the dollar vigilante blog
TDV Week in Review December 9th, 2012
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The snows have started coming to Minnesota. I saw the first one of the winter just a few days ago. I am staying in a very nice corner of Minneapolis, nestled between the downtown and a very nice suburb. I'm also on the edge between a couple tony city neighborhoods and where the black people live. A block to the north the ghetto gets a running start and just four blocks later past a wide main road it gallops at top speed. But its nearness keeps prices low where I am and I get the benefits of the nearby monied neighborhoods.
One of those benefits is driving around some very nice winding streets with storybook lower upperclass houses and lots of trees and parks. With the first snow of the winter the entire place took on the look of a holiday commercial, as if god or nature had been working really hard to get the set just right to sell something. On the night of the first snow I drove through the residential streets filled with million-dollar homes on my way to the nice Chinese restaurant -- the one which uses high quality ingredients yet whose prices are only slightly higher than you'd find in a takeout shack in the ghetto -- and I had one of those poingnant moments. Seemed nature's production staff had done their job. I was suddenly especially thankful that my life had brought me here, free from the monstrous, psychotic cities of the East and here to the Midwest where the best of America was on display. And, also, to a city whose character suited my own tastes. Not too big at all, more charming than impressive, still mostly single family homes with space to breathe, and struck through with natural beauty mostly thanks to the lakes God had generously scattered about as if he'd been in an especially generous mood.
But as usual, following right on the heels of my appreciation was anger. I can never forget for too long that because of the US government I'm being forced to design a new life far from where I've come to love and feel at home. What has me particularly angry these past couple of weeks: drones. As reported in November by The New American:
Somewhat ironically if predictably, the same day The New American ran that article The New York Times reported on the future of drone cars policing America's highways...but with much more enthusiasm about the faceless automatation of state power.
NYT thinks state killbots on wheels are kewl.
Sadly, however, the NYT's enthusiasm for more efficient, high-tech police surveillance -- and the blurring between local police and the federal army -- just reflects what most Americans seem to be feeling. Despite the fact that more than half of Americans were too jaded to bother to turn out to point guns at each other via the ballot box in this last election, they still trust that their government just wants to serve them and keep them safe. So they accept the state's robots on the highways and in the skies. They tell themselves that the eyes that will be watching every move in their streets and peering into their bathrooms and bedrooms are those of a loving and benevolent government god, not the eyes of a predator who considers them livestock.
A recent New York Times report also reveals that the Air Force’s drone operators sometimes practice surveillance missions by tracking civilian cars along the highway adjacent to the base, according to Electronic Frontier Foundation. The EFF article continues:
"The records show that the Air Force has been testing out a bunch of different drone types, from the smaller, hand-launched Raven, Puma and Wasp drones designed by Aerovironmentin Southern California, to the much larger Predator and Reaper drones responsible for civilian and foreign military deaths abroad. The Marine Corps is also testing drones, though it chose to redact so much of the text from its records that we still don't know much about its programs.
"The capabilities of these drones can be astounding. According to a recent Gizmodo article, the Puma AE ('All Environment') drone can land anywhere, 'either in tight city streets or onto a water surface if the mission dictates, even after a near-vertical ‘deep stall’ final approach.'
"...Perhaps the scariest is the technology carried by a Reaper drone the Air Force is flying near Lincoln, Nevada and in areas of California and Utah. This drone uses "Gorgon Stare" technology, which Wikipedia defines as 'a spherical array of nine cameras attached to an aerial drone . . . capable of capturing motion imagery of an entire city.' This imagery 'can then be analyzed by humans or an artificial intelligence, such as the Mind's Eye project' being developed by DARPA. If true, this technology takes surveillance to a whole new level. a recentNew York Times report that the Air Force’s drone operators sometimes practice surveillance missions by tracking civilian cars along the highway adjacent to the base."
It's not just enough to make one want to leave. Checking out of life on this planet starts seeming like a good idea. The problem isn't the technology. It's that the technology has evolved to this point while humanity is still in the grips of the illusion of the necessity and goodness of the state.
Thank goodness the technology also makes it possible for minds yours and mine to connect so easily via the Internet...and to make plans for escape.
Editor, The Dollar Vigilante
P.S. I'm scouting out towns in Southern Chile right now. As TDV editor-in-chief, Jeff Berwick has related many times, Chile is arguably Latin America's most promising country with a robust economy. Jeff hates snow, but I'm partial to it...even after moving several tons of it today! So I'm seeing if there's any real estate that would suit me in Chilean Patagonia.
Punta Arenas, Patagonia, Chile
It turns out that as long as I have an Internet connection and access to good food and a bit of booze, I can happily spend all my time in a little house and looking on snow-covered majestic landscapes.
Tortel, Patagonia, Chile
Of course, I'm just a bit of a hermit (some would say "crazy old coot in the making"). If you'd like something a bit more centrally located and urbane and free from USSA drones, then Santiago, Chile, may be the place for you. TDV is building a community just a hop, skip and a jump from Santiago
Santiago, Chile and the Andes Mountains
...and from skiing and from the beach...and you can be a part of that, too. Lots are up for sale in TDV's Galt's Gulch. To learn more, just click here.
Only a few weeks left in this 2012. Hard to believe that 2013 is just around the corner. Where does the time go? Well, certainly, some of it goes to stopping by TDV to read the articles and opinions you need to survive the ongoing fight for liberty.
Here's what we wrote about this week...
MONDAY, December 3
Jim Karger sits down to interview Jim Bourque Starr, expat chiropractor living the dream in Mexico.
“This is an interview I completed December 2, 2012 with Jim Bourque Starr, chiropractor extraordinaire, whom I met several years ago when he was practicing in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. I was experiencing severe dizziness that was affecting my quality of life. I had been to a myriad of medical doctors and had a plethora of tests, all to no avail. Jim suggested he might be able to help. And he did. Within a few weeks, all dizziness was gone. I owe him, and it was my pleasure to interview him in his new environs, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. This is one of several interviews I will complete with successful expats in Mexico (although all future interviews will be solely in the TDV newsletter – click here to subscribe), with a view to empower those who are reticent to make the leap into a new world and learn how to make a living abroad from people who have done it.”
TUESDAY, December 4
Justin O’Connell on the frightening evolution of US clandestine and military machines.
“The convergence of the military and intelligence agencies operations has blurred the lines between their once-separate missions and training. According to the Washington Post (which was once called “Pravda and the Potomac” before endorsing Republican congressional candidates, and then twice endorsing Barack Obama) states: “The plan reflects the Obama administration’s affinity for espionage and covert action over conventional force.”
WEDNESDAY, December 5
Jorge Gato contrasts police stops in First and Third World countries by way of personal experiences.
“Not only does the USSA not ensure personal safety anymore, but it actually helps your neighbors steal from you! What used to be the case was you were allowed to defend yourself by force from someone entering your home. Heck, even the Old Testament says that: "if a thief is found breaking in and is struck so that he dies, there shall be no bloodguilt for him." Nowadays, if a thief breaks into your home at night, he can sue you for protecting yourself!”
THURSDAY, December 6
TDV Managing Editor Redmond Weissenberger on the lunacy of US forces in Afghanistan targeting children as potential hostiles.
“Like torture before it, the media remains silent over the US government’s continual war crimes. The general public rarely bats an eye anymore when their tax dollars go toward annihilating another innocent life. The War has begun to resemble the failed military excursion in Vietnam where the slaughtering of innocents was an almost regular affair.”
FRIDAY, December 7
Feedback Friday, your chance to ask TDV editors, contributors, and correspondents anything about our articles, our opinions, and the ongoing fight for your freedom. This week: Questions on Paraguay, advice for the young and in debt, and…Romans 13?
SATURDAY, December 8
From Acapulco, Jeff Berwick’s weekly address to TDVers relays an anectdote about a night out in “Paradise”, the release of The Hobbit and J.R.R. Tolkien the anarchist, as well as great review of anarchic charity, some place to send your dollars to further the fight for liberty this holiday season.
This week’s featured video has Jeff Berwick on Goldmoney.com with Andrew Duncan. Check it out, and don’t forget to about our wide array of informative videos on TDV’s media page.
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 designed to help you gain more freedom in your life here:
Thanks as always for reading or subscribing!