession."


"I'm taking the money," the deputy announced, consummating the crime.


Mr. Hunt was never charged with a crime. The practice of "civil forfeiture" doesn't require criminal charges: All that is necessary is for the thieves to allege some narcotics nexus with the money or other assets they steal. In this case, the thieves alleged that they smelled "burned marijuana" during the traffic stop, and observed "an untestable" amount of something that "appeared" to be marijuana in the car's interior.


Which means that the deputies, who had every reason to lie -- and at least one of them was captured lying on video ("I'm gonna count it and hand it back to you") offered no corroborating evidence beyond entirely subjective impressions. Sure, once the stolen money was taken back to the station a drug dog "alerted" to it, suggesting that it -- like nearly all Federal Reserve Notes in circulation -- has drug residue.


On this pretext, the thieves in blue handed the loot off to the robbers in pinstripes. The office of Maxwell Wood, US Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, filed the proper paperwork to "forfeit" the stolen money by prosecuting it -- the money -- in civil court. The case is captioned "United States of America v. $5,581.00 in United States Funds."


Like countless others before him, and as with many, many more who will succeed him, Mr. Hunt has hired a lawyer to challenge the theft of his money, something no drug dealer would do for such a trifling amount. If he is blessed, Hunt will get some of his money back. More likely, he will find it too expensive to fight taxpayer-funded thieves in a court they control.


The crime committed against Mr. Hunt, though outrageous, is a fairly common one. The second case study of the Robber State in action is exceptional, both in terms of the vulgar display of corrupt power it entails and the compound dishonesty it embodies.


About eight months ago, the appendage of the Regime that calls itself the Justice Department stole more than two tons of authentic money -- in the form of platinum, gold, silver, and copper coins -- from the Evansville, Indiana headquarters of the Liberty Dollar organization, and from its affiliates nation-wide. Also taken was a substantial amount denominated in the spurious currency the Regime insists on calling "dollars."


The seizure warrant (.pdf) seeking official permission to carry out that crime depicts the Liberty Dollar as the key to a subversive scheme supposedly being carried out by the National Organization For the Repeal of the Federal Reserve and Internal Revenue Codes (NORFED) "with the intent
to undermine the United States government's financial systems by the issuance of a non-governmental competing currency for the purpose of repealing the Federal Reserve and the Internal Revenue Code."


What the warrant doesn't explain is how this is a crime. Is it a crime to conduct transactions by barter, or is this impermissible only to those who understand, and seek to abolish, the criminal syndicate called the Federal Reserve System? Is it a crime to pursue that policy change by other means, or merely by finding some non-Federal Reserve Note (FRN) means of buying goods and services?

Who is the "victim" in the supposed Liberty Dollar scheme, wherein willing buyers and willing sellers exchange FRNs for real money at an agreed price? Who is the victim where providers of goods and services agree to barter with people who wish to offer Liberty Dollars as their part of the transaction?


And how could anyone not in the employ of the Regime be plausibly accused of "undermining" a fiat "money"-based financial system that is in full and terminal collapse beneath the weight of its own incurable absurdities?


But none of these questions matter at all, since the robbers have the heavy artillery to carry out their crimes, and the "lawful authority" to "justify" them, at least to their own satisfaction. And now the architects of this massive crime -- the theft of real money, in the form of precious metals, from people nation-wide -- are preparing to "forfeit" $3 million in plundered Liberty Dollars and related assets. This is something of a pre-emptive strike, since the victims of this crime have already announced their intention to sue the criminals responsible.


As attorney James Ostrowski reports, the civil case will "proceed on the fiction that the money is the defendant," and, of course, no particular effort was made to inform the owners that their property is now "on trial." As is always the case, the thieves want to finish the job before the victims have a chance to defend their property.
















The Perks of Serving the Robber State: Lt. Angelo Adriani, commander of the Hoboken, N.J. SWAT team, uses his team's military gear to pick up chicks at an Alabama Hooter's following a "relief" mission to Katrina-ravaged New Orleans. After photos of the SWAT team's romp were published, the team was disbanded, and Adriani was retired, with his full pension.

Once North America was home to a flawed but promising republic. It is now occupied by a corrupt, authoritarian kleptocracy -- a government of the robbers, by the robbers, and for the robbers -- that maintains an overseas empire, at least until its displacement by the next globally ascendant robber band.


And perhaps there is one potential blessing to be extracted from the unfolding imperial collapse: Freed from the distraction of foreign entanglements, there would be a chance -- slender as an insecure supermodel, delicate as the wings of a frozen butterfly -- that Americans might finally be able to start uprooting the deeply entrenched Robber State here at home.



Available now!











Dum spiro, pugno!


11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why does government oppose the Liberty dollar, and steal cash from citizens? Beyond simple greed, it's important to consider the larger reasons:

1. Paper money is an instrument of war finance. Always has been, even when the gold standard prevailed: redeemability would be suspended during wartime. Once the U.S. empire went on permanent war footing after WW II, metallic redeemability of the dollar had to go. And any competing metallic-backed instrument, such as the Liberty dollar, must be ruthlessly suppressed in order to maintain demand for its inferior competitor, the Federal Reserve Note.

2. Permanent war footing requires heavy, pervasive taxation. Income tax withholding and reporting was implemented during WW II, and never ended. Since taxation provides an incentive for black markets, a war on bearer instruments and cash is needed to push economic activity into the reporting net. Thus, cash and Liberty dollars are seized, not only for direct government funding purposes, but also as paraphernalia of the black economy.

3. Wartime is an emergency. The pretext of emergency can be used to seize powers that couldn't be grabbed during peacetime. Although Congress hasn't declared a war since 1941, dozens of wars have actually occurred, and myriads of laws and regulations are based on declarations of emergency. As a result, we have not only an "elastic currency" under the Federal Reserve Act, but an "elastic rule of law" pursuant to the permanent war. To the extent that cash and Liberty dollars are considered contrary to public policy, the authorities have plenty of vague statutes and plenary powers to seize them under any old excuse, or none at all.

Conclusion: I fear that in government, as in the physical universe, a law of entropy prevails. A revolution can restore liberty temporarily, but immediately it enters into relentless decline, until tyranny becomes so complete that another revolution is provoked. The brief flowering of 18th century liberty was nine generations ago -- ancient history, for our purposes. Our lot is tyranny, pervasive tyranny in the form of economic slavery and intrusive monitoring. The fedgov is profoundly evil. Burn that star-and-striped flag of war, oppression and slavery ...

dixiedog said...

The clothes make the "man": If this tax-devouring thug isn't an armed robber, why does he dress like one? And why do his partners in crime ... er, public service routinely steal the property of honest businessmen

The instrument has yet to be invented that can identify a material difference between that threat, and those made by robbers in the private sector.

You have such a total command of the English language (at least in the written form...haha!) that poignantly hammers home the desired points in a clean fashion....sigh... I wish I had that talent to your degree, Will, but I'd end up tainting the phraseology with too much, shall we say, "colorful" language interspersed throughout. High blood pressure and all, just tends to get the better of me, and hence my subsequent oral utterances.

Which means that the deputies, who had every reason to lie -- and at least one of them was captured lying on video ("I'm gonna count it and hand it back to you") offered no corroborating evidence beyond entirely subjective impressions.

Everyone has, or can contemplate on a whim, a "reason" to lie in their own eyes, Will, about all kinds of things. If he had a genuine moral rudder at all, he'd have not lied* and he'd most certainly not take the man's money, as these acts would be easily discerned as dishonesty and theft by even the walnut-brained. This is why I cringe when I hear/read folk spout/write the "two-digit IQ" nonsense they project upon folk who act the thug in whatever way, as if possessing any moral clarity on a matter requires a high IQ. No, abstract high intelligence and being learned only makes one a more wily thug, a more dangerous and cunning thug, but still a thug.

These coppers are part and parcel of the populace/culture that largely thinks/acts, or would act the same way in their daily lives, IF it was merely "lawful." Of course, some wear badges now, giving them that loathesome "lawful authority" to commit the immoral acts that they (and I'd say most average joes on the street) are ONLY restrained from doing otherwise by it being merely "unlawful."

Have you never posed a simple, but profound, question of this sort: "By what measure(s) do you determine how you'll act, behave, what you'll do or not do, etc., on just any given day?" to anyone on the street? The answer they give speaks volumes about their character constitution. Given the age in which we live, I'm not surprised at how many folk I've talked to who appear to be only restrained from, or countenance, doing most anything merely by its illegality or legality respectively. That's sad!

The Perks of Serving the Robber State: Lt. Angelo Adriani, commander of the Hoboken, N.J. SWAT team, uses his team's military gear to pick up chicks at an Alabama Hooter's following a "relief" mission to Katrina-ravaged New Orleans. After photos of the SWAT team's romp were published, the team was disbanded, and Adriani was retired, with his full pension.

That pic you have there is emblematic in so many ways...sigh. It's symbolic and illustrative of our increasingly effeminate society, IMO. With few exceptions, women have to feel safe and secure to be at ease. Effeminate (not necessarily gay) men, likewise, have to feel safe and secure. To them, the State's agents, naturally, provide that feeling of security and safety. The truth of it be damned.

It is now occupied by a corrupt, authoritarian kleptocracy -- a government of the robbers, by the robbers, and for the robbers -- that maintains an overseas empire, at least until its displacement by the next globally ascendant robber band.

But a key question remains, exactly HOW did the government become occupied by robbers? "Government of the robbers, by the robbers, and for the robbers" is about right. It's so clear now when you interchange "people" for "robbers" and vice-versa.

Freed from the distraction of foreign entanglements, there would be a chance -- slender as an insecure supermodel, delicate as the wings of a frozen butterfly -- that Americans might finally be able to start uprooting the deeply entrenched Robbert State here at home.

Your command of the English language is superb! You do so play with words like they were putty in your hands. You even imply ever so delicately that the people themselves are the culprit, but you still manage to keep "government" and "the people" in separate corners. This was amusing: "...that Americans might finally be able to start uprooting..." Hmmm, damn, I'm certainly glad that the Founders didn't ponder on whether they'd "be able" to defeat the British. It was do or die trying! Principle overruled pragmatism in that era. Remember Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego? Not so today. Besides, Americans would have to want to change their inner being (a robber) in order to want to uproot the Robber State.

* I'm not one of those who buy into the "entrapment" nonsense. After all, there could only be "entrapment" if you operate by pragmatism and not principle and you obviously didn't get the result you expected by acting on pragmatism. It's kind of like, on those rare occasions, when folk pragmatically "kiss ass" in the workplace expecting some kind of high-brow treatment, despite the reality of their performance, and get slapped down instead. I don't have a problem with coppers lying in a murder interrogation, for example. If you don't have your head up ya arse, and ain't trying desparately to be deceptive yourself, you'll be straight up about your answers regardless.

Al Newberry said...

They stated that hunt seemed "nervous." Could that possibly be because he's a black man with braids being pulled over by police? Given our current situation I'd be surprised about ANYONE, and ESPECIALLY anyone of color, NOT being nervous if pulled over by police.

Mark Lance Earhart said...

Will Grigg never ceases to amaze me with his wit and vividly accurate depiction in words the mental picture or insight he wishes to convey. His writing is so good that Pro Libertate is a pleasure to read, even if I have a difference of opinion.

There is no such difference of opinion regarding this post. I live less than 100 miles N of Atlanta right on I-75, and am familiar with the area where the ridiculous incident of the thugs robbing the poor man occurred. I wish I could say that I am surprised, but I am not.

I daresay that this was at least partially racially motivated. Unless it has changed, much of the South side, especially the SW area is a rough neighborhood. They likely assumed, or presumed that a black man coming South out of Atlanta on I-75 with GA plates was a drug dealer, and that there would likely be a chance for them to confiscate valuable assets of some kind or another. If they hadn't have found the money they would likely have planted an illegal substance or related paraphernalia and taken him to jail.

I have witnessed this happening first hand in South Central TN in the town of Fayetteville. It is apparently "probable cause" for them to stop you and search the car if they see a black person and a white person riding down the road in the same car. When they searched us, supposedly because that F**cking dog sniffed the edge of the car, they found nothing, so they planted what they said was crack cocaine. Off to jail we went, they got a total of almost $2000 in probation fees and court fines out of the two of us, the wrecker service they used to tow our car wound up costing nearly $200, and both of us were disabled living on pittances of fixed incomes. We wound up homeless because we couldn't pay the rent AND the probation fees and Court fines.

My point is this, many areas that I know of, Fayetteville being the prime example, have a money making scheme that works like a well oiled machine. In this case it involved local and State law enforcement, a narcotics officer, a local wrecker service, a judge who is fond of probation fees and court fines, and usually one of three local bail bondsmen one who lands in the jail is forced to pick from. In our case, living so far away the bondsmen didn't factor in because we were a flight risk.

This type of activity, as well as confiscating precious metals (the thugs will take anything of value), is total lawlessness.

The gentleman who was stopped South of Atlanta probably would have gone unnoticed had he been white and driving a pick up truck or SUV at the speed he was going. I used to drive my Thunderbird up and down 75 in the early 90's at speeds exceeding 100 mph on a regular basis, and was never hassled. The difference was I appeared to be an upper middle class white teen teenager who would be more trouble than I was worth. Had any of my friends been Hispanic or Black it would have likely have been a different story.

I got one speeding ticket on I-75 less than five miles from home right as I was exiting the Interstate. The State Patrol officer was a smart ass, but he made no attempt to victimize me.

With the number of taser related deaths numbering over 300, with a recent one in Louisville, KY, I wouldn't advise anyone who is asked to get out of the car to do so unless you are obviously breaking a law justifying their asking you to get out. Speeding and other traffic violations do not justify them asking you to get out. Only roll your window down enough to hand your ID out. Be prepared to defend yourselves if necessary, they are using tasers (assault with a deadly weapon), like they are a slap on the wrist. Getting out where you are vulnerable is not worth it. Too many people have died.

I am not encouraging you to take anyone's life unless it is in self defense, but if you get out of the car when you have been illegally ordered to do so you are jeopardizing your own life. I strongly advise that you don't do that.

Anonymous said...

A Thin Lizzy quote, you never fail to amaze me with your breadth Will.

"What, exactly, is "legal authority"? Simply put, it is the permission one group of thieves gives itself to steal from people, or commit other acts of criminal violence, with impunity."

I think I would reduce it even further; legal authority is simply words on paper, or if you prefer an older phrase "ether". It is the only thing that separates gov't from organized crime (and that may not even be true . . .)

Sic Semper Tyrannis

Anonymous said...

Dixiedog wrote "You have such a total command of the English language (at least in the written form...haha!) "

I've had the pleasure to see him speak - he's every bit as good on his feet in person.

Sic Semper Tyrannis

Mark said...

I guess the difference between a right and left wing libertarian is something to be found in the choice of music, aswell as elsewhere. Thin Lizzy against the original folk tune? No way!

Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

Your writing is fantastic. While I believe their is a legitimate (highly limited) Biblical role for government, our current rulers have slipped the chains and gone from servants to corrupt masters.

We should keep the light of truth shining, and eschew violence. We are better at truth and they are better at violence. Let's keep pointing out the truth as long as they will let us.

I hope you will consider posting some of your material over at the forums of The Christian Constitutional Society...

www.christianconstitutionalsociety.org

Anonymous said...

It would appear that everywhere you look there are sturmtruppen. Whether it is in popular media, movies etc. but their omnipresence and brutal tactics are being drilled into the national psyche. I believe it to be conditioning so that the masses are numb to what is going on. I can't remember a movie for the longest time where the FEDS are not bashing down doors or roughing people up... "for their own good".

Anonymous said...

Will dude, you rock! I've corresponded with Marc Stevens and purchased his excellent book a few years ago. In fact, a few months ago I suggested that he invite you to be a guest on his weekly radio show "The No State Project" at www.wtprn.com

Speaking of which, do you have an internet, or "conventional" radio show? We'd love to hear it if you do.

Keep writing-and fighting!

SapiensLibertas said...

I too have given up.

My wife and I recently completed a two week tour of the Scandinavian countries...from which I obtained an education in effective people-centered government.

Yes, they're still government; but in their diminutive size, they're still beholden to their populace and actually SERVE them in most ways, rather than robbing them blind and beating them silly.

I'm in the throes of an attempt to convince my wife to move to a less kleptocratic country.