Thursday, October 13, 2022

The wages of sin


"The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord"

The Bible tells us that the reason for our struggles and darkness in our lives is because of sin. Sin is knowing to do right and not doing it. We are slaves to sin or slaves to righteousness. We serve our flesh or we serve the spirit. If we try to do both, we become unstable in all our ways.

As Paul lamented in Roman's 7:18-20,  "Oh what a wretched man I am. That which I would not do I do...who will deliver me from this body of death? For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me."

It is obvious to me that our culture has gone insane. We are living Roman's 1 where the world's spiritual condition is described. Today evil is called good and good evil. Humanity is becoming more depraved by the day.  We laugh, joke, and boast about sinful behaviors,  and we tease or ridicule those trying to be righteous and good. "Goody two shoes" or "church boy/girl " are monikers society places on those who will not wink at sinful behaviors. It is "cool" to be the bad boy and rebel. Freedom at all cost is the claim while in actuality we just become slaves to our lower nature and short term pleasures. We are proud to be independent and answer to no one but ourselves. We become lost in our sins. 

Today the fear of death is more prevalent than ever before. We live for the here and now avoiding at all costs the prospect of dying, and heaven forbid dying penniless. If we truly believed in the eternity of our spiritual souls,we would have less regard for the temporal experiences we now define ourselves by. We prolong life at all costs and spend large percentages of accumulated wealth to feed the growing Healthcare industry to keep us ticking one day or year longer even when we know our bodies will and must die. The rich spend all they can to buy one day longer in decaying bodies. It is a form of insanity and faithlessness.

Sinful people are consistently putting their hand in the fire of disobedience, testing whether next time they might come out unscathed.  There are cultures that  walk on fire coals attempting to prove they can overcome the risk and pain of being burned. While there may be tricks to prove they can do it, none of them can survive just standing indefinitely in the fire. Eventually we all die because of sin and after that we all face the judgment of our creator for what we have done in our short, often meaningless lives.

Thank God for the Gospel of Jesus that declares the gift of salvation through faith in Him. We deserve to die for falling short in obeying our creator, yet God sent His Son to die in our place to settle the wages of our sin. He overcame death and dying and resurrected from death so that those who believe in/follow Him would not perish, but have everlasting life.

Not only does He promise eternity with Him, but He offers an abundant life here and now! He doesn't promise us great wealth or absence of  suffering,  but He has said if we abide in His love and forgiveness,  He will fill us with His Spirit so that whatever we face in this temporal life, we will find meaning, peace, and strength to overcome our sinful natures.

Who can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus. Who can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus. Believe and trust in Him today. The power of His Word and truth will put you on a solid path of continual redemption and grace to live through whatever temporary trials this sinful world throws at you. There truly is victory in Jesus. 

Monday, April 27, 2020

Open letter to the President of Panama

Dear Mr. President,
It has been five years since our family left Panama after spending 9 years of our lives there. We were there since 2006, watching all those buildings go up in Panama City, 2 different upgrades of Tocumen International Airport, the development of scores of hotels and resorts all over this small country which is the size of the State of Delaware.  We saw thousands of expats come and go from Canada, the USA, Europe and eslewhere. It was exciting to see the new projects of infrastructure such as the transit system, new bridges, and gradual improvement of the roads. The expansion of the Canal was another feat of engineering that the country could be proud of. The GDP was supposedly growing around 6% per year while all your neighbors were strugging to grow at all.

Unfortunately, success and growth could not be sustained for long. We watched as government and street level corruption continually grew along with the growth of the country. While we lived through three shifts of Presidential administrations, the one thing that was consistent with all was ongoing graft and corruption. This ended up sucking the gas right out of the proverbial balloon of Panama's growth. International accusations against Panama as a black listed place to "launder money" grew to a level where your government succumbed to global pressures of submitting your country's financial system to international scrutiny and governance. Panama lost its sovereignty by letting the USA determine its banking laws and Panama becoming a vassal state for any other government that wanted to spy on its citizen's business affairs in Panama.

In 2010, in a major act of subsurvience to the USA government, your government signed the FATCA tax treaty with the USA which basically meant your sovereign banks were an extention of the USA's Internal Revenue Service. Shortly thereafter, most of your domestic banks were shutting down American's business and personal accounts unless they were valued at over x amounts.  You even agreed to report the financials of sovereign Panamanian corporations and foundations if they had American investors or owners involved.

The unintended consequences of these actions were that your government made it impossible for Americans to invest or do business in Panama on an equal competitive playing field with other foreigners or your domestic businesses. Overnight, all Americans doing business in Panama were suspected criminals or tax cheats until they could prove otherwise. Based on having to legally report and pay taxes on our worldwide income from Panama while all our competitors did not meant we would have to make 25-30% more profits just to equal the profits of our competitors. This meant we would either have to become criminals per your new laws and trade agreements, or leave for greener pasteurs elsewhere.  Many of us chose to leave, albeit not because we wanted to. We had to leave friends, family, and businesses behind to start over...just because of a Panamanian Presidential stroke of a pen.

Now, going on six years later, Panama's boom has turned to bust. Outside of growing revenues for the Panama Canal, everything else is down down down, except for maybe the illicit drug markets.  Tourism is down, building/contruction is down, unemployment is up, along with crime and corruption. Your banks' reserves are significantly reduced, and now in the middle of this global COVID virus pandemic, you have shut down and locked in all your productive citizens. Just to survive, people are turning to the black markets once again for food, alcohol and money which is becoming increasingly scarce for everyone there except to oligarchies that run the country financially and pay off your politicians. 

Now we are in the middle of the global economic lockdown. None of us know the full picture of why and how this has been done to us, but all we know is our lives throughout the globe are being changed forever.  The powers that be are breaking down all resistence barriers to tyranny and while most of the masses are huddled in fear of a virus, some of us know that this is about much more than a pandemic. This is basically a peaceful "coup" of all the machinations of national sovereignties around the world that will likely cause a reset of all monies and global debt structures. Global socialism is the logical result.  The rich and their countries will be FORCED to bail out the poor countries and their hordes. Panama will not have it as bad as most because you have the Canal and you have only 4 Million citizens to take care of compared to Colombia (50 Million) and other much larger Latin countries that will have a bigger challenge on their hands.

In response to all of this, many people are waiting to see what Panama will have to offer when this "crisis" has leveled off. There will be millions of displaced people who will have lost their jobs, businesses, and large portions of their assets. More people than ever before will be looking for GLOBAL options of where they can move and live more economically and under safe, consistent governmental structures.  We ourselves would consider moving back if Panama was more inviting for American and other foreign retirees and investors.  We also believe key to a turnaround in Panama will be more moneyed retirees and business interests investing in the banks and infrastructure of Panama.

To that end we recommend to you the following steps to bring back investment and foreign residents to your great country:

  • Erase all trade or tax agreements that would limit the sovereignty and freedom of Panama to do business for the sake of Panama, not other powerhouse states such as the USA.
  • Open your banking and currency systems to be less dependent on the USA or other global banks and their systems. Moving quickly towards a Panamanian digital currency would allow you to break the yoke of reliance on USA banks and the US Dollar which we predict will soon devalue against most other major currencies of the world.
  • Open up your business regulations and become more global friendly for trade and direct investment.  Let capitalism return to Panama making it one of the last bastions of free trade and open markets.  This alone would rocket Panama into as vast future of wealth and international influence.  Become the next Switzerland in the digital age.
  • Streamline your immigration and customs process so foreign investors and expats can more clearly and inexpensively invest and live in your country. 
  • Free up regulations on education and get more funding for learning trades and technology for Panamanians. If they want jobs and a better financial future, they must develop the skills and services required to compete in the global arena.  A freer economy could spawn a freer and more effective educational system for all in Panama.
  • Reduce taxation by coming up with an easier and fairer tax system. A flat transaction tax could replace the terrible code of so many taxes that currently plague your small country. You can replace income tax, gaming taxes, and even reduce sales taxes by simply charging a 1% tax on every exchange of currency in your country. This means those with the most welath pay the most tax since they are the ones exchanging and controlling the money supply. The cost of collecting taxes would hugely diminish, and the windfall of income for social causes of the people will greatly increase. The people themselves would have more money of their own to spend and feed the booming economy as consumers.  More home sales, car sales, vacation spending...all would contribute to a completely revitalized economy.
  • Reorganize your dutyfree ports to bring goods in and out of Panama free of tax. Make it easy for companies to establish "maquilladoras" such as Mexico has at their borders for doing piece and assembly work. This could bring a tremendous amount of jobs to your unskilled labor masses.
  • Asset protection for all.  Extend your country's new sovereignty to protecting the sovereignty of all peoples in the world, not just your own. Give people privacy over their own monies and assets as they used to be under your constitution. Since taxes would be collected on transactions, there is no need to tax people's possessions or their interest income on savings held in your financial institutions.  IF you create this safe haven for people and companies throughout the world, Panama could replace Dubai and other global havens as the best place to park and invest their and otherwise.

These changes are not impossible to do. Since you have decreed such extensive changes and limitations of your people based on this virus, surely you could use your powers to make these changes that could once again make Panama a powerhouse of global tourism, enterprise and even bigger financial center for all the world!

We would return to such a Panama.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

In the Spirit of "Brexit"

In the spirit of Brexit where recently the UK surprisingly voted to withdraw from the controls of the European Union, the American people by a slim majority have elected to withdraw from liberal political elite doctrines of recent executive administrations of the United States government.
In an obvious reaction to the USA government's swing to liberal globalism and what many see as its obsession with global affairs versus attention to the many problems at home, the majority of voters have handed President-elect Trump the opportunity to work out his plan for "making America great again".
We see this as basically a slap in the face to the "ho-hum" liberalism of the last eight years by the Obama administration where generally the "yes we can" motto has turned into "no we can't" on a majority of Obama's platform initiatives. The focus on "Black lives matter" over the demand for law and order in our society and the continued push to include Islam into the fabric of American society and culture has obviously backfired in a big way. While many of us had great hopes for America's first "black" president, we now believe his 8 years in office will go down as one of the least effective administrations of the past 40 years. This is another case where, like the election of Jimmy Carter, another decent but inexperienced man in politics was ineffectual in uniting Americans behind their objectives. Carter nor Obama ever really got their own party behind them in a unified way and they were ineffectual in reaching across the political aisle to gain momentum behind their political objectives.  Whether Hillary Clinton would have been any better at this with the Democrats, we now will never know.  Her political life is basically over.
Like the narrow majority who voted for the UK to withdraw from an international foreign governance over their country's sovereignty, President-elect Trump now has the challenge of realigning American politics both at home and abroad.  There will surely be conflict and pushback at home if he continues his racial profiling of Latinos and Islamists. In this regard we hope he will find a softer, more inclusive rhetoric than he expressed from the extremes of his race against Clinton. We think there needs to be a middle ground between the two positions for there to be peaceful progress within the borders of the USA.
When it comes to foreign affairs, this is probably the biggest question mark as to what effect Trump will have on the tremendous insecurity currently felt around the world regarding USA foreign policy.  Will Trump be able to curb the Pentagon and corporate elite's appetite for war and meddling in the middle east and elsewhere?  Will he be able to restore strength and respect for American foreign policy including a realignment of relations with other superpowers such as Russia and China that has obviously been weakened during the Obama administration?  Will he have the power and support at home to renegotiate or even obliterate global trade agreements that he has called unfair and imbalanced?  Maybe more importantly, will he be bound by the constitutional limits to his authority and acknowledge the roles of congress and the judiciary to advise him as to what he can and cannot do in his position?
It is interesting to note today how financial and currency markets have reacted to his surprise election. Overnight futures markets were down between 3-5% almost across the board, and it will be interesting to see where the DOW and other local financial barometers end up at the end of this first post-election day. One would think that markets would be encouraged to have a "business man" finally at the helm of the executive office.  Yet, it is obvious that many of Donald Trump's statements and close examinations of his past business dealings have shown him to be less steady in business than his books might suggest.
Along with the age-old saying that "a house divided cannot stand", the biggest challenge we see for Donald Trump is pulling together a leadership team around him that can help him unite the various political and military-industrial complex entities behind his leadership. He will not have the autonomy in leadership that he has espoused during his campaign.  Even though it appears he has a Republican controlled house and senate in congress at least for the next two years, it remains to be seen whether he can get enough of his own party behind him to get changes made legitimately and legally in the legislature.  It will actually be up to the American people to pressure their representatives to work together in hammering out progressive and unified legislation. Nobody will get everything they want in today's political environment...including the President-elect.
We predict that the new Trump era of independent politics will be met with some fierce realities of pushback.  The courts and congress are still chock-full of tainted, career politicians who know more than Trump about how to hold up political progress.  Just like the UK and Europe, new agreements and alignments are going to take time and there are going to be many forces behind the scenes that want to make worse of the situation in order to foment chaos and failure for their own political gains. As usual, the liberal media will be there kicking and screaming about change like a spoiled child used to getting its own way for so long.  It will be most interesting to see if and how Trump can get some media behind him that has for so long completely hounded his person and his ideas.
As in Europe, it will be interesting to see if a return to independent sovereignty over the economy and government programs can be accomplished by a Trump administration. We predict that like the Obama win 8 years ago, Mr. Trump will have 100 days to show us what he has got.  If he does not succeed in getting the federal government behind his plans and positions...he could just as easily be relegated to an immediate "lame duck" presidency where Washington DC remains in total gridlock and the strings continue to be pulled by the dark forces in our Pentagon and Federal Reserve.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

What Would Jesus Do?


As we read these latest articles regarding increased military aid from the USA to Israel at $3.8 Billion per year for 10 years…I can’t help but see significant ironies in the claims of many of my fellow Americans that the USA is a “Christian nation”.

The United Nations is trying to force Israel and Palestine back to the bargaining table to iron out a peaceful resolution to this decades-old Palestinian conflict. Meantime, the USA, who has veto powers over the UN, continues to sell Israel the weapons to annihilate the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank. Nice message to send the Palestinians you are preaching peace to who are basically living in small, barrier bound “reservations” in their own former country.  The average American has not seen through the media hype and controls that always side with Israel. In most cases, that is because we have been taught to believe that Israel is “God’s chosen people”…and that they are somehow entitled to repatriate land they hadn’t lived in for thousands of years.

While I disagree with many positions the  Obama administration have taken these past 8 years, I do support his putting strings attached to our continued levels of support to Israel and better yet, do not give military arms or cash.  One reason is…we can’t afford it. The main reason is the state of Israel has been the instigator in escalating apartheid against the Palestinians by literally backing them into small corners of the land that was once theirs just a few decades ago.

The reality is, Israel should at least be paying for these weapons!  They compete with the USA economically in so many areas, yet we GIVE THEM billions in arms? How stupid is this? And this is the American people’s money, not the government’s, to give. Our government has made Israel an extension of USA borders and sovereignty it appears since our constitution denies them the right to arm any other nations unilaterally.

The Palestinians have unfortunately been victims of their own leadership as well…from Arafat forward. They have allowed Hezbollah and other non-Palestinian revolutionaries to fight their battles for them…and that approach has not worked in bringing any resolution to their dire situation.

As a friend of mine recently blogged on this issue…

"AIPAC's effort (to block the UN resolution), apparently spurred by the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem and Israel's ambassador to the U.S., Ron Dermer, came amid fears that Obama will try and push a UNSC resolution on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict after the elections in November and before he leaves office on January 20."

Between the election and the inauguration for the last two US Presidential elections, the Israelis initiated slaughters of predominantly civilian Palestinians.

In 2008 Operation Cast Lead resulted in 1,417 Palestinian deaths and 10 Israeli.

In 2012 Operation Pillar of Defense resulted in 55 Palestinian deaths and 1 Israeli.

In 2014 Operation Protective Edge resulted in 2,310 Palestinian deaths (including more than 300 babies and children) and 73 Israelis of whom only a few were civilians.

Having put Lieberman (a far right extremist) in charge of the Israeli Defense Force, having negotiated another 10 year military aid deal and with congress pressing Obama to veto any UNSC resolution during the inter-presidential period I fully expect and predict that this year the Israelis will initiate another slaughter worse than any before destined to make the life of indigenous Palestinians even more unbearable and further the ultimate solution of complete ethnic cleansing.

As usual, the slaughter will start with some incident that may or may not have been perpetrated by a Palestinian - the Israelis are past masters at false flag attacks. It may even be a more substantial incident than previously to ostensibly justify an even greater slaughter than before.”

We will be watching Israel closely in these coming months.

While it seems obviously too late for Palestinians to reclaim all their lost lands (about as realistic as the American Indians reclaiming the USA continent or Mexicans to reclaim Texas)…it does seem to me that the UN and its major sponsor, the United States of America, have a moral obligation to force Israel and the Palestinians to a reasonable land settlement and some sovereign lands and self-governance for the Palestinians.  The past century’s empires of England and the USA are the primary sponsors of Zionism and all that has represented. Even a large portion of traditional Jews around the world do not support Israel’s Zionist positions as a state. It is now time to stand with the United Nations and push the moral responsibility of negotiation, forced if need be, between these two forever divergent political and cultural peoples.

It strikes us as very ironic that the “Christian” nation (USA) is supporting the tyranny and aggressions of Israel through military support…while President Obama and the liberals in congress seem to be the only ones in the USA government trying to hold Israel accountable for the many atrocities performed against the indigenous Palestinians. The religious right in America is leading the charge for blind support of the Israeli government at the cost of many thousands of non-militaristic, subjugated Palestinian lives.
Apparently, those religious leaders in America have conveniently forgotten the “Trail of Tears” and annihilation of Native Americans done in the name of God and country. It seems we Americans have never repented of that nor our blind racism against blacks and Hispanics.  Instead, we continue to support the domination and tyranny within the state of Israel.

The Christian bible quotes Jesus as saying…
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth”
“But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.”
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.”


Monday, July 4, 2016

Independence Day...bah humbug! 
I believe I have blogged previous years on this date with similar sentiments...but this year I realize the validity of my thinking more acutely than ever.

The meaning of "independence" has totally lost its significance for most individuals in the world. Even the original experiment of democracy in the USA has gone terribly wrong now that rational people understand they are not truly free and independent anymore.

While the chasm between wealth and poverty continues to expand...the governments that control us are almost all bankrupt...meaning they owe more than they own. How this happened is easy to understand if you realize that governments don't "produce" anything and survive by charging taxes on the governed...yet they execute programs, entitlements, international loans and fund armed forces with weapons... all on limited tax dollars.  Most every government in the world is "upside down" on their financial balance sheets.  The US government hasn't balanced a budget since President Eisenhower in the late 1950s and we have the highest debt of any country in the world.  The federal government had about $76.4 trillion ($76,438,000,000,000) in debts, liabilities, and unfunded obligations at the close of its 2015 fiscal year. That's $237,284 for every person living in the U.S..

Who holds all the money then you may ask?  International bankers, corporations and non-government organizations (NGOs).  Sure, ownership is with wealthy individuals and their organizations...but the money itself is supposedly held on account in international banking positions through various financial institutions such as JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse and Barclays Capital (the top eight).

The prized independence of the USA, won repeatedly the last 240 years through bloodshed and revolutions against tyranny is unfortunately lost.  The USA is currently DEPENDENT on foreign powers for the oil that run our machines of war and domestic transportation, the manufacturing of cheap "things", and to export the overflow of what our country still produces.  Now that most major powers of the world are under so much debt to the bankers and corporations of the world...there is little security in any long-term financial planning internationally. There is little rhyme or reason to currency or stock valuations.  Most everything in the world is hyperinflated in value from our point of view.

This leads us to the reality that most Americans are NOT free and independent.  We are controlled by our bankers, our employers and regulations of our federal and state governments.  Most of the middle-class lives paycheck to paycheck with no more than 3 months of their overhead in savings.

Does this sound like FREE and INDEPENDENT living to you?  I have never valued money outside of its ability to afford freedom. We can work our whole lives in this country to amass a retirement...and have it all wiped out with one lawsuit or catastrophic illness in our family...especially if we don't have adequate insurance based on the mafioso healthcare system we fund. Most of us don't take care of our health and instead have multiple physicians and meds that we depend on to survive. Compared to our grandparent's generation, our elderly are in terrible shape and more dependent on various drugs, walkers and little carts than any other country in the world. everyone enjoys a short work week waving flags and celebrating "freedom"...let's not fool ourselves anymore.  We are NOT free.  Most of us work 4-6 months of the year to pay our various taxes.  What's left of the year goes to pay for our expensive toys and necessities such as $700 cell phones, car payments, mandatory insurances etc.  Recently the USA government even legislated mandatory health insurance for every citizen, and it is cheaper to pay the tax penalty for not being insured than to pay the government-mandated premiums.

I know, I know...freedom isn't free.  It comes with the responsibility to pay your share of community services and feeding the dependents you brought into this world. The problem is, you now have broken governments telling you who, where and how much to pay for such services with no option or choice to move elsewhere or use an INDEPENDENT solution.  More of your choices are taken away from you...what you can eat, what you can drink, what you can smoke, who can come visit you where you live, what drugs you can take or who you can buy them from.  Governments are more and more regulating your daily life while mounting huge deficits that somehow YOU, or your children, or THEIR children must eventually pay for.

So forgive me if I am a bit cynical this 4th of July.  I have always believed in small government, personal responsibility and freedom to believe, say and do what you want as long as you are not infringing on others rights to do the same.  Unfortunately, most people in our country and world at large are supporting and voting for representative governments who will continue these bad habits until our whole system collapses...which it must apparently do before we will relearn what freedom and independence REALLY mean.

Thursday, July 23, 2015


I think Guns are part of culture.  You grow up with them or you don't.  If you don't, you don't perceive a need or purpose for them.  If you do, you almost feel naked without one.  If you never had one, you tend to fear them.  If you always had one, you fear being without one.

I am not a member of the NRA...yet I don't understand governments that want to ban personal ownership of guns.  I don't think my government should have something that they don't allow me to have...including Cadillac health plans and offshore bank accounts.

I understand the difference between "rights" and "privileges".  I understand our society putting up limits to "rights" if an individual cannot responsibly handle the freedom of their "rights".  Tommy may be able to responsibly handle guns, alcohol, and driving at the age of 14.  Jerry may not be able to handle any of them at the age of 40.  The law for everyone should not be based on the 40 year old.

In much the same light, if John can vote and die for our country in the military or police force at age 18...he should be free to do anything I can do including drink alcohol, gamble, or serve in various government positions local or national.  In addition, if he can carry a weapon to serve and defend our country...he should damn well have the right to carry a weapon to defend himself or his family.

Guns are not violent.  People are.  If we are going to outlaw anything, let's outlaw violent people.  That includes people who suffer from "temporary insanity".  If I harm another person, I should not escape punishment or incarceration just because I was "high" or suffering some mental or physical illness.  Pedophiles are mentally sick people...but they should not get away with their crimes just because of their "condition". Our liberal judicial system is out of whack when it comes to criminal cases.  This is helping feed the violence and aggression in our streets. will never make sense to a "gun person" when, if danger from violence is growing within his community, some government asks him to give up his guns.  I think that goes against the grain of common reasoning in human nature for self preservation.  After all, governments are the principle buyers of most firearms. The purpose of government is to protect freedoms...not take them away.  

Thursday, June 18, 2015

So You Think I am Unpatriotic?

This blog by Simon Black bears repeating today.  I have had similar comments or feedback from people who say my views about my government are "Un-American".  In response, I could not state the issues any better than here is a repost of his blog from today.

June 18, 2015
Kathmandu, Nepal
I’ll never forget the Oath of Office I took when I was commissioned as an Army Intelligence Officer all those years ago. The most important part is where you swear to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against ALL enemies, foreign and domestic.” That was the part that kept ringing in my head as George W. Bush went on TV in the run-up to the Iraq war talking about weapons of mass destruction. We had been on the ground in Kuwait since late 2002, months before the invasion of Iraq kicked off. And every time Bush told that lie, I thought about my oath.
I’m disappointed to admit that, back then, I didn’t have the courage to go up against the big Army machine… to march into my Battalion Commander’s office and say, “Sir, we must defend the Constitution against the President of the United States.” I knew I would get crushed.
When I left the military, I started noticing all the other ways in which the government turned the Constitution into a punchline. And that practice has only accelerated. I came up with a different solution. Instead of fighting some faceless machine, I voted with my feet and left the country.
That, coupled with my drastically reduced tax bill thanks to being an overseas expat, has prompted a lot of use of the word ‘unpatriotic’ since I started writing this letter six years ago. I find this appallingly ignorant. The American Revolution itself was predicated on the inequity of taxation without representation.
Are your interests represented when they buy bombs and body scanners? Mine certainly aren’t. Yet people who define patriotism by the frequency and rapidity of their flag-waving think that we all have some collective duty to ignorantly believe whatever we’re told by the government. I disagree. So does the New Oxford American Dictionary, which defines ‘patriot’ as “a person who vigorously supports their country and is prepared to defend it against enemies or detractors.” There’s that phrase again– ‘defending against enemies.’
Who exactly are these ‘enemies’, by the way? Are they men in caves who hate us for our freedom? Arab teenagers with intense sexual angst and a collection of firearms? No. The real enemies are not foreign… but domestic. It is the apparatus of government itself that has collapsed upon the founding document of the nation.
It’s not unpatriotic to lament how far a government’s practices have diverged from its Constitution. It’s not unpatriotic to want to be free. And it’s not unpatriotic to take steps to make that happen. In fact, people who think it’s everyone’s patriotic duty to pay taxes are only feeding the beast that makes them less free. And it’s entirely delusional to think that all of this can change by going to a voting booth. There’s no politician that’s going to change this. Nobody is going to stand on stage and say, “My plan is to eliminate entire departments of government, fire half of all government workers, terminate social security, and default on the debt.”
Elections are pointless charades. But rather than vote for new people, we can simply vote to restrict the resources they have available. Yes, there are legal obligations to pay tax. And everyone should abide those obligations or risk pointless imprisonment. But with proper planning, tax obligations can be minimized.
In my case, I left the country. This provides up to $100,800 in tax-free income based on the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion, and that’s before taking into account additional deductions, allowances, and exclusions. Recently I used my tax savings to finance a new prosthetic leg for an amputee war veteran that had been abandoned by the US government, and to buy food for earthquake victims here in Nepal. Had I not taken steps to reduce my tax bill, a big chunk of my income would have paid for more soldiers to get their legs blown off, and more bombs to be dropped by remote control on brown people. Instead, now I get to decide how my income and savings can best have an impact on the interests that I believe in. Let’s call it “representation without taxation”. And it’s completely legal as long as you follow the rules.
Sure, not everyone has the ability to leave the country. But there are options to fit any lifestyle and circumstance. In addition to taxes, for example, it’s important to consider moving a portion of your savings abroad where it can’t be confiscated or frozen by capital controls. Safeguarding your wealth is a huge part of this strategy, in fact.
The larger point is that taking steps to preserve your wealth and freedom is not unpatriotic. And for anyone who truly cares to defend your country from its domestic enemies, starving the beast is one of the most powerful tools you have available. 
Our goal is simple: To help you achieve personal liberty and financial prosperity no matter what happens.