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HR 3311: Vehicle Tracking Devices and Road Taxes

HR 3311: Vehicle Tracking Devices and Road Taxes

Noworldsystem.com
September 21, 2009

This is just one of many bills that is evidence that America is falling into an Orwellian police state, the eye of big government, tax slavery and despotism is becoming even more clear as the republic fades into the night.

Democratic Congressman Earl Blumenauer has introduced HR 3311, if passed the Senate would use $154 million of taxpayer money to fund the development of vehicle tracking devices and roadside RFID scanning devices that would record your everyday driving habits for the sake of creating a new taxation scheme and quite possibly help law enforcement penalize every mistake you make on the road. The money would also be used to research and study how to enforce this on a nationwide scale and how to present this scheme to the public as something necessary to fund failing infrastructures.

The bill will allow the US Treasury Department to establish this program which is called the “Road User Free Pilot Project” that was developed by Oregon legislators to impose a gas tax on Oregon motorists, the pilot program now studies the Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) tax instead, to better track and tax motorists. Within eighteen months of the HR 3311 passing the US Treasury would file an initial report outlining the best methods of adopting this new tax scheme on a nationwide scale.

Here’s what the bill’s sponsor, Congressman Blumenauer had to say about this insidious track and tax plan: “Oregon has successfully tested a Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) fee, and it is time to expand and test the VMT program across the country,”!

Just imagine all vehicles in the United States fitted with this federal tracking device, why don’t they just shackle us all and tax every footstep we make while they are at it!?! This is completely un-constitutional and threatens the 4th amendment of the United States constitution, I doubt that anyone would actually accept something this Orwellian to be used against them.. but of course I’m sure if this bill passes all new vehicles would be secretly fitted with these devices without anyone knowing about it.

Here is what we know the device is capable of recording:

1. The device can calculate miles driven based on GPS data
2. The device can store the number of miles driven
3. The device can determine when the vehicle has left certain states
4. The device can store the states the vehicle entered
5. The device can determine what time a vehicle was being driven
6. The device can store the times the vehicle was driven
7. The device can produce all data stored since its last reading

This device must be receiving precise positional data as an input from its GPS unit. It must also have a clock set to the real time and date as an input. This means that the device is getting data on the exact position of the vehicle at any moment, and that the control software is only storing certain data-points based on this. This is an adequate privacy safeguard, right? Probably not.

Considering this is a tax device, it will very likely need to be updated to reflect changes in the tax law. The need for this capability is clear. One year, the zone around Portland might incur a tax at any time of day, the next year only during rush hour. Oregon’s program might spread to other states, so now the control software in the device has to start recording miles driven in those states as well. If this is the case, then the control software could one day be updated in nearly any way, including complete tracking of movement and speed.

The other thing to consider is that the readers for these devices will be readily available, since every gas station in the state will need one. Even if the software stays the same, there’s nothing stopping a rogue police department from getting its hands on a reader and using it to gather info on people. More likely, though, if these devices became pervasive, law enforcement would push to have readers of their own.

Imagine this scenario: You’re driving a car with one of these GPS devices at the leisurely clip of 60 MPH on the highway leading into Klamath Falls. Like all highways in Oregon, the limit is still 55 MPH. A cop catches you going over the limit and pulls you over. You go through the normal rigmarole with him, except this time he checks your GPS devices and finds out that you’ve exceeded 55 MPH in the state of Oregon 22 times since the device was last read. You leave this encounter with 22 speeding tickets instead of one.

That scenario is possible with the hardware described in the device and minimal changes in the software. Only the good will of the Oregon state government is keeping it from being so. Should Oregonians really rely on that alone to protect their privacy? [Source]

Federal Proposal Would Spend $154 Million on Vehicle Tracking Tax

H.R. 3311 is an oxymoron

HR 3311: The Vehicle Tracking Bill

London drivers may face “pay as you drive” road taxes

 



RNC police brutality and torture victims speak out

RNC police brutality and torture victims speak out

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sqsqQ7VLMM0

 

Queensland Police Brutality

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YayrYBnHOMM

 

Aiken County Sheriff stops group for saggy pants

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=orezyNziUQ0

Rio Cops ‘Kill Three People A Day’
http://uk.news.yahoo.com/skynews/20080916/twl-rio-cops-kill-three-people-a-day-3fd0ae9.html

Cop who arrested TV cameraman has been fired
http://kob.com/article/stories/S578979.shtml?cat=500

Delaware Bridge cops want toll cheats’ money, or their cars
http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/186/story/260008.html

 



Cities Debate Privatizing Public Infrastructure

Cities Debate Privatizing Public Infrastructure

NY Times
August 29, 2008

Cleaning up road kill and maintaining runways may not sound like cutting-edge investments. But banks and funds with big money seem to think so.

Reeling from more exotic investments that imploded during the credit crisis, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, the Carlyle Group, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse are among the investors who have amassed an estimated $250 billion war chest — much of it raised in the last two years — to finance a tidal wave of infrastructure projects in the United States and overseas.

Their strategy is gaining steam in the United States as federal, state and local governments previously wary of private funds struggle under mounting deficits that have curbed their ability to improve crumbling roads, bridges and even airports with taxpayer money.

With politicians like Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger of California warning of a national infrastructure crisis, public resistance to private financing may start to ease.

“Budget gaps are starting to increase the viability of public-private partnerships,” said Norman Y. Mineta, a former secretary of transportation who was recently hired by Credit Suisse as a senior adviser to such deals.

This fall, Midway Airport of Chicago could become the first to pass into the hands of private investors. Just outside the nation’s capital, a $1.9 billion public-private partnership will finance new high-occupancy toll lanes around Washington. This week, Florida gave the green light to six groups that included JPMorgan, Lehman Brothers and the Carlyle Group to bid for a 50- to 75 -year lease on Alligator Alley, a toll road known for sightings of sleeping alligators that stretches 78 miles down I-75 in South Florida.

Until recently, the use of private funds to build and manage large-scale American infrastructure assets was slow to take root. States and towns could raise taxes and user fees or turn to the municipal bond market.

Americans have also been wary of foreign investors, who were among the first to this market, taking over their prized roads and bridges. When Macquarie of Australia and Cintra of Spain, two foreign funds with large portfolios of international investments, snapped up leases to the Chicago Skyway and the Indiana Toll Road, “people said ‘hold it, we don’t want our infrastructure owned by foreigners,’ ” Mr. Mineta said.

And then there is the odd romance between Americans and their roads: they do not want anyone other than the government owning them. The specter of investors reaping huge fees by financing assets like the Pennsylvania Turnpike also touches a raw nerve among taxpayers, who already feel they are paying top dollar for the government to maintain roads and bridges.

And with good reason: Private investors recoup their money by maximizing revenue — either making the infrastructure better to allow for more cars, for example, or by raising tolls. (Concession agreements dictate everything from toll increases to the amount of time dead animals can remain on the road before being cleared.)

Politicians have often supported the civic outcry: in the spring of 2007, James L. Oberstar of Minnesota, chairman of the House Committees on Transportation and Infrastructure, warned that his panel would “work to undo” any public-private partnership deals that failed to protect the public interest.

And labor unions have been quick to point out that investment funds stand to reap handsome fees from the crisis in infrastructure. “Our concern is that some sources of financing see this as a quick opportunity to make money,” Stephen Abrecht, director of the Capital Stewardship Program at the Service Employees International Union, said.

But in a world in which governments view infrastructure as a way to manage growth and raise productivity through the efficient movement of goods and people, an eroding economy has forced politicians to take another look.

“There’s a huge opportunity that the U.S. public sector is in danger of losing,” says Markus J. Pressdee, head of infrastructure investment banking at Credit Suisse. “It thinks there is a boatload of capital and when it is politically convenient it will be able to take advantage of it. But the capital is going into infrastructure assets available today around the world, and not waiting for projects the U.S., the public sector, may sponsor in the future.”

Traditionally, the federal government played a major role in developing the nation’s transportation backbone: Thomas Jefferson built canals and roads in the 1800s, Theodore Roosevelt expanded power generation in the early 1900s. In the 1950s Dwight Eisenhower oversaw the building of the interstate highway system.

But since the early 1990s, the United States has had no comprehensive transportation development, and responsibilities were pushed off to states, municipalities and metropolitan planning organizations. “Look at the physical neglect — crumbling bridges, the issue of energy security, environmental concerns,” said Robert Puentes of the Brookings Institution. “It’s more relevant than ever and we have no vision.”

The American Society of Civil Engineers estimates that the United States needs to invest at least $1.6 trillion over the next five years to maintain and expand its infrastructure. Last year, the Federal Highway Administration deemed 72,000 bridges, or more than 12 percent of the country’s total, “structurally deficient.” But the funds to fix them are shrinking: by the end of this year, the Highway Trust Fund will have a several billion dollar deficit.

“We are facing an infrastructure crisis in this country that threatens our status as an economic superpower, and threatens the health and safety of the people we serve,” New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg told Congress this year. In January he joined forces with Mr. Schwarzenegger and Gov. Edward G. Rendell of Pennsylvania to start a nonprofit group to raise awareness about the problem.

Some American pension funds see an investment opportunity. “Our infrastructure is crumbling, from bridges in Minnesota to our airports and freeways,” said Christopher Ailman, the head of the California State Teachers’ Retirement System. His board recently authorized up to about $800 million to invest in infrastructure projects. Nearby, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, with coffers totaling $234 billion, has earmarked $7 billion for infrastructure investments through 2010. The Washington State Investment Board has allocated 5 percent of its fund to such investments.

Some foreign pension funds that jumped into the game early have already reaped rewards: The $52 billion Ontario Municipal Employee Retirement System saw a 12.4 percent return last year on a $5 billion infrastructure investment pool, above the benchmark 9.9 percent though down from 14 percent in 2006.

“People are creating a new asset class,” said Anne Valentine Andrews, head of portfolio strategy at Morgan Stanley Infrastructure. “You can see and understand the businesses involved — for example, ships come into the port, unload containers, reload containers and leave,” she said. “There’s no black box.”

The prospect of steady returns has drawn high-flying investors like Kohlberg Kravis and Morgan Stanley to the table. “Ten to 20 years from now infrastructure could be larger than real estate,” said Mark Weisdorf, head of infrastructure investments at JPMorgan. In 2006 and 2007, more than $500 billion worth of commercial real estate deals were done.

The pace of recent work is encouraging, says Robert Poole, director of transportation studies at the Reason Foundation, pointing to projects like the high-occupancy toll, or HOT, lanes outside Washington. “The fact that the private sector raised $1.4 billion for the Beltway project shows that even projects like HOT lanes that are considered high risk can be developed and financed privately and that has huge implications for other large metro areas,” he said .

Yet if the flow of money is fast, the return on these investments can be a waiting game. Washington’s HOT lanes project took six years to build after Fluor Enterprises, one of the two private companies financing part of the project, made an unsolicited bid in 2002. The privatization of Chicago’s Midway Airport was part of a pilot program adopted by the Federal Aviation Administration in 1996 to allow five domestic airports to be privatized. Twelve years later only one airport has met that goal — Stewart International Airport in Newburgh, N.Y. — and it was sold back to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

For many politicians, privatization also remains a painful process. Mitch Daniels, the governor of Indiana, faced a severe backlash when he collected $3.8 billion for a 75- year lease of the Indiana Toll Road. A popular bumper sticker in Indiana reads “Keep the toll road, lease Mitch.”

Joe Dear, executive director of the Washington State Investment Board, still wonders how quickly governments will move. “Will all public agencies think it’s worth the extra return private capital will demand?” he asked. “That’s unclear.”

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London drivers may face “pay as you drive” road taxes

London drivers may face “pay as you drive” road taxes

David Millward
London Telegraph
August 18, 2008


A prototype road-pricing device: the scheme involves a satellite tracking a vehicle’s movements. Motorists will then receive a bill for their time on the road

Motorists are being warned they may face “pay as you drive” road taxes as ministers launch the first ever trials of a scheme that could see them charged for every mile they drive.

The Telegraph can disclose that the Government is pushing ahead with plans for a national road-pricing scheme, including testing “spy in the sky” technology.

Eight areas of the country have been selected by ministers for secret pay-per-mile trials which will begin in 2010 and are expected to pave the way for tolls on motorways.

Motorists face paying up to £1.30 a mile during peak periods on the busiest roads.

Gordon Brown was thought to be against national road pricing, a flagship policy of the Blair administration.

But the detailed level of planning now underway indicates the issue it set to become a key battleground in the next general election – which is likely to coincide with the trials beginning.

It will leave Ruth Kelly, the Transport Secretary, particularly vulnerable as she defends her marginal Bolton West constituency.

The Daily Telegraph has learnt that eight areas – Leeds, North Yorkshire, Milton Keynes and Buckinghamshire, south west London, Suffolk and Essex – have been selected for the trials.

Read Full Article Here

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U.S. Roads, Airports Being Sold To Private Investors

U.S. Roads, Airports Being Sold To Private Investors

Reuters
August 4, 2008

Cash-strapped U.S. state and city governments are likely to sell or lease more highways, bridges, airports and other assets to investors desperate for stable returns after being frazzled by the credit crisis.

The trend is set to pick up speed given worsening budget deficits in state capitals and city halls nationwide.

It will also be welcomed by Wall Street bankers hoping to help create and market so-called “infrastructure” transactions at a time many debt markets remain paralyzed, and after major U.S. stock indexes fell into bear market territory.

“When you are nervous about everything else, you put your money in a toll road,” said John Schmidt, a partner at the law firm Mayer Brown LLP in Chicago. “That’s the logic of infrastructure. Returns are stable and predictable. You won’t get fabulously rich, but you’ll get stable cash flow.”

The latest enthusiasm for at least partially privatizing infrastructure assets came on July 30 from New York Gov. David Paterson, who is trying to plug a budget deficit caused in part by lower tax revenue as Wall Street retrenches.

“We’re just looking at ways to be more efficient and that’s why I used the term public-private partnerships — trying to find some creative solutions,” Paterson said. “The reason I’m avoiding taxes is because I think taxes are addictive.”

Bankers and others in the industry say there is pent-up demand from dedicated infrastructure funds and public pension funds to invest in hard assets — perhaps $75 billion to $150 billion of equity capital — but not enough supply.

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McCain and Obama Support National ID Card

Barr Blasts McCain and Obama for Supporting National ID, Again Urges Congress to Repeal Real ID Act

Bob Barr 2008
August 1, 2008

“’September 11’ has become the catch-all excuse for virtually every proposed expansion of government power,” notes Bob Barr, the Libertarian Party nominee for president. “One example is a national identification card and data base, long desired by some in government, and which was mandated by legislation passed by the Congress in 2005 with the support of both Senators McCain and Obama. Although I was no longer in the Congress when this bad legislation was passed, I had vigorously opposed it in the years since it became law, just as I led the successful effort to rescind a previous mandate for a national ID card.”

Unfortunately, he explains, “the Real ID Act establishes a new and privacy-invasive national ID card program. By forcing states to standardize their driver’s licenses and creating a vast national data base of private information on the citizenry, the law establishes through the back door something Americans would never have accepted directly—a National Identification Card.” In fact, “there was no open and honest vote on Real ID. The mandate was slipped into a supplemental appropriations bill, discouraging any real debate over the issue.”

“Creating anything close to a national ID card threatens Americans’ basic civil liberties and privacy while doing little or nothing to make us more secure,” warns Barr. The legislation also “means higher fees, longer lines, and greater inconvenience for Americans getting a driver’s license. The burden on states, which have to redesign and remake state licenses and include all manner of information on citizens applying for new driver’s licenses, would be extremely high and immensely costly, since they would have to restructure computer databases, security systems, verification measures, and more.”

Read Full Article Here

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CBC Airs NAU Propaganda Mini Series

CBC Airs NAU Propaganda Mini Series

Rogue Government
April 2, 2008

The CBC is airing a mini series called Trojan Horse. In the film, Canada is merged with the United States. This is most likely being aired to get the Canadian people used to the idea of a merged North American Union. Below are some video clips taken from the mini series.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2M9m_u55i4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cfapw7wlj-0

 

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