Privacy

Crashing from a great height

People keep crashing drones into Seattle’s Space Needle. the 605-foot tower and Seattle landmark built in 1962 by the Pentagram Corporation.  The Seattle tower also features in a nineties TV series “Dark Angel,” a TV show about Max, a genetically enhanced warrior.

“It looks like the drone tractor beam we installed on the Space Needle is working,” Space Needle CEO Ron Sevart jokingly told CNN in a statement. “This is the third time we’ve recovered a drone on our property.”

Jokes about tractor beams aside, perhaps people don’t know how to fly the things.  And people don’t always know how to fly computers either.

Microsoft is the dominant software manufacturer for desktop and laptop PCs.

The Seattle Space Needle is on the Windows 8 lock screen, an operating system that I avoid.

win-8-splash-screen

Microsoft’s tractor beam is “their software on every computer.”

microsoft
And how well do people know how to fly their computer?  
For instance, if you have Windows 10, have you locked down your Privacy?  Did you know that everything said, clicked on and typed is being recorded?  From the start button on Windows 10, click “Settings” and then click “Privacy.”  Turn everything off.  The technocrats rely on our naivety.  I am forever locking down the privacy settings for my customers.
Windows 10 violates your privacy by default, here’s how you can protect yourself

I run an IT services company with my husband. Customers often say to me they don’t know much about computers and sometimes they are afraid they’ve caused the problem.  No, they are using a  computer system that has the propensity to crash, hang-up, quit working or display an error screen.  That’s what happens when you’ve got a monopoly producing a product.

You do have a choice about what you have on your computer.

ubuntu-linux-logoIt’s the Linux operating system.  I’ve been using it since 2001.  My advice is to find an IT services company that offer the service, and try Linux out.  Some software programs may not work with Linux, so get them to take an image of your Windows Operating System first in case you need to revert back to Windows.  There are various types of Linux.  We use Fedora Linux in our house and business.  Ubuntu is a good Linux operating system to start with.  The software is free, the only costs are associated with installation and learning.

 Ubuntu is a Nguni Bantu term roughly translating to “human kindness”.

As for Bill Gates, the co-founder and former chairman of Microsoft, when he was a boy he won a dinner at the Space Needle restaurant offered by his pastor.  Eleven-year-old Gates had to memorize chapters 5, 6, and 7 of the Gospel of Matthew, better known as the Sermon on the Mount, and he recited the sermon flawlessly.

I wonder what young Bill Gates was thinking as he ate dinner and watched Seattle revolve around him.  Did he feel on top of the world?

The chapters he had to commit to memory contained a lot of wisdom.  Here are some of the words he recited,

No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” Matthew 6:24.

But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”  Matthew 7:26.

Did he remember and follow the great words his Pastor wanted him to learn – or did he choose world domination?matthew-16-26


Links

https://www.spaceneedle.com/fun-facts/

People keep crashing drones into Seattle’s Space Needle

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The gratuitous U.S. government grab for non-U.S. assets, and that’s a FACTA

FACTA cartoonI believe our birth right in the West is to be free. The money we earn and our personal information should be our own.  The place where I’ve found that our government thinks otherwise is at the bank.

I first noticed the erosion of our rights in the early 1990’s, when the NZ government wanted to link our IRD (tax) number with our bank accounts.  It was optional, but if you didn’t give the bank your IRD number, any interest earned on your bank account would be taxed at 33%.  When I told the bank teller that they couldn’t have my IRD number the teller said “It’s coming you know.  You can’t fight it.”  I replied, “Well if everyone in the country has this attitude, you will be right!”

She was right.  Within a year, our government, wholeheartedly following it’s money master’s neo-liberal economic doctrine, sold that NZ owned Post Bank to a foreign bank.  The bank in the shopping centre soon disappeared, along with her job, and bank fees averaging $28 per month were introduced.  The government also upgraded our tax legislation – granting the IRD scary powers, exempting it from our privacy laws.

So that was back then.  Today the IRD can just reach into our private bank accounts and take our money if we don’t pay.  I discovered that last year on one of their forms.

FACTA

FACTA Bank cartoonAnyway, fast forward from the early 1990’s to late 2014, when I was at the bank filling out a deposit slip; and I overheard a man opening a bank account at a nearby desk being asked if he was an American citizen.  Then I heard the bank staff member explain they have to ask the question because of “FACTA”, a new law.

That got my attention.  I am married to a man who is an American, even though he left the US as a child. When I got back to the office I told him about this new banking law.  When we looked up FACTA, we were horrified.

The US government regards anyone who has been born in the states as a taxable resource.  Citizenship Based Taxation, FATCA, is designed to serve as a capital control; Human Capital.  The US, along with Eritrea, does Citizenship Based Taxation.  Eritrea was recently condemned by the UN (Resolution 2023) for doing it.

Take the case of London’s Mayor, Boris Johnson.  He was born in the USA but returned to England with his parents at the age of 5.  The U.S. government forced him to pay the capital gains tax on the sale of his Islington home.  He has never lived in America, but that means nothing to the IRS. They are hunting everyone everywhere.

I was thinking through the ramifications of FACTA for us;
What happens when we want to save for our retirement?
What happens if we want to open a new bank account?
What happens if we sold my house that I bought and freeholded before I met my husband?  Would the IRS be alerted if the money went into our joint bank account?
What happens to my information?  I am a non-US citizen, and my personal data would be sent to the US with no privacy protections.
It doesn’t matter that we already pay taxes in NZ.  The only way around all of this is for our accounts to be separated.

The form that US tax subjects have to fill out is a FBAR form.  If you get any information wrong on the form the IRS can substitute penalties for taxes. I’m sure you get the drift.

We decided that if asked about my husband’s citizenship we’ll answer truthfully that he is a NZ citizen and let his US passport rot in a drawer.

If the letter from the US government does come, my husband said he would renounce his US citizenship.  I told him he would be better to “relinquish” it, in case he ever wants to visit the US.

noo_zealandWe were appalled at the privacy invasion.  New Zealand has agreed to hand over our bank account details to a foreign country!  Our privacy laws are useless, they haven’t been overhauled in years, and IRD with its massive powers abrogates them.  This signifies the unacceptable encroachment of the government into the lives of every citizen – both here and in the US.

More about this here:

A New Zealand government didn’t want the political fallout which would come from breaching our privacy legislation, so they used IRD, being immorally above that privacy legislation, as a backdoor for US to spy on its own citizens.  If they did this once, why won’t a future government find it convenient to use the Teflon IRD on other issues that might be a bit embarrassing politically? Answer: there’s nothing stopping any government doing this. It’s the premise of this blog that IRD and its huge powers, is where the rubber meets the road to our total serfdom. All the Left protesting against GCSB, NSA and PRISM, what’s the difference, again, please?
http://lifebehindtheirondrape.blogspot.co.nz/2014/04/fatca-nz-officials-report-crime-that.html


Just to add insult to injury – the cost of enforcing US tax laws should be borne by the USA and FATCA, but the cost has been passed on to our spineless NZ government.

FATCA_Uncle_SamThe US government treats its citizens like a bankrupt bully with a gambling addiction.  It’s got it’s children, and their children’s children into debt; and now it’s raiding their piggy banks.  This is what it looks like when the financial elite get control.  My advice is protect your wealth and your assets from them.


There are more links to articles about FACTA here:

http://www.businessinsider.com/some-americans-abroad-are-renouncing-their-citizenship-to-avoid-the-irs-2015-3

http://lifebehindtheirondrape.blogspot.co.nz/2014/04/fatca-nz-officials-report-crime-that.html

http://www.interest.co.nz/news/55283/government-not-necessarily-position-influence-us-fatca-revenue-minister-peter-dunne-says

http://armstrongeconomics.com/2014/12/01/usa-is-it-time-to-turn-off-the-lights/
http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/242396/new-bank-law-raises-privacy-fears
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20131002/news/news4.html
http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21605907-americas-new-law-tax-compliance-heavy-handed-inequitable-and-hypocritical-fatcas-flaws/comments?page=3