El Conquistqdor Francisco de Orellana

El Conquistqdor Francisco de Orellana
The Conquistador who put the Amazaon baisn "on the map"....Francisco Orellana

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Seizing Your Personal Freedom
Why Now is the Time to Relocate Some of Your US Dollars

Reporting from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil...

Joel Bowman

The third largest metropolitan area in South America is not entirely unlike what you'd expect. At least at first glance. São Sebastião do Rio de Janeiro, as it is officially know, is a heaving, sweating, bustling city of some 15 million souls, all working, hustling and scrambling to make ends meet under the watchful eye of Cristo Redemptor, the city's landmark statue, perched high atop the breathtaking Corcovado mountain. The sprawling urban mass below is magnificent, crowded, paradisiacal, overwhelming and dirty.

These are just our first impressions, of course. We only arrived in "Rio," as it is unofficially, more commonly known, on a flight from Montevideo a couple of hours ago. Our bags, however, did not. From what we can gather, they're staying over in São Paulo. Taking the scenic route, apparently.

While we wait for our clean shirts to join us, let's turn our thoughts back to yesterday...back to fresh, clean clothes and some great musings on the war against the US dollar (YOUR dollars, that is)...

"If you keep your money or savings in US dollars inside of the United States, you are a risk taker of epic proportions," cautioned guest columnist and self-styled dollar vigilante, Jeff Berwick, in yesterday's issue. To this editor's mind, Jeff is right on the money.

"Have you not been paying attention to what is going on?" he asked.

It's a fair enough question, Fellow Reckoner, and one worth repeating. Have you been paying attention to what's going on? Are you taking a good, hard look around you? Anyone who's been in and out of US customs recently ought to at least have an inkling of what's coming down the proverbial pipes.

"To begin with," observed Jeff, "the US Government now employs cash- sniffing dogs at most international airports. If you are carrying more than $10,000 in cash and don't declare it to the Government when coming in or out of the US, your cash will be seized. Thanks to these cash- sniffing canines, US customs officials seized $3.2 million at Boston's Logan Airport last year."

For those still a little foggy on the details, let's bring in good ol' dictionary.com for some clarity.

Seize (verb, seized, seiz·ing):

1. To take hold of suddenly or forcibly; grasp: to seize a weapon.
2. To grasp mentally; understand clearly and completely: to seize an idea.
3. To take possession of by force or at will: to seize enemy ships.
4. To take possession or control of as if by suddenly laying hold: Panic seized the crowd.
5. To take possession of by legal authority; confiscate: to seize smuggled goods.

Since we're dealing with the government here, we can confidently discount definition #2. Members of "the state" have had six thousand years to boss us
around and order our lives and they have yet to "seize" upon or comprehended in any demonstrable fashion the most obvious and powerful idea of all time: freedom. If they had, they would necessarily have to disband and seek gainful, meaningful employment in whatever productive sector of the economy for which they are qualified, namely, selling pencils from plastic cups on street corners and painting lines up and down privately owned highways.

That leaves us with four definitions of the word all requiring force of some kind, either illegally (as in, when individuals seize something from one and other) or legally (as in when the state does so). The reader will do well here to remember that the words "legal" and "moral" are no more synonymous than are the words "tax" and "liberty."

Continued Jeff, "Some government apologists might say, 'If you aren't doing anything wrong, why would you mind being x-rayed, sniffed, patted down, detained and questioned?'

"Besides the obvious absurdity of that question, the main reason this is of concern is because in every case in history when a government has inflated its currency into worthlessness they always institute capital controls. Just ask anyone from Argentina or Italy. And it won't take much to change the rules from having to 'declare' $10,000 to 'not being allowed' to take $10,000 out of the country."

Jeff goes on to raise some excellent - and timely - points, before concluding that, "The US has started another war. The war on money. Anyone with any amount of cash more than will buy them a couple NFL tickets and beers for the game is suspect. And if you are one of those deluded people who thinks the Federal Reserve is evil and is ripping you off and you buy gold or silver to protect yourself, you are a domestic terrorist. It's going to be a fun few years ahead in the US."

The message is loud and clear. If you haven't already thought about (or, better still, taken actions towards) getting some of your cash out of the United States, yesterday is still the best time to do so.

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