Crimes That Are Not Illegal

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It’s not illegal (yet) to carry cash – in any amount – so how is it that armed government workers have acquired the power to simply steal it?

And why aren’t Americans in the streets over this?

The theft – there’s no sugar-coating it – is performed in almost exactly the same manner as an ordinary street mugging, with this one critical difference: The victim is legally forbidden the right to defend himself.   

An armed government worker approaches and uses the implied threat of lethal violence to corner his victim. Perhaps – but not necessarily – on the pretext that some statute or other has been transgressed. An out-of-date inspection sticker. “Speeding.” It can be almost anything – or nothing.

The approach is mere formality; of the same species as the thug in an alley asking his soon-to-be-victim whether he’s got a cigarette he can “borrow.”

It is not uncommon for armed government workers to “detain” people who’ve committed no violation of any statute nor given any tangible lawful reason to suspect they may have. It is enough, nowadays, for an armed government worker to claim that “someone called” – and even that excuse is not necessary, as a practical matter. 

Armed government workers are . . . armed. They are government workers. We are not permitted to ignore them. We do so at our peril.

So, you have been “detained” or “pulled over” or perhaps forced to stop your car for a random inspection by armed government workers at a “checkpoint.”

You are carrying a cash – perhaps more cash than can comfortably fit in your wallet. So you have it in an envelope in the glovebox or in a bag on the seat beside you or in a backpack, or whatever. But it’s simply cash – and regardless of the amount, it’s not illegal to carry cash.

As if that mattered.

The ugly fact is that cash in any amount is subject to “civil forfeiture” – the euphemism used by the armed government workers who perform this legalized theft.

The claim used to justify the forfeiture is that mere possession of cash – especially “excessive” amounts of cash, but not necessarily – is inherently “suspicious.”

Not of anything specifically. It is just “suspicious” to be carrying cash.

And the exact amount which is “suspicious” – vs. not  – has never been defined in law. It is defined in practice according to the whim of armed government workers.

Which means it can be any amount at all.

Usually, it is large amounts which are deemed “suspicious” by armed government workers, but because there is no particular standard, the potential victims of this business cannot know in advance how much cash, exactly, is “suspicious” and thus avoid carrying it, as a precaution to avoid forfeiture.

It is a measure of tyranny when the law is whatever the enforcers of law say it is, according to their whim. And in the United States, today, an armed government worker has merely to declare that he regards the amount of cash he finds in your possession to be “suspicious” or “excessive” and – presto! – it is no longer in your possession.

It is now in his possession.

The pretext given is that  the cash is presumptive evidence of illegal activity.

Generally, this is taken to mean (arbitrarily) illegal drug activity. But that doesn’t really matter since it is not necessary to even charge the victim with a drug or any other offense – not even jaywalking –  much less convict him of an offense, before his money is “forfeit.”

The mere presumption of illegal activity is sufficient.

Let that sink in.

No charge, no trial. No conviction. Just “forfeiture.” On the basis of a presumption that you have done something illegal. Despite your not having been adjudicated guilty of anything.

And the attorney general of the United States endorses this business. “I love that program,” exults Jeff Sessions. “We had so much fun taking drug dealers’ money . . . what’s wrong with that?”

Sessions presumably went to law school. He therefore ought to know that asserting someone is a “drug dealer” (or a “drunk” or a “terrorist”) isn’t the same thing as having proven it. And that – in civilized societies – establishing guilt generally precedes punishment.

Well, it used to.

And the really Kafkesque thing is that attempting to hide cash from these lawless predators – in a secret compartment, for example – is itself a separate crime! Even if you haven’t got any cash (or arbitrarily illegal drugs) or any other illegal thing, your vehicle is potentially “forfeit” in the event such a compartment is discovered.

In other words, you are not allowed to hide money – or even your sunglasses – from thieves.  

If we want your money, we’ll take your money.

That line is taken from the 1972 film, Deliverance. It is spoken by the deranged backwoodsman who eventually sodomizes Ned Beatty’s character.

What’s happening on the roads of America is hardly much different.

. . .

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53 COMMENTS

  1. It’s even worse than you think. Not only are the heroes stealing citizen’s cash they also have ERAD devices that they use to empty prepaid debit cards.

    http://fortune.com/2016/06/09/civil-forfeiture-erad/

    This device has the ability to drain the funds from your personal bank account through your debit card. Authorities claim that they use the device to only steal funds from prepaid cards, though the article states that there is no oversight in the use of these devices, so it will be up to the discretion of the officer to decide how it is used.

  2. Some street department guys were cleaning trash by an interstate in my home state of Indiana. A couple of them moved a discarded tire and within it found a sizeable wad of cash wrapped in plastic wrap.
    Pretty cool! we are all thinking. A nice bonus for having to do a sucky job. The employees should get to avail themselves of the old rule “finders keepers.”
    But no, the state government, decided it was “drug money” and so it goes into the state police asset seizure fund. It probably was drug money (whatever that is … IMO money is just money. I’m sure a few bills in my wallet were once “drug money” but now they are grocery money) but it seemed violently unfair to get to simply make this assumption based on circumstantial evidence. I’d argue: “PROVE it’s drug money and you can take it. Otherwise, it’s mine.”
    Sadly, I guess it doesn’t work that way even if the money is in your possession and you can produce bank statements and check stubs and W2s, etc. proving its legitimacy … let alone money found in an old tire.

  3. Yesterday the government wanted your photo.

    Today the government wants your fingerprints.

    Tomorrow the government will want your DNA.

    Next week the government will want you to register your guns

    Next month the government will confiscate your guns.

    Next year the government will send you to the concentration camps.

    How much are you going to take?

    Americans should go hardcore about resisting oppression now.

    The police state doesn’t keep you safe. Tyranny actually increases danger because it gives people a false sense of security and leads to more terrorism. The government takes away your right protect yourself, but the state won’t protect you.

    The main point of the police state is to crush resistance to the 1%

    If there is TSA groping and NSA wiretapping then why is there still terrorism?

    Americans should start wearing wigs, disguises, bandages, beards, hats, sunglasses, head scarves, and surgical masks.

    Americans should report everyone to the police as terrorists to keep the police busy and to make a mockery of the police state while waking people up about the danger of tyranny.

    Americans should get fake ID’s and sell, trade, or give away like candy copies of their birth certificates, Social Security cards, passports, and driver licenses.

    Americans should smuggle to avoid taxes and tariffs and make victimless gun possession, prostitution, drugs, licensing, and gambling laws unenforceable.

    No one rules if no obeys.

    They can’t kill us all.

    The government and illegal immigrants don’t obey the law, so why should Americans obey the law and pay taxes that they didn’t vote for?

    The USA is no longer a democracy. Everything is illegal and everyone is a criminal. Obeying the law is difficult when the laws constantly change, the laws are contradictory, and our overlords don’t even tell us what the laws are.

    Many Americans feel powerless to do anything about the expanding police state, but they can still fight back.

    What if Americans just dropped out and stopped supporting US wars, debt, and tyranny?

    What if everyone became stateless?

    https://www.tucsonweekly.com/tucson/stateless-fear-an-asylum-story/Content?oid=7271045

    What if everyone stopped using their name?

    What if everyone stopped using banks and started buying gold, bartering, and hiding cash?

    What if everyone bought farms using anonymous private shell corporations?

    https://boldanddetermined.com/how-own-your-house-car-anonymously/

    What if everyone stopped driving cars and getting driver licenses?

    What if everyone stopped using phones and the Internet?

    What if everyone stopped flying?

    What if everyone stopped paying taxes?

    What if everyone stopped joining the military?

    What if everyone stopped voting?

    What if everyone avoided being photographed?

    What if everyone took responsibility for themselves and refused to sign up for Obamacare instead of relying on the government?

    Maybe the elites want everyone to give up, but at least we won’t be paying them.

    Think.

    Pass the word.

    https://forum.full30.com/c/general

  4. The people don’t complain because
    A: THEIR money hasn’t been stolen yet and
    B: they are BEGGING the cops to “git those no good drug dealers”
    – Ignoring the fact that the Government LOVES using drugs to dumb down the population.

  5. What in the hell ever happened to “DUE PROCESS OF LAW”? As in, “Fifth Amendment?” “Bill of Rights?”

    Hellooooo… Anybody home?

    Anybody?

    • Due Process was killed by the “Patriot-Big-Brother-Act”. Read it, it’s an amazing piece of crap, ranks right up there with the Communist Manifesto and Mein Kampf!

    • Moral Panic in the so-called “War on Drugs”, which has morphed into a “war” on the American people and their civil rights, has allowed law enforcement to side-step Constitutional protections on their seizure of property.

      Anytime one hears of Moral Panic, it’s under the phrasing “We” (meaning the politicians, presuming to speak for the people” must DO SOMETHING. As if the cops are sitting on their fat asses, doing nothing but scarfing donuts, which at times I’d almost rather they do! (Solely). What it really means is, “To Hell with due process of law, to hell with civil rights, and to hell with the Constitution”, we want to enable the cops and the DAs to throw people in prison and/or take their stuff w/o the inconvenience of having to PROVE it.

      As most states and/or municipalities prefer to tax those that can’t vote them out of office (hence why they tax hotels, rental cars, and other visitors heavily, and look to tax e-commerce), this works especially to nab cash from passerby…even if they don’t have probable cause that said cash is the fruits of illegal activity! It’s mere existence justifies its seizure…oh, but guess what? If you supposedly put the funds on a card, the cops can seize THAT, and levy a charge! The motive is “Policing for Profit”, and not to actually impede any drug trafficking!

      Eric, it’s not actually illegal to have a secret compartment in your car, only to USE it for that purpose. I’d like to see some California jurisdiction actually prosecute someone for having a wad of cash in such a compartment, because then the cops have to prove that you were actually guilty of a crime and the cash is the fruits thereof! Of course, IF I’m going to the trouble to carry a huge wad of cash, and stash it in some “secret” compartment, I’d also rig a camera to preclude that the corrupt cops wouldn’t plant something to make certain they’d have a ‘case’.

      Unfortunately, so many of these blatant roadside money seizures happen because the motorist commits one of two fatal errors: (1) he voluntarily consents to a search of his vehicle and (2) he doesn’t record the encounter. Contrary to what’s commonly believed, your vehicle cannot be searched w/o a warrant unless ‘exigent’ circumstances apply (like incidental to arrest), the same probable cause that would apply to a search of yourself and/or your home still applies to your car. The cops do browbeat and bully hapless motorists into VOLUNTARILY giving permission to search, so when a wad of dough is found, it’s made so much easier. That’s the trouble with the whole “policing for profit” law enforcement scam…it’s not intended to actually interdict drug trafficking, it’s purely to raise revenue, often at the expense of those whom can least afford it and are the least sophisticated to withstand police trickery. The final irony is that the Drug “kingpins” and similar “know the drill” and how to interact with the cops; and if pinched, they have the attorneys to deal with it. Cops deliberately select those that can’t readily fight back as their victim(s), like the cowardly bullies they are.

  6. Addressing Eric’s comment again:

    “And why aren’t Americans in the streets over this?”

    I used to think that, if we were to rid ourselves of income tax withholding (a purely socialist leftover of WWII wartime wage and price controls), if the AmeriKunt people had to cut a check to Uncle Sucker every month for their full tax burden, then there would a revolution overnight.

    Then it occurred to me: they already do, in the form of squatter’s rents, otherwise known as property taxes.

    There are people in many places in the country that are paying over a $1000 a month or more in property taxes, for what amounts to middle class homes.

    And nobody cares, nobody gives a shit, they just go right on paying. Many times you can’t even pin them down as to what they are actually paying: “Oh I don’t know, it’s all paid with the mortgage”

    WHY they don’t care I guess is the bigger question.

    • Hi AF,

      My own sister willingly remains in CA, where she and her husband pay almost exactly that sum each month in property taxes alone. On a 1940s-era house that’s only about 1,000 square feet, mind. Next to a railroad track.

      • Ah, sweet Kalifornia, living the dream…..right beside the S&P. No pool, no pets. They lack $14 having 27 cents. Sing it Roger.

        30 years ago I knew several guys who’d work 6 months in Ca. and then live like kings in Tx. the next 6 not working. The guys from Georgia had even lower costs.

      • Hey Eric,

        Do they give any reason why they continue pay this exorbitant amount of tax, when you have talked to them about it?

        Or how much more they would pay before finally saying enough is enough?

        When I ask people I know in NYC or NJ or CT that question, I never seem to get a coherent answer.

        WTF people, really…SMMFH

  7. And it yet another thumb in the eye of the small business person too. Lots of these victims are small retail owners taking the cash from today’s sales to the bank at the end of the day. Only to lose it to some greedy hero. It’s literally bankrupted peoples businesses because if it, since most small businesses can’t afford to lose any capital.

    Even if you manage to recover your cash, you still have lost. From legal bills, time lost, bad press (if it hits the news, some people will think YOUR the crook).

    This is one of the worst abuses of the police state. You don’t think it will happen until it happens to you. Most of the time you will never get your property back. That is the worst part of it. It’s gone most of the time.

    • Hi Rich,

      I used to often carry cash when I went to check out a used car or bike. Several thousand bucks in an envelope. Many people do this – because cash is persuasive and if you really want to close the deal right now, there is no better way. Sellers aren’t going to accept a check (unless it’s a bank check, but you have to get that made out for an exact amount, which leaves no room to haggle when you meet the seller) and with cash, you can take the bike or car home right now.

      But doing this is now very dangerous. Not because of ordinary thugs but because the government has become a thug. If you get stopped for a traffic violation or some other thing and the cash is discovered on your person, the government thug can simply take it – it must be drug money! – and now it’s on you to prove to them it’s not.

      Maybe, eventually, you’ll get it back.

      • They do target individual people for it too. There was a carry out pizza joint near me that refused credit cards very openly. The owner would even have it on most of his ads that cards were refused (because I suppose people would show up without cash thinking they would use a card). He would say why he refused cards, that they were terrible deals for customers AND for small businesses. Which of course is 100% correct. (He didn’t want to have a ATM at his shop either, as he felt they are ripoffs too).

        Yup, they tried to lift his cash one day. He did manage to get most of it back, but it was a nail in his business.

        Had a friend I helped run a coffee shop, we had the cash picked up by armored car daily. Not because we thought we would be robbed by a private crook, we were more concerned that it would be a public crook (we had cut off freebies to heroes due to one being a nuisance). And that has a cost too, its not free to have your money picked up either.

        • Part of the cost for any small restaurant or coffee house or similar is to “feed the pigs”…not only due to the supposed “free security”, but it’s a form of small-time extortion…either give them some FREE ‘attention’, or get some UNWANTED ‘attention’.

          • We were giving away a free daily basic black coffee to hero’s, hose hero’s and military ID’s. Except for one hero, it wasn’t a problem for the most part. Most of the time they would come through the drive thru, and would order other things along with it, making it even worthwhile as a business thing.

            It was that one hero that ruined it for all of them. He thought he was god’s gift to women. He would come in every day, never ordered anything else. He would hit on the 18-30ish female good looking baristas. He was mid-late 50’s overweight etc, so none of them were going to be interested one bit. He would also do the same to the female customers too. So it was a problem.

            A problem I solved by ending the free coffees. In this case I never saw him again.

            It’s not like we needed “security”. The shop was located in a place where if we left the door unlocked at night (which would happen once in a while), nobody noticed until the next day.

            • Hi Rich,

              It puzzles me that some people think “heroes” are entitled to special treatment – and free stuff – because they “serve.” Wait. Are they volunteering for a hazardous and difficult job, at great personal cost to themselves? Or are they well-paid (by people forced to subsidize their employment) government workers – whose employment itself garnishes them with special privileges denied the rest of us?

              • For sure, it certainly wasn’t my idea to be giving away free stuff (it was his business and money) to anybody, let alone government drones. No one goes out of their way to help any privately employed person, the opposite is the case, we are all greedy bastards for wanting to keep our own money…..

                And yep, neither cop nor fireman are even in the top ten most dangerous jobs. It’s actually MORE dangerous to be a salesman then a cop.

              • It’s amazing how these government employees with no marketable skills feel they are entitled to multi-million dollar pensions while most anyone with actual marketable skills has to actually save from their own compensation to have anything for retirement.

    • THat’s why any business that deals in cash hires an armored car pickup service. Sure, it’s costly, but part of the cost of dealing in cash.

  8. Eric asked,

    “And why aren’t Americans in the streets over this?”

    Indeed, that is the $64 million dollar question.

    The only thing I can come up with is that, not only is freedom not popular, it’s very mention is dangerous and scary.

    Like explaining wet to a fish, the current crop of AmeriKunts have been so marinated in tyranny and surveillance that this doesn’t even register as being wrong.

    • It is very sad, I am afraid the American dream / ideal is long gone to Lufkin. I was reminded of this by a supposed “conservative”, gun rights supporting female. I won’t call her a woman, because that is the last thing she is. She had the temerity to tell me I was a woman hating, pro-birther, anti-christian misogynist for telling her I want Planned Parenthood to be stripped of its feeding off of our tax dollars. There was no discussion of pro life vs pro abortion nor did I tell her one way or the other which way I lean. The argument was solely about PP getting 100s of millions of tax dollars every year.

      Breathtakingly shallow, stupid, uneducated and immature. This is what we are dealing with out there.

      • Hi Bill,

        I have encountered the same… sigh. They seem incapable of grokking that the issue isn’t (as in your example) abortion per se; it is forcing people opposed to abortion to subsidize it.

    • Hi AF,

      I am perpetually appalled by the fact that so many people are ok with presumptive guilt. The “Me Too” thing is just another case in point. The mere say-so of one person that another person assaulted them is now to be taken as probative; the accused is guilty by dint of having been accused.

      This is literally Stalinist.

      And I think that’s where we are inevitably headed.

      • It’s seemingly going on world wide. That accusation (especially from a woman) is enough.

        This and the attacks on speech are only the beginning of what ends up with a pile of corpses. And the majority seems fine with it.

        • Yup. The way it just erupted is . . . interesting. These juggernauts – if not the result of deliberate conspiracy – certainly reveal how inbred the major media are; a relative handful of people employed by the same corporate entities begin squawking in unison about Topic X and whether as the result of deliberate, forethought plan or as the inevitable consequence of no independent competition to speak of – the squawking changes the course of mass opinion.

          The Little Docktor was right, alas, about the masses.

      • Hey Eric,
        Stunning, isn’t it, how fast all this happened. The seeds were sown many years ago, but they have now sprouted like weeds on hot summer day.

        One of the more unsettling things I’ve run across in reading, hollering and commenting about the ongoing crisis, was how “overwhelmed” the Gestapo was in Nazi Germany, trying to weed out and follow up on the millions of tips, accusations and snitch reports that came in daily. Contrary to popular belief, the Gestapo were not 8 foot tall Übermensch dripping blood from their fangs. They were, as is usually the case in government genocide, mild mannered civil servants, and cops, who loved their wives, played with their kids, puttered in the garden and so on.

        “Good cops” in other words.

        From Wiki:
        According to Canadian historian Robert Gellately’s analysis of the local offices established, the Gestapo was—for the most part—made up of bureaucrats and clerical workers who depended upon denunciations by citizens for their information. Gellately argued that it was because of the widespread willingness of Germans to inform on each other to the Gestapo that Germany between 1933 and 1945 was a prime example of panopticism.[101] The Gestapo—at times—was overwhelmed with denunciations and most of its time was spent sorting out the credible from the less credible denunciations.[102] Many of the local offices were understaffed and overworked, struggling with the paper load caused by so many denunciations.[103] Gellately has also suggested that the Gestapo was “a reactive organisation” “… which was constructed within German society and whose functioning was structurally dependent on the continuing co-operation of German citizens

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gestapo

        • It was quite ironic, considering that the Geheime Statzpolizei (of which “Gestapo” is an acronym) served the interests of Hitler and his Nazi regime, that so many of their members ended up working for the post-war East German COMMUNIST regime, or DDR, in their “Stasi” (Staatssicherheitsdienst), which commonly-known name reflects the German habit of acronyms.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stasi

  9. I protested against asset forfeiture (actually “legalized robbery under color of authority”) ever since it was instituted, and was called “every name in the book”, and roundly criticized for my stance on this illegal activity.
    Now that “the chickens HAVE come home to roost”, maybe something will be done to end this unconstitutional practice.

    • No. Nothing will happen.
      And we’re all still kooks. There’s never an apology when we are proven correct. What happens is that what we said would come to pass becomes a good thing or at least accepted and we’re still socially unacceptable for pointing it out.

  10. Most people, particularly the young dont see anything wrong with this, particularly as they have been force fed the idea that anyone who does have a wad of cash has done something wrong to get it. Have you ever seen a good guy with a ton of cash ? So any time they hear of this or that it can happen in theory, they actually see it as a GOOD thing….

    Always thought this was only in the west, but what recently shocked me the most is when I talk to a lot of guys in India about they recent demonetisation and the issues it has caused, they are all HAPPY and see it as a good thing, and just refuse to believe how may people have been properly screwed over by this…..

    • Hi Nasir,

      The war in cash is one of the last mopping up operations of the broader war on liberty. Cash enables us to transact business privately, to buy and sell things without government busybodies knowing about it. And, of course, cash makes taxation voluntary. And we can’t have that, eh?

      • There is a whole generation that has been brainwashed into thinking that it’s a “good thing” to have a 3rd party get a cut of every transaction and having their entire purchase history tracked and analyzed. Unfortunately a lot of older people have been hoodwinked into this line of thinking also. If you question them on it they’ll just look at you like you’re some kind of knuckle-dragging Neanderthal.

        It’s the same mentality that induces people to bring spybots such as Amazon Alexa and Google Home into their lives. Convenience and entertainment trump minor considerations such as freedom and privacy every time.

        I pay cash for just about everything and have run into situations where a store clerk does not know how to handle it and had to call in someone else to complete my purchase. Buy something fairly expensive like a set of tires with cash and they really look at you like you’re a little green man from Mars.

        There are plans being floated to put chips or magnetic strips in cash so as to track it, and to impose a “negative interest” tax so it will be reduced in value over time. (This is on top of the existing hidden tax of inflation.) No doubt an intermediate step on the way to getting rid of cash entirely.

        http://thefreethoughtproject.com/trumps-federal-reserve-track-cash/

        We are so screwed.

        • Hi Jason,

          Yeah, I read about that awhile back. It’s extremely disturbing. Now – if they succeed – we won’t even be able to live modestly as they will force people to spend, spend, spend (before the money loses its value) and go into debt as a way to maintain themselves economically.

          I think more and more of strapping on my chute and bailing out while there is still time…

          • Where to bail to is the question. We desperately need a real-life Galt’s Gulch. Unfortunately there is probably noplace where something like that could exist since there are no real-life force screens to hide such a place and keep the looters and control freaks out.

        • It’s being driven from every corner.
          But since there is no interest on savings the game that has to be played with cards is being paid to use them. Not sure how long that will go on.

          • Hi Brent,

            As you know and have written about yourself, the object is to get everyone living a hand-to-mouth existence; to make it impossible for people to accumulate capital because that frees them from much of the economic tyranny which exists. If you have a paid-for home and some money in the bank, you can live on very little income. And pay very little in taxes. Also, you are able to work the way you prefer, or even not work at all. You aren’t desperately beholden to job you have.

        • Hi Eric, Jason, Thing with me is, Ive had a credit card since I was a teenager in the 90s. Always used it for everything because of points/rewards/other benefits, infact went months without having any cash in my pocket. And it served me well in free flights and other freebees over the years.

          Till about 5 years ago, when I really started to feel it- how much we are monitored and controlled. And how much of a burden taxation is, especially on guys trying to basically get on in life…. Now, make it a point to try to pay cash at small stores at least, hoping the guy will make the right choice, and well lets say take a liberal interpretation of the tax code…..

          Strange enough however, for the past few years, been getting crazier offers on my credit cards/bank accounts. Up to 3% cash back for payments via automated bank transfer (called direct debit here), 2% for credit cards!! Given the card company charges less than this, really wondering where this is heading….

          • What they are doing is making money on the information you’re giving them when you use the card. Your buying patterns and where you buy translate into a detailed picture of you that can be sold to advertisers and other interested parties. The “cash back” and other incentives are to entice you into their web.

            Basically, the banks and card companies are buying information without expressly telling you so except in the very fine print of their terms and conditions. (I’m not selling.)

            Of course when I point this attack on privacy out to most people their knee-jerk, programmed response is “I have nothing to hide.” I swear that many would consent to cameras in their bathrooms and bedrooms if it would earn them frequent-flier miles.

            • Hi Jason,

              Yup. It’s brilliant, though – I have to hand it to them. The strategies being used are much more in line with Brave New World than 1984. The soft tyranny, the “nudge”- and appeals to infantile emotion. Much more effective than using brute force to brutalize men – who are still men.

            • There isn’t really much information to be had, especially if you control where you use the cards.

              The real motivation is that the benefits paid out simply cost them a fraction of the fees and interest they collect. So game the system by living in ones means and never paying interest. It’s about the only way we can game it in this LIRP environment.

              Maybe it’s not fighting the war on cash sufficiently. Perhaps that’s true.

              • Agree with you brent. Given that there is already so much detail out there on each and every one of us (facebook, google, amazon, loyalty cards, census, tax guy) there is only so much marginal benefit this data can have for targeted marketing of products which will sell at a couple percent margin.

                My take this “cashback” all of the sudden from more and more banks for spending money is actually preparing people for a helicopter money / negative interest rates world without any actual “cash” (or the ability to hold any wealth on our own)

        • Since the Amazon Alexa and Google Home (doesn’t Apple have their own version using ‘Siri’?) are devices that use a MICROPHONE, who is to say that they can’t be used by SOMEONE ELSE to record what you say, even if it’s not directly to the device?

          I’m reminded of an old TV movie from 1973 (back when ABC did their “Movie of the Week”, you can catch some old productions on nostalgia networks like Decade or MeTV) called “The Stranger”, starring Gleen Corbett. Corbett’s character, a NASA astronaut named Stryker, crash lands on a planet which orbits the same as Earth and is its ‘twin’ (it’s called Terra, and has the same technology as 1973 earth, down to the Mopar iron that they drive…), but is on the opposite side of the Sun and therefore has been hidden from Earth. While recuperating in hospital, a sympathetic doctor, who knows of Stryker’s “alien” origin, advises him that the TV is not only for viewing, it also “views” (e.g., has a hidden camera, a feature that’s been common in our contemporary “Smart TVs” for some time).

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Stranger_(1973_film)

          I’d say that the means to effect surveillance by the State are fairly much in place, and the best part is that it ‘s been paid for by the observed under guise of entertainment! I’m sure that not only mass marketers hungry for relevant data will exploit it, but so will our “benevolent” Government, looking for hidden assets, revenues, or simply to deal with “troublemakers”. I would contend that not only is it a potential or virtually realized threat to our liberties, it would be contrary for the nature of almost ANY government, including and especially our own, to not exploit it! As another movie of the time period expressed it (Escape from the Planet of the Apes, 1971) put it, when the “Evil German Scientist”, Dr. Otto Hasselein, in advising the US President (William Windom) to kill Zira’s unborn child as its progeny could prove a threat to the human race, and the POTUS expressing concerns that King Herod had tried a similar approach, and Christ survived…”Mr. President, will all due respect, Herod lack our facilities”. So there you have it…it’s not the lack of will, but of means that stops the Government from seizing, stealing, suppressing, and, if necessary, murdering to suit its wishes!

          • Hi Doug,

            I grew up watching the same re-runs!

            In re the technology: It is pure evil genius the way they have gotten most of the public to freely embrace the tools which will be – already are – used to utterly destroy privacy. Our computers all have built in cameras to watch us and microphones to record us. Most people see no potential for abuse – or don’t care to think of it.

            They also promiscuously put their lives on public display – via Facebook and so on. I call this the Geraldo Effect. Back in the ’80s, when all this really got going, there were trash TV shows such as Geraldo (and Maury and Jerry Springer) which catered to the narcissism of low-IQ white/black (and so on) trash. Both the guests and the viewers. Most people were disgusted by what they saw. But more and more people began to watch… and soon, the things on display were mainstreamed. The Kardashians, The Bachelor – and so are – now mainstream entertainment.

            People obsess about fuuuhhhhhhhhhhttttttttttttball and celebrity.

            I read somewhere that there 15-20 percent of the population have an IQ around 85.

            We are doomed.

            • eric, they have literally been chemically neutered by HFCS, Roundup, vaccinations, and various other chemicals dreamed up to make life so much more satisfying. Veritably “making life better through chemistry”.

      • The same for barter…which is much more cumbersome than cash (indeed, is historically why money came about in the first place)…set up a bartering exchange, or even conduct a significant amount of business via barter, and watch how quickly some ‘snitch’ can report you to the IRS or FTB and make your life hell.

        • Hi Douglas,

          My brain cannot compute this “snitching” business. What kind of mean-spirited, envy-eaten maggot must one be to narc out a fellow human being who hasn’t harmed you, nor anyone else… who merely sidesteps a law which has no legitimacy? Oh. Yes. I forget sometimes. There are people out there – Clovers – who are precisely such maggots. Who are outraged when their god – the government and its laws – is affronted. And who cannot abide anyone “getting away” with it.

          A very large ditch – and a few thousand gallons of diesel – would solve this problem.

  11. WEE… WEE…

    A very simple solution to the outrages committed by “legal” means from In the Name of the Father 1993:
    https://youtu.be/jchuUKxlW5U?t=28

    We had to confront the chief prison officer, Barker. – Mr. Smalls.
    But to do that, we had to take care of Ronnie Smalls.
    Can I have a word about 54 Halsey Road?

    Take a walk.
    If anything happens to me, or Gerry,
    or any other lrish prisoner,
    we’ll have Halsey Road blown to smithereens…
    with your family in it.
    You threaten my family, I’ll cut your fuckin’ head off.
    I don’t make threats.
    I just carry out orders. I don’t want to hurt your family.
    [ Chuckles ] Your trouble is, Joe, you want to rule the fuckin’ world.
    Paddy’s all right.
    [ Gerry Narrating ] Soon, we were all one happy family

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