You won’t believe this stupid new law against Cash and Bitcoin

TruthFact
Source: SovereignMan.com
Simon Black
June 14, 2017

This one is almost too ridiculous to believe.

Recently a new bill was introduced on the floor of the US Senate entitled, pleasantly,

“Combating Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing, and Counterfeiting Act of 2017.”

You can probably already guess its contents.

Cash is evil.

Bitcoin is evil.

Now they’ve gone so far to include prepaid mobile phones, retail gift vouchers, or even electronic coupons. Evil, evil, and evil.

These people are certifiably insane.

Among the bill’s sweeping provisions, the government aims to greatly extend its authority to seize your assets through “Civil Asset Forfeiture”.

Civil Asset Forfeiture rules allow the government to take whatever they want from you, without a trial or any due process.

This new bill adds a laundry list of offenses for which they can legally seize your assets… all of which pertain to money laundering and other financial crimes.

Here’s the thing, though: they’ve also vastly expanded on the definition of such ‘financial crimes’, including failure to fill out a form if you happen to be transporting more than $10,000 worth of ‘monetary instruments’.

Have too much cash? You’d better tell the government.

If not, they’re authorizing themselves in this bill to seize not just the money you didn’t report, but ALL of your assets and bank accounts.

They even go so far as to specifically name “safety deposit boxes” among the various assets that they can seize if you don’t fill out the form.

(Yet another reason to consider storing cash, gold, and silver in an overseas safety deposit box.)

This is unbelievable on so many levels.

It’s crazy to begin with that these people are so consumed by the fact that someone has $10,000 in cash.

But it’s even crazier that they’re threatening to take EVERYTHING that you own merely for not filling out a piece of paper, without any due process whatsoever.

Oh, and on top of civil asset forfeiture penalties, there are also criminal penalties.

Right now according to current law they can imprison you for up to FIVE YEARS for not filling out the form. Five years.

But apparently that doesn’t go far enough to protect us against evil men in caves.

So this bill aims to double the criminal penalty to TEN years in prison.

And if that weren’t enough, this bill also gives them with new authority to engage in surveillance and wiretapping (including phone, email, etc.) if they have even a hint of suspicion that you might be transporting excess ‘monetary instruments’.

Usually wiretapping authority is reserved for major crimes like kidnapping, human trafficking, felony fraud, etc.

Now we can add cash to that list.

It’s not just government spy agencies to worry about, either.

Banks in the US are already unpaid government spies, required by law to fill out suspicious activity reports on their customers.

Then Congress started expanding those requirements to include other businesses and industries that might come into contact with cash.

Stock brokers. Casinos. Currency exchanges. Precious metals dealers. Pawnbrokers. The Post Office.

According to the law (section 5312 of US Code Title 31), those industries are also required to spy on their customers for the government.

But under this new bill, they want to forcibly recruit even more unpaid spies, including any business which issues or redeems ANYTHING that’s prepaid.

Prepaid credit cards. Prepaid phones. Prepaid retail gift cards. Prepaid coupons.

So, Amazon.com, which issues and redeems prepaid gift cards, will be required under this bill to file reports to the government.

For that matter, TGI Fridays and Chuckee Cheese will also become unpaid government spies since they both issue and redeem prepaid vouchers.

Truly these Senators have figured out how to strike at the heart of ISIS.

Further, their bill wants to pull any business which “issues” cryptocurrency under the anti-money laundering regulatory umbrella.

Here’s where these people demonstrate that they have no idea what they’re talking about.

No one “issues” Bitcoin. There’s no Bitcoin central bank. There’s no Chairman of Bitcoin who decides on a whim to increase the supply.

Bitcoin is created automatically amounts that are pre-determined by its code. It’s software.

So the Senate is essentially trying to force the Bitcoin core software to comply with money laundering regulations.

How pathetically clueless.

The bill also…

Continue Reading At: SovereignMan.com

DEA Caught Spying on Innocent Travelers to Steal Hundreds of Millions — And It’s 100% “Legal”

dea1
Source: FreeThoughtProject.com
Claire Bernish
August 11, 2016

An intensely troubling report proves the DEA pilfers millions in cash from travelers with little, if any, evidence they committed even minor crimes — and virtually never return any of the money, even if charges are never levied.

Worse, simply purchasing a one-way ticket — or even flying to California — constitutes sufficient reason for the DEA to target someone for a potential cash seizure.

“We want the cash,” George Hood, a now-retired agent who supervised a drug task force assigned to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, arrogantly boasted of supposed attempts to bring down cartels via their wallets. “Good agents chase cash.”

USA Today studied the DEA’s airport operations, and though information was difficult to obtain — due, in large part, to the rarity cash seizures led to arrests or even detainments by agents — it’s clear the agency has reaped an astonishing profit by regularly mining the travel records of millions of people.

As USA Today wrote of the cash-grabbing operation:

It is a lucrative endeavor, and one that remains largely unknown outside the drug agency. DEA agents assigned to patrol 15 of the nation’s busiest airports seized more than $209 million in cash from at least 5,200 people over the past decade after concluding the money was linked to drug trafficking, according to Justice Department records. Most of the money was passed onto local police departments that lend officers to assist the drug agency.

Those departments and the agency “count on this as part of the budget,” explained Louis Weiss, a former agent supervising the group assigned to the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. “Basically, you’ve got to feed the monster.”

Agents frequently receive tips about putatively suspicious itineraries or travel patterns — paying in cash, purchasing a one-way ticket, or even having checked luggage — but cannot use such tips alone to detain passengers or search their belongings. After being alerted, agents use the information to question travelers and ask to search their bags.

Most often, agents seize large sums of cash — “sometimes totaling $50,000 or more, stuffed into suitcases or socks” — leaving a receipt in its place without ever arresting, detaining, or charging individuals with any crime.

Totals seized by the DEA vary widely by location: in Los Angeles, the total through mid-2015 topped $52.1 million; in Cincinnati, $18,047 — but that isn’t accidental. Destinations in California were flagged for connections to marijuana and narcotics trafficking.

Exactly how the DEA procures Americans’ travel records remains uncertain, as is the scope of the agency’s snooping — but USA Today spoke with several agents on condition of anonymity who made clear the cash-filching operation is extensive.

However unethical it might be to plunder money from wholly innocent people, under federal asset forfeiture law, the practice is perfectly legal. Any law enforcement agency has broad powers to seize cash and property from anyone if those items are suspected to be somehow related to a crime — but the hotly contentious program does not require any proof a crime has been committed or that the subject has been involved in criminal activity.

“Going after someone’s property has nothing to do with protecting them and it has everything to do with going after the money,” Renée Flaherty, attorney with the asset forfeiture-specializing Institute for Justice, aptly noted for USA Today.

Asset forfeiture has spurned so much controversy, the Department of Justice halted the program in late December 2015 — but the respite for the American public didn’t last long. Just three months later, the DOJ reinstated its highly lucrative property plundering, because revenue — from the government’s standpoint, what better way exists to rob the public blind with veritable impunity.

“To put it simply,” USA Today observed in 2013, law enforcement is “developing an addiction to drug money.”

Besides suspect travel plans, agents also use drug-sniffing K-9s to detect drugs in travelers bags as a pretext for searches, which could then lead to a lucrative seizure — a distressing fact, given a study seven years ago found cocaine residue on 90 percent of U.S. dollars. Thus, nearly anyone traveling with cash in their luggage — particularly in large amounts — could easily tip off a canine investigator.

According to five current and former agents who spoke with USA Today, the DEA has been able to cultivate a sweeping network of informants trained to scrutinize itineraries and tip off the agency — and most receive what amounts to kickbacks for their efforts in the form of a percentage of the haul. Indeed the web of informants is so extensive, “agents have been able to profile passengers traveling on most major airlines, including American, Delta, JetBlue, Southwest, United and others.”

Those airlines, however — acting with ethical integrity clearly devoid in government agencies — for the most part, remain reluctant to cooperate with the DEA’s efforts and would not hand over passenger information.

“They really did not want to be associated with subjecting their passengers to government scrutiny because of privacy issues,” Weiss explained. “They discouraged their employees from assisting us.”

Agents also told the news outlet in many cases, grounds even to arrest supposed couriers were hazy at best, and upon release would use the incident to sniff out more extensive trafficking involvement. But almost none of the encounters ever led to arrests or charges directly stemming from the DEA’s search and seizure operations.

“Of 87 cases USA Today identified in which the DEA seized cash after flagging a suspicious itinerary, only two resulted in the alleged courier being charged with a crime,” the outlet reported. “One involved a woman who was already a target of a federal money-laundering investigation; another alleged courier was arrested a month later on an apparently unrelated drug charge.”

Without arrests or charges — without crime — attached to almost any of the DEA’s cash grabs, how the program remains legal is anyone’s guess. Agents admitted that despite fairly significant busts of actual drugs, the DEA’s mission primarily rests in seizing cash.

And as the horribly failed and altogether farcically-premised drug war labors forward — reaffirmed by today’s announcement from the DEA it has no intent to reschedule cannabis from its position alongside cocaine and heroin as a dangerous substance with no medical value — Americans can expect the government’s legalized robbery scam to continue unabated.

Read More At: FreeThoughtProject.com

Why Paying Cash For Hospital Bills Is Five Times Cheaper Than Your Government Mandates Obamacare Insurance

Hospital bills
Source: NaturalNews.com
Jonathan Benson
June 23, 2016

Shellshocked by those astronomical Obamacare premiums? You might want to consider just ditching the failed health insurance “tax” altogether and paying cash for medical services on an as-needed basis because, truth be told, you’ll end up shelling out far less money in the long run.

This was the recent experience of a California woman named Caroline who, after receiving a hefty bill for a few simple blood tests, petitioned the hospital where the blood was drawn for answers. What she came to learn is that there’s essentially two pricing tiers for medical services: the insurance rate and the cash rate.

Accustomed to just having her medical treatments billed to her insurance carrier, Blue Shield of California, Caroline was shocked to learn that the $269.42 she was responsible for paying out of pocket for the five blood tests she received — this out of $408 total, the rest of which was covered by her insurance — was nearly four times higher than the total cost would have been if she had just paid in cash, insurance aside.

So instead of the blood tests costing about $80 each at the insurance rate, they would have cost only about $15 dollars each, or about one-fifth the cost, at the cash rate — a substantial savings.

“I was completely surprised,” she told the Los Angeles Times. “The woman I spoke with in billing said that if I’d paid cash, the prices would have been much lower.”

Cash rate closer to what healthcare would actually cost if insurance didn’t exist

This is especially true for common procedures like blood tests and imaging scans that are now widely available at a variety of medical clinics — everything from large hospitals to local clinics, and in some cases even pharmacies and drop-in “minute” clinics.

You can think of it as the “uninsured” rate, or the amount that such services would actually cost in the real world if we didn’t have complex insurance pools, government-subsidized coverage plans, and other inherently wasteful programs that breed price-gouging.

And Obamacare is only making matters worse by spiking many people’s monthly premiums so dramatically that they’re essentially being forced to seek out the lower cash rate. Some people are even ditching their plans entirely and just paying out of pocket rather than try to reach their ever-escalating deductible thresholds — it’s actually cheaper not to use one’s government-mandated health insurance, in many cases!

“This is one of the dirty little secrets of healthcare,” Gerald Kominski, director of the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, explained to the Los Angeles Times. “If your insurance has a high deductible, you should always ask for the cash price.”

True free-market healthcare: the answer to outrageous pricing schemes

The rationale seems to be that if an insurance company or the government is footing all or most of the bill anyway, then hospitals can charge whatever it wants for medical services. All of this gets thrown on its head, though, when real-life people are having to cover these costs directly.

“This just shows how screwed up the whole pricing system is,” Glenn Melnick, a health economist at the University of Southern California (USC), added, making the case for a true, free-market healthcare system. “It absolutely makes sense to shop around for healthcare like you shop for everything else.”

In an ideal world, insurance companies would negotiate with hospitals and medical providers to get the best possible rates for policyholders. But so much has changed in recent years, especially with the government getting more involved in controlling the destiny of healthcare, that the gap between what medical services actually cost versus what patients are being asked to pay has only widened.

“Insurers aren’t getting the best prices anymore,” says Melnick. “Hospitals often charge whatever they want and have tremendous power over insurance plans.”

Read More At: NaturalNews.com

The War on Cash: An Open Source Investigation

We’ve all seen bits and pieces of the cashless society agenda unfolding around us, from cash restrictions to cashless banks to calls for the outright elimination of cash. But are you aware of just how widespread this agenda is? Join me as I try to compile a comprehensive list of moves toward the cashless society in countries around the world.

Link to the article: https://www.corbettreport.com/?p=17539

Source: CorbettReport

Brandon Smith: The Advantages of Barter and Localism

Source: DailyBell.com
Anthony Wile
January 17, 2016

Introduction: Brandon Smith is founder of the Alternative Market Project (www.alt-market.com) as well as the head writer and co-founder of Neithercorp Press. He specializes in macroeconomic analysis as well as studies in mainstream media disinformation, and is now focusing on the creation of a national network of barter markets designed to insulate and protect local economies from the inevitable collapse of the current unsustainable fiat system. His work has been published in numerous places including LewRockwell.com.

Anthony Wile: Give us some background. Where did you grow up and go to school?

Brandon Smith: I’ve lived all over the country in every environment America has to offer. The Pacific Northwest and the “Redoubt” has always been my favorite, and that is where I live now. My schooling experience was like any other person’s experience who went to one of our fine public institutions: monotonous, pointless, and it probably did some irreversible psychological damage.

Anthony Wile: Did you go to university?

Brandon Smith: No, all of my education comes from personal interest and personal study. I am thankful I did not go to a university after seeing the frothing hordes of Social Justice Warriors / Communists slithering out of so-called “higher education” the past decade.

Anthony Wile: How did you discover Austrian economics?

Brandon Smith: I’ve always been a big proponent of free markets and localism. It was not until 2005/2006 when I started writing for the liberty movement that I realized most of my economic foundations ran parallel to Austrian economics. I think that any analyst who pursues the concept of freedom in economics is going to come to the junction of Austrian economics eventually. Ron Paul‘s political efforts, of course, further inspired my direction.

Anthony Wile: When did you decide to write columns and to found the Alternative Market Project?

Brandon Smith: I started a simple website called Neithercorp Press back in 2006 under the name “Giordano Bruno.” At that point I was only writing as a form of therapy to get my thoughts on the frightening state of the world on paper (or digital paper). For some reason I became rather popular, and my work was being republished on most high traffic sites from Zero Hedge to Lew Rockwell to Infowars.

In 2010 I was approached by Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes, who asked me to do some economic analysis for his organization. It became clear that it would make more sense to start using my real name and to move toward more tangible efforts rather than writing analysis alone. I launched Alt-Market.com, the Alternative Market Project, that year with the goal of promoting alternative communities based on individual liberty. This included localized barter and trade groups, preparedness groups, alternative security measures like neighborhood watches and militias, etc.

Anthony Wile: Do you have other publishing plans?

Brandon Smith: I find that working on books is counterproductive in many ways because once you are ready to publish the world has already changed. I do continue to write for Oath Keepers and Personal Liberty Digest.

Anthony Wile: Tell us about the barter program, please.

Brandon Smith: To be clear, I do not take charge of barter markets nor do I administrate networks. I provide a meeting space online and I promote the system of independent localism wherever possible.

That said, I believe based on my research of social and financial upheaval over the past two centuries that barter networks are the natural inclination of cultures in crisis. Fiat monetary systems and casino-style equities and trade systems cannot be counted upon for more than a couple generations at a time; then you start to see major decline. Sometimes the rebuilding period is marginally painful; sometimes it is tremendously painful. Sometimes, there is no rebuilding of the original structure. Period.

However, there is always barter and localized trade. My theory is that if a society can retain localized and self-reliant systems in spite of “globalization” (or forced globalization), then people will always remain free. It is the threat of fiscal calamity that has driven nearly every tyranny of modern times. When people are not reliant on the mainstream system, they cannot be manipulated by it. There is still a need for physical resistance against tyranny, but such resistance is far more substantial when the people involved are economically independent.

Continue Reading At: DailyBell.com

Cashless Societies – How Realistic?


Source: DailyBell.com
December 28, 2015

In Sweden, a Cash-Free Future Nears … Parishioners text tithes to their churches. Homeless street vendors carry mobile credit-card readers. Even the Abba Museum, despite being a shrine to the 1970s pop group that wrote “Money, Money, Money,” considers cash so last-century that it does not accept bills and coins. Few places are tilting toward a cashless future as quickly as Sweden, which has become hooked on the convenience of paying by app and plastic. – New York Times

Dominant Social Theme: Remove analog money ASAP.

Free-Market Analysis: Sweden is being touted as the wave of the future as regards money, but perhaps not.

When something is profiled in The New York Times, as the “new” cashless Sweden just was, we need to consider whether the trend is subject to change or is not so powerful as we are being led to believe.

One of the problems with seeing Sweden as a pioneer is that its population is fairly cohesive. In fact, Swedes constitute a good example of the tribes we often refer to in Europe. Europe is full of tribes. The French are notoriously tribal and it strikes us that the British fought two world wars to shatter Germanic tribal unity.

Years ago, we reported regularly on what would happen when “Europe” stopped being of benefit to the tribes. Because it has been disguised by rhetoric, people often don’t understand why the tribes gave up so much including their ancient currencies to join Europe.

In fact, they were often bribed by pots of EU money that poured into the government to adjust unallowable deficits. The top elites pocketed this money and then went to work campaigning for EU unity. Once the EU agenda triumphed, those in power slipped away with the money and the larger population was stuck with an evolving authoritarian empire.

It was inevitable that the tribes, once lulled by good times and cash infusions, would begin to resent an era of “austerity” and impoverishment. What we didn’t anticipate was that the European elites had an answer: Organize a mass Islamic migration (apparently this is what’s going on) that would cause confusion within Europe’s tribal countries and focus resentment away from Brussels and the monetary system and toward “Islamification.”

Continue Reading At: DailyBell.com