To begin let me introduce one of my less known personas. If you have known me for long… I am Gary Scott but in a tighter knit community I am “Papa Socks”. Our granddaughter, Sequoia, coined the name when she was just beginning to speak. “Papa Scott” ascended to “Papa Socks”. Either it was easier to say or she knew socks better than scots and the name stuck. It is in my roll as papa socks that these thoughts on government intrusion began.
Having a global view is wonderful… filled with personal growth, fulfilling experiences and expanded horizons. The downside is that this can be hard on the unity of the family. In my case our children are spread around the world at times on three continents separated by vast time zones. At times we have had to go years without being together.
So these last couple of months have been an extra delight for Merri and me.
We began an extended family time with our daughter, Cinda, and her husband David Cross. Then
our son, Jake and daughter Cheri and grandson, Garren, came to be with us at our Florida home.
As they departed our daughter, Francesca, arrived from London with her husband, Sam, and our newest grand baby, Leo.
Then my sister Sandra (left), and mom arrived. Here we are Sandra, mom, Merri, Leo, Fran and Papa Socks.
Finally our daughter, Eleanor, and her husband, Ben, arrived from London with our new grandaughter, Matilda.
This is when the government intrusion first hit. Mom is about to turn 90 and on her 80th she decided to quit traveling. Nothing has been able to coax her out of Oregon until two new great grandchildren brought new temptation which I played to its fullest. On her departure from Portland International, though we had been informed the rules had changed… TSA made her leave her wheel chair and gave her a thorough body search. I thought this was a bit intrusive.
Well done TSA… I am so glad you kept the world safe from my mom. She looks pretty risky.
Let me be clear. I am all for good airport safety. Our three youngest children, lived with their British mum and went to school in England. We always flew them back and forth on Pan Am. They were scheduled on Pan Am flight 103 December 22, 1988 one day after the Lockerbie disaster. That taught me such a lesson about fate and the abundance we enjoy. Had I battled to have one more day with the kids. Had the mom wanted to have a tea party or attend some event one day sooner… had their school let them out one day early… how life would have changed… as it did for so many. What blessings we have and how hard it is to understand and determine why. Sometimes I get survival guilt just thinking about this. So when it comes to good airport and airplane safety, I am all for it.
There is a great book about this by the way entitled SKYGODS. More on SKYGODS in a later chapter of this report. I recommend you read it.
Yet where does common sense come in and where does efficiency start? TSA agents busily frisking an 89 year old might miss something somewhere else of importance.
Where does government intrusion stop being a good thing and when does it outweigh the benefits?
Yet I have not reached the point that determined me to wrote this report. That point came from my new camera a V-Lux 30.
Let me hasten to add that I am not a good photographer by inclination. I take a lot of photos and have learned a little but before this website began… cameras and me… oil and water. I’ll skip the story about taking all the photos for a wedding once and when no photos turned out.
I stared clicking away (I have tens of thousands of photos at my Flickr account) with a little battered after time Sony point & shoot until I learned when floating down the Oklawaha River in a kayak it is best to keep your camera in a water tight bag.
Photo of my grandson Garren I took with the Sony before I tipped my kayak. Fortunately the memory card was not water soluble.
This incident led me to a Canon point and shoot… a bit better than the Sony but still at the bottom of the rung as far as cameras go. My cameras by the way have to be small because a photo from a not so great camera is better than no photo at all and I would never lug a big camera around.
Merri knew I needed something better and told Santa who left my Leica under the Christmas Tree. The Leica V-Lux 30 is a bit larger than the Sony or Canon I had but still small enough to stuff in my pocket and it has three advantages I have figured out use, a better lens… the ability to shoot multiple shots quickly and has a 21X telephoto lens great for getting a full moon or being sneaky with a shot.
There is one feature I had not figured out which finally leads me to the intrusion story.
While the children and grand kids were here one of our trips was to the Lakeside Inn and the Lake Dora boat cruise. This is a wonderful trip into a beautiful part of the world.
Lake Dora at Lakeside Inn.
I was busily snapping photos of Granddaughter, Matilda.
Idyllic warm sun… cool shadows… gentle breeze, surrounded by four generations… perfect… nothing could intrude… until advertisements for the Mt. Dora Trolly started appearing on the screen of my camera!
The Leica has a GPS and in fiddling with the dials I must have turned it on. Someone (via a variety of programs and algorithms) had figured out who I was and where I was and was sending me commercial advertisements though my camera!
That incident really set me thinking. Of course I could turn the GPS off. Of course this was commercial intrusion and not government. This was a small incident but huge in the realization how far we have become dependent on technology that eradicates our privacy and allows intrusion in our lives.
Since the 1970s, my books and reports have looked at how to become independent… global and how to protect assets. Yet all this is changing.
Here is why.
The basis of independence in the 1970s was being multi nations… to live in one country… bank in a second with a corporation in a third and an office in a fourth.
This would still be effective approach except governments have now learned a new tactic. They do not regulate the person… they regulate the medium.
Because governments did not like bank privacy, they did not create anti bank privacy laws that regulated the public. Instead they created “know your customer” and reporting laws on the banks.
Governments globally took control of the banking system so their intrusion could even go to national levels.
A March 2012 Reuters.com article entitled “Payments system SWIFT to expel Iranian banks Saturday” shows how this works when it says: BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The world’s biggest electronic payment system on Saturday will cut off Iranian banks blacklisted by the European Union in an attempt to further strangle Tehran’s ability to finance a nuclear program.
Belgium-based SWIFT, which facilitates the bulk of global cross-border payments, said it would disconnect designated Iranian financial firms from its messaging system on Saturday at 1600 GMT after European regulators ordered the company to do so.
“The EU decision forces SWIFT to take action,” SWIFT Chief Executive Lazaro Campos said in a statement on Thursday. “Disconnecting banks is an extraordinary and unprecedented step for SWIFT. It is a direct result of international and multilateral action to intensify financial sanctions against Iran.”
SWIFT, or Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, has been described as the glue of the global banking system, handling daily payments estimated at more than $6 trillion.
Expelling the designated Iranian banks from SWIFT will shut down a major avenue through which Tehran does business with the rest of the world. The West hopes that will pressure Iran into curbing its nuclear program.
“The joint action of the U.S. and EU sends a strong message to Iran that we are serious about imposing punishing sanctions,” said U.S. Senator Robert Menendez, a Democrat who pushed to make the expulsion of banks from SWIFT part of pending U.S. sanctions legislation.
In this case the government’s intrusion has the ability to deadlock an entire nation. Please note by the way that this is NOT the US bank clearing system. This problem has long gone beyond just the USA and is global.
The way these events sneak up on us is that their first time around… they seem very logical. Had TSA body-searched my 89 year old mom in a wheel chair after an airplane bombing… this would seem to really make sense. To use the monetary clearing system to stifle Iran’s nuclear ambitions… we can understand.
Once the intrusion has been accepted in this big way… the insidious nature begins… petty… frustrating at its least, even dangerous and malevolent.
For example after I created the Pension Protection Workshop I received this letter from one of our bankers abroad.
Hi Gary, Yesterday the largest Danish Sunday paper ran a front page about how the US since 9-11 has tightened the net when it comes to money transfers.
A Dane has for years had a small company selling brandies from around the world and cigars from The Dominique Republic and Cuba. His cigar supplier closed down and he established a new relationship with a German importer of Cuban cigars. In October he bought Cigars totaling USD 24,000 from the supplier. He wire transferred the dollars to the seller but the transfer was intercepted in the US by the US bank. The US finance ministry has since then confiscated the funds and told the buyer of the cigars that his funds are confiscated. The reason is that the US has a trade embargo against Cuba and even though the trade did not involve the US or any US persons the funds were confiscated.
This may just be one of many incidents but it made it to the front page yesterday and all involved parties are naturally stunned that the US can impose its Cuba trade embargo on Sovereign states not having such an embargo and confiscate funds in a deal between a Danish and German company.
FATCA, supervision of money transfers, trade embargos, confiscation of funds not involving US entities or persons just wonder what will be next! Kind regards
This petty intrusion seems so wrong as to be unimaginable. This is so wasteful… create such ill will and leads to three questions:
Question #1: Why would the US government grab a German’s money… sent to a Dane over an embargo (Cuba) that is nearly through?
A recent New York Times article said: ALWAYS wanted to visit Cuba? Well now you can — legally.
Thanks to policy changes by President Obama earlier this year designed to encourage more contact between Americans and citizens of the Communist-ruled island, the Treasury Department is once again granting so-called “people-to-people” licenses, which greatly expand travel opportunities for Cuba-bound visitors.
An ABC News article wrote: To visit Havana. Nowadays, you can fly there by charter — that is, if you have close relatives there; if you agree to visit only once every three years; and if you cap your spending at $50 a day. Yes, the Cold War against Cuba continues.
But wait. Congress is working on a thaw — and has voted to ease restrictions for families. Some believe that’ll eventually mean the rest of us will be able to fly into José Marti International as tourists — maybe even later this year. Rep. Bill Delahunt, D-Mass., described the four-decades-old policy of isolating the communist nation as “such a failed policy [that] it deserves a burial.”
The loss of goodwill in Europe for the average American is huge and the bureaucratic fallout will far outweigh $24,000. In other words, you and I as tax payers are forced to finance a process that hurts us.
That’s terrible but is the least of the worst because the only logical conclusion I can reach is that this seizure was just a test to see how effective the Fed’s control over money really is! However, it could be that this action was political and taken due to the upcoming Presidential election in the USA.
The Cuban exiles still have a powerful political machine. Could this terrible precedent be created just to pander to that group?
Or the US government could be testing its ability to lock down the wealth of money belonging to anyone… anywhere…. anytime… in our pensions… in our bank accounts… wherever in the world.
If so this is wild. This use of the international interbank system against nationals of other nations will have angered the other growing and important economies Japan, Germany, Brazil, Russia, India, and China. They have been looking at alternative currencies and how to get around using the U.S. dollar already. This will accelerate this process and hurt the greenback in the processs.
There are more questions.
Question #2: How do they know that the money was intended for Cuban cigars?
The sad answer is that US has tracked payments through the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Transactions (SWIFT) since 9-11. In 2010 the US did a deal with the EU where the EU allowed the US to track all SWIFT payments through the European Police entity, Europol. Whenever anyone transfers money by wire they now have to explain the purpose of the transaction and this gives big brother the opportunity to watch everything. This seizure shows that the government really is watching to have out of millions of daily transfers to have picked up on this one deal.
How petty can they get? Could they for example track photos from my camera or yours and decide if they should be shared or not? That’s pretty petty but I think so and who knows what technocrat might think that you or my photos are more offensive (or politically incorrect) than Cuban cigars?
Question #3: What can we do about these intrusions?
Since the 1970s our business has focused on how to earn globally and be a multi national investor. Our Mantra has been to have a Six Point Command Posture.
Live in One Country
Bank in a Second Country
Hold Asset in a Third Country
Use an Office in a Fourth Country
With a Company in a Fifth Country
Earn in a Sixth Country
We have helped tens of thousands of our readers gain freedom and to escape the tyranny of the establishment through international investing and business and invite you to learn more about how we can help you gain such freedom in the process of doing what you love as well.
As mentioned… this is no longer enough so we have added three ways to assist you further:
To help you get a better feel of what we offer, I am attaching an MP3 recording of the the first session of our February 2012 International Investing & Business seminar conducted in Mt. Dora, Florida and want to make this special offer. (The file is large – to save the file you may right-click and save to your computer or if on a Mac, Ctrl-click)
The entire seminar is normally available on MP3 for $299. I want to give it to you free.
Order any of the three programs above and I’ll include the entire seminar on MP3. You save $299.
Our July 2012 writers camp is filled. See two new dates for June and September.