Monday, July 23, 2007

Just when the slumber was getting pleasant

Suppose there is family down the street with a wayward son or daughter who is just not "right." Suppose this straying child has become enflamed about what is going on in Iraq. And suppose this child sends some internet advice (of a technical nature) to some "freedom fighters" (we would call them insurgents) whom the child has met on an internet board somewhere. And finally, suppose these insurgents actively and violently seek to disrupt our administration's goals in Iraq.

Of course, this is a very bad thing. Dangerous even. The government monitors such things. It even claims the authority to seize all the assets owned by such a wayward soul.

Now suppose in its zeal, the government freezes the bank accounts of the entire family, not just those of the foolish child. The family will not be able buy groceries. They will likely be scared and confused. They probably would be angry at their child too.

But suppose in the mean time you feel sorry for the neighbors and bring over a casserole as they try to sort this all out.

Under an Executive Order dated July 17, 2007, all of your own assets may be blocked and seized too.

"all property and interests in property of the following persons, that are in the United States, that hereafter come within the United States, . . . are blocked and may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in: any person determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense. . . ."

The persons this applies to are those who have been determined (by the government):

"(ii) to have materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, logistical, or technical support for, or goods or services in support of, such an act or acts of violence or any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order. . . ."

Of course, good people won't fall under this, right? The government isn't really going to freeze the assets of the neighbors down the street. And if they do, they wouldn't really go after someone who brought them a casserole, right?

Maybe, but the language of the order asserts that very option.

As Han Solo said when things got weird: "I've got a bad feeling about this, Chewey."


Lauren said...


"b) The prohibitions in subsection (a) of this section include, but are not limited to, (i) the making of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services by, to, or for the benefit of any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order, and (ii) the receipt of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services from any such person."

I suppose if any such person showed up at a church potluck, the whole church entity could be seized, though I would be embarrassed to be the government lawyer arguing for that.

But this does provide a convenient and patriotic excuse for not bringing food to anyone who is in need. Who knows where their children or grandchildren have been netsurfing?

Oh, isn't the signatory of this Order big on faith-based initiatives too? These things are too weird for me.

Vic said...

Yes, you are officially relieved of potluck duty pending the cessation of hostilities. . . .

It's for the children.

Lauren said...

Children never like my casseroles anyway.

I sure hope Congress doesn't cut war funding, forcing the gov to seize childrens' assets to pay for it.

Ruben said...

Well, I'm glad I have that excuse for failing to relieve the poor at my door.

Anonymous said...

Darn government.

If we wanted to see how much people value what the government does with their hard-earned money that it taxes away, then do away with payroll withholding, and see how many Americans would be eager to write out a paycheck for their tax liabilities at the end of the month. The whole system would fall apart.