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Hearings on Operation Choke Point …

are set for today in Congress.

Who gives a rat’s patoot about hearings? They’re just political theater, signifying nothing.

But Operation Choke Point has rightly been called “the greatest government overreach that no one is talking about.” (OCP has been called that, in fact, by the guy heading up today’s hearings, Rep. Sean Duffy of Wisconsin.)

Why this matters: Because it shows how some obscure, unelected entity, ostensibly having zero to do with firearms, civil rights, business ethics or anything other than insuring bank deposits, can get a bright idea in its head (or have one politically implanted there) and become part of the endless effort to destroy gun rights. It also shows the dirty “how” of the dirty business: pressure, innuendo, and the general creepitude of mission creep.

Who needs, you know, actual laws (however bad)? Who needs stormtroopers in the streets to enforce outrageous diktats? That’s so very, very twentieth century! All you have to do these days is whisper the “right” message in the “right” ears to turn legal business people into pariahs and begin the process of gradually destroying an industry — and the human rights associated with it.


  1. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty March 24, 2015 7:56 am

    The underground economy, even the ‘black market,” has been answering that question for a long time. Where there is a will, there is a way.

  2. Claire
    Claire March 24, 2015 8:03 am

    ML — True, of course. But the black market also comes with well-known perils, and the destruction of liberty through “genteel” means is insidious. The fact that people always find a way (and of course they do) doesn’t mean that no problem exists.

  3. Fred
    Fred March 24, 2015 9:22 am

    Imagine the completely digital currency World,and its happening.And people will never get it,it will continue until it truly is the mark of the beast.Dont need the bible or be religious to understand its coming and the consequences are horrendous.

    I disagree Mama,when you eliminate free private currency,it isnt possible to have an economy or life with any freedom.Black market will be a felony.If you are 20 years old,you will be poverty stricken.If you are retired,its a whole different dynamic,you can black market food perhaps,but you arent tied to a job that means a home and family.You already have that,it will be out of reach for the up and coming masses.You will die off,then what for the rest???

    I will just build my home…better have receipts,done TO CODE.I will buy a home from a private party…better have bank receipts or its illegal.I will bargain my taxes….yeah,right.And computers and gov over reach make this easily achieved. I dont want to live in a cardboard box,in the rain…as a ‘free’ man.

    The Banks and Wall Street are getting their talons into bitcoin,that wont be an option.

    Digital currency + the matrix,not a good thing,or easily bucked.

  4. Fred
    Fred March 24, 2015 9:50 am

    PERFECT example,as I just saw this after posting.Are you outraged? You should be IMO.

    The terrorists used CASH to purchase some of the stuff they needed–no doubt these murderers were also shod and clothed and used cell phones, cars, and public sidewalks during the planning and execution of their mayhem. Why not restrict their use? …….., French Finance Minister Michel Sapin brazenly stated that it was necessary to “fight against the use of cash and anonymity in the French economy.” He then announced extreme and despotic measures to further restrict the use of cash by French residents and to spy on and pry into their financial affairs.

    These measures, which will be implemented in September 2015, include prohibiting French residents from making cash payments of more than 1,000 euros, down from the current limit of 3,000 euros.

    Given the parlous state of the stagnating French economy the limit for foreign tourists on currency payments will remain higher, at 10,000 euros down from the current limit of 15,000 euros. The threshold below which a French resident is free to convert euros into other currencies without having to show an identity card will be slashed from the current level of 8,000 euros to 1,000 euros.

    In addition any cash deposit or withdrawal of more than 10,000 euros during a single month will be reported to the French anti-fraud and money laundering agency Tracfin. French authorities will also have to be notified of any freight transfers within the EU exceeding 10,000 euros, including checks, pre-paid cards, or gold.

  5. Fred
    Fred March 24, 2015 9:55 am

    HeeHee!!! I go to Claire,then Lew,then yahoo ‘news’ and read the peoples comments (VERY eye opening to see how people think,or worse,DONT think).

    I Think I get a pretty good view on where we are and where we are headed.Curious,what is your news gathering routine (talk about O.T.,but WTH ,I’d like to know)

  6. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty March 24, 2015 9:56 am

    Didn’t mean at all to suggest that the underground economy or “black market” was without problems and peril. Far from it. Just that it has been around since there was a “government” to make it necessary. And people will/do find a way to get what they need and cope with the problems, even when very dangerous.

    Fred, barter is the ultimate free, private currency. You, and every other individual alive, have to decide what you want, what you are willing to pay for it, and the problems/dangers you are willing to endure to get it. The answers to those questions are not the same for everyone, naturally.

    Would we all be better off if there were no spikes in the free market wheels? Of course, and I firmly believe that the more we seek alternatives and refuse to kiss the ass of the regulators, the more free market opportunities we will generate in our lives.

    Accepting, believing in the bogus “authority” of government to dictate and control our lives is the poison.

  7. Fred
    Fred March 24, 2015 10:27 am

    Well we really disagree.I see the police state as alive,well,and expanding.I see cops gunning us down in the streets for the crime of not complying fast enough,and the assaults expanding.I dont think thats bogus authority,I see it as REAL dead people.I saw a man was tasered to death for running a stop sign here.It was his fault for being fat,otherwise he wouldnt have died.No charges against the hero’s of course.

    So I dont have a rosy outlook that all we have to do is say no and life will go on.

    I kind of like having freedom as a right,and Im realistic in seeing its being stripped at an alarming rate in various control schemes that are also expanding with lightening speed,and nothing is bucking the trend.

    Saying it aint so,and refusing to accept it as its ‘bogus’ just plain isnt reality,IMO.

  8. Claire
    Claire March 24, 2015 10:39 am

    Fred — I’m not saying the brutality doesn’t exist! Just that it’s not the only method by which societies are intimidated into destruction.

    And ML — It’s not just black market problems I’m thinking of, but problems that run clear to the roots of social cohesion. Injustice. Distrust. Knowing that you can’t get a fair shake. Destruction of liberty, etc., etc., and endless etc. Certainly people will cope. People always cope. But that’s not the point, IMHO.

  9. Fred
    Fred March 24, 2015 11:33 am

    Absolutely Claire.We are being ‘lawed’ into oblivion and you go along or you will have a hell of a time getting on….in prison with your boyfriend Blotto.

    And its only getting tougher by the day.The Banks and control of digital currency is a huge deal,it will turn society into a final ultimate controlled police state,or you will be a non entity and thats a bad position to be in.Our society cannot barter its way as we sit now,it just isnt realistic.We cant all turn Amish,that world isnt realistic with 300,000,000 plus people here.

    No cash,and refusal of digital currency,it all stops,and Im pretty sure most people with families arent able to just step out and barter.And watch their families die,starving and homeless,’living’ off the land????

    Hence,welcome to the new world order…..complete control over YOU or Die.Thats what it holds for the vast majority.

    And nobody see’s this coming (well,the bible crowd does) and even those that do say “What.Me Worry?” This unawareness and apathy is happening,real and therefore inevitable.TPTB know it too.

  10. Joel
    Joel March 24, 2015 12:13 pm

    I do confess, just about the most chilling thing I encounter is signs of competent tyranny. Governments have overreached for millennia, and people have found ways to cope through workarounds for millennia. Sometimes it seems as though the imagined dialectic of Atlas Shrugged has basis in fact: The idiots at the top (IATT) keep squeezing, knowing that the productive among their victims really will keep finding ways to keep the wheels on and spinning. The black market is the traditional answer to an excessively greedy government, but the IATT can play that game too, as often as not profiting personally by making sure the market stays stocked.

    But what if a new generation of tyrants actually stood back, gave it some thought, learned from history and corrected their predecessors’ mistakes? In the name of finally getting real control, they could accidentally start something terrible. I’ve always seen a true cashless economy as a direct road to that very thing.

  11. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty March 24, 2015 12:39 pm

    “Knowing that you can’t get a fair shake.”

    Life isn’t “fair.” Never has been, never will be. We all know that, even if we wish it wasn’t so.

    The Most Dangerous Superstition

    This really lays it all out. Most people actually believe that someone else, whether family, church, government or whoever, has some legitimate authority to control their lives and property in some manner or other, so they live with it even when they object to the “excess” and suffer through the tyranny.

    All of the modern police state insanity, economic insanity and “politically correct” nonsense requires some level of acceptance, compliance, by a large majority of the population. There simply are not enough enforcers or prisons to physically control every individual. So they work very hard to formulate emotional and ideological incentives for people to accept the tyranny and, yes, even the physical abuse. It’s especially helpful if people think it “can’t happen” to them, but is ok if it happens to others who are, after all, “breaking the law.”

    It is this bogus and destructive belief and acceptance that has to change, and the growing dissatisfaction of ordinary people with the government status quo is encouraging, even if only slightly.

    As we said in another thread, none of us can know the future. We don’t know when “enough is enough” may be reached. There is no guarantee that those who refuse to obey any longer will prevail. …because life isn’t “fair.” It just is what it is, no matter what we would like it to be.

  12. david
    david March 25, 2015 5:22 am

    Well, since the issue of ‘cash’ has been brought up, let us all remember that it was identified as an indicator of possible terrorist activities as far back as the days of Darth Cheney. It is still considered an indicator of interest.

    It’s pretty sad when government starts to squeeze one legit business (banking – corrupt as it is, is still ‘legit’) into cutting off it’s ‘for pay’ services to another line of business just because that one is a target for some agenda. It really does indicate extreme over-reach of the government, using criminal practices (i think threats of non-merited hassles by fedgov agencies would constitute extortion, no?) in the dark, to try to destroy the legitimate businesses which support our Constitutionally enumerated natural rights. Basically, it’s treasonous. It’s a human rights violation.

    Sadly, the UN won’t help us with these particular violations of human rights. The only ones the UN cares about are the rights that governments say they can give you, because most of the world thinks in Marxist terms now about rights and governments and so that is the way the UN operates too. It’s the biggest pusher of Commie philosophy that I’ve ever seen – even in dystopian fiction. So we can’t expect help with our rights issues from anyone outside the US.

    Cash is still good. And it will buy gift cards which don’t need to be registered – and they function like cash but don’t look like cash. So while it it still good, I’m buying my guns, my replacement parts, storage containers and enough ammo for the whole tribe. And it’s going into limbo too. When the black-hearted commies think they’ve destroyed the Second Amendment, is when they will find out what a problem it really is – for them.

  13. Fred
    Fred March 25, 2015 11:55 am

    1=I do confess, just about the most chilling thing I encounter is signs of competent tyranny. ……………. I’ve always seen a true cashless economy as a direct road to that very thing.
    2=Cash is still good. And it will buy gift cards which don’t need to be registered – and they function like cash but don’t look like cash. So while it it still good
    3=the growing dissatisfaction of ordinary people with the government status quo is encouraging, even if only slightly.
    As for 1 above,I see that and agree 100%,its the scariest form of control and now the tech exists to make it easy to implement.Computer power and size is all in place.

    As for 2,again spot on.Cash is good….for now,and preparing for it now is good.But it leaves those coming up without recourse.

    As for 3,some people get it,the 97% dont.Im a true dinosaur as I dont have a smart phone on 24/7,cant move without it.The up and coming,cant function without it.Its their total source of connection to society,its ubiquitous,its essential.This group will buy into digital currency without giving it a second thought.They wont revolt or push back,it wont even be on their radar to consider its a problem at all.

    Im glad I will be gone,perhaps only have to deal with it for a small time,but the kids,and grand kids,will never know what freedom was.

  14. Fred
    Fred March 25, 2015 12:06 pm

    Speaking of kissing their azzes,I just got my new internal passport,my real id drivers license.I cant travel without it,and I cant work without my gov ID.

    Of course,I could starve and freeze,or take the paper. The digital currency will be our next ‘choice’

    Horrible ‘choice’ isnt it.Rates right up there with voting for Hitler or Stalin.At least I wont legitimize that as I just did with Real ID.

  15. Paul Bonneau
    Paul Bonneau March 25, 2015 12:55 pm

    My my, don’t folks have their panties in a bind about this one? 🙂

    It reminds me of the old MAIG tactic (Mayors Against Illegal Guns), of baseless lawsuits against gun manufacturers, bleeding them by using taxpayer funds. That was their silver bullet against RKBA, yet it flopped. Guns keep getting cheaper and more available, and even liberals are buying AR-15s these days.

    If certain banks get on this bandwagon, they will lose customers. Other banks, wanting to stay in business, will push back against the govco regulators. Other forms of transactions will appear. Barter and black market are always there – the heavily-controlled Soviet Union had a very healthy black market. Bitcoin or one of its alternatives will become popular.

    Yeah, life might get a little less carefree. Claire, if trust goes away, was it really there in the first place, or was that just an illusion? “Caveat emptor” has always been good advice. Look at the bright side: people will innovate and adapt, that’s what we are good at. We were not meant for a life of ease; it’s bad for us physically and mentally. Humans need challenges. Some people will fall by the wayside, but that’s just Darwin at work.

    [but the kids,and grand kids,will never know what freedom was.]

    Complete defeatist bullshit. You should be ashamed.

    I sometimes get the impression, that people who see nothing but a black future, look at it that way because they know they will submit when the time comes. They know they won’t ever fight, and that the prospect or threat of being caged is all it takes to make them bend a knee. It’s a good thing not everyone thinks this way, or life truly would be Hell.

    Some people won’t put up with it. What’s that old line, about a courageous man dying but once, while a coward dies a thousand times?

  16. Fred
    Fred March 26, 2015 10:12 am

    Really now? My kids are growing up in a society that tracks their every move.Read their every mail.Records their phone calls.

    Cars that track every place they go and when.Phones that record where they are.Private business surveillance thats tied into the gov and expanding rapidly.

    Banks that record most all transactions they make.Records what they earn,and where,from whom.Digital currency thats becoming de facto currency,and it isnt slowing down,its expanding.FAST.

    And you believe recognizing this is defeatist BS??? Not hardly,its todays world.As for this mystery bank that will take over from the Banking Cartel? Yeah,sure,that will happen,the Bankers and gov will cede control they are so rapidly consolidating? Not a chance.

    So tell me,what can be done about the above? Turn invisible with invisible spray?

  17. Fred
    Fred March 26, 2015 10:20 am

    Facial recognition.Cameras recording license plates.You are a coward if thats happening to you?

    Paul,what have YOU done to stop this? Or are you like the rest of us…tracked from cradle to grave,without any choice to not be.

    Do you work? Do you have an employer? Do you pay sales tax,state tax,fed tax? Do you have a SS card? Do you have insurance? Now its the law that you do,or are you Amish and exempt? Are you a coward because you follow the laws to stay out of a cage?

    Do I see a black future,hell YES!!! Do you not see whats happening right now in our black present…. just in the last 20 years,or 50,or 100 thats been nothing but the usurpation of Liberty????? Or has that just not happened and all you need to do is adapt? Adapt to what,a slave police state?

    Or that isnt here now,and expanding?

  18. Paul Bonneau
    Paul Bonneau March 30, 2015 5:56 pm

    When I was young, I had to go to school. My own son did not. He didn’t sit there for 12 years getting his head stuffed with statist propaganda.

    When I was young, I couldn’t carry a gun. Now I do. I also own several battle rifles, and cases of ammo. That would have been unheard-of when I was young. Now it is commonplace.

    When I was young, censors controlled the content of movies. Now they don’t.

    When I was young, my source of information was (essentially government-controlled) newspapers, and (essentially government-controlled) TV, and government libraries. Now with the internet I can correspond with someone in Russia if I please, telling them what a rotten lying bastard Obama is, and the newspapers are going broke.

    When I was a child, interracial marriages were almost impossible. Now I have one.

    When I was young, getting a book published was almost impossible. Now books are printed by individual copy, if they are printed at all (rather than being distributed individually). Publishers have lost their chokehold.

    When I was young, getting into college was the only way to a good life. Now colleges are going out of business because they have competition.

    When I was young, the only clients for your business were local ones. Now people can market all over the world.

    When I was young, smoking pot could cause me to end up in jail. Now it doesn’t. And I have access to a very nice black market, Silk Road or its imitators, along with a nice currency uncontrolled by government to buy from it – something that was not available when I was young.

    As to the rest of it, I mostly don’t “follow the laws to stay out of a cage”. As Thoreau put it, “It is not often that I live under a government.” Yeah I have a driver’s license. It is little trouble to get one. But I know I commit my required “3 felonies per day” and I might even do a few on purpose.

    And no, I don’t take Socialist Security.

    When I mentioned defeatism, it was about your claim that our children will never know freedom. That is defeatism. You are wrong.

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