Archive for the 'Misc' Category

18
Jun
11

Judgment–before the ACLU was established

Original here.

The following is a verbatim transcript of a sentence imposed upon a defendant convicted of murder in the Federal District Court of the Territory of New Mexico many years ago by a United States Judge, sitting at Taos in an adobe stable used as a temporary courtroom:

“Jose Manuel Miguel Xavier Gonzales, in a few short weeks it will be spring. The snows of winter will flee away, the ice will vanish, and the air will become soft and balmy. In short, Jose Manuel Miguel Xavier Gonzales, the annual miracle of the years will awaken and come to pass, but you won’t be there.

The rivulet will run its soaring course to the sea, the timid desert flowers will put forth their tender shoots, the glorious valleys of this imperial domain will blossom as the rose. Still, you won’t be here to see.

From every tree top some wild woods songster will carol his mating song, butterflies will sport in the sunshine, the busy bee will hum happy as it pursues its accustomed vocation, the gentle breeze will tease the tassels of the wild grasses, and all nature, Jose Manuel Miguel Xavier Gonzales, will be glad, but you. You won’t be here to enjoy it because I command the Sheriff or some other officer of the country to lead you out to some remote spot, swing you by the neck from a knotting bough of some sturdy oak, and let you hang until you are dead.

And then, Jose Manuel Miguel Xavier Gonzales, I further command that such officer or officers retire quickly from your dangling corpse, that vultures may descend from the heavens upon your filthy body until nothing shall remain but bare, bleached bones of a cold-blooded, copper-colored, blood-thirsty, throat- cutting, chili-eating, sheep-herding, murdering son-of-a-bitch.”

United States of America v. Gonzales (1881), United States District Court, New Mexico Territory Sessions.

02
Feb
10

Social Security Numbers: Mandatory Requirement?

Today anywhere we go we are asked to provide our Social Security Number (SSN), whether it be to open a bank account, to have a cell phone plan, to work, to go to school, to get a driver’s licence, etc. It seems that in many cases the number itself is more important than who we actually are. This is why identity fraud is rampant – we no longer need to provide who we really are, we only need to have a 9-digit number and bingo, we are someone else.

How is it that we come to get this number anyways though? Despite some conspiracy theories and maybe some sci-fi movies, I am pretty sure that I didn’t pop out of the womb and the doctor read the SSN off my neck.

Through my research it seems that we are generally given the number at birth by our parents when we are born. Reading from the Social Security Administration (SSA) webpage we read:

Must my child have a Social Security number?:  No. Getting a Social Security number for your newborn is voluntary. But, it is a good idea to get a number when your child is born. You can apply for a Social Security number for your baby when you apply for your baby’s birth certificate. The state agency that issues birth certificates will share your child’s information with us and we will mail the Social Security card to you. (link)

It seems pretty clear to me that one can be born in the United States of America – even a natural citizen – and not have to have a SSN. So why do we all have one and what is it used for? And who is telling us that we must have one?

The Social Security Act of 1935 (Pub. Law 74-271, August 14,1935, 49 Stat. 620; as amended; and is codified at 42 U.S.C. §§301.1399) is when it all started. I find it odd that the SSN is not that old. There are still plenty of people around today that never had SSNs until they applied for one. Weird, right? That’s right, people functioned prior to 1935 without SSNs.

The only place that I can find where the law mandates that one has a SSN is in 1943 with Executive Order 9397 by Franklin D Roosevelt. Executive Order 9397 reads: 

WHEREAS certain Federal agencies from time to time require in the administration of their activities a system of numerical identification of accounts of individual persons; and

WHEREAS some seventy million persons have heretofore been assigned account numbers pursuant to the Social Security Act; and

WHEREAS a large percentage of Federal employees have already been assigned account numbers pursuant to the Social Security Act; and

WHEREAS it is desirable in the interest of economy and orderly administration that the Federal Government move towards the use of a single, unduplicated numerical identification system of accounts and avoid the unnecessary establishment of additional systems:

NOW, THEREFORE, by virtue of the authority vested in me as President of the United States, it is hereby
ordered as follows:

1. Hereafter any Federal department, establishment, or agency shall, whenever the head thereof finds it advisable to establish a new system of permanent account numbers pertaining to individual persons, utilize exclusively the Social Security Act account numbers assigned pursuant to Title 26, section 402.502 of the 1940 Supplement to the Code of Federal Regulations* and pursuant to paragraph 2 of this order.
2. The Social Security Board shall provide for the assignment of an account number to each person who is required by any Federal agency to have such a number but who has not previously been assigned such number by the Board. The Board may accomplish this purpose by (a) assigning such numbers to individual persons, (b) assigning blocks of numbers to Federal agencies for reassignment to individual persons, or (c) making such other arrangements for the assignment of numbers as it may deem appropriate.
3. The Social Security Board shall furnish, upon request of any Federal agency utilizing the numerical identification system of accounts provided for in this order, the account number pertaining to any person with whom such agency has an account or the name and other identifying data pertaining to any account number of any such person.
4. The Social Security Board and each Federal agency shall maintain the confidential character of information relating to individual persons obtained pursuant to the provisions of this order.
5. There shall be transferred to the Social Security Board, from time to time, such amounts as the Director of the Bureau of the Budget shall determine to be required for reimbursement by any Federal agency for the services rendered by the Board pursuant to the provisions of this order.
6. This order shall be published in the FEDERAL REGISTER. (link)

The important thing here to notice is the “WHEREAS” parts. The first one mentions Federal agency administration while the second, third, and fourth ones clarify that those individuals are Federal Employees and or the Federal Government. Nowhere does it mention that a private-corporation needs to have it’s workers provide SSNs nor does it mandate that Average Joe Citizen have a SSN (unless he is working at a Federal agency).

The SSA admitted this in a letter dated 18 March 1998 from Associate Commisioner Charles Mullen. In this letter the SSA states,

The Social Security Act does not require a person to have a Social Security number to live and work in the United States, nor does it require an SSN simply for the purpose of having one. However, if someone works without an SSN, we cannot properly credit the earning for the work performed. (link)

This clearly states that the Act does not require a person to have a SSN simply for the sake of having one unless they want to earn credits so they can be a part of the Social Security Insurance Program.

But why are our parents signing us up for an insurance program at birth? Well, as with many things it leads back to taxes. In 1986 the Tax Reform Act mandated that if you were claiming children as dependents on your tax return (to lower your taxes) they had to have SSNs (link). Of course to m this still raises the question of what exactly a SSN was used for originally. Originally it was used to give Federal employees a number and then later for anyone who wanted to participate in a Federal insurance program.

I think it is interesting when we dig into 5 USC § 552a, Records maintained on individuals. Section 552a(a)(13) reads,

the term “Federal personnel” means officers and employees of the Government of the United States, members of the uniformed services (including members of the Reserve Components), individuals entitled to receive immediate or deferred retirement benefits under any retirement program of the Government of the United States (including survivor benefits). (link)

I mention this because a “Federal person(nel)” is anyone who is (a) an officer of the Government of the United States, (b) an employee of the Government of the United States, (c) member of the uniformed services, or an individual entitled to receive immediate or deferred retirement benefits under any retirement program of the Government of the United States. Oddly enough this seems to encompass all Americans – I am not working for the government nor am I a soldier; however, under force I am expecting* to receive retirement benefits because my workplace is taking money out of my paycheck for SS.

* expecting: I do not desire to be in the retirement program and for that matter, I do not expect to get anything due to SS being bankrupt.

All this raises so many questions in my mind of what this entire SS program is all about. It seems by having a SSN I am automatically enrolled in this SS retirement/insurance plan and by proxy I am being classified as “Federal personnel.” What is more interesting is that government (employees) are bound by what the Code (U.S.C) is, which is versus a non-government citizen is not bound by Code but rather Regulations (C.F.R.).

Guess what the Tax Code is largely written in?

You guessed it, only Code. There are no implementing regulations for much of the tax laws.

But what if I don’t want to be a part of the SS retirement plan? While I was under 18 my parents gave me a SSN so they could claim me as a dependent on their taxes. However, now that I am over 18, can I release myself from the program? I would think that I could and should be.

Would my payor can me or would I be protected under 18 USC § 242,

Whoever, under color of any law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or custom, willfully subjects any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or to different punishments, pains, or penalties, on account of such person being an alien, or by reason of his color, or race, than are prescribed for the punishment of citizens, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both; and if bodily injury results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include the use, attempted use, or threatened use of a dangerous weapon, explosives, or fire, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.

or 42 USC § 1983,

Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress, except that in any action brought against a judicial officer for an act or omission taken in such officer’s judicial capacity, injunctive relief shall not be granted unless a declaratory decree was violated or declaratory relief was unavailable. For the purposes of this section, any Act of Congress applicable exclusively to the District of Columbia shall be considered to be a statute of the District of Columbia.

I don’t know…

The system seems to be a vicious circle, but what I am sure of is this – I do not want to be a part of the SS retirement program. I am good with money and even if I was bad I am pretty sure that I would be better at it than my government.

19
Aug
09

Flag Yourself for Suspicious Activity

Flag yourself.

I did.

Show that you do not agree with what is going on.

26
Feb
09

Don’t Fall for Jury Duty Scam

The phone rings, you pick it up, and the caller identifies himself as an officer of the court. He says you failed to report for jury duty and that a warrant is out for your arrest. You say you never received a notice. To clear it up, the caller says he’ll need some information for “verification purposes”-your birth date, social security number, maybe even a credit card number.

This is when you should hang up the phone. It’s a scam.

Jury scams have been around for years, but have seen a resurgence in recent months. Communities in more than a dozen states have issued public warnings about cold calls from people claiming to be court officials seeking personal information. As a rule, court officers never ask for confidential information over the phone; they generally correspond with prospective jurors via mail.

The scam’s bold simplicity may be what makes it so effective. Facing the unexpected threat of arrest, victims are caught off guard and may be quick to part with some information to defuse the situation.

“They get you scared first,” says a special agent in the Minneapolis field office who has heard the complaints. “They get people saying, ‘Oh my gosh! I’m not a criminal. What’s going on?'” That’s when the scammer dangles a solution-a fine, payable by credit card, that will clear up the problem.

With enough information, scammers can assume your identity and empty your bank accounts. “It seems like a very simple scam,” the agent adds. The trick is putting people on the defensive, then reeling them back in with the promise of a clean slate. “It’s kind of ingenious. It’s social engineering.”

In recent months, communities in Florida, New York, Minnesota, Illinois, Colorado, Oregon, California, Virginia, Oklahoma, Arizona, and New Hampshire reported scams or posted warnings or press releases on their local websites. In August, the federal court system issued a warning on the scam and urged people to call their local District Court office if they receive suspicious calls. In September, the FBI issued a press release about jury scams and suggested victims also contact their local FBI field office.

In March, USA.gov, the federal government’s information website, posted details about jury scams in their Frequently Asked Questions area. The site reported scores of queries on the subject from website visitors and callers seeking information.

The jury scam is a simple variation of the identity-theft ploys that have proliferated in recent years as personal information and good credit have become thieves’ preferred prey, particularly on the Internet. Scammers might tap your information to make a purchase on your credit card, but could just as easily sell your information to the highest bidder on the Internet’s black market.

Protecting yourself is the key: Never give out personal information when you receive an unsolicited phone call.

(Original link)

17
Jan
09

The Solution Is Found Within Each Of Us

So, all we hear is how crappy the economy is anymore and how the US is spiraling into some sort of black hole of which we will never recover from. And for all this psycho babble talk (and with the help of my new friend Liz), I say BULLSHIT.

Of course, my optimism is not due to Messiah Obama coming into the big chair here in a few days. No. I could care less about him. He isn’t magical and he surely isn’t my Messiah. No, my optimism is rooted in the belief that Americans are a different breed. In the history of our country we have never laid down in the face of a problem, adversity, or even a big bully throwing torpedoes at our ships. Hell no. We were build on the notion that WE THE PEOPLE had the power here in this land – not only control of our government, but also to fix whatever happened in the economy. During the Revolution war we rode our horses around and flipped the bird at England. We told her to shove off and go find some other people to rule.

For the first time in the history of the world a group of people decided they wanted to be free of tyranny and live their lives how they wanted.  They didn’t want to be told what religion to practice. They didn’t want to work hard just to give someone “tax” money. They didn’t want to have the government come in their house and dig around. And so much more. And with those thoughts, we made this country.

Continue reading ‘The Solution Is Found Within Each Of Us’

02
Sep
08

School is done, therefore I’m back!

So for the last 3 months or so I have been going to school. It has been a horrible experience, to say the least. Always have done well in school and never felt like I was completely lost. In this case, I was beyond “completely lost.”

I don’t know if it was because I took it online, because I tried to jump right into a Masters program after being out of college for 4 years, because the material was extremely difficult, or because the class and professor were horribly set up and guided. My guess is that I had a hard time mainly because the class was hard (most of the class seemed lost) and because the Professor is the worst one I’ve ever had.

In any case, I will slowly get back into posting on here, especially with the big’en coming up!

29
Jun
08

Matisyahu – King without a Crown

http://youtube.com/watch?v=IG_ybej9e8o

I know, I know… HE’S NOT ALLOWED TO SING ABOUT GOD AND PSALMS LIKE THAT.

Whatever. I like his music, regardless of his words. It is fun. In fact, it reminds me of some good times I had in Germany where I got to party with the Darmstadt locals.

I’m glad that he found what he likes – music. Have you found your passion?




Quotes:

"We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth... For my part, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst; and to provide for it." - Patrick Henry

"Politicians and diapers both need to be changed, and for the same reason." - Anonymous

"Right is right, even if everyone is against it, and wrong is wrong, even if everyone is for it." - William Penn

"Naturally the common people don't want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country" - Hermann Goering

"I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do this I keep on doing." - Romans 7:18-19

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain

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