the dollar vigilante blog
The Weekend Vigilante December 22, 2012
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Hello from the San Marco district in Venice, Italy,
I've been in a different country, by car, every day now for the last 5 days straight. Starting in Dresden, Germany, then on to Prague, Czech Republic, then Vienna, Austria... then one night in Ljubljana, Slovenia. And, finally, Venice.
This trip has brought many positives and negatives to light. The first positive, by far, is the ease of travel without borders. Each border still does have its old border stand and associated buildings... It's been a while since travel has been made free and easy in Europe so the only justification I can see for keeping these old buildings and installations is that either they are thinking they may soon have to re-enact the old borders... or, they are clinging somewhat to the past and just can't let go of these old symbols of oppression.
In either case, it is truly glorious to be able to travel without being stopped every few hundred kilometers to have my papers checked. And, it shows the ludicrosity of it all. Why ever have borders at all? The only two answers to that are statism/collectivism and xenophobia. Some people think the Eurozone was instituted as a first step towards one world government, but if that is the case, it may all backfire as people realize they don't need the state to uphold these things. Plus, not having to change fiat currencies every few hours is also eye opening as people may start to realize how nice it is to have this type of currency system. Certainly, the euro is not the answer. But a global gold/silver currency... or bitcoin, as the Iranians are finding out (Dollar-less Iranians Discover Virtual Currency - BusinessWeek) , can really free one from the oppression of the state. Soon, euro-less Europeans and dollar-less US citizens will likely discover the same thing. As a sidenote, ALL of TDV products (passports, offshore banking and incorporation, the TDV newsletter and even property at Galt's Gulch Chile are all payable in gold and bitcoin).
As a sidenote, here are two interesting viewpoints on bitcoin from two crypto-anarchists. One, an interview with Trace Mayer (see video here) of HowToVanish.com which is very pro-bitcoin and a more cautionary take on bitcoin from "Smuggler" (see video here).
As well, another thing that travelling fairly freely in Europe shows is the difference between statist regimes. Because you can drive anywhere in Europe and not even know you are in another country except that the language on the street signs changes it makes it very noticeable the differences in statist approaches and which is worse or better.
Here is my vigilante take on each place with the disclaimer that I obviously didn't spend enough time in each place to truly get a feel for it (although I have been to each country except for Slovenia many times in the past).
Starting with Germany, as one group of people living in a specific geographic region, I don't think there are a more productive people on the planet. Just look, as one example, at all the high quality automobiles that originate from that region. Porsche, BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Volkswagen, Opel and others. I find, in general, that the people in this region, including Austria and other locations are almost like robots in efficiency. Not all, obviously. And, I hate to generalize... but if you are looking for world-class craftsmanship, look to Germany. Compare them to the Ford Tempo's, Chrysler PT Cruisers and other garbage put out in fasco-communist Detroit in comparison.
Now, Germany is not perfect... at all! And it's getting worse. I enjoyed driving between 150-200 km/h (90-120 mph) throughout the entire trip... but as I my Mexican wife who had lived in Germany told me, not everywhere in Germany is without speed limits now. Many times we'd have to slow dramatically as traffic went from flee flowing to clogged up and dangerous as everyone tried to adapt to the limits... and I hear speeding tickets are becoming the norm on German highways now.
But that's only the beginning. Many are falling back into the trap of socialism and democracy (the Nazis were socialists elected in a democracy) and from many German TDV subscribers I hear that things are getting worse by the day.
Moving on to Prague, Czech Republic (CR): as soon as you cross the "border" into CR you notice the difference in the amount of businesses open and doing business mostly freely on the street. While Germany has all kinds of rules about what you can buy and when you can buy it, driving a few miles to CR is almost like driving from San Diego to Tijuana. All of a sudden you go from not being able to get anything to almost being able to get whatever you want, whenever you want. CR is also not perfect (no place is), but you really sense that you are freer as soon as you are in that region.
Then, on to Vienna Austria. My takeaway from there is the same as it was the last time I was there. Vienna is very similar to Zurich. Very expensive and 90% of the people out on any given night are all in $5,000 suits and obviously making 6, 7 or 8 figures per year as financiers. This, is fine... but it makes for a very boring experience. However, on the plus side, I had a pocket full of gold (Canadian Maple Leafs) that I needed to sell for some expenses and every bank in Austria welcomed my business and passed over tens of thousands of Euros as though it were like buying cigarettes at Oxxo in Mexico. Again, each place has its good and bad.
The worst place on my trip was Ljubljana, Slovenia. I had never been there and never heard of anyone ever going there and that made me think that I had to go there to see what is going on for myself. Well, the short answer is nothing. Lots of little regulations (it took me 10 minutes of paperwork to enter one of the worst casinos I've ever been in my life) and upon asking if there was any poker in town, the nice girl at the reception desk told me that it is illegal in this city. But if I want to drive 1.5 hours there are some lives games in another town in Slovenia. -10c, snowing... no thanks. I then asked, are there any bars that are happening? She replied, It's December, of course! There are lots of people down at the Christmas markets drinking and having fun. What she didn't say was that it was freezing cold and the 30-50 people down there were just huddled up, coughing, wheezing and clinging to their hot alcoholic drink to keep them alive for more than five minutes. Not my idea of fun.
So, then it was on to Venice, Italy. After not having seen a police car for three days all of a sudden the highways were covered in them. They were pulling over people every few kilometers. And our GPS was blinking with "Speed Camera" every five minutes. They've never let go of that fascist idea here (and fascism was founded there with national syndicalists during World War I) and, for whatever reason, people still put up with a huge police presence in Italy. Which is strange, considering that the Italian people, in general, just like to go out all night and eat fantastic food, drink fantastic wine and talk and kiss the night away. It also made me wonder how a place where Ferrari was founded is so restrictive. That said, the people in this region are also very productive (not as much as Germans) and very creative and artistic. The food, wine, clothes, cars and architecture that have come out of here are astounding. What is less astounding are all the rules, regulations and enforcement that you don't generally see at street level in most towns but which are constantly reminding you that you live in a fascist place.
As a final, half-drunken thought about Italy... after having passed through many times over the years, from Genoa, to Pisa, to Florence, Rome and now Venice, is that this is not a party place. Partying here mostly occurs over a nice meal and glass of wine. If you want to see history and culture, however, this is very much a place to go.
I always have to laugh at "Italians" who live in the US who are characterized by those on a show like Jersey Shore. In years of coming to Italy I have yet to see anyone with a tan and certainly no one with muscles like Pauly D. or "The Situation". I've always found this interesting... how people from one region go to another region and try to exude a completely different persona than in their own area. Your average Italian (and again, excuse me for generalizing) is skinny and unaggressive... and definitely not tanned orange. I once asked my Mexican wife this paradox about Mexicans who live in places like Los Angeles. Those muscular, tattoeed guys in California who call themselves Mexicans are not to be found in Mexico. Upon asking, my Mexican wife said there is a saying in Mexico, we send our garbage to California.
THE VIGILANTE TAKE ON SANDY HOOK
If you live in the USSA, you've been inundated by media on the shooting in an elementary school. While this obviously was a horrible event, I would like to interject some rationality into the discussion.
First, it has been so nice to be in Europe for most of this media frenzy as I have not been inundated with emotional reactions to a complex event. Let's get a few things out of the way right now. This event was not because guns exist. If there is any more proof for this, it was that on the same day, in China, 22 kids were stabbed via knife in a very similar event.
Second, isn't it funny how armored cars ALWAYS and banks OFTEN have a non-public/police armed guard to protect fiat currencies...but schools NEVER have a private armed guard to protect something much more important to people (their own kids). Maybe I'm just a bit too logical with my anarchism and non-collectivtist thinking, but I am amazed that all the sheep who are so afraid of guns and who would be appalled at the idea of free market armed guards protecting their children, are completely okay when they see an armed guard standing at the door of a bank or carrying bags of money into the bank. I shouldn't be so surprised at how warped their thinking is, especially at this point in my life, but it's hard not to be when these brainwashed people start yelling their nonsense after tragedies like this last one.
By the way, the lack of real protection is yet another reason to avoid putting your kids into child prison day camps (schools) where they can so easily become target practice for some deranged shooter hopped up on prescription pschoactive medication. These camps are very, very dangerous places...and that's besides all the propaganda, indoctrination and hazing they will receive there.
Third, allow me to point out that, thanks to the fact that the main dream media and the government in the US are in charge of almost all information that we really have no idea of what really happened there. We do know that many children were killed. That is about the extent that we can really know. There are definitely many questions, however. Just like with the Colorado Batman movie shooting there were plenty of reports of a second shooter.
Beyond that, much more dangerous than guns, are the pharmacheutical poisons being prescribed to tens of millions of US citizens. This list was put together by Takimag.com (see here):
An autopsy concluded that Columbine killer Eric Harris had the SSRI antidepressant Fluvoxamine in his bloodstream at the time of his death.
• Jeff Weise, who killed nine people and himself at a Minnesota high school in 2005, was taking increasingly high doses of Prozac at the time of his spree.
• Robert Hawkins, who killed eight people and himself at an Omaha mall in 2007, reportedly had been on antidepressants at the time of his shooting. He allegedly had taken antidepressants since he was six years old.
• Seung-Hui Cho, who killed 32 and wounded 23 at Virginia Tech in 2007, had been prescribed Prozac and had previously taken Paxil for a year, but he apparently had ceased taking his medication at the time of the shooting.
• Andrew Engeldinger killed five people and himself after being fired from his job in 2012 (just half a quarter mile away from where TDV editor Gary Gibson was writing at his house in Minneapolis). A police search of Engeldinger's house revealed he’d been prescribed the antidepressants Mirtazapine and Trazodone, as well as the insomnia medication Temazepam.
• Eduardo Sencion, who killed four people and himself with an assault rifle at a Utah IHOP in 2011, was a paranoid schizophrenic whose medications were changed during the summer prior to his attack.
• Robert Kenneth Stewart, who murdered eight people at a North Carolina nursing home in 2009, submitted to a blood test that revealed he had Lexapro, Ambien, Benadryl, and Xanax in his system at the time of his spree.
• Steven Kazmierczak, who killed five people and himself on Valentine’s Day in 2008, had allegedly been prescribed Xanax, Ambien, and Prozac, although according to his girlfriend he had stopped taking Prozac prior to the massacre.
• James Eagan Holmes, who shot up a Colorado movie theater in July, reportedly took 100MG of Vicodin before the shooting. He had also allegedly seen three school psychiatrists prior to his attack. Although his psychiatric records are privileged information, in his mug shot he appears to be medicated up to the eyeballs.
And Adam Lanza, slayer of over two dozen people on Friday, appears to have had a classic pair of Medication Eyes himself. He was also reportedly “troubled” and possibly “autistic.” A neighbor of Lanza’s claims he was taking medication.
Where is the outcry to ban pharmaceuticals? Imagine if all these killers had been smoking plants like marijuana or coca? The outcry in the media would be deafening.
Beyond that, though, is the question of relevance. Approximately 1,500 people are murdered every day. Many of them at the hands of Nobel Peace Prize winner, Barrack O'Bomber. Do you cry every day for all of them? Or is it because you aren't told by your media programming not to that you don't?
We are now at a world guesstimated at 7 billion humans. Even 100 years ago, that amount was closer to 1 billion. As numbers increase and as the amount of global media increases, we will hear of horrendous stories almost every day... just as a matter of simple math.
As these numbers continue to increase horrific events will appear to be happening by the hour... and will further enable the media and the powers that be to sell the populace on how dangerous the world is becoming and how you need to be disarmed from self protection to survive. The truth is that we, as people, have probably never been more safe and secure. Statistics indicate that the total population of chimpanzees (humans - monkeys with pants) was 370 million in 1350. So numbers alone have increased 2,000 percent in the last few hundred years. Not to mention that you would never hear of a mass killing even 500 miles a way during that time.
Do not let the extrapolation in numbers fool you into thinking the world has become far worse. In contrast to 1350, the world has become infinitely better. Keep some semblance of reality and realize that and also look deeper into the real causes of any problems in the world we live in today.
UNTIL NEXT YEAR
We all (for the most part) have appearred to survive the Mayan apocalypse. What is much more important, realistic, and dangerous in our near futures is the dollar collapse and The End Of The Monetary System As We Know It (TEOTMSAWKI). Stick with us here at TDV and we can all get through this much more important, and unreported danger, together. Thank you again for another great year. All of us at TDV will be taking a break beginning on Monday and will return on January 2nd. By that point I'll be somewhere in Africa and reporting in with true boots-on-the-ground info... not just picking items out of the local newspapers as some others do... and letting you know what is going on from my perspective, reporting to our subscribers with the best of info and having some fun while we do it. And, hey, I don't even use a fake name nor hide from the bright lights of reality. Imagine that!
Have a great holiday season, do not initiate violence against others, live well and try to be free... even when others in costumes try to impede you. All the best from my family, my friends and from the entire crew at TDV which now numbers in the dozens to you and yours!
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 as well as regularly in the media including CNBC, CNN and Fox Business.