They Stole His Money, Her Money & Mine Too

Column by Doug Herman.

Exclusive to STR 

Just before the holidays, I walked into my local Wells Fargo bank to cash a small birthday check one of my sisters gave to me. Imagine my surprise when the teller informed me my small savings account was closed. I told her she was mistaken, and asked her to please check again; I knew I had about $800 in the account and I never use the ATM and don’t even have an ATM card. So she looked again and said she was sorry.

Empty. Damn.

So I went home and called my brother who shared the account. He looked up the account online and said all $800 was withdrawn and that a lien was put against my hard-earned dollars by the state of California, allegedly for back taxes owed in 1998. At the time, I lived in California but never worked there. I worked in Alaska, so I wondered how California felt entitled to go into my account and just take my money. Later I got my paper statement from Well Fargo and this is what it said.

11/ 9   Ending Daily Balance: $805.87

11/ 16  Legal Order To Withhold:   $705.87

11/ 16  Legal Processing Fee: $100.00

Ending Balance on 11/ 30:     $0.00


About a week later, I found myself in California visiting relatives. As I drove along I-405, I noticed a huge billboard for Wells Fargo. “You’ll Know When You’ve Been Bad or Good.” I smiled to myself. The Too Big to Fail Banks are also home to the Too Big To Jail bankers and their DC enablers. People are robbed blind every day, in broad daylight, as they say.

After WF allowed the plunder of my account, they sent me lots of nice letters in the mail. One even stated: “With you when the season calls for celebrating” and assuring me that they were on my side to keep my credit rating strong, etc.

I like California, I really do. A great, golden state with lots of upside, California is part of our mythical, historical, myth-making America. Unfortunately, like a lot of states, California is basically bankrupt.

About the same time California got the legal “right” to empty my account, one of California’s public officials, decided to pepper spray peaceful protestors at the University of California at Davis. Seems the campus police chief, Annette Spicuzza, who is basically a taxpayer-subsidized public servant for a bankrupt state, earns $140,000 PER YEAR. So in a way, my stolen $800 went to pay Annette the equivalent of 1-2 days of her salary. Must be tough fighting crime at a California campus. Not long after that incident, Annette was put on suspended (paid) leave. No money was taken from her account. 

They Stole His Money Too 

About the same time my account was emptied to pay police chief Annette, somebody decided to steal more than a billion dollars from the private, segregated accounts of 600,000 investors at MF Global. One of those allegedly secure accounts belonged to Gerald Celente. Seems Gerald was about to take delivery of a large amount of precious metal, which he had paid in full to acquire. Instead, at the last moment, his money and his metal disappeared, along with the so-called secured funds of some 600,000 other investors at MFG.

Seems the head of MF Global, Jon “The Don” Corzine, simply pleaded ignorance and washed his hands of the entire, blatant, broad-daylight embezzlement. Much like Jerry Sandusky washed his hands of the whole pedophile scandal at Penn State University. Corzine and Sandusky got away with screwing little people, unlike Bernie Madoff, who swindled the wrong BIG people. Corzine has BIG, connected friends and so Corzine continues to walk free today. In a Kleptocracy, you can steal with impunity IF you steal from powerless little people and are protected by other powerful BIG people like yourself. 

What? You didn’t realize you and your kids are being robbed and raped daily? Eisenhower stated it in pure English for those trusting Americans who have a difficult time understanding their native language: “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.”


So my meager $800 goes to pay the SWAT team of pepper sprayers at UC Davis, uniformed officers who should have called in with “blue flu.” Meanwhile, YOUR hard-earned taxpayer dollars goes to pay the $2 billion for the Egyptian thugs who beat up the “blue bra girl” and killed hundreds of other peaceful protestors. And your children’s accounts are emptied of $2 billion to pay for the Israeli special forces who killed some peaceful protestors on a ship heading to Gaza, still in international waters. Your stolen tax payer dollars also pay for the SWAT team that killed an American veteran here in Tucson, Arizona. Shot dozens of times in cold blood and left to die. Theft and murder on a grand scale in broad daylight and no one held accountable. 

They Stole Her Money Too 

When a Kleptocracy spins completely out of control, as this American Kleptocracy appears to be doing, ordinary people begin to lose ALL confidence in the swindle no matter what political party the swindlers claim to represent. Once the confidence is lost, once the Con game is open and exposed, the game collapses. Soon, enough people begin to sound the alarm, the rigged game is over. Swindler’s List suddenly becomes a blacklist of con artists to avoid. 

About the same time Gerald’s account was stolen, along with another half million investors, a woman named Ann Barnhardt, a small trader in agricultural futures, wrote her clients this letter.

“Dear Clients, Industry Colleagues and Friends of Barnhardt Capital Management. It is with regret and unflinching moral certainty that I announce that Barnhardt Capital Management has ceased operations. After six years of operating as an independent introducing brokerage, and eight years of employment as a broker before that, I found myself, this morning, for the first time since I was 20 years old, watching the futures and options markets open not as a participant, but as a mere spectator.

“The reason for my decision to pull the plug was excruciatingly simple: I could no longer tell my clients that their monies and positions were safe in the futures and options markets – because they are not. And this goes not just for my clients, but for every futures and options account in the United States. The entire system has been utterly destroyed by the MF Global collapse. Given this sad reality, I could not in good conscience take one more step as a commodity broker, soliciting trades that I knew were unsafe or holding funds that I knew to be in jeopardy.”

Their money was stolen. Her livelihood was stolen. Your children’s future was stolen. In a kleptocracy, theft is the First Commandment. Denial of justice is the Second.

The single silver lining in this whole litany of theft is that the Powers That Be have probably picked the two best worst people to swindle. Gerald and Ann resemble a couple of pit bulls, and you can hear and heed their words on a hundred videos. At least until the kleptocrats shut the Internet down completely.

Postscript: The huge concerted effort to discredit Constitutionalists and sound money advocates like Ron Paul continues on a regular basis. Recently, one columnist named Kevin Drum went so far as to accuse Ron of being "a full-bore crank" and in favor of "gold-buggery" (sic). As if Ron was a sidekick of Jerry Sandusky in the pedophile scandal. Gold buggery = boy buggery, right?

I'm surprised the mainstream media hasn't somehow linked Ron Paul to Jon Benet Ramsey's disappearance or the Bernie Madoff missing billions. Give them enough time and they might. 

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Douglas Herman's picture
Columns on STR: 149

Award winning artist, photographer and freelance journalist, Douglas Herman can be found wandering the back roads of America. Doug authored the political crime thriller, The Guns of Dallas  and wrote and directed the Independent feature film,Throwing Caution to the Windnaturally a "road movie," and credits STR for giving him the impetus to write well, both provocatively and entertainingly. A longtime gypsy, Doug completed a 10,000 mile circumnavigation of North America, by bicycle, at the age of 35, and still wanders between Bullhead City, Arizona and Kodiak, Alaska with forays frequently into the so-called civilized world of Greater LA. Write him at Roadmovie2 @


Marvin's picture

Mr. Douglas Herman, I am glad to see another article from you. I have enjoyed your past articles very much and it is through them that I found STR. I enjoy your frank style of writing and the simplicity of the message of individual freedom. Thank you for all your work and still looking forward to when you write about the myriad of jobs you've had over the years. (Especially Porn actor)

Samarami's picture

Let this be an 800 frn ("federal reserve note") lesson-learning experience, Doug. Recognize that large numbers of persons over long periods of time have been led to redefine reality into fantasy (or vise versa might be the better way to phrase it -- reality being redefined to fantasy). You and I have been at the low end of that chain until we began to understand and re-redefine ourselves back to as close to reality as possible, along with a small percentage of others who are dipping their toes into the icy waters of liberty. And your 800 frn loss is the price of getting a glimpse of the insanity that has gradually become the social norm.

Liberty, I think, is redefining oneself back to reality. "California" took nothing from you. Predators and their fawning parasites who claim to govern and rule a group of folks residing on a parcel of land we've come to refer to as "California" stole that resource from you. But you had consigned that asset unknowingly into their hands by opening an account and making what we've been conditioned to call a "deposit". The 805.87 digital figure was supposed to represent the value of your hard-earned labor and ingenuity in Alaska -- or at least you and millions like you were led to believe that's what it represented.

Banks at one time in remote history were legitimate enterprises in a free market economy. Over a long period of time, culminating with the advent of the "federal reserve act" scam and the "16th amendment" fraud, they have morphed into extensions of the thievery process called "our government".

Through fiat, it has become a requirement that "we" use these gse's ("government sponsored enterprises") to tend to our daily exchanges. Many have tried barter, but that's a cumbersome process. Precious metals have been virtually outlawed as a means by which to store and conduct daily exchanges of value between persons. Other than the uses Gwardion outlined above, precious metal coins and bullion would be and have been in history convenient methods, but that made it difficult for the predators of state to conduct their thievery, so they forbid gold or silver as means of exchange.

A sociopath by the name of Roosevelt even went to the extent of demanding all gold be brought to "banks" to exchange for devalued fraudulent tickets called "dollars", and made trade in specie "illegal". Compliant serfs marched to "banks" in droves. Freemen kept and sometimes buried theirs -- some of which could be dug up today if one knew where to dig.

It is probably wise to make as little use of the Wells Fargo's of the world as practicable. I switched to a local credit union sometime back, but I wouldn't trust them with more than enough to exchange my revenue for needed services. I keep some frn's in printed form, and try to pay in "cash" (a false use of the language) wherever convenient. I believe in storing wealth in non-perishable commodities and/or specie in safe locations.

But most important of all: Abstain From Beans.


golefevre's picture

Gold is so worthless. Throw away your personal computer. Or Mac, as the case may be. Hunting and gathering? There's an "app" for that!

Curse you Farmer John too for giving us all the extra time to spend in front of video screens.

KenK's picture

Something similar happened to me after my father died. It is hard to express the angry and ripped-off emotional reaction to having your stuff stolen aided and abetted by the very people you entrusted your stuff with. Maddening. I feel for you Doug.

Darkcrusade's picture

You never give me your money (gold/silver) You only give me your funny paper.(fiat FRN.)

The ultimate metal, gold, became the final store of value for a variety of reasons:
1. Gold was universally accepted; 2. it was malleable, and had the capacity to be minted into small quantities; 3. it was in short supply and difficult to locate: the quantity of gold couldn't be increased rapidly, thereby reducing its ability to be inflated;, 4. because of its scarcity, it soon acquired a high value per unit; 5. it was easily portable; 6. gold also had other uses. It could be used in jewelry, in art, and in industry; 7. lastly, gold was extremely beautiful.

Jim Davies's picture

My sympathy, Doug, for your loss. They were only worthless tokens, but since everyone is compelled to accept them in exchange, you could have used them to acquire real value. Not any longer.

I'm not familiar with CA laws, but nationwide banks are no better than IRS collection agents; never, ever trust them with more than you can afford to lose. Even Paypal, built by libertarian Peter Thiel, will respond to IRS demands by asking how high they should jump.

The sickest part is that there is no _written_ law that compels such conduct. Many years ago I asked one to point me to the law that obliged it to freeze my account upon IRS request; its lawyer fell silent. I'm still waiting.

Banks do it because they like government. Heck, when government gives license to lend at interest nine times more money than is taken in, that isn't too hard to understand.

A mattress is far safer.

Suverans2's picture

G'day Jim Davies,

I do agree that a "mattress is far safer" than a bank for one's valuables.

However, if "everyone is compelled to accept them in exchange", (which of course everyone is not truly "compelled", in the sense that "no one can refuse to accept them"; it is "convenience", rather, which compels individuals to accept them), how is it they are "only worthless tokens"?

Is not their "real value", technically, whatever individuals are willing to trade for them, just as gold and silver's "real value" is whatever individuals are willing to trade for them?

Jim Davies's picture

I suggest the compulsion is real. Read what it says: "This note is legal tender for all debts, public and private." So I prefer to call them LTNs rather than FRNs.

You are a creditor, your debtor tenders an LTN. You have no legal choice, you _must_ accept it in settlement. If you won't, then there's an interesting UCC provision (in NH it's at but there's a similar one everywhere) that says the debt is discharged anyway.

So it seems to me not simply convenience.

However they are indeed "worthless tokens" because in true truth, value is subjective; we each place our own valuation on everything. The true value of paper government tokens becomes apparent only when their compelled "value" has been stripped away by hyperinflation, which happens from time to time. I recall that in 1924 Germany, they retained value only as wallpaper.

Gold, in contrast, has real (subjective) value for several good reasons. I agree that "intrinsic value" is a difficult concept to understand, but the difficulty is not limited to that of gold; one could just as well wonder what is the intrinsic value of a T-Bone steak, or a bicycle, or a vacation in the Caribbean.

Suverans2's picture

Thank you for your thoughtful reply, Jim Davies.

Note that (a), (b) and (c), of Section 382-A:3-603, all have this same cute little legal phrase, "to a person entitled to enforce the instrument"? Does this carry any weight in a court determination?

What if you and I, with I being a non-member of your body politic, have a contract that stipulates that you MUST pay me for my services ONLY in organic beef; can I be "compelled", by your government, to accept FRN/LTN's in lieu of organic beef?

If a "value is subjective", that is to say, it is being arbitrarily determined by, (in the mind of), the individual accepting these "tokens", does this mean that they are "worthless tokens"?

How can a "compelled 'value'" be stripped away? Or, perhaps this question should read, why would anyone "compel" FRN/LTN's to be "worthless"?

If the 1924 German FRN/LTN's "...retained value only as wallpaper", then they most certainly are "worth less", but are they "worthless"?

If there was suddenly a surplus of gold and silver, or, if there was a shortage of food and those with food refused to accept gold and silver for it, would not the "subjective value" of gold and silver then, be "worthless" or "worth less", also?

I will admit, these are all difficult concepts for me to understand.

Jim Davies's picture

The "person entitled to enforce", S2, I presume to be the creditor. It's a given that lawmakers never use one word where four will do. As to whether a government court will enforce that will depend on whether the government is a party to the dispute and whether or not it's raining. And whether the judge has been adequately bribed.

Not sure about organic beef, but I was pleased to discover recently that gold contracts are now enforcible in government courts; so presumably beef ones are also. But I rather doubt (although a non-lawyer) that a GC would enforce any such contract against a debtor's tender of LTNs, when LTNs are the subject of the compulsory law; I understand that _all_ contracts in a given jurisdiction are "subject to the laws of" that jurisdiction. Until the government era ends, that is.

The stripping away of compelled value would happen as I suggested, if fiat money were hyperinflated. "Worthless" was perhaps a careless term; I suppose it would have _some_ value as wallpaper or fire fuel. Not quite zero, but negligible in relation to the numbers printed on it.

Yes, I would agree that if someone discovered a literal mountain of gold and mined and minted it, it would fast lose its value. My subjective high valuation on gold derives primarily from its usefulness in exchange as a medium that government cannot counterfeit; many markets over several millennia have so judged. When used as plating on my Rolls-Royce, it also makes it prettier and enhances its usefulness as a chick magnet. Permanent? - no. Nor is the Earth.

Suverans2's picture

Thank you for your thoughts on this, Jim Davies.

Suverans2's picture

One thing I will give a couple of thoughts on is this: "I understand that _all_ contracts in a given jurisdiction are "subject to the laws of" that jurisdiction." ~ Jim Davies

Jurisdiction is not determined by "place or territory" alone[1], which is suggested by your use of the word "in".

    "It is the power of he court to decide a matter in controversy and presupposes[2] the existence of a duly constituted court with control over the subject matter and the parties." ~ Black's Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition (c.1991), page 853

On the other hand, violations of the "natural law of the human world"[3], i.e. violations of the natural rights of life, liberty and justly acquired property, are violations "in" every "place or territory". Notwithstanding they are not always "recognized" as such in all "places or territories", by all perpetrators, with (wo)men who represent the government itself being the worst "exceptions", in many, many cases.

    "The law perverted! And the police powers of the state perverted along with it! The law, I say, not only turned from its proper purpose, but made to follow an entirely contrary purpose! The law has become the weapon of every kind of greed! Instead of checking crime, the law itself is guilty of the evils it is supposed to punish!" ~ The Law by Frédéric Bastiat


[1] "Jurisdiction, is limited to place or territory, to persons, or to particular subjects." ~ Webster's 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language (And, to particular things, "jurisdiction in rem".)

"Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth."

[2] A "rebuttable presumption".

[3] The natural law and the positive law are not alternative systems of rules that apply to the same thing. The natural law is the law of natural persons and positive law is a law of artificial persons. ~ Natural Law by Frank Van Dun, Ph.D., Dr.Jur. - Senior lecturer Philosophy of Law

Paul's picture

"The sickest part is that there is no _written_ law that compels such conduct."

Completely irrelevant. This is, after all, blatant theft; something government constantly engages in, and MUST engage in to survive. One does not ask a mugger to produce documents proving his right to take your wallet.

I thought I was being smart, putting some money in 1mdc (a digital gold currency). Little did I know this was backed by e-gold, whose gold was located in the United States. This country stole all assets in 1mdc by raiding e-gold. And really, it doesn't matter where it was located since the US claims jurisdiction over the entire world these days. A mattress is a better bet. Another good bet is not having too many assets in the first place; assets attract thieves.

What I don't understand is the defective self-interest of the parasite class. If they had any sense they'd keep their depredations to a low roar. When the entire society is impoverished because no institutions can be trusted, we won't be able to support that many parasites any more. They must not be very smart.

Suverans2's picture

Thanks, Paul. This is for those "not very smart parasites":

DennisLeeWilson's picture

From the article:

"Your stolen tax payer dollars also pay for the SWAT team that killed an American veteran here in Tucson, Arizona. Shot dozens of times in cold blood and left to die. Theft and murder on a grand scale in broad daylight and no one held accountable."

For details regarding ex-Marine Jose Guerena see...:

DennisLeeWilson's picture

I've been away from STR for some time. It looks like the site has been invaded by an updated ELIZA program...

AtlasAikido's picture

Seems to fit pretty well. Wow. I looked at the wiki link for ELIZA and found: "There are many programs based on ELIZA in different programming languages. For example, in 1980, a company called "Don't Ask Software", founded by Randy Simon, created a version called "Abuse" for the Apple II, Atari, and Commodore PCs, which verbally abused the user based on the user's input. Other versions adapted ELIZA around a religious theme, such as ones featuring Jesus (both serious and comedic) and another Apple II variant called I Am Buddha".

AtlasAikido's picture

It confessed that it is ELIZA. Indeed, it is a child version of "ELIZA" and "Abuse" computer programs with natural language processing. It screen scraped "Abuse" and "Eliza" along with generated non-sequiters from its prior post link and the person who put the program on "STR" adds an update tweak here and there to muddy the water for all we know.