Saturday, November 21, 2015

Now the Government Wants Your Passport- The Sunday Collage

More "land of the free" blogging.  This time it's the "Drive Act." The government is calling it a highway and infrastructure bill and it's free!!

I am going to just post this and edit it tonight- so forgive me if you find any glaring mistakes, I have lots to do today.

The "Drive Act" like the "Patriot Act" and the "Heart Act", is yet another mislabeled and deceptive piece of legislation designed to raise more taxes and steal money from already existing, dedicated funds. Contained within the Heart Act is a provision that allows the government to seize your passport- your paid for property- if they decide you owe them more than 50,000 in taxes.

Like freezing your banks accounts, the government does this without any sort of due process. Due process as you will recall- is part of that thing called the Bill of Rights.

In 2014, over 3400 Americans renounced their citizenship. That figure is set to double in 2015. The truth is, it's far worse than that. More people are fleeing the U.S. than at any other time in the last 50 years. From wiki:

There were 235 renunciants in 2008,[25] between 731 and 743 in 2009, and about 1485 in 2010;[26][27] In 2011, there were 1781 renunciants.[28] A total of 2,999 Americans renounced their citizenship in 2013;[29] in 2014, 3415 have renounced their USA citizenship or long term residency. [30] The State Department estimates 5986 renunciants and 559 relinquishers during FY2015. [31]

If you think those numbers are remarkable, consider this. The U.S. charges a renunciation assessment. In 2008, Congress enacted the Heroes Earnings Assistance and Relief Act that imposes a penalty—an "exit tax" or expatriation tax—on certain people who give up their U.S. citizenship or long-term permanent residence.[47] Effective June 2008, U.S. citizens who renounce their citizenship are subject under certain circumstances to an expatriation tax, which is meant to extract from the expatriate taxes that would have been paid had they remained a citizen: all property of a covered expatriate is deemed sold for its fair market value on the day before the expatriation date, which usually results in a capital gain, which is taxable income.

They named that bill the "Heart" Act" and passed it in 2008. 

In addition to the renunciation tax, the government is also charging a 2350.00 fee per person to expatriate. http://www.forbes.com/sites/robertwood/2014/08/28/u-s-hikes-fee-to-renounce-citizenship-by-422/

It would be a complete mass exodus except for Social Security, Medicare, and taxes on foreign earnings. People who have been forced into paying these income liquidating taxes for 40 years- expect something back. If you renounce your citizenship- the government doesn't issue a refund. If you simply move out of country- they will continue to tax your income streams even though you no longer live here which lays waste to the theory that you are actually receiving something in return for all of that money the government takes from you.

One of the great tricks of the government is that when they pass legislation like the "Heart Act" and the "Drive Act"- they target higher income individuals. The poor, middle class- the big voting bloc- will read the law and think- well it doesn't apply to me. They become apathetic. That's how Congress manages to keep passing garbage laws like this- by targeting small groups of individuals rather than everyone. Once our body politic manage to pass these laws without serious backlash, then they will simply amend the law later on and apply it to everyone else. Once you give them an inch- they will take a mile.

What about a  hyper inflationary event where the currency spirals out of control? Wouldn't that subject everyone to the minimum provisions of the "Drive Act?" Of course it would, but government doesn't care nor do they consider things like that. It just gives them the additional means to strip you of your property and money.

I will link the actual government propaganda for this bill- note the passport omission. It is written and offered as propaganda. If you didn't know better- it actually sounds good. http://www.epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases-republican?ID=DFAF66C0-D453-42C3-AB84-A90BBD326E44

Make sure you read the last line of this website propaganda. It's all free!!! Woohoo!!!

So here's the latest on the "Drive Act." I think you'll like this. Another "land of the free" writer. http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-11-20/congress-wants-seize-your-passport-unpaid-taxes





Sunday, November 15, 2015

Life, or Sometimes Death, In Moderation- The Sunday Collage

Today I want to talk  little bit about the rise of extremism and intolerance. The idea was brought to me courtesy of a statement by a political candidate who believes abortion under all circumstances- including rape or incest- should be illegal. (Carson) Very often this position is taken by religious zealots who believe that somehow instances of rape and incest are examples of "God's will" and that a subsequent birth despite the criminal circumstances that led to the conception- were somehow ordained by our creator.

Indeed, I have friends who read this blog and who agree with that position. I am ok with that and I'll explain why in a bit. 

If I've learned one thing over the years, I think it would have to be that life should almost always be done in moderation. The needle should hang around the middle of the gauge. When an issue becomes extreme- the people promoting extreme views become unstable and downright dangerous. People adhering to extremes cannot accept the idea that moderation and tolerance for the views of others is the proper approach. Instead they think that they have been singularly pre-ordained and programmed by God himself with all of the correct answers. God in his infinite wisdom apparently forgot to tell the millions of people practicing abortion that it should be illegal. So today I thought I'd discuss a few issues where people tend to come off the rails with extremism. So let's take a random walk through a myriad of examples first of moderation and then extremism.

I have a friend who can smoke one cigarette in the morning and one cigarette at night. She has been doing this for 30 years. Smoking in moderation. I can't do it but she does.

People who can drink once in awhile, take it or leave it style, or perhaps a drink a day are said to be "moderate" drinkers- meaning I suppose, that their drinking does not cause the rest of us harm. In other words- it's not extreme.

There are folks who go to church once or twice a week. They practice their own beliefs in private and they do not use casual conversations to promote their beliefs or diminish the beliefs of others. In other words, they live their lives with respect for others.

My favorite group of people and you will meet damn few of them- are those that practice tolerance for others and engage in moderation at all times. Very often you will hear others refer to them as "nice people" because they do not offend anyone. Of the thousands of people I have known, I can honestly say I have only met two or three people like this. I had the very pleasant opportunity to work for one- unfortunately his working life and ultimate termination came about as a result of an extremist held completely hostage by ego.

We both worked for the same woman, a gal who once told me that she enjoyed "firing" people. Firing people is an example of extremism. You don't fire people because your ego enjoys it and therefore you must satiate that need- you fire people when you have exhausted all of your intermediate remedies- and thus terminating a person becomes your last recourse. So it was, this woman fired my boss who was effective while practicing life in moderation, primarily because he would not practice her brand of extremism.

We were once a very nurturing society, particularly in small towns and rural areas. In those settings people are forced to be courteous to each other because they interact very frequently. I understood this well. The ticket you write today might be to the mechanic or doctor you will need tomorrow. Often people in small towns attend the same churches and functions. People help each other in rural settings. I feel grateful for those who helped me.

The idea of a caring, nurturing, tolerant society is completely lost in the big city. I believe that. Occasionally there are random acts of kindness in the city but in small town America- helping others or taking time to help others simply because you care- happens every day.

This week in Paris, ISIS attacked and killed a hundred innocent people.

Islam is extremism. I want to believe that people should be free to worship and support the religion of their choice. The problem with Islam, Sharia law, and the Quran is that they support extremism and intolerance of others. That is why I have often thought that Islam is not a religion but rather a spiritually sick philosophy founded by a self declared prophet 600 years after the time of Christ. The other problem with Islam is that while I have studied it a bit and I have read the Quran- most non Muslims have not. If you want a hateful, exclusionary God- then Islam is the way to go.

I am about to introduce to you the concept of killing human beings in moderation.

Killing a person is probably the worst thing human beings do. Yet there are times when it becomes acceptable or at the very least, unavoidable. Killing people in the defense of your life or intervening when someone else is about to be killed are the only times when killing someone is acceptable. That was what I was taught and unless you've been trained specifically to kill someone or are in that business- I think most people generally don't think about it. It's just not something they need to think about but they should. The extremists are growing in number.

My brand of killing in moderation does not require state executions or dropping bombs on brown people.

Ben Carson does not adhere to the idea of abortion in moderation or in certain circumstances. He quite clearly is a Christian adherent to the idea that all births are "God's will" and that all potential babies should be born. I understand that and Carson may actually be practicing his brand of life in moderation. What's he going to do? Reverse the Supreme Court? Not likely. If that is Carson's brand of extremism, the one where the innocents get a chance, I can live with that too. Either way, I'm not too worried about his position.

I miss small town America and civics classes. I miss helping people and having them help me. Here in the big city, it's just another dog eat dog environment. I don't even know my neighbors. Practicing life in moderation has been hard for a guy like me. But I'm getting better.