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‘60 Minutes’ Looks at ‘Sovereign Citizens’ Movement

By Mark Potok on May 16, 2011 - 11:00 am, Posted in Sovereign Citizens

Last night, CBS’ “60 Minutes” ran a segment on antigovernment “sovereign citizens” that largely reprised the Southern Poverty Law Center’s findings, describing a movement whose adherents believe that they are immune from taxes, most laws, and requirements for driver’s licenses, registration and insurance. The piece contained many of the same elements as the SPLC officer-safety video, “Understanding the Threat: ‘Sovereign Citizens’ and Law Enforcement.”

Like the SPLC video, which has been distributed to some 75,000 law enforcement officials, the “60 Minutes” piece focused heavily on West Memphis, Ark., Police Chief Bob Paudert, whose son Brandon was one of two officers murdered by a father-son team of sovereign citizens on May 20, 2010. It also includes an interview with J.J. McNab, who wrote a cover story on sovereign citizens for the Fall 2010 issue of the SPLC’s Intelligence Report. “60 Minutes” also referred to the SPLC’s estimate of some 300,000 sovereign citizens, but did not cite SPLC by name.

Here, for those interested in further information, are links to some recent SPLC work on the sovereign citizens movement, including last year’s cover story; a look at the movement’s leaders; a lexicon of sovereign terminology; tips for law enforcement; and an overall essay on the movement. Earlier SPLC stories include a look at a black sovereign citizens group; the return of the sovereign citizen movement in 2009; an interview with a former sovereign; a 2009 sovereign incident list; and a 2002 piece on the “redemption” scam practiced by many sovereigns.

  • venomlash

    The Blue Mask of Justice: “the Sovereign citizen movement is folowing the constitution”
    Stopped reading RIGHT THERE.

  • Sam Molloy

    Blue Mask, Here in Kentucky there used to be privately owned toll roads everywhere way before cars and there’s a famous story of the Night Riders (of Tobacco Wars origin, not the Klan) showing up at a toll bridge and forcing the attendant to “burn the beam”. There will always be arguments between how much government VS how much private. I personally am for Socialized Medicine, for instance, so that private companies are not penalized by higher costs and prices for their products by doing the right thing.

  • The Blue Mask Of Justice

    The real reason the government and splcenter hates the Sovereign citizen movement is because the Sovereign citizen movement is folowing the constitution and that is why the government hates them because the government hates the Constitution and wants to control every aspect of our lives and to be their obedient government loving slaves. Also you call all Christians racists when in fact we are not. I’m a white Christians and I believe every person of every race, religion, atheists, sex, sexual orientation is created equal by God. You people at splcenter say you fight for human rights when in fact you demonize Christians, human and animal rights activists as terrorist is insulting. splcenter fighting for human rights ha you make me sick. What’s next you going to make showing kindness, love and compassion for others a terrorist act? I do not believe in using intimidation or violence to get my point across. In fact I do it by using non violence because violence is never the answer.

  • Sam Molloy

    The Sovereigns, and to some extent the Tea Party have this fantasy that they could get by without society if we’d just leave them alone. Only the Amish are able to really do that. We are all in this together.

  • James D

    I was surprised that no one from SPLC or PRA was called to chime in on this piece.

    I just wonder if this is the fringe of the “Tea Party” movement, or what it could become. . .

  • Jim Staples

    It makes the case for the whole “Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child” argument, don’t you think?
    I mean….I just want to tell them all (including certain so-called “Anarchists” who’ve ticked me off recently) to, “Go Make Your Beds – and Clean Your Room, While Your At It!!!”

  • hardhat

    Louis, I love this country also. Thank you! This will probably not get posted.

  • Dick Lancaster

    This wasn’t a “60 Minutes” segment. It was an SPLC segment produced by CBS and programed through “60 Minutes”.

  • Leslie

    When we had a recession and GWB sent everyone a check for $300 the Clinton surplus disappeared. Everyone thought it was a great thing because we were in a recession and the gov. needed to boost the economy. No one complained about big government either when GWB added another division to it. i.e Department of Homeland Security.
    What’s up with the double standard?

  • skinnyminny

    Louis Stouch,
    Yes, I do agree that there are more business people in gov’t now. However, you must note, that anytime the Pres. wanted to nominate someone for a position, the GOP made it very difficult – i.e. Sonya Sotomayor for SC…

    I think you also need to take note, that almost all of the election candidates from the GOP is mostly from corporate or business world. Their philosophy is that gov’t should be run like a business. ***if you look at my comments last year during the election of teas, I said I wouldn’t vote for someone with money from corporate world – and that they should take their millions and retire.

    Now, all you have to do is look at what GOP Cynthia Davis, Missouri state rep allegedly said in 2009, “Hunger is a Motivator, is kids are hungry, they should get a job at McDonald’s, they feed you for free…” this was in response to the healthy kids lunch program.

    GOP, South Carolina Lt. Gov. allegedly says, “the poor are like stray animals, don’t feed them or they will breed.”

    Limbaugh, another GOP, allegedly says hungry kids should get a job or pick up trash.

    And last, W. Bush, allegedly said that the rather than the government helping the poor, it should be faithbased organizations and charity groups.

    Now, when you look at the chances of teens getting a job, it is almost next to impossible, as adults and seniors are competing for these same jobs.

    As far as the deficit, I personally think that at the onset of going to war, we should have sold war bonds, in addition to putting Americans to work. If you look at past wars, housewives and women who didn’t work outside the home went to work to fill jobs needed. Instead, tax-breaks were given to the very wealthy, and most Americans were laid off for cheap labor – especially the construction industry.

  • Louis Stouch

    if anyone is interested, and I hope you are, here is the link to the article. It is rather long, but it goes into how all elements of our society have been “coopted”, I guess, into deceiving us – political, economic, legal, media, etc..

    http://www.theundergroundinves.....#more-2043

  • Louis Stouch

    Skinnie minnie……….Let’s not forget, when they start laying off the lower rank and file workers, guess what! The few cars and homes being purchased will stop. That will mean more layoffs of the people selling cars and homes. That will mean more foreclosures, so it will affect more neighborhoods with squatters…………

    This is exactly correct! it will end up killing the golden goose. I dont know, maybe their goal is one world government/total control or something. it doesnt make sense.

  • Louis Stouch

    Hi Skinnyminnie:

    Yes, I am POd at the people making the decisions. I also read today in a very interesting article – internet sure is great – that we can lay all of our problems at the feet of the Central Bankers and the Wall Street types that have infiltrated our political system. the system is not working properly if the rich just keep getting richer and richer and the middl e class keeps getting smaller and smaller.

    Nothing anti obama here, but the article said there are more Wall Street types in this administration than in any previous.

    The gist of the article is, at some point things break down. we are being lied to about the health of the economy. what I just cant fathom is what the rich hope to accomplish by destroying the middle class – I just dont get it. because at some point, it will come home to roost ie people will rise up and, I dont know, kill em revolt whatever.

  • Louis Stouch

    I just found a very interesting website called governmentgonewild.org.

    If you wanna scare yourself to death, go to this site and watch the video on our national debt. we spent $430 BILLION last year on the INTEREST alone. the numbers are staggering and shocking – we might not ever be able to pay it all back. admittedly it has gotten way outa hand beginning with Bush Jr., although I think we can trace the beginning back to Reagan.

    perhaps a bit off topic, but certainly related to the Big Govt conversation.

  • skinnyminny

    Louis Stouch,
    I forgot to add, notice how some of the people in the tea party movement talk about muslims…well, imagine if the teas get all the cuts they want, and we the masses have to sit around all day and drink tea in glass cups! Now, don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with this.

    I’m just saying, we won’t have jobs, no where to go, except sit around and drink tea. Is this the true meaning of the tea party, and not taxed enough already? Because for sure, the cuts they want, people will not be able to afford beer, and just about any other beverage.

    With taxes, you should look at Greece and their recent riots. The people were saying the rich were avoiding taxes, and yes, I believe they had a flat tax. But, either way, the rich did not pay taxes.

  • skinnyminny

    Louis Stouch,
    Great! I really enjoy reading your comments – giving us a piece of your mind. Really!

    Now that I understand and fully agree with you’re getting pissed about the salaries/taxes, let’s flip the script. Tea Party and GOP continue to tell the public that we can’t afford government pensions. Yet, did you hear today, the feds raided the government pensions to be able to stay afloat.

    Let’s not forget, when they start laying off the lower rank and file workers, guess what! The few cars and homes being purchased will stop. That will mean more layoffs of the people selling cars and homes. That will mean more foreclosures, so it will affect more neighborhoods with squatters…

    I read that there were a number of senior employees doing nothing at the USPS. Again, I said that in the comments above, that management doesn’t move a finger, arm or leg to do the work. So, I assume we agree that top heavy management is not working.

    You also mentioned the bonuses and pay of CEO’s. I think a lot of us agree with you there, in fact, Lou Rawls spoke to this in his song, “Natural Man.” Not sure if you heard it or not, but, some of the lyrics are, “I don’t want no gold watch for working 50 years from 9 to 5. While the boss is guzzling champagne and I drink beer in some dive…” But go figure, now days they don’t even want to give you a gold watch or your supposed vested pension, but, instead just a pink slip. I am assuming from your comments, you are not mad at the people still working, instead, you are mad at the people at the top making the decisions.

  • Louis Stouch

    And I gotta tell ya Ruslan, this little thing here (dialogue above) upset me, got me emotional. It really did, I have a neck problem and it stressed me out, had to go lie down for 40 minutes to chill out. So I am saying thanks for understanding.

    Its amazing how much things have changed for the worst in just 15 years. I mean, obviously not everyone was propserous before, but it sure was better than now. Personally, now when I see these guys making multiple hundreds of millions in a year, it does disgust me. Thats not to say I believe in handouts, mind you, but Charlie Sheen in Wall Street was pretty right – how many yachts do you need. Does Larry Ellison at Oracle need a 550 foot yacht? Does the Russian in London need a $250 million house?

    I can see this stuff and dont like it, but neither do I necessarily say we just take it from them. And I gotta say this too – 7 billion people on this planet, man, thats a lot. Sometimes I feel like everything is coming to a head – quickly – and somethings gotta blow. And then I think everything has gotten too big for anyone to ever get a handle on it.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    Nobody’s pissed Lou, in fact it’s actually a good idea that you show up here repeatedly. The problem with the American political scene is that conservatives, liberals(and some more radical leftists like me) rarely engage each other outside of some shouting match at a demonstration. In this sense nobody knows the other side and everyone only knows a strawman built up by their own commentators. I was raised in very conservative family(the family still is) so I know the mindset and I also know how much more freedom I have mentally by escaping it.

    Given everybodies POd at me, let me give a piece of my mind.

    “I think it sucks that so many jobs have gone overseas. I had a problem with Windows today, and spoke with people not only in India but also the Philipines. I think it sucks that American Greetings here in Cleveland got $96 million in tax breaks over 10 years to keep their company here instead of moving out of state. I think it sucks that hedge fund managers get carried interest tax treatment instead of capital gains like everybody else. I think it sucks that the CEO of our local utility made $11mm last year. I think it sucks that threse guys get huge bonuses for cutting costs by shipping jobs overseas. I think it sucks we’ve spent our way into oblivion in Iraq and Afghanisatan and that we keep making new terrorists. I think it sucks the rich got those tax breaks, although I hate the argument that “we need the money” even if we do. I thijnk it sucks that Wall Street got the big bailout and we got the bill – and I worked on WS for 15 years. Especially since I dont know that we have even fixed the problem, which was derivitives.”

    We agree on virtually all of this. You see the key is understanding how all these problems relate to one another.

  • Louis Stouch

    Given everybodies POd at me, let me give a piece of my mind.

    I think it sucks that so many jobs have gone overseas. I had a problem with Windows today, and spoke with people not only in India but also the Philipines. I think it sucks that American Greetings here in Cleveland got $96 million in tax breaks over 10 years to keep their company here instead of moving out of state. I think it sucks that hedge fund managers get carried interest tax treatment instead of capital gains like everybody else. I think it sucks that the CEO of our local utility made $11mm last year. I think it sucks that threse guys get huge bonuses for cutting costs by shipping jobs overseas. I think it sucks we’ve spent our way into oblivion in Iraq and Afghanisatan and that we keep making new terrorists. I think it sucks the rich got those tax breaks, although I hate the argument that “we need the money” even if we do. I thijnk it sucks that Wall Street got the big bailout and we got the bill – and I worked on WS for 15 years. Especially since I dont know that we have even fixed the problem, which was derivitives.

    So its not like I am some evil capitalist pig hater with no compassion, I have plenty of it. I support a kid through Child Fund International, a Guatamalan kid, every month. And I support a dog through ASPCA, every month. And I give blood every 2 months. And I give to the Red Cross and the Local APL. And I only work part time but I still do it. So there.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    Then your complaint is against the electoral college? Now we actually agree on something.

  • Louis Stouch

    Its pretty hard for me to keep up with 9 people here. At this point, I’ll only address 1 comment.

    I didnt know that obama won by a vast majority. In looking at the electoral map, he won both coasts and not much in the heartland. I think he had 52% of the vote. If 51% is a majority, I hardly call that a VAST majority.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    “Oh geez, he gets all the legal hispanic vote Ruslan, get with the program.”

    Oh because all them Messicans vote to help each other out? How’s that not racist? I thought that the nativists could claim big support of legal Mexican residents who are supposedly pissed off about illegal immigration. And I also believe that Hispanic citizens might have a few other issues they are concerned about when they decide which dictator to elect in 2012.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    “.If memory serves Ruslan, there was no social security until afer the Great Depression.”

    In the US yes, in other parts of the world, no. So now you think people should have to work all their lives?

    ” So please to explain all of these old social nets? Free land? Well, it was a brand new country. (Oh, thats right, it was the Indians.) ”

    Yes, and the government either purchased the land and sold it at a loss to settlers, or took it outright with the military and did the same(selling it at a loss or even giving it away free). The government did the same thing for the railways. The industrialization of every major world power was carried out with the help of the government.

    “Vets getting college for WWI? Thats not a safety net, that was for services rendered pal.”

    WWII, they didn’t get what they deserved for WWI. Bonus army, ever heard of it? The GI bill and those programs were designed to avoid the problems which occurred after WWI.

    “.) The railroads getting free land – they built the RRs for gawds sake, they invested the capital to tame the country. ”
    Again, government.

    “Focus, focus Ruslan – were talking welfare and social entitlements, not the buildout of infrastructure or reward for serving yoiur country – your comparing apples to oranges.”

    Sorry I don’t see how welfare for big corporations or settlers is somehow different from Social Security or help for the unemployed.

    “Big government? How about agencies watching agencies watching agencies. Go to the DOL/EBSA website sometime, I was judt there. Theyve got so many assistant Secretaries of this and that, ther eis no way you can make any sense of it.”

    So if you can’t understand something this constitutes “big government”? Do you think it was any easier back in the 19th century?

    ” Post Office? Had a chat with my mailman yesterday. A 30 year veteran nearing retirement. They have 6 – count em – 6 senior level employees in my cities main PO doing, basically, nothing. No way to get rid of them, union. Tough cookies.”

    A large state apparatus is normal for a capitalist system.

    “Big government Ruslan? Big governernment is when its so big nobody knows what the hell is going on.”

    Nobody knows what’s going on? Maybe you don’t know, because you don’t check. But I have a suspicion there are people that know what’s going on in the government, and you can check too. You have more ability to learn about the functions of any government agency than any previous generation.

    ” And we are there, and given all the vested interests, the problem is probably not fixable. Think of the flat tax for a moment. Maybe a perfect solution, if it werent for the 1 million accountants now out of a job. Aint gonna happen.”

    Good. You want to see what a flat tax looks like? Look at Russia. It’s had a flat tax since 2001 and the rich still avoid their tax obligations.

    “Military spending? Yes, we are by far the largest, But I saw just today, “again in the Economist, that we spend like 6 or 7% of GDP on military. .”

    You might want to check that somewhere, because we spend more than China which is in the middle of modernization of its military, and several other military powers combined.

    “And those useless military projects are probably responsible for more new technology development than the private sector. Breakthrough technology, Ruslan, not iPads. Wasnt the internet a military project? think so……”

    So do you LIKE “big government” or hate it?

  • Ian

    Louis,

    “I got it from the SPLC website dude. Read it yourself, do I have to do everything for you?”

    In a way, yes. If one makes a claim and another questions it, it is normally up to the claimer to back up that claim.

    What you eventially find did not say that most sovereigns are antisemitic. It instead pointed out that the roots of the movement are antisemitic. These are two very different statements and the latter cannot be reasonably disputed.

  • Leslie

    Louis, just as you pointed out that the GI Bill was for the sacrifice the vets made to our country; no one is getting a free ride with social security either. Employees pay into the system vis a vie payroll taxes. That is the FICA deduction on your paycheck.

  • Sam Molloy

    I hope Sovereigns figure they can’t vote.

  • CM

    Ruslan,

    Great work upholding rationality on this post. (It’s a dirty job but someone’s got to do it.)

    Mr. Stouch:
    “I think the general feeling is, the government doesnt represent the people anymore.”

    My general feeling is that when Barack Obama won the presidency by a huge majority, we saw what “the people” wanted. That’s how democracy works. Trying to go back and undo the work of the democratic process just because the “right” people aren’t getting their way is anti-American, in my opinion.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    “Todays Economist magazine suggests differently. “To Vote, or Not To Vote” on page 68. One Pia Kjaersgaard of the Danish Peoples Party “might agree to changes in retirement age……….if her other demands – more penalties for foreign criminals, and a limit on the eligibility of foreigners for welfare and health care.”

    I did not “tout the success of immigration in Denmark”, I pointed out the superior standards of living in countries with strong social safety nets.

    “Do I see the development of an international trend here? What could possibly insitigate a demand for more penalties for foreign criminals?”

    Can you give a good reason why foreign criminals should be punished more for the same crimes?

    ” I am sure it couldnt be because of a higher propensity to crime, it must be simple discrimination.”

    Has anyone proven that people of a certain ethnicity have a higher propensity for crime? Quite close to Denmark is lily white Poland, and the Baltic states. How does their crime rate stack up to that of Denmark? Are Balts or Slavs more prone to crime?

    ” And as for a limit on welfare for immigrants, yep, must be discrimination,”

    Yes, it is discrimination. It’s saying you can live and work here and do all our crappy jobs while you pay into our social welfare net, but you can’t get the same benefits as people who got here before you.

    ” couldnt be those Imams in the mosques educating their flocks on how to game the system. Not to suggest that the Muslims have a monopoly on gaming the system, by the way.”

    Since when are Imams doing this?

    I” go back to the simple fact that folks are POd at politicians that seemingly could care less what their constituents would like to see regarding governance. This is no longer representative democracy – they do what the hell they want, and damn the torpedoes. What we need are term limits, not lifetime political tenure.”

    Nonsense. The politicians, their parties, and media use these issues to whip up people’s anger, and it gets them votes.

    “Ruslan, the connection between Nakba and Soveriegns is anti-semitism, and the lack of coverage by the SPLC of the former.”

    By that logic the connection is that many Sovereigns have mustaches, and so do many Arabs, but the SPLC covered neither for some sinister reason. So to get this straight, you’re saying that if the SPLC writes an article about the Sovereigns, and it mentions some of their adherents’ anti-semitism, it must necessarily throw in examples of anti-semitism around the world even if they are not connected in any way?

  • James Hutchings

    Big government means open borders?

    I think there’s a tendency in politics for phrases to gradually start to be used to mean either “anything I like” or “anything I’m against”. This is an example.

  • DrMJG

    Ruslan Amirkhanov, simply put well done rebuttals, you saved me lot of typing, lol.

  • skinnyminny

    Louis Stouch,
    You’re right, some folks are pissed off that elected officials are not following the will of the people. But, make no mistake in the matter, I’m not siding with the GOP nor the Tea Party. In fact, I am disappointed in the GOP and Tea Party that seems to think that lower paid rank and file workers and their unions make too much, when on the contrary, they are the backbone of things getting done. I am disappointed to know that the GOP and Tea Party brag about having BUSINESS experience, meanwhile they always hire expensive consultants to come and do a job that their BUSINESS experience should come with. There’s a big difference between Business Administration, Public Administration, and Political Science!

    And as far as running around without any laws, restrictions, I’m against that too if this doesn’t apply to everyone, that must be fundamental fairness, equally. Meaning, how in the hell can you expect ‘whites and/or sovereigns,’ to be able to live without any restraints, yet, no one else can. Do you think it’s fair that only the poor pay taxes, high food prices, high gas prices…while the rich continue to manipulate the public that they also need all the junk they advertise – i.e. the newest iphone, blackberry, pizza, automobiles…

    Now again, no one is holding anyone here that doesn’t want to follow the laws of the land. People can renounce their U.S. citizenship anytime they want. In fact, people can just leave and never come back. I know of a place where all of the sovereigns can start from scratch, actually – no government, no laws, no nothing – take a look at Easter Island. It’s like your own Island/country with no one to tell you anything you don’t want. I think it’s a great place to colonize without disrupting the original peoples lives. What do you think?

  • Michael K

    I am writing in response to Ruslan Amirkhanov’s comments regarding a post from Louis Stouch in which Stouch spoke of a past time in which he claims there was more “personal responsibility” than there is now. Ruslan, you made many excellent points, and I appreciate your efforts to craft such a detailed and well-written rebuttal. You are absolutely correct in what you’ve said, and I hope that Stouch has the capacity to check the facts and then, seeing that you are correct, post here thanking you for taking the time to expose him or her to the truth. Stouch, Ruslan’s comments here are like a truth-primer for you. Look into it and you’ll find that all of what Ruslan had written is accurate.

  • Louis Stouch

    In hindsight, my comment on the flat tax and accountants obviously does not refer to big government. sorry.

  • Louis Stouch

    Ruslan “How do you cater to the people who can’t even vote? How are they going to vote for him in order to get that amnesty…………”

    Oh geez, he gets all the legal hispanic vote Ruslan, get with the program.

  • Louis Stouch

    per Ruslan – “Really? When? Tell us when personal responsibility supposedly ruled, and I’ll explode the myth for you”………….If memory serves Ruslan, there was no social security until afer the Great Depression. So please to explain all of these old social nets? Free land? Well, it was a brand new country. (Oh, thats right, it was the Indians.) Vets getting college for WWI? Thats not a safety net, that was for services rendered pal. (I went to college and got an MBA on the old GI Bill.) The railroads getting free land – they built the RRs for gawds sake, they invested the capital to tame the country. Focus, focus Ruslan – were talking welfare and social entitlements, not the buildout of infrastructure or reward for serving yoiur country – your comparing apples to oranges.

    Big government? How about agencies watching agencies watching agencies. Go to the DOL/EBSA website sometime, I was judt there. Theyve got so many assistant Secretaries of this and that, ther eis no way you can make any sense of it. Post Office? Had a chat with my mailman yesterday. A 30 year veteran nearing retirement. They have 6 – count em – 6 senior level employees in my cities main PO doing, basically, nothing. No way to get rid of them, union. Tough cookies.

    Big government Ruslan? Big governernment is when its so big nobody knows what the hell is going on. And we are there, and given all the vested interests, the problem is probably not fixable. Think of the flat tax for a moment. Maybe a perfect solution, if it werent for the 1 million accountants now out of a job. Aint gonna happen.

    Military spending? Yes, we are by far the largest, But I saw just today, again in the Economist, that we spend like 6 or 7% of GDP on military. .

    “There’s a reason why the US doesn’t have much, if any significant immigration from Western Europe any more. Only an idiot would give up EU citizenship to live in a country that prefers to spend the 2nd largest amount of its budget on useless military projects and wars.”………..

    Geez, Ruslan, is that not an entitlement mindset? Thanks for making my point.

    And those useless military projects are probably responsible for more new technology development than the private sector. Breakthrough technology, Ruslan, not iPads. Wasnt the internet a military project? think so…….

  • Louis Stouch

    Ruslan, the connection between Nakba and Soveriegns is anti-semitism, and the lack of coverage by the SPLC of the former. I would say the anti-semitism exhibited by the muslims in the middle east is much more rampant and rabid than any by the sovereign movement. Of course, SPLC is domestic focused, but just sayin……

    I mean, Hamas stated intention is the destruction of Israel, no? Or will you distinguish between anti-semitism and anti-zionism? Not all Jews are Zionists, but you wouldnt know it watching a nasrallah or ahmindejad speech.

  • Louis Stouch

    Now to Ruslan, glad you are here my friend. You touted the success of immigration in Denmark recently, if I recall correctly.

    Todays Economist magazine suggests differently. “To Vote, or Not To Vote” on page 68. One Pia Kjaersgaard of the Danish Peoples Party “might agree to changes in retirement age……….if her other demands – more penalties for foreign criminals, and a limit on the eligibility of foreigners for welfare and health care.”

    Do I see the development of an international trend here? What could possibly insitigate a demand for more penalties for foreign criminals? I am sure it couldnt be because of a higher propensity to crime, it must be simple discrimination. And as for a limit on welfare for immigrants, yep, must be discrimination, couldnt be those Imams in the mosques educating their flocks on how to game the system. Not to suggest that the Muslims have a monopoly on gaming the system, by the way.

    I go back to the simple fact that folks are POd at politicians that seemingly could care less what their constituents would like to see regarding governance. This is no longer representative democracy – they do what the hell they want, and damn the torpedoes. What we need are term limits, not lifetime political tenure.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    “Just look at Obama. Just last week, he is catering to the hispanic vote – we will give you amnesty – to get reelected. Does that represent the will of the people? I ”

    How do you cater to the people who can’t even vote? How are they going to vote for him in order to get that amnesty?

  • Louis Stouch

    SPLC home, click Intelligence Files, and right at the top of the page, cover story on Sovereigns:

    ……In May 2010, for example, a father-son team of sovereigns murdered two police officers with an assault rifle when they were pulled over on the interstate while traveling through West Memphis, Ark.

    The movement is rooted in racism and anti-Semitism, though most sovereigns, many of whom are African American, are unaware of their beliefs’ origins………………

    Hmm Leslie, maybe I am wrong on Snipes. I did watch a special on him and his troubles – he is doing a couple years time at least.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    Thanks for brining that up Leslie. Sovereign Citizens were also connected to the “Pure Trust” scams of the 90s.

  • Louis Stouch

    Leslie, I dont think Snipes was taken in by a Sovereign. He just bought into the I dont owe you any taxes mindset, his philosophy, if you will, coming from another perspective entirely. Think slavery/institutionalized discrimination, if I am not mistaken.

  • Louis Stouch

    One Sovereigns are anti-Semites, I got it from the SPLC website dude. Read it yourself, do I have to do everything for you? Geez I’ll find it myself.

  • Louis Stouch

    ooh, this didnt take long. I’ll read all your comments in a moment, and Ruslan we have some developments on immigration in DENMARK, where I recall you saying just last week that all is peaches and cream. Not so fast my friend, you need to read this weeks Economist.

    I came back to clarify my overall comment on Sovereigns. I think the general feeling is, the government doesnt represent the people anymore. Its out of control. Politicians have their own agendas, citizens be damned..

    Just look at Obama. Just last week, he is catering to the hispanic vote – we will give you amnesty – to get reelected. Does that represent the will of the people? I dont think so.

  • Leslie

    I watched the program and was surprised that Wesley Snipes was taken in by a tax scam program started by a “Sovereign”. I bet he now wishes he had just sent a check to the I.R.S.

    Also, the head of the group probably now has the entire F.B.I. watching him 24/7 since he announced on T.V. that he feels justified in killing law enforcement and government officials that he disagrees with.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    Almost missed this gem:

    ” big government (ie open borders, free health care and welfare and assistance for this that and the other) – the root cause of the problem is ignored.”

    Ok, several people have mentioned “big government” recently. None have defined it. If I am to assume that what you put in brackets explains what big government is, then we have a problem.

    First off…open borders actually means “less government” by definition. Next, welfare amounts to a tiny part of the US budget compared to Social Security and of course the massive Defense Budget which eclipses the spending of several other military powers put together(yes, that includes the defense budget of countries like China and Russia). The US has one of the weakest social welfare systems in the industrialized world, and the worst social health care system if we can even call it that. And the health statistics bear testament to this fact.

    Typically conservatives believe that illegal immigrants are flooding into the country and taking advantage of all these generous welfare programs, many of which don’t actually exist, and for the most part illegal immigrants aren’t even eligible for them. As for welfare programs in general, it has been shown that states with more generous welfare benefits have fewer people on welfare roles, and for shorter periods of time. You can look this up in The Way we Never Were by Stephanie Coontz for an examination of this.

    “There used to be something called personal responsibility, but alas, now everyone is entitled.”

    Really? When? Tell us when personal responsibility supposedly ruled, and I’ll explode the myth for you. Families in the US of the past relied on the government probably far more than those of today. How do you think pioneers got all that land so cheap, sometimes for free? How do you think the railroads were built? How do you think all those vets returning from WWII got their college education and low mortgage rates?

    This is not a question of people being entitled. It’s a question of what Americans should get for their tax dollars. Countries with far higher tax burdens and much bigger social safety nets have higher standards of living and much better health statistics than the US. Just look at Norway or Sweden for example. There’s a reason why the US doesn’t have much, if any significant immigration from Western Europe any more. Only an idiot would give up EU citizenship to live in a country that prefers to spend the 2nd largest amount of its budget on useless military projects and wars.

  • Ian

    Louis,

    When did someone claim most sovereigns were antisemites? While it;s undeniable that the roots of the political philosophy are racist and antisemitic, I have not seen anyone claim most sovereign citizens are bigots.

    http://www.splcenter.org/get-i.....-a-soverei

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    “I’ve been reading an awful lot of material online as of late that is blatantly anti-Semite, surrounding the recent commemoration of the nakba. Mums the word on that, though, huh?”

    Hmm…I wonder what the connection is between Al Nakba and Sovereign Citizens? Oh right, NOTHING. Also, the Sovereign Citizen movement has a long history of domestic terrorism and an even longer history of bogus liens which ruined many peoples lives in the US. How has Hamas affected the average American citizen by comparison?

    Focus…foooooocus!!!

  • Louis Stouch

    Oh, one other thing. I noted in reading some material on this website that most (I believe the quote was most) of the Sovereigns were anti-Semites.

    Coincidentally, as it were, I’ve been reading an awful lot of material online as of late that is blatantly anti-Semite, surrounding the recent commemoration of the nakba. Mums the word on that, though, huh?

  • Louis Stouch

    Yes, I watched this segment on 60 Minutes. And yes, the violence should be condemned.

    But the violence is only the symptom of the problem, and as that (the problem) goes against the grain of what SPLC stands for – big government (ie open borders, free health care and welfare and assistance for this that and the other) – the root cause of the problem is ignored.

    There used to be something called personal responsibility, but alas, now everyone is entitled. And I dont know that I would be in error in suggesting that our government is a large part of the problem. After all, they know whats best for us (Pelosi), and we obviously have unlimited funds with which to meet all needs.