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johnnyFive




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    Sovereign Citizens

Oh, you're in for a treat.

They are the centerpiece of a broad category of nonsense. Think snake oil, only applying to English-derived legal systems (they seem to be most prevalent in the U.S., Canada, and the UK). Broadly speaking, they believe based on various logical leaps and historical inaccuracy that the government doesn't actually have any authority to them. Where it often comes up is in the case of income taxes and traffic stops.

Basically, they have various theories about how they're not really subjects of the federal government. Sometimes it's that they're only citizens of their state. Sometimes it just applies to courts (which is where they usually end up); for example, the idea that federal courts can only sit in admiralty (i.e. maritime law), and so have no jurisdiction outside of that. Usually it's more about how these courts don't have any jurisdiction over them. The IRS is a frequent target.

There are a lot of ways they go about this. Some try to selectively renounce their citizenship, for example. They're also big believers in the idea that if you write something a certain way in a court document, this has different effects (whether it's a different color, using odd punctuation, whatever). They also like to cite to the Uniform Commercial Code a lot (odd since the UCC itself has no legal effect whatsoever).

Usually they're just cooks, but every once in awhile they can be dangerous. There have been instances of these folks attacking police or using violence on others, and of course the most famous example is the Oklahoma City Bombing, where a couple of anti-government types set off a car bomb at a U.S. government office building, killing 168.

    Any reasonable-sounding base for that one?

None as far as I can tell. It's something I've seen on TV a lot, but I think that's a response to the trope rather than the cause of it.

Just that he's great and everyone should listen to him (or perhaps I'm misunderstanding your question).

If you haven't seen them, their early Battlefield videos are fantastic.

I don't listen to enough slam poetry to know the voice they're talking about. But I also can't talk about it without mentioning Shane Koyczan.

    Do you have to apply somewhere? Are there literally no requirements to teach your kids?

In the U.S., at least, this is a state thing (rather than federal).

The only person I knew who was home-schooled was a close friend of mine, who was legit too smart for public schools. He got home-schooled from 6th grade through 10th (so call it age 12-16) before coming back to public schools to finish it out.

This happens everywhere. I'm a lawyer, and we hear all kinds of craziness (and not just from Sovereign Citizens, although that's my personal favorite brand of crazy). But there's also less systematic forms, more like common misconceptions...for example, the idea that an undercover police officer has to identify themselves as such if you ask.

When I first started learning Biblical Greek, my textbook said something that amounted to "if you think you've come up with an alternate translation that will fundamentally change Christian theology, the odds are good that you're wrong." I can only imagine the e-mails he gets.

Let's not forget the Legal Services Corporation, which gives funding to local legal aid agencies. These in turn allow poor people to do terrible liberal things like "sue the landlord who illegally evicted them" or "divorce and get child custody from an abusive spouse."

Wow, best Humble Bundle I've seen in awhile. There's some great games on there too that I've wanted to play: Overgrowth, Invisible Inc., Mini Metro, Chroma Squad...those alone are worth the $30.

There was a former ambassador to Russia on NPR this morning, who said that the big deal was lying to Mike Pence, and making him go on TV to defend Flynn.

What struck me, of course, was the hypocrisy -- lying to the American people is fine, but not to the boss. If this doesn't prove the egotism and lack of principle in the Trump regime, I don't know what will.

John Oliver remains my hero.

I think part of the problem, from a religious standpoint, is that those of us who profess more "leftist" (that word gets blurrier than usual when it comes to theology) social values from a religious starting point tend not to want power.

One silver lining, I think, to Trump's victory is that it shows that people are willing to vote for someone who isn't polished and bland, and whose every public statement hasn't been analyzed and focus-grouped to death. Maybe this will allow the kind of rhetoric that the author discusses.

posts and shares 12/12