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Published on January 4, 2005 By Phil Osborn In Politics
In Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged" (which came in right after the Bible as the book that most influenced American's lives, when the Book of the Month Club did a survey in 1991 - not bad for a 1958 novel, which still sells quite briskly in 2005), there is a classic scene in which two of the good guys are facing a crew of state sleezebags who are utterly certain that they have them under their thumb. The baddies have succeeded in having passed a whole set of draconian laws which nobody could follow and remain alive, and so, of course, our heros are being threatened with prosecution - unless they play ball.

However, the sleezoids explain, glorying in their triumph, they never intended that anyone should actually follow the law! The whole point was to make everyone everywhere vulnerable to prosecution so that they can pick and chose their victims in a new reign of terror.

Since 1958, quite a number of laws and bureaucratic edicts and directives and executive orders have come down that smacked of pure terrorism by the state. However, the newest laws, including the so-called "Patriot Act," (which is really aimed at jailing Patriots, among others - thus the title) and a host of others that escaped general notice, passed under his excellency Lord King Bush II, are so far beyond the pale as to indicate that this is the only possible rational interpretation that can be given them.

I am not exactly ignorant of these new measures to enslave us. See my article on what happened to the local Anthony Hargis and Company during 2004. In ALH&Co's case, a business that had prospered for 26 years and had reportedly over a thousand customers, was utterly destroyed and it's Trustee and Manager, Anthony L. Hargis, imprisoned for six months for refusing to turn over confidential customer records to various Federal Agencies.

Note that neither he nor anyone else was specifically named as a criminal, and no specific crimes were alleged, nor was there any Warrant. It was a pure "fishing expedition" by the feds, and a pure travesty put against the supposed rights guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution, authorized by a law passed in December of 2003 that made it mandatory that virtually any business turn over its confidential customer records upon demand to a variety of Federal Agencies, no matter what their reason. Now, BTW, the IRS is apparently doing a blanket indictment of 800 or so of ALH&Co's customers, attempting to charge then $1100 each for participating in what they term a "warehouse bank." Coincidentally, this comes out to about the same amount that the Reciever's Office has managed to recover from the former ALH&Co's assets. Again, see my article for details and links.

ALH&Co., however, is but the tip of the iceberg. In the Business Section of the "Orange County Register" of January 1, 2004, Page 2, there was a mind-blowing article entitled "Anti-terror laws affect businesses nationwide."

From the article:

By STEVE JOHNSON

Knight Ridder Newspapers

SAN JOSE ?It may surprise some people to learn that one of the linchpins in this nation's war on terrorism is the Bin & Barrel Mini Mart in Fremont.

Manager Sonia Cheema certainly was when her dad bought the store in October.

Under federal rules still being fine-tuned, she discovered, the Bin & Barrel - like thousands of other businesses - must have a written plan for foiling money-laundering terrorists. It also must have a "compliance officer" to ensure the plan is heeded, train its employees to spot shady transactions and regularly audit its own performance.


And that's just the beginning... It turns out that if you are unlucky enough to be on that little list of some 5,000 names, of people who are suspected of being terrorists or drug kingpins " or their associates ", then you cannot even legally buy a cup of coffee in the U.S. However, it won't be YOU, the suspect - not convict, BTW - who is busted... It will be the Denny's that sold you the coffee, which is now responsible, along with all 6 million or so U.S. businesses, for checking your ID against that list, which is frequently updated. If you should slip through, somehow, and get your Java, Dennys will now be subject to a (get this!) $ten million fine.

So, in one fell swoop, we have in place laws that can destroy any business, any time, which means, in fact and principle, that those who oversee the implimentation of such laws can now bring pressure on any businessperson or their employees to essentially cooperate in whatever manner they chose. Can you say "Absolute Power." How difficult would it be to offer to look the other way on some petty offense by one of the people on the list, in exchange for which they buy a hammer - which could be used to KILL!!! someone - at a hardware store that the petty bureaucrate involved wants to pressure into financing his vacation to the Bahamas this year. No evidence. No trail. Can you say "cointelpro?"

I could take advantage of this, come to think... I could go into the Santa Ana barrio and shake down the local mini-marts, the laundries, the push-cart guys.

"Hey, chollo, where's your compliance officer? Where's your plan for defeating money launderers? Didn't I see an Iranian go into your shop just yesterday? Ok, I'm gonna take care of you, don't worry. But I gotta put it in the book, you know. So, here, you don't even have a copy of the list, man. Jeez, where you from? Your shirt still wet? Ok, ok, no problemo. You ok. I like you. I give you my copy... But then I gotta replace it and they want to charge me on my pay. So, I let you have it for cost, ok. No big deal. Just $500 and we're done here. Mucho gracias, amigo. ..."

Or, if I were in Al quida, then I could use this law to reek havock in the American economy. I could hire some cheap, sleezy lawyers to simply file papers in the local federal courts demanding that various businesses be prosecuted for not being in compliance with the law. With only a few victories, I could then shake down the others very easilly. How many small businesses can afford a $ten million fine? So, how to make money hand over fist and simultaneously destroy Amerca. Win, win, win, right?

So, is it time to get worried, yet?

I tried to see if my name was on the list... But - I'm guessing due to sudden overwhelming hits after the article appeared - the Justice Dept. link in the "Register" article no longer works. However, that didn't stop me.... The list! And I'm NOT on it! Wonder how THAT happened?

Of course, anyone could make a fake copy of the list and pass it around, with names of people or entities not liked by the new author. How many people would check?


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