Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Toine Manders: Outspoken Dutch libertarian imprisoned without trial

by Dr Sean Gabb

The former chairman of the Dutch Libertarian Party, Toine Manders has been kidnapped in Cyprus by the FIOD (the Dutch IRS) and is currently locked away in the Netherlands in complete isolation (aside from his lawyer), in an undisclosed location. He is being held for an extended 90-day period, the charges for which are unknown.

Toine Manders began his career by giving legal advice, through his company HJC, to young Dutch men who wanted to avoid military conscription. He helped roughly 6,000 men avoid being trained as hit-men for the government. The mainstream media jumped on this, calling them ‘refusal yuppies’, who used legal loopholes to evade their duty to the country.

After military conscription was suspended in 1996, Toine’s company moved on to help businesses avoid taxes through strictly legal methods. In the Netherlands, the combined pressures of income tax, VAT, inheritance tax, inflation, and other forms of taxation add up to an astounding 80%, according to calculations by Amsterdam professor Roel Beetsma.

Legal tactics of avoiding taxes are widely used by large corporations like Starbucks, Apple and Ikea, however, Toine Manders had attracted special attention from the government by running controversial ads that stated “Taxation is theft”. The ads went on to say that it was people’s moral duty to pay as little in taxes as possible, as the government is a criminal enterprise. Unable to hire teams of accountants to do it for them, Toine also tried to help smaller business make use of legal tax avoidance methods.

The first signs of government backlash appeared in 2008 when his radio commercial ‘taxation is theft’ was banned by the Reclame Code Commissie (Commercial Ethics Commission) on the basis of being ‘in violation of decency’, along with a defense of the social contract. For fear of losing their licenses or imprisonment, the radio stations were quick to take down the ad.

The next form of government backlash came in 2010 when his company was declared bankrupt on a claim from the tax office. The government ignored limited liability law, piercing the corporate veil, to hold Toine Manders personally responsible for the company’s obligations.

In 2010 the state bestowed further powers upon itself: requiring all trust offices to have a government license to operate, in the name of protecting the people of course. It is suspected that this law is what is now being used to charge Toine, in that he was running a trust office without their license, though the main office was located in Cyprus and not in the Netherlands.

Toine Manders has been the Chair of the Dutch Libertarian party since its founding in 1993 and was the party leader in the 1994 and 2012 elections. He may not have won a seat in parliament, but he has utilized his campaigns to make strong statements, such as that of using lasers to project of the word ‘bankrupt’ on the Dutch National Bank and throwing fake 14 Euro bills from a helicopter above the Vondelpark in Amsterdam, both of which received a lot of media attention.The Netherlands has become a country where violent criminals can be free to go the next day, while others are locked away in a psychiatric ward for a year (after having already endured a year in jail) for throwing a tealight holder in frustration at the Queen enroute to a presentation about how taxes were going to be wasted the following year. It has become a country in which Toine Manders, who advocates the non-aggression principle, is at risk of missing the first birthday of his son because he is held in a cage by a monopoly of violence that saw their revenue stream threatened.

Toine Manders should not be confused with the EU parliamentarian with the same name, who has been living off of taxes his whole life.



ObamaCare and My Mother's Cancer Medicine

The news was dumbfounding. She used to have a policy that covered the drug that kept her alive. Now she's on her own.

When my mother was diagnosed with carcinoid cancer in 2005, when she was 49, it came as a lightning shock. Her mother, at 76, had yet to go gray, and her mother's mother, at 95, was still playing bingo in her nursing home. My mother had always been, despite her diminutive frame, a titanic and irrepressible force of vitality and love. She had given birth to me and my nine younger siblings, and juggled kids, home and my father's medical practice with humor and grace for three decades. She swam three times a week in the early mornings, ate healthily and never smoked.

And now, cancer? Anyone who's been there knows that a cancer diagnosis is terrifying. A lot goes through your mind and heart: the deep pang of possible loss (what would my father and all of us do without her?), and the anguish and anger at what feels like injustice (after decades of mothering and managing dad's practice, she was just then going back to school).

We, as a family, were scared and angry, but from the beginning we knew we would do all we could to fight this disease. We became involved with fundraising for research, through the Caring for Carcinoid Foundation in Boston; we blogged; we did triathlons (my mother's idea) and cherished our time together as never before.

Carcinoid, a form of neuroendocrine cancer, is a terminal disease but generally responds well to treatment by Sandostatin, a drug that slows tumor growth and reduces (but does not eliminate) the symptoms of fatigue, nausea and gastrointestinal dysfunction. My mother received a painful shot twice a month and often couldn't sit comfortably for days afterward.

As with most cancers, one thing led to another. There have been several more surgeries, metastases, bone deterioration, a terrible bout of thyroiditis (an inflammation of the thyroid gland), and much more. But my mother has kept fighting, determined to make the most of life, no matter what it brings. She has an indomitable will and is by far the toughest person I've ever met. But she wouldn't still be here without that semimonthly Sandostatin shot that slows the onslaught of her disease.

And then in November, along with millions of other Americans, she lost her health insurance. She'd had a Blue Cross/Blue Shield plan for nearly 20 years. It was expensive, but given that it covered her very expensive treatment, it was a terrific plan. It gave her access to any specialist or surgeon, and to the Sandostatin and other medications that were keeping her alive.

And then, because our lawmakers and president thought they could do better, she had nothing. Her old plan, now considered illegal under the new health law, had been canceled.

Because the exchange website in her state (Virginia) was not working, she went directly to insurers' websites and telephoned them, one by one, over dozens of hours. As a medical-office manager, she had decades of experience navigating the enormous problems of even our pre-ObamaCare system. But nothing could have prepared her for the bureaucratic morass she now had to traverse.

The repeated and prolonged phone waits were Sisyphean, the competence and customer service abysmal. When finally she found a plan that looked like it would cover her Sandostatin and other cancer treatments, she called the insurer, Humana, HUM +10.57% to confirm that it would do so. The enrollment agent said that after she met her deductible, all treatments and medications-including those for her cancer-would be covered at 100%. Because, however, the enrollment agents did not-unbelievable though this may seem-have access to the "coverage formularies" for the plans they were selling, they said the only way to find out in detail what was in the plan was to buy the plan. (Does that remind you of anyone?)

With no other options, she bought the plan and was approved on Nov. 22. Because by January the plan was still not showing up on her online Humana account, however, she repeatedly called to confirm that it was active. The agents told her not to worry, she was definitely covered.

Then on Feb. 12, just before going into (yet another) surgery, she was informed by Humana that it would not, in fact, cover her Sandostatin, or other cancer-related medications. The cost of the Sandostatin alone, since Jan. 1, was $14,000, and the company was refusing to pay.

The news was dumbfounding. This is a woman who had an affordable health plan that covered her condition. Our lawmakers weren't happy with that because . . . they wanted plans that were affordable and covered her condition. So they gave her a new one. It doesn't cover her condition and it's completely unaffordable.



Democrat Liarship: Liars Lie, and then Lie to Cover the Lie

An evocative clip from the HBO series The Newsroom recently caught my attention. In this scene, actor Jeff Daniels delivers his argument against the popular notion that America is the greatest nation in the world. As a patriot, my red blood began to boil as I watched this diatribe from yet another liberal cutting America down to size. It seemed at first to blend in well with Barack Obama’s worldview (see video Here) that the United States is no more “exceptional” than any other plot of land on the planet.

The awkward scene with Jeff Daniel’s speech grows increasingly prickly, even disturbing. Then the reversal moment in the plot arrives with the comparison of our culture today versus just a few decades ago. His closing line gave me pause, “America is not the greatest country in the world – anymore.”

Daniel’s character as a news anchor compares interestingly with real-life Greta Van Susteren, Fox’s most moderate anchor. Susteren made the astonishingly bold statement on her personal Facebook page Friday that, “Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid - should step aside - or be pushed out by his fellow Democrats. He is not a leader...he is a bully.” Damn right.

Congress passed Obamacare in order to see what was in it. Then Justice John Roberts, conservatives’ hope for an honest broker on the Supreme Court, decided that he was not going to protect the voters from their self-destructive decisions. But real people are suffering in very real ways. While the administration’s Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, lies by omission in telling the one-sided story of how 3.5 million have signed up, twice as many have lost their insurance. For a moment, put yourself in the mind of a wife and mother who has been walking the frightening tightrope of cost, pain, and survival in fighting cancer. Then consider that she is forced out of her insurance plan by the President of the United States.

It wasn’t some pissant ACORN functionary, but no less than the Majority Leader of the United States Senate who just denounced every struggle with Obamacare as fallacy. “Those tales turned out to be just that – tales, stories made up from whole cloth, lies.” (see video Here)

Somehow, the President is able to alter, delay, and ignore provisions of his own law without involvement by Congress, all toward elections manipulation. President Obama exempts his friends and financial supporters from having to adhere to the law while forcing The Little Sisters of the Poor to comply with the provisions that conflict with their longstanding religious beliefs. (Here)

The hottest U.S. Senate election race this year includes incumbent Mark Udall, who is up for re-election in Colorado. Udall has given Obamacare 100% of his senatorial support. With a tough campaign coming up, Udall pressured the Colorado Division of Insurance to revise the number of Coloradans whose insurance policies were canceled as a result of Obamacare. Soon after word of his intimidation got out to the public, the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies cleared Udall of any wrong-doing. That would be the highly political, Democratic Party controlled Department of Regulatory Agencies.

Laws continue to be passed to formally pave the way for vote fraud (Here). Vice President Biden claims that hatred is the motivation for asking voters to show a proper form of identification when casting their ballots. "These guys never go away. Hatred never, never goes away." Somehow, opposing loose rules like election-day registration demonstrates hatred rather than integrity.

The United States Supreme Court will soon hear the case of a German couple who fled to the U.S. to enjoy the liberty of home schooling their five children. Germany is serious about forcing every student to attend public schools – no exceptions. Germany has seized custody of children and imposed fines on parents. The Romeike’s face all of that, plus possible jail time if they are to return to their homeland. This is precisely the intent of the Obama Administration. The asylum case of Romeike v. Holder may be determined this year. Watch for zero media coverage should the family be escorted to a Lufthansa 747 by Holder’s thugs. (Here)

America’s political correctness surrounding the matter of sexual identification has become a national obsession. The social culture has certainly evolved toward acceptance of people with non-traditional orientation. But with the prominence of this issue in television, movies, parades, myriad laws and constitutional pronouncements, you would think that 49% of the population has just been released from oppression by the 51%. Hasbro and Discover are now promoting their transgender superhero in a cartoon series for kids. And every “paranoid criticism” about gay marriage has turned out to be true, with the courts being used to force bakeries to make cakes for gay weddings (Here), religious adoption services forced to serve gay couples (Here) and churches being forced to host gay weddings in conflict with their doctrine (Here).

While just a state senator in Illinois, Barack Obama argued against a proposed “born alive protection” bill. He argued, “The testimony during the committee indicated that the key concerns was – is that there was a method of abortion, an induced abortion, where the fetus, or child as some might describe it, is still temporarily alive outside the womb. And one of the concerns that came out in the testimony was the fact that they were not being properly cared for during that brief period of time that they were still living. … Whenever we define a previable fetus as a person that is protected by the equal protection clause or the other elements in the Constitution, what we’re really saying is, in fact, that they are persons that are entitled to the kinds of protections that would be provided to a child, a nine-month-old child, that was delivered to term.”

The Journal of Medical Ethics will see Barack Obama’s bet and raise it further. They have posted an article with the following abstract: “Abortion is largely accepted even for reasons that do not have anything to do with the fetus' health. By showing that (1) both fetuses and newborns do not have the same moral status as actual persons, (2) the fact that both are potential persons is morally irrelevant and (3) adoption is not always in the best interest of actual people, the authors argue that what we call ‘after-birth abortion’ (killing a newborn) should be permissible in all the cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled.”

These are just a sampling of the upheaval that our nation is going through right now; the kind of crazy stories we might expect from uncivilized parts of the world. I only have to stop listing them because of the article deadline. People – this is what happens when we surrender elected office to liberals. Watch the Jeff Daniels clip and join my fear. I am feeling the panic of having to accept the criticisms of my once great home.

 More HERE  (See the original for links)

There is a  new  lot of postings by Chris Brand just up -- on his usual vastly "incorrect" themes of race, genes, IQ etc


For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC,  AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated) and Coral reef compendium. (Updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten.

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