Freedom Folks

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


Sam Francis coined the term anarcho-tyranny. He defined it thusly...
"...a combination of anarchy (in which legitimate government functions—like spying on the bad guys or punishing real criminals—are not performed) and tyranny (in which government performs illegitimate functions—like spying on the good guys or criminalizing innocent conduct like gun ownership and political dissent). The result of anarcho-tyranny is that government swells in power, criminals are not controlled, and law-abiding citizens wind up being repressed by the state and attacked by thugs."
Now, contrast and compare...

Ordinary Customers Flagged as Terrorists

Private businesses such as rental and mortgage companies and car dealers are checking the names of customers against a list of suspected terrorists and drug traffickers made publicly available by the Treasury Department, sometimes denying services to ordinary people whose names are similar to those on the list.

The Office of Foreign Asset Control's list of "specially designated nationals" has long been used by banks and other financial institutions to block financial transactions of drug dealers and other criminals. But an executive order issued by President Bush after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks has expanded the list and its consequences in unforeseen ways. Businesses have used it to screen applicants for home and car loans, apartments and even exercise equipment, according to interviews and a report by the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area to be issued today.

"The way in which the list is being used goes far beyond contexts in which it has a link to national security," said Shirin Sinnar, the report's author. "The government is effectively conscripting private businesses into the war on terrorism but doing so without making sure that businesses don't trample on individual rights."

The lawyers' committee has documented at least a dozen cases in which U.S. customers have had transactions denied or delayed because their names were a partial match with a name on the list, which runs more than 250 pages and includes 3,300 groups and individuals. No more than a handful of people on the list, available online, are U.S. citizens.

Yet anyone who does business with a person or group on the list risks penalties of up to $10 million and 10 to 30 years in prison, a powerful incentive for businesses to comply. The law's scope is so broad and guidance so limited that some businesses would rather deny a transaction than risk criminal penalties, the report finds.

"The law is ridiculous," said Tom Hudson, a lawyer in Hanover, Md., who advises car dealers to use the list to avoid penalties. "It prohibits anyone from doing business with anyone who's on the list. It does not have a minimum dollar amount. . . . The local deli, if it sells a sandwich to someone whose name appears on the list, has violated the law."
Illegal aliens (or GWB's favorite people)...

Lenders use looser credit rules to tap into illegal immigrants

Whether they need credit for a new couch or a mortgage for a home, undocumented immigrants are finding it increasingly easy to go into debt here.

Gone are the days when those who lacked a Social Security card had no chance of obtaining a loan. A recent liberalization among lending institutions means that those who are undocumented need not be unbanked.

Spanish-language radio stations carry ads for furniture on credit, with "no social" necessary. Banks, including Banco Popular and now Citibank, have started programs that allow illegal immigrants to buy homes by using an identifier issued by the IRS, known as the Individual Taxpayer Identification Number.

"It's kind of amazing, if you think about it," said Rob Paral, a research fellow for the Immigration Policy Center and a Chicago-based consultant. "You have banks that are explicitly marketing to illegal immigrants."

Paral completed a study for the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals in which he found that 231,000 illegal immigrant households have sufficient income to buy homes, which would bring a maximum of $44 billion to the national housing market if they had easier access to mortgages. He did not estimate how many illegal immigrants own their homes, though other studies have found the number to be surprisingly high.

Just one of the many, many ways it has become more profitable to be an illegal immigrant in the United States, and how long can a nation prosper when it punishes its citizens and rewards law breakers?

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