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Over The Limit: Why I Am Leaving The Shire

Thu, 12/18/2014 - 16:56

[The following post is by TDV Contributor Pete Gorman]

I love New Zealand, the breathtaking natural beauty, the mostly open and friendly people and my own history here create a real bond with the place, but all my adult life I have felt oppressed by an ever increasing multitude of laws, regulation and bureaucracy, and it is increasing all the time. I have witnessed the slow erosion of freedom, of the old New Zealand of my Grandfathers day. I have seen the nanny state welfare and 'education' systems turn a large portion of our young adults into helpless unskilled and unmotivated state dependants.

There is a marked antipathy against entrepreneurship, at least among the poor, as if profit is morally reprehensible.  Free enterprise barely rates a mention, all you hear about is jobs jobs jobs... the country is rife with woolly headed socialism. Issues of personal freedoms barely make it into the public discourse, if at all.. The regulatory burden slowly increases over time, we are like the proverbial frogs in the saucepan of water.

I ran into an old friend now running an orchard in the countryside. While showing me around we come across an excavation no more than 5 meters across. He explained, "I have a stainless steel pool to go in there, I got it for $1,500 but its going to cost $18,000 in resource consents and engineering reports so I'm just going to leave it". You can tell with a glance there would be no structural issue with the pool.

In a neighbouring village another friend had a solar hot water unit up and running for the last seven years. She told me that the council have just come along and forced her to take it down because it does not have 'resource consent'. Yes in NZ you have to get permission to make even relatively small changes to your own house.

My Aunty had an idea to start a roadside coffee stall, she would have been required to spend $10,000 on fees. A resource consent, a ministry of transport application and even a consultation with the local Maori Iwi. Needless to say she did not go ahead with the idea.

And then there is this bizarre obsession with safety here. I have seen this obsession with safety grow until it is quite pathological. Small children now have to wear hi-visibility gear to leave the school grounds, also a wide brimmed hat, sunscreen, buddy system and extra supervision. Children are routinely dropped off and picked up rather than 'risk' the walk. This pathology is well illustrated by an anecdote from my Aunty. While at a school football game she noted that all the mothers would call their child in every 10 minutes for water or a snack as if they are going to perish of dehydration in half an hour. Some years back a law was introduced regulating the temperatures food must be served at in  retail outlets, since then the pies have been too hot and the sandwiches too cold.

The guy who washes windows at the university is encumbered with two signs that say 'warning tripping hazard'.  He has to move and set these up again every five minutes as he moves along the side of the building.

My brother is going back to running a small fishing day-boat. He is required to furnish an enormous 'safety plan', something he finds rather burdensome and pointless.

My 250cc scooter costs $477 a year in motor registration, its compulsory to wear a helmet, and if you dare to even ride to the shop and back without one you will hear how you are setting a bad example. This is common here, for people to police themselves (or rather their neighbours!) Also in NZ the price of fuel is doubled because of tax on it. Also the price of alcohol and tobacco is hugely expensive because of taxes. Another thing, in a bar here a serving of spirits is 30ml (almost nothing!) and it will probably cost $10.

To become a property owner in NZ most people now will be in debt to the bank all their lives. The high price of property spills out into prices for everything making NZ one of the most expensive countries in the world. My house is illegal, strict building codes regulate even to the type of wood permitted to be used. D.I.Y shacks have been bulldozed by the council. Even worse, legislation looks likely to be introduced perpetrating a 'warrant of fitness' for rental housing. This should mop up the last of the cheaper housing options.

When the National Party recently got re-elected it was inevitable what would happen. Massive government debt, increased surveillance and joining in with Americas 'War of Terror'. The government recently introduced the 'foreign fighters' bill. No one predicted they would also spend $80 million on new paper currency and reduce the legal blood alcohol driving limit to 1 beer. But the icing on the cake was when the police came out with a 1km/hr speed tolerance for the summer holiday period. 1km!!  For American readers, that is about 0.6 miles per hour... if you go more than 0.6 miles per hour over the speed limit you get extorted!

It is likely that we can expect a false flag terror event like Australia and Canada, to further give excuse for increased state power. There is a strong possibility that this could turn most of the west into an authoritarian state. This probably means that it is going to get worse before it gets better.

New Zealand is often listed as one of the 'most free' countries in the world to live and do business. Perhaps this is the case for medium to large business but is not the case for individual free enterprise. Most people here have never experienced freedom and so seem unaware of the oppression we live under. Perhaps others do not experience this stuff as oppression, but I do.

This is why I am going to Anarchapulco, and why I am going on a one way ticket.

Questions or comments on New Zealand? Join us in the comments. 

New Zealand born Pete Gorman spent his early life as an underground rock musician and then EDM producer before entering film school in 2003. He worked in regional television before working as a media producer for the University of Otago. Lifelong Anarchist beliefs eventually led to the discovery of the Anarchast channel and a growing passion for the Anarchist message of freedom and non-violence, and to his current position as Director of Media for TDV Media.

If You Don't Have Your Assets Outside of the US Yet, What Are You Waiting For?

Tue, 12/16/2014 - 16:26

[The following post is by TDV Editor-In-Chief, Jeff Berwick]

The trajectory is clear.  Painfully clear.

The US government is so beyond bankrupt it isn't even worth belaboring the point.  We've spent the last five years here doing so.

What is more important, if you are an American who still has most of your assets inside the US, is that the walls are closing down around you at an unprecedented rate.  Nearly daily the proof continues to mount.

After the US financial system collapsed in 2008 it is now only being held up like Bernie of Weekend at Bernie's with money printing and holding interest rates at nearly 0%.  In fact, today, December 16th, is the sixth anniversary of the Zero Interest Rate Policy (ZIRP) of the Federal Reserve.

Many people began to see the writing on the wall after 2008.  One of them was Edward Saverin, a co-founder of Facebook, who renounced his US citizenship in 2012 and moved to Singapore.  In response, the US Senate tried to pass the "Ex-Patriot" act which even considered not allowing those who dare leave the US ever to return.

Since then a record amount of Americans have renounced their citizenship to the point where the US government just recently raised the "fee" to renounce by 400%, to $2,350... and it will likely go higher and more laws will be put in place making it more difficult for people to legally disassociate from the bankrupt US government.  That, of course, is in addition to the "exit tax".

Put into effect in June 2008, US 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.  In other words, if you have substantial assets and wish to escape the US tax system you will still end up paying a large amount of tax just to leave (there are ways around that however - read below).

And that's if you can even get out at all.  We are starting to hear word from numerous sources that Americans who have applied to get their US passport or to renew it, in order to expatriate outside of the US, are experiencing very long delays and in at least one case a person was told to "just ask for a refund because we aren't going to issue it".

As far as your money in the US goes things continue to get tightened down.

Barely reported in the mainstream media, on November 16th, at the G20 meeting in Brisbane the Financial Stability Board’s “Adequacy of Loss-Absorbing Capacity of Global Systemically Important Banks in Resolution" was rubber stamped.

Russell Napier, writing in ZeroHedge, called it “the day money died.” At the very least it may have been the day deposits died as money. He stated that deposits are now “just part of commercial banks’ capital structure.” That means they can be “bailed in” or confiscated to save the megabanks from their ludicrously low capital ratios.

Now, if any bank has problems (which is nothing but inevitable) deposit holders are the last man on the totempole and depositor's funds can (and will) be used to keep the bank solvent... Just like in Cyprus, but now it is fully legal and approved across the G20.

Theoretically deposits in the US under $250,000 are "protected" by federal deposit insurance (FDIC).  But banks in the US currently hold $9 trillion+ in deposits and the FDIC has... wait for it... $25 billion to cover them.  Or, about 0.27% of the total.

And that is forgetting for the moment that such a potential massive collapse of the banking system will likely result in such a massive sell-off of the US dollar and US Treasuries that what remaining dollars are left will be nearly worthless.

Thomas Jefferson warned about having institutions like the Federal Reserve in charge of the nations money centuries ago, "If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their Fathers conquered."

That is already well in process and, realizing that, the US government is doing everything it can to stop Americans from taking their money and assets outside of the US.

FATCA

The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) has been in process for years but began to come into full effect on July 1st of this year... and it's just getting started.

FATCA was launched with the intended goal of making sure no American, anywhere, has any financial assets not reported directly to the US government.  Unlike most countries, Americans are some of the most globally enslaved in that they must pay tax to the US government no matter where in the world they live, for how long or even if they have only spent a few days in the US in their life (as many who were born in the US and then moved abroad found out).

This, already, is bad enough.  But the results of FATCA, as with all government programs, come with a massive amount of unintended consequences (whether they were unintended or not is something for another day).  What it has meant is that it is becoming nearly impossible for Americans to open bank or brokerage accounts outside of the US.  In fact, many companies around the world won't even accept investment from Americans (meaning Americans are dramatically limited in their investment options) nor even employ or have an American as a partner or executive of the company as it entails an incredible amount of paperwork and filing in order to comply with all the regulations brought about by FATCA and other arms of the US government.

And all of this is just the beginning.  Wait until the next shoe drops in the US and the next 2008 happens... but much, much worse.

IS THERE ANY WAY OUT?

Where there is a government created problem there is always a solution.

In the past high level solutions were only financially feasible to the very wealthy like Warren Buffet and George Soros who already have their financial affairs set-up in a way in which they are internationalized and outside of the purview of things like FATCA and other regulations.

Now, the cost to completely internationalize your assets and in such a way so as they are not FATCA reportable and able to do business internationally without problem is much cheaper than it used to be.

In fact, we have spent most of this year dealing with US legal counsel and high level accountants finding ways to avoid most of the roadblocks put in the way of Americans via FATCA and other legislation and have come up with a comprehensive solution that makes financial sense for Americans who want to internationalize their assets as pain-free as possible.

Some of the benefits include:

-An extremely high level of asset protection from creditors and frivolous lawsuits

-Investment restrictions are eliminated

-Complete control over the assets

-Significantly reduced FATCA reporting requirements

-Capital gains taxes on appreciated assets are eliminated

-Estate tax is completely avoided (for you and all future generations)

-Exit Tax if you wish to renounce US citizenship is avoided

-No probate

-Generous tax deductions may be realized

-Tax on future investment returns minimized

-Qualified plan assets such as IRAs can be protected from creditors and future rule changes

As far as we know, no one has come up with a complete solution such as this anywhere in the world.  Most wealth management firms are still scrambling to understand FATCA much less tailor solutions for their clients outside of its purview - all legally and signed off by high level and reputable lawyers and accounts in the US.

On January 15th we will be holding a one day workshop in Cancun, Mexico, to reveal our solution and to consult with high net worth (at least $1 million in net worth is necessary to make this solution cost-effective) individuals to tailor a process for them.

In the past we've held similar conferences and charged over $5,000 for the conference but we are holding this one-time workshop for only $495... and it is even free if you also attend the Passport To Freedom conference which is from January 15-17th.

You can find out more about TDV Wealth Management's Cancun conference here.  If you would like to speak with us about whether this solution is for you, you can also email conference@tdvwealthmanagement.com.

If you are American and still hold a substantial amount of your assets in the US and see the writing on the wall and want to receive the best financial, tax and planning advise on protecting yourself you owe it to yourself, and your family, to take steps now to protect yourself.  You'll never hear this on CNBC, the mainstream media or from your government registered financial advisor.

It is up to you to take your financial future into your own hands... and we are here to help.

Jeff Berwick

Anarchast Ep. 180 Luke Rudkowski: Change Media University!

Mon, 12/15/2014 - 23:07

Jeff interviews independent journalist Luke Rudkowski of We Are Change, topics include: independent journalism making the mainstream media irrelevant, the death of the mainstream media, speaking truth to power, the future is live streaming, Change Media University at Anarchapulco, full power journalism training, simple affordable tools, Change Media is also a support network, quality production lends credibility, ditching your job and living your dream. The time to act is now!

Click here or on thumbnail

 

The Future of Media... Forget Traditional School

Mon, 12/15/2014 - 17:36

[The following post is by TDV Editor-In-Chief, Jeff Berwick]

The world of media has changed dramatically in the last twenty years thanks to the internet.

Harking back to the pre-internet days, in 1989, after having begrudgingly completed my twelve years of being in an indoctrination camp my mother chided me that I "had" to go to College.  I told her that I just wanted to get out there and do something... I didn't need four more years of being unproductive and "learning" mostly useless things but she demanded that I must go!

I acquiesed and agreed to at least try it.  But, my grades in high school were almost completely, across the board at about 50-59%.  That's because I knew that 50% was what was needed to escape the system and so I put in the bare minimum of time and work to get 50%... and sometimes accidentally overshot.

So, this meant that I could not get into any University and so we looked at Community Colleges in my hometown of Deadmonton, Kanada, in the Kanadian version of Siberia.

I flipped through the book and didn't see much that interested me.  Finally I agreed to go to a two year "Media & Advertising" class.  Something about media attracted me and it is funny that still to this day I am quite involved in the media world.

However, I showed up at the class and couldn't believe how outdated everything was.  Personal computers had already been out for the last decade and I spent most of that decade exploring the world of computing.  But in the media class they were mostly working with typewriters and doing graphical things with papers and scissors and glue!

I mocked the teachers and told them they need to be doing all of it through the computer.  They had one Mac computer there and I tried to show them how to use it but they got angry at me, telling me that they were the experts in media and advertising and that I should just do it their way.

It eventually reached the point where they threw me out of the school.  I remember the exact class I got kicked out of... it was called "Media 101" and I continually made the teacher look like a fool to the point that he kicked me out.  Ten years later I was running a media company I founded, Stockhouse Media Corporation, which was worth $240 million at the peak of the tech bubble.

Since the tech bubble, however, the rate of change in the world of media has been unbelievable.  Hardly anyone watches CNN anymore and MSNBC just announced they are going to show more sports programming in order to retain what few viewers they have left.

The real change is that many people get their news, information and analysis not from top-down, centralized media monopolies but from independent organizations, websites and video/audio providers.  This is the real revolution and it is unstoppable.

CHANGE MEDIA UNIVERSITY

That is why when Luke Rudkowski, one of the biggest independent investigative journalism brands, announced Change Media University I was excited.

Unlike going to a journalism college you don't have to spend four years and tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars to learn how media and journalism used to be done!

Now you can learn everything you need to know to break into the world of independent investigative journalism in about a day and for around $150!  And you will actually learn about what is going on today... not what happened years ago and is already outdated.  Things are changing so fast that it is pointless to go to a school for four years to mostly learn from people who did things decades ago.  Even by the time you finish school everything will be outdated.

I recently spoke with Luke Rudkowski about the launch of Change Media University.  If you have any interest in media this is a must see video from one of the guys who has changed the game.

Click here or on thumbnail

Furthermore, we're incredibly excited to announce that Luke Rudkowski will be hosting the first live event of Change Media University in a one-day workshop at Anarchapulco on February 26th.  The workshop is offered at only $95 if you sign up before Christmas Day.  After Christmas it will go up to $145 per person (you can see more here).

As well, we're also excited to announce that Dan Dicks of PressForTruth.ca will also be teaching at the event.  Dan Dicks and Press For Truth have been some of the best sources for news and information in Kanada including the recent Parliament shooting and have done five documentaries including exposing police agent provacateurs at one political event.

Click here or on thumbnail

As well, I will teach a one hour course on how to start and grow a media company including how to monetize things like your own blog.

So if you were like me when I was younger and have your parents demanding that you go to four years of school to learn something like journalism, let them know that they can save tens of thousands of dollars and you can save four years of your life by attending Change Media University at Anarchapulco instead.

As well, even for older people who wish to learn the ins and outs of the new world of media and journalism this is an incredible opportunity to learn from the real leading experts of today... and all right on the beach in Anarchapulco!

Jeff Berwick

TDV Week In Review, Sunday December 14, 2014

Sun, 12/14/2014 - 06:32
 

Check out TDV's Invitation to Jeff's secret appearance in Cancun.

Before we get to the review, be sure to check out TDV Newsletter. Subscribe to The Newsletter today, and receive TDV's HomeGrown, as well as special reports, including Getting Your Gold Out Of DodgeThis is a true value and will help you learn and understand the times in which we currently live on the financial, economic, political, technological and personal fronts.

If you’re interested in receiving articles beyond what you read here everyday, consider our weekly subscriber-only publications, like our Issue, Dispatches, and Homegrown. You may subscribe here.

On to the review…

Monday December 8

WHY US COPS CAN KILL AMERICANS WITH IMPUNITY 

TDV contributor Wendy McElroy on police brutality:

As I write, FOX News television is reporting on the following story, which is also posted to its website, “A protest against police-involved killings spun out of control for the second straight night in Berkeley, Calif. Sunday [Dec. 7], as demonstrators threw rocks and explosives at officers, turned on each other, and shut down a highway.” Two officers were injured. An undisclosed number of protesters were arrested. 

continue reading... 

Wednesday December 10

MARK CUBAN DOESN'T KNOW WHAT COMMUNISM IS

TDV Chief Jeff Berwick Mark Cuban's economic and political ignorance

I've had fun at the expense of Mark Cuban before (calling him a brainwashed slave and a useless idiot)... but he just makes it so easy!

He opened his mouth today on CNBC stating that Alibaba should not have been allowed into the US because it is based in a "communist country".  It took me a moment to wrap my head around his words... and then I realized as I read on that he was referring to China.  I was confused because China is far less communist in many ways than the USSA.

continue reading...

Thursday December 11

TEXAS TO SET PRECEDENT FOR ANOTHER SHAKEDOWN BY COPS?

Wendy McElroy on the expanding police state:

A bill before the Texas legislature is being widely misreported by the alternative media. That's a shame because H.B. 121 could set a dangerous precedent by giving law enforcement a procedure that invites corruption and could quickly expand in scope. H.B. 121 dramatically increases the police ability to extort money from average Americans. That's  the flip side of the police state: one side enforces social control while the other loots and confiscates. First the state takes your rights and then it takes your wealth.

continue reading...

Friday December 12

HOW TO RENOUNCE YOUR US CITIZENSHIP AND BECOME STATELESS

TDV Chief Jeff Berwick interviews Glen Roberts.

TDV: We also find Latin America to be one of the most enjoyable places to live.  When, how and why did you renounce your US citizenship?

GR: I formally renounced my US Citizenship on June 21, 2013. The renunciation ceremony took place at the US Consulate in Asuncion on that day. I had previously met with the US Consul and he read me a 12 point document on the consequences of renunciation. The actual ceremony is very quick. I made a youtube video with a reenactment of it, and the essential part of the ceremony takes about 90 seconds! 

continue reading...

TDV VIDEO

Jeff interviews Jaime Sherman and Samuel Kovac on Anarchast. 

Click here or on thumbnail

 

 

Have a look at our wide array of informative videos featuring interviews, opinions, and analysis on TDV’s media page.

TDV SERVICES

Don't forget, TDV is much more than a newsletter.  We also offer many of the solutions to the problems we identify in the letter to help people internationalize their self and wealth to protect themselves from The End Of The Monetary System As We Know It (TEOTMSAWKI). Check out all our services and events designed to help you gain more freedom in your life here:

Remember, if you have any questions, concerns, or issues with what you've read on TDV, write us at: tdv@dollarvigilante.com.

Thanks as always for reading or subscribing!

How To Renounce Your US Citizenship And Become Stateless

Fri, 12/12/2014 - 20:05

[The following post is by TDV Editor-In-Chief, Jeff Berwick]

I recently had the pleasure to speak with Glen Roberts, a self-described "techno-geek", blogger and the author of How to Renounce Your US Citizenship in Two Easy Steps. The book was written as a guide to cut through opinions and describe the requirements and process of renouncing US citizenship… something in high demand lately. Glen renounced his US citizenship after living in various Central and South American countries for more than a decade and currently resides, statelessly, in Paraguay.

His story is one of the most interesting we’ve heard in the neverending Escape from Amerika struggle.  Here was our conversation.

The Dollar Vigilante (TDV): Tell us a little bit about yourself, your background and how you ended up in Paraguay?

Glen Roberts (GR): I was born in 1962 and lived in the midwest of the US until the end of 2002. I worked in the computer programming field as well as publishing an alternative newspaper called Full Disclosure. A secret FBI memo (which I received a censored copy of under the Freedom of Information Act) in 1988 described it this way: “Full Disclosure professes to be an alternative newspaper dedicated to exposing excesses of authority and providing information on citizens' rights so that its readers will be prepared to intelligently deal with intrusions into their lives by the Government. One of Full Disclosure's special concerns is technology and privacy.”

TDV: Wow, they were that on top of things even way back in 1988!  I’m sure our dossier with them is a few hard drives full today.

GR: I think the underlying issue here is that the FBI is both a criminal investigative agency and also an intelligence agency. I think obviously their intelligence mandate beyond whatever legitimate intelligence activities they engage in, also includes the investigation of and maintaining information on US citizens who exercise their constitutionally protected rights. That information of course, then becomes available for whatever political purposes might arise in the future. I also believe that because of their appearance as a law enforcement agency, much of their intelligence activities under cover of law enforcement, ie: in plain sight and no one notices.

TDV: Which agency in the US government isn’t an “intelligence” agency anymore!  Anyway, please go on about your background...

GR: In 2002 I went on vacation several times in Costa Rica, each getting longer. I hadn’t made any specific plans to move, however. In early 2003, I visited the US and upon my return to Costa Rica had planned to go back and forth regularly. However, I found life more fulfilling outside the US and have never been back since.

Costa Rica ultimately was not the right place for me and then I spent about 5-½ years in Uruguay. Almost 4 years ago, I moved to Paraguay and find that it is a comfortable fit for me.

TDV: We also find Latin America to be one of the most enjoyable places to live.  When, how and why did you renounce your US citizenship?

GR: I formally renounced my US Citizenship on June 21, 2013. The renunciation ceremony took place at the US Consulate in Asuncion on that day. I had previously met with the US Consul and he read me a 12 point document on the consequences of renunciation. The actual ceremony is very quick. I made a youtube video with a reenactment of it, and the essential part of the ceremony takes about 90 seconds! 

However, that shouldn’t undermine the significance of it. I believe that it is truly profound not only on a legal level, but also on a spiritual level. When I look back on things, I would say that metaphorically, I had been an eagle chained to a flagpole, and my renunciation cut me free. 

I walked into the US Embassy that day as a poor burdened human with the weight of the US and all it does on my shoulders. I left free as an eagle to explore new heights.

TDV: Eagle, nice metaphor!

GR: I had researched the topic of renouncing my citizenship various times over the years I lived outside the US. However, it never quite clicked. I think some of that may have been that I didn’t have another passport. Some, was that I was still “American”.

Over the 11 years I lived outside the United States, I changed significantly. Much of the fear and anger I had felt on a daily basis vanished. I became more healthy, more self-content, more at peace with myself. As I became more disconnected from the American culture and as saw myself as being less and less “American”, the label became more and more of a burden for me.

Not to mention my feelings of having lived in a lie when I was active publishing Full Disclosure, ie: being taught as a child I lived in a “free country”, yet found whenever I exercised those freedoms, I was “put down”, it not outright harassed or threatened.

The day to day burdens of being an American also I believe leave everyone walking around with a black cloud over them. People seem to be culturally engineered into a state of discontent and the solutions, choices and opportunities for change simply lead to more disillusionment.

TDV: Many people are under the impression that in order to renounce your US citizenship you had to be a citizen of another country.  Clearly that is not the case.  Was that brought up at all during the renunciation process?  

GR: There are countless misconceptions about the requirements and process of renunciation. Also, many who haven’t gone through the process often express views indicating that it is also an adversarial process as well.

The first indication that it not required that you have to be a citizen of another country is by reading the State Department guide called the Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM) which outlines the process and requirements for all functions of the US Consulate. That guide clearly states that one is not required to hold another nationality in order to renounce their US citizenship. It only indicates the person should be told of the consequences and if they still want to go ahead, to process the renunciation.

In my book, I have included a complete copy of the FAM section on renunciations, as well as a copy of all the forms I was required to complete, along with my answers. You can see exactly what information you need to provide. Hint: it is not very much, nor very detailed.

You can also see the 12 points they read you about the consequences. One of those points is about Statelessness. In my case, the US Consul and I had a brief discussion of that topic and he additionally gave me a page from the FAM apparently not generally available to the public.

At no time did the US Consul express any issue or personal concern with respect to my decision to renounce or become Stateless. I would say that my decision to become Stateless had no significant impact on the process or the information I was requested to provide.

Another common misconception is that you need to “pay for the forms”. The forms are freely given to you, and the administrative fee (now US$2,350 - a 400% increase just recently instituted) is not collected until immediately before the renunciation ceremony.

TDV: Are you able to travel outside of Paraguay without having any passports?

GR: That is a question I am not prepared to answer directly. I prefer to share my actual experiences, not speculate on possibilities. There is a UN treaty that was written in 1954. The title is “Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons”. 

Article 28 of that treaty provides in part, “Travel Documents. The Contracting States shall issue to stateless persons lawfully staying in their territory travel documents for the purpose of travel outside their territory, unless compelling reasons of national security or public order otherwise require, and the provisions of the Schedule to this Convention shall apply with respect to such documents”. The schedule then describes this document, and for all practical purposes, it looks like and functions as a passport. However, the cover describes it as a travel document per the 1954 convention, and it specifically disclaims any relation to the holders nationality: “This document is issued solely with a view to providing the holder with a travel document which can serve in lieu of a national passport. It is without prejudice to and in no way affects the holder’s nationality.”

Paraguay became a party to that treaty on July 2, 2014 (see a list of countries who have signed the treaty here) and therefore has an obligation to provide me with that travel document. 

I recently met with the Human Rights department of Paraguay and they understand their obligations under the Convention. They also explained and I understand that not only am I the first Stateless case they have, but also because they only recently became a party to the treaty, they have yet to develop any process, forms, or anything else to implement it.

TDV: That is one of the great things about living in many “underdeveloped” countries… a complete lack of government size, ability or experience to focus on many of these things.  But, please go on.

GR: They did accept an application from me to be recognized as Stateless. They are also working to help me update my immigration records to reflect that status as well. I had previously applied for and received permanent resident status.

I decided to wait until Paraguay recognizes me as a Stateless person and not an American before I explore using my Paraguayan Cedula for international travel. I also believe that as they create a framework under the treaty, I will receive a travel document.

When I renounced my US Citizenship, I did so with the realization that it could be difficult to travel internationally for sometime, if not forever.

TDV: This is a unique way to go about things.  Most people would apply for Paraguayan residency (and therefore a cedula first) and then even get a Paraguayan passport before renouncing.  It seems you have reverse engineered the entire process.  We don’t want to be negative nellies but we are willing to bet it will not be an easy process.  But, we’ll definitely be curious to follow your progress as will many of our readers. What other rights does the 1954 Convention offer?

GR: I think as a brief general overview of the treaty, one might describe it by saying that basically it ensures that Stateless people will be treated the same as another other legal resident. That Stateless people cannot be discriminated against because they have no nationality. However, it does have one provision that may be of particular interest to those who are seeking to change their nationality from US to something else.

Article 32 provides: “Naturalization. The Contracting States shall as far as possible facilitate the assimilation and naturalization of stateless persons. They shall in particular make every effort to expedite naturalization proceedings and to reduce as far as possible the charges and costs of such proceedings.”

Though it doesn’t obligate a party State to grant citizenship. However they are required to make it an easier process. And, depending on the country, it may well be that the process of obtaining citizenship would be significantly facilitated by becoming Stateless first. The risk, of course, is that according to the US State Department renunciation of citizenship is the most unequivocal way to lose citizenship and "such action is final and irrevocable." 

TDV: What have been the positives and negatives of renouncing US citizenship for you?

GR: Though many people bring up the issue of international travel, I don’t see that as a particular negative. Throughout my life, I’ve gone decades without any international travel. So, whether it is another year, two or more before I am free to travel internationally at will, I am content with my life here in Paraguay.

Another negative aspect of course is going through the more complicated IRS paperwork for the year of renunciation, but I believe that is more than balanced by being free of those obligations thereafter. 

(Editor’s Note: For those looking to renounce who have substantial assets and may be liable for an egregious “exit tax” from the US government, TDV Wealth Management has solutions to make this process much easier and less ‘taxing’ so to speak)

At the time I renounced, I felt that maybe some of my old friends from the US would “attack” me as being unpatriotic, an idiot, etc. However, I was surprised that I didn’t get any reaction of that kind, not from my friends, or even strangers. Of course, not everyone agreed with my decision, but everyone seems to support it.

TDV: We aren’t that surprised.  There is a massive swell of people in the US realizing that the US isn’t the land of the free, at all, anymore… and many are jealous if you can get out.

GR: I would even to an extent include the personnel at the US Embassy when I renounced. I can only describe their interaction with me as professional and in some cases friendly. Much different that what I often read in articles, blogs and comments from people who have not personally been through the process.

For the positive aspects of it, it was for all accounts a process of death and rebirth. I was simply able to cast off the the nonsense of the past and start a new. I don’t feel burdened by the label of being an American.

TDV: You sound like you are an anarchist, or at least your actions have been very anarchist like. Are you?

GR: I don’t wish to apply that label or any other to myself. Even the label “Stateless” takes away from people seeing me as the individual I am and grouping me with others that may or may not reflect my personality.

When I took my Certificate of Loss of Nationality to a translator he glanced at the document and then we were discussing other things. He asked me if I was a libertarian. I replied that I didn’t like to use labels, but that would fit better than “republican” or “democrat”. Then he noticed the document again and commented that, “this looks really important”. I replied yes and suggested he read it.

We then had a lengthy discussion on the topic. He had been a university student in the US, so was well versed in the politics and culture from his experiences. As we concluded the conversation, he said, “I am sorry that I asked if you were a libertarian. I can see you are an earthling”.

I think the impression one gets from the term “anarchist” is a society that is in a constant state of chaos. I also think that if you look around, or particularly, if you read the newspaper or watch the news, that you could only conclude that we are now living in a constant state of chaos!

I believe that our culture of citizenship, particularly based on birth and geography creates a system that is inherently dependent on conflict and fear. If not for a constant state of conflict and fear there would be no purpose or need for our “leaders”.

TDV: Or no need for rulers, so to speak.  Ahem, carry on.

GR: Yet, from the first moments of our lives we are locked into and taught that because of our citizenship we are obligated to, bound to and subservient to our leaders. That of course is contrary to the teachings that we are free willed, or have liberty. We get emotionally so caught up by the pledge of patriotism that we never see the reality, or if we do, have no opportunity to reconcile the difference.

My question is how we can shift from that kind of system to one where we live in co-respect of each other. Not that we would live in a lawless situation of chaos, but rather the “law” would be for our protection, not the empowerment of political leaders.

TDV: We like your perspective on things and agree!  A big part of our writing here at TDV focuses on transitioning to a new, better system.  An asystem, in fact. Of course, the word “anarchy” has been promoted by governments (and their mainstream media arms) to sound like it would be a terrible existence.  It would be… at least for a time, for the government and their employees as they’d actually have to go out and get a real, productive job.  

As an aside, TDV has a large global network of likeminded people around the world like yourself and we have a number of people in Paraguay.  I’ll make sure to connect you with that network (Editor’s Note: You can get access to TDV Groups through a basic subscription to The Dollar Vigilante).  

Do you have any final comments or things you’d like to let our readers know?

GR: With respect to the process of renunciation, keep in mind that it is a simple process. The reason why is not important. It is not a question on the forms. There is no need to rant about FACTA or any other ill actions of the United States. You can be sure the personnel in the Embassy are completely aware of the consequences of FACTA and all the other bad activities of the country. Their job is to process your paperwork, not address those concerns. Your renunciation is a political statement enough, and once it is complete you are free of all the drama and nonsense of that country. There is no need to try and make the ultimate exit an adversarial process. Step through the door and into your new life.

The decision is important, whether you have a second citizenship or not. As stated above, it is "is final and irrevocable." You cannot go back next month and get your citizenship back.

In my book I don’t address the issue of Statelessness beyond how it affects (not at all) the renunciation process. I will address the issue of being Stateless when I have sufficient personal experiences to make a proper report.

The first place to study that topic is the 1954 Convention and the list of countries that are a party to it.

I also think that just like becoming an expat, it is more important to focus on where you are going than where you are coming from. I’ve seen many expats who although are physically outside the US, seem to be emotionally engaged at the same level they were before. There are many great new experiences awaiting and they are much more fulfilling than remaining trapped in the emotional drama of the US. However, as an expat you always have the option to simply return.

An ex-American will have a very difficult time returning to live in the US and in some cases it may also be extremely difficult to even visit. I made the choice after being outside the US for 11 years. I recently heard from another ex-American who renounced a decade ago, also after having been outside the US for 11 years.

TDV: Yes, we’ve heard varying accounts on the degree of ease of returning to the US to visit if you have renounced.  As with all things government related it is a fairly grey area and mostly depends on what new passport you carry and if you need a visa.  If you do need a visa then your fate on receiving a tourist visa to the US lies in the hand of a government bureaucrat who may or may not be in a bad mood that day.

In any case, this has been simply fascinating and we’ll be watching how things progress with you. Thank you and please keep in touch.

GR: Thank you.

CONCLUSION

There are not many stories of Americans who have renounced their citizenship without already having acquired a new owner (country).  One of the only cases we know of was Jeff Knaebel, an American who lit his passport on fire in India… and then soon after, himself.  Glen seems to have taken a much more pleasant course and is living happily in Paraguay and has written about his experiences in How To Renounce Your US Citizenship In Two Easy Steps (you can purchase the book here).

Glen is definitely a trailblazer in this regard but we would caution others to be careful if you follow in his footsteps.  Entering into unchartered waters can often be uncomfortable… But if you are considering getting a second citizenship and/or renouncing we advise you to both check out Glen’s book as well as contacting TDV Passports who can give you some consultation on your options.

Hopefully a day soon comes where no slave card (passport) is needed to travel or live freely.  But in the meantime, people like Glen are blazing new trails to try to shed their owners.

We wish him all the best!

Questions or comments? Join us at TDV.

Jeff Berwick

Texas to Set Precedent for Another Shakedown by Cops?

Thu, 12/11/2014 - 19:18

[The following post is by TDV Contributor Wendy McElroy]

A bill before the Texas legislature is being widely misreported by the alternative media. That's a shame because H.B. 121 could set a dangerous precedent by giving law enforcement a procedure that invites corruption and could quickly expand in scope. H.B. 121 dramatically increases the police ability to extort money from average Americans. That's  the flip side of the police state: one side enforces social control while the other loots and confiscates. First the state takes your rights and then it takes your wealth.

If profitable, H.B. 121 procedure could become standard nationwide.     

What H.B. 121 Is And Is Not

Entitled “Alternative means of payment of certain criminal fines and court costs,” the bill alters an important aspect of the arrest process for certain outstanding warrants. (Note: the bill's language is currently open to revision.) It states that a policeman “(1) shall inform the defendant of: (A) the possibility of making an immediate payment of the fine and related court costs by use of a credit or debit card; and (B) the defendant’s available alternatives to making an immediate payment.” In short, pay up or go to jail.

Unfortunately, the government watchdog site InfoWars mischaracterized H.B. 121 in its article “Cops To Become Judge, Jury & Extortioner: Police to charge drivers on the spot with credit card readers.” InfoWars gave the impression that Texas police would be able to charge people with traffic offenses or other  crimes and then pressure them into immediately paying up. The site stated, “The latest erosion of due process has just been proposed in Texas — allowing the police to charge you with a crime and then charge your credit card on the spot.” 

If H.B. 121 authorized cops to issue traffic citations and accept immediate payment, then it would be nothing new. Many states already use the “immediate payment” method of 'resolving' traffic citations.  If the bill authorized cops to lay other criminal charges and press for payment, then it would be sensational. But this is not the case...yet. It falls somewhere in between.

The bill addresses the arrest procedure for those who have a capias pro-fine warrant; that is, an arrest warrant issued for a defendant who fails to comply with a court ordered judgment. The warrants are common place in cases of overdue alimony, backed-up child support payments, past due fines or unpaid settlements. The bill also addresses the arrest of those who have an outstanding fine and court costs associated with a Class C misdemeanor. In Texas, these 'crimes' include theft under $50, leaving a child in a vehicle, disorderly conduct, assisting a suicide, writing bad checks and many other minor infractions.

When a police officer arrests someone in those categories, H.B. 121 would allow him to pull out a credit card reader and give him the option to pay now rather than be hauled to jail. Prisons and courts like the option because it reduces overcrowding in both. City officials and the police like the option because it brings in quick cash with less expenditure.

To “serve and protect" = to “ticket and collect"

The public should be alarmed for several reasons that include:

• There is financial incentive for courts to issue as many warrants as possible;
• There is financial incentive to create charges that result in warrants;
• Police will pressure people to pay, especially if bonuses are involved. For example, they may target people with children and threatened to contact Child Protective Services if an arrest is necessary; 
• Police may lie, inflate fines and use fraudulent credit card readers to enrich themselves;
• The readers will make people vulnerable to identity theft;
• Police already have immense personal info on the person; now they will have credit card data as well, which can be easily repurposed.

The bill is also an attack on due process rights. A press release from Representative Allen Fletcher, who sponsored the bill, stated, “HB 121 does not force a payment nor does it deprive an individual of their right to an attorney or their day in court. This option only applies to those with a capias pro-fine warrant or those who have outstanding Class C misdemeanor fines or court costs, or a judgment for fines and court costs if the individual has already been convicted.”  Fletcher is an ex-cop, the vice chairman of the House Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee and a member of the Transportation Committee.

His statement is disingenuous in at least four ways.

1) Part of due process is a person's right to appear in court for an assessment by a judge prior to a case proceeding to trial. And everyone has the right to a public trial before being adjudicated “guilty.” The Federalist (Nov. 13) commented that passage of the bill “would set the legal precedent wherein everyday police officers would be empowered to take on the roles of judge, jury and executioner – and charge 'related court costs'.” 

2) Fletcher makes it sound as though the law applies to those convicted of Class C misdemeanors. But the law clearly specifies that it extends to those accused of the “alleged commission of a Class C misdemeanor.” 

3) The bill may currently apply only to “capias pro-fine warrant” and outstanding Class C matters but police powers have a marked tendency to expand. This is especially true when the powers bring in revenue. If passed, in a few years time, the police will probably be able to charge people with a wide range of  crimes and offer them the option of paying on the spot rather than going to jail. This would have a profound impact on personal freedom. For example, it would be an effective way to discourage the anti-police protests currently unfolding in Berkeley and New York.

4) The bill specifies payment as a choice but that 'choice' may be 'encouraged' by the police. A parallel situation is a defendant's 'right' to waive a jury trial in felony cases. Across the nation, District Attorneys threaten defendants with exaggerated charges and extreme prison sentences if they do not plead guilty or waive a jury trial. To call this a choice is deceptive.

H.B. 121 is likely to pass. It is being sold as a neutral measure that lightens the load of prisons and courts. It is also said to assist the public by offering a more convenient means of settling debts to the state. A cop with credit card reader may be monitoring you in the near future, hoping you drop a piece of litter or jaywalk him into a bonanza.

(Editor's Note: In the upcoming issue of TDV Homegrown we discuss how Americans can survive inside Amerika including a special announcement by Jeff Berwick on another addition to the Killer B's, "Boats" - and how to live freer from the police state on the open water)

Questions or comments? Join us at The Dollar Vigilante

Wendy McElroy

Mark Cuban Doesn't Know What Communism Is

Wed, 12/10/2014 - 17:31

[The following post is by TDV Editor-In-Chief, Jeff Berwick]

I've had fun at the expense of Mark Cuban before (calling him a brainwashed slave and a useless idiot)... but he just makes it so easy!

He opened his mouth today on CNBC stating that Alibaba should not have been allowed into the US because it is based in a "communist country".  It took me a moment to wrap my head around his words... and then I realized as I read on that he was referring to China.  I was confused because China is far less communist in many ways than the USSA.

Perhaps Mark hasn't noticed the changes in the last few decades since Mao has passed on?  Or didn't notice that the new very capitalist China has surpassed the US as the largest economy on Earth?

The Alibaba Group (NYSE:BABA) was started out of Jack Ma's apartment in Hangzhou, China in 1999 and is now worth over a quarter of a trillion dollars and serves more than 79 million members from more than 240 countries and territories.  That is staggering growth rarely seen anymore in the fasco-communist USSA due to all their central planning and regulations.

Cuban stated that his biggest problem is that USSA centrally planned "insider trading" laws are hard to apply in capitalist China where they just don't have a massive, centrally planned overseer of the securities market.

"Insider Trading" laws, upheld by large bureaucratic organizations who wiretap and eavesdrop on people like Martha Stewart, are ridiculous to begin with.  The idea that big government should be watching over the markets to make sure that no one, ever, acts upon information they have is the height of big government and is typical of former-communist places like East Germany and Mao's China.  Yet, Mark Cuban, seems to think the opposite.

He went on to criticize China and its "gulags in Southern China"... yet again not noticing that the USSA has, by far, the largest amount of its own citizens in gulags... including for a time, Martha Stewart!

The USSA has over 700 people per 100,000 in work camps compared to less than 150 in China.  The "Civilian Inmate Labor Program" is a revision of the regulation passed and signed by Bill Clinton in 1997. 210-35 is currently valid and fully operative.

The regulations specify that army personnel running the US prison camps will prepare an "Inmate Labor Plan" that will comply with 18 U.S.C. 4125(a), governing civilian inmate labor. That section of the US Code allows the U.S. attorney general to make available to the heads of US departments, including the Army, the services of US prisoners to engage in labor, including "constructing or repairing roads, cleaning, maintaining and reforesting public lands, building levees and constructing or repairing any other public ways or works financed wholly or in major part by funds appropriated by Congress."

It also often has people in prison camps in the US working for slave labor wages for private companies.

Cuban also doesn't seem to have noticed that the USSA police state has become so overtly oppressive, thieving and murderous that the Chinese government felt a need to comment on recent events in Ferguson, stating, "We have to improve the record of human rights and promote the cause of human rights."

CONCLUSION

Many people in the US are still under the misguided belief that they live in a free and capitalist country when almost nothing can be further from the truth.  Is China perfect?  No, of course not.  Is China more free-market capitalist in many ways than the US today?  Absolutely.  The truth of the matter is that the US and China are both fasco-communist police states... but in many ways the US is now worse than China.

The fact that Mark Cuban admonishes China over its lack of big government regulatory controls and much smaller prison camp populations, however, is just another one to add to Mark Cuban's list of brainwashed slave quotations.

Stick to dancing and watching basketball, Mark.

Comments on Mark Cuban? Let us know in the comment section! 

Jeff Berwick

Why US Cops Can Kill Americans With Impunity

Mon, 12/08/2014 - 14:43

[The following post is by TDV Contributor, Wendy McElroy]

As I write, FOX News television is reporting on the following story, which is also posted to its website, “A protest against police-involved killings spun out of control for the second straight night in Berkeley, Calif. Sunday [Dec. 7], as demonstrators threw rocks and explosives at officers, turned on each other, and shut down a highway.” Two officers were injured. An undisclosed number of protesters were arrested. 

Anyone following American news knows the police are entirely out of control. They kill, beat, and brutalize non-resisting 'civilians' with impunity, even if that  person is a child, even if he is shot in the back. Police officers who kill unarmed and complying people are almost always vindicated by their department superiors and by a court system that will not prosecute. No wonder homicides by cops are at a two decade high despite a continuing decline in America's overall homicide rate. 

The problem is not a few bad cops. It is the entire system of law enforcement. And the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) must shoulder blame for giving cops close to carte blanche to kill.

HOW SCOTUS LETS COPS KILL YOU

On March 27, 1985, SCOTUS ruled on Tennessee v. Garner. The case involved a Tennessee statute that gave the police a right to use “all the necessary means to effect the arrest" of a suspect fleeing the prospect of arrest. In 1974, a Memphis police officer did just that. He used deadly force against Edward Garner whom the officer suspected of burglary. Garner's attempt to flee was blocked by a fence, which allowed the officer to catch up. When Garner began to scale the fence, the officer used deadly force despite being "reasonably sure" Garner was unarmed, about 17 years old and of slight build; he was actually unarmed, 15 years old and black. A Federal District Court upheld the statute and the officer's conduct as constitutional; the Court of Appeal reversed the lower court decision as unconstitutional. And so the case proceeded up the legal food chain to SCOTUS.

It ruled that an officer's use of deadly force must be “objectively reasonable.” That is, he must have “probable cause to believe that the suspect poses a significant threat of death or serious physical injury to the officer or others.” In  Graham v. Connor (1989), SCOTUS found that reasonableness was based on the severity of the crime and/or whether the suspect posed an immediate threat to the safety or life of another person, including officers. The second justification left an officer free to subjectively and on the spot determine if a suspect was a danger; the  determination could be based on nothing more than the officer feeling threatened...or later claiming to have felt so. His superiors and the court system almost invariably support the officer's evaluation. 

The effect: the courts no longer legally credit the idea of “excessive force” by a policeman who claims to have been threatened. It doesn't matter if the suspect is unarmed, underage, handcuffed and the 'crime' is a petty one. Nor does it matter if the evidence indicates the absence of a threat. All that matters is the officer's subjective opinion. 

HOW COMMON IS “EXCESSIVE FORCE” BY POLICE?

A headline (August 25, 2014) in the legal analyst site Law Blog stated, “Excessive Force By Police May Be More Common Than We Think.”

[A] report, commissioned by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, estimates that there were roughly 400 reports of “justifiable homicide” each year between 2005 and 2012. While victims like Michael Brown [black youth killed in Ferguson, Missouri] dominate the news cycle, it’s worth remembering that on average, police officers “justifiably” kill a black person nearly twice a week, every week, and 21 percent of the time, the victim is under the age of 21. That’s more than double the rate for white victims under the age of 21, which comes in at 8.7 percent. 

Law Blog went on to warn that FBI numbers “may be vastly unreported” because “many of these statistics are self-reported, and some law enforcement agencies do not report their incidents to the national database.”

University of South Carolina criminologist Geoff Alpert pointed out that “there is no national database for this type of information [use of excessive force], and that is so crazy. We've been trying for years, but nobody wanted to fund it and the [police] departments didn't want it. They were concerned with their image and liability. They don't want to bother with it.'' [Emphasis added]

Alpert, who has researched the files of hundreds of police departments, commented, “it’s very rare that you find someone saying, ‘Oh, gosh, we used excessive force.’ In 98.9% of the cases, they are stamped as justified and sent along.”

CONCLUSION

The excessive and deadly force issue is merely one aspect of the police state America has become. (Click here for details on some other aspects.) The list includes:

  • militarization of police so that small towns now have armored tanks
  • total surveillance and gathering of civilian communications
  • trivial 'offenses' lead to arrest and lengthy prison sentences
  • the highest prison population in the world
  • young children are being arrested for misbehaving in school

Protesters in Berkeley and elsewhere vow to keep hitting the streets until the police are brought under control. The police will never do so willingly and going through the courts is a long, arduous path. Accurately or not, protesters hurl the incendiary charge of 'racism' at police departments. Officers throw tear gas back. 

John W. Whitehead, President of The Rutherford Institute, is author of a book entitled “A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State.” He warned, “With each tragic shooting that is shrugged off or covered up, each piece of legislation passed that criminalizes otherwise legal activities, every surveillance drone that takes to the skies, every phone call, email or text that is spied on, and every transaction that is monitored, the government’s stranglehold over our lives grows stronger.”

The situation may need little more than another police shooting to reach a tipping point. 

Questions or comments? Join us at TDV! 

Wendy McElroy

Bitcoin, Anarcho-Capitalism & Precious Metals: Crypto Bits Interview with Jeff Berwick

Fri, 12/05/2014 - 23:48

[The following interview with TDV Editor-In-Chief originally appeared on NotBeingGoverned.com]

Jeff Berwick is a Canadian born entrepreneur, libertarian and anarcho-capitalist activist. Berwick founded StockHouse Media Corporation in 1994, one of the most active financial websites in Canada. He remained CEO until 2002. He is the founder of The Dollar Vigilante, CEO of TDV Media & Services and host of the popular video podcast, Anarchast.  Jeff is a prominent speaker at many of the world’s freedom, investment, bitcoin and gold conferences. He is a well respected individual in our crypto community and is very much in tune with the thoughts here at The Art of Not Being Governed.

Jeff, thank you for the opportunity to have this interview with you. When did you first get into Anarcho-Capitalism and Libertarian philosophy?

I think I’ve always been an anarchist at heart but was never introduced to the true philosophy behind it until about 2003 when I had dinner with Doug Casey in Vancouver.  He told me I was an anarchist and told me to read “The Market For Liberty”. As soon as I saw how an anarcho-capitalist world would work I was enthralled and have never stopped learning nor promoting the philosophy since.

We are big fans of The Dollar Vigilante and Anarchast. When did you first get the idea for these projects?

After I began learning about anarchist philosophy one of the natural complements was to learn about Austrian economics.  After years of studying it I predicted the 2008 crisis and after that happened I became more emboldened that my views on the economy and the financial and monetary systems were correct and decided to start The Dollar Vigilante in 2009 to help spread this information prior to the next collapse.  As for Anarchast, I started that around 2011 because I recognized there wasn’t a really good anarchist interview show that could help to get out the information from hundreds of really interesting anarchists in a calm, rational way.  The Dollar Vigilante has grown tremendously and now Anarchast has interviewed over 160 anarchists and we’ll actually be holding Anarchapulco from Feb. 27 to Mar. 1, 2015, in Acapulco as a live event where anarcho-capitalists can congregate in a format never before seen.

Who first introduced you to Crypto Currency?

I was first introduced to it by a Dollar Vigilante subscriber in 2011 when it was around $3 and also became enthralled with it at that time and have been covering it ever since.  One of the most influential people in my views on bitcoin in 2011 was Trace Mayer who I had on Anarchast and made a compelling argument for why bitcoin was so important.

Do you feel the blockchain is a useful tool for defeating the Nation-State?

I don’t see it as “defeating” the nation-state so much as just evolving past it.  The entire concept of a nation state is just an idea and the only way to evolve passed an anachronistic idea like the nation-state is to create a new idea that makes the old ideas obsolete.  In this sense, absolutely, the blockchain has already created ways to move passed the central banking cartels, nation-states, legal systems, banking and financial systems to a much better one.

What are your trusted sources for news on crypto-currency and anarchy?

I have the blessing to be good friends with almost all of the main players in the bitcoin world due to my involvement with it since 2011 and also have a worldwide network of readers through the Dollar Vigilante who are always keeping me updated on the latest and greatest innovations in the crypto-currency space. The same goes for anarchy as a whole… if there are any prominent anarchists out there who I don’t know I am sure I will know them soon enough due to my involvement as a leader in the space.

What would you say the state of Bitcoin is today?

It reminds me of the internet circa 1995. I was around when the internet came out and I remember how many people doubted it would really catch on… but there were a certain amount of people who saw the big picture and who were investing and/or developing internet projects that went on to be fabulous investments and companies. If anything I am more excited about bitcoin in 2014 than I was about the internet in 1995 just because I’ve seen this before and because we are all now so connected via the internet I think bitcoin will grow much faster than the internet did in the 90s.

What would you say the state of gold and silver is today?

I write The Dollar Vigilante so I am expecting the US dollar and most fiat currencies to collapse in the next few years so I think its never been more important to hold some precious metals as insurance and potential profit during this collapse. I don’t watch the price of the precious metals daily because it is not of great import to me whether silver is at $20 or $50. When this all starts to collapse you won’t be able to purchase precious metals for fiat currency so I just want to hold them so I can retain some of my wealth during and after the collapse.

The past week or so stocks plummeted all around the world and started rallying again when the Fed mentioned a pause in taper. Do you think they will ever pause the printing machine?

I think it is highly doubtful. The system is so leveraged and indebted now that if the Federal Reserve ever stopped printing money and manipulating interest rates near 0% we would see a worldwide financial system collapse and the collapse of the US government. Therefore, the way of least resistance for them is to keep printing money until it goes into hyperinflation and collapses.

What are some things you can tell people just discovering bitcoin for the first time? How do you approach these people?

What I like to say is to tell them just try using it.  If someone doesn’t have any bitcoin and doesn’t want to buy any I will often send them $10 or $20 in bitcoin and tell them to buy something with it on the internet.  Once they see that the whole process of opening a bitcoin wallet, receiving funds and spending funds can all be done in a matter of seconds and for free they will begin to see why it is so much better than our “modern” day systems.

Governance 2.0 projects are introducing the power of the blockchain regarding autonomous choice for every individual. Shouldthe Nation-State be worried about projects like this?

The Nation-State should be worried about everything.  The western Nation-States will all collapse in the coming years… whether things like Governance 2.0 give it a little push doesn’t matter. They are fated to collapse and will do so even without any help.

Bitcoin or Precious Metals (PMs)? Which do you prefer to hold the most of and why? Should you be diversified in both?

I hold much more in PMs than bitcoin. The reason is that if bitcoin really becomes a worldwide currency it will be worth, in today’s dollars, about $1 million per bitcoin.  However, if it doesn’t it could eventually go to zero.  So there is no need to risk a lot in bitcoin. Precious metals, on the other hand, will likely not go to zero anytime soon and so have much less downside and much less upside potential as well.  The key with precious metals is where you hold them. That’s why we wrote “Getting Your Gold Out Of Dodge” to help people internationalize their precious metals. The biggest risk to PMs is theft from government.

The Bitcoin blockchain has been tested on low frequency radio and is possible to run it using shortwave/HAM radio. Do you think bitcoin will be OK in a SHTF type environment?

At the moment, no. But if technology continues to progress it certainly could be over the coming years.

Thank you for chatting with us and thank you for spreading the message of Free Markets, Anarchy, Crypto and more.

Read the original article here. 

Questions or comments? Join us on the TDV Blog

Jeff Berwick

Anarchast Ep. 179 Samuel Kovac: Mexico Expatriation and Bitcoin!

Thu, 12/04/2014 - 20:40

Jeff interviews Anarchapulco guest speaker Samuel Kovac, topics include: leaving the overly controlling soviet block for the relative freedom of Mexico, crazy rules interfering with free trade, Slovakia swapping Soviet control for E.U. control, Bitcoin, freedom of transaction, simple fast and cheap, great benefits and opportunities, Bitcoin in Mexico, Acapulco and Anarchapulco!

Click here or on thumbnail

 

This Must-See Documentary Could Change The Whole Way You See The World

Thu, 12/04/2014 - 19:12

[The following post is by TDV Chief Editor, Jeff Berwick]

The worldwide awakening is picking up steam and having an effect on major parts of our overall culture, including the dictionary. No longer is it a mystery to individuals how the world is run: government and business team up to plunder wealth (taxation) and pay off friends.  This system is called crony capitalism, and it is now in the Oxford dictionary

According to oxforddictionaries.com, 'crony capitalism' is defined as an economic system of close, mutually advantageous relationships between business leaders and government officials. Reflecting the influence of popular culture, Oxford dictionary has included abbreviations like 'IDC' (I don't care) and others. 

New entries, other than crony capitalism, include 'algorithmic trading' (automated stock exchange trades made by computers ...in order to manipulate global markets) 'challenger bank' (a small retail bank competing with big lenders); 'misery index' (a measure of economy adding together inflation and unemployment...both of which are fabricated numbers).

Because people are waking up, it has never been more important for the liberty movement to create captivating media that parallels the propaganda-filled "silver screen" from the Pentagon's good friend, Hollywood. That media exists today, in particularly thanks to the people at 100th Monkey Films.  The studio describes its most recent film, Freedom From Choice, as so:

Life is about choice. What we eat, what we read, who we elect; every day we make choices that determine how we want to live.
But what if these choices are just an illusion?

In an era where regulations and red tape rule every industry, where lobby groups and big business wield more influence than ever before, our daily choices have become increasingly limited. And with all our options so deliberately handpicked, are we really making a choice at all?

Freedom From Choice is a feature-length documentary examining the current state of life and personal choice in America today. Experts from many different fields offer a frank and startling look at the hidden limitations in our daily lives. Focusing on key areas such as food, medicine, finance, and media, Freedom From Choice provides viewers with a glimpse at the myriad of ways their lives are being dictated, and tells us who stands to gain.

Freedom From Choice represents a stimulating journey into the belly of the beast to examine how government and big business team up to make sure honest and hardworking people are kept slaves to the powers-that-be. 

"Are we free to make choices?" The films asks its viewers as government thugs (SWAT teams) raid dairy farms where unboiled milk sits, armed to the teeth like so many of the images we've seen out of Ferguson. 

The documentary features many experts on what The Dollar Vigilante terms The End Of The Monetary System As We Know It (TEOTMSAWKI). Peter Schiff and Mike Maloney, for instance, are monetary experts who are able to correctly analyze the current market conditions and make logical conclusions about how people can survive the coming hardships. They are featured in this riveting documentary alongside many other experts to answer questions like, "Are laws passed for our safety or the benefit of big business?"

"Can we trust our government to protect us?" the film asks. Readers of The Dollar Vigilante have a good idea how I feel about this question, but this documentary paints the picture in stunning and vivid detail.  It is like watching an action packed thriller with the amount of facts and information in it. 

"Those who would sacrifice freedom for security deserve neither,"said founding father Benjamin Franklin, and I find this true. But every day, more people than yesterday are not willing to make this sacrifice. They have a hunger for knowledge and they want to know more.

To watch the amazing preview for Freedom From Choice, click here. I highly recommend purchasing the documentary to experience it. It is amazingly up-to-date (it takes a long time to make documentaries!) and would be great to watch with friends and family who are not quite yet aware that they have little free will left. 

Seen the documentary? Let us know what you think in the comments...

Jeff Berwick

The Beautiful Death of CNN

Tue, 12/02/2014 - 14:18

[The following post is by TDV Editor, Jeff Berwick]

I grew up behind the iron curtain in the 1970s in communist northern Canada with a black and white TV that you actually had to get up to change the channel on the knob.  The knob had theoretically 13 channels but only 4 of them actually had anything on them.

One was the government propaganda channel, CBC, the other was CTV and then there was some sort of local channel and there was also something on channel 13, if memory serves, but it mostly looked like a snowstorm through the rabbit ears.

If you are under 20 years old you have absolutely no idea of what I am talking about above.  If you are over 40 you probably remember it well.  Remember when they used to turn off all the TV stations at night and usually "signed off" by playing more government propaganda with the national anthem?

At some point during the late 1980s, however, all of a sudden there were dozens of channels, all in relatively good quality and I remember the first time I noticed CNN.

It was during the first "Gulf War" in 1990.  I had just become an adult, according to the government age restrictions, and had begun to become a bit more aware of what was going on in the world.  The USSA had just begun its terrorist attacks in Iraq (amazing how time flies isn't it... 25 years later and they are still there bombing and terrorizing that entire region) and CNN was the thing to watch.

It had 24 hours per day coverage of this heinous war crime and I admit I was glued to my TV.  Something about their coverage struck me as rather staged... like it was a movie.  But since it was all new to me I watched it for days on end as they reported every terrorist attack by the US government and the "coalition".

Little did I know that most of it was actually totally staged.  The most hilarious of their faked, bluescreen reports was caught here with Charles Jaco:

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But, back then, there was no internet and there was no way for people to expose these things.  They had total control of the public's perceptions.

Today, however, thanks to the internet, nearly everybody realizes that media like CNN is almost complete propaganda and often faked.

Their ratings  are dropping off a cliff.  Even Larry King left CNN to go to the Russia Today (RT), Russian propaganda channel, stating that CNN would be better off playing Spongebob Squarepants cartoons because they'd get better ratings. See CNN's viewership below, they're the darker blue line. 

Cable viewership altogether has fallen off a cliff:

And it is becoming more and more obvious just how much "respect" CNN has with the public.  In the last few weeks alone, while independent media were welcome by the crowds in Ferguson, CNN reporters were pelted with rocks...

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And in New York police state protestors actually chanted "F*ck CNN" for more than 10 seconds live on air... much to the disdain of known CIA operative, Andersoon Cooper.

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THE DEATH OF MAINSTREAM MEDIA

Going back to my childhood, when I first saw CNN I was shocked and surprised at just how scary and dangerous the world was.  Before that all I really knew was that I lived in a poverty stricken, frozen tundra and the main danger was freezing to death.

With the advent of 24 hour news coverage it seemed like there was always something, somewhere, horrible going on.  I began to discover, however, especially after travelling to nearly 100 countries and living around the world, the world is not that dangerous of a place (except where the tryannical US government is occupying or attacking).  In general, one of the most dangerous and unfree countries in the world is the US.  That's why I have stated that I will never go to the US again until its final collapse... it's just too outright dangerous and stressful.

Americans are starting to wake up from their TV programming and realize this themselves.  In a way, for many Americans who have never left the US and got most of their views on the world from the likes of CNN, it is very similar to someone living in Truman's World... or North Korea.

As people wake up to this there will be giant reverberations and Ferguson is just the beginning.  Once they realize they live in one of the least free fasco-communist police states in the world AND it is bankrupt and in collapse... it will be something to watch.

Hopefully it'll be something I'll watch on my flat screen TV from the beach in Anarchapulco.  (speaking of Anarchapulco, Luke Rudkowski of We Are Change will be hosting a one day Change Media University workshop on how to get into independent media - that will be the future)

Mainstream television programming is how the government maintains its mind control on the population.  It is losing control of it very quickly now and there is 0.0% chance of a turnaround.  Now they are trying to control what is on the internet but they are fighting a losing battle.

Ding, dong.  CNN is dead.  Go get a real job Anderson Cooper and stop collecting government welfare checks.

What your favorite sources for news now that the mainstream media is dead? Let us know in the comments...

 

Jeff Berwick

Video Proof that Bitcoin Today is like the Internet in 1995

Mon, 12/01/2014 - 12:53

[The following post is by TDV Editor, Jeff Berwick]

The internet has changed the world. It has changed the way humans interact and do business. There aren't many people today who could even imagine their life without the internet.

It's amazing to consider that just twenty years ago most people didn't even know what it was.

For instance, in 1995, in the following clip, David Letterman and Bill Gates discuss the internet.

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Bill Gates calls the web “wild”, and David Letterman clearly has no idea what the internet even is. He couldn't get his head around why the internet is any better than radio and even questioned whether the internet "was still around". I suspect in the coming months, perhaps before Stephen Colbert takes over for him, David might ask if Bitcoin is still around.

In the following clip, from 1994, Brian Gumbel asks, “What is the internet anyway?”

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The Sun, which is now being forced to an all-digital platform or risk bankruptcy like so many dinosaur news outlets, even predicted the internet would never work.

And, to add icing to the cake, the great Paul Krugman of the New York Times had this to say about the internet in 1998, " The growth of the Internet will slow drastically, as the flaw in "Metcalfe's law"--which states that the number of potential connections in a network is proportional to the square of the number of participants--becomes apparent: most people have nothing to say to each other! By 2005 or so, it will become clear that the Internet's impact on the economy has been no greater than the fax machine's. As the rate of technological change in computing slows, the number of jobs for IT specialists will decelerate, then actually turn down; ten years from now, the phrase information economy will sound silly."

Another great call from the economic genius who has since come up with faking an alien attack and making a coin worth a trillion dollars as some of his ideas to "improve" the economy.

Interestingly, the one person who foresaw the internet quite well actually foresaw it in 1974.  That was Arthur C. Clarke, the science fiction writer who nearly picked it to a "T".

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And, to give myself some credit, back in 2000 (when the internet was already fairly advanced but many people still thought it was just a "bubble") I predicted much of what we are seeing today... and did it while doing my best impression of Lance Bass!

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But, the main point being, that bitcoin today reminds me of the early days of the internet where many of us who were harkening it to be the next great game-changer weren't very well understood and often scoffed at.

Last year I had to slowly explain what bitcoin was on Fox Business amongst many other "news" outlets.  It felt like deja-vu of the mid to late 90s with the internet.

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The "crash" Stuart Varney was referring to in the above video, by the way, was bitcoin falling from $200 to $100... before it took off to above $1,000 and now rests near $400.

In any case, as I wrote in the November issue of The Dollar Vigilante (subscribe here), the lack of talk on bitcoin right now in the media and across the internet is a good sign.  It means that most of the speculators are out of the market and those who want to sell have sold.  Yet, at the same time, Venture Capital money has been coming into bitcoin at the same rate as it did into the internet in 1995.

The period between 1995 and late 1998 was a strange one also as the initial interest subsided during those years but then were propelled into the sky by 1999 when anything with "dot com" in its name was worth millions or billions.

As The End Of The Monetary System As We Know It (TEOTMSAWKI) continues down its preordained path cryptocurrencies will skyrocket as fiat currencies of all shapes and colors fall by the wayside.

Mark my words that bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general will continue to rise until they are just as ubiquitous as the internet today.  I've seen this all before.

Questions or comments? Join us at TDV.

Jeff Berwick

Anarchast Ep. 178 Jaime Sherman: Voluntaryists Versus Statist Zombies!

Mon, 12/01/2014 - 11:17

Jeff interviews Jaime Sherman about his Voluntaryist graphic novel series, topics include: the US eugenics program, anime, film, graphic novels, Voluntaryists vs the Statist Zombies, zombie analogy, Matrix analogy, Jeffs cosplay trauma story, Indiegogo crowd funding, the importance of producing high quality and engaing media, the upcoming TSA episode, available as hard copy and download, great for children to get non-statist content.

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The Failure of the Swiss Gold Referendum and the Week in Review

Sun, 11/30/2014 - 17:27

[The following post is by TDV Editor-In-Chief, Jeff Berwick]

Well, that was over fast.  If you have to hand one thing to the Swiss it is they are fast and punctual!  Early in the day in Switzerland the results were already out on the Swiss Gold Referendum.

The results came in with 78% voting against protecting the country's wealth and putting some sort of restraint on their central bank.  How 78% of people in a country could vote against this boggles the mind and makes you wonder how it happened.  The Swiss Central Bank put out a lot of propaganda begging for people not to restrain them but it is quite shocking to see, if the vote wasn't rigged, how many people fell for it.

And this after the Swiss Bank decided, in September of 2011, to go from being a respected, safe haven currency to pegging itself to the atrocious Euro, resulting in a swift drop in the value of the currency.

And, also after the Swiss have caved in completely to the US government's global FATCA laws essentially ending Switzerland as the world's premier financial privacy destination.

In the end, the failure of this referendum doesn't change much.  It just means that the Swiss Franc will plod along towards destruction along with all the other Western fiat currencies.

What will it mean for gold and silver in the next few weeks?  It is possible a sell-off from those expecting a "Yes" vote in what could be a final penultimate bottom prior to what I expect will be a complete turn-around year for the metals in 2015 (for more on that subscribe to The Dollar Vigilante).

For those historians out there who will eventually write the story of The End Of The Monetary System As We Know It (TEOTMSAWKI) take note of this date as just one in many that led to the fall of the West and the entire Western financial and monetary system.

Questions or comments? Join us at the TDV Blog!

Anarcho-Capitalist.  Libertarian.  Freedom fighter against mankind’s two biggest enemies, the State and the Central Banks.  Jeff Berwick is the founder of The Dollar Vigilante, CEO of TDV Media & Services and host of the popular video podcast, Anarchast.  Jeff is a prominent speaker at many of the world’s freedom, investment and gold conferences including his own, Anarchapulco, as well as regularly in the media including CNBC, CNN and Fox Business.

Check out TDV's Invitation to Jeff's secret appearance in Cancun.

Before we get to the review, be sure to check out TDV Newsletter.  In the latest TDV Newsletter Jeff Berwick addresses the volatility index and what we can expect in the coming month and beyond, while TDV Senior Analyst Ed Bugos looks at the Swiss gold referendum. Justin O'Connell writes on Bitcoin charitable giving and the law, and TDV gets the scoop on an offshore location great for expatriation. Subscribe to The Newsletter today, and receive TDV's HomeGrown, as well as special reports, including Getting Your Gold Out Of DodgeThis is a true value and will help you learn and understand the times in which we currently live on the financial, economic, political, technological and personal fronts.

If you’re interested in receiving articles beyond what you read here everyday, consider our weekly subscriber-only publications, like our Issue, Dispatches, and Homegrown. You may subscribe here.

On to the review…

Monday November 24

NOW THE BRITISH ARE FLEEING AMERICA

TDV Chief Jeff Berwick on a new trend in history:

Remember when Americans fled Britain and the monarchy? Well, now the British are fleeing from America and its modern tyranny...

Take London Mayor Boris Johnson, for instance.

Johnson has been London’s mayor since 2008 and is even planning on running for Parliament.  His big mistake was being born in New York, though. Even though he moved at age 5, the US government wants him to pay capital gains taxes owed by American citizens earning income abroad.

continue reading... 

Tuesday November 25

A MESSAGE TO FERGUSON: YOU ARE FIGHTING THE WRONG BATTLE

TDV Chief Jeff Berwick has a message for Ferguson.

I'm coming to you this week from the banks/beaches of the Rio Plata between Montevideo and Punta del Este, Uruguay. 

Crossing the Rio Plata from communist leaning Buenos Aires to libertarian leaning Uruguay was an incredible contrast that everyone should experience one day.  Seeing the sharp contrast is an eye opener.  It was while I was tossing around those sharp contrasts, that I came across even more information about my “home” senator, Charles E. (Chuck) Schumer, (Fasco-Communist - NY).  It seems like this guy is on a one man crusade to make my analogies of current Amerika and 1930’s Germany a reality.  I finally got so angry that I became inspired to start doing my part to expose, who I think, might well be the most dangerous man in the Amerika.

continue reading...

Wednesday November 26

IN PRAISE OF POLITICAL CORRUPTION: MY DINNER WITH MARION BARRY

Jeffrey Tucker on an acquaintance of his.

Marion Barry, former mayor of Washington, D.C., has died, and it causes me to recall a dinner I had with him. I was at a restaurant long after he had been tossed out of office after having been caught on camera smoking crack.

Only a few months after leaving office, he was sitting at a booth with a few friends, and I decided to introduce myself.

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Thursday November 27

THE SOLUTIONS TO FERGUSON AND ALL THE WORLD'S PROBLEMS LIE WITHIN YOU

Jeff with more on Ferguson.

On this day, Thanksgiving, which is a celebration of a day centuries ago where Americans welcomed and fed undocumented immigrants... and then those undocumented immigrants went on to wholesale slaughter the early Americans... and with so many problems in the world today from Ferguson, to Gaza, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria (note which government is intricately involved in all these and many more conflicts) we thought we'd make today's communique short and sweet.

continue reading...

Friday November 28

CENTRAL BANKS: THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL

Jeff on central banks. 

Some people like to say that money is the root of all evil.  If by "money" they mean fiat currencies printed up at will by central banks they are correct.

Yet "experts" say central banks promote stability. It is practically baked into the Keynesian cake. When you search for central banks and stability, many telling reports and quotations pop up. There is an entire report by the Bank For International Settlements (the central banks' bank) on the topic. The International Monetary Fund, as well, promotes the idea that central banks promote stability.

But let's look at this stability they are talking about.

continue reading...

SUNDAY NOVEMBER 30

THE SWISS GOLD REFERENDUM COULD CHANGE EVERYTHING

Today’s vote in Switzerland to revert back to a small but significant gold standard has direct parallels to the US when it was at the same crossroads in 1971.

It was tagged “The Nixon Shock”, and it occurred 43+ years ago on August 15, 1971.  As of that date, the USD became, essentially, just a piece of paper, as no one from that date forward could directly convert it into the gold which used to back it.  As is often the case, when a President makes a move which is only advisable to an elite few, rather than for his constituency as a whole, he promised it was only a temporary move while the then current system (Bretton Woods system) could be “revised”.

continue reading...

TDV VIDEO

This week, Jeff interviews The Martin Family and Africanus Kofi Akosah on Anarchast. 

Jeff is interviewed by Donkdown Radio where he has some fun countering typical statist objections to anarchy.

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Have a look at our wide array of informative videos featuring interviews, opinions, and analysis on TDV’s media page.

TDV SERVICES

Don't forget, TDV is much more than a newsletter.  We also offer many of the solutions to the problems we identify in the letter to help people internationalize their self and wealth to protect themselves from The End Of The Monetary System As We Know It (TEOTMSAWKI). Check out all our services and events designed to help you gain more freedom in your life here:

Remember, if you have any questions, concerns, or issues with what you've read on TDV, write us at: tdv@dollarvigilante.com.

Thanks as always for reading or subscribing!

The Swiss Gold Referendum Could Change Everything

Sun, 11/30/2014 - 04:15

[The following post is by Director of TDV Offshore, Paul Seymour]

Today’s vote in Switzerland to revert back to a small but significant gold standard has direct parallels to the US when it was at the same crossroads in 1971.

It was tagged “The Nixon Shock”, and it occurred 43+ years ago on August 15, 1971.  As of that date, the USD became, essentially, just a piece of paper, as no one from that date forward could directly convert it into the gold which used to back it.  As is often the case, when a President makes a move which is only advisable to an elite few, rather than for his constituency as a whole, he promised it was only a temporary move while the then current system (Bretton Woods system) could be “revised”.

As with most temporary political moves it became permanent… at least until present times.  TDV Editor-In-Chief, Jeff Berwick, always likes to quote that Nixon was correct and it was temporary.  At some point it will end when the dollar collapses.  

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THE BRETTON WOODS HEIST

The Bretton Woods system is named after the town in New Hampshire where 730 delegates from all 44 Allied nations gathered after WWII to establish a monetary system that would require nations to “maintain the exchange rate by tying its currency to gold and the ability of the IMF to bridge temporary imbalances of payments. Also, there was a need to address the lack of cooperation among other countries and to prevent competitive devaluation of the currencies as well.”  

Obviously, free trade and a noticeable lack of intervention by central planners would have been preferable, but at least currencies were backed by something tangible, and printing paper was based on a balance sheet.  

It was the inability of the French and English to repay war debts to the US after WWI, along with a grossly devalued German currency due to the unjust Versailles Treaty in response to those war debts, that led, in large part, to both the Great Depression, and then to WWII. The Bretton Woods system was sold as an attempt to prevent that particular motive for war.

In 1971, the Nixon Shock was a series of economic moves, not just a single one.  Taking the US off the gold standard was probably the most significant.  To the victor go the spoils, and after WWII, the US was in the pilot’s cockpit, and with a monopoly on nuclear arms.   The Bretton Woods system made the US dollar the reserve currency during that convention of the winners up in New Hampshire.  Countries, under that system, settled their international accounts in dollars that could be converted to gold at a fixed exchange rate of $35 per ounce, which was redeemable by the US government.

Thus, the United States was committed to backing every dollar overseas with gold. Other currencies were fixed to the dollar, and the dollar was pegged to gold.  It made sense at the time for various reasons, one of the most significant being that the US owned over half the world's official gold reserves — 574 million ounces at the end of World War II.  We’ll ignore that sketchy term “official” at the moment.   

As of 1971, due to debts incurred by the US government to fight unnecessary wars and the subsequent meddling to manipulate the US dollar by the Federal Reserve, the USD had lost significant value, and foreigners were taking notice that holding USD in their vaults wasn’t quite the same as holding gold.   Tricky Dick won a political victory with these actions in 1971, in that he was able to manipulate the economy artificially, and temporarily, in order to avoid the deserved pain of irresponsible fiscal policy (spending more than you have, and then suffering to repay it).  In essence he said, we’re not going to repay our debts, but rather deceitfully restructure them through manipulation of world money supplies and values.  If you don’t like it, we have a nuclear device with your name on it.

Maybe ironically, back in 1971, it was not only the Germans to respond (they were the first to say “no thanks” by taking the Deutsche Mark off the system which then immediately went up 7% against the USD), but next the Swiss who pushed Washington into taking these drastic actions.  Not because those alpine yodelers are inherently nasty people, but rather because they are fiscally responsible.  

In July of 1971, the Swiss decided to make Uncle Sam put his money where his mouth was, and politely withdrew from their extensive underground vaults, then subsequently handed over for redemption, green paper with numbers printed on them summing up to 50 million, asking that the Bretton Woods contract be complied with.  They were the first to decide they preferred gold to the paper.  Then France followed with 191 million.  The US government decided they didn’t really like handing over gold for the paper the Fed was printing to buy helicopters to send over to Southeast Asia, and unilaterally voided the Bretton Woods contract.  That, in a nutshell, is the Nixon Shock.

FAST FORWARD TO TODAY

I’m sure you’ve recently noted the US dollar move upwards against worldwide currencies, and apparently for no good fundamental reason(s).  It reminds me of days gone by, when I was fortunate enough to get out from behind the curtain, and went to Saudi Arabia to work back in 2001 prior to 9/11.  The USD was unsustainably rock hard back in those days too, and really had only one way to go.   

I was fortunate enough at the time to be able to send about 65% of my gross earnings up to Switzerland, where it was quite private back in those days.  As a contrarian type, it was a no-brainer for me to immediately convert the USD I was earning into Swiss Francs (CHF).  During that era one dollar was “buying” 1.7 CHF.  Nowadays a Swiss Franc is on par with the USD, even though the Swiss central bankers have been printing Francs as though they were Americans in order to keep it artificially low.  

As an interesting cultural side-note, Switzerland was the second nation on Earth to become a democratic republic, behind the USA.  The primary difference today being that it has remained a confederation, with weak central powers, and each canton is substantially self-governing.  My ancestors were Generals and lower ranked union soldiers in the Civil War, one ironically conquering, and acting as Governor of Florida in Jacksonville, where I would land 110 years later. A couple of others were the respective Jeffersonian thinking Governors of New York and Connecticut during those troubled times.  They were opposed to the war, in defense of the States’ rights which were a foundation of the Constitution.  Knowing what I know now, I really wish Jeff Davis, and General Lee had pulled it off, and defeated my ancestors in that one.  

Switzerland, as a confederacy, still has the real democracy that I wish the US still had.  I almost became a Swiss citizen while married to a Colombian-Swiss, and not being able to accomplish that is one of the great disappointments in my life.  I did, though, get to know a lot of Swiss people, and I very much admire their disciplined, and principled nature.

Hence the upcoming vote to get the CHF back on somewhat of a gold standard.  I’ve noted in the past that the Swiss revenge would be forthcoming.  Here’s just a single volley in the recent, and undeclared currency wars.  

WILL THE SWISS FINALLY GET PAYBACK FOR 1971?

Today, as back in 1971, the Swiss are taking fiscally responsible actions, which might end up forcing Uncle Sam’s hand.  Ron Paul wrote eloquently on this topic.  Whether or not the referendum passes today, it’s a wake-up call for central bankers that there are people out there who will put the futures of their children ahead of current material possessions.  If it does pass, you may find yourself wishing that you had opened an account with us that offers online purchasing of physical gold, and other precious metals, with storage in that Switzerland.

The day of reckoning may finally be upon us.  While the USD is currently, and artificially, high, it’s a great time to get at least a portion of your USD out to a privacy, and due-process respecting jurisdiction, and convert it to a foreign currency.  Remember, the idea is to buy low, and sell high.  Buy fear, and sell greed.  Right now, you can use the USD to get relatively under-valued foreign currencies, like the CHF, at a bargain.  Thereby protecting your savings from the inevitable fall of the USD, while also protecting it from confiscation without due process in a jurisdiction which doesn’t recognize foreign judgments, nor illegal orders from foreign bureaucrats to freeze accounts of the merely accused.  A quick bump of 10-15% is a likelihood, with further gains in the long-term probable.  In fact, you’d probably experience enough of a gain to pay the small price to “insure” your assets in a safe jurisdiction.

You can set up an LLC and bank account in the name of the LLC, for a combined fee of as little as $1,900.  A trust or foundation, which would make your assets virtually untouchable, can be established for as little as $3,900.   These protective entities and/or vehicles can be established via e-mail with scanned documents in a matter of 3-5 weeks for both.  

Start walking the walk, and sleeping better at night while you’re at it.  You can contact me at pseymour@tdvoffshore.com to get started.

PS. We’ve recently established relationships which allow for the establishment of an IBC, and bank accounts in the Free Zone Emirate of Ras al-Khaimah, near Abu Dhabi, one of my old stomping grounds.  Although a bit more costly, this Emirate has a distinctive lack of ties to some of the institutions referred to above, and therefore offer a superior level of personal privacy for those who demand that basic human right. 

Questions or comments? Join us on TDV! 

Paul worked for several years with Big 4 CPA firms in both the US and Saudi Arabia, and then spent many years as a multi-national corporate Controller and CFO in places like Florida, Riyadh, Abu Dhabi, Cairo, and Medellín. In his second, more free life, he has found a natural home in the offshore industry following almost two decades as a permanent expat from the former America. Contact him to learn more about the realities of economical offshore asset protection pseymour@tdvoffshore.com

 

TDV Interview: Jeff Berwick on Donkdown Radio

Sat, 11/29/2014 - 00:47

Jeff is interviewed by Bryan Micon for Donkdown Radio, topics include: Anarchapulco, unschooling workshop, entrepreneur workshop, US public schools, public school system designed for compliance, common core vs Montessori, central banks are communist, cops killing dogs, privatised roads, Bitcoin, free enterprise, cannabis, child medication, learning via the net.

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Central Banks: The Root Of All Evil

Fri, 11/28/2014 - 15:43

[The following post is by TDV Editor-In-Chief, Jeff Berwick]

Some people like to say that money is the root of all evil.  If by "money" they mean fiat currencies printed up at will by central banks they are correct.

Yet "experts" say central banks promote stability. It is practically baked into the Keynesian cake. When you search for central banks and stability, many telling reports and quotations pop up. There is an entire report by the Bank For International Settlements (the central banks' bank) on the topic. The International Monetary Fund, as well, promotes the idea that central banks promote stability.

But let's look at this stability they are talking about.

Here is a chart showing the "stability" that central bank created fiat currencies created in the oil market.

As you can see, the dollar price of crude oil has increased 31-times since 1950 and has been incredibly volatile while the price of crude oil in terms of gold is practically the same. As is explained here, "given that perfection in the real world in which we live is impossible, gold comes closer to perfection in preserving purchasing power than anything else because the aboveground stock of gold grows by about 1.75% per annum consistently year after year."

If you listen to statists like Warren Buffett or John Maynard Keynes, they will tell you that gold is a barbarous relic.  By barbarous they mean "primitive and unsophisticated"... well if the above chart showing gold retaining it's purchasing power incredibly stably for more than 60 years is barbarous then we are happy to be called barbarians compared to that rollercoaster shitshow the fiat currency system has and still is putting the world through.

James Turk, founder of Goldmoney.com and an anarcho-capitalist (see his interview on Anarchast here), explains,

"So why is gold accumulated if it isn't money?  What other asset do humans produce and accumulate other than money? What is gold's usefulness if not its usefulness as money? Even so-called "jewellery demand" is predominantly monetary demand and not adornment/fashion demand. Asians just prefer for cultural and traditional reasons to have their gold fabricated into necklaces and bracelets rather than coins and bars.  Given that money can be spent or saved, I save gold. Good money drives out bad. Gov't market intervention has not changed gold's essential usefulness as money. All gov'ts have done is to impede gold's circulation as currency."

CENTRAL BANKS ARE AN EVIL CONSTRUCT

Those who proudly call themselves Americans often overlook pretty much most of what their beloved Founding Fathers warned them against.

Thomas Jefferson, in fact, described our world today hundreds of years ago.

“The central bank is an institution of the most deadly hostility existing against the Principles and form of our Constitution. I am an Enemy to all banks discounting bills or notes for anything but Coin. If the American People allow private banks to control the issuance of their currency, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the People of all their Property until their Children will wake up homeless on the continent their Fathers conquered. ”
- Thomas Jefferson

The Federal Reserve keeps no secret that it is indeed creating money out of thin air:

“When you or I write a check there must be sufficient funds in our account to cover the check, but when the Federal Reserve writes a check there is no bank deposit on which that check is drawn. When the Federal Reserve writes a check, it is creating money.”                -Boston Federal Reserve Bank

The Federal Reserve has destroyed the monetary base and impoverished the majority while making rich the minority as Jefferson predicted. If you wanted to pay for gas in the United States' old form of currency, silver quarters, dimes and halves, then it'd cost you twenty cents per gallon. 

It is no secret that the Federal Reserve and central banks across the world create most of the world’s problems. 

If you want to understand why central banks are one of the two biggest enemies to mankind (the other being government) then check out this incredibly well done and humerous short video.

Click here or on thumbnail

The good news is it is The End Of The Monetary System As We Know It (TEOTMSAWKI). Times Are A-Changing as Bob Dylan sang long ago and there are ways to survive and prosper. In next month's issue of the TDV Newsletter I will look forward to 2015, which I think will easily be the most volatile and dangerous year in decades, if not centuries.

In the meantime please share and like this blog and/or share and like the American Dream video to spread the word about our real enemy to peace and prosperity, the central banks. Comment on the TDV Blog, as well, to join in the discussion.

Jeff Berwick

The Solutions to Ferguson And All The World's Problems Lie Within You

Thu, 11/27/2014 - 14:04

[The following post is by TDV Editor-In-Chief, Jeff Berwick]

On this day, Thanksgiving, which is a celebration of a day centuries ago where Americans welcomed and fed undocumented immigrants... and then those undocumented immigrants went on to wholesale slaughter the early Americans... and with so many problems in the world today from Ferguson, to Gaza, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria (note which government is intricately involved in all these and many more conflicts) we thought we'd make today's communique short and sweet.

Remember that government is mind control... even the word itself includes "govern" which can be interpreted to mean "control" and "ment" which can be disputed as to its real root meaning but in many languages, including Spanish, "ment" or "mente" means mind.

The way to change the world is to free your mind.  Once your mind is free the way to change the world is to help other's free their minds.  Once there are enough free minds they cannot govern us.  And then almost all the major problems in the world just... disappear.

Prince Ea said it best right here... We hope you watch.

Click here or on thumbnail

One way to spread truth, love, peace and freedom is to share and like blogs and videos like this.  It doesn't take much... a click of a mouse and you can help change the world.

Jeff Berwick

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