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How Free Are We Free?
For the past few days I have been thinking a lot about questions of freedom, government, laws, use of force, etc. I was born in the USA and still have an American passport, so I am "subject" to the laws of the USA. I put "subject" in quotes because some people are starting to think that Americans are now more like subjects than free citizens.
I am also starting to wonder just how free we "Americans" are. I won't write a long article now. But I want to list some of the things I have been thinking about. Most of this thinking was triggered by a conversation I had here in Laos with someone from the USA. He said that while he was still living in the USA he was once visited by an armed IRS agent who told him, "The IRS used be nice about collecting taxes, but now we've got a war to pay for."
I have done a lot of reading and I have come to the conclusion that war leads to national debt which leads to increased taxation.
Here are related things I've come across. You can do your own research if you are curious.
Ed and Elaine Brown - Labeled as "tax evaders" when they questioned the IRS. The FBI mentions them on their website, by the way, and suggest they were very dangerous people. They are now in separate prisons, virtually for life.
Sovereign Citizens - A father and son who said they were "sovereign citizens" were killed by police after they killed two police officers. Others who consider themselves "sovereign" do not accept the authority of the government.
Authority - Where does it come from actually? In England people were told that the King got his authority from God. As I understand it, the Mormons believe that Joseph Smith got his authority from God and Jesus and then he passed down this authority to others, much like a royal family, but without being actually family members. (This is based on a long conversation I had with someone who calls himself a Mormon.)
Slavery - It seems this can be broadly defined like this: "I must do what my "master" tells me to do. or I will be punished."
Punishment as a way to improve society - This is a general issue but one specific case (besides Ed and Elaine), is the proposed law to punish people like the co-founder of Facebook, saying that if he renounces his US citizenship, he can never set foot in the USA again.
Punishment used as a) removing dangerous people from society b) intimidating others into obedience through fear.
I have been very troubled, even depressed by all of this. At the same time I have been going to embassies here to find out the visa requirements. As I see what arbitrary rules they make, such as 15 day visas or 30 day visas or x dollar a day fines, etc, I am more persuaded to look at governments as organized crime and mafia to who you must pay protection money.
I have also been thinking about whether it makes more sense to say "You must pay your taxes" or "You must pay our taxes." I think of an IRS agent who might tell someone, "You need to pay your taxes" and I wonder if it is not more accurate to say "I need you to pay the government's taxes, or I can lose my job for not collecting."
I also think of how, in the Christian Bible, Jesus repeatedly made references to "tax collectors." Let's just say he didn't put them on the top of his list as favorite friends.
I have also thought more about "rights" and "needs" and I am more convinced society needs a new system based on our actual, natural, human needs, including emotional needs.
I have also been reading up on the passport laws, and I found out that it seems to be illegal to *leave* the USA without a passport. This reminds me of something I have thought about in terms of teenagers who are told they live in free countries:
"You are not free if you can't leave."
I might also say, "You are not free if you can't enter."
Of course, if you follow the rules, and pay whatever price is asked (or demanded), you can usually purchase the permission to enter and leave most places where people have put controls in place. I understand you can even buy passports and citizenships for other countries if you have enough money.
But this, to me, is not my idea of freedom.
Some sample "fees" for travel in Asia.
30 dollar to enter Laos.
5 dollars per day fine for overstaying your 15 day visa in Thailand.
50 dollars to enter Vietnam.
I think Australia has something like a 100 dollar "processing" fee to apply for a visa. And another 150 or so if you want to stay more than 3 months.
Other EQI.org Topics:
|Something else about
restrictions on travel. In some countries you must prove
you have a ticket to leave before they will let you in.
So, for example, we could not buy a one way ticket to New Zealand and decide when we wanted to leave. Same with China. In China, I am told, if you fly in, you have to show you have a ticket to fly out -- Even if you actually want to take the train out.
Those are the kinds of rules we constantly are reminded of while traveling. I feel less free all the time.
|Here is an example of the kinds of questions you have to answer on the form for a visa to China|
I have read a bit about "executive orders" - these frighten me. Here is just one example
That came from this page
which came from this page
Someone here mentioned Glen Beck - I saw something he did about lemonade stands - similar to the "Illegal Everything" show by Stossler (?) He also mentioned bake sales and hugging as becoming banned in America now. (Hugging in schools for example, I guess. I am not sure if meant somewhere else)
I watched a video by Alex Jones (who I don't always agree with) about sovereign citizens and the TSA. I also heard about the mass detention centers the USA is building or has already built. And I am reminded of the book "End of America" by Naomi Wolfe.
|I also did some reading on US history, like the
Whiskey Rebellion, which seems to be the first time the
Federal government forced American to pay a federal tax.
Guns were used on Ameicans by Americans.
And I read a bit of Hobbes and Locke - British philosophers. One of them is credited with having made the concept of "rights" popular. Now I say we need to make the concept of needs and emotional needs popular.
I also believe we need to think of our needs as coming from nature, rather than think of our "rights" as coming from a "Creator" as the "founding fathers" of the USA did.
Ex "We hold these truths to be self-evident..."
I suggest, instead of saying "are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights" say "born with natural human survival needs."
|Someone who doesn't like Glen Beck it seems
Something which does a decent job of looking like mainstream news -(but is a bit dramatic, so I am afraid some will feel defensive and kind of pressured or something) But the message is important I'd say.
|Somehow I also found a site on renunciation for citizens of India which was a bit interesting. They also seem to want to make people pay for leaving the Indian government.|
Journalists arrested at gunpoint at NATO Summit in Chicago trigger response by journalism community as targeted abuse http://www.allvoices.com/....journalists-arrested....
"police targeting journalists" journalist abuse
Homeland security buys hollow point bullets. - I didn't see anything about this in mainstream media... but if you google
hollow point bullets homeland security
you find a long list of alternative media sites talking about it. so i dont know if it is true or not. but i am afraid it is true.
alternative sites - theblaze.com, endoftheamericandream.com, truedemocracyparty.net, disinfo.com, naturalnews.com, rt.com (russian propaganda site according to some), see temp_alt_media.htm
I fear a lot of people are going to die in the USA.. see this temp page