Trading Benjamins

Chinese yuan with Chairman Mao
My 14-year-old son is going to China next month, along with a group of classmates and chaperones. Yesterday I went to Wells Fargo to exchange $400USD for Chinese yuan. A small currency exchange, cash for cash, very routine. To accomplish the task, however, I was required to provide two forms of identification. This was not a glance-at-the-information kind of ID check, which would’ve been pointless to begin with. No, the clerk put the information into the bank’s data base before handing me the money.

I asked her, “Why on earth do you need my personal information to exchange currency?” She said, under her breath, “Have you ever heard of the Patriot Act? The government requires us to gather this information so they can identify potential terrorists.” She went on to tell me that Wells Fargo is the only bank in town still willing to deal in foreign currency. The other banks have opted out so they don’t have to jump through government hoops and engage in data mining to benefit our nosy and intrusive administration.

Walking out of the bank with my red notes, Chairman Mao watching me, gave me a creepy sense of foreboding.

Illegal raid on Eldorado religious compound goes by without protest

Fundamentalist Church of the Latter Day SaintsThe illegal government raid on the Eldorado religious compound has gone by unprotested by all for a week now. While we have no love for any Right Wing Christian cultists, let alone these split off fundamentalist Mormons, we have a hard time understanding why the liberals and Left of this country are so nonchalant about this particular governmental violation of fundamental US citizen civil liberties? You cannot expect for others to respect your own rights if you stay silent in cases like this.

This raid at Eldorado, Texas was made seemingly without any evidence against anybody, resulted in no material arrests for any crimes supposedly committed before the raid, and separated hundreds of children from their fathers and mothers. And the liberal community wants to act as if nothing important is going on, and that all has been done legal and fair? It is all very sad, though it seems very typical of the liberal community to see them respond in such a manner.

Meanwhile, the government propaganda against this pathetic religious sect continues unabated in the press. It is typical of the type of government propaganda meant to justify almost all government actions, and includes unsubstantiated charges, calls for harsh judgment against myriad unspecified people, and a total self justification about why the government has thrown these 417 kids into the miserable Texas Child Protective Services Department’s control. Hardly any ‘liberation’ for these kids at all.

At least one liberal has stepped up to the plate at this time; that liberal being Gerald Goldstein, attorney for the religious group under attack. Unfortunately, he does not seem to be doing a very good job at getting out his client’s case before the general American public. It is time for others to begin to question how this raid was initiated and handled, to question who are the major government players in the whole affair, and to question their motives for making a small case against one accused man a monstruos call for almost lynch mob hysteria against a whole group of people?

We should not doubt for a moment, that our government misleaders want always to create comic book villains for the general public to make us hysterical about, in order top better mislead all of us to a sorry end. That is what their Eldorado, Texas ‘event’ is all about. These people under the gun now deserve our defense for their civil liberties, though they do not deserve much respect for their religious belief system. Wrong as they might be, they are people who have rights, and not just media and government made monsters for us to cast our scorn upon.