reboot the republic daily July 13, 2010

Black Market Secession

Posted: 13 Jul 2010 03:38 PM PDT

From Fr33 Agents

The legacy Lincoln left this country after the civil war was not that he held the union together, but that he solidified in everyone’s mind for generations that leaving the union carried violent consequences. Like a battered housewife afraid to divorce her brutal husband, whenever any whispering of secession sneaks into public conversation someone inevitably says something like, “You can’t do that. They’ll just roll in tanks!” It’s never a moral argument or a pragmatic argument. These are the exclusive propriety of the secessionists. Always, it is an argument from catastrophe. Every American on some level understands the union is held together by military force.

Some recent Rasmussen polls illustrate what I’m talking about:

In February 2010 61% of voters nationwide said they don’t believe the government has the necessary consent described in the Declaration of Independence. 18% were unsure, and just 21% believed the government actually enjoyed the consent of the governed. 70% believe that government and corporations collude to hurt consumers and constituents and 50% say they felt random names selected from the phone book could do as good a job in congress.

In April 2009 only 11% of voters said they favored secession, and only 22% said they even believed states had a right to secede from the union. In June 2010 that went down to 10% in favor and 18% who believed states had a right to secede.

So, rounding the numbers we see about 6 in 10 Americans have demand for the product secession in the form of non consent, but only about 1 in 10 would actually buy the product. That’s a rough analysis, but it makes my point.

It’s just a fact, when you prohibit a product or service for which there is demand in the market it inevitably results in black market activity. What happens when independence is a crime? Only criminals will have independence. It is an inescapable law of nature; When force is overt, resistance is covert. If the American people are intimidated and afraid to publicly advocate secession, rising dissatisfaction with government will manifest in black market independence. So, in our analysis, 5 out 10 Americans do not consent, and do not openly support secession. Where’s the black market? I think I found it.

The results of a Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) report were released that found (Brace yourself because it is painfully obvious), “When people believe the the taxes they are required to pay are reasonable and the political leaders tend to spend their tax dollars wisely, tax compliance rises, and vice versa.” I don’t know about you, but I’m sure glad tax dollars were spent on that research. When dissatisfaction with government raises, and independence is not an option, the black market response is tax evasion, or economic secession.

The report found that 25.6% of U.S. households were either “unbanked” or “underbanked” whatever “underbanked” means. They also found that the paper currency in circulation, meaning not held in deposit anywhere, has risen 13.3% in two years, while the growth in electronic payment methods should result in a decrease in paper currency and increase in digital currency. These signal an increase in cash only, untaxed, undeclared economic activity. The result being, according to the FDIC, that tax revenues at federal, state and local levels are falling significantly faster than one would predict based on the economic conditions alone. Increases in taxes and onerous regulations only further erode public consent, galvanize public support for secession, and further enrich the black market.

People generally conceive of the black market as the underground sale of “illegal” products, like selling raw milk in Amish country. But increasingly it’s not the product that the government objects to, it’s the transaction itself. It’s being called “the gray market.” Not quite black because the products are generally legal to sell, to buy and to consume, but not quite white, because the sale takes place in an untaxed, unregulated counter economy.

It’s called Agorism, which is a species of market activism more akin to a boycott of the state than to an armed revolution. For example, I make a small amount of money selling art. I work and earn money (minus income tax), which I imagine I own. Then I purchase raw materials (plus sales tax), which I imagine I own. I mix those materials with my time and labor (no tax), which I imagine I own. At the end of this process I imagine that I am the sole proprietor of the resulting product. So, if someone desires, I trade that product to them (no tax) at some small profit. The state imagines that it has some claim to that small profit, which means the state imagines that I am not the sole proprietor of my time and labor. They think they own me, and I disagree. So, I produce my product without any license, without any regulation, and without any taxes. I think I own myself, and this is a crime.

Whether people conceive of this activity as secessionist in nature, that’s precisely what it is. Consent is withdrawn, and the moral legitimacy of the state is questioned one dollar at a time. For many this is a conscious decision, but for considerably more this is born out of necessity. Many bay area flea markets now have family run cash for gold exchanges. In San Francisco increased taxes and regulations have made many restaurants insolvent, and many gourmet chefs now serve top quality food out of rolling carts in the street using twitter and facebook to advertise. Even though city officials have tried to regulate and tax this growing industry, many vendors find the permit process so complicated and expensive that they just don’t comply. When a permit to sell the products you own can cost you $10,000 who wouldn’t opt for the gray market?

For those inspired by these ideas, step one occurs right now. Right where you’re sitting now. Before you even finish this article. In your heart of hearts, join the 61% of Americans who don’t consent and make the intention to act upon that. Online tools like eBay and Craigslist make it virtually free to start. Joining the counter economy, and beginning your economic independence is as easy as getting paid to do what you love.


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Mencken Says…

Posted: 13 Jul 2010 12:13 PM PDT

From The Liberty Voice

Henry Louis “H. L.” Mencken was an American journalist, essayist, magazine editor, satirist, and critic of American life and culture. Mencken is regarded as one of the most influential American writers and prose stylists of the first half of the 20th century.

Here are a few of his most famous observations:

“Whenever you hear a man speak of his love for his country, it is a sign that he expects to be paid for it.”
“We must be willing to pay a price for freedom.”

“When a new source of taxation is found it never means, in practice, that the old source is abandoned. It merely means that the politicians have two ways of milking the taxpayer where they had one before.”

“A judge is a law student who marks his own examination papers.”

“A newspaper is a device for making the ignorant more ignorant and the crazy crazier.”

“A politician is an animal which can sit on a fence and yet keep both ears to the ground.”

“Most people want security in this world, not liberty.”
“A prohibitionist is the sort of man one couldn’t care to drink with, even if he drank.”

“All government, of course, is against liberty.”

“Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance.”

“Democracy is also a form of worship. It is the worship of Jackals by Jackasses.”

“Each party steals so many articles of faith from the other, and the candidates spend so much time making each other’s speeches, that by the time election day is past there is nothing much to do save turn the sitting rascals out and let a new gang in.”

“Every election is a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods.”

“Nobody ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public.”

“I believe in only one thing: liberty; but I do not believe in liberty enough to want to force it upon anyone.”

“I believe that all government is evil, and that trying to improve it is largely a waste of time.”

“If a politician found he had cannibals among his constituents, he would promise them missionaries for dinner.”

“In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican.”

“It doesn’t take a majority to make a rebellion; it takes only a few determined leaders and a sound cause.”

“The chief value of money lies in the fact that one lives in a world in which it is overestimated.”

“It is inaccurate to say that I hate everything. I am strongly in favor of common sense, common honesty, and common decency. This makes me forever ineligible for public office.”

“The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out… without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane, intolerable.”


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Bobbly Jindal The Deciever

Posted: 13 Jul 2010 08:36 AM PDT

From The Daily Kos

Bobby Jindal is mad as hell about health care reform and he wants everybody to know it, so he just signed legislation making it clear that in the State of Louisiana, it’s illegal to require individuals to have health insurance. From bill’s text (emphasis added):

A. It is hereby declared that the public policy of this state, consistent with our constitutionally recognized and inalienable right of liberty, is that every person within this state is and shall be free from governmental intrusion in choosing or declining to choose any mode of securing health insurance coverage without penalty or threat of penalty.

B. No resident of this state, regardless of whether he has or is eligible for health insurance coverage under any policy or program provided by or through his employer, or a plan sponsored by the state or the federal government, shall be required to obtain or maintain a policy of individual health insurance coverage. The state shall not impose a penalty or fee on any resident of the state for failure to obtain or maintain health insurance coverage.

Sounds like Jindal just struck a blow against the individual responsibility mandate at the heart of health care reform, right? Well, not exactly. Turns out the bill explicitly makes it clear that it is not intended to supersede federal law — including health care reform.

C. No provision in this Section shall be interpreted or held to supercede any provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, P.L. 111-148 or any other federal law.

So I guess that means by putting his signature on this bill, Bobby Jindal is recognizing the fact that health care reform is now the law of the land? What a faux-nullificationist wimp.


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Chinese Rating Agency Strips Western Nations of AAA Status

Posted: 13 Jul 2010 08:10 AM PDT

From The Telegraph UK

Dagong Global Credit Rating Co used its first foray into sovereign debt to paint a revolutionary picture of creditworthiness around the world, giving much greater weight to “wealth creating capacity” and foreign reserves than Fitch, Standard & Poor’s, or Moody’s.

The US falls to AA, while Britain and France slither down to AA-. Belgium, Spain, Italy are ranked at A- along with Malaysia.

Meanwhile, China rises to AA+ with Germany, the Netherlands and Canada, reflecting its €2.4 trillion (£2 trillion) reserves and a blistering growth rate of 8pc to 10pc a year.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, chief of the International Monetary Fund, agreed on Monday that the rising East is a transforming global force. “Asia’s time has come,” he said.

The IMF expects Asia to grow by 7.7pc in 2010, vastly outpacing the eurozone at 1pc and the US at 3.3pc. Emerging nations hold 75pc of the world’s $8.4 trillion (£5.6 trillion) of reserves.

Dagong rates Norway, Denmark, Switzerland, and Singapore at AAA, along with the commodity twins Australia and New Zealand.

Chinese president Hu Jintao said in April that the world needs “an objective, fair, and reasonable standard” for rating sovereign debt. Dagong appears to have stepped into the role, saying its objective was to assess countries using methods that would “not be affected by ideology”.

“The reason for the global financial crisis and debt crisis in Europe is that the current international credit rating system does not correctly reveal the debtor’s repayment ability,” said Guan Jianzhong, Dagong’s chairman.

The agency, known in China for rating companies, said its goal is to “correct the defects” of the existing system and offer a counter-weight to Western agencies.

Dagong appears to base growth potential on past performance but this can be misleading, especially in states enjoying technology catch-up. Japan was a high-flyer in 1970s and 1980s before stalling when the Nikkei bubble burst. It has been trapped in near perma-slump ever since.

China may start to face some of Japan’s demographic problems by the middle of this decade when the working age population peaks.

The Western rating agencies put a high value on a long-established rule of law and government institutions that have proved resilient over many decades, or even centuries. China’s political system may appear strong – as did the Soviet Union’s – but only time will tell whether its foundations are brittle. The violent upheavals of the Cultural Revolution are still a very fresh memory.


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Michelle Obama Rouses NAACP Before Vote Condemning ‘Racist’ Elements of Tea Party

Posted: 12 Jul 2010 09:50 PM PDT


From ABC News

First Lady Michelle Obama brought renewed energy to the NAACP today, delivering the keynote speech at the annual convention one day before the nation’s largest civil rights group is expected to condemn what it calls racist elements in the Tea Party movement.

The nation’s largest and oldest civil rights organization will vote on the resolution Tuesday during its annual convention in Kansas City, Mo.

In her speech, the first lady focused on the issue of childhood obesity and her “Let’s Move” initiative, but outside of her remarks, anti-Tea Party activism has been a key focus of the gathering, which conservative leaders say is driven solely by a political agenda.

Tea Party members have used “racial epithets,” have verbally abused black members of Congress and threatened them, and protestors have engaged in “explicitly racist behavior” and “displayed signs and posters intended to degrade people of color generally and President Barack Obama specifically,” according to the proposed resolution.

“We’re deeply concerned about elements that are trying to move the country back, trying to reverse progress that we’ve made,” NAACP spokeswoman Leila McDowell told ABC News. “We are asking that the law-abiding members of the Tea Party repudiate those racist elements, that they recognize the historic and present racist elements that are within the Tea Party movement.”

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, in coordination with 170 other groups, including labor unions, is planning a protest march in Washington, D.C., Oct. 10 as the next step in building momentum against the Tea Party.

The “One Nation” march is designed as an antithesis to the Tea Party, and it’s about “pulling America together and back to work,” McDowell said.

“We see it as a threat to democracy. We see it as a threat to human rights. We certainly see it as a threat to civil rights,” McDowell said, adding that the resolution will likely pass when it’s voted upon Tuesday.

Supporters of the Tea Party movement have frequently faced charges of racism.

The most notable case is that of Kentucky GOP Senate hopeful Rand Paul, who came under fire in May for criticizing the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Paul said he supports the act and opposes discrimination, but added that the government doesn’t have a right to tell private restaurant owners who they can and cannot serve.

“If we want to harbor in on private businesses and their policies, then you have to have the discussion about, ‘Do you want to abridge the First Amendment as well,’” Paul said on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow show. “If you decide that restaurants are publicly owned and not privately owned, then do you say that you should have the right to bring your gun into the restaurant, even though the owner of the restaurant says, well, no, we don’t want to have guns in here.”

In March, Tea Party protesters opposing the health care bill were alleged to have shouted racial slurs at black House members in the halls of Congress, a charge that Tea Party supporters say has not been proven. Liberal blogs have also seized on signs that have appeared in Tea Party protests, comparing President Obama to a monkey.

Tea Party leaders say the charges are misguided and are being fertilized by the left for the sole purpose of gaining political ground.

The Rev. C.L. Bryant, a former president of NAACP’s Garland, Texas, chapter who is now a leading Tea Party activist said the idea that the Tea Party is racist or is trying to instigate a racist climate is “simply a lie.”

“I have seen posters … where every president from Reagan to Obama has been called a fascist,” Bryant, who serves as a contributor to FreedomWorks, which organizes Tea Party groups, told ABC News. “Why is it that just because we have a black president, we are hyper-sensitive to posters at rallies?”

The NAACP wants to “create a climate where they can say that those on the right are in fact racist and those on the left are their saviors,” he added. “This is very much what the liberal agenda is about.”

Dale Robertson, a Tea Party activist who runs and has himself been at the center of a race-related controversy, said the NAACP is merely pandering to the Democratic party.

“I find that the NAACP should be standing against the new Black Panther and their stance and yet instead of doing the right thing, they’re doing the wrong thing by attacking people who feel government should be held accountable,” Robertson said.

NAACP Takes on Tea Party Movement

The Tea Party movement’s popularity has been boosted by the likes of Paul and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, but it has yet to find a unified voice or widespread support among Americans.

Twenty-seven percent of Americans support the Tea Party, according to a May ABC News/Washington Post poll, but nearly as many Americans oppose the movement as those who support it.

Among registered voters, 15 percent said they would be more likely to support a candidate for Congress who’s associated with the Tea Party movement, but 24 percent say they’d be more apt to oppose such a candidate.

The poll also found that 57 percent of people who opposed the Tea Party suspected its members of racial prejudice specifically against Obama. Only 10 percent of Tea Party supporters expressed such a sentiment.

The NAACP, on the other hand, is trying to reenergize momentum within its own ranks. The organization received a big boost from the first lady, who was the keynote speaker at this year’s convention.

The first lady’s speech focused on childhood obesity and her “Let’s Move” initiative designed to promote healthy living and eating for children.

NAACP leaders have individually taken on the Tea Party in the past, but the organization is now trying to build a bigger momentum against the Tea Party, which has emerged as a strong grassroots, albeit fragmented, force across the country.

“We have to close the enthusiasm gap,” NAACP president Ben Jealous said in an interview with the Associated Press Friday. “The danger of the Tea Party is that people see them and think about periods in history when groups like them were much more powerful than they are now, and so a lot of what we spend energy doing is explaining to people what reality is, and that the reality is that the majority from 2008 still exists.”

ABC News’ Gary Langer contributed to this report.


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