Game The System

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I’m sick of it.

Being punished for daring to own more than one vehicle, that is. How am I being punished? How are you being punished (if you also own more than one vehicle)?

By the endless (and annual) little exactions that, together, end up adding up. I am talking about:

Title and registration fees; property taxes.

There are other ways they get you, of course – including mandatory insurance coverage – but these three items specifically target the owner of more than one vehicle, even if the owner can only use one of them at a time.

I’m not rich but I enjoy fiddling with vehicles, two-wheeled and four. I own two older trucks (a ’98 and a 2002), an antique car and four motorcycles. None of these, with the exception of my antique car, is worth more than about $6,000 – mainly because they’re older (some of the bikes are antiques, too) and I like to have paid-off stuff instead of a monthly payment.

Except you can’t escape the payments. I mean, the payments to the government.

Consider:

I am restoring an old Kawasaki motorcycle (1974 S1 triple, if you’re interested; see here for the story on that ). I bought the hulk – literally, an inoperable “parts bike” that needed every single item refurbished – for $50 from a  friend of mine. I have a clean, signed-over title, so it’s my property. But if I go to the DMV and title the bike officially – put it in my name – the DMV will stick its paws out and demand sales tax (based on the “book value,” their book – not mine –  and based on the average retail value of a bike similar to mine – but not mine) plus the fee for the title itself, plus another fee to register it. Out the window goes another $150-plus  (easily twice what I  actually paid for the bike itself). But the worst part is yet to come. Once titled in my name, the county will know I have the bike  – and will stick its paws out, looking for more money, in the form of the annual property tax. Here in Virginia(and other states, too) you are taxed on the “book value” of every vehicle you own.

Not just once, either. Every year, forever – as long as I am alive, at least and still possess the bike.

Mind, this is just for one old bike – a project; something I fiddle with in my spare time, like many hobbyists. We haven’t yet begun to add up the same costs just listed above as applied to all my other vehicles.  Oh, and naturally, the fees for things on four wheels (vs. two) are even higher.

At any rate, let’s do some math. Annual registration fee in Virginia: $40.75 per vehicle. Times five (for me) equals $203.75.

Annual property tax: Varies, per unit (based on their estimation of its value) but approximately as follows: Two trucks, $130 each. Bikes, $75 each. That’s $260 plus $225 equals $485. Every year, endlessly.

Now, without even getting into the title fees (which at least are a one-time hit) or the cost of government mandated insurance (even on vehicles that are driven next-to-never, fewer than 500 miles annually for three of mine) I have paid, over the past eight years, at least $5,510 to the DMV and county KGB for the privilege of “owning” my vehicles. (I use quote marks deliberately to make a point; as with real-estate taxes, if you don’t pay the property tax assessed, men with guns will seize “your” property and auction it off.)

That $5,510 is money I sure would have liked to have been able to put to other uses. It probably would have covered our gas bill for the past five years. Instead, it went up in smoke – up the government’s chimney.

And mind: We own older/lower value stuff, which limits the hit somewhat. People who own newer, higher-value stuff, really get reamed. It is not at all common for a Virginia vehicle “owner” to be hit with a personal property tax o$1,000 or more for just one year (vs. my eight) if their vehicle is new enough and nice (valuable) enough.

The policy seems specifically intended to discourage people for owning multiple vehicles – by punishing them financially for doing so. And it is especially regressive, since people who own several older cars are often people who don’t have a lot of money who are trying to live frugally by avoiding the expense of a new vehicle.

Well, enough complaining. Time for some doing.

For instance: I decided not to get the title to the motorcycle I’m restoring put “officially” into my name. At least,not yet. I have the signed-over title from the previous owner – so the bike is legally mine and I can prove it’s mine. But by not going to the DMV, by not getting that stupid piece of government paper, I dodge the hit for a title fee, sales tax and – the $%!@! property tax.

Just saved a couple hundred bucks, right there.

I let the registration lapse for one of my trucks, the one we rarely use for more than the weekly trip to the  green boxes (trash collection), about two miles up and back. It’s limited exposure but even if I have bad luck and a cop eventually spots my out-of-date tags, the fine will be less than paying the $^%!@#! registration fee (especially if I get away with it long enough). Note: I keep the insurance on this truck up to date. Not because I need it, but because the consequences of not having a valid policy are pretty severe (even if you’ve caused no one any harm whatsoever) and thanks to “cooperation” between the insurance cartels and the DMV authorities, they’re sure to know – and sure to pounce – the moment you let your coverage lapse.

To hell with state “safety” inspections, too. I keep my vehicles in good working order because I am personally interested in not driving vehicles with bald tires, defective brakes and so on. I do not need the state’s “help” on this, let alone the $15 per vehicle annual fee ($15×5= another $75 I just saved).

There is also the option – for us – of  Farm Use tags and registration. Like Antique Vehicle tags (more on them below) Farm Use tags are permanent, meaning no annual registration fee. You don’t have to buy a new month/year sticker every year, as with regular tags. The caveat is you have to (to be legally compliant) actually have a farm and use the vehicle for defined “farm use.” Since we’re on 16-odd acres and do have livestock (poultry) we are within the letter of the law.

Just saved another few – no, many – bills.

Antique Vehicle tags: Similar to Farm Use; there are restrictions – specifically, annual mileage allowed and no “regular” use. However, if you have a little-used car or motorcycle that’s 21 years old or older, that mostly just sits, this can be a great money-saver vs. normal plates/registration – with their endless, annual fees.

Property tax is harder to avoid, but you can do so by not titling or registering whatever you buy – like I did (didn’t do, actually) with the old motorcycle I’m restoring. At least during the time you’re working on the machine – and it’s not going anywhere – you’ve violated no law that I am aware of. You are not required to immediately (or ever) title a vehicle. You’ve bought it, you have a bill of sale and a signed over old title – it’s yours. You don’t need the state’s affirmation – what it calls its “service” – to make your ownership official. Why give them an opportunity to attack your wallet? Again?

So, it’s not much – but it is a start.

And that is better than just sitting back and taking it.

Throw it in the Woods?

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32 COMMENTS

  1. “I’ve read at length about the ‘certificate of title’ vs. actual title and would love to be able to get large numbers of people to assert their rights and opt-out of the “contractual arrangement” they’ve unknowingly or involuntarily entered into with the state.”

    The contract is automatically null and void in the face of non-disclosure or involuntary forcing.

    • Again, that assumes that these cunts are playing an honest game.
      The game is rigged, the rules are malleable in their favor, and the force continuum works only in their favor: For example, they can lie, BLATANTLY, on the stand, and not be CHARGED with perjury – forget convicted! Even if video evidence proves they lied.
      If you HONESTLY FORGET a detail and go back to correct your statement, you can eb charged with obstruction and similar – and you’ll be convicted and given a hefty “reminder” to never do less than roll over and pee yourself, a la Reak.

      Trial by combat seems a better deal every day – but even that depended on certain customs, such as, “it’s decided,” being accepted afterwards.
      In the modern world, it would be: State champion 1 fails, State champion 2 steps in & fails, State Champions 3 & 4 step in together, then 5, 6, 7, 6, as many as needed to enforce your death.

      The tyranny will get worse, too, as there are implants on the horizon which will interface with the body in “minor” ways – controlling dopamine, serotonin, insulin, etc for example.
      In other words, HOW YOU FEEL and THINK will be under remote control.
      Hwo to resist when you can be conditioned to pee yourself, LITERALLY, at the SIGHT of a government official? And not out of fear, but out of “LOVE.” When you lick the hand that beats you, resistance is impossible.

      But “It can’t happen here.”

      We need to throw off the shackles, ASAP, by whatever means necessary.
      I’ll get back to you when I get a clearer idea on how. No one here is likely to do something crazy, but I’ll mention that as an “insurance rider.”

      Ultimately, though, it always comes down to POWER. Who can/will inflict damage or injury, and survive to tell of it.

  2. multiple vehicles, like many I have a bunch, six licensed only two drivers. wouldn’t it be nice if we could purchase collector plates, that for a small extra fee at the DMV, say 25 per vehicle added to each plate, can have an insurance policy for each plate, and switch that plate between vehicles. I would have two plates with 3 vehicles listed on each one ( for those who would say how would you keep track, I’de mark in Scripto pen which vehicles they are for on the back) The insurance policy car value would be for the most expensive vehicle listed on the plate, so the insurance company will get their silver. bet this could not happen because of the ins company lobby. Some have tried dealer plates but the insurance is too expensive.. If this could happen here in VA my insurance bill would fall from 2200 per year to about 900 or less. I base this on insurance for my 2012 Mustang GT is 450.00 per year with USAA. Does any state have this plan??

    • Everything you’ve written is logical, reasonable and fair – which is why it’ll never happen. The system is based on two things: money and power (over us). Period. Not “safety,” not “the public good” or even “the children.” Just cash and control. The insurance companies lobby to make “coverage” mandatory precisely because they know what would happen to their profit margins if people were free to tell them No. The government makes insurance mandatory because it is an excellent way to control and regiment society. The two of them work together for their mutual benefit… money and power.

      • ah but… what if we could get a few car crazy politicans, there must be a few, to buy into this.. Even if we pay FULL registration price for the vehicles on each plate, it is still a winner for us car guys. Also this way the State would not be losing revenue so no complaint on their part. I personally think in todays climate it could be done, might start a grass roots movement to see if it can happen, personally I don’t give a hoot about insurance company profits….and this might be a good time to bash the insurance companies special interest for profit lobby.

        • I’m pretty pessimistic. For one, Cloverism has spread to the point that people who think as we do – the way Americans used to – are, I suspect, in the minority. The “safety” tsunami has washed over this land and transformed it. Moreover, too many people are incapable of critical thinking; they are easy prey for demagogues who want power and feed their fears and stoke their hysteria and promise to “keep them safe.”

          I personally wish we could return to the days when insurance was entirely optional. Can you believe it was only about 25 years ago, in many parts of the country?

          I haven’t had an at-fault accident in decades (and my last at-fault accident, way back in 1987, didn’t involve anyone but me and my car) and would absolutely take the “risk” of not insuring several of my vehicles, especially those I don’t drive more than a few hundred miles a year. My accident risk profile is very low. I think it’s a prudent risk; I’d rather have the thousands I have wasted on needless mandatory insurance in my bank account or put to some other good purpose. Instead, it all went into the pockets of insurance company shysters, who got their personal mafia – the government – to threaten me with violence if I don’t pay up.

        • There are no car crazy politicians, at least not in the performance kind. The closest I know of was General Powell, who restored Volvos. But he never held an elected office. Sure every so often one will have something interesting… that they never drive. Always seems to be some left over of their youth that they just never got around to selling but now find useful to mention to try and pander for some votes now and then.

          Those in politics are by and large fundamentally anti-car, because power hungry people do not have interest in anything that promotes freedom or economic mobility.

          Here’s two different ways I wrote up how I see the future shaping up:
          http://mises.org/Community/blogs/bracket/archive/2008/12/06/the-motorama-dystopia-version-2.aspx

          http://mises.org/Community/blogs/bracket/archive/2008/12/06/the-motorama-dystopia.aspx

          • Interesting observation – and true.

            I’ve also noticed that people who like to do things for themselves, like restore a car for instance – and who are competent (by which I mean, capable of handling themselves and handling life) tend to be more inclined to the freedom philosophy while the reverse is almost axiomatically true.

            Do you think a guy like Obama (or The Chimp) has ever even so much as changed a set of spark plugs in their entire lives?

      • Eric! The nerve! You apologize to the next chimp you see.

        Actually W and his clan (or would that be Klan?) are from Connecticut as I recall. They just used Texas as a cover to keep the sheeple from making the connection with the Nazi money launderer, Prescott Bush.

        • Yup; the boobs bought the twang and Bahbul Talk and Fambly Values shtick… all wrapped in the flag and Gawd Bless Ahhhhmeeerrikku.

          The Chimp is a carpetbagging Yankee in every way that matters.

          • I’d love to see the day where there wasn’t a single person in any church in the US who still supported “the flag” “the troops” and the GOP-lying version of “family values.” Even if that happened because all the neocons decided to leave church, that would please me, a lot. Maybe even more so than seeing Ron Paul get elected President.

            • Hi David,

              Organized religion is inherently hierarchical and almost inevitably authoritarian. There is an absolute leader – “god” — whose “word” must not be questioned. This “word,” of course, is in fact whatever the men who run the religion say it is. What they insist it is. Disagree, question – and you’ve committed worse than merely a crime. You have “sinned.”

      • You got that right. And you know, those DPS officers (who run the inspection program) are putting our lives on the line every day.

    • RE: “in Texas. This article details what could happen if you delay telling the state that you sold your car”

      Just another example of how Texas ain’t that fucking special, it’s just another slave state like all the rest. Only, more-so.

      There’s no such requirements in my state. I guess Texans didn’t know?

      Anyway, @ David, seems like you’re getting it. You’ve been reading Laurence M. Vance, I trust?

  3. In the same context of Actual Title vs “Certificate” of Title discussed above – I read on a website somewhere that when your name is written on a legal document (example as in being summoned for Jury Duty) – the way your name is printed (capitalized) makes a difference, as to whether it is really binding upon you to respond and/or be obligated by the State…i.e. – if you are “John Smith” and they summon you as “JOHN Smith” or “JOHN SMITH” then (unless you respond in the affirmative)you are not obligated by whatever it is the State is attempting to do. I have no idea if this is correct or not, but it wouldn’t surprise me….If anybody has any insight on this I woiul like to know more…

    • I’d like to know, too. I’ve read about all this – that one can avoid being “contractually bound” by various edicts of the state (such as having to have a driver’s license) – at length but have yet to come across anything involving actual, real-life, om-the-ground experiences.

      Anyone out there want to chime in?

      • I had some information on this years ago. I’ll dig around and see if I can find it. But it goes something like this (no guarantees on whether this is right or not, just what was postulated by the authors): The country (America) was occupied by the United States military after Lee’s surrender. The “United States” in this case being a proper noun, not plural (as in these United States), but rather referring to a corporate entity with its seat in Washington, D.C. and having a military at its disposal. Reconstruction, as we all know, was outright military oppression of the “rebellious” states after overt hostilities ceased. The resultant martial law and military government were toned down a bit and spread throughout the nation (which we now experience as administrative law and regulations). Hence U.S. military bases on every state (states rights are no more) and every U.S. territory (you can’t get much more occupied than that).

        This is the same model that was used by the Roman and British empires. The paradigm is to occupy other countries as transparently as possible. The victor would leave existing social and civic institutions intact, so long as they aren’t repugnant to the purposes of the occupying forces. This helped prevent unrest and popular revolt. But the military occupation remains, with its tribunals, magistrates and courts martial. As recently as the 1960’s state governors could still call out the state guard (i.e. state militia) without federal approval (like George Wallace did). That was repugnant to U.S. purposes; the state guard was “nationalized” and is now a select militia and effectively part of the U.S. military. Hmmmm.

        The theory is that in a court martial, one proceeds under a Nom de Guerre (i.e. an assumed name for purposes of combat). So if your given name is “John David, Smith” (the comma is there for a reason) for example, the court martial or tribunal will not summon you as the natural man, but as the enemy combatant JOHN D. SMITH, JOHN SMITH or JOHN DAVID SMITH. Then if you answer the charges and make a plea you have accepted your status as an enemy combatant (i.e. a creature of the state like a corporation), the court has jurisdiction over you and you are presumed to have no rights. You are essentially treated as an artificial entity not a natural man on the land. Lawyers, you gotta love ‘em (See Luke 11:46).

        I read an account of a man that was summoned in this way. On the court date he supposedly took the summons to the bailiff and informed the court that the name on the summons was not his own. The bailiff took the summons to the judge, the judge thanked him, said he’d take care of it and the man walked out. True or not? I don’t know.

        What I do know is the Constitution only recognizes Criminal, Equity and Maritime law. Maritime law encompasses both Equity (civil) and Criminal elements and is similar to Martial Law. Our traffic courts, tax courts, etc. are administrative and walk, talk and act a lot like Maritime Law. Based on what I’ve seen in court, things aren’t as they are supposed to be under the Constitution, so this hypothesis is as good as any I suppose. Maybe someone else here knows more about this and will make appropriate corrections.

        • Thanks for the insight – but given that our Constitution is about dead and the Rule of Law no longer truly applies in this Country anymore (i.e. JUSTICE is for “just us” little people and not the Oligarchy-per Gerald Celente)then Good Luck to anyone who actually wants to try this – the MSM sure as hell won’t cover it. I am disgusted beyond belief with what is going on and unfortunately not sure that we really can do much about it – yet anyway, things are just going to have to run their course until a “turning point” is finally reached…

          • Glenn W – the fact that the bureaucRATs routinely ignore de jure law was my whole point. I was merely pointing out one more twist of “legalism” that has allowed the system to fleece the sheeple. What one can do about it is learn, expose and educate, “until a “turning point” is finally reached….” as you so aptly put it. That way we may be able to exert some influence on the new paradigm, if only for a fleeting instance.

            Now, if you are currently caught in the legal net, their system can be used against them. Check out Peter Simpson’s and Michael Brown’s work in The Erwin Rommel School of Law (ERSOL). I purchased their information years ago and used some of it very successfully in court.

            At one point when I was on the stand an attorney hit me with a ‘Have you stopped beating your wife yet?’ question, followed with the ‘Just answer the question yes or no’ snare. I told him I couldn’t answer the question yes or no and he tried to get the judge to force me to do so. Based on what I’d learned from ERSOL, I defeated this tactic as follows: “Your honor, may I address the court?” The judge responded “Go ahead.” So I said “If I were to answer Mr.______’s question yes or no, I would be committing the crime of perjury by omission. Is the court ordering me to commit the crime of perjury?” The judge, obviously flustered, then told me to answer as I saw fit. They then got me off the stand as quickly as they could.

            There are a lot of other weapons in their arsenal that we have access to. Title 42 civil rights violations, RICO civil suits and host of other things you can use against them. You have to be willing to spend a little money up front, study for yourself and have the intestinal fortitude to defend yourself. I doubt you will find a lawyer that will use the tactics you’ll learn in ERSOL. He wouldn’t dare show his face around the country club afterwards and would probably end up disbarred. Most trial lawyers like most cops, although useful from time to time, are not our friends. Like George Carlin points out they are part of the “Big Club” and “you ain’t in it!”

            What it boils down to is this: if you appear sufficiently unpalatable and potentially dangerous to the predators, they’ll leave you alone and go look for easier prey. The game has changed since the founding. A legitimate Constitutional Republic is a nice pipe dream. The best we can hope for at this stage is to stay under the radar as much as possible. If they try to eat you, present them with porcupine quills and make them chase you into the briar patch. If you are too much trouble for them, they’ll let you go. Otherwise you’re sheeple: prepare to be a sweater and mutton chops.

        • Steer clear of this one. It’s the “sovereign citizen” meme, and it’s very appealing.

          I’ve researched it at some length, and parts of it definitely have merit. The UCC, the maritime flags in courtrooms with yellow fringes, the ALL CAPITAL NAMES indicating the legal strawman created when you are given into bondage upon receiving your social security number, etc. Wonderfully seductive, and probably partially true.

          But the fact is, the State writes its laws and pays men with guns to enforce them, and if you believe you’re a Sovereign Citizen and act it out, the men with guns and badges will “convince” you otherwise. 99.999% of your fellow citizens believe in the same faux laws; a jury will screw you even quicker than a judge. Nobody remembers jury nullification any more.

          There are a few spotty victories here and there; for instance just recently a man in New Mexico who doesn’t register his car and has no plates or driver’s license posted here. After years of legal hassles, despite being in the right, he finally gave up.

          I definitely wouldn’t try the many (truthful) defenses against the income tax; they’re really, really protective of their income stream and they come down hard on people who act on those truths.

          I’m with Glenn W–we’re just going to have to suffer the inevitable crash, and meantime educate as many as quickly as possible to rebuild the Republic.

          • Ahh, the REBUILD…and that is where the real battle begins. No way I can fathom that the continued stupid Political-Economic decisions that are being made have any end goal other than to collapse the system for good and to rebuild it as a “Utopian” system – whereas we Americans still actually think and hold out hope that the Constitution and rule of law will be restored. Both Parties seem to be working towards this same goal – IMHO

          • Methylamine is absolutely right – the “Sovereign Citizen” gig is a sure path to incarceration or suicide by state administered lead poisoning. Your best bet is to do everything you can to avoid the legal meat grinder. The judge is the personification of the system and jurors are picked for ignorance. I understand in some cases now the prosecutors actually ask if you are “a fully informed juror” or similar, to weed out people like us who may use the system to restore a little liberty here and there. Can’t have the barn yard animals (take a lesson from Animal Farm) challenging the pigs and humans, now can we?

            What we can do is learn the loopholes in their own “Code” and use them. Civil rights violations are a biggy, even if you’re not in a protected demographic class. Remember: the apostle Paul was a Roman citizen and was afforded certain civil rights. When they tried to shut him down before his work was done, he played that card. His ties to the system at least delayed his execution long enough for him to accomplish his job here. We are (in the eyes of the system) U.S. citizens (whether we like it or not) and the Babylonian laws we live under now do afford some protection if you learn how to use them.

            We also need to know how to use the literal truth. If you can answer questions truthfully without revealing your true beliefs, you may get on the jury for that poor dude that got caught with some weed. Then you can at least hang the jury, if you can’t convince the other jurors that the law is wrong. It’s like running a ball of twine through a lawnmower blade. It won’t ultimately stop the system, but they will have to stop long enough to untangle the mess.

            So don’t think for one minute I was advocating the Nom de Guerre – Sovereign Citizen – Gold Fringed Flag – approach. The judge will laugh your ass right out of the courtroom and right into the pokey. This is especially true when tax revenue is involved. There’s a long line of principled, well intentioned dumbasses that, no matter how “right” their position was, have found that out the hard way. So by all means learn from their mistakes.

          • Yep, there’s no winning by being right. I’ve found that out on two occasions. Judges simply do not even care about what the law says. It doesn’t matter what the written law is, it is what those with the guns believe it to be. And forget your fellow man standing up for you, he’ll believe the government “official”.

            The gold fringed flag crowd really are very naive people. Just say they are correct for the sake of argument. They think if they go into court and make it clear they understand the scam they’ll be let go. It’s so naive. Those operating the scam are people when they aren’t useful idiots they are criminals. The useful idiot will laugh and find him guilty and the criminal will laugh and find him guilty. Even if he did everything right because he’s not a member.

            The system effectively does not have rules. Just people who make, use, and ignore rules as they see fit for their own benefit.

  4. Ahhhhh, civil disobedience; it doesn’t get anymore American than that! Here in Missouri, they have mandated that you transfer the title within 30 days of the sale or they tack on a penalty when you do. The seller is also required to notify the Dept of Revenue (we don’t have a DMV, at they’re honest about what they’re doing to us) too. So tecnically leaving the debt field blank would have to be by mutual agreement and most clovers won’t do it I’ve found.

    I own four older vehicles, so I’m very familiar with the screwing you’re taking Eric. I don’t know how things are in the Communistwealth of Virginia now (I left 11 years ago), but out here you have to take in your inspection receipt, county tax receipt and current insurance card to even get plates. Nobody slips through the net if they can help it.

    If you can get a bill of sale from your friend for that bike conveying all rights and title to you, I’d do it. The “Title” we like to rely on, is actually a “Certificate of Title” and if you read the fine print on the back, there are some nasty warnings and restrictions from the state. Apparently what happens is the manufacturer of a new vehicle provides an origination document to the dealer. When the dealer sells the vehicle (or sooner), that document goes to state. They issue you a Certificate of Title, but retain actual title which gives them the right to tax you to death. Otherwise, you would have the original title (not a “Certificate”), you would be traveling in or on your private conveyance over the public roads, which is a right and therefore non-taxable. It can be done, but since Officer Friendly only understands administrative law, the periodic detainings tend to very inconvenient even if you win.

    • Wow. Missouri’s worse than VA – no easy thing!

      I’ve read at length about the “certificate of title” vs. actual title and would love to be able to get large numbers of people to assert their rights and opt-out of the “contractual arrangement” they’ve unknowingly or involuntarily entered into with the state. Imagine if a few hundred thousand people asserted ownership rights, of their vehicles and property – and openly refused to accede to the state’s assertions that it rather than they “owns” these items. It would be like that scene in V For Vendetta, when the mass of people finally awaken to V’s message and come out in support of him – instantly delegitimizing and thus, defeating, the tyrannical state.

      • I agree about getting people to opt out. There is indeed safety in numbers and we could probably find thousands nationwide that would participate, but……

        That’s thousands out of 310 million that are scattered all over the place. So unless we really do establish a “Galt’s Gulch” where we can provide mutual defense against dictatorial imposition, the best you can do is operate “under the radar”.

        Even if we were to band together in a place like James Wesley Rawles’ “American Redoubt” and send the “rev’a’newers a’packin”, I suspect the drones would soon be flying the unfriendly skies over our neighborhood. Our dear leaders have shown no moral compunction regarding the wholesale slaughter of innocents at home or abroad. Unlike the stock market, this is one case where past performance is a pretty good indicator of future activity.

        On a more positive note, there are other things we can do. I find that approaching our state representatives is moderately effective. They don’t have the constitutency the federal pols do, so they tend to listen more. Here in Missouri we also have term limits (which I don’t necessarily agree with), but it does tend to temper their decisions since they know a lengthy political career is out of the question. This goes back to the 10th amendment initiatives around the country; political decentralization and a return to state sovereignty is a viable non-violent approach that seems to be catching on. So spread that idea to friends and state politicians alike.

        Even though I realize (to paraphrase Madison) that a democracy’s death is as violent as its life is short; sometimes a referendum works. Back in 2004 we had a ballot initiative here in Missouri to amend the state constitution so that road taxes go exclusively to roads (a totally strange concept I realize). It passed! So at least the gas tax I pay goes into highways, bridges and roads (the wastefullness of MODOT notwithstanding), instead of welfare recipients and politicians’ pet projects. The referendum is not a perfect process and doesn’t always work, but it is a start.

      • Welcome to neo-feudalism. We’ve fulfilled eight or nine of the ten planks of the Communist manifesto:
        The Ten Planks.

        This is completely by design. I’m betting one or both of you (Boothe and Eric) have read Carroll Quigley’s Tragedy and Hope. See also the Georgia Guidestones, then cross-reference the UN Agenda 21. The combination makes Brazil, Brave New World, and 1984 seem positively utopian.

        The solution? Just what you guys (and I) am doing:
        Educate every one you can.
        Opt out in every way possible.
        Passive resistance.
        Remain free in your own mind; they can’t yet take that away, though they’re sure trying through their pharmaceutical arm.
        Buy physical gold and silver.
        Teach your children about liberty. When they’re older, teach them how to recognize sociopaths.

        I love the ideal of agorism, but I realize complete statelessness is a dream that will take many decades or even centuries to accomplish. In the meantime, returning to a true Republic–and keeping the sociopaths out of government–will be a big step in the right direction.

        Incidentally speaking of sociopaths–the recent execution* of Awlaki is the crossing of all Rubicons. It’s now official; total tyranny is here, it just hasn’t achieved the magnificent numbers of its forbears in Russia, China, Germany, Cambodia, et al.

        * if you can believe he’s really dead *this* time, as opposed to the other two or three times. After all, it would be a shame to actually kill such a valuable CIA asset.

      • While I don’t doubt there is some government scam in the title process somewhere, I can’t find it in the law. The certificate of title is just a document that comes from some party, such as state government, but could be a private company, that shows who the owner of the property is. As far as I can tell there’s no ‘real title’ except perhaps possession of the property. Just a document from the manufacturer that says who they sold it to which is the proof provided to whatever body issues the certificate of title.

        Government doesn’t require some sort of round about scam of ownership or contract to tax the crap out of us. They could just do it. But that would require an overt tyranny where they bust into homes to inspect like the crown did with the stamp act. So instead they do it a round about way to prevent boobus from rebelling.

        They make themselves the monopoly provider of title certificates, then they make it the law to title property, then they use the information to know where stuff is so they could tax it. Same end result, much less work, boobus is none the wiser.

        Illinois has taken things a step further in recent years. The titles to my most recent vehicle acquisitions have a form that the seller is supposed to send to the SoS upon sale to report whom the vehicle was sold to. Under penalty of law I’m sure.

        • Brent, I don’t think you will find it in the law. The scam is that the state makes themselves a third party to what would otherwise be a private transaction between buyer and seller. Like I pointed out above, the state of Missouri has done the same thing as Illinois: the seller is required by law to rat out the buyer within 30 days of the sale. Same thing with boat trailers, house trailers and (I’m not sure, I’ll check my titles) probably boats and even outboard motors (yeah, they title and register the boat and motor separately here).

          It’s just like state sanctioned marriage. The state is the third party in it. If want a divorce, you don’t go back to the church where you were married. The church (if it were doing its job), would encourage you to work things out with your spouse, especially if there are kids involved and only grant you a divorce under the most dire circumstances. Enter the state in the form of the courts and its officers and get out your checkbook! Worse yet, if you’re male and middle class forget having any rights either.

          There’s no secret conspiracy. The state produces nothing it only takes. Any services it provides could be provided by the private sector more efficiently for less money. The whole title, registration and licensing system is nothing more than a way for a group of people that couldn’t carry our tools, to extract money from us and control us. Just let the insurance companies handle it all. They have a vested interest in making sure the roads and my fellow drivers are safe. They’ll actually do something for me if the worst happens, but the state won’t. Why should I pay the state too?

          We still have the right to travel in our private conveyances over the public roads. The state will grudgingly let the most hard core of us do it when we force the issue. But they want that money and our compliance so bad, they make it bloody miserable for all who try and get caught.

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