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Online Comics => Escape From Terra => Topic started by: Leviathan on January 09, 2009, 05:24:28 am

Title: 01/09
Post by: Leviathan on January 09, 2009, 05:24:28 am
Huh, I wonder how many agents have already "gone native" by this point in the storyline  :D  And how many more will do so before government goons start landing and trying to take Ceres and company by force  :'(
Title: Re: 01/09
Post by: John DeWitt on January 09, 2009, 06:52:36 am
Whoa, nice a...er, outfit.

Everybody saw that coming, of course.  Now the real question is will our friend Guy use his own ass for more than plugging holes and storing his favorite stick?
Title: Re: 01/09
Post by: Rocketman on January 10, 2009, 11:56:22 am
If I remember correctly, someone made the comment eariler that implied that Guy and Fiorella were the first agents to "visit" there, but that may have been to not let them know that all the other ones had "gone native".  As far as Earth using force, that would probably be counterproductive strictly from earth's standpoint.  If they show up with guns alot of them are not going to be coming home and probably no one on earth knows how to properly use the equipment there anyway.  Of course since socialism inately breeds it's own kind of incompetance and stupidity they may try it anyway.
Title: Re: 01/09
Post by: wdg3rd on January 11, 2009, 11:19:28 am
Look up "Rain of Terror" in the glossary of the paperback edition of J. Neil Schulman's The Rainbow Cadenza.  The folks in the asteroids have the High Ground and a dinosaur killer can be done fairly cheaply, but it gets more expensive if you want to leave survivors.
Title: Re: 01/09
Post by: SandySandfort on January 12, 2009, 09:29:40 am
Look up "Rain of Terror" in the glossary of the paperback edition of J. Neil Schulman's The Rainbow Cadenza.  The folks in the asteroids have the High Ground and a dinosaur killer can be done fairly cheaply, but it gets more expensive if you want to leave survivors.
To paraphrase Nixon, "They could do that, but it would be wrong."
Title: Re: 01/09
Post by: Leviathan on January 14, 2009, 05:57:42 am
John,
Storing his favorite stick?  Dude, that thing passed through the carbonization process and out the other side.  It's his favorite place to store his stick-shaped diamond that was once a stick  :P

Rocketman,
I would say the fact that Guy was prepared with a Gold account gives lie to them being the first of any kind up there.  They knew how to pay for stuff, and since they're not higher-ups in the UWRS food chain the likelihood of them getting a gold expense account on thirdhand sailor gossip would seem pretty low.  The UWRS knew the layout of the land before it sent'em in.  Which means they, or other agencies in United World, have sent operatives there who have made some reports before returning or going native.

As far as Terran initiation of force goes, I was going to go into a long lecture about how the initiation of force is always overall counterproductive, but suffice it to ask this question.  When has an action being really stupid ever stopped government from taking that action?

wdg3rd and Sandy,
In addition to the issue of morality, there is the issue of tactics.  City-killers really are something of a government-versus-government weapon.  If Terra bombs the crap out of the asteroids, it's really not in the best interests of anybody on the planet.  If Ceres directs a dinosaur-killer inbound to Earth, they lose a major trading partner.  Nobody with an eye on their interests would take that action, from either an economic or moral direction, the way Ceres (or any anarchy, really) is set up.  Terra has a different way of incentivising, where power is the end since it buys Terran economic incentives.  Terra would happily nuke the belt to hell and back unless the relatively cheap resources coming out of the belts are all that's keeping government afloat and they know that is so, so long as it ensured power accompanied rank.  And thus power as its own end, and as a means to securing some improved station in life, would compensate for the annihilation of their planetary economy.
Title: Re: 01/09
Post by: SandySandfort on January 14, 2009, 05:36:01 pm
Rocketman,
I would say the fact that Guy was prepared with a Gold account gives lie to them being the first of any kind up there.  They knew how to pay for stuff, and since they're not higher-ups in the UWRS food chain the likelihood of them getting a gold expense account on thirdhand sailor gossip would seem pretty low.  The UWRS knew the layout of the land before it sent'em in.  Which means they, or other agencies in United World, have sent operatives there who have made some reports before returning or going native.

Dude, it's in the tanglepedia! Besides, Belters don't take continentals. Folks in the UW have to pay for metal and carbon with gold. That's one of the reasons Panama is allowed to have parallel gold-based financial system within the UW.

wdg3rd and Sandy,
In addition to the issue of morality, there is the issue of tactics.  City-killers really are something of a government-versus-government weapon.  If Terra bombs the crap out of the asteroids, it's really not in the best interests of anybody on the planet.  If Ceres directs a dinosaur-killer inbound to Earth, they lose a major trading partner.  Nobody with an eye on their interests would take that action, from either an economic or moral direction, the way Ceres (or any anarchy, really) is set up.  Terra has a different way of incentivising, where power is the end since it buys Terran economic incentives.  Terra would happily nuke the belt to hell and back unless the relatively cheap resources coming out of the belts are all that's keeping government afloat and they know that is so, so long as it ensured power accompanied rank.  And thus power as its own end, and as a means to securing some improved station in life, would compensate for the annihilation of their planetary economy.

Pretty good analysis.
Title: Re: 01/09
Post by: Jackson on January 19, 2009, 05:52:58 pm
Quote
wdg3rd and Sandy,
In addition to the issue of morality, there is the issue of tactics.  City-killers really are something of a government-versus-government weapon.  If Terra bombs the crap out of the asteroids, it's really not in the best interests of anybody on the planet.  If Ceres directs a dinosaur-killer inbound to Earth, they lose a major trading partner.  Nobody with an eye on their interests would take that action, from either an economic or moral direction, the way Ceres (or any anarchy, really) is set up.  Terra has a different way of incentivising, where power is the end since it buys Terran economic incentives.  Terra would happily nuke the belt to hell and back unless the relatively cheap resources coming out of the belts are all that's keeping government afloat and they know that is so, so long as it ensured power accompanied rank.  And thus power as its own end, and as a means to securing some improved station in life, would compensate for the annihilation of their planetary economy.
If Ceres attacked Terra with an asteroid, presumably the United World's ships would be able to divert the asteroid. I don't think Terra would attack with nukes. Given the do-gooders that control the UW, it is quite likely the UW have disarmed their nuclear weapons. Anyway, remember the UW's motivation. They think that they are going to help Ceres by bringing them into the UW. Killing everyone there kind of defeats the purpose. An invasion of Ceres is much more likely, though. As long as the UW thinks they are doing the right thing by bringing Ceres into the UW, they are not going to be stopped just because it might cost a few (or even a lot of) lives or a lot of money.
Title: Re: 01/09
Post by: Leviathan on January 20, 2009, 01:40:12 am
You think our government really is just trying to do the best by us, at heart...  Don't you?  I doubt those at the top of the UW in the story have any illusions about the real motives involved.  Control.  Power.  Dominance.  The little report at the beginning shows the real agenda in the story and in real life: so long as the invasion of your privacy, your liberty, can sound like it's for your own good, government can do almost anything.  Even install cameras in your house and monitor every move you make.  Even decide what food you'll eat.  Who will work what land.  Wasn't it Elizabeth Taylor who got in trouble over taxes, saying "only the little people pay taxes!"?  We aren't human to these people.  We're cattle.  We're livestock.  We're slaves.  They do what they want, and it's just easier if we submit.  Less chance of a revolt if we feel like we're being shafted benevolently.

I'd give it about a 99% chance they still have all their nukes.  Can't quell those populaces for their own good if you don't have a really big stick to threaten them with.  But they very well might not use nukes if push came to shove.  Who knows?  Sandy et al are telling it, so it's up to them  :P  But the public image and the real motivation are unlikely to be the same.  And the chances that such a government would rather kill everyone in the belts than let them be free are high.  And, they'd sleep well at night.  The public would be sold on the good of the many outweighing the good of the few, and the governors would be getting direct access to the perceived wealth in the belts without those pesky belters getting to live a good life too.
Title: Re: 01/09
Post by: SandySandfort on January 20, 2009, 11:57:29 am
Wasn't it Elizabeth Taylor who got in trouble over taxes, saying "only the little people pay taxes!"?  We aren't human to these people.  We're cattle.  We're livestock.  We're slaves.  They do what they want, and it's just easier if we submit.  Less chance of a revolt if we feel like we're being shafted benevolently.
The quote was attributed to Leona Helmsley by someone who worked for her, but I doubt she ever said it. The Helmsleys paid millions in taxes.
Title: Re: 01/09
Post by: Rocketman on January 20, 2009, 12:51:31 pm
Leviathan:  You may be right about the UW still having nukes, but there is precedent for them getting rid of them too.  During the Clinton administration the government, over strong objection from the DOD got rid of tens of thousands of mothballed war emergency weapons including the M-14.  The same M-14 rifles that right now the military is so short on that they are buying them back from countries that they formerly give them to in miltary aid to use in Iraq and Afganistan.  They're relearning that the 5.56 round simply doesn't have enough ommph for shooting at long range or penetration of mud walls.  Sheese, I could have told them that.   ::)
Title: Re: 01/09
Post by: quadibloc on January 24, 2009, 10:17:24 pm
It seems obvious to me that the story is headed towards Guy "going native". He is intelligent enough to see that destroying Ceres won't help Earth's billions, but will give his superiors a fat bonus. He remembers his grandfather's farm, and he knows he hasn't been chasing the robber barons he wanted to. But suppose he does go native?

Why is it that barter income isn't taxed in the United World, when it is in the United States? One reason could be that the future society on Earth does have some idealism, and this is to avoid creating problems for peasant farmers in poor parts of the world - and they still exist.

I'm not sure that Earth's billions could survive under the system they have on Ceres, even if Earth is clearly a gratuitous busybody state (yet not as bad as Stalin's Russia, Mao's China, or Hitler's Germany). I'm not sure that Ceres can defend itself from Earth simply by winning Guy over.

I'm kind of hoping this comic goes on to the "next level", and confronts the tough questions. Maybe Ceres will have to compromise some of its independence by entering into a military alliance with Mars. Maybe a technological advance that makes leaving Earth's gravity well more affordable, thus opening the Solar System frontier to Earth people might be the key to restoring freedom on Earth.
Title: Re: 01/09
Post by: Leviathan on January 25, 2009, 12:57:41 am
quadibloc,
I'm not sure i really understand the argument you make in paragraph 3?  Not having any overriding thuggery, stealing and raping (don't think that one's the case?  Listen to Stefan Molyneux sometime on the topic of prisons), works for these "tiny" groups of even entire cities.  Yet billions of people, who naturally break up into these smaller groupings of people, need some overriding force to make sure they co-exist and prosper?  Yet the point is made, they aren't.  We aren't.  Government is a parasite.  Its host is healthier without it.
Title: Re: 01/09
Post by: Scott on January 25, 2009, 02:52:48 am
Even though United World can in some ways be seen as the United States writ large, there are some important differences.

IRS taxes barter income because in the United States, it's otherwise too convenient a tax dodge for the middle class.

(I recall a recent case where some business owner in Las Vegas paid his employees in Silver and Gold Eagles, and reported their income based on the face value of the coins, since they're officially "legal tender." The IRS believed they should have been reported based on the market value, or barter value, of the coins, which were 10 to 35 times face value. IRS won in court, big surprise.)

The countries on Terra by United World are either industrial societies where barter is pretty much regulated out of existence, or subsistence cultures where barter is the only practical means of trade. A wise livestock manager doesn't starve his herd, he balances his feeding, culling and harvesting so as to optimize the value of that herd.

In the relatively independent areas such as Panama and UAE, the barter exemption allows the elites from the UW to transfer wealth into and out of tax havens more or less legally.

As to what happens with Guy Caillard and how the UW responds, well, stay tuned.
Title: Re: 01/09
Post by: wdg3rd on January 25, 2009, 08:45:22 am
(I recall a recent case where some business owner in Las Vegas paid his employees in Silver and Gold Eagles, and reported their income based on the face value of the coins, since they're officially "legal tender." The IRS believed they should have been reported based on the market value, or barter value, of the coins, which were 10 to 35 times face value. IRS won in court, big surprise.)

No real surprise.  The judge knew who signed his pay check and stole the money to cover it.
Title: Re: 01/09
Post by: SandySandfort on January 25, 2009, 04:00:02 pm
IRS taxes barter income because in the United States, it's otherwise too convenient a tax dodge for the middle class.

(I recall a recent case where some business owner in Las Vegas paid his employees in Silver and Gold Eagles, and reported their income based on the face value of the coins, since they're officially "legal tender." The IRS believed they should have been reported based on the market value, or barter value, of the coins, which were 10 to 35 times face value. IRS won in court, big surprise.)
And remember, taxing barter is a relatively new concept in the US. Before some decisive decisions, it was not taxable. Of course, even if nominally taxable, there is a serious audit trail and proof problem for the government. It's mostly invisible on a person-to-person basis.
The countries on Terra by United World are either industrial societies where barter is pretty much regulated out of existence, or subsistence cultures where barter is the only practical means of trade. A wise livestock manager doesn't starve his herd, he balances his feeding, culling and harvesting so as to optimize the value of that herd.
EFT never said that all commodity barter is non-taxable in the UW. In fact, "barter clubs" and such that use barter "points," "barter bucks" etc. are taxed, because there is an audit trail. But if Bob trades you a dozen eggs for a meatloaf, who cares? So you "legalize" it because you cannot stop it and it isn't worth the enforcement cost.
In the relatively independent areas such as Panama and UAE, the barter exemption allows the elites from the UW to transfer wealth into and out of tax havens more or less legally.
Bingo.
Title: Re: 01/09
Post by: KBCraig on January 26, 2009, 01:24:04 am
(I recall a recent case where some business owner in Las Vegas paid his employees in Silver and Gold Eagles, and reported their income based on the face value of the coins, since they're officially "legal tender." The IRS believed they should have been reported based on the market value, or barter value, of the coins, which were 10 to 35 times face value. IRS won in court, big surprise.)

No real surprise.  The judge knew who signed his pay check and stole the money to cover it.

Actually, the IRS didn't win. Of 161 charges, they got zero convictions.

The business owner is Robert Kahre (http://www.google.com/search?q=Robert+Kahre), and all of his employees were acquitted, and the jury was hung on all 109 charges against Kahre.

Title: Re: 01/09
Post by: Rocketman on January 26, 2009, 07:37:28 am
Interesting.  Then I guess if your leaving the country with 20 silver peace dollars and you report your taking 20 dollars out of the country that the government while they may not like it can't do anything to you.   ;D
Title: Re: 01/09
Post by: SandySandfort on January 26, 2009, 08:08:05 am
Interesting.  Then I guess if your leaving the country with 20 silver peace dollars and you report your taking 20 dollars out of the country that the government while they may not like it can't do anything to you.   ;D

Where to begin... First, why in the world would anyone report taking 20 silver dollars out of the country? If the legal theory is that they are only taking $20 out, there is no requirement to report, 'cause it's under ten grand. One's first line of defense is their ignorance of the coins. The legal theory is a fall-back position, which hopefully will mitigate evidence of mens rea below that of "beyond a reasonable doubt" in the minds of a jury.

Second, I don't know why libertarian "theorists" always get so legal-minded when dealing with the government. They always come up with pet theory as to why the income tax is not legal or the 2nd Amendments somehow protects their right to weapons for self-defense. Then they are shocked that they lose in court. NEWS FLASH: It is irrelevant if they are legally right or wrong. When the government has a strong vested interest in your losing, you will lose. As above, a legal argument is your fall-back position. Your first line of defense is keeping a low profile and not getting caught.

P.S. Yes, I saw the smiley, but lest others did not, I treated the suggestion as being serious.
Title: Re: 01/09
Post by: Leviathan on January 26, 2009, 12:36:32 pm
Always does seem a little funky to me.  As I keep stating, the very act of trying to engage in these legalisms is admitting their authority on the topic, just asking them not to do anything in that particular case.  Either they have the authority, and you're at the mercy of a judicial system that has a decided conflict of interest, or they don't and there's no reason to engage in the legalities...

Case in point in today's comic.  By seeking audience with Reginald (Reggie), Guy pretty much declared the legitimacy of his monarchy in the eyes of UWRS (and perhaps UW at large).  Following this up with a protest that his government isn't very "democratic" is challenging a point already conceded.  Either Reggie is a monarch and rightful government, and capable of acting as agent in any negotiations, or he's not and the UWRS has to look at establishing government before it can negotiate with any given party.  Changing this "rightful government" into a democratic regime would be a point in a negotiation.  But Guy doesn't seem very good at this, heh.  More used to dealing with individual accounts than negotiation with an ostensible foreign power.  Any prior negotiations would've probably taken the form of "Okay, we think one of the people in your territory isn't paying taxes.  Here's the breakdown of how much of the taxes you'll get if you let us collect.  Green light?"  He's probably never had to deal with a government not amenable to his demands before, heh.
Title: Re: 01/09
Post by: Rocketman on January 26, 2009, 01:28:21 pm
Okay, Sandy from what your saying I didn't think it through as well as I should have and despite the smiley face, I was serious when I said it.   Let's say that I was taking out 9,995 silver morgan and peace dollars each having .77344 oz of silver in them that would come to 7,730.53 oz of silver.  Is it your contention then that reporting is ilrelevant, that it's not a violation of whatever reporting law that the USA has but that if they decide to that they at any time can confiscate it and the law be damned?  Or would they have gotten me on "structuring" as I understand it?  I admit that I don't understand "structuring" very well except that it's very nebulous and can mean practically anything.
     My answer to the question of why libertarian's get so legal minded when dealing with the government is because ONE: We tend to think (unlike the government) in logical terms and believe others think that same way too.  That's why so many of us are fans of Star Trek and are computer programmers or at least work with computers.  It takes a logical mind to do that.  TWO: Since we live on the "fringe" of society (at least politically) we automatically want to know what the limits are as far as government goes.  What we can get away with just some grumbling from government and what isn't going to be allowed.  THREE: Being logical we always like to think a few steps ahead.  It doesn't take clairvoyant powers to be able to see that the "powers that be" either through stupidity or just ignorance are heading this country right off a cliff and it's going to be a long drop right onto the jagged rocks below.  Roughly a year ago I read an article from the sovereign society that claimed that nearly 10% of the population of the U.S. was either planning on moving, making preparations or just seriously thinking about leaving the country.  My guess is that the number is higher now because of rise of "socialism" by the congress.  That's why there are new "exit" taxes being implemented.
Title: Re: 01/09
Post by: SandySandfort on January 26, 2009, 03:06:08 pm
Always does seem a little funky to me.  As I keep stating, the very act of trying to engage in these legalisms is admitting their authority...

Yes AND it brings you to their attention. There is no way on earth that a government can directly control even a tiny fraction of its population. But they do have the power of point force and intimidation by example. Loudly proclaiming this or that isn't constitutional and otherwise giving them the finger will only bring that point force right down on your head to set an example.
Title: Re: 01/09
Post by: SandySandfort on January 26, 2009, 05:59:45 pm
 Let's say that I was taking out 9,995 silver morgan and peace dollars each having .77344 oz of silver in them that would come to 7,730.53 oz of silver.  Is it your contention then that reporting is ilrelevant, that it's not a violation of whatever reporting law that the USA has but that if they decide to that they at any time can confiscate it and the law be damned?
What I am saying is that if you believe (or if you can appear to believe) that 9,995 silver dollars have a face value of US$9995 and therefore do not trip the $10k reporting requirement as you understand the law, reporting would be stupid for two reasons:

(1) It is strong evidence that you do believe they should be reported (presumably due to their higher market value).
(2) you draw attention to booty, the government types will try to grab it, because that is their job; that is what they do.

So if you don't report them and they aren't discovered, you get out with your money. If they are discovered, you are no worse off then if you performed a self-mugging and reported them in the first place. Plus, you still have your legal fall-back position that their face value is $9,995 and therefore, there never was any duty to report.

  Or would they have gotten me on "structuring" as I understand it?  I admit that I don't understand "structuring" very well except that it's very nebulous and can mean practically anything.
No, "structuring" is fairly specific. Structure would apply if you intended to circumvent the $10,000 reporting requirement, by making several trip with under $10,000 in each tranche.

My answer to the question of why libertarian's get so legal minded when dealing with the government is because ONE: We tend to think (unlike the government) in logical terms and believe others think that same way too.  That's why so many of us are fans of Star Trek and are computer programmers or at least work with computers.  It takes a logical mind to do that. 

Don't conflate being "logical" with being "rational." If "logical" interpretations of laws are not being accepted by the Powers That Be, it is irrational to keep trying to sell the same soap.

TWO: Since we live on the "fringe" of society (at least politically) we automatically want to know what the limits are as far as government goes.  What we can get away with just some grumbling from government and what isn't going to be allowed. 

I'm not sure what you mean in this argument, but it sounds a lot like walking through a mine field to find out where the mines are. I think all that is necessary to formulate a reasonable risk/benefit analysis is to watch what other do, and don't, get away with and act accordingly.

THREE: Being logical we always like to think a few steps ahead.  It doesn't take clairvoyant powers to be able to see that the "powers that be" either through stupidity or just ignorance are heading this country right off a cliff and it's going to be a long drop right onto the jagged rocks below.  Roughly a year ago I read an article from the sovereign society that claimed that nearly 10% of the population of the U.S. was either planning on moving, making preparations or just seriously thinking about leaving the country.  My guess is that the number is higher now because of rise of "socialism" by the congress.  That's why there are new "exit" taxes being implemented.

Well, I've lived in Panama for nearly six year and I'm thinking about moving further south. What does that tell you?  ;)
Title: Re: 01/09
Post by: Rocketman on January 27, 2009, 01:05:16 pm

  Or would they have gotten me on "structuring" as I understand it?  I admit that I don't understand "structuring" very well except that it's very nebulous and can mean practically anything.
No, "structuring" is fairly specific. Structure would apply if you intended to circumvent the $10,000 reporting requirement, by making several trip with under $10,000 in each tranche.
But what kind of time frame is involved?  If you were moving $100,000 out of the country at just under $10,000 a move then could you legally do it over a year, ten years, a hundred years without activating the requirement?  I've read your answer several times and have now a better understanding of what is legal and what is not but there always seem to be answers that ask new questions that aren't answered.  Maybe I should have gotten a law degree instead of an engineering one.




Title: Re: 01/09
Post by: SandySandfort on January 27, 2009, 01:32:47 pm
  Or would they have gotten me on "structuring" as I understand it?  I admit that I don't understand "structuring" very well except
No, "structuring" is fairly specific. Structure would apply if you intended to circumvent the $10,000 reporting requirement, by making several trip with under $10,000 in each tranche.
But what kind of time frame is involved?  If you were moving $100,000 out of the country at just under $10,000 a move then could you legally do it over a year, ten years, a hundred years without activating the requirement?  I've read your answer several times and have now a better understanding of what is legal and what is not but there always seem to be answers that ask new questions that aren't answered.  Maybe I should have gotten a law degree instead of an engineering one.

The magic word here is intent. And, no, you can't "prove" someone's intent. (This is where thinking like an engineer gets you in trouble.) A jury is free to infer your intent from the totality of the circumstances--even to a level "beyond a reasonable doubt." If a jury decides that you intended to circumvent the $10,000 reporting limit, then you are toast no matter what your actual intent was. By the way, I have no problem with juries inferring someone's intent. Though human are not mind readers, they know how humans think. I only have a problem with the stupid victimless "crime" of doing what you want with your own money.
Title: Re: 01/09
Post by: Rocketman on January 27, 2009, 06:54:49 pm


The magic word here is intent. And, no, you can't "prove" someone's intent.  A jury is free to infer your intent from the totality of the circumstances--even to a level "beyond a reasonable doubt." If a jury decides that you intended to circumvent the $10,000 reporting limit, then you are toast no matter what your actual intent was. By the way, I have no problem with juries inferring someone's intent. Though human are not mind readers, they know how humans think. I only have a problem with the stupid victimless "crime" of doing what you want with your own money.[/size]
Okay, then why are their laws that have been ruled "unconstitutional" by the supreme court because they were too broadly defined?  It seems to me that "structuring" is like porn.  If you can clearly define it, that's one thing but how anyone can convict someone for it you need to go by more than just your (meaning the juries) feelings.  If the law would say that more than $10,000 out in less than a 90 day period is structuring it least it would be fairly defined.   As far as the "victimless crime" of being able to do what you want with your own money.  I couldn't possibly agree more with that.  If Washington or Jefferson were alive today they would be horrified by what this government is doing to it's people.  That and MAD AS HELL!!!!  >:(
Title: Re: 01/09
Post by: Monkt on January 27, 2009, 08:57:43 pm


The magic word here is intent. And, no, you can't "prove" someone's intent.  A jury is free to infer your intent from the totality of the circumstances--even to a level "beyond a reasonable doubt." If a jury decides that you intended to circumvent the $10,000 reporting limit, then you are toast no matter what your actual intent was. By the way, I have no problem with juries inferring someone's intent. Though human are not mind readers, they know how humans think. I only have a problem with the stupid victimless "crime" of doing what you want with your own money.[/size]
Okay, then why are their laws that have been ruled "unconstitutional" by the supreme court because they were too broadly defined?  It seems to me that "structuring" is like porn.  If you can clearly define it, that's one thing but how anyone can convict someone for it you need to go by more than just your (meaning the juries) feelings.  If the law would say that more than $10,000 out in less than a 90 day period is structuring it least it would be fairly defined.   As far as the "victimless crime" of being able to do what you want with your own money.  I couldn't possibly agree more with that.  If Washington or Jefferson were alive today they would be horrified by what this government is doing to it's people.  That and MAD AS HELL!!!!  >:(
Well Jefferson sure, he was horrified by government during his own time. Washington I'm not so sure about.
Title: Re: 01/09
Post by: wdg3rd on January 28, 2009, 12:05:12 am

Well, I've lived in Panama for nearly six year and I'm thinking about moving further south. What does that tell you?  ;)

It tells me you're getting low on options, because I can't think of (m)any governments further south than Panama in this hemisphere that are less socialist.  Not much joy in the other hemisphere either.  You might as well come back north and  die gloriously as we man the barricades and the government cuts its losses and nukes every city in revolt.  Which would include DC, a shame about that neglect by weirdo {liberal|conservative} programmers not putting an exception in the database.
Title: Re: 01/09
Post by: SandySandfort on January 28, 2009, 12:05:28 am

Okay, then why are their laws that have been ruled "unconstitutional" by the supreme court because they were too broadly defined?  It seems to me that "structuring" is like porn.  If you can clearly define it, that's one thing but how anyone can convict someone for it you need to go by more than just your (meaning the juries) feelings. 
[/quote]

1)"Structuring" is clearly defined (see, http://bulk.resource.org/courts.gov/c/F2/919/919.F2d.258.90-2405.html#fn8).

2) Nobody said anything about "feelings." The jury looks at the totality of the evidence and comes to a conclusion whether or not there the defendant's purpose was to evade the reporting requirements of Sec. 103.23.

I am surprised that is so hard to grasp. Everyday, we make assessments about other humans internal state: "I saw that he was angry." "He intentionally tried to run me off the road" Etc. Read the case from which the footnote was taken. Would you give even a reasonable doubt to the defendant, if you heard his cockamamie explanation? Of course, he was structuring and he knew it and intended to do so. Any other conclusion just doesn't make sense. So, if I were on the jury, would I find him guilty? Nope, but not because is isn't guilty under the law. I would cut him loose as an act of jury nullification of the stupid, evil law.

If the law would say that more than $10,000 out in less than a 90 day period is structuring it least it would be fairly defined. 

Well cool beans. If you ever get elected to congress you can propose that, but that's not the way our current congress decided to define it.

 As far as the "victimless crime" of being able to do what you want with your own money.  I couldn't possibly agree more with that.  If Washington or Jefferson were alive today they would be horrified by what this government is doing to it's people.  That and MAD AS HELL!!!!  >:(

But they aren't here today, so we just have to soldier on as best we can.
Title: Re: 01/09
Post by: SandySandfort on January 28, 2009, 12:29:13 am

Well, I've lived in Panama for nearly six year and I'm thinking about moving further south. What does that tell you?  ;)

It tells me you're getting low on options, because I can't think of (m)any governments further south than Panama in this hemisphere that are less socialist.  Not much joy in the other hemisphere either.

I am always fascinating about how little gringos know about how the rest of the world really works. The question in any country is not what type of government it has or what the laws are. The real issue is what actually happens in real life--what gets enforced and what is ignored. For example, in the United States, there is a second amendment to the constitution. It's pretty clear, right? I mean, what part of "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed," don't they understand.

However, in Panama, keeping and bearing arms isn't a right, it's a privilege. A privilege almost any citizen or permanent resident can get pretty much by applying for it. And, of course, once you have license to own a gun, you also are automatically permitted to carry it concealed. So who is freer, an American who has a right keep and bear arms, but finds it almost impossible to do so, or a Panamanian who gets his privilege to get a gun and CCW, pretty much by just asking?

If any of you want to discuss real world details, feel free to contact me directly at sandy@sandfort.biz using PGP. My public key is here http://sandfort.biz/sandy.asc No PGP, no reply.



Title: Re: 01/09
Post by: Leviathan on January 28, 2009, 01:21:28 am
I've spoken to some who are very, very happy with I think it's Argentina.  Very little regulation and taxes wherever it is.  I just wouldn't go to surinam with anything but revolutionary intentions.

I will say that having to ask for permission is demeaning, and already violates the idea of a right of defense.  Even if it is granted pretty much 100% of the time.  It's ironic, though, that there's less infringement of it in a place where it's considered a privilege than in a place that considers it a born right.  Some of the original laws in the US infringing the right to keep and bear arms, by the way, were actually enacted against freed blacks.  Because the powers that be were scared of armed revolt.  I guess since we're all slaves, that scares the power brokers even more that the general public might go armed.

I want to see this whole thing set free.  If there were an action that required total sacrifice of everything I have had up until now that would make for me and anyone else who wants it a place where we can be free, I would walk away from my life up until now and not look back.  But even fellow ancaps seem to believe there'd be no point to fighting at this time.  And there's nowhere, really, left to run to for real freedom.
Title: Re: 01/09
Post by: SandySandfort on January 28, 2009, 07:49:24 am
I've spoken to some who are very, very happy with I think it's Argentina.  Very little regulation and taxes wherever it is.  I just wouldn't go to surinam with anything but revolutionary intentions.

I doubt it was Argentina. Uruguay or Chile would be my first two choices. Plus there are interesting niche situations in Paraguay and Colombia. St. Martin and some other Caribbean countries are interesting for one reason or another.

I will say that having to ask for permission is demeaning...

But no more so in Panama than in the Land of the Free.

I want to see this whole thing set free.  If there were an action that required total sacrifice of everything I have had up until now that would make for me and anyone else who wants it a place where we can be free, I would walk away from my life up until now and not look back.  But even fellow ancaps seem to believe there'd be no point to fighting at this time.  And there's nowhere, really, left to run to for real freedom.

I'm not sure what "real" freedom is, but freedom, like charity, begins at home. To paraphrase the Rev. Ike, "If you want to help the enslaved, don't be one of them." I am personally freer than anyone I know in the States and that was true when I lived in Costa Rica and Singapore. Yes, Singapore. Anyone can be freer if they want. You just have to figure out how to game the system to your benefit. There are exactly zero free countries in the world. So pick one that best matches, your tastes, keep a low profile and mostly do what you damned well please.
Title: Re: 01/09
Post by: Leviathan on January 28, 2009, 01:14:55 pm
You make being free sound like visiting a porno theatre...  I mean making a place where there isn't some ruthless tyrant ready to swing an axe at your neck should it notice your existence.  Right now, wherever you are you're only free insofar as the current slavemaster doesn't know you exist.  Doing anything outside of its framework feels like you're being hunted the whole time.  Hell, at this point just driving on the roads feels like you're halfway in prison.
Title: Re: 01/09
Post by: Rocketman on January 28, 2009, 03:26:01 pm
Leviathan:  Sandy's saying just what I've been saying to you.  That there is no true "free country" on the face of the earth, but they're are countries where you don't have to put up with as much nonsense as you do here in the states.  I've been doing research on several countries like Dominican Republic, Panama, New Zealand and Uruguay in particular.  Did you know that in addition to the better gun laws that prostitution (not that I'm going to be doing that kind of thing) is legal there?  That they have strict banking secrecy laws there and that makes it just about impossible, unless your running drugs for example, for someone say in the states to successfully sue you if you structure it right or the government to grab it out of your account.  That sure isn't true if your here.   You can be sued by anyone and if you lose a judge can order your life savings taken from you.  Go to escapeartist.com and look at what is out there.  I won't go into detail because there are litterly hundreds if not thousands of articles about every country you can imagine, well maybe not say Somalia or some hellhole like that.
Title: Re: 01/09
Post by: SandySandfort on January 28, 2009, 05:40:49 pm
You make being free sound like visiting a porno theatre...  I mean making a place where there isn't some ruthless tyrant ready to swing an axe at your neck should it notice your existence.  Right now, wherever you are you're only free insofar as the current slavemaster doesn't know you exist.  Doing anything outside of its framework feels like you're being hunted the whole time.  Hell, at this point just driving on the roads feels like you're halfway in prison.

Leviathan, I understand where you are coming from, your purple prose not withstanding, but you miss the point. No place is free in any idyllic sense. So you pick the national framework like you pick your shoes--so they don't pinch.

If you think freedom is being able to smoke pot 'til you drop, Holland is a very free country. If you don't write graffiti, litter or urinate in elevators, you can do just about whatever else you want in Singapore (see my article in Wired http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/1.04/sandfort.html and Bill Gibson's accompanying article http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/1.04/gibson.html  for some of the flavor of Singapore).

The object of the game is for you to personally be as free as possible.  And trust me, most countries treat expats better than they do their own citizens and beyond that, their is mostly benign neglect. If you have lived in (not just visited) a foreign country and your experience is otherwise, please tell us about it.
Title: Re: 01/09
Post by: KBCraig on January 29, 2009, 03:29:46 am
One country many people mention "escaping" to is Belize. Great tax system for retirees/ex-pats, relatively low cost of living, an "easy country life" especially if you like beach living (the interior is more challenging and less inviting), but... they are far harsher on gun laws than any of their Central neighbors, maybe worse than Mexico, certainly no better than Brazil, and definitely worse than SA countries other than Brazil.

I have read, but do not know for certain, that Belizean drug laws are similar to their gun laws. You can smoke pot and probably get away with it (like most recreational U.S. users), but growing and distributing are treated harshly. I welcome better information if anyone has any.

For the most part, I believe Belize lives up to its former name: British Honduras. 'Nuff said.

All that said, I sure wouldn't mind a relaxing week or two on Jerry Jeff's "long boat dock" at Casa Gonzo on Ambergris Caye. I just wouldn't want to live there. (Actually, that's the only non-mountain place I'd like to live, just not under their current laws.)

Title: Re: 01/09
Post by: SandySandfort on January 29, 2009, 08:36:52 am
One country many people mention "escaping" to is Belize. Great tax system for retirees/ex-pats, relatively low cost of living, an "easy country life" especially if you like beach living (the interior is more challenging and less inviting), but... they are far harsher on gun laws than any of their Central neighbors, maybe worse than Mexico, certainly no better than Brazil, and definitely worse than SA countries other than Brazil.

I haven't been there, but it wouldn't work for me from what I know through friends and acquaintances. It is way too backward. Also, it was where Bob White (of "Duck Book" fame) was shot dead in a robbery. Bob ALWAYS carried a gun in the States, but was persuaded it wasn't legal nor necessary in Belize. I have one rocketeer I know who seems to like living in the countryside--at least I haven't heard any complaints. A former roommate and her ex are from there and were apparently more than happy to leave. If anyone has a big interest in Belize, let me know and I'll follow up with my contacts.

I sure wouldn't mind a relaxing week or two on Jerry Jeff's "long boat dock" at Casa Gonzo on Ambergris Caye. I just wouldn't want to live there. (Actually, that's the only non-mountain place I'd like to live, just not under their current laws.)

I'm not a beach guy either. If you like perfect mountain living, check out Panama or Costa Rica.
Title: Re: 01/09
Post by: Rocketman on January 29, 2009, 10:08:47 am
I remember Bob White of the "Duck book" well.  He was trying at the time to convince everyone that would listen that Belize was a wonderful place, with great weather, friendly people and a low crime rate and they needed to move there and create a expat community.  Then some punk tried to rob him and killed him in the process.  Bob was a multi-millionaire who made his money if I remember correctly by inventing a machine that would take the rubber off of runways and sold them to every major airport in the country.  I think I've still got a copy of his last little booklet that he sent me promoting Belize down in the barn in one of my boxes there.  Decent guy who didn't deserve it.  :'(
Title: Re: 01/09
Post by: Leviathan on February 01, 2009, 01:18:25 am
Nobody deserves to be the victim of a free-victim zone.  Anybody who believes they don't need a gun somewhere because it's just that friendly and inviting needs to remember cases like this one.  Remember, criminals don't fear police.  They fear your ability to defend yourself.
Title: Re: 01/09
Post by: Rocketman on February 01, 2009, 09:10:23 am
Nobody deserves to be the victim of a free-victim zone.  Anybody who believes they don't need a gun somewhere because it's just that friendly and inviting needs to remember cases like this one.  Remember, criminals don't fear police.  They fear your ability to defend yourself.

You and I are in total agreement on this one.   :)