In “Third World” countries – the ones Americans take comfort in making fun of – they just take your money.
The cops, I mean.
No pretext, just hand it over.
And now, here.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol is using a gadget called an Electronic Recovery and Access to Data Machine (ERAD – god, how the state’s thugs love their acronyms) to simply vacuum whatever money you happen to have on a prepaid gift card. The machine accesses your data – like a card reader at the cashier of any store/restaurant where you just bought something – and takes it.
All of it.
Without your having “bought” anything.
Much less having been convicted of committing a crime.
These thugs – literally, in the historic sense (see here about the infamous Thuggee Cult of India) simply steal whatever they wish, using threats of lethal reprisal to assure the cooperation of their victims, who are legally forbidden to defend themselves.
This is an outrage for which there are no words.
Screams are the only appropriate response.
And, perhaps, something more.
It may be time for that – god help us.
Mind, there is no conviction – or even accusation. Merely the thug-in-costume’s assertion that you – his victim – seemed (to him!) to be behaving “peculiarly.” Because no reasonable person would ever feel the slightest bit nervous and defensive, having just been waylaid by an armed thug with the legal power to simply strip him of his possessions and possibly his life, if he objects in any way.
How about women who “seem nervous” when confronted by a man who steps out of dark alley and throws a few questions their way?
We are truly through the Looking Glass. And it does not look good.
The chief thug – a creature calling itself Oklahoma Highway Patrol Lt. John Vincent – bared its fangs as follows”: “We’re gonna look for different factors in the way that you’re acting… we’re gonna look for if there’s a difference in your story… “
Not the italicized portions (leaving aside the usual illiteracy).
The creature adds:
“If you can prove that you have a legitimate reason to have that money it will be given back to you.”
I italicized the works. Do you savvy?
It is up to you to prove to the thugs that you’ve not committed a crime. That what you have is rightfully yours … not according to any defined/objective standard but according to how they feel about it…. or they’ll just take it and so much for due process or even common decency.
How does one prove that the $100 (or the $10,000) they have with them is “legitimate” to the satisfaction of a thug-with-a-badge who is the sole arbiter of what constitutes “legitimate”?
What about this hoary old business of having to establish that a person stole something before the state can steal from him?
Jesus Christ! Things have officially gotten Out of Hand.
It appears that the only safe way to travel in the land of the “free” is with no more than $20 in your wallet and leave the credit/debit cards at home.
Do not travel with prepaid gifts cards for the kids.
Something is more than slouching toward Bethlehem. Something is – I hope – about to rise in a rictus of rage. This cannot be allowed to go on.
Of course, it’s really nothing new.
The thugs-in-costume all around the country have been just taking people’s cash for years – the holding of “too much” or “excessive” cash by the victim being the only pretext necessary under the law to simply take it.
That is, to steal it.
Because Drugs (or just because).
But this is an escalation.
Most people don’t – out of prudence – normally carry large amounts of cash. Not that this justifies stealing it. But one can – one could – reduce the risk of being robbed blind by a costumed thug by not carrying cash.
But it’s damn near impossible to leave your house without cards in your wallet. To pay for things without needing to carry large amounts of cash.
Now that’s not safe to do anymore, either.
Also, these ERADs cost money – your money, as the taxpaying sheep who “helps” fund their acquisition by the thugs-in-blue. Now comes the incentive to use the new toys – to make as much use of them as possible.
To make them pay.
Each one reportedly costs $6,600 and the company that makes them scores 7.7 percent of the “revenue” generated. Policing for profit.
The mind boggles.
Consider that by using license plate scanners (read about that here) the thugs can immediately know whom to target – based on their bank accounts. Which are in your name. Like your car is. And your license plate number is tied to your Social Security number (which is never to be used for purposes of identification) … which is tied to your bank accounts…
You are aware that such information is “shared” with the state… aren’t you? That banks are legally obliged to inform the state if you withdraw a certain “large” amount of cash from your account?
Is it beyond the realm of plausibility to imagine what the state might do with such information?
When you buy prepaid cards, Uncle Knows.
Uncle also Knows what’s in your checking and savings account, too.
And now he knows he can just Hoover either or both – just because he can.
It is obscene.
But, “brave” and “free” Americans do not seem to object.
Perhaps they ought to.
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It should be very plain for anyone with even a few working brain cells that cops have become nothing more than legalized thieves. However there are plenty of clovers out there who love their cops along with “support our troops” which always brings up the gag reflex.
It’s all about stealing your money….one way or another. The cities are in on it. The crooked cops are in on it. The courts are in on it. The crooked judges are in on it. The corrupt D.A. is in on it. It doesn’t matter anymore we are all on the hit list to be robbed at gunpoint, either by the IRS or the cops.
CHP Vincent is just another pig looking to rake in the cash so he and his buddies can party down at some motel they stole (civil asset forfeiture) along with hookers, Jack Daniels and coke.
Why do such people become cops? Do they hate other people? Do they get off pushing people around? Bullies, low class idiots with even lower IQs who probably had to suffer being bullied in school. Others who obviously have a predisposition towards violence and authoritarianism who wish to do so in a “legal manner”.
Maybe the best way is to avoid going to Oklahoma. A nationwide boycott of that miserable, wretched state is ion order.
Besides there’s nothing in that redneck state worth anything anyway.
Time To Elect A Walking Revolution
Are you a revolutionary? Take a look around… things are pretty bad for Liberty and all signs point to much worse. Any Libertarian that believes there is time to dip a toe in is mistaken. It is time to storm the castle.
If you’re confused about what government is. Consider that they offer a sum of money for a human scalp. Just like the Predator and his hunting trophies. They are inhuman to the core.
When the US went off the gold standard, the unspoken truth is, they went back on the scalp standard. It is your hide now that backs up their fiat currency.
Never turn your back on one of them for a second. Always be on the ready to flee. Hopefully there’ll be a chance for a Chinese style cultural revolution here, and if so, don’t hesitate to smash and burn it all until they’re nothing remaining of their evil except ashes and dust.
The Arrival of the Dutch to Manhattan ca. 1609
We are fishing at the mouth of the great river (the Hudson River) when we see something swimming or floating on the water—a thing we had never seen before. This was in a time before we knew of white men. . We quickly return to shore to tell our people what we have seen. Though they see the same thing, there is no agreement as to what it might be.
Some think it a very large fish, others an animal and still others a great house. Word is immediately sent by way of runners and water men to all the tribes and chiefs in the area. It is decided that what they we are seeing is either a house or boat in which the great Mannitto (Supreme Being) resides, and that he has come to pay us a visit.
By now all the chiefs of the different tribes are assembled on York Island (Manhattan Island) and decisions are made as to how to best greet our important guest. Meat is provided for a sacrifice, the women cook special foods, idols are made presentable and a great dance is planned. All this is done to please the great Mannitto in case he is angry with us.
We are quite scared and we appeal to our conjurors and chiefs to provide us comfort and advice. Then we hear news from some runners that it is indeed a great house filled with people whose skin is different form ours and whose dress is unknown. One is dressed in red and assumed to be the Mannitto himself.
We are hailed from the ship, but in a language that we do not understand. Some of us are fearful and wish to run into the woods, but others tell us to stay as not to offend our visitors and besides they may seek us out and kill us. The house stops and a smaller canoe brings the red man and some of his people with him.
Some men stay behind to guard the canoe. The man in red and two others walk into a circle formed by our chiefs and greetings are exchanged. A small cup is filled with an unknown liquid that Mannitto drinks.
The glass is filled again by his servants and the Mannitto hands it to one of our chiefs, but he does not drink from it nor do any of the others. Finally, one brave man among them decides that it would be very dangerous and impolite to refuse the offering.
He drinks the liquid knowing that it might be his end. Quickly, we see him begin to stagger and fall. A sleep ensues, but when he wakes up, the man declares that he has never felt as happy as he did after drinking from the cup.
Now everyone is drinking and wanting even more. Once this drinking frenzy is over, the white man with the red clothes who had retired to his house, returns and gives us gifts of beads, axes, hoes and stockings.
Through the use of signs we understand he will return next year, but that then he may require a little land to plant a garden. This is the story my great-grandfather told me about the coming of the white man as he saw it.
The following year the white men did return. But the whites laughed at the natives as they had used the hoes and axes to ornament their breasts and the stockings to carry their tobacco.
Once they were shown the proper use of these tools they also laughed at themselves for having been so ignorant. They were now told that the white man wished to stay among them and would like a bit of land. The request was for no more than the hide of a bullock would cover. This they agreed to readily.
But then, the whites took a knife and cut the hide into one long, thin, continuous strip that once unraveled and joined at the ends, encompassed a large area. They knew that they had been outwitted, but as they had plenty of land they did not desire to contend with them over such a small piece of it. Of course, we know now that that was just the beginning.
Is the manufacturer of these readers the same one that makes red light scameras? Who are these maggots that come up with all these highway robbery schemes and then get the states fascist enforcers to do the heavy lifting while they sit back and get a steady income stream. Better than any protection racket the Mafia ever came up with; we need to identify these companies and firebomb their factories out of existence.
The principle (that the government can just take what it wants) is the key thing. And it has been established in principle for decades. It is merely expanding now.
Consider: The IRS can defrock you of your property simply by accusing you of some tax “crime.” It does not have to prove the “crime” before it may legally seize your property.
Under asset forfeiture laws, the cops can simply take (and keep) cash you may have on your person if they believe it is a “large amount” and if you cannot prove to their satisfaction that it was not acquired “illegally.”
It’s of a piece with the acceptance in principle of “taxation.” If the can legally just take your money without your consent, merely by agreeing among themselves to do so (i.e., voting to do so) for whatever reason then they can do so for any reason.
The sluices are open.
Quoting: “these thugs” – “outrage” – “screams are the only appropriate response” – “jesus christ, things have officially gotten out of hand” – “waylaid by an armed thug” – “it is obscene”
Eric, you’re holding back… why don’t you tell us what you REALLY feel ?
I try hard to keep it civil. But it is becoming harder to do that. Consider the sort of person who could be involved in this; let alone the person who cheerleads for it.
Such people can and will commit far worse outrages, if given the opportunity – the go ahead.
The people who will absolutely (happily) come to your door and demand you surrender your guns, for example.
More to the point – F the guns issue – is that they will happily engage in The Purge.
They’ll happily hide their weapons and cheerfully KILL YOU IN COLD BLOOD.
At such point, and by extension even beforehand, outright murder becomes self-defense. Proactive defense, aka warzone, is not only justified, but necessary.
I’m losing my patience, too. It’s open season, and there’s no bag limit.
But if you remove the enforcers and whatever elites you can find, it quickly becomes an outright war… At least that, most people can understand, and will realize they MUST act, MUST choose a side.
Despite the problems, I’d prefer that to the total lie of current society. Open enemies we know how to handle. False Friends can do far more damage without notice…
But most people are too stupid to understand or care. So it falls to those of who are free thinkers, and again, this is part of their Project Insight. The only advantage of this method is, they shoot themselves in the foot, because they’re busy destroying means of production. That means no metadata to determine who IS a threat to their hegemony.
But it also means no one has the RESOURCES to BE a threat.
Where The Purge fails as a plausible thought experiment, is in its assertion that without laws, most people want to murder someone.
People want to take what isn’t there’s. They want to indulge in “vices” without fear. They want to go places they’re unable to go because of oppressive Visa and Identification laws. They want to free themselves of responsibilities imposed on them by endless laws.
In a Purge scenario, murder would not be very common at all. Because why not use the day to get rich quick. To change your day to day system to something more favorable and desirable.
The Purge only appeals to a certain demographic that has been filled with fear and has no real knowledge about what people are like “out there,” beyond the streetlit well planned suburbs and heavily patroled Bourgeiose Zones.
A demographic without much imagination or independent thought, that quickly dismisses such paperthin propaganda anarchy smear theater for the weak tea party for toddlers that it is.
I’m not so sure it’s a failed thought experiment. The second installment, “The Purge: Anarchy,” actually explores that angle. Turns out the Government is the one running and orchestrating the Purge, and in fact is sending around hit squads to wipe out the civilians. Not enough people went into murderous rages, so the Gov’t needed to “help” control the surplus population (… of useless eaters, by their definition, which means of course, anyone NOT in the Looter class of Atlas Shrugged… Which the Purge and Atlas films don’t explore.)
I’m not sure I agree with the lead-in to your second paragraph, even.
“People want to take what isn’t there’s.” Maybe sometimes. Maybe I’m just not TOO covetous? I don’t know. While I think the rest is fair, I don’t see the lead-in applying to the rest. All the rest are about Statutes, written or informal (E.G., some places in Newark, White Boy don’t go. Would that not be akin to a Visa question?)
As to the certain demographic, well – maybe.
But if you make the Savages on the one hand, and the Rogues leader Luther the other? (The Warriors) Civilized man must defend himself. He need not be aggressive, but that is only because of the framework of The Purge. Remove the return to civilized society, given that you’ve normalized aberrant behavior, and Civil Man must resort to uncivil means for defense. Shoot first, in other words. And for all time, until civilization is established again. (Note civilization doesn’t require a formal government, only informal honorable agreements. E.G., don’t commit murder. Simple, straightforward. Allows for self defense, including lethal force. Respect for property, I.E., thou Shalt Not Covet. No taking what isn’t yours. )
Now, the problem is, there are a lot of people who don’t know what to do with freedom. I think perhaps you’ve been lucky enough to NOT deal with them. I haven’t been so lucky; and they operated within the “legal” framework of the school, and the family, and (not personal, but well documented) the church and the government. So I’m probably less optimistic. Doesn’t mean right, but you always have issues in such crises. To bolster your argument, for example, the blackout in NYC in the… 60s, was it? Crime was supposedly very low. During the blackout, mind. Afterwards, I believe it went back to normal (I had a secondhand source, but the aftermath details we didn’t discuss.)
Would it stay that way? I mean, we’ve got a lot of people tied in knots these days, because what they want to do – while not criminal in the normal sense – has been declared illegal. E.G., speeding on an empty road. Doing donuts in an empty parking lot. Etc. Just, basically, “having fun.”
The films are pretty much “fear pron”, but it doesn’t mean there are no immoral people, correct? This merely presupposes that a large portion of the population (though not enough to make a difference in culling the herd, as explored in #2) want to engage in criminal acts. Murder is the most obvious one, but what was noted…? The ones MOST interested in outright murder were the wealthy and the elites…. the impoverished might kill as a side action, but that wasn’t their point. Theft and maybe rape were (Though a big deal was made about the attempted rape. I cannot see how someone could ever look another human being in the face after that, but – I’m not truly psychotic, I guess.)
I think, perhaps, that you are saying something like what I have phrased elsewhere, though:
“The Purge only appeals to a certain demographic that has been filled with fear and has no real knowledge about what people are like “out there,” beyond the streetlit well planned suburbs and heavily patroled Bourgeiose Zones.”
Sounds suspiciously like, “We’re going to pass a law that’ll only affect those n-ggers over there.” (Choose example: Punk rockers, anarchists, pagans, Jews, blacks, Hispanics, Asians, smokers, gun owners, drivers, etc.)
But we is all niggers now, the law is applied to everyone without mercy…
Aside from our discussion, the point also is to induce fear in a safe environment, and it’s used for date movies for that very reason – as the heightened heartbeat and sense of tension is meant to build attraction, the effects are attributed to who you are there with. Serves as bonding. 😉
Better to take her on the track, drive “like a lunatic” and get her heart pounding, I think. Or maybe mountain climbing or kayaking. Hang gliding, skydiving. 😉
Same effect, and you’re actually DOING something, not watching. But most people can’t afford more than watching…. 🙁
“These thugs – literally, in the historic sense (see here about the infamous Thuggee Cult of India) simply steal whatever they wish, using threats of lethal reprisal to assure the cooperation of their victims, who are legally forbidden to defend themselves.”
Eric, I’m a little disappointed by the lack if info you’re supplying. This is an incredibly vague description of whatever it is these cops are doing.
Are they remotely reading the cards of everybody, and stealing the funds of anyone they suspect of a “crime?”
Are they forcing certain people to physically hand over their cards? What are the criteria for whom they select?
Keeping funds in the bank is the exact opposite of having “suspicious” cash. It’s exactly what the overlords want. So how can that possibly be deemed “suspicious?”
Whatever they are doing sounds pretty bad….maybe even extremely bad. But you haven’t given us enough facts to know exactly what we’re supposed to be mad about.
Could you please supply some details?
It’s an “upgrade” of their now-routine seizures of cash. Say you get pulled over for whatever; they discover you have “too much” cash on your person – and simply take it. Now it’s up to you to prove the cash was not obtained “illegally.”
Same deal – only now they have the technology to filch debit cards and gift cards.
The debit cards being targeted in these cases are of the prepaid variety (Walmart MoneyCards and the like), not the typical debit card received when opening a checking account at a bank. It’s a natural escalation of cash confiscation in the ongoing War on Drugs. Never fear, though. At the rate this is going, I wouldn’t be surprised to be reading in the near future about the Oklahoma Highway Patrol trying to justify the need to confiscate expensive jewelry and gold teeth as well. The road pirates need to keep the funds rolling in to justify their fat pensions.
Yup. It scales.
If they can legally just take your cash, without the hassle of having convicted you of anything, why can’t they take your debt/credit card, too?
Mike, where the hell have you been? You are so far lost as to what’s going on I must surmise you don’t want to know. You’re a clover and want to remain that way. There is nothing new about any of this. So the last 20 years you’ve sat with your head in what sand? Really. I’m not trying to be unkind, it’s just not plausible you’re so uninformed. Only those who wish to not see truly don’t.
“Mike, where the hell have you been? You are so far lost as to what’s going on I must surmise you don’t want to know. You’re a clover and want to remain that way.”
Fascinating. In your mind, my asking Eric for clarification and More Facts means I “don’t want to know.”
I’m afraid you’re too far gone down the Rabbit Hole to ever be a useful player in the Freedom Movement. Just throwing tantrums like an infant without even knowing why you’re upset…..just hoping Mommy or Daddy will fix whatever it is it if you scream loud enough.
I apologize Mike, it was a tough day and I was out of sorts. I realize not everyone is tuned in on the latest highway scam. We truckers are a great source of rumor but this one is true.
I wish somebody could fix those goddamn interstates made for half the traffic and those idiots in fourwheeler who don’t know how to blend in with bumper to bumper 80 mph traffic.
Then the dumbass I was hauling rock for tried to stop me on top of a hill and I couldn’t so he just let me go. I had to go 10 miles to turn around so I could accommodate him and when I got back, he’d changed his mind so I had to go 6 miles in the other direction and come back the way I had originally come to begin with. Next load I come in the way he wanted but he’s now decided against that so I find a place to turn in and back down a quarter mile to him. I understand that’s my problem, not yours.
That’s OK. Gotta be stressful driving a big rig and dealing with customers.
My point is that a problem Must Be precisely defined, in order to discover and implement the best solutions.
Should I Try Credit Card Churning?
I Was Detained By The Police For Manufactured Spending
Why Manufactured Spending is like Russian Roulette
Oklahoma is just the beginning. You know this is coming soon to all 50 states.
At which point being in “law enforcement” will become too dangerous an occupation to make it palatable for all but the most hopelessly bloodthirsty and braindead of simians.
Funny. I would have guessed that OK would be an area that would give some push-back on something like this, and spare some of the rest of us.
I’ve long since given up on the notion that one state or region of this country is any more likely than any other to resist tyranny (witness the spectacularly failed “Project Free State” in New Hampshire). Evidence screams that Clovers are the majority in all of them. That’s why I’m now consumed with the malignant attitude that the overwhelming majority of the inmates of this open-air prison/insane asylum deserve to suffer under a thieving, murdering tyranny like that which is metastasizing in Oklahoma.
Now if only there was a way to relocate the rest of us to some enclave of sanity and human decency …
I tried to post several links that have to do with the nafta I-69 superhiway we thought was dead in 2009 but no, the taxpayers are paying billions to make the politically connected richer.
Word Press is evidently their censor since it won’t let me post links to the articles that address several of the aspects and routes and money being spent. Fuck you word press.
It ought to let you through (you’re a registered/approved user here)… if it’s not working, let me know and I’ll try to figure out what’s wrong.
eric, it’s not like I didn’t expect it. It’s happened many times before and to many others. It’s frustrating since this is more of what we dread and suspect regarding the state, fedgov, etc. Ha, both WP and the Trans-Texas corridor.
You aren’t using the latest version but if it’s like new versions of a great deal of software it might only be worse. I can recall the internet when you were at the mercy of every shyster out there, before “protection” controls. Now you can’t find the shysters because they write the code for the gunvermin.
“the taxpayers are paying billions to make the politically connected richer. ”
But to tell most people this is what government is doing and they’ll think you some sort of nut. Meanwhile their neighbors the cop, the teacher, and the sewer worker all have great big pensions and he’s got the 401K that goes bust every so many years.
I’m reaching the same point liberranter. People deserve it. They just do. They ask for it. When warned of what will happen they lash out at those warning them. They deserve it. They obviously want it.
I’ve read that this is the point-of-view held by the authors of the infamous Protocols; also, supposedly, Napoleon … i.e., that the masses are cattle. Barely conscious animals.
Like you, I concede there is some truth to this. Perhaps more than just some.
Still, and even so, I hold out for the exceptions. Which also exist.
It may be a fool’s errand, on the macro level.
But I just can’t abide the idea of becoming one of the (ahem) shepherds. A farmer. Even though I know I could be.
I’ve had opportunities.
Ask me about it sometime.
I just haven’t got the stomach for it. I suppose people like you and I are defective in a way.
Like a lion who decides not to eat meat.
I understand fully. I don’t care to be someone’s master. I could be if I had the stomach for it as you wrote. I understand tricks by which people are dominated and stolen from. It’s not that I don’t know how to do it and have them begging me to steal more from them and worship me for making the sun come up in the morning it’s that I have zero desire for it and even a little of it makes me sick to my stomach.
I am becoming one of the theory that we live in a simulation. A very complex role playing game of sorts. In this game however it is very difficult to tell the player characters from the non-player characters. Along these lines what if most people are just non-player characters? That is there isn’t anyone behind them, they are just played by the computer that runs all of this? This would explain a lot.
It certainly would explain why it is nearly impossible to educate people. Some individuals here and there maybe, but not people. Why things haven’t changed for six thousand years, because the NPCs are still the same.
Maybe the scoring in this game is what we do to and with the NPCs? Is it we who get the high score for the pointless attempts to educate them so they can help themselves or is it the so-called elite who engineer them and extract wealth from them?
Anyhow I’d like to think the masses are unconscious because of the schools, social conditioning, and so on, not because they are NPCs or animals. But really nothing indicates they ever had the capability to be conscious. Just individuals here and there were put to sleep, but most were apparently already that way.
There is no mass wake up like in the sci-fi movies that’s for sure.
Eric made the comparison:
“I just haven’t got the stomach for it. I suppose people like you and I are defective in a way.
Like a lion who decides not to eat meat.”
Eric, everyone, I’d posit a different angle.
Think Wendigo. The Endless Hunger.
The Lion is normal. He eats when he must, and something else must die for that. We use money, but it’s similar enough: we exchange value.
More accurate to your intent, I think, is to presume the lion kills for Sport. Kills for the joy of killing.
I believe that is where the “sheepdogs” truly are. They just don’t realize they’re rabid. They refuse to acknowledge the Shepherd is a glutton, and understand that they too can be eaten….
We are more like the lion or the wolf, who will hunt when he needs.
They want to see the world burn, they just cannot be honest with themselves about their true motivations.
Would you agree?
Watched the full Atlas Shrugged film trilogy over the weekend. (Never managed to read it. Too dry and slow.)
But you sound like those On Strike…
And I think it’s the best way of doing things.
Right now, though, TPTB WANT everyone on strike.
Clover doesn’t want to think at a job, or take responsibility….
And the thing with mental illness (cloverism) – it IS contagious. Pavlovian conditioning, of a sort.
My woman’s in counseling now, and on antipsychotics (“mood stabilizers.”) She’s almost human…. (It hasn’t changed the core problem, she’s busy trying to be The Man. Just who she is…)
But it’s like Stockholm Syndrome, you BECOME that very thing, identify with the controller, the Egoist, who becomes the center of your life.
E.G.: Control Freak MUST control EVERY detail. (Perfectionism, and usually some violent control methods are applied. Further, emotionally violent outbursts put that person back in the driver’s seat.)
This unbalanced mentality then upsets everyone else’s equilibrium….
And when they’re NOT being controlled, these other people then follow the same sort of “rage/explode/control achieved” cycles. And if you grow up with it…? Can’t even see it, there’s NEVER been a sane starting point… And try learning new behaviors as an adult! Oy!
Funny, it took her multiple terminations over many years, plus my actions, plus her daughter’s actions, and she STILL isn’t wholly convinced she’s got to change how she behaves…
Among numerous things I find galling about this, what truly stands out is the 7.7% rake that ERAD Group gets on this. Someone has truly been greased to get such a rate. I mean one can simply go to a fucking Walmart and liquidate the value off a prepaid debit card (aka gift card) for a mere 0.07% fee — talk about rent seeking.
Now, I know about costs associated with ‘liquidating gift cards’ because, I am part of a little sub-group of credit card users known as ‘manufactured spenders’ who basically use credit cards to then go and buy gift cards from merchants where the credit card company offers a ‘category bonus’ (i.e. higher reward points than normal) and then proceed to Walmart in order ‘buy’ money orders using those just purchased gift cards (since Mastercard and Visa branded gift cards allow a PIN based transaction).
For those that don’t partake in such a hobby, this sounds bat-shit-crazy, but, I can attest to the fact that if one for example has a 5% cashback earning credit card at supermarkets, and one buys a $500 gift card for $504.95, then your entire transaction costs amount to only 1%, but you have a 5% reward, thus 4% profit which scales rather nicely — extremely nicely, as in 2nd income nicely. Plus it also gives I personally get a chance to take back some of that fucking TARP money that I involuntarily contributed to the banks via their own designed credit card system that can be easily gamed.
But, point being whether the above sounds dumb and pointless, it’s not an illegal activity, not in the least, despite the fact that one is handling very large values of gift cards and money orders, and doing things that ‘might’ look a bit ‘suspicious’ (well, since everything looks ‘suspicious’ these days, this looks even more so to the uninformed).
The whole civil asset forfeiture thing was a concern to the ‘manufactured spenders’ before, but, not really an issue because we mostly handle money orders and plastic. This is far more grave, and has a chance to snare a lot of innocent people who partake in this credit card reward gaming hobby.
Already flyertalk, fatwallet, dansdeals et all are talking about this. And not just about this being for the ridiculous self serving thugs of the State, but, additionally the fucking-sweet-heart-deal that this ERAD Group scores. Not only do they get to share in this rake, but, at 7.7%. Wow, fucking wow! Like literally 110 X the going rate of ‘gift card cash out’ methods that are easily available!!! And I still get folks who tell me that our government is not yet fascist.
mrfnuts, can you provide a link that explains in detail how this card system of yours provides a “second income”? I can see how a big spender might save lots of money by strategically using several cards and programs, but I do not see how something like that would work for a single person who only feeds and buys clothes for himself. I would also like to learn which stores that have such deals.
Brian, the concept is simple, but, the details are ever changing since banks don’t like paying out more in awards than they earn in processing fees and interest charges. When one scales to 2nd income level, it’s only going to be temporary for that particular avenue since the bank will likely close your card account using a boilerplate message and generally citing they reserve the right to close accounts for any reason (just like you yourself can close your account for any reason).
To take a very specific example (which is not available any more), American Express had a card called ‘Blue Cash’. It offered 5% cash reward (after one spent $6500 for the year) at supermarkets, gas stations and pharmacies. There was no cap to this 5% cash reward. Every major supermarket chain, drug store chain and many gas stations (7-Eleven also counting as a gas station) sells Visa and/or Mastarcard gift cards. The fee for a $500 card can range from $3.95 to $5.95. However, one can often find promotions that the supermarket may be running that negates the fee. But even without said promotions, and even taking the most expensive fee of $5.95, if one bought the $500 gift card, you’d have earned (500 + 5.95) X 5% = $25.30 in rewards from American Express. Less the $5.95 gift card fee which you can’t recover, you still have a gross profit of $19.35. Of course you still have a $500 gift card that you want to eventually get back into your bank account in order to pay your credit card bill. You can go to Walmart and buy a money order. Walmart sells money orders in values up to $1000 for a fee of 70 cents. You can actually use up to 4 debit cards (or visa/mastercard gift cards) per transaction. Ultimately use 2 gift cards to buy a money order of $999.30 ($1000 in gift cards less the 70 cent fee). Ultimately you’d be earning about $19 per $500 gift card bought, and this is the least cost effective means I described, there were subtle other avenues to get the gift card value back into your bank and/or pay your credit card bill, but, these constantly change, and, the 5% uncapped Amex Card no longer exists, precisely because many people were doing this and spending over $300K per month on that card, where AMEX was paying out cash rewards to the tune of over $15K per customer, each month. Surprisingly it lasted a year, but, ultimately it did not last forever, and AMEX cut that card from the product line, and abruptly closed customer accounts who were ‘using’ that card.
At any rate, there really isn’t a direct and detailed link with current methods of ‘manufactured’ spending because the community itself has kind of gone private with the most current methods since they don’t last very long when numerous others get in on the action. The ‘AMEX Blue Cash’ was an exception in how long it lasted. Wells Fargo also had a similar card (but the 5% rate only lasted the first 6 months — still plenty of time to earn significant cashback), but, Wells also axed that card, likewise TD had one, and also killed it.
Another famous ‘manufactured spend’ avenue was the US Mint $1 coin program. Basically the mint sold $1 coins in $250 bundles at face value, shipping included and allowed credit card payment. There was really no limit into how many you could order. This is how I figured out that $10K in coins weighs about 240 LBS (which is about all I’d fit into my backpack). Take those coins and deposit them into your bank account, pay the credit card bill, enjoy the free rewards. This ended in 2011, but, you can google: ‘US Mint $1 coin credit card rewards’, and I’m sure you’ll find more than enough info on what it was.
At any rate, to circle this back to this whole ERAD Group and El Porko, I will say for a certainty that it would not be unusual for a ‘manufacturer’ to be carrying well in excess of $30K (maybe even a hell of a lot more) in visa/mastercard gift cards (likely just on their way to a Walmart). The fact that porky is looking to filch the value of the cards has definitely made this hobby far more risky than it already was.
I’ve personally scaled back on this since liquidation means have kind of dried up (sure there’s Walmart, but, you try convincing a minimum wage employee that there’s nothing illegal going on when you buy nearly $30K in money orders, and on a daily basis), additionally the uncapped 5% reward cards just aren’t out there any more. Thus the margins are far less and the time required is more than it used to be. One wants to keep this nearer to a doctor or lawyers hourly enumeration, not that of the previously mentioned Walmart employee, that’s why I’m mostly out of this hobby now, but, never far removed just in case yet another credit card company has a marketing division that creates a rewards program that was not vetted by the loss prevention department. However, with this whole ERAD thing perhaps, I’m out for good.
How were you able to buy those Visa/Mastercard gift cards with a credit card? I’ve bought those in the past as well but I’ve always had to use cash to purchase them. It didn’t matter what store I bought them at, they would only take cash for the purchase of said cards. (maybe what you’re describing is why they’re only accepting cash now? I don’t know…)
Also, I’m quite sure it would work the same way in reverse. I’ve never tried it yet but I’m almost positive that around my neck of the woods one can only get a money order with cash. That is, we wouldn’t be able to cash in the previously purchased Visa/Mastercard gift card and get a money order for it.
Interesting stuff though. I’m glad others were able to game those bastards for some coin at least. God knows they’ve been doing it to us for quite some time…
You are correct in your observation that using a credit card to buy said Visa/Mastercard gift cards is a challenge, but, it can be done. You’ve got to find the stores with friendly management, and, it doesn’t hurt to befriend the store manager, especially if you want to buy in bulk. Nonetheless more stores are clamping down on what tender is allowed since folks started doing what I describe. One of the store managers at the Vons (part of the Safeway chain) was telling me that American Express themselves was putting pressure on Safeway to stop accepting credit card payments for gift cards — right around the time when many folks were making use of that 5% card. Additionally, since the industry has gone to ‘chip’ cards and thus shifted the liability of fraud for stores that are still using the old magnetic strip readers and many stores haven’t changed they POS systems, they’ve simply stopped taking credit card payments for various high value gift cards.
As far as buying the money orders goes, many stores accept debit card (PIN based transactions only) as payment for these. Since April 1st, 2013 nearly 100% of all Mastercard and Visa branded gift cards have the ability to set a PIN, and/or have a default PIN (in the case cards backed by metabank for example, the pin being the last 4 digits of the card number). Walmart certainly allows the purchase of money orders with debit card PIN transactions. Whether the cashier will allow you can be another matter…
Bottom line is it takes a fair bit of relationship building with the set of stores you’re visiting so that you can ‘complete the cycle’ quickly (and thus keep your hourly wage up), additionally you’ve got to have the right card rewards program backing it. Then of course there’s the associated risk — not just theft and fraud, but additionally your bank closing your credit card and refusing to pay out the points earned (that’s why you’ve also got to immediately cash out those rewards the moment they’re available, and don’t do something silly like ‘bank’ them up within the reward account). And believe me, eventually anyone that has a credit card through which they’re earning significant income by gaming the card companies own reward program will eventually have their cards shut down (I wasn’t kidding about some folks pulling in over $15K in rewards on a monthly, and banks will do this indefinitely). So, if one partakes in said hobby be prepared to also be on that banks shit list for about 5 years or more and thus unable to do any business with them. At certain times the reward is definitely worth the risk, but, I will say that 2016 has been a ‘not worth it’ year so far, IMO.
Well, hadn’t meant to get into a lot of details about this ‘manufactured spending’ stuff on a libertarian car site… but… since this is one of my other hobbies, this ERAD BS will also affect it, I thought I’d share.
Hell they don’t really even need to stop you. All they would have to do is pace your vehicle for the length of time necessary to access the information from your card, phone, etc. I see this coming down the pike quickly.
Like i mentioned in my earlier post. Time to get serious about protecting your phone, cards with RFID blocking tech.
The Hero John Vincent
“I’m there in an official capacity, but I’m still human and I’m still an OSU fan. I just have to remain very stoic.”
Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper
You will have a very small window of opportunity to call in your card as stolen and have it shut down before the donut munching bastards confiscate it. Start dialing as soon as you see blue lights.
They aren’t going to do this to Lexus and Mercedes drivers, because they know that those people are likely to be able to afford lawyers.
They’re going to do it to the people that thieves usually prey on – low income people. People who use pre-paid cards to pay their bills and do other normal tasks which require a piece of plastic these days (like renting a car or buying an airline ticket). And people who can’t afford to hire a lawyer to get their property back.
“Driving While Brown” just got even higher penalties.
Time to really push RFID protection wallets and purses.
“RFID protection wallets” – but are they scanning the card, or just using information linked to the plate# they are scanning?
They swipe the card.
The stated purpose (one of them) is to detect cards that have been “cloned”, where someone else’s mag stripe info has been placed on it. They’re looking at the card number printed/embossed on it, comparing it with the number reported by the stripe. A good match means the card is legit. A non-match means it’s time to use the stainless-steel bracelets (they’re an identity thief using stolen card info).
But of course, as we know, this device will be misused as a cash fountain via civil forfeiture laws. “Because normal people don’t carry that much money around with them.”
I’m wondering, in the unlikely event that the judge decides to return your money, if the 7.7% that the firm took also gets returned to you. It would be amusing if someone filed a RICO suit against the firm (the cops get immunity of course), where treble damages come into play.
No Chip, they do not swipe the card. The RFID is read from the card. All that is necessary is to be in near proximity of the card. A couple of years back a group of computer nerds at the Comdex hacked the video network then setup a strong RFID receiver and transmitter on the roof of the hotel. They started systematically displaying the contents of the ID card Comdex security issued the Vendors registered with the event. The group said they did this to show the actual lack of security RFID has. Mind you the receiver/transmitter was merely in the same vicinity as the issued cards. They were on the roof. The cards were on the ground floor of the same building.
Of course, the banks really think RFID cards are secure. BullSh*t. Those chip card can be read easily by ERAM. If a payment terminal can read them any RFID reader can just as long as they have sensitive enough receiver to receive the data.
For warehouse purposes RFID transmitters can be as small as the period at the end of a sentence. Doesn’t hold much data usually the vendor part number. Really ideal for inventory purposes which is what RFID is designed for. For finances and humans, it is not a good idea merely due to the fact the are not secure. A Modern RFID the size of a .25 inch stamp can literally hold you entire personal history. That is not a good thing.
Now that is ERAM is being used by the goons of he state I will be updating my protection for my check card & my phone.
BTW, the PIGS have had a different device that allows them to steal all the data from your cell phone remotely for a few years now. They don’t even have to see the phone, the device can detect any cell phone with its range and download the data automatically.
So much for being in a FREE (/sar) cuntry (misspelling intentional).
Adding the RFID chip to the card costs money (a few cents each), an expense that the pre-paid card companies won’t do since the card is essentially disposable. Same reason why the gift cards don’t have the EMV chip on them – it costs even more money to add to a card, about $1.10 each. Source: A friend works for a prepaid card issuer.
While the ERAD machine might have a RFID or EMV reader in it, the vast majority of times it’ll get used will be via a stripe, since that’s all the card itself will have.
Chip, I was referring, mainly, to the pre-paid cards that are a select denomination. Additionally, when a company is creating millions of these cards adding an RFID scales economically to being a fraction of a cent per card. As I stated before, the RFID can be the size of a period and can be added robotically. That size can hold the account number of the card and that is all they need. As far as I know all pre-paid cards have RFID with the account number of the card embedded. So no need to swipe a mag.
As you know, the take home point is the shitting all over due process. Seizing property without bothering about proving a “crime” (even a statutory one) has been committed, in a court, where the accused has the opportunity to defend himself against the accusation and where it is the legal burden of the accuser to establish guilt before any sanctions are imposed.
This is a Neimoller Moment.
If they can do this sort of thing to anyone (“drug” suspects at first…) bet your bippie it’ll be done to other people and – in time – to everyone.
This is a Neimoller Moment.
If they can do this sort of thing to anyone (“drug” suspects at first…) bet your bippie it’ll be done to other people and – in time – to everyone.
If there’s one thing The Regime can count on to its advantage, it is that the Clover majority NEVER learns a gotdamned thing from history.
That’s something that all those self-righteous people sitting at home don’t get. Laws are for *everybody* and will at some point get applied to everyone, rich or poor.
“Oh that law only applies to druggies and criminals”. No, the law got passed, and now everyone is a potential criminal. So if you’re helping your parents move, and take cash with you, you could be branded a criminal and have your money stolen.
Unless the amount of money stolen by the state is substantial, hiring a lawyer to have it returned may wind up, in most cases, being more costly than the initial loss of funds.
No doubt that’s at least part of what they’re counting on.
Driving while brown, driving while young, driving while looking like you might have a little money but not enough for a fancy new car. I see this every day. I commonly see young people, esp. non-white, handcuffed(yesterday afternoon, Colorado City city limits, I-20, young white male) while multiple pig cars are tearing it up. I might be back by that spot in half an hour and there’s no sign of the car. I know most of the impound lots and can see a couple going by. I don’t see the car there, crap, struck out but there’s plenty more fish in the sea.
And knowing people may travel with more money than usual or merchandise or drugs, this crap hits a high spot from the end of October to after the 1st of the year. DPS and locals plus crap like some Judicial District cars and sheriffs and constables team up at certain highway intersections and work hell out of it for a week. You might be running some other roads and wonder where all the porksters are and then other truckers will tell you where they’ve currently taken up collecting. Next week they’ll come to the road near you. Like fishermen, they return to the same honeyhole’s. Once good luck, they always come back to those certain places where major roads cross. It looked like every pigster in the country had taken up residence between the intersection of I-20 and US 84 last year for a solid two weeks following two weeks of US 180 and US 84. All this during the holidays. US 83 and I-20 are hot spots all the way down to where 83 and 84 split.
20 years ago it was Tye Texas, chokingly replete with every kinds of pigster you couldn’t imagine, including such as the West Texas Drug Task Force(finally went bankrupt since everybody that could avoided Tye like the plague it was),all sorts of county sheriff’s and other drug interdiction forces as well as judicial district cars plus huge amounts of DPS. They had every sort of vehicle they’d stolen imaginable so anything from pickups to sports cars to RV’s might be involved.
We simply avoided the entire section going out of our way to see the kin in Waco.
Yall may remember the notoriety that followed the incident with Kyle Petty and his motorcycle ride of hundreds across the continent to benefit children’s cancer. They wee all traveling well above the 55 mph limit when scores of DPS and other officials stopped them en masse, charging those they merely rounded up as if they’d clocked them, their reason being if they were all in a group they all had to be speeding. It went on all day and half the night trying to get tickets written for every bike that even ventured down I-20. It was followed by newspapers and radio programs from coast to coast raking the pigsters over the coals. They continued to collect bad publicity for not just months but years over it. I doubt a word of it would be mentioned now. I think the ride continued for a few more years, avoiding Tx.
Probably a lot of these things stem from plate readers. Those manufacturers are in for a good amount of profit, 10% in many places in Tx. I’ve seen cars with drivers getting jacked in one county and see the car at a courthouse/jail in another county later in the day.