Tag Archives: USA

US reaction to Honduran Crisis 2009

The wikileaked daily security briefing from the US Department of State, June 29, 2009, the morning after Honduras’ president Manuel Zelaya had been deposed, reveals that DoS did not label it a coup d’état. On the contrary, the text starts (in paragraph 13) with stating that “Honduran military forces arrested President Manuel Zelaya June 28 according to orders issued by the National Congress and the Supreme Court of Honduras.

Thus, with access to information from the ground in Honduras, USA DoS did not label it a coup. The text continues: “Zelaya was taken to a local air force base and flown to Costa Rica. Emergency Action Committee (EAC) Tegucigalpa subsequently met to discuss the ramifications of the seizure of the president by host-cost country military forces. The RSO noted the general climate in the capital was calm … Later in the day, Congress officially named Roberto Micheletti interim president”. The remainder relates only to the safety of US personnel on the ground.

From this security briefing, classified as SECRET//NOFORN (secret, no foreigners), two things are apparent: First, that the US Department of State did not regard the event as a coup; and second, that there is no indication of US involvement.

In combination with the cable sent by Ambassador Llorens July 23, this cable seems to confirm the suspicions in Honduras that the Department of State and the Embassy were not on the same page. While the DoS clearly seems to regard the change of president as legal, the ambassador clearly did not.

A detailed account of the events of June 28 have recently become available in a 622-page Spanish book by Honduran journalist Armando Cerrato (see Honduras Weekly). Among other things, he details how Zelaya was dressed, and what happened at his arrest, citing eye-witness accounts from the president’s own neighbors.

The very pajamas that Mel Zelaya was NOT wearing when he was flown to Costa Rica.
The very pajamas that Mel Zelaya was NOT wearing when he was flown to Costa Rica.

It turns out that a lot of the “facts” that has stirred the public opinion outside Honduras has been fabrications and propaganda lies. From the pajamas story to the concentration camps, insanely hysterical lies have been spread by Zelaya and his associates. Many of whom are criminals, according to another leaked cable, from the former ambassador – who warned of the power-grab that Zelaya was attempting.

The Truth Commission is still active in Honduras, so these leaked cables may be taken into account in their work to find out what happened. It is getting time to close this chapter. There are lots of facts that are not in dispute.

Nobody disputes that Zelaya was trying to hold a constituting constitutional assembly, nor that such an assembly is unconstitutional in Honduras. The difference is what weight one puts on the fact that it is unconstitutional. Zelaya’s supporters don’t care one bit that it is unconstitutional. His detractors do; they want rule of law.

Nobody disputes that the Supreme Court of Justice had ordered Zelaya to stop his plans. The difference is just that Zelaya’s supporters don’t care what the court says. His detractors do; they want rule of law.

Nobody disputes that Zelaya openly mocked the Supreme Court of Justice, the Election Tribunal, and the National Congress. The difference is just that Zelaya’s supporters don’t care. His detractors do; they want rule of law.

Nobody disputes that it was illegal for the military to send Zelaya in exile, but while Zelaya’s supporters regard that as proof of it being a military coup, his detractors don’t. They agree that it was illegal, but given that Zelaya would be deposed as president anyway by completely legal means, they see it as a justifiable crime to prevent the loss of life (the militaries have already been charged for it, and the court dismissed the charges for exactly that reason).

There is only one thing that speaks for it being a coup, and that is the way in which the president physically was removed from office. Everything else speaks for it being a constitutional succession in defense of an attempted coup by the president himself. So ask yourself, what matters more for justice: appearance, or substance?

USA may benefit from Cablegate

The leaking of thousands of diplomatic cables from USA by Wikileaks is of course an embarrassment for USA of giant proportions. However, it may actually benefit the country – especially its diplomatic service.

Now that a significant number has been released, we have got a number of revelations. An example: the US ambassador to Honduras, Charles Ford, considered in May 2008 then president Manuel Zelaya a threat to democracy. This was long before the latter started attempting to overthrow the Constitution of his country. In March 2009 Zelaya issued a decree about holding a referendum on a referendum on a Constituting Constitutional Assembly. The word “constituting” implies of course that the old constitution is thrown out first, which – self-evidently – is unconstitutional, undemocratic, illegal, and treasonous.

While it is encouraging to see that the US had so much insight into what was going on, the really revealing part is what does not appear in the cable. There is no suggestion or hint that the US should interfere in any undemocratic way itself. Rather, Ford’s advice to his successor is simply to stay close to Zelaya and keep repeating what the US interests are. Not to stab him in the back, but to keep behaving like a friend, albeit without trusting that he is a friend, because Ford did not consider Zelaya a friend of the US.

Where is the “smoking gun” for the “coup d’état”? Nowhere to be found. If anything, this indicates that Zelaya was the architect of his own destiny, intent to follow his secret mantra: “Socialism or Martyrdom – as long as I get rich in the process”.

What this and many other cables show is that the authors of them are, in general, well intentioned, and that they really believe in democracy and development to mutual benefit. The authors being persons in the US diplomatic service.

The lack of indication of any conspiracy should put those theories to rest. They are not helpful. They just lead to frustration.

During the Honduran political crisis in 2009 I had the opportunity to see this from the receiving end, when I as a blogger was in close contact with the Micheletti administration, trying to get first-hand news. The Micheletti administration was, as we all know, the target of the mother of all conspiracy theories, that of a military coup supported by the US, with all its implications. I could see how this conspiracy theory was created by hostile propaganda, and then distributed around the world by well-meaning, but uncritical media, bloggers, twitters, opinion-makers, politicians, and so on.

From the cables we now know that the US diplomatic service was aware of the activities of their enemies (the Castro-Chávez-Ahmedinajad axis), but the global public opinion was not. The public opinion bought into the axis’ propaganda. The leaking of these cables thus offer an opportunity of transparency, that will enable Americans, Europeans, Australians, Indians, and citizens of all other democracies, to erase the conspiracy theories from there mental maps. The more of the cables are released, the stronger this effect, but for full effect all have to be released.

Here is the conundrum. Consider Julian Assange. He should know what the content is, and if there are traces of conspiracies. He is right now spreading a conspiracy theory that he was set up in Sweden, as a way to get to WikiLeaks. However, the facts of the matter do not support that interpretation (see earlier posts here the last week). Why does he spread a conspiracy theory to his followers, if he wants to promote transparency and the truth? It doesn’t make sense.

The simplest explanation is probably that Assange himself cannot make sense of the Swedish accusations. Genus relations in Sweden are a bit different, women are much more assertive of their right to their bodies – and especially women who have or are working with those issues. Which is the case for one of the women he had casual sex with. She has every right to do what she did. Without knowing all the facts nobody should conclude that there is a conspiracy behind this; on the face of it, it all makes perfect sense. And as Assange’s Swedish lawyer told the press, justice does work in Sweden, he is not worried about the outcome.

As I see it, Assange would have been much better off accepting to be sent to Sweden, do the interview with the prosecutor, and trust that the case will be dismissed for lack of evidence. Unless, of course, he got someone pregnant. The Swedish legislation is quite strict about fatherhood and responsibilities. Or if he is HIV-positive; to get him tested for this was the original reason why the women went to the police, but Assange has steadfastly refused. If he has nothing to hide, why doesn’t he cooperate? And if he has something to hide, it is disingenuous to spread conspiracy theories designed to bolster his image among his followers. Bad taste. Assange seems to be falling prey to the very corrupting influence of power that he claims to be fighting against.

In all of this, the US diplomatic service comes out the winner. I take my hat off to them, and hope that foreign relations is moved entirely back to the diplomatic service and away from the “empire’s” military, since they have lost a tremendous amount of goodwill after previous leaks.

“U” i USA står nog för U-land

Döm själva. Skatteverket skickar ut ett kravbrev i vilket det påstås att ett företag i somras deklarerat att de för 2 år sedan hade en anställd för vilken de är skyldiga arbetsgivaravgifter, avgifter som företaget inte betalat in. De kräver dels den påstått självdeklarerade arbetsgivaravgiften, dels ränta, och dels straffavgift för att deklarationen kom in 2 år för sent.

Företaget kontaktar skatteverket och talar om att de inte har sänt in någon sådan deklaration. De hade nämligen ännu inga anställda vid den tid det gäller. Skatteverket nonchalerar skrivelsen och hotar med inkasso.

Företaget ringer då skatteverket och ber att få se den deklarationsblankett som de påstår sig ha fått. Men för att få se det bevis som skatteverket påstår sig ha för företagets skuld, måste företaget betala en avgift till skatteverket.

Det är Kafka-likt. Tänk dig att du är anklagad för fortkörning fast du vet att du kröp fram. Du vet att polisen har bevis för din oskuld, men för att få tillgång till de bevisen måste du betala polisen. Ren utpressning. Maffian hade inte kunnat organisera USAs skatteverk bättre.

Det är inte att undra på att USA håller på att gå käpprätt åt helvete. Vare sig det är galopperande inkompetens, eller det faktiskt är maffian som organiserat den federala byråkratin, så är det oroväckande för framtiden.

I USA kritiseras gärna FN för sin byråkrati, men min personliga erfarenhet är att FNs byråkrati är ett under av effektivitet jämfört med USAs byråkrati. Kanske beror på att FN fungerar på ett mycket svenskt sätt – vilket jag misstänker hänger ihop med Dag Hammarskjölds insats. En välfungerande byråkrati är maffians värsta fiende. Månne det är orsaken till att den organiserade brottslighet som infiltrerat USAs etablissemang hatar FN så hjärtligt?

Sit still in the boat, please!

Could the chaos described in this article be the beginning of the end of USA as we know it? In short, a database over property ownership that was created in USA in the careless decade that past, has broken the trail of title. In other words, the real title-holder is the last one to have a proper paper title, which may be a different person than the one registered in that private database. So?

Well, it means that a lot of lenders will have a very hard time to get their money back from borrowers. Tens of thousands of foreclosures have been stopped in all 23 states that require judicial review, but also the other states are affected.

This threatens to create utter chaos in the financial markets.

Remember last time that happened? The world economy was on the brink of collapse.

USA is slowly crawling out of the Great Recession, the largest economical downturn since the Great Depression. The latter was a double-dip recession. Will the Great Recession also get a second dip, and develop a W-shaped graph?

If the article I linked to is correct, there is reason for worry. The only thing left to happen for the bottom to fall out is if the financial markets panic again, as in 2008. So, please don’t panic. Sit still in the boat and let the captain and the crew sort out this problem, OK? And pray that they start getting serious with creating a proper government-controlled cadaster, and why not modeled on the one in Sweden.

This is serious. USA has to stop the brainless partisan fighting and start solving the issues.

USA needs OAS more than Honduras does

Honduras president “Pepe” Lobo has gone to great extremes to placate OAS so the country can be allowed back in. In the process he seems to have lost almost all support at home.

Already before he was inaugurated he went overseas and signed a paper that said that the deposing of Manuel Zelaya, in an arrest ordered by the Supreme Court for violating the Constitution, was a coup d’état. This was his first major mistake.

For 7 months interim president Micheletti had held the moral high ground by insisting that Zelaya had committed an autogolpe (a self-coup) and that his deposing was constitutional. He had done so under international isolation and sanctions. He had taken over a country without a budget, with ransacked coffers, and all credit in the banks that Honduras was and is a member of was frozen. Yet, in spite of governing over a bankrupt country he held the hill, the moral high ground, to the very end.

The end came not the day that Lobo was inaugurated, but a couple of weeks before when he called the event on June 28th a coup. At that time Micheletti graciously stepped back, refrained from criticizing Lobo, and instead ceded to the president-elect. From the people, on the other hand, a roar of fury went up. Especially, of course, from those who had voted for him.

The others, led by Zelaya, just said “so he is a golpista, now he has admitted what we knew all the time.”

The strategic blunder of giving up the high ground and getting nothing in return was just mind-boggling.

The next precipitous fall in grace came about 10 minutes after he had sworn his oath of office. When giving his inauguration speech he thanked Honduras enemies, those who had harmed the country, but in spite of calls from the audience for him to thank Micheletti – who had made his election possible – he did not do so. At that point half the audience rose up from their seats and left the stadium in protest, according to a blog by an employee of the US embassy. This was hidden from the TV audience, since the cameras stopped panning over the galleries.

I would venture to say that Lobo probably set a new world record in losing support quickly after an election.

Today one would be hard pressed to find someone who defends his policies in Honduras. The redshirts see him as a golpista, and the whiteshirts see him as either a fool or a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

In fact, that is a position he shares with the US ambassador, Hugo Llorens, who is believed by some to be the one who dictates to Lobo what to do and not to do.

Lobo has bent over backwards to be allowed back in to OAS. He seems willing to go as far as to talk about holding a constituyente, even though that is completely anti-constitutional in Honduras, and he risks running afoul of article 239 in the Constitution – the one that says that an elected official who even suggests reforming certain paragraphs in the Constitution immediately loses his office.

But why? Why does he spend so much time and energy to please people like Hugo Chávez, Zelaya, and Insulza, even though it is obvious to any child that there is nothing, NOTHING, that Lobo can say or do that will please them.

Why doesn’t Lobo instead spend all his energy on transforming Honduras into a modern capitalist entrepreneurial country, ready to compete with the world on the global marketplace – but with a socially responsible face?

Maybe the answer is that USA is controlling Lobo, and USA needs the OAS. There are many regional organizations in Latin America that Honduras is a member of, and that can replace OAS, but OAS is the only one that the US is a member of. It is the strategy of Chávez to isolate the US from Latin America by making OAS obsolete.

If Honduras would turn its back to OAS it would contribute to making OAS obsolete, and thus isolate USA. That’s why Obama is so desperate for Honduras to return to OAS.

But is it worth the price?

I’d say no. Honduras and USA would be better off creating a new partnership, with Canada and other countries that truly are for democracy – unlike, as we have seen, OAS under Insulza.

Time for a new course. Stand proud, Honduras, and stop trying to placate your enemies, Obama!

Why the Dems may lose Miami -> Florida -> USA

This year Florida will elect a new senator, in a three-way race between the Democrat Kendrick Meek, the Independent Charlie Crist, and the Republican Marco Rubio. Chances are slim that Meek will win. This is usually attributed to Democratic voters voting for “anybody who can beat Rubio,” but there may be another factor that the pundits have missed.

It is the traditional Achilles heel of the Democrats: Softness on foreign policy. The one causing the dissatisfaction was not Meek, but president Obama, secretary of state Clinton, and Senate foreign relations committee chairman Kerry. And the constituency group that this particularly affects are the Latinos.

Keep in mind that Miami is a Latino city, predominantly. And that Miami is big enough to flip the vote in all of Florida one way or the other. And that Florida is big enough to flip the national vote of president one way or the other – but I’m sure nobody will ever forget that.

Obama did get a significant support by Latinos in 2008, but that support has completely dissipated by now. There may be several reasons, but it seems to me that one reason in particular has not been getting the attention it deserves: Obama’s Latin America policy.

The crucial issue is Honduras

Actually, Honduras is just the tip of the iceberg, the overall issue being the spread of communism in Latin America, which the Democrats seem to do nothing to stop. In fact, it appears to many as though they actually like this change. And that is a sure way to lose voters in Miami…

The different perspective does not come from a difference in world view, but in a difference in information. Latinos typically watch Spanish-language news, the biggest of which is of course Univisión. These networks cover Latin America closely, while English-language networks give about the same amount of coverage to Latin America as they give to Mozambique, or Mongolia, or the Moon for that matter. When it comes to foreign countries about 99% of their coverage has been devoted to Iraq and Afghanistan the last few years.

When the president of Honduras was deposed on June 28, 2009, it therefore came as lightning from a clear sky, for the English-speakers in the U.S. Naturally, they believed the network when they said it was a military coup. They had no reason to think otherwise. English-speaking Democrats either agreed with Obama’s policy, or thought he didn’t go far enough.

Latinos (and others who prefer Spanish-language news due to it having higher quality), on the other hand, knew that a severe political crisis was playing out in Honduras. They knew that the president was openly defying the Supreme Court, the popularly elected Congress, all other institutions of government, and that he was leading a mob against his own military. They had heard over and over that he was suspected of carrying out an auto-golpe, and they knew that he was ignoring the checks and balances of the constitution. They also knew that several other presidents in Latin America had done the same thing in recent years, and that nobody had stopped them: Chávez, Correa, Morales.

When Honduras stopped Zelaya, many, if not most, Latinos in Miami considered it an anti-coup rather than a coup. Honduras became “the little country that could.” Virtually overnight, Obama-stickers disappeared from almost all cars in Miami.

When it comes to Latin America, Washington is rather ignorant. It is clear that at least some of them believe the outrageous lies and spin, no matter how lunatic it really is, that is being prepared by Hugo Chávez and signed by Mel Zelaya. Perhaps they haven’t realized that Mel sold his soul to Chávez to the tune of tens of millions of dollars. Or perhaps they don’t understand what Chávez is up to. Or else, perhaps they haven’t been able to come up with a counter-strategy, so they just stall for time. Who knows.

Meanwhile, unless Obama clearly changes policy visavi Honduras within the next two weeks, my prediction is that Miami will vote for Charlie Crist. Marco Rubio is probably too extreme for the majority (“miamians” may be fiscally conservative, but they are socially progressive), so in an effort to make sure that he won’t win, I figure that many Dems will vote for Crist.

If Obama’s present policy continues for two more years, chances are it will be his last in the White House.

The option

What option does Obama have visavi Honduras? First and foremost, he must clearly distance himself from the outrageous lies that Zelaya is spreading. Secondly, he must make it clear that he understands that,

  1. the Supreme Court of Honduras had the legal authority to issue an arrest order for the president,
  2. there was due cause for the Supreme Court to issue that arrest warrant on June 26,
  3. that the military in Honduras is constitutionally authorized to carry out tasks only done by the police in most other nations (and that it was Zelaya who started using the military for police work on a systematic scale),
  4. that the expatriating of Zelaya was a crime, but that the expatriating of Zelaya does not in any way relieve Zelaya from responsibility for the crimes he carried out before being expatriated,
  5. that the behavior of the security forces during and after the expatriation of Zelaya has been the target of systematic demonization by a deliberately executed and very refined propaganda apparatus, directed by Venezuela’s ruler Hugo Chávez,
  6. that the interim president Micheletti did all that was in his power to maintain public order and security, and to safeguard human rights, in spite of an onslaught of attack by foreign agents, paid demonstrators, and vilification in international media,
  7. that the Attorney General did prosecute the military for the expatriation of Zelaya, and that the Supreme Court did take up the case, but dismissed charges, and
  8. that the Supreme Court of Justice, democratically and constitutionally selected, is the highest legal authority in the country, which means that their rulings are the final word in the matter, as regards the sovereign Republic of Honduras.

A speech to this effect would serve several important purposes: First, it would win back at least a part of the lost support among Latinos who don’t want to see communism take over their native countries. Second, it would assure Hondurans in Honduras that the world has not gone completely mad, and that the rule of law still is the principle upon which civilization is built. Third, it would send a message to president Ortega in Nicaragua that USA has not thrown in the towel to Chávez, so he better stop his plans for an auto-golpe.

Finally, and most importantly, it would set a firm base of law for negotiating a new social pact in Honduras. The spread of popular tyranny in Latin America can be stopped by making it clear that a “constituyente” (i.e., overthrowing the constitution and letting a few more or less self-appointed persons write a new one without democratic input) is totally unacceptable, and that stopping a constituyente by any legal means possible is not just acceptable, but the duty of all who have sworn an oath of office to defend the constitution.

Whatever Obama does, he has to evaluate the strategy carefully, as a seasoned chess player would. Unless he recognizes that Chávez is actively waging a cold war against him, he will stand no chance. Nor will the position of the United States of America in the World.

Runaway incompetence in IRS

Since a little over a year I have been shocked over the extreme level of incompetence that I have encountered in IRS, the US tax agency. It started when they lost a form I sent them. Since they received the second form that was in the same envelope, I think we can be pretty sure it was IRS, and not USPS, who lost it.

After getting a request for the form some 2 months later, I sent in a copy, but due to an error in the copy printed from a file, I had to amend it. The problem with IRS seems to be that the left hand doesn’t know what the right is doing, and neither hand is connected to any sort of brain.

What happened is that they kept sending out requests for that form, and then for other forms, and over and over, from different offices. After a while they sent out statements that I owed them money, then a new letter came a few days later saying I didn’t owe them, and then I supposedly owed them again, and so on. Apparently, it took so long for them to process correspondence that their response was totally out of sync with the paper trail.

And here is my most damning criticism. When they do send out a claim, they fail to provide any sort of calculation or reference to the paper trail.

This is a deadly sin in any bureaucracy.

There is just no defense for it.

It is this incompetence that causes the entire problem. Let me give you an example. Today I got a letter saying that what I paid for a certain period was $355 less than what I filed for that same period. The letter did not mention neither how much I supposedly paid, nor how much I supposedly filed for, just the difference of $355.

It is beside the point that I neither paid nor filed for that period, what drives me nuts is that IRS sends out these anonymous letters without providing the necessary information for the taxpayer to be able to assess the validity of the claim, and respond to it.

Also, the letter is completely anonymous. Not even the initials of a person authorizing it. Could it be because nobody wants to be associated with it, knowing full well that it is fraudulent?

There is definitely a fish buried in IRS. Reforming USA might well start with reforming IRS (and the tax code). Most of the employees could surely be fired. They are obviously too incompetent to keep on taxpayers’ salary anyway.

Amend the 14th amendment!

The 14th amendment to the constitution of USA says “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States…”

The reason for the text passed 1868 was to explicitly make former slaves citizens, but the problem now is that it acts like a carrot, attracting illegal immigrants from Latin America. The immigrants figure that even if they have to live as illegals in the US their entire life, at least their children will become citizens and can stay legally. It is thus an immigration loophole. When the normal process takes upwards of 20 years, the difference is not so big to this illegal process. Even if it takes a generation, a generation is only about 20 years or so, right?

It also flies in the face of international law. International law, valid in the US as well, states that every child gets the citizenship of his or her parents. For instance, a child born to a woman with US citizenship abroad will still get US citizenship. Thus, the US applies that principle, which now is the international norm. There is no reason to hold on to the rule from 1868.

Thus, since there are strong reasons to abandon it, and no reason to keep it, a constitutional amendment should be introduced to change the rule of citizenship explicitly to be determined by the parents’ citizenship(s), not the country of birth. (Note that amendment 14 contains also other provisions and sections, that serve a purpose.)

USA-imperialismen i Latinamerika fortsätter

Härom dagen kallade USAs ambassadör i Honduras, Hugo Llorens, till sig ledarna för det Liberala Partiet. Omedelbart därefter sa Roberto Micheletti upp sig som partiledare [Rättelse: Ledningen röstade att avsätta Micheletti med endast 3 röster mot, och en nerlagd, enligt senare uppgifter]. Enligt min källa är alla utom 3 eller 4 i ledningen nu inne på att Manuel Zelaya skall komma tillbaka till Honduras, få alla anklagelser om korruption avskrivna, och återuppta sitt politiska engagemang som partiledare trots att han försökt begå en statskupp. Men å andra sidan, Hugo Chavez i Venezuela och Adolf Hitler i Tyskland begick också statskuppförsök, satt i fängelse för dem, men återvände sedan till att väljas till ledare för sina respektive länder (där de helt förutsägbart sedan förstörde demokratin). Så det finns ju prejudikat.

Men varför i böveln reser inte vänstern sig som en man och protesterar mot denna USA-imperialism, att blanda sig i hur ett politiskt parti i ett annat land väljer sina ledare? Har vänstern gått och blivit cynisk nu när USA går deras ärende? Har de ingen etisk och moralisk kompass? Är de lika korrupta som fascisterna?

Joseph Stack’s beef with the tax law of the USA

The engineer who flew his plane into IRS, thus killing at least one person on the ground apart from himself, had a concrete complaint. I just heard Rachel Maddow say that she couldn’t find anything concrete in his posting. Well, I could. Check the conference committee report on IRS section 1706, the amendment of 1978.

Basically, it is about if a worker should be counted as an employee or an independent contractor (in Swedish: anställd eller egen företagare). What that amendment did was to say that engineers and some other professions should never be considered independent contractors. That’s kind of harsh, but now to the part that is mind-boggling: Even if they work for another corporation they are to be considered an employee of the hiring corporation (provided that they control the corporation they work for). This was Joseph’s beef.

Consider this example. Company A hires company B to do a job, and company B subcontracts company C to provide engineer D to carry out the services. Company C may have thousands of employees, but it is owned by engineer D, so he controls it. Therefore company B must pay taxes for D as if he was an employee.

What happens is of course that the overhead of company C gets slapped with personal income tax and social security fees! Of the little that is left, company C must then pay its corporate taxes, its staff, their income taxes, their social security fees, and its capital gains taxes.

The result I would expect from this tax provision is of course the death of the small engineering firm in the US. I came here in 2002, when this draconian law had been doing its work for almost a quarter of a century. I soon noticed that there was no point in looking for engineers here. Much better to turn to Sweden for such services. And now I think I may know why. This law may effectively have pulled the rug from under US entrepreneurship, but it has not affected the ability of foreign engineering suppliers to compete on the US market.

This is an “aha-experience.” I did not know about this rule (as it doesn’t affect me), but it may potentially explain A LOT when it comes to why the US has lost its economical leadership in the world. Yes, “has” lost. The full effect of the downturn of the US industry has not yet been seen, as it will continue for years due to the lack of engineers and entrepreneurs in the technical fields, but the pole position is surely lost.

Returning to the law, it violates basic common sense and decency. A corporation is a legal person and this personhood must be respected by the tax code. The amendment mentioned violates the personhood of company C. Thereby it also violates the rights of person D to freely engage in business. I would think there might be a good case to be made for this violating person D:s civil rights, and indeed human rights.

Too bad Joseph Stack is dead, as I would have wanted to see this go through the legal system to the highest level in the US – and internationally if need be. This really sticks out as a nail in the eye of the “land of the free.”