When is a crime not a crime?
Enron Corp.’s 2001 collapse revealed the extent of its manipulation of spot gas prices. Twelve years later, European Union regulators may discover energy traders never learned the lessons of the scandal.
BP Plc (BP/), Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) and Platts were visited by EU inspectors last week over allegations they “colluded in reporting distorted prices” to manipulate the published prices of oil and biofuel products, the European Commission in Brussels said after the raids.
While ENRON was a scandal due to manipulation it was the accounting -- which was fictitious -- that brought the company down.
Of course when you'll lie and cheat about one thing you'll do the same with something else; right? We've already established what you are; now we're simply arguing over how big of a liar, cheat and fraud you might happen to be.
But look at what an "energy consultant" has to say:
“We’re making exactly the same mistakes we did with Enron, just with a different commodity,” Robert McCullough, an energy consultant, said by telephone from Portland, Oregon. “The same manipulation we saw in electricity and gas pricing is what we’re seeing in oil.”
They're not crimes, they're not felonies, they're not things that should land you in prison for bilking people, they're "mistakes."
We will NEVER solve any of these problems -- not in the energy markets, not in the land title business, not in the lending business generally, not in student loans, not in colleges, not in board rooms, not on Wall Street generally -- until we call things what they are.
A shark is a shark. A rattlesnake is a rattlesnake. An alligator is an alligator.
And a violation of black-letter law, whether in land titles, front-running, intentional misrepresentation by a company or anything else is a crime, not a mistake.
You want to know what drives me to want to say "screw this!", turn off the computer and decide to raise a few goats and chickens instead of innovating, building and employing, and which has destroyed my interest in the latter over the last decade and a half?
THAT is what has done so and will continue to do so -- and until it stops my position, and that of many other entrepreneurs, on this point will not change.
President Barack Obama will not cooperate in a “partisan fishing expedition” over who knew what and when about revelations that groups seeking tax-exempt status were subject to extra Internal Revenue Service scrutiny.
“We are going to work with Congress, as the president said, in legitimate oversight,” Dan Pfeiffer, a senior adviser to Obama, said today on ABC’s “This Week With George Stephanopoulos” program. “What we’re not going to participate in is a partisan fishing expedition designed to distract from the real issues at hand.”
With all due respect Mr. President (and that would be "none" as far as this goes, if you care) this isn't under your control and never was.
That's why we have a government with checks and balances, and three distinct branches. You only head up one of them. The others are equals to you, not your subordinates.
Congress has every right to subpoena whatever it wants. You can try to fight that but there is no valid "executive privilege" claim available when it comes to abuses by the IRS.
Using the powers of the office of President of the United States, Richard M. Nixon, in violation of his constitutional oath faithfully to execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in disregard of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, has repeatedly engaged in conduct violating the constitutional rights of citizens, impairing the due and proper administration of justice and the conduct of lawful inquiries, or contravening the laws governing agencies of the executive branch and the purposed of these agencies.
This conduct has included one or more of the following:
- He has, acting personally and through his subordinates and agents, endeavoured to obtain from the Internal Revenue Service, in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, confidential information contained in income tax returns for purposed not authorized by law, and to cause, in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, income tax audits or other income tax investigations to be intitiated or conducted in a discriminatory manner.
- He misused the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Secret Service, and other executive personnel, in violation or disregard of the constitutional rights of citizens, by directing or authorizing such agencies or personnel to conduct or continue electronic surveillance or other investigations for purposes unrelated to national security, the enforcement of laws, or any other lawful function of his office; he did direct, authorize, or permit the use of information obtained thereby for purposes unrelated to national security, the enforcement of laws, or any other lawful function of his office; and he did direct the concealment of certain records made by the Federal Bureau of Investigation of electronic surveillance.
- He has, acting personally and through his subordinates and agents, in violation or disregard of the constitutional rights of citizens, authorized and permitted to be maintained a secret investigative unit within the office of the President, financed in part with money derived from campaign contributions, which unlawfully utilized the resources of the Central Intelligence Agency, engaged in covert and unlawful activities, and attempted to prejudice the constitutional right of an accused to a fair trial.
- He has failed to take care that the laws were faithfully executed by failing to act when he knew or had reason to know that his close subordinates endeavoured to impede and frustrate lawful inquiries by duly constituted executive, judicial and legislative entities concerning the unlawful entry into the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee, and the cover-up thereof, and concerning other unlawful activities including those relating to the confirmation of Richard Kleindienst as Attorney General of the United States, the electronic surveillance of private citizens, the break-in into the offices of Dr. Lewis Fielding, and the campaign financing practices of the Committee to Re-elect the President.
- In disregard of the rule of law, he knowingly misused the executive power by interfering with agencies of the executive branch, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Criminal Division, and the Office of Watergate Special Prosecution Force, of the Department of Justice, and the Central Intelligence Agency, in violation of his duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed.
In all of this, Richard M. Nixon has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as President and subversive of constitutional government, to the great prejudice of the cause of law and justice and to the manifest injury of the people of the United States.
Wherefore Richard M. Nixon, by such conduct, warrants impeachment and trial, and removal from office.
Care to do it again Mr. President?
I'll remind you, Mr. Obama, that this is not under your control either.
Homeland Security used a confidential informant, based in Maryland, to conduct the investigation. The informant simply created accounts with Dwolla and Mt. Gox, bought bitcoins, and then changed them back into dollars. Tracing that money, HSI was able to see that the money passed through a Wells Fargo account, number 7657841313, which was created by a single authorized signer: Mark Karpeles, the president and CEO of Mt. Gox. The Dwolla account shows transfers to Dwolla going back to at least December 2011, according to the warrant.
The problem is that Mt. Gox specifically declared that they are not a firm involved in money services.
Uh, yeah, ok.
Dealing in such without a license is a crime punishable by up to five years in prison (and/or a big fat fine.)
There are those who claim that this is no big deal and that it doesn't reach into the realm of what is to come. I disagree. The entire premise of a fungible means of exchange requires exactly that -- fungibility. If I am subject to having my funds seized because of what someone else did then I have custody and control of nothing.
There are those who argue (and rightly so) that one can keep all their "bitcoins" in their own personal wallet and deal with all that is required to do so. This is true but immaterial if most of the exchanges of said "currency" happen while under the control of a handful of such intermediaries as Mt. Gox and the "miners" who both look for and validate such exchanges. If the latter is the case (and it is) then you have once again a centrally-controlled system that is subject to destruction by outside forces.
The ultimate problem for Bitcoin (and other similar crypto-currencies) is that they are not self-validating. A dollar bill, with reasonable certainty, is. I can accept one from you and know with a reasonable degree of certainty that it is unique and valid, rather than printed off your color printer the same morning (that is, counterfeit.) The need for self-validation is very high in face-to-face transaction use. It is very desireable in many uses as well; if I must refer to some online source for validation (or worse, must wait any material amount of time beyond a few seconds for that validation) then friction is placed into the economic transaction stream and to the extent a third party is involved the transaction becomes subject to discovery and tracking.
This goes directly to what many of the proponents of Bitcoin claim -- "anonymous" transactions. In point of fact Bitcoin provides no such thing since transactions must be validated by external parties and the transaction stream going all the way back to the origin of any given coin is irrefutably and indelibly recorded in the block chain.
In this particular case the information necessary to "bust" Mt. Gox didn't reach into there, but if there is a debate over whether the alleged transactions took place there will be no ability to claim otherwise, since once again the block chain will prove that to be the case. As soon as either the recipient or sender of a given transaction "out" themselves (e.g. one is an informant) you are cooked.
Let's see how I do with the list.
I'm sure I've missed a bunch, but this is a good start.
What do all these (and more) have in common?
The people's refusal, as Americans, to stand and demand that The Rule of Law be restored and honored and that those who refuse to do so be impeached (if in government) and stand trial for their abuses.
I keep hearing people ask when I, or someone else, will "lead" on this issue.
Why do you ask where the leader is?
Do you want a Hitler? You're going to get one if you keep that **** up.
We the people do not need "leaders" to resolve this.
We all need to personally grow a pair of balls to replace that vacuum between our legs (or nestled in our pelvis where our ovaries are supposed to be.)
We need to get off our fat asses and stop demanding that someone else take care of what is our job as citizens of this nation.
You do not have the right to health care.
You do not have the right to a job.
You do not have the right to go to college.
You do not have the right to a house.
You do not have the right to food.
You do have the right to effort to generate some form of economic activity by your own hand and mind for yourself and those who you have as dependents through your own actions, such as your children (who exist because of your actions -- your exercise of the power to create life.) You may then expend the fruits of that economic activity as you see fit because such is your property; you earned it through an honest exchange with another.
You do have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit (but not guarantee of attainment) of happiness. This means that all of the above -- every single one of those abuses that have been served upon you -- are unlawful.
But those three rights only exist so long as you will stand and defend them. A person is a victim only until he or she gives consent.
Put a different way: The only difference between sex and******is consent.
As soon as you consent to the frauds and abuses heaped upon you they cease to be frauds and abuses and become part of a sick sado-masochistic ritual you have willingly taken upon yourself.
They remain so until you stand and demand that it stop, backing that demand with whatever defensive force is necessary to stop what has now become******rather than sex.
It is for that reason that I am an absolutist on where the Second Amendment's boundaries lie. It is impossible as a matter of logic for me or anyone else to depend on someone else to stop a criminal who intends to take my life or that of those in my care, irrespective of how we would otherwise design such a social system. By definition the first person able and often the only person able to stop such an assault is the victim that the perpetrator intends to assault or kill. It matters not whether the assailant is an individual thug, a pair of thugs, an organized gang or a government agency.
The bottom line is the same; your right to life only exists so long as you are willing and able to defend it.
The same bottom line exists for liberty and the offense against it that is delineated in most of the above list; you have such a right only so long as you are willing to defend it. The minute you cede that right you have consented to what you are experiencing and you lose the right to bitch about it until and unless you stand and take back that which God gave you.
This is basic logic and as soon as you cede basic logic you inevitably lose every other point of argument. In this case when you lose those arguments you risk losing your life and/or liberty; you are literally risking death or enslavement.
Since 2007 I have written on these matters in the economic realm and laid forth arithmetic proving that what has been done is not an accident but rather is a swindle. It is not a new swindle either; it is in fact one of the oldest in the history books, rivaling only prostitution in age. Arithmetic is not subject to debate; you can choose to overlook it but you cannot change it.
Those of you who seek leaders are fools; each of you should lead for yourself and confine that leadership to yourself and your life along with those dependent upon you through acts of your own free choice, enjoying or suffering the consequences of those choices.
Your right to lead in that regard ends as soon as you demand that someone else pay for whatever it is that you want to acquire or suffer as a consequence of your actions and inactions, whether it be food, shelter, education, health care or anything else.
The first principle behind The Declaration is that we are a nation governed by laws, not men, with each such law that is valid and enforceable being able to be tied back all the way to The Declaration through The Constitution.
The Declaration sets forth the reason why although rights are absolute societies organize governments -- it is for the purpose of providing a framework of laws to enforce those rights and punish violators. Absent that you have only the law of the jungle, where the individual with the biggest teeth, claws and body mass wins while everything else is food.
That is what you have in the absence of the rule of law, and that is what we have collectively and individually allowed to occur in this country. All of the above has occurred because we have regressed to The Law of the Jungle from The Rule of Law.
We either stop it or we will be consumed by it.
There were plenty of zingers and more than a few stupidity exhibitions from Democrats, but one bit of questioning stands tall.
Here's the real question -- for exactly how long will the American people put up with this crap?
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