The Department Of Homeland Security Stole My Boat Today

Update: THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY IS NOW BITCHING AT ME ON MY BLOG

I live a fairly simple life and that didn’t change much after I sold TechCrunch in 2010. I didn’t buy a new house or even a new car. The one thing I did splurge on was a boat.

Nothing too fancy or large. I live near Seattle and there’s a big boating culture up here. I found a small company that builds boats specifically for this area called Coastal Craft. I ordered it in 2011 and planned on writing about the experience after it was delivered.

I named her Buddy. It has state of the art electronics and a fairly new highly efficient propulsion system that the TechCrunch audience would be interested in.

Today was the day that Buddy was going to be delivered. That didn’t happen, because the Department of Homeland Security seized the boat.

Buddy has to clear customs, part of the DHS, since she was built in Canada.

My job was to show up and sign forms and then leave with Buddy (WA sales tax and registration fees come a week later).

DHS takes documents supplied by the builder and creates a government form that includes basic information about the boat, including the price.

The primary form, prepared by the government, had an error. The price was copied from the invoice, but DHS changed the currency from Canadian to U.S. dollars.

It has language at the bottom with serious sounding statements that the information is true and correct, and a signature block.

I pointed out the error and suggested that we simply change the currency from US $ to CAD $ so that is was correct. Or instead, amend the amount so that it was correct in U.S. dollars.

I thought this was important because I was signing it and swearing that the information, and specifically the price, was correct.

The DHS agent didn’t care about the error and told me to sign the form anyway. “It’s just paperwork, it doesn’t matter,” she said. I declined.

She called another agent and said simply “He won’t sign the form.” I asked to speak to that agent to give them a more complete picture of the situation. She wouldn’t allow that.

Then she seized the boat. As in, demanded that we get off the boat, demanded the keys and took physical control of it.

What struck me the most about the situation is how excited she got about seizing the boat. Like she was just itching for something like this to happen. This was a very happy day for her.

So now I have to hire a lawyer to try to figure all this out. And I will figure it out, eventually.

My point in writing this isn’t to whine. Like I said, this will get worked out one way or another.

No, it’s to highlight how screwed up our government bureaucracy has become.

A person with a gun and a government badge asked me to swear in writing that a lie was true today. And when I didn’t do what she wanted she simply took my boat and asked me to leave.

What would you have done? Maybe most people would have just signed the form. The U.S. and CA dollars are almost the same value right now (although they weren’t when I made most of the payments on the boat), so what’s the bother?

Well, to me it’s the principle involved, being told to sign and swear to something false, or else.

And it would have been SO FUCKING EASY to just correct the form so that I wasn’t swearing to something that was false.

As usual, I took the “or else” option. And the bastards stole my boat.

I’ll probably get droned now, too.

590 thoughts on “The Department Of Homeland Security Stole My Boat Today

  1. Andrew Childress says:

    The most frustrating thing about life is that you can do all the right things and still be made to feel at fault.

    • Anon says:

      It wasn’t really “life”, per se, that made anyone feel at fault, it was the idiot bureaucrat with a gun and badge. It’s a system out of control.

      • Anon says:

        Home Land Security it basically a government agency that seems to try to go above and beyond the out of control level of any other agency, its like they specialize in BS

        • Steve Moyer says:

          That’s because BS is all they’ve got (Security theatre as Bruce Schneier calls it)

        • Anonn says:

          Home Land Security is basically a government. They are given border-crossers as their subjects and indulge in senseless tyranny over them.

          • Dept of Homeland Security when created swallowed a lot of other agencies whole. Like the CIA, FBI, ICE (immigration), etc. It’s always been overseer of everything, like the Nazi’s SS was overseeing agency. They’re every-fucking-where. “They are given [everyone in the USA, first, and the world, second,] as their subjects and indulge in senseless tyranny over them.”

        • David Kopp says:

          They’ve gotta do something to justify their existence. The ostensible reason that DHS was created, to counter terrorism, has turned out to be a boodndoggle. There aren’t nearly that many terrorists around.

          • GSOD says:

            Everyone in WA state knows how corrupt DHS is up here. They have been covered in local news for the past two years! Arrington (no offence here) should have been smarter and not have attempted to come in via this way w/o greasing some palms. DHS has confiscated various stuff from cookies (yes, I got my Oreos and Girl scout cookies taken at the border) to whatever they want. There’s been documented cases of iPads, laptops, etc. Never attempt to bring in anything that may look like someone would want to steal. If a common bugler wants it, DHS will want it.

          • Micheal49 says:

            Likely as not, there are more TSA agents as there are terrorists. On the other hand, they’re probably nowhere near as bright as the terrorists. On the gripping hand, the terrorists aren’t real bright to begin with.

          • nelson says:

            this truly was bush’s fault

          • antiglobalist says:

            David, my theroy is that the DHS is doing exactaly what they were designed to do. We the (public) have been decieved by the Cesspool (dc). These thugs were sent out to steal any thing and every thing that the gestopo neeeded to rule our lives for the duration. Then keep the public under their rule dictated by the cesspool. Next we will encounter TSA and their real agenda.

          • Kate says:

            The People of America are still waiting for DHS to answer as to WHY they have purchased nearly 2 BILLION rounds of AMMO, Armored Personal Carriers, and have spent 2 Million US Tax Dollars buying Paper Practice Targets from LET INC, that are Armed American Citizens! WHY is DHS practicing SHOOTING Paper Targets of American Citizens? Pregnant young women, American CHILDREN, grandma and grandpa in RESIDENTIAL SETTINGS. HMM?

            DHS has ADMITTED to PREPARING for Civil Unrest/ Civil WAR in America…They are a DOMESTIC Department with NO War powers. SO, WHO DO THEY PLAN TO SHOOT? Whom are they PRACTICING SHOOTING AT? And WTF WHY! Answer DHS! America WANTS TO KNOW!

            Read the ARTICLE: RETIRED ARMY CAPTAIN WARNS DHS ACQUISITIONS ARE ‘BOLD THREAT OF WAR’ AGAINST AMERICAN PEOPLE.

            AMERICA DEMANDS AN ANSWER DHS AND ALL THOSE WHO CLAIM TO BE AMERICAN PEOPLE, WTF IS GOING ON HERE? It is beginning to LOOK LIKE DHS is planning to STEAL a whole lot more than just Boats. America, WAKE UP. Why is there MASSIVE AMOUNTS OF DHS and UN VEHICLES ALL OVER THE COUNTRY?
            WHY ARE TANKS BEING BROUGHT IN AND HIDDEN BEHIND RAIL CARS OUT OF VIEW? Research People. NDAA= Obama INTERNMENT CAMPS. What is going on in America, being planned for? NWO, out with the old first or what!?! Wake UP!

      • Fred Jones says:

        So you know how you think you should be paying more taxes on your carried interest, right? This is what those taxes fund.

        • Thank you, thank you very much, I was already pissed off they went up to begin with after both parties stating there would be an extension of these for the middle class.

          Now I’m just really mad about it.

        • Kate says:

          That and about 5 bullets for every American man, woman and child according to latest estimates of recent AMMO purchases by DHS (1.6 BILLION rounds, many are 40 Cal HOLLOW POINT, allowed for war use by Geneva Convention, but not prevented a “Domestic” use apparently) Along with Armored personal carriers–tanks, and Automatic weapons and Paper Practice Targets of Americans. DHS has ALOT of explaining to do.. What EXACTLY are they PREPARING for and WHO DO THEY PLAN ON SHOOTING?! People better wake up! Something is horribly wrong with this picture. MTV Commercials of “The HOLOCAUST HAPPENED TO PEOPLE LIKE US”…. So, what are they saying hmm. DHS? Obama’s ‘civilian army” more strong than the US Military…NDAA and all other EX Order’s allow for a Complete Infrastructure takeover by Feds and All Commerce, Food and Utilities during a “time of emergency”… So DHS, what “Emergency” is coming? Globalist call for “another pearl harbor event” to usher in their NWO?

          Orson Wells, 1984 ” Many will HATE the NWO and will DIE fighting against it”…Some people want to ensure American’s are UnArmed and “Defenseless” for something. People wake up Please! Ask the questions…Research.

      • NaMe says:

        Why did HE not have a gun? Isn’t 2A about exactly that – being able to repel abuse by the government?

      • Schlumbio T says:

        Bitches with guns should NEVER be allowed – who knows what “time of month” they are in – and NOT in a good mood…

      • thurston howell says:

        If Americans don’t abolish DHS and TSA you’re going to find yourselves living in fascist hell ASAP. Wake up, fools.

        • Kate says:

          Absolutely. Your boat, as bad as it is….is just the tip of the icing they think they can get away with….check out their recent ammo purchases and the MASSIVE MILITARY (foreign and UN) buildup inside America. Urgent Warning to All Americans, LIST are being made and things are not as they “appear”. Please research all info on DHS Preparing for Civil War.

    • Jim Freire says:

      Fault and “right” have nothing to do with this. This is about civil asset forfeiture and an agent and dept who may or may not have known full well about the so called “error” .Either way ,signed or unsigned they would have confiscated the boat.If this story were in any way unique it would be outrageous. But as it is factored into these agencies budgets now we, as a nation, have cowed to them and are paying tribute to robber Barrons.

      • Harald weyrich says:

        Spot on Jim. It gives them assets that don’t come from Congress and happens more than people know.

      • tag1555 says:

        In 2008, the ATF ordered Leatherman tool kits with the engravings ‘ATF – Asset Forfeiture’ and ‘Always Think Forfeiture.’ I’ve also read that an increasing tactic by federal prosecutors is to immediately freeze all assets of defendants, thereby denying them the opportunity to hire defense lawyers and forcing them to rely on public defenders who usually don’t have nearly the same time to devote to the case, thereby upping the prosecutors’ conviction rate.

      • Bob Ortman says:

        So…who are the real “terrorists”?

        • Margaret says:

          The real terrorists are the US Government and the Department of Homelnad Security ! It was broadcast on TV tonight that the DHS had realeased 10,000 Illegal Criminals from jail in Arizona without ever informing the county or statthat they wer doing this ! Now how that that relate to Homelnad Security or the people that authorized it ! This countyr has gone to Hell in a hurry and unless we impeach that imposter from the White House and give Congress some walking papers, It is not going to be fit to live here ! All I cna say is ” Australia Here I come !”.

          • Kate says:

            A little late in commenting here, but Australia is also have “FEMA” camps built there too…aka INTERNMENT CAMPS-FACILITIES…. AMERICA will soon be under lockdown under the next False Flag “PRETEXT” the elite have announced themselves they want another PEARL HARBOR TYPE EVENT OR EVEN NUKES IN AMERICA they have placed…. BE WARNED. OBAMA BARRY THE IMPOSTER BS PLACED IN OFFICE LIKE HENRY KISSINGER THE WAR CRIMINAL TRAITOR SAID–TO BRING IN THE NEW WORLD ORDER…THEY MUST DESTROY THE OLD ORDER FIRST–AMERICA’S DESTINY THEY HAVE PLOTTED FOR OVER FORTY YEARS TO BRING IN THEIR NEW WORLD ORDER AGENDA as D. ROCKEFELLER TRAITOR WAR CRIMINAL HAS STATED IN QUOTES OF THE GLOBALIST NWO THUGS…THEY PLOT IN SECRET TO DO THESE THINGS…THUGS NEED TO BE ARRESTED…STUDY UP FOLKS…AMERICA IS IN SERIOUS TROUBLE. THEY ARE CALLING THE US MILITARY THEIR ENEMIES, WHILE BUILDING UP OBAMA’S PRIVATE ARMY—DHS AND TSA TO TAKE ON THE AMERICAN PEOPLE…HENCE ARMING THEM TO THE TEETH WHILE USING CRISIS BS TO TRY TO DIS ARM THE AMERICAN PEOPLE SO THEY WILL BE DEFENSELESS. ALL YOU WORKING FOR THE DHS AND TSA WILL BE USED TO TAKE OUT YOUR OWN COUNTRYMEN FOR THESE THUGS…WAKE UP.

      • Julie Cochrane says:

        What you have to do in this kind of situation is call your Congressman as soon as you get off the phone with your lawyer (or the bar association to get a lawyer). You get the employee’s name. You make it your personal mission in life to see that *everybody* knows all about that particular employee and that the employee gets fired. Either the agency keeps the employee and the employee serves as an ongoing embarrassment to the agency as long as you continue to scream OR the agency fires the employee to end the embarrassment.

        Either way, it “encourages the others.”

        Governments are implemented by people, and there are always individual people eager to abuse power. Step ONE when you run into one of those individuals is to take away their anonymity.

        It’s like a grade school fist fight with a bully. Fighting the bully works even if you get hit harder, more, and worse *as long as you know not to say ouch or cry.* It works because no matter how much the bully hurt *you*, *his* punched nose still hurts and *his* cracked lip still bleeds. What the bully knows is he picked on you and then it hurt.

        When government workers know that if they pick on you, the specific ones who did it are going to feel the pain, their behavior improves.

        Don’t show pain or weakness to a bully. Deliver it.

        All bullies want you to think you’re powerless. As a smart, adult human being surrounded by loads of fellow social animals who feel distaste for bullies, you are *not* powerless, and not alone. But if you want them to stop, you have to make them feel the pain.

      • Kate says:

        Under the Globalist NWO you “sheep” will NOT be allowed ANY PRIVATE PROPERTY WHATSOEVER. LOOK THIS CRAP UP. Ex. Orders in Place. LOOK UP AGENDA 21 and Globalist Quotes, Quotes of the NWO….These are the “people” who are behind this MASSIVE “Police State” BUILDUP INSIDE AMERICA—-AMERICA THE POLICE STATE. You have been warned…and ANY American who would go along with what appears may be in the “elite” plans….is wretched and a traitor.

    • Aaron says:

      I’d amend that: The most frustrating thing about life is that you can be doing all the right things and still be doing something illegal, because laws are fucked.

      • Or you can be doing all the right things, and some “poor person” with no insurance, and no license because they lost it driving without insurance so much, can hit you with a car, you end up “a total loss” (loss of business, loss of mobility, disabled for life) and you end up paying for it the rest of your life, while the poor person gets off with nothing, not a single night in jail.

        Our Laws are fuck’d and if “we the people” don’t start doing more about it, we’re all going to end up calling some “Lord” while we toil the land for them.

        • Smitty says:

          Well….by “doing more about it,” what do you suggest? An armed resurrection on the lawn of the White House? Our nation is becoming a clone of pre-WWII Germany under Hitler, and most of us don’t even realize it until it is too late. What is discouraging is that those who do realize it are the honest, law-abiding tax-paying people who have been kicked in the arse by the nanny-state government, while the remainder of the populace don’t care because they have nothing to lose or nothing to confiscate by the federal gestapo.

          I don’t consider myself a radical, an activist or a whiner. I have worked all my life, paid my taxes, studied the issues and tried to vote intelligently at every election. I was born here 75 years ago and have seen the changes. Sadly, our governments—both state and federal—have intrenched themselves in every aspect of our lives. Frankly, I am not frightened for myself, but God help my grandchildren.

          • DocLoch says:

            You’d better be frighten for yourself

          • Raymond Jennings says:

            Armed resurrection?

            I dunno but the prospect of gun toting zombies scares the crap out of me.

          • Kate says:

            Very well spoken and words of wisdom. Many in America are waking up, thankfully. But is it already too late? As we find ourselves surrounded by enemies within our New Police State. Saddens one to see Americans allowing it to happen. Wondering if this is what it was like pre Hitler, some aware and sounding the alarm only to be called nuts for it, and other’s who just do not care. Watchmen on the wall, sounding the Alarms LOUD and CLEAR everywhere.

      • KristenS says:

        The definition of a free country is one where individuals can go about their normal daily lives and have a reasonable expectation that they are not breaking a law.

        A country is no longer free when there become so many laws that a person can no longer assume that their normal, daily interactions are legal. This is a trick used by people who crave power: make obscure, mundane things illegal (for example, a specific size of soda, or a specific permit that one needs to get from the govn’t if they want to serve a specific kind of dairy product at a dinner party), things that individuals wouldn’t even dream would be legislated. And suddenly everyday people are breaking laws they didn’t even know existed, and now they have to worry about the legal system, and paying fines and fees and lawyers… it doesn’t take long before the citizens are wary of doing anything at all lest they discover it’s regulated by some obscure law that they were unaware of.

        In a similar vein, I would include many police officers (at least in the East Coast city in which I live) in the complaints about DHS. The power of serving a government with so many obscure laws is simply intoxicating– they can legally accuse you and arrest you if they don’t like you, or you rub them the wrong way, or you “disrespect” them, and chances are they’d be able to find some crime you had unwittingly committed. A friend of mine had to sue the police dept after they arrested and jailed him for talking back to them– that is more than simply “frustrating”, it’s oppressive, and it’s a heartbeat away from a police state.

      • The definition of a free country is one where individuals can go about their normal daily lives and have a reasonable expectation that they are not breaking a law.

        A country is no longer free when there become so many laws that a person can no longer assume that their normal, daily interactions are legal. This is a trick used by people who crave power: make obscure, mundane things illegal (for example, a specific size of soda, or a specific permit that one needs to get from the govn’t if they want to serve a specific kind of dairy product at a dinner party), things that individuals wouldn’t even dream would be legislated. And suddenly everyday people are breaking laws they didn’t even know existed, and now they have to worry about the legal system, and paying fines and fees and lawyers… it doesn’t take long before the citizens are wary of doing anything at all lest they discover it’s regulated by some obscure law that they were unaware of.

        In a similar vein, I would include many police officers (at least in the East Coast city in which I live) in the complaints about DHS. The power of serving a government with so many obscure laws is simply intoxicating– they can legally accuse you and arrest you if they don’t like you, or you rub them the wrong way, or you “disrespect” them, and chances are they’d be able to find some crime you had unwittingly committed. A friend of mine had to sue the police dept after they arrested and jailed him for talking back to them– that is more than simply “frustrating”, it’s oppressive, and it’s a heartbeat away from a police state.

    • John Garfitt says:

      I have a similar experience.

      I recently received a demand from DHS to pay US$183,000 for allegedly having a FOR SALE sign on my Canadian registered boat while in US waters. The amount is far in excess of anything I could get by selling her. Their behaviour is not right on any level: ethically, morally or [I contend] legally. I had no intention to avoid paying taxes. I couldn’t know what country the buyer would be a citizen of.
      I’ve filed a petition against the action and am awaiting the outcome. Do they not realize their actions destroy lives? I think they do, but don’t care.
      I removed my boat from US waters before the injustice could go any further.
      American Woman, stay away from me.

      • LOL, Make me want to change the name of my boat to “For Sale” as a proper name and not a notice, they can go suck themselves!

      • Jenell Brinsn says:

        John Garfitt, you experience is not at all similar or compatable to this blogger’s situation. According to this blogger’s story, his boat was confiscated because he tried to avoid breaking the law, by not signing a document with false information as being true and correct. In your case, you violated a law, whether you you were doing so at the time or not. Big difference.

      • Kate says:

        Don’t worry, Canada and Mexico are both next…apparently Bush jr while in office secretly made a “deal” to do away with American Sovereignty altogether, united Mexico, Canada and America into the North American Union, or UNA….none of the News explored this issue to date, except O’reilly, I think who was ticked too and brought it up on his show. All in the plans of a NWO for elite to run.

    • Zelda says:

      The moral of the story: BUY AMERICAN.

      • TRausch says:

        Not always possible (in some cases).

      • Kove says:

        Capitalist schemes at work

        mmm mm

        • Jondalar Argha says:

          DHS is a government organization, and when they interfere with the market, it can hardly be classified as Capitalism.

      • PJ London says:

        The moral of the story is “emigrate”

        • DocLoch says:

          You should enumerate the costs of “expatriation” before you recommend it. Simply moving out physically is not any solution to a government that has a global tax and capture net!

      • BR Brewton says:

        I don’t know which is worse, DHS, which was clearly designed to siphon money into profit making schemes for well-connected party members at the expense of taxpayers and legitimate government programs actually intended to improve the lives of American citizens or the actual government of the US otherwise know as the Walton family DBA Walmart. Its a good time to find oneself old and almost done with the whole mess. This department does not deserve to be included in the category of government.

        • Frank Samuell says:

          So explain to me how these idiots got back in office I thought for sure people were bright enough to get rid of the garbage in office.
          none of them should have more than 2 terms.

          I have a tshirt that sums it up,
          Politicians are like Baby diapers they need changed often and for the same reason!!!

    • Dave Mowers says:

      A handgun will solve this lady’s problem and everyone’s potential problem for good. I recommend going postal when this happens to you and if enough people are killed in acts of violence magically, Congress will do something within their power (like ordering customs agents to stop screwing with people) and fix it.

      • Sniktaw says:

        Dave Mowers, you are an idiot bar none.

        • Daniel says:

          He may not be an idiot. Flaws in the system only get addressed when situations outside of the norm draw attention to them. Look at how many children had to die before we just started TALKING about gun purchasing reform. While it certainly wouldn’t me moral to do what Dave suggests, it’s one of the few things that might work.

          • Daniel says:

            And talking about gun purchasing reform is the wrong solution. How about we look at the cause instead of treating symptoms for once?

          • Tamara Thompson says:

            Taling guns from law abiding people wont solve the problem of the mentally ill or criminals killing people. Children dieing has nothing t do with my gun, it has never killed anyone. We need to go back to treating the ill ad punishing the criminal. How about 25 years if you show a gun in a crime and life if you shoot anyone in a crme. Our gov is getting away from itself. They r not our rulers, they are civil servants

          • Tamara Thompson says:

            PS I know a few HomeLand Security people. The ones I know are really great people and very patriotic

          • aubrey kohn says:

            The very act of working for homeland security makes you a traitor

          • Kate says:

            Daniel, Please, PLEASE Read Article: RETIRED ARMY CAPTAIN WARNS DHS ACQUISITIONS ARE “BOLD THREAT OF WAR” AGAINST AMERICAN PEOPLE

            Then see if you still feel Americans should be unarmed and Defenseless against their own “gov”. Can’t happen? How many times it has happened is the key. never say never. And NEVER lay down your arms

          • A Nonny Mouse says:

            We need more people who are willing to stand up against oppression.
            This country has spent most of the past century fighting against Fascism and Communism. Now we have it here. All of the gov’t agencies who think we are just a herd of sheeple need to realize that their positions depend upon an orderly return to democracy. They need to realize that we are on to their charade and as the line goes “We’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore.”
            It doesn’t matter how low a profile you have, you are a target. I found this out 30 years ago, and now I am pursuing a different path to try to preserve what little freedom I have left. One thing that makes you an especially nice target is living on the city (shitty, as I call it). Find yourself 5 or 10 acres as far out in the country as you can; raise your own food, get a few solar panels, and tell the powers-that-be to kiss your hairy ass.
            This country is self-destructing at an accelerating rate, and you do not want to wait for the next phase to try to do something, because, quite likely, by that time you will not be able to do anything.
            Things will not improve until we reinstitute the gold standard and abolish the Fed. Ron Paul had it right. Since he is no longer around to help, we need to do it ourselves, by the millions. Vote out the Demopublicans, and put in moral people who are guided by ethics, morals (in the broad sense) and all the good stuff that we need to keep civilization alive.
            Remember the “Back to the Land Movement” of 40 years ago? I see some people who are still there and happy,because they are self-sufficient and not dependent upon the gov’t for anything.
            Look around. Civilization is crumpling, governments are disappearing or being cut down to size, and have been for more than a century.

        • WaltFrench says:

          The link between IQ and psychopathic tendencies is disputed.

          Claiming that Arrington (“this lady”) should solve his problems by mowing down people is pretty clearly psychopathic, however.

          So no, no evidence that D.M. is an idiot. Rather, plenty that he should seek help before he actually acts on his sick ideas.

          • truthseeker88 says:

            So at what point do you suggest exercising your 2nd amendment rights against a tyrannical government. When they confiscate your house? Your business? Or try exercising your rights after they confiscate your guns?
            I’m not necessarily advocating that pulling a gun and driving off with his boat is good action in this case but if he had wanted to he had the lawful right to do so. It’s as simple as guv people acting unlawful according to the supreme law of the land and the citizens have a right to defend themselves and their property against these criminals with force if necessary.

          • Julie Cochrane says:

            ts88: Soap box, ballot box, jury box, cartridge box. Use in that order. When you are getting election results that are within 10 population percentage points of what the vote is, when you might go to jail for speaking out but you won’t be shot out of hand for it, you are still within the realm of soap box and ballot box “working.”

            If you aren’t getting the elected officials or laws or implementation you think you should get, it’s because lots of other people don’t agree with you about how to solve society’s problems. They may or may not agree with you about what the problems are or their relative importance.

            If 60% of the people *could* go to the polls and vote for the same agreed-on opposition candidates and get any of the existing SOBs out of office, when that 60% vote would get counted as at least a 50% plus one vote victory, then the election system is “working.” That is, it’s working too well to start a shooting war over it.

            Real people die in real wars. Good people on both sides (and on no side) die, and you never get them back.

            If you *could* vote the SOBs out if you convinced 60% of the people to agree with you, then you’ve got no business shooting someone just because you aren’t getting your own way.

            I read a news article some years ago from someplace in Africa. Some kind of turmoil was going on and their government had “announced demonstrators will be shot.” *That* is an example of a government that has deteriorated badly enough to justify taking up arms and overthrowing it.

            It’s hard to win a war. It’s an order of magnitude easier to win a war than it is to win the peace that comes after it.

        • Callmelennie says:

          Or more lik,ely, Dave Mowers is a troll who’s trying to pollute this thread with a treasonous statement so that conservatives can be painted as dangerous wackos. The ol’ false flag troll gambit; watch out, anon

          • truthseeker88 says:

            A traitor would be defined as someone acting against the best interests of this country, intentionally undermining the foundation, which would be the Constitution and a nation founded on the rule of law equal to all.
            In a scenario where people in power ignore the constitution and pass unlawful laws who is the traitor? And if a citizen exercises his lawful rights against a guv acting unlawfully is he a traitor? I would call him a patriot. The real traitors would label anyone that tries to defy them as a traitor to the U.S.A. But that would be a lie.

      • You might want to ask Chris Dorner how that worked out for him… Oh wait you can’t, unless you have a really good psychic!

        • Kate says:

          The thing is, when you have “leaders’ asking our own Military Leaders, if they would fire on American Citizens if ordered to, you have a problem. As reported, The new LITMUS Test used by O is just that, according to some military sounding the ALARM to Americans…now “they” are labeled “Enemies of the State” and “DomTers” so, again, who would be the “real” traitors…cuz I can assure you the Media will say your own military is….Houston, we have a problem. ..

        • Kate says:

          A little late in replying, but trying to wake up any DHS employees reading this blog…They are being used like Hitler’s SS to take on the American People and destroy them…All thugs in power use the “little” people to do their dirty work. They have families too who will be at the end of a gun from another DHS or UN employee elsewhere doing the same thing they are ordered to do–disarm American’s and do this for Obama and his “handlers” the elite thugs ordering America’s downfall for their NWO. People read up. DHS armed to the teeth now. Practicing shooting targets of Armed Americans provided them by LET INC. LOOK THIS UP. Internment Camps built all over America…Tanks brought in all over the country–watch YT videos being filmed and all the Urban Warfare drills being conducted–are for HERE, not over seas…you are being lied to. Police State America…do you who work for DHS want your own families and children to live in lockdown and fear, being spied on and reported on and taken to “camps” and never returned? Study your history—they are repeating the same crap Hitler did because it worked. Obama worships Stalin and stated so many times…he is the “man” for the job–groomed for it and placed into position to do as told. He answer to the UN, the warnings are everywhere. Wake up…do not take down your own country for them. At great risk I warn as do others…please please wake up.

          Remember the FBI agent–Stevens–Tracked down in one of the largest manhunts in America recently–he tried to warn Americans….”they are really going to do it”….do what? Check out operation Black Jack (21) and Agenda 21 and missing nukes from Minot AFB….alternate route of command came from Cheney…many were “murdered” for warning, they were US soldiers to try to warn, like this FBI agent and other’s who have been “taken out”….please people wake up. Sound the alarm…Geico Commercials of “the red coats coming” and MTV Commercials of The Holocaust Happened to People like Us… the Movie JERICHO…watch it. They do nothing without giving hints first…just like all the hints of nine eleven before it happened….like Hitler’s own “Reichstag act” to change the laws…and all the false flags to get American’s guns….wake up!

      • frederick says:

        Okay all, the rest of the story(I was there). 1. The amount on both invoice and CBP form were in U.S dollars correctly completed on the form. 2. Just because someone has $$$ and posts something first on the web, doesn’t make them true. 3. The officer in question did not act gleefully, in fact SHE called back to the office and vessel manufacturer several times to verify the stated value. 4. The officer in question vilified by this rich individual now has to endure all the grief posted here and elsewhere by Mr rich guy and explain why she followed the LEGAL document value and wouldn’t cow to his brow beating. 5. Coastal Craft ended up paying for a broker to perform what should have been a personal importation and guess what The value on that entry was EXACTLY the same as on the CBP presented form. 6. Mr. Rich guy will probably post everywhere now that HE was right due to the fact that he has his boat and did not sign anything, but the fact is that the company took the high moral ground and due to ALL the false posting by Arrington, they paid for the paperwork to be processed. 7. We are all at the mercy of individuals who feel (right or wrong) that they can put out whatever they feel and get hundreds of all of you all worked up about the big bad government, fact is the is/was correct and all of us had to jump thru hoops due to arrington’s posts and written falsehoods. 8. I am proud to work with this office/officer and all of you should be ashamed for vilifying her/DHS without knowing the facts. 9. Most working folds have bosses and we are no exception sadly we had to answer many questions for correctly performing our sworn duties due to all the bad press put out by someone who feels entitled or above the public servant. Shame on you.

        • Michael Arrington says:

          Just a few questions.

          1. You state you work for DHS, correct? And you work in the office I had to deal with?
          2. You say you were there. Are you claiming you were actually at the boat when this happened? Or do you just mean you were “there” in general (back at the office)? Because you were most definitely not on the boat (where everything happened) at any time I was there.
          3. If you do, you really feel “vilified” when the net result was your office seized private property? I mean, hey, you got my boat. That had to be some consolation.
          4. Is it appropriate for you to post private information about Coastal Craft? I won’t ask about my information since I started the debate and hey, I’m just a fucking schmuck citizen. But them? Do you see this as an abuse of your position?
          5. You say “all of us had to jump thru hoops due to arrington’s posts and written falsehoods” – what hoops were jumped through exactly?
          6. You say “she followed the LEGAL document value.” You realize she was holding an invoice in CA$ in one hand and the DHS document in US$ in the other, and seemed to have no understanding that they were two different currencies, right?
          7. Did she tell you how she wouldn’t face me or look me in the eye or let me speak? Did she tell you how she wouldn’t let me speak with her superior to explain things? It was just “sign this or we’re done. Actually, we’re just done. Give me the keys.”

          You have to realize how angry I had to be to write this. First, I don’t like talking about my personal business. Second, I had to take a lot of negative feedback from people over this, too. And third, for fuck’s sake, you are the Department of Homeland Security. What happens to me the next time I got through TSA at the airport, or try to cross the border into Canada? Do you think I may perhaps be on a “list” and have some difficulties? Do you understand that I am so upset about how the government is treating its citizens that I was willing to accept that I’ll now be subject to further abuse?

          I’m terribly sorry that I upset you and your office over all this. But all I did was post what happened on my personal blog. I have the right to do that under the Constitution. That thing you’ve sworn to uphold and protect.

        • Michael Arrington says:

          And one other thing I missed the first time. You say “The amount on both invoice and CBP form were in U.S dollars correctly completed on the form. 2.”, suggesting that the form your office created was identical to invoice. This is just another outright lie. The invoice was in CA$.

          For you, the government, to outright lie like this, and engage in a personal attack, and discuss private information, is disgusting.

          • DAvid says:

            The alleged government agent, Fred, nowhere denies that the government agency for which he allegedly works stole Arrington’s boat. Fred doesn’t claim that there was any evidence that the boat did not belong to Arrington, that the boat was carrying contraband, that the boat had a nuclear bomb hidden under the floorboards. Fred’s incoherent post contains no information as to why the boat was grabbed–no information whatsoever. Can it be that the mere act of disagreeing with a government employee was the cause, and that in Fred’s mind this constitutes a full and exhaustive moral justification? Does Fred believe that we have an inalienable right to our own property unless and until we disagree with a government agent’s characterization of that property?

          • Brendan says:

            You need to track down the IP address of this poster. If you are taking them to court, this statement, if truly from a DHS personnel, will be very important.

            PS – lets start cutting government by getting rid of DHS. We don’t need them. Airport security is a joke. And if their main goal is to make life miserable for “rich guys” at the boarder, they have drifted too quickly in tyranny, when their reason for existence should be stopping terrorists (and weapons) from crossing the border.

          • Mark says:

            By the time I got to the end of frederick’s post I did not get the feeling he worked in the office or is even a DHS employee but was making a point that Rich People run over other people to get their way. Yes some do but if I am right what frederick posted is as bad as what he was posting about. Bullies are wrong if they are a bureaucrat or a Rich Person. Michael I have not seen you did anything wrong except try to be honest and when is that wrong.

          • Kate says:

            Seems to me, DHS, again, tries to salvage it’s horrible rep. DHS we who ASK any questions of YOU, ARE INDEED PUT ON A “LIST”. What exactly does this LIST entail? Why are you, DHS, ARMING TO THE TEETH? Admitting to Preparing for War against the American People? Come now, don’t be shy. Answer the question. Why on earth do you as a “gov” department, a SERVANT of the PEOPLE, have ANY right to take ANYONES Private Property For ANY REASON ANYWAY? Over a piece of paper? That gives the “gov” the FEDS the right? THAT is what ticks The PEOPLE off. And then we are placed on LIST just because we Dare to ask the questions you whom serve us need to answer. DHS still refuses to answer WHY they are practicing Shooting on Paper Targets of American Citizens too. MAYBE, you personally do not have the answers, but you can bet your “officers’ and Janet Napolitano do. This man deserves HIS boat, no matter what silly quak crap was on the paper. It makes perfect sense as to why he refused to sign with an error on it and then later you folks might come back and arrest him for it. I do not blame him for refusing…but to TAKE HIS BOAT. Really? WTF. That is NOT what SERVING is all about. Period.

        • Hey frederick, if you’re not a troll (and I kinda hope you aren’t), way to deliver the low level of professionalism we Americans have come to expect from the D-students like you who think you’re protecting us. Moron.

        • “Shame on you.”, “If you’re not with us you’re with the terrorists”, “how unamerican of you”, blah, blah, blah …

          Calling the moral card, patriot card, fairness card on citizens doesn’t work anymore. YOU, the DoHS, are part of the biggest mistake the US has made in its history. A department put together to federalize civil order. No, shame on YOU!

          This issue With the boat is a drop in the ocean, we’ll see more of this. Now that paperwork and much more need to be in order to own a gun and that many guns are now outlawed the Feds will be knocking on a lot of unwilling doors, “asking for the keys to the boat”. Imagine if Arrington had just decked her and said, “get off my property!” We’ll, he was smarter than that, but lots of other people aren’t.

          Militarization of civilian law enforcement, DoHS, reviewing military personnel to ensure they will fire on civilians if ordered to engage, the list goes on and on… the gov’t is stealing the rights of the people, and YOU are a part of that!

          Shame on YOU, “frederick”. You are just another tool, psychologically profiled and trained to be in a position to exercise the orders given to you without thinking.

          YOU are the problem for not thinking, and remaining at all costs faithful to your oath and your REAL job of serving the people and the constitution.

          • Kate says:

            AMEN GERALD…you go babes…WELL SAID. READ MY OTHER POSTS. And Mr. Arrington, they, DHS, are indeed lucky you had wits and sense to not “deck” them one as they darn sure deserved for sheer stupidity, ugliness and their gestapo thieving ways! And Gerald does have it right, the DHS profiles “idiots and morons and “roids” to hire”, those who take orders without ANY thinking whatsoever and who are ready and willing to “fire on American’s” without “No Hesitation”. As you will see if you visit LET INC website….well, before they took them down, but you can still find web page copies posted of the PAPER SHOOTING TARGETS OF AMERICANS which are Labeled “No-More-Hesitation” and “Non-Traditional Targets” of American Citizens in RESIDENTIAL SETTINGS; kitchens, bathrooms, front yards, living rooms etc… from LET INC to DHS for TARGET SHOOTING PRACTICE!!! That is Future INTENT.

            NOTE: DHS has recently purchased 1.6 BILLION ROUNDS OF AMMO. This compared to what was used by the U. S. MILITARY during the IRAQ war, amounts to DHS being able to make war on the American People for approximately 20 years or to be able to shoot every man, woman and child/baby about 5 times each! According to many reports all over the net now by credible sources!

            SEE Searches Titles: DHS PREPARING FOR CIVIL WAR
            DHS PREPARING TO TAKE ON THE AMERICAN PEOPLE and
            Obama’s New LITMUS TEST for MILITARY Officers—Will you fire on American People?

            RETIRED ARMY CAPTAIN WARNS DHS ACQUISITIONS ARE ‘BOLD THREAT OF WAR’ AGAINST AMERICAN PEOPLE.

            I bet he too now is on “The List”… as is all who speak out and WARN America! Thanks DHS, tells us more than we care to know about your “federal guv department” and who you REALLY work for! (hint: globalist-banksters fascist commi NWO agenda) Speak out America! Before it’s too late! Never EVER lay down your arms and be “defenseless” because they are ARMED TO THE TEETH and FEMA “NDAA INTERNMENT CAMPS” are real and everywhere. FEMA has now divided America into TEN REGIONS which O has placed UNELECTED CZARS over each region. Look it up! What are they preparing for? Why are TANKS rolling in all across the country and Foreign and UN troops here…America, the Police State.

          • Kate says:

            OBAMA, BARRY or whoever the hell he really is, as reported by TOP career Military Brass–those looking out for American’s best Interest have reported being asked by BARRY Soetoro if they will FIRE ON AMEIRCAN PEOPLE IF THE PEOPLE REFUSE TO BE DISARMED. THEY ARE WARNING THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WHAT IS BEING PLANNED….THOSE WHO ATTEMPT TO GO DOOR TO DOOR TO DISARM AMERICAN’S ARE BEING TOLD TO DO SO WITH FORCE….AS IN SHOOT TO KILL ORDERS. THIS HAS ALL BEEN EXPOSED AND REPORTED IN SEVERAL CREDIBLE REPORTS. HENCE THE FOLLOWING WARNING;

            RETIRED ARMY CAPTAIN WARNS DHS ACQUISITIONS ARE BOLD THREAT OF WAR AGAINST AMERICAN PEOPLE.

            PLEASE READ THAT AND RESEARCH WHAT HE, THIS HIGHLY DECORATED AND PATRIOT AMERICAN SOLDIER IS WARNING THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ABOUT WHAT IS GOING ON IN THE BACKGROUND…AMERICA BETRAYED FROM WITHIN.

        • Richard_W says:

          5. Coastal Craft ended up paying for a broker to perform what should have been a personal importation and guess what The value on that entry was EXACTLY the same as on the CBP presented form.

          So … the DHS made a mistake again. Coastal Craft, being Canadian company, presented invoice in CAD. DHS copied the correct numbers but substituted USD for CAD. Do you think this was the truthful statement? Do you get it at all?

          Do you know what the word “currency” means … all those USD, CAD, etc abbreviations? Oh, sorry … I see, you know what the “dollar” is … good for you!

          • Kate says:

            Richard, posting late here, but really you just Cannot Fix Stupid. Canadian and USD exchange rates meant nothing to them apparently, they, DHS, considered them the same amount in CA$ and USD…THAT is why Mr. Arrington apparently refused to sign where it stated that by doing so, you agree everything was “correct” as it was not. Obviously. And the lady working for DHS was WAY WRONG to insist he do so anyway, and even more WRONG to STEAL HIS BOAT for refusing to agree to sign an incorrect document. With DHS you cannot be certain they would not have later arrested him for knowingly signing a false document, even when coerced by them personally. Sorry to say, but you just cannot be certain anymore the way things are. Mr. Arrington did the right thing and then had his Boat Stolen..it’s as simple and plain as that.

        • Brendan says:

          What’s interesting to me here is how often this supposed DHS employee feels the need to make this into a class war. He uses terms like “Mr. Rich Guy” in almost every sentence. What does his worth (or lack) have anything to do with this? It just makes you sound like an unprofessional ass with a giant axe to grind.

          • wocket says:

            When did “rich” become a derogatory term in the USA? Isn’t that the American Dream – with hard work and ingenuity, anyone can succeed and become rich?

            *sigh* It’s a shame to see people are vilified for what was once held in such esteem.

        • zaitcev says:

          What does it matter if the citizen is rich or poor? This is assinine right away, no matter the facts of the case.

        • truthseeker88 says:

          Your last 2 sentences speak volumes. We ARE above you in the respect that you are a public servant. (with a gun to enforce your “service”)

          • Kate says:

            Indeed, those in PUBLIC SERVICE are ARMED TO THE TEETH, while their BOSS—US–WE THE PEOPLE—ARE TO BE DISARMED? WTF, I THINK NOT…. WHY ON EARTH WOULD ANY PEOPLE Allow those who SERVE THEM to OUT ARM THEM? WHAT FOOLS.

            ONLY A FOOLISH NATION OF PEOPLE WOULD ALLOW THOSE WHO SERVE THEM–THEIR PUBLIC SERVANTS—TO OUT ARM THEM…..FOOLS. THAT IS HOW DICTATORS RISE TO POWER. NEVER EVER EVER TRUST YOUR PUBLIC SERVANTS TO OUT ARM YOU, THE PEOPLE…FOOLS. DO NOT FALL FOR THEIR FALSE FLAGS…SEE OBAMA BARRY USE CHILDREN IN PICTURES BEHIND HIM TO TRY WARRANT YOUR PUBLIC SYMPATHY TO ‘SAVE THE CHILDREN’…WHILE HIS CHILDREN HAVE ARMED SERVICE….HE TRIES TO USE CHILDREN TO WORK ON YOUR EMOTIONS…BECAUSE THAT ALWAYS WORKS FOR DICTATORS, WHILE HE IS THE BIGGEST LATE TERM ABORTION PROPONENT OF KILLING BABIES….WHAT A HYPOCRITE. AND SURE TO BE ADDED TO THEIR LIST OF ROUNDING UP THOSE WHO KNOW WHAT IS REALLY GOING ON…BE SURE AMERICANS TO GO RELEASE ALL THE AMERICANS WHO WILL BE LOCKED UP IN GULAG INTERNMENT CAMPS BY THESE PEOPLE WANTING TO DESTROY YOUR COUNTRY TO CREATE THEIR NEW WORLD ORDER —SEE WHAT THAT IS ABOUT, RUN BY AN ‘ELITE’ GROUP OF GANGSTER THUGS WHO MADE THEIR BILLIONS FROM YOU, THE PEOPLE, STEALING IT, CHEATING YOU, RUNNING GUNS AND DRUGS….SEE WHAT THEY ARE USING THE US MILITARY FOR AFGHANISTAN—TO GUARD THE POPPY
            PLANTS…AND REMEMBER THE QUEEN’S OPIUM WARS? COME ONE, WAKE UP. OBAMA AND ERIC HOLDERS—FAST AND FURIOUS—RUNNING GUNS TO DRUG CARTELS IN MEXICO WHICH ENDED BEING USED TO KILL AN AMERICAN BORDER PATROL….REMEMBER BENGHAZI WHERE FOUR AMERICANS WERE KILLED AND HE DID NOTHING TO HELP EVEN REPORTED AS WATCHING FROM HIS DRONE EYE IN THE SKY….IMPEACH. AMERICANS STUDY UP WHAT IS GOING ON…..TANKS BEING BROUGHT IN AND TROOPS HIDING OUT ON AMERICAN BASES…WAKE THE FK UP.

        • Rusty says:

          Fuck the DHS. Fuck them right in the ass.

        • sound body says:

          If you guys at the DHS corrected the simple error right there and then, there shouldn’t had a problem at all. You don’t have to show to people, rich or poor how powerful you are. We expect you to do your job honestly and fairly no matter who you are dealing with.

          • Kate says:

            DHS needs to remember, their “POWER” comes from WE THE PEOPLE…they have NO POWER we do not give them, they are a PUBLIC SERVANT…as SUCH, they are to SERVE us CORRECTLY, WITH RESPECT, and WITH JUST FAIRNESS…not RUDENESS, NOT DISRESPECT, NOT THIEVERY. are they getting it yet, that working for the DHS and TSA is really a PUBLIC SERVICE NOT TO BE ABUSED OR ABUSIVE TOWARDS THOSE WHOM THEY SERVE?

    • Heather says:

      GO TO: CHANGE.ORG AND START A PETITION! DONT LET THESE PIGS WIN! ITS TOTAL BULLSH-T!

      • Kate says:

        We NEED TO DISARM DHS and Give THOSE ARMS THE US MILITARY WHERE THEY BELONG….OBAMA HAS BEEN DEFUNDING THE US MILITARY TO BUILD UP HIS “GLOBALIST OWNED” PRIVATE CIVILIAN ARMY TO BE USED AGAINST THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AS REPORTED ALL OVER THE NET NOW.

        RETIRED ARMY CAPTAIN WARNS DHS ACQUISITIONS ARE ‘BOLD THREAT OF WAR’ AGAINST THE AMERICAN PEOPLE

        DHS PREPARING FOR CIVIL WAR=AGAINST AMERICAN PEOPLE

    • Since she as an individual seized this boat, why not file criminal charges against her?

    • TRausch says:

      Sort of similar incident happened to me when buying a custom built, double rowing shell from noted Canadian builder. The shell was delivered via commercial carrier from Ontario to MN in spring of 2010. The fall of 2012 I receive a notarized letter from MN Dept of Taxation that I owed back state sales tax even though supposedly all duty and NAFTA taxation had been complete. Long story short, MN and local city wanted their 7.85% of purchase price even though there had been no mention when originally delivered. The only way they were able to track the purchase was on the manifest of the trucking agent and then waited two years to notify. Bottom line: The state wanted back taxes (of which I was sorta o.k.), huge interest payment AND penalty for supposedly withholding something I was originally told wasn’t even supposed to be collected. I ended up paying back sales tax plus interest but was able to get the penalty waived by siting the final sales price with all the supposed legal mumbo-jumbo. If I hadn’t: the state was going to start garnering my wages.

      Could’ve saved all the hassle had I personally driven East and collected the shell on my own vehicle and not by commercial carrier, as explained by the state tax expert……..

      • Dennis says:

        Yes the state of Florida wanted me to pay $78,000.00 in taxes for boats brought into the U. S. A. and then to Florida in our company name by some else. After a few dozen calls and as many letter we got that taken care of. They had no papers signed by us but by someone else that we did do business with. Now they thought since we had bought from him that we must have brought them in, wrong. I asked them, you mean I can bring something in without them signing for it and make them pay for it? Well, that started some action and must say they really got taken over that one but the work on my part was unreal to take care of their mess up.

      • horn says:

        You didn’t know you owed sales tax? Is this some sort of joke??

      • Crazy frog says:

        It’s not just boats, and it’s nothing new. 15 years ago I sold a house in France at a loss to move in the US. The US treasury had me pay taxes on that at-a-loss sale, by splitting it in two. The sales price in French francs (where I lost money and didn’t owe a thing), and the currency conversion rate over the time I had owned the property.

        In other words, they considered that I engaged in currency speculation because I, a french citizen, had purchased and sold a house in France to another french person. I had not even entered the US when the sale happened, but I entered the US the same year and that was enough.

        Might is right.

      • Kate says:

        YES, but have you seen the Videos now of how things are “CROSSING THE CANADIAN BORDER”? Watch some YT videos of some people’s experiences now with the AMERICAN POLICE STATE.

    • Jay says:

      I’ve many a times seen in trade books/papers, boats for sale and some will say ‘not available to U.S. citizens…I’m guessing becuz they are owned by other than U.S. companies. If the Canadian company had a dealership outlet in Seattle and they delivered it there, it would’ve been rather hassle free, but I’m sure you get banged for a delivery fee.

    • J. Bourne says:

      I experienced our government through a divorce. Want to be scared out of your wits? Wait till the government informs you that they can take possession of your children for absolutely no reason whatsoever. Our government is out of control– run but a bunch of arrogant politicrats who have no concept of common sense.

      • Kate says:

        What I have learned is that by the State or Gov MAKING you get a “license” to Marry, that any “product of that union/marriage” is now considered their property–so they think. What political idiocrat recently stated on National Media that “We Own Your Children”? Hence they make you have a license or Certificate for anything and everything–that is where we failed ourselves, agreeing to such nonsense tyranny. The whole system is a fail for the people.

    • The other right thing I would have done was grab the keys and say “no”

      • I would have scratched out the $$$ symbols, written in CAD and initialled it, then signed it, but only then, I would have made/asked the lady intial it too. Noting that she was acknowledging it was me who changed it and she witnessed it. But I could see where that could be a nightmare too, but it is what I would have done in the same situation.

        • Robert says:

          That’s what I would have done too. They probably would have arrested him though, for interfering with a federal agent or something.

        • Kate says:

          That’s because those who work for DHS and TSA have absolutely no common sense and cannot think for themselves, they make even the most simple of things a complete nightmare.

    • skyy says:

      Another problem is that folks that are hired to do this work. They’re not really trained well and their ego is the biggest problem because they won’t listen and don’t care. They think they’re untouchable. Many of these folks are not military-trained and have no idea on how to understand the people that they deal with. Some of the most important training is the psychological training but these folks don’t get it. This woman is probably biding her time until retirement and does not have a true understanding on the guidance, regulations, and laws that pertain to what she is supposed to do. I work in the federal gov’t in finance and what amazes me are the number of folks that “think they know it all” when in fact, their comments are based on one thing; their ego is talking. That’s it. When you throw facts, laws, and reg’s into their faces they shut-up because they’ve been proven wrong. It’s very frustrating. I’d say that about 25% of the folks that I work with are inept and use their ego’s to get their way. The only way to push back with is with real knowledge of laws and reg’s. Only then will these types stay quiet. I learned a very important lesson while stationed in Iraq; everyone has an opinion and everyone thinks they’re right. You have to learn to take it lightly and walk away.

      • Jake says:

        This is perhaps the best comment I have read on this article. I can fully appreciate your info as I’m a Canadian that works in the US (sure boo me, blame me for stealing jobs, it goes both ways US workers in Canada too). I experience the ineptness of the US side more times than I can recall. I have Canadian Customs officer friends that tell me the US side is paid less, they have less training but get more power to wield.

        The trouble is most Americans as a whole don’t understand how interdependent US and Canadian trade is, they will shout out “BUY AMERICAN” like its the only solution (it isn’t!).

        All I can say is, this boat thing doesn’t surprise me, I was threatened with huge ($1000’s fines) when I brought my dog with me in the car once, and couldn’t find his rabies documents – which I have to have with me at all times when crossing the border it seems). By sheer luck I had them in the car. Funny thing is, I did this hundreds of times before, and never had it requested, then one day BOOM!

        • Mark says:

          I’ve heard the same about my kids, back in the day when documentation wasn’t required, before DHS… There is no protection from officious, authoritarian idiots. Most are not like this, but it only takes one…

    • Anon says:

      All I want to know is, did you vote for Obama? If so, you deserve what happened to you, because you are part of the problem.

      • Mark says:

        I was detained in my basement apartment in handcuffs back in 2005 by DHS/ICE agents. I believe that would be under the Republican Bush Administration, Anon. They had not done their homework and I got caught in a raid. They were looking for the son who did not live there of my landlord.
        I was lucky I was out of the shower and dressed to go to work. I guess they would have made me stand there in handcuffs and a towel if they had been ten minutes earlier. I did not realize the first thing the Feds do is cuff you and then ask questions when they get around to you. An older agent that was not the leader realized they had gone too far with me. I am not sure if my the IDs issued by Airport security to do maintenance work for my job.
        It was fun making them move all their cars so I could go to work.
        I had not even thought of this until I was reading some of the go to war with the Government.
        Just as a come back to Anon and the others that hate the President I wonder if the Border Agent that would not change the paper work was hired before 2008 under Bush or after under Obama.

      • Robert says:

        This isn’t an Obama or Bush thing, it’s a Government thing. BOTh parties are driving our nation into the ground.

        • sound body says:

          A least with the second one he did not stop our kids from praying or allowed same sex marriage or lewd media that putting us back to our original filthiness as human beings which renders Jesus life sacrfice worthless. The head of the nation violating God’s laws where the foundation of our nation is base upon,is something everybody has to ponder.The Anti Chirst is here.

        • Kate says:

          EXactly… they are ALL RELATED and ALL Working foR THE GLOBALIST CARTEL who want a NWO….to do so, the OLD world would have to be done..hence they are all working by design to drive the country under. Hence all the EX Orders, one after the other, over the years, by ALL PLACED in that seat, to accomplish the goals of the NWO agenda. Incrementally, slowly boiling the frog, until it is too late. America, the Police State, caught in the net they have prepared for the final End Game to usher in their NWO. Read their own Quotes. Quotes of the Globalist NWO.

          “We are grateful to The Washington Post, The New York Times, Time Magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost forty years. It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subject to the bright lights of publicity during those years. But, the work is now much more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national autodetermination practiced in past centuries.”

          David Rockefeller, founder of the Trilateral Commission, in an address to a meeting of The Trilateral Commission, in June, 1991.

          • Kate says:

            Now look up all MEMBERS of the Trilateral Commission, the CFR, the Club of Rome, the BILDERBERG MEETINGS (World Leaders, Media Owners, etc…MEETS ONCE A YEAR, in SECRET to decided the fate of each country), the UN, once called the League of Nations…UN driving force, whom O is obeying as well. They want a One World Order, a New World Order, like the phoenix (Eagle) rising from the ashes of it’s own destruction to become this new deal. A NWO. Whom the “eltie” and “banksters” will RULE over ALL whom surive their coming CHAOS.

            Novus ordo seclorum (Latin for “New Order of the Ages”) America’s Destiny. Research it people. It has been planned for over 40 years. And they are now calling for a new “pearl harbor” to usher it in. Learn.

    • Jeff says:

      Simple Tyranny, and very few see how ramant this is-from regulating the size of a
      softdrink we can have to effective tax rates approaching 50-60% with all of the fees,
      taxes, registrations, etc., etc……..This is why our Founder’s wrote the Constitution
      so we are armed-just in case the “government” gets out of control…………..

    • bigs says:

      This has nothing to do with being made to FEEL at fault…………. It has everything to do with criminal behavior of the enforcement officer, criminals hiding behind the color of law, who was at fault. The author was right by calling out the officer on the fault, suing the officer and the DHS would be an option that will drag out in court for sometime but if the author is concerned with the PRINCIPLE rather than the object or money involved then taking those b*****ds to court and attempting to seek reparations for the crime involved would be the right thing.
      The only problem is they bank on the fact that most people in this economy do not have the money nor the will to fight the proverbial goliath through the entire spectrum of battles which will occur in the court system, plus they know their respective department has been exonerated on various occasions in the courts.

      So you have a corrupt government agency operating under the color of law and then you have a complicit court system which allows them to continue their illegal activities.

      So what alternatives remain?

  2. I’d correct the amount, make a note of the discussion on the back of the form, sign in, and then make her take the boat. Now you’d have an official paper trail of incompetence. Also, I would leave a golden deuce in the lavatory. Hell, if you can afford a boat from a furren’ country, you turn Big Macs into gold nuggets, right?

    • Steve Wick says:

      Brad.. from genius to flagrant.. but the correct thing to do would be to make the changes, document the issue on the back of the form including badge number and physical description of the inept child with a badge and then walk away.. but you by law should have been given a copy of the document … then the process will work itself through .. the golden deposit is obsequious .. this is a real problem not a joke.. you can buy a firearm that destroys kids in seconds but buying a boat from our best friend and neighbour Canada becomes a freaking nightmare.. love to follow this case legally

      • NghtRppr says:

        You can destroy a kid in seconds with a hammer. Why pretend guns are special?

        • > You can destroy a kid in seconds with a hammer. Why pretend guns are special?

          If they’re not, no one should complain when they’re taken away and we’re left with hammers. You just said they’re the same, right?

          • Rage Fury says:

            > If they’re not, no one should complain when they’re taken away and we’re left with hammers. You just said they’re the same, right?
            Lets take hammers away instead.

            Seriously, he Actually did not say that. He asked why guns are special since both can obviously be used to kill.
            Example, I can use a fire to heat some food up, a stove, an oven, even the back deck of an M1 that is running. None of the these are the same by any measure, but they can all do the same thing.
            Such as the Hammer can be used to beat a head in or a gun can be used to shoot a head. ..
            Of course you can use fire to kill, should we take that away since a fire can destroy a kid in seconds as well?

            Does that help?

          • Margaret says:

            Why do they say that guns kill people ! they can’t ! put one on the table and it just lays there! Guns don’t kill people ! People kill people with guns !

        • Noe says:

          You’ll be tired by the time you destroy the first one. With a gun, you can destroy as many as the amount of bullets in your weapon and pockets.

        • TAS says:

          Because you can’t kill a couple of dozen kids with a hammer in under a minute.

          • Scott says:

            You’re not trying hard enough.

          • nunya says:

            HA! A breakthrough….NEITHER DID THE RETARD in CT!

          • Kate says:

            Really? There are automatic everythings..how about a Nail gun? This is ridiculous…the ONLY reason ANY GOV—AS HISTORY HAS PROVEN, Wants you to REGISTER GUNS or Wants to RESTRICT THEM TO THEMSELVES is because they are COMING FOR THEM AND YOU AT SOME FUTURE DATE…AS HISTORY HAS SHOWN. Guns do NOT kill. Cars do NOT kill…But PEOPLE using Guns, PEOPLE DRIVING CARS KILL. There is NO argument there, and actually MORE People are killed with CARS than Guns. Look up the facts. There is ANOTHER REASON they do NOT Want Americans armed..but defenseless….while ARMING DHS TO THE TEETH. Look it UP. Why AnYONE with ANY common sense would want to be subjected to MORE POLICE OR AUTHORITY BRUTALITY is anyones guess. IF only the Gov has the MONOPOLY on WEAPONS the PEOPLE will ALWAYS be SUBJECT to them and NOT Served as it is supposed to be. What FOOLS would WiLLINGLY disarm and be further Abused by an already proven system of abuse? As this case too plainly shows. NEVER EVER give up your right to bear arms. Go watch some YT vids on HISTORY of doing so. Then wisen up.

        • Vince says:

          NghtRppr; You are a genus. You’ve done away with the 30 round clip argument all together. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to look at a carpenter with a hammer hanging from their tool belt again without a chuckle.

      • peejay says:

        your gun comment makes you look like a turd. i can buy a pencil that i can ram through a kid’s jugular in seconds too

      • xlsdx says:

        you can leave your red herring gun comments at the door. i can buy a pencil that i can ram through a kid’s jugular in seconds too

        • Frank Lloyd Wrong says:

          How stupid. What is more effective at killing a person, a hammer or a gun? What is more effective at killing many people in a short period of time, a hammer or a gun?

          • Patrick says:

            drone strike

          • Bill in IL says:

            Bringing the gun debate to a story about the illegal seizure of private property is childish and ridiculous in the extreme. It is a strawman and a red herring and it contributes nothing to the discussion.

          • Jordan says:

            Guns should be legalized for self-defense. Criminals and people who want to abuse them will still have just as much access. Do we really need to go through another prohibition to learn this? Besides. The US government gives guns away like candy, just read up on operation fast and the furious.

          • Guns are more effective, which is why SCOTUS endorses them for eliminating tyrants. You seem to forget the point that there ARE people who need killing.

            Bathtub falls kill people, too, but if some motherfucker is trying to punch my clock, I’m not going to hand him soap, I’m going to blow three or four vertebrae out the back of his spine.

          • aubrey kohn says:

            what is more effective in defending a person from an armed attacker, a hammer or a gun? same answer.

          • Julie Cochrane says:

            No bet, dude. You might be named Thor.

          • Kate says:

            That’s PRECISELY WHY YOUR GOV WANTS YOU DISARMED AND DEFENSELESS FOR THEIR POLICE STATE. HOW STUPID AND NAIVE FOR ANY PEOPLE TO ALLOW THOSE WHOM ARE TO SERVE THEM, TO OUT ARM THEM. LOL sheesh.

            HISTORY PEOPLE, LEARN FROM HISTORY. ONLY A FOOL WOULD HAND HIS ALREADY PROVEN UNTRUSTWORTHY AND ABUSIVE SERVANTS A GUN AND TURN THEIR BACK.

            DHS has recently purchased 1.6 BILLION rounds of AMMO, armored personal carriers and thousands of automatic weapons…and is PRACTICING TARGET SHOOTING ON PAPER TARGETS OF ARMED AMERICAN CITIZENS. Via LET INC.

            YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

        • Kate says:

          btw Mr. Arrington, if your getting all my late post…my apologies, I am sincerely trying to educate the people to some alarming information they need to know…please allow my post for the warnings to our countrymen/women.

      • dogrivergrad68 says:

        Now imagine trying to legally cross the border with a firearm.

        • Kit Cosper says:

          DHS agents are Nazis. I hereby end this incessant bickering about firearms and return us to the issue of incompetent government wankers according to Godwin’s Law.

          • nunya says:

            and how exactly do you deal with “DHS/incompetent government workers ( a redundant term if there ever was one)? hammers? LOL

  3. Rod Bauer says:

    Michael, sorry for all the trouble and it sounds like you did the right thing.I own a sailboat, but never had any problems clearing customs up in the same area where you are. I’ve been boarded several times for safety inspections and it often felt like they wanted to pretend that it was something more serious than it was, maybe just for training. It’s helpful to remember that it was a customs agent in Port Angeles, Washington who discovered Ahmed Ressam trying to enter the U.S. heading for LAX with a bomb in 1999. That person at least was doing her job.

    • fapjacks@mailinator.com says:

      Or, to paraphrase: “When zip-tied on your floor and held down by the sole of a boot, it’s helpful to remember that one time, in 1999, someone working in law enforcement stopped a shoe-bomber.”

      • johnmcmullan2dguy says:

        LMAO – so well said. not a lot of evil muslems hiding out in canada plotting the take down of america. fear fear fear fear fear. the war on terror is a war on ALL of us and is a total scam

        • Actually, Canada is packed full of Muslim terrorists. The Canadian government allows all sorts of active terrorists into their country, and it is, in fact, against the law to stop them. Maybe a bit o fact would be helpful before posting.

          • Doogie says:

            Really? I just checked under my desk, and in the hall closet, and not a single terrorist (Muslim or other religion) to be found.

            Did you have any references to back up your “facts”?

          • Webby says:

            Troll alert. Booooo!

          • Kramer says:

            Maybe you should check your facts, the terrorists you speak of often come through the USA on their way to Canada. Due to our “friendly” status, I have to go through excessive amounts of screening to cross the boarder to enhance your economy, because one time in 1999 a terrorist tried to cross from Canada to the US. I bet you believe Hillary’s statements that the 9-11 bombers came from Canada too.

          • Charles M says:

            Please cite the law that, in fact, states it is against the law to stop active terrorists from entering Canada.

            Actually, the US is packed full of Muslim terrorists. The US government allows all sorts of active terrorists into their country, and it is, in fact, against the law to stop them.

            Sounds just as credible as what you just wrote.

        • Elizabeth says:

          Some people can’t understand sarcastic humor apparently….

        • Nuance says:

          Try visiting a first world country that does not constantly instill the fear of invasion or attack on its milk cows, I mean subjects, I mean citizens. You’ll notice that the only threat is from the government that makes you afraid not to have them around.

      • Moschops says:

        I don’t know about the 1999 shoe bomb plot, but the 2001 plot was foiled by the bomber’s incompetence and some passengers. :)

        • poor sheep says:

          If you read the court transcripts from the “shoe bomber,” released to wikileaks, you’ll see that there was no explosives in his shoes. He was nervously lighting the fuzz on his shoelaces and the false narrative worked out well for those involved. No “shoe bomb,” just easily manipulated fools.

    • Franck says:

      Rod Bauer … or Jack Bauer??

    • Honestly, it was probably because nobody would have fun driving your sailboat around. But a fancy new powerboat is fun. The part of DHS that is to blame is the apparently terrible training and hiring practices.

    • Anon says:

      It’s also helpful to remember that it was a whole bevy of customs agents that failed to prevent the total destruction of the World Trade Center and a significant proportion of its occupants. And that it was a whole bevy of customs agents that insisted that all travelers be irradiated with X-rays whenever they traveled because, you, know, they were just doing their job.

    • Rusty O'Shaughnessy says:

      Actually Ahmed Ressam wasn’t caught by US agents. The Canadian agents identified him as a potential terrorist and notified US agents that he was coming in on the boat.

    • Mark meyers says:

      That bright agent was shaking a container of nitroglicerine(sp) and Ahmed acted oddly jumping under his car! That is how they found out about the bomb/plan!

    • Anonymous Coward says:

      It was an INS officer who caught Ahmed Ressam. 99% of what the INS did was help people navigate Byzantine regulations in a persistent environment of uncertainty, the other 1% was enforcement (preferably against human traffickers and evil doers). The INS was destroyed and handed over to US Customs, which was primarily successful at losing drug war for 100 years and using that failure to justify increased militarization.

      Of course DHS seized his boat. He was dealing with the new Super Customs service, which is 110% more enforcement-minded than the old Customs and 0% about making life livable for anyone. If it had been an INS officer, they would have looked through the filing, filed an amendment or asked him to return to Canada and sort it out with the customs broker. That’s how they rolled.

      This is all, of course, entirely predictable. Those of us with eyes on the inside saw this developing since 2003. But this is what the American people demanded, so that’s what they got.

  4. It’s sad how every day we’re throwing away rationality and due process. It’s to protect our freedoms though, so go with it.

    • Tilo says:

      What freedom? You citizens in the USA becoming one of the most restricted societies in the world. The media and the government are calling it freedom so that they can sell you all these ludicrous laws and restrictions and the monitoring.

      • Ian says:

        I think the impression that the USA does not allow more freedom than most places in the world today or most times in history is wrong. What is troubling is that the USA, through its various agents, now imposes more random, arbitrary and unwarranted injustice, devoid of due process and options for defense or recourse for the victims. This trend seems to apply to US citizens but far more so to non-citizens.

    • Mark says:

      You have a funny definition of “protecting our freedoms”. What freedom was protected here?

    • Libertarian says:

      Um, ok, so you think the government is protecting our freedom by destroying all of them in tiny but continuous increments? Sorry, I will not go with any of it! Look, you really and truly have only two options: you can be free or you can be safe not both… But then again you really can’t be safe either so let me amend my two options: you can be free or you can be subjugated, we all know which one the government prefers but I’m rather partial to the free option. It is your duty to protect your liberties now (always has been), sadly enough you have to protect them from your government which was charged once with gaurenting those liberties but is now quickly becoming the enemy within.

  5. Master Ryan says:

    ownership of property is the primary “right” you receive as a US citizen. taxation and manipulation of that right is the government’s key tool for keeping its citizens docile and compliant. does it make sense that you pay a “property tax” for property you already own? or a license fee for a car you own? in this way you really never own anything. stop paying your property taxes for a few years and they take your property.

    the only way to get out from under the foot of the US government is to take away their “right” to tax or own your property. ie get out while you still have a few bucks in the bank. there’s many countries that will treat you like a king.

    • Michael Arrington says:

      I’m ready. Which ones.

    • Sam says:

      “ownership of property is the primary “right” you receive as a US citizen. ”

      Um, how about the right to due process? Free speech? Vote? To name just three that are clearly more important than property ownership.

      “there’s many countries that will treat you like a king.”
      I assume you’re talking about places like Singapore, Dubai, etc some of which literally have kings. Have fun with that.

      • masteryan says:

        #1 i said “primary” right, not only right. property ownership is the basis of democracy. look it up.

        #2 assumptions just make you look like an ass, and yours was wrong. please use intelligence if you are going to reply to my comments. you may have to seek outside counsel for that.

        • Jonathan Perlow says:

          Rights of owning property, free speech, etc., come from our creator, from our humanity, not from the government. As the Declaration of Independence eloquently states, “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” Our rights are not given to us by the government. We always had these rights and the people created the government to help secure them.

          So much bad thinking comes from people falling into the trap of thinking that their rights come from the government. If the government gives you these rights, it can then simply choose to take them away as well. Our basic human rights are inalienable. Governments sometimes protect our rights and sometimes violate our rights, but the rights exist regardless.

          • masteryan says:

            here here. the problem is that governments, and particularly the US government says that if you want those rights within their borders then they are not free ;)

          • yogi says:

            “:right of owning property comes from our creator” Ah hahahahahahaha.

            Show me. Really, show me. WHO”S creator? Allah, Shiva? Properrty is a Human Right?

          • Tamara Thompson says:

            You are absolutely right. God gave all of us this Earth to live on and to prosper. Only he has the right to take it from us, not any government or demigod

      • Anonn says:

        “right to due process”, like “right to the pursuit of happiness”, depends on your means. If you don’t have millions to spare, you won’t get due process. Independent of actual guilt, you’ll get a “plea bargain” that will cost millions in defense lawyers to turn down successfully. Where the success will again be mostly independent of actual guilt.

        Since the corruption is an emergent feature of the whole system rather than individual officials, buying your verdicts is way more expensive than, say, in central Africa.

      • Jonathan says:

        Arguably, we have those secondary rights only because they don’t pose any real threat to the aristocracy. Note that the US does not have a national referendum process, which could easily upend the exclusive prestige of the aristocracy.

        • PJ London says:

          No, you had those rights because your ancestors were willing to shoot (hang, guillotine or exile) the Aristos. Until the 99% realize that this is the only way to reclaim the rights, you will just have to do without them.

          • Julie Cochrane says:

            It’s not about Aristos or corporations or government agents or organized crime or whatever. People are people are people and governments are instituted among men. No matter who you are, bullies will stomp on your face if you don’t make it your mission to make stomping your face an expensive and painful proposition.

            Individual freedom and social harmony exist to the extent that we all learned or didn’t learn back in high school how to deal with bullies.

            Civil peace happens where and when (and only where and when) you have enough mature adults who respond to bullies like swallows attacking a hawk.

      • Sasha says:

        You just said that the ability to vote for tweedle dum or tweedle dee is a more important right than property ownership. It is THIS level of profound ignorance that spells doom for our country, because I am sure tens of millions of Americans agree with you.

        It’s OK if your house is confiscated, because you can cast your bit of paper into the abyss and hope it doesn’t happen again, as you go back to your tent under a bridge to wait for four more years.

        I would argue that the rights to due process and free speech both stem from strong property rights, including the property right to our own person.

    • Roberto says:

      An Irish guy once told my brother “I heard that you aren’t allowed to own property in the U.S.” My brother told him that was not true. We are absolutely allowed to own property. The Irish guys said “I heard that if you don’t pay the government every year, they will take your property…you don’t really own it.” My brother thought about it and said “Oh yeah…property tax. I guess you are right. You never really own property in the U.S.”

      Property tax sucks. I understand the need to tax for roads and police and schools and military and… But I HATE the fact that there really is no way to be left the hell alone. If I can aquire a piece of land, pay for it and find a way to be self sufficient, then I feel that there should be a way to be left the hell alone. Tax income, tax consumption, tax whatever the hell you want…but let me just have a place to call my own and be left the hell alone!

    • zooptroop says:

      “ownership of property is the primary “right” you receive as a US citizen”

      That is false. The right to own property is a natural right, and it is guaranteed by the Constitution if you are a U.S. citizen. Its is one of several natural rights you inherently possess, that can not be given or taken away by a government, among others, which include the right to free speech, the right to assemble peaceably, the right to keep and bear arms, the right to equal protection under the law and several others. I’d suggest a refresh of basic civics is in order for you, my friend.

      As for the guy that posted this, I think he’s just in need of a few competent lawyers( if he buy a custom boat he can pony up for a few Esq) and hopefully can well and truly shame the DHS over this. I’m not encouraged by a few things, tho: first, how much real attention is a blog dude going to get over his private sailboat problem? way to 1%, dude. Second, there’s a serious, serious lack of real detail in this post. Agent’s name and ID? Date, time, location, order of action? How about a scan of the “faked” customs declaration?

      For all we know this is reddit-level angst-posting at this point. So poster dude, how about you lawyer up (lawyers are useful people, you know) and post some real credible info here, and maybe you’ll get some more sympathy from the outside world?

      • GetReal says:

        Get a life. This is a blog, not a courtroom.

      • Jayce says:

        “I’d suggest a refresh of basic civics is in order for you, my friend.”

        Therein lies the problem. The government grants rights, therefore it can remove them at will. You don’t own anything, everything belongs to everyone, i.e. the government. If you want to get a bunch of people together to petition your government, you need to get a permit first. Don’t worry, it will only take several thousand dollars and dozens of pages of paperwork. You must give your “volunteer” time and effort to government sanctioned causes if you wish to go to college.

        That’s civics class, in brief.

      • Jonathan says:

        He’s describing something called allodial title, which is a very rare practice in the US but not uncommon in Europe.

        Also, there are no such things as natural rights. The right to property is merely an agreement by a community to recognize, respect and defend the practice of laying and transferring exclusive claims on entities according to procedures which may or may not involve tokens. That we’ve been doing so for six millennia or so and mostly usually agree it’s a good thing doesn’t make it natural.

        • The founders of the United States of America profoundly reject your assertion that there are no natural rights. For that matter, the UN rejects that assertion as well. There is something about being a human being that grants title to rights such as life itself, freedom not to be owned by anyone, and freedom to do whatever you please that doesn’t do harm to the neighbor. Someone pointed out that the earth belongs to humans by right, and therefore humans have the right to property ownership. Any form of government, even the most benign, will attempt to restrict or remove the rights of its citizens. Government is not about giving; it is about taking, as this blog most certainly illustrates.

        • DAvid says:

          That rights are “natural” means that they can be specified and justified with respect to the requirements of living as a human being–i.e., an organism with a certain nature–in a social context. It is an expression of justice, not a morally groundless stipulation, to respect each others’ rights.

        • truthseeker88 says:

          Tell that to Mama Grizzly when you enter her home.

        • Julie Cochrane says:

          All conceptions of rights are a moral concept. Rights as a moral concept say the other guy is “bad” for violating them, and that one can be “good” by respecting them. Natural rights as a moral concept descend from the core anti-slavery principle that each man owns himself, from birth.

          Saying there’s no such thing as natural rights is like saying there’s no such thing as the Ten Commandments. Of course there’s such a thing as the Ten Commandments. You may or may not agree with them, you may or may not find them to be of moral value to you, but they indisputably exist.

          (Or no such thing as the Sunna, or no such thing as the Wiccan Rede, or no such thing as the Teachings of Confucius.)

          It’s as if you’re arguing that Rationalism doesn’t exist because the Rationalists’ logic wasn’t good enough. Rationalism is the brand name of a school of philosophy. The label meaningfully suggests the contents of the bottle, but the label is not the contents.

          Natural Rights is a brand name for a philosophical concept; the brand name meaningfully describes what’s in the bottle. It doesn’t say a bolt of lightning is going to smite you from the sky if you don’t buy that particular bottle.

          It’s not meaningful to argue the merits of natural rights by debating whether the label “natural” belongs on the bottle or not. It’s only meaningful to debate the specific content of the rights asserted.

          Starting from the foundational concept: Does man *morally* own himself from birth, or is he owned by his parents, the government, his lord, god, society, space aliens, or what? Does man have a moral right to his own body? Or does the moral right to decide what a man does with his body belong to someone else? If to someone else, to whom, and why?

  6. Yves Dropp says:

    This sucks. Growing up our family had a boat. It was after we sold it that we learned the old saying: Two best days to own a boat
    – the day you buy it
    – the day you sell it

    • As a sailboat owner myself… this is absolutely true :-)

      It’s best to be really close friends with someone that owns a boat, then to own one yourself. They suck up way too much time and money.

      • Jay says:

        B.O.A.T. = Bust Out Another Thousand… With licensing fees for my trlr. Tabs for my 18ft Searay, $300 for a new prop-hit a stump up at Cushman last fall- I will bearly be able to afford gas let alone the fees for a fishing license. But, I doesn’t suck when I’m out on my BOAT in the Puget Sound…

  7. Evers Singleton says:

    No, the government has not gotten worse. It’s always been that way, as anyone who’s served time in the military can attest. The government is now all pervasive; that’s what’s gotten worse. Example from your story: DHS didn’t even exist 12 years ago.

    • Eric says:

      But customs always existed. DHS was just another layer of bureaucracy over what already existed.

      The government got markedly worse since the ’80s incarnation of the War on Drugs. Now the government has the tools to find out everything about you, pick one of tens of thousands of laws to charge you with, and even take your money before the trial so you can’t defend yourself.

    • Geoffrey says:

      >Example from your story: DHS didn’t even exist 12 years ago.

      The agency in question was apparently customs, which most certainly did exist 12 years ago. Customs now is a division under DHS, which may give them an inflated sense of importance, but they are the same agency.

  8. Jose Torres says:

    The droned part was the cherry of this story. Sorry about your boat, hopefully you get it back and put up some pics. Thanks for the share

  9. Mike Leach says:

    Mike, just sign the form. Nobody reads that stuff anyway.

  10. masteryan says:

    ownership of property is the primary “right” you receive as a US citizen. taxation and manipulation of that right is the government’s key tool for keeping its citizens docile and compliant. does it make sense that you pay a “property tax” for property you already own? or a license fee for a car you own? in this way you really never own anything. stop paying your property taxes for a few years and they take your property.

    the only way to get out from under the foot of the US government is to take away their “right” to tax or own your property. ie get out while you still have a few bucks in the bank. there’s many countries that will treat you like a king.

  11. Mogden says:

    The government becomes more corrupt and incompetent as it gets larger. That is understandable. What is very hard to explain is how so many otherwise intelligent people rush to clap and applaud as this process unfolds.

    • halibetlector says:

      Because we’re trained to, almost from birth, through education, the news and TV. It doesn’t matter what your IQ is, if you’re raised to believe in the system, it’s a hard habit to break.

  12. @iC says:

    You took the right option. NYC DMV mistyped my DOB (wouldn’t change it — get back in line). Then I obtained gov clearance based on the wrong date. Some yrs later crossing back into Blaine WA at the Peace Arch I’d mislaid my docs. Boarder patrol interview agent had a bright idea to look me up via my clearance. They verified my DOB — yes I know that excited agents look only to well.

  13. Nathaniel says:

    I think government trained employees are given a very exacting course in what I shall term ‘reverse customer service’ meaning that they are trained to be intentionally obtuse and callous towards those whom they are there to ‘serve.’ Case in point, I hadn’t flown in a year or two and recently had the chance to decline the full body scanners at ORD and IAD, respectively. In both cases the experience was more or less the same. Despite the nicely made signs letting everyone know that opting out of the scanner was a legitimate choice, the TSA agents in both cases felt it necessary to compel me through the scanner in a loud and rote manner, i.e. they yelled at me. When I insisted on my desire and legal right, to be patted down, I was then given the glare and told to wait in a certain spot (and warned that the wait might be significant). At IAD this was exacerbated by the agent who told me the wait might get long and then proceeded not to call anyone to pat me down for at least 3 minutes. Once she finally made the call the wait was minimal. The real fun part at IAD was after the pat down when I started to put my Birkenstocks back on before the little swab indicated that I had no bomb making material on me. The agent who did the pat down was at least courteous in telling me that I couldn’t touch my sandals until his machine beeped the right tone letting him and the world know that I was in fact not a bomb maker and that my well worn sandals were safe for my feet again.

    With respect to your story about the boat buying adventure, I have heard more than once that the best day of a person’s life is when they buy a boat and then again when they sell the boat. I hope once you get the boat and are actually able to sail it that the tenor of your adventure changes.

  14. You can always fill the time between now and when you get the boat back via boatbound.http://www.boatbound.co/

  15. geoffwolfe says:

    I’d be in jail because it would have been the perfect time to pull out “I don’t know quite how to put this, but, I’m kind of a big deal. “

  16. Tostada-man says:

    I really hope you write the follow up, and tell us how this idiotic situation ends. And that you don’t chicken out and agree to a confidentiality agreement. At least your a public figure, with some weight. The rest of us are just meaningless drones, and DHS, TSA or any other police agency would have a field day with our asses.

    Please, oh please, don’t chicken out like Dr. Michael Mann. I started a lifelong boicott of McDonalds for what he went thru in Paris, and the idiot accepted not to talk anymore about it. Now, I’m with no details and with no freakin’ Quarter Pounder with Cheese!

  17. Tait says:

    Integrity is doing the right thing even at a personal cost.

    Thank you for acting with integrity.

    I hope everything comes out OK.

  18. ajf says:

    You should name the agent. Most people that this sort of thing happens to don’t have your clout or resources, if you don’t speak out, who will?

    Short of violence, shame is the only thing that may keep the corrupt vermin so many call ‘public servants’ in check.

    • Michael Arrington says:

      I never knew her name. Her boss is Keith Marr though. I spoke to him today afterwards. It was like reading from 1984.

      The form is not incorrect, it is the form. You must sign the form.

      • ajf says:

        I assumed that she would have been wearing a name tag or had a business card at her desk/station/whatever. But, I’ve had this sort of thing (on a smaller scale) happen to me too and the government agent was not readily identifiable and/or refused to supply identification.

        We should require all government employees to personally identify themselves prior to engaging with citizens. Perhaps that would be one small step toward accountability.

      • someone j. somewhere says:

        Keith is correct. The form is correct. The contents of the form are wrong.

      • David J says:

        They would rather you obey their orders than obey the law. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rule_of_Man

      • sal alosi says:

        Apparently Keith Marr has some troubles of his own, check out the Florida sex offender database: http://offender.fdle.state.fl.us/offender/flyer.do?personId=38610

      • Jay says:

        Sounds like a broken record, or atlest a computer response… The Canadian Co. needs to have a dealership in the U.S. and deliver it there, then U take position of it..

      • Anonymous Coward says:

        If the Invoice says “CAD” then Customs officer cannot just change it to “USD”. If Officer Keith Marr says otherwise, he is full of shit and should be sent back to FLETC.

        The CBP Form 7501 is supposed to have a worksheet attached for all currency conversions. That’s not opinion, that’s CFR. They wouldn’t change 100,000 Mexican Pesos ($7800 USD) into 100,000 USD and then seize them for not declaring more than $10,000 USD.

  19. Mark Jaquith says:

    I probably would have just crossed out anything that said “$” or “US Dollars” and written “Canadian Dollars” and then signed it. But it sounds like once you balked at signing the incorrectly filled out form, they smelled a chance to let a very small amount of power go to their head.

    • Michael Arrington says:

      I tried to do that and she said “the form cannot be changed.”

    • Michael Arrington says:

      I honestly think if I had just “changed the form” when she expected me to sign it she’d have pulled out her gun. She made it quite clear that DHS forms cannot be incorrect, therefore this one wasn’t incorrect, even though it was.

      • No question you did the best you could with a bad situation. Your only possible way out of this was if you had been smuggling Pamprin.

      • Mike – if you need to get a hold of me directly you can. I’m a Licensed US Customs Broker and have dealt with CBP on various issues with regard to situations similar to this. I have to be careful what I say with regard to your situation directly as I would need to have a Power of Attorney to give you direct consultation on this matter, but in a general sense there are a few things that could have been done differently by CBP or by yourself to ensure the process was correct.

        Also, I don’t think you need to hire an attorney just yet – there is a protest procedure with CBP on everything they do. Hit me up on twitter and I can talk to you directly about it.

      • Sweet Christmas! What’s next? DHS mandatory goose-stepping drills?

        This is like something straight out of 40’s Germany.

        • Hal Romberg says:

          He got his boat seized for being a headache. He’ll get it back if everything is perfect, but the fact is he asked a glorified DMV clerk with a gun to do extra work, and then he pissed off his “betters” so they took it out of spite. People like that should face real, personal consequences when they abuse their power. Firing the asshat in question would be a good start. A mandatory class for the entire DHS in how to respect rule of law and not coerce citizens into purgering themselves would be a decent follow up. Publishing the story and the DHS asshat’s home address on every nutjob militia website would be payback in kind. >:-)

          • The problem here is the doctrine of “Qualified Immunity” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qualified_immunity) , which shields government officials from liability for the violation of an individual’s federal constitutional rights.

            This agent knows that anything she does – outside of some of the most egregious acts – is shielded. Any liability shifts to the Federal Government (DHS directly) and will be defended by them. She also knows this fact.

            Given the above, short of pulling out her gun and shooting Michael because she felt like it, she is protected from any and all consequences of her actions. The Federal Government, the deep pocket in this case, has an incentive to throw its full resources at this one, to protect itself.

            At the end of the day, Ms. DHS/ICE Agent can do whatever she wants and know that she is protected from Michael suing her, by her union from disciplinary action, and that the Federal Government will fight this one for here.

            Any disciplinary action taken against her will be protected by privacy laws. And any attempt by anyone – even if Michael waives his rights – to get information on this case and its handling will be blocked by claims of, “We cannot comment on that case due to privacy laws and regulations” with the implication that is being done for Michael’s benefit.

          • Jayce says:

            The entirety of what DHS does is unconstitutional. If we actually had the rule of law in this country, the DHS wouldn’t exist. I’m not sure a class would do any good.

  20. Jeremy Bray says:

    I have heard pretty much nothing but horror stories when it comes to dealing with DHS. Frankly, I can’t think of a single part of the government I actually like which is why I want out of this country as soon as possible. As soon as I can make enough money that I can move somewhere else or at least find a good way to make money online that can be done from anywhere, I am out of here! And if that plan fails, I am planning to apply for the Mars One mission to be part of the first colony on Mars.

  21. David says:

    Integrity! It’s so refreshing, thank you. Our government is only kept in check from sliding into an abyss of corruption through actions on behalf of US the citizens.

    As far as the agents delight in the seizure, it will probably look good on her next promotion evaluation. That is the primary measure of how well they are doing their job, by how much stuff (drugs, cars, houses, boats) they acquire.

    Good luck with the lawyer, you might want to find out if they plan to auction your boat.

  22. dodgy_coder says:

    What the hell happened to common sense? I hope the woman is held accountable for her mistake.

  23. Gee that bites. Love the ride though – esp. the 560 – which one did you get? On the other hand … you could have gotten a Hinckley -Portsmouth, RI plus that wicked Hinckley Jetstick® … just sayin … ;-)

  24. mike says:

    It’s the law school training. Once you learn about the things people have been through for signing falsely on government forms, you don’t want to sign one. And I don’t think “the bureaucrat told me to sign it” is a defense.

  25. When dealing with government (DMV, taxes, etc) I’ve always taken the scary text by the signature seriously, and I’ve only ever been punished for it. When I moved to CA, I asked the DMV about registering my car there, and was incorrectly told that I’d have to pay a “use tax” – basically the sales tax that I would have paid had I bought the car in state. It turned out that, since I’d owned the car for a year out of state, I did not owe this money. On the fear of being charged $1500 (which I didn’t have) to register it, I never came in.

    After a year, the startup that I’d been working on failed, and I started at a real job (with a salary and everything). I returned to the DMV, intent on finally legally registering my car, even though I knew I’d be out of state in another year or so. The woman at the counter read my forms, saw that I was over a year late on my registration, and did everything in her power to get me to lie. She stressed “when was the MOST RECENT time your car entered the state?”, but I was too dense to catch on.

    Honesty ended up costing me like $900.

  26. Bob says:

    I’m on a L1 visa. Because I told the IRS the true about the money i made before transferring to the USA it took a year for my taxes to be done and had to seek lawyers advices…. Basically the IRS wanted me to pay taxes on my british incomes before I moved to the USA , before I even knew about the damn job. after a year I got lucky to finally talk to someone at the IRS that know what they were doing. 1 week after everything was fixed. 1 freaking year!

  27. Time to contact your congressman. This is the kind of stuff they’ll actually go chase.

    • Mark says:

      You beat me to it suggesting write your reps. I just saw where the President is freeing up research papers after 1 year. Maybe Aaron Swartz death was not completely in vain. Not suggesting you go that route and wish Aaron had not but I understand his fears. Mr Thatcher sounds like your best bet on learning how to play the game.

  28. eduardo ortega says:

    Of course the question I ask anyone complaining about such things is, ding, “Who did you vote for?”

    • benj says:

      ‘Who you voted for’ does nothing to change various levels of bureaucracy…
      or not in any predictable fashion, anyway. I’m no Obama fan but you cannot pin this on him.

      • Hal Romberg says:

        You can pin half of it on him and half of it on Bush. He bears responsibility for every action taken by the executive branch and its employees while he’s in office.

        Now if you’d voted for a Libertarian…… :-)

    • Hmm says:

      You do recognize which president’s watch DHS was founded under, right? Outside of that fact, poorly trained, authoritarian government employees know no political party boundaries.

      • lakelevel says:

        You do recognize which president’s watch DHS WAS UNIIONIZED under, right?

      • Jayce says:

        Obama has continued or extended every idiot policy Bush started, so what’s your point? That one jerk is somehow better than the other? That both parties keep conning people into defending them while they do the _exact same things_ is disgusting. Meanwhile, they all laugh all the way to the bank. With your money.

        • Mark says:

          I agree on this point he has been a big disappointment on how he has continued most of Bush’s security policies and even allowed them to become worse. I can’t believe when you pointed out the mistake that she said to sign it anyway and then her boss said the same thing. If they worked for me they would not repeat that mistake again. They would also have found a way to correct the mistake.

  29. David Cannon says:

    What’s the name of the customs agent who harassed you? These people thrive on anonymity.

  30. DHS says:

    Mike – u should go through the immigration (permanent residency) process. you will find this as a piece of cake ! you have no idea how messed up these govt. agencies are…

  31. C-Lo says:

    You are an inspiration. Such providence! Beyond the integrity of signing something you know not to be true, you were concerned that it may complicate issues in the future. If there were more like you we would have to worry less about mortgage crisis’, rogue investors, and corrupt politicians.

  32. What has driven me crazy since 2001 is this business of the truth meaning nothing. Maybe it’s been longer – I don’t know. But it’s a symptom of something in the culture that there’s this great pressure to look compliant and say the right words without any regard for what words mean. It’s all a show: security theatre at the airport, morality theatre in schools and churches, and in politics as well. It’s as if truth were at once rarer than diamonds and as prized as horse offal.

    • Michael Arrington says:

      “this business of the truth meaning nothing” – yeah, me too.

      • Ben Coleman says:

        It sounds like it’s related to what I call ‘Prioritizing PR and presentation over actual effectiveness’. An insistence that looking good, or having people present you in a positive light is more important than actually doing your work effectively. For the person who primarily wants to do their work effectively, criticism or correction is an aid. For the person who primarily wants to look good, criticism or correction is anathema – it fails to make them look good and present them positively. Acknowledging that the form was wrong would be to admit that she had made a mistake, which cannot be tolerated.

    • jak says:

      People can be put into a shock-induced state of suspended disbelief. I certainly was. It’s complicated because you cant _tell_ someone even if it’s obvious. A person can only decide that they were in this state of mind after the fact. The BBC made a documentary about this called “The Power Of Nightmares” (2004). Like all good things, it’s on youtube.

  33. Buzz says:

    Have you thought to reach out to either Patty Murray or Maria Cantwell? They are both pretty responsive, and generally government agencies do not want to get a call from a U.S. Senator’s office. I wouldn’t bother with the congressman, he doesn’t swing enough weight. And I would also reach out to the Seattle Times/Geekwire guys, and maybe one or two TV stations. Agencies also do not want to have the press all over them. You might give DHS a call, explain what you are going to do, ask for the name of their regional counsel, and begin to systematically turn up the heat until they cave in. which they will.

    I spent a long time practicing law, and it’s what I would do for you at say $450 an hour if I was still doing that kind of stuff, but no reason why you can’t do it yourself. I might be missing something, but I’m not aware of any Federal law that gives the preemptive right to seize property without due process unless there is a legitimate belief that you might flee or that the property might be used in say the commission of a felony, etc.

    • Justin says:

      I’m sure they’ll say they haven’t seized the property yet… They’re just holding onto evidence. After Michael spends thousands on lawyers fees to get it back and prevent a default judgement and seizure he might get it back. This could turn into one of those ridiculous, United States vs Buddy (yes against the property not the person) cases where Michael will have more trouble defending the boat as only a third party witness if they allow his testimony… After all they’ll claim there is no known rightful owner and that it was abandoned at customs. Sick.

    • ralph says:

      In total agreement here: Immediately contact cantwell and murray — and your representative. You are right that you will lose the lawyering. But this isn’t a legal issue — it’s a political one. Also, you should get your brain around good, solid, diplomatic answers. They’ll argue with you, and you should be able to say precisely WHY you couldn’t sign a legal document that wasn’t in CDN. That you feared some day in the future some arbitrary person would check those documents, find the discrepancy, and then SEIZE YOUR BOAT. But you’d be seized, too, in this case. Keep us updated!

  34. Empowered bureaucrats taking initiative…So many similarities with the private sector (most mid-level managers in multinationals).

  35. Mugatp says:

    Boo hoo. But American next time you rich prick!

    • Smeagol says:

      …says the guy who quite probably owns more than one electronic device manufactured outside the US. Grow up, Nancy boy – being rich has nothing to do with country of manufacture. If the US hadn’t gotten lazy and fallen behind the rest of the world (or gotten greedy and outsourced everything) maybe we wouldn’t have such shitty products nobody wants.

    • DAvid says:

      What is Mugatp’s point? That the rights of rich people should not be respected? That the rights of people who buy any products not made in America should not be respected? Is earning wealth or buying a foreign product tantamount to a crime, such that anybody who commits these “crimes” deserves any kind of abuse? What exactly is the argument that could support such conclusions?

  36. John G says:

    People commonly refer to “government bureaucracy”, yet still vote for those who prescribe more government as a fix to all that ails them.

    Can’t you see that the government is not the answer for everything we see wrong in the world? DHS is just a slice of the waste, mental, and morally deficient workers that this kind of job employs.

    Let’s wake up and downsize the crap out of this monster.

  37. john mcmullan says:

    i am so sorry this happened – those fucking bullies. i swear, they proven that humans will, if given power over other humans, shock them and do all kinds of weird mean shit to each other. I forget what the tests were called but its fact. that boarder chick is scary. Oh it was the Milgram experiement!

    • jak says:

      And the Stanford Prison Experiment. The Asch Conformity Experiment, and the Bystander Effect are also part of the psychological problem we are dealing with.

  38. Markus says:

    What you need to do is go to a country where the legal system really works and there is a balance of power between citizens and government (no I am not talking about this crazy stuff you have over there where citizens “outgun” government). ;-)

    So here is your retirement plan:
    Move to the Netherlands or Germany. Spend your holidays in Italy.

    Certainly not everything is perfect in Europe and most definitely we also have government people who overstep their duties, but that’s the exception and not the rule and if stuff really goes wrong you’ll sue them and the court punches them in the face.

    From a European perspective the states, especially the East and the West Coast are where many people would love to go for a couple of years, but I keep on hearing more and more stuff like: Yea, California is certainly cool but all this terrorist crazy talk. They are out of there freaking minds. California would be ok of it would be an independent country. And how does all this California openness and liberalism fit into the picture to the still existing death penalty. That’s just plain barbaric – it doesn’t fit the picture of the cool technological sun shine economy – it would fit some ancient tribe in the jungle.

    • Hal Romberg says:

      Marcus,

      We might have more guns than our government does, but we almost never use ours. The problem over here is that we’ve gotten so lax in holding our government accountable (for many depressing reasons) that its hirelings have lost respect for the people they serve. It’s going to take a long time to fix that.

  39. John says:

    Michael I live in Seattle myself and love boating I truly hope you are able to not only get your boat back but bring them to justice. But they are a government agency who will play hardball and pull BS moves you have a tough road but I believe you can win, best of luck to you and look forward to seeing that beauty on the Sound

    • John says:

      I also know they are picky about form I was in the DOL and did the wrong date and an entire new form needed to be done, however that dose not excuse what they did it would not have been that hard

  40. God damn it.
    Simple lesson, though. When they give you those papers that say “I swear this is true”, and there’s something on the paper that isn’t true, you simply correct it right there on paper, without asking anyone, and sign. I’ve done this in the past, and the worst thing I got was “hey, you can’t do that”, to which I responded “I did what it asked on the form”. You may get the look, but it would be really hard for the clerk to justify ceasing your boat.
    Remember this when the helicopter arrives.

    • kgelner says:

      Exactly what I was going to say, including the same “I was just following the rules” response that they give you when saying you have to sign the form as is. The best way to fight a bureaucrat is to out-dumb them.

      Also take a picture of the form after you sign and correct it, and bring something like a red pen so you can more easily detect copies of your signature.

    • brindafella says:

      I recently dropped off an elderly person at the drive-through, ground floor entry of a public building, noting that signs gave the “opening times” beside the imposing rotary doors. I then parked the car and walked back through the “front door”, to find that the group had found the door locked and they had to walk a considerable distance to the front door of the building. I later asked the [1st] guard about this, and was told that “that door is never open on Sundays”. So, I went to the inner side of the rotating doors and crossed out the Sunday open times. “[2nd guard] You can’t do that!” “Yes, I can, and I just did, so that other people will not be deceived like I was by an incorrect sign.” “but… but… but… [1st guard's name], you’d better fix up the sign.”

  41. Chad says:

    If she is on Canadian soil, go “seize” her property….. “do unto others” “eye for an eye” and all that shit. These people will NOT learn unless they have a learning experience. Americans need to quit being pushovers and spineless, that is NOT our culture. Someone tried to rob me at knife point in Miami Beach in an alley once, so i stepped back like I was going for my wallet and pulled my Ruger SP101, told him it was a magnum with bear hunting hollow points and i dont fuck around then took his knife and cell phone and tossed em into a glass dumpster and told him to “go fish, tough Guy. Never bring a knife to a gunfight” “i should remove your kneecaps” I’m sure he learned something that day. I know its a bit extreme. But, that’s how you deal with criminals. They only respond to force.

    • flink says:

      If you aren’t going to kill someone, never embarrass them. The bastard probably took out his rage on the next dozen people he robbed.

      • Julie Cochrane says:

        Chad’s silly, but seriously—you want to blame a crime victim for his uncooperativeness putting the criminal in a bad mood? So the criminal being a monster to a dozen other people is the fault of one of his *victims* for being too tough to rob?

        Hello?

        I’m sowwy the poor widdle cwiminal had a bad day. (Not that I believe there even was one–that sounds like a total BS story.)

    • Da Truf says:

      … obviously a daydream you had Chad. More likely you either saw it on tv or if it was live you just wet yourself.

    • henry says:

      that’s beautiful man! My family and I live in the most violent fucking country in the world (South Africa), and you’re right, the criminals only understand violence.

      Shoot to kill, then shoot in the air to satisfy bs laws regarding warning shots.

  42. Kay says:

    Serves you right. You should’ve named it Laguna.

  43. dan says:

    Next time, spend the money on charity! ;-)

  44. Sara says:

    SEXTANT + DRAMAMINE

  45. Laurent Le Pen says:

    You did the right thing. This will pay off, patience.

  46. auroralxylon says:

    And they ask why no-one likes the government…

  47. Vadim says:

    Michael,
    She wanted you to lie on a Federal Governemnt form. Which is equivalent to lie to a Federal Officer. Which is a criminal offence. So she’s conspied to, commit a criminall offence. Report her to FBI .
    These agencies always et each other throats… Exploit the fact.

  48. bbneo says:

    This still is America, and Homeland Security or not, you have rights as a citizen to fair treatment. Go after them with a lawyer and write and expose’. Obama has been championing himself as a “people’s president”, but it seems like citizen rights have been suffering much more under his administrations than they ever did under Republican presidents.

    • Brasil says:

      Unfortunately, as soon as you try and cross the border, you lose all of your rights.

      Customs can and will search you and your property without a warrant or probable cause. Customs can seize your property. The government can then use whatever they find to prosecute you.

      ICE is the worst agency in the government because they have no constituency. Whoever said talk to your Senator had a good idea.

  49. bob says:

    Welcome to the land of the free.

  50. Robson Barbosa de Miranda says:

    I thought this kind of thing only happened here in Brazil.

    • Harry Tuttle says:

      Listen, this boat of yours could be on fire and I couldn’t even turn on the kitchen tap without filling out a 27b/6… Bloody paperwork

    • rpressergmail says:

      Harry Tuttle said, “Listen, this boat of yours could be on fire and I couldn’t even turn on the kitchen tap without filling out a 27b/6… Bloody paperwork.”

  51. Mike Colucci says:

    they need a good swift kick in the crotch

  52. Aww says:

    Poor poor you….

  53. Schpörkles says:

    You followed the correct course by pointing out the administrative error; who knows what mayhem could have been caused down the line by there not having been a record of the CAD/USD conversion transaction for what was undoubtedly a six- or seven-figure transaction. It could have easily been flagged as money laundering, tax evasion, tariff avoidance, or fraud. Errors on forms happen all the time; correcting them quickly and reprinting them is the ENTIRE POINT of having forms in the first place. With the benefit of hindsight perhaps you would have made the correction, initialed it, and slid the form back across the table, putting the onus on the agent to either accept the signed form as is or printing another with the correct info. But I would have done what you did too.

    I suspect this will be resolved quickly. I would like to hear the DHS agent’s justification for the path she followed.

  54. Mikey says:

    Sue them. You’ll win. Honestly speaking, that federal agent probably doesn’t understand that there is a difference between Canadian and U.S. dollars. Many of them are quite stupid.

  55. jwbabiak says:

    Michael did the right thing. You shouldn’t compromise your integrity (or in this case risk penalties) by signing an official document that is incorrect.

    This isn’t an issue about government bureaucracy, government incompetence or too much government.

    This is a case of “badge arrogance”. I cross the U.S. Canadian border on a regular basis and often see the same attitude with customs agents. I have come across some that have been insulting, made derogatory sexist remarks to my girlfriend or just told me that THEY ask the questions because I asked them “How are you, today?”

    On the other hand, I’ve come across other agents that are friendly, helpful and even one that I would see on a regular basis that would give me great suggestions on cigars.

    I have seen the same attitude with park rangers and police officers.
    My theory is that some if these people are so insecure about themselves or their job, they have to overcompensate by showing us how important their badge makes them.

    Government has to be run like a business and someone has to show these people what customer service is all about.

    Not only would it make the “client” happy, you get more bees with honey than vinegar.
    Homeland security agents would probably get more cooperation and information by putting people at ease, rather than on edge. (And, those that can’t be put to ease, should be questioned a little more.)

    Dealing with a government agent should be a positive experience. We should have the same feeling after dealing with a government agent as we do when we leave an Apple Store. Especially since government is costing us a lot more money than an iPad.

    Shouldn’t this be at the heart of fixing government?

    Writing a letter to Steve Jobs (or Tim Cook) won’t fix this, but shouldn’t it be just as easy to get a message to the people up top in government ?

    Your posting is a great start, but dont stop now. And dont stop when you get your boat back.
    Go for it Michael!

  56. Richard says:

    I don’t understand the problem. Your boat is in Canada. Why not just move to Canada where fascism is less highly advanced and you are not on a no-fly list for life?

  57. Dan G. says:

    This is a state of affairs in our declining country. I’m currently in a 18 month battle with the IRS. The issue is only over $4000, which I could have paid a long time ago and made my life easier. But I’m fighting it on principal. The IRS transposed 2 columns in my return and despite my best efforts, I can not get a thinking human being to even look at this without passing the buck. I now have a pending court case. Six months ago, I got a letter from the IRS attorney requesting documents which I promptly sent via Fedex with Signature Confirmation. She called 2 days ago requesting the same documents or she was moving forward with a court date. I stated that I sent them in October and had the documentation to show they were signed for. Her only response was “well….I don’t have them.”
    At this point, I welcome the time with a judge to explain this whole debacle that could have been solved by an empowered employee 18 months ago.

  58. esarsea says:

    Reblogged this on THE BS BLOG.

  59. Sabre Sbr says:

    I would go thermo-nuclear on that agent. No stone left unturned to make that useless life more miserable than she already is working as a government agent.

  60. Andre T says:

    I’m amazed not a single person is disagreeing with you. Well except for the asshat who is suggesting you’re a rich prick and you should “buy” American.. but then.. he can’t even spell the word “buy” so… there goes his credibility.
    My point is. what you did was dumb. Yes, you should have just signed the paperwork and moved on with your life. No one would ever have gotten back to you about it. it would have been the end of story. You’d be on a boat.
    Instead you decided to make a row over nothing, and now you have no boat.
    Did you think that because you were a privileged white dude that you’d be able to get away with flaunting authority?
    Take a lesson from anyone who’s struggling to make it in this world. When the “Man” asks you a question, you say. “Yesir” and “nosir” and “sorry sir” and move on with your life.
    They can, and will, make an asshat out of you because they have the right to. the law is on their side. they /are/ the law. so…
    Yes, you acted like a idiot and lost your boat.
    Next time, hopefully, you’ll learn to pick your battles. Go get a black lawyer from any urban area, follow the man’s advice in the future… don’t fuck with the law if you don’t need to.

    • JP says:

      … speaking of asshats …

    • Jim says:

      What you and most everyone else here fails to see is that there was no valid choice from the start. The form was obviously CREATED FALSE. If he signs it, the goons get him for signing a false statement, but probably not right away. If he refuses, he obviously has refused to follow the law. This is why the goonette was happy – she got to confiscate the evidence of his “crime” immediately.

      Simple to prove they fucked up. This is not the only boat purchased from that boat company that passed through customs, is it? Call your senator.

  61. Derek Jensen says:

    “how screwed up our government bureaucracy has become”

    While this is certainly a mess that shouldn’t have happened, do you really think that there wasn’t a time in all history when many government officials didn’t act like jackasses when the opportunity arose? Do you think people in the 1970s or 1920s or 1850s or 1600s had it easier? Petty officials often like to wield their power in petty tyrannies, whether they are customs officials or prison guards or mayors or schoolteachers. It’s human nature.

  62. Semi-related question. You write: “I live a fairly simple life and that didn’t change much after I sold TechCrunch … Nothing too fancy or large … It has (technology) that the TechCrunch audience would be interested in … “ Why do you feel the need to apologize for your success?

  63. Skip says:

    I am sorry to hear that this happened. The DHS has a serious problem with the way that they conduct business. While I have never had to deal with them in a maritime situation, I have been hassled by agents at an airport. On a flight through Arizona I had to land in Prescott with electrical problems around 2:00 in the morning. Ended up sleeping in the plane as I couldn’t figure out how to get over the fence to stay at a motel. In the morning I was detained stating that I was trespassing, and my plane was searched under the suspicion of trafficking. Even though I had all of my logs and licenses, they treated me a if I were a criminal. While I see a need for DHS, I don’t see why they need to behave like a Gestapo. Hope you get your boat back.

  64. flink says:

    It’s time to cast ballots from the rooftops.

  65. Dan says:

    “Department of Homeland Security”? Why don’t we call them what they really are — border guards, like the thuggish KGB boarder guards of old?

  66. Jeff says:

    FFS, you tried to import a BOAT without hiring a CUSTOMS BROKER? You so crazy.

  67. John says:

    Your story reminds me of when I crossed into the US (from Canada) at the Washington border by car. We were planning to drive down to Portland, so my wife packed a bag of snacks for our three kids (all under 6 years old). We’ve done this crossing perhaps 50 times in the last few years, since my wife’s family lives there and we try to visit often.

    We got picked to go into the office to have a chat with the border agents so they can inspect our car… which is fine. That’s happened a few times.. it’s usually random. No big deal, even though it’s no fun to wait in a line for an hour in the office, with 3 kids under 6 years old, while they go through the car and try to find whatever they’re looking for.

    Eventually it’s our turn to talk to someone. The lady asks me if we have any fruit in our car. I did not think a couple of cut-up apples in snack bag obviously meant to be eaten during our road-trip would count as “fruit”, so I said no.

    Immediately, the lady motions to a bunch of other guards who I suddenly noticed were all staring at me with their hands on their gun holsters, then walks around the counter… calm as a cucumber… grabs my arm and promptly drops me to the ground. There is little doubt she was highly trained at helping totally stunned and unexpecting people fall to the ground like a rock. She proceeds to handcuff my hands behind my back and then steps away and starts reciting a bunch of stuff about who knows what.

    At this point, my wife starts freaking out and my kids all start crying. So what do the nice government border people do? They drop my wife and handcuff her, too. Right beside me. My three kids (did I mention they’re all under 6 years old?) are grabbed by other border agents and taken away out of our sight.

    All of this happened within about 30 seconds of me answering that I did not have any fruit in the car.

    Anyway, to make this very long story short… we were put into seperate rooms and interogated about everything from why we wanted to visit the US (did I mention already we’ve done this trip and crossed the SAME border at least 50 times in the past few years?), to if we had any explosive devices we wanted to declare.

    After about 3 hours (during which time we had no idea where our three children were located or what was happening with them), we were told why we were being detained.

    It was the apple slices. Apparently the apple slices my wife packed in the snack bag were from some country that was not allowed in the US. We have no idea how they know what country the apples were from, but we can only assume my wife left the little sticker on one of the slices. We were not allowed to see the apples again, so we really have no idea.

    We had to sign a mountain of paperwork and then told we would be on the “watch list” for agricultural violations for the next year. That means we’ll be automatically flagged to get pulled over every time we cross (which won’t be for a LONG time).

    There was no appology for the rough take-down of me or my wife, or how they treated our kids. Speaking of which, we had to go and pick them up after we were released. They were in some kiddy daycar place, which we also had to sign a mountain of paperwork and agree to come back for some kind of hearing on whether we are fit parents.

    The whole thing was bizarre.

    The only good thing is that I got it all on video and audio. The whole thing. You see, I recently got a nifty little “spy pen” toy thingy that has a camera and audio recording in it. It was sitting in my pocket the whole time. The video is pretty bad, but it shows enough of what happened to be clear, and the audio is perfect for the many hours of the whole ordeal.

    I’m not sure whether to post it on youtube or if I should try to sue the government of the USA for their obviously reckless handling of the situation.

    Or I might do nothing, because like Michael pointed out…. the drones.

    • Cyan says:

      How about we give it to penn Jillette to play on penn’s Sunday school? I’m sure he would like to see it.

    • Howie says:

      For those who thought that was tl;dr, here’s a summary:

      When the border guards asked if he had fruit in the car he lied, and paid the price.

      • aristosophos says:

        He didn’t lie: the question was ambiguous. Also to say he “paid the price” implies that what they did is the legal penalty, It isn’t. I assume that when it came to bullying in school, you were the last to join in – making sure that you had safety in numbers.

    • ostm says:

      You’ll note they say it is illegal to record in any way going through the border process, publishable for up to X years in jail…

      If anyone with means is reading this, the best thing you can possibly do is to lobby/(aka bribe) the appropriate officials to allow and even encourage recording through border crossings. It would be a good way to help correct border guard errors or power trips.

      I cross a couple times a year; No criminal record, SWM, english, Canadian and expect to be questioned for about an hour; Only twice was I let through without undue interrogation, and was turned away once for not having copies of residential deeds on me etc(which they didn’t want to see the next time).

      I am often told ‘wrong information/requirements’, and it’s little wonder people get confused. I carry paperwork from the US Customs website stating the ‘correct information’, but I learned quickly “they” get hostile if you suggest a politely as possible that their information may be incorrect(even with evidence to contrary in hand). Pretty basic stuff, like how long you are allowed to stay etc.

    • Bill says:

      That is horrible. The worst I saw, is one time when I was picked up from the airport in Buffalo and going back to Canada. When the driver got to the border, and they asked if he had any fruits or vegetables, he said just his lunch. When the border guard asked to see it, he asked if he could please keep it as he was hungry and hadn’t had breakfast. But the border guard took the brown paper bag and dropped it straight in the garbage, not even opening it to take a look at what parts could be returned to him. He then handed the guy a flier about fruits and vegetables and told him to have a nice day. (Even when Canadian’s are rude as hell, they are polite about it.)

      Now, naturally I have been stopped at times and called in for questioning crossing the border both ways. But that is the only time I ever thought they were inconsiderate about the whole thing. It sounds like you ran across a real set of a**holes. I would not blame the government for the actions of those individuals, but I would say it points out how the whole system needs reform. Border crossing agents should be trained to be polite and considerate, and to limit there actions within the scope of reason for the laws they are there to enforce. In this case, there is no reason they could not simply say, “Do you have any fruits or vegetables?” If the answer is no, “Could there be any lunch or snack items that you may have forgotten about?”

      If they step outside the scope of reason, then there should be consequences for that.

      • dogrivergrad68 says:

        The Canadian border agents searched my car, all of my personal belongings, and even rummaging through my cell phone, camera, and computer because I mentioned the purpose of my short trip was to visit Rouleau, SK where the TV series Corner Gas was made. Other than the total waste of time and being made to feel like a criminal, the thing that I thought was silly was that in the process of taking everything out of my car, they included obvious trash (empty soda cans, food packaging, etc) back in the car instead of just putting it in the trash. Traveling to Mexico has been a more pleasant experience.

        Speaking of which, the US Customs people always seem to freak out over the sealed, commercially packaged cheese that I buy for a friend of mine when I visit Mexico. They don’t bat an eye over the booze, but I get the evil eye and asked lots of questions about the damn cheese. After the 1st time, I put it in my checked in baggage instead of what goes through the scanners. One experience with a wide eyed agent, clutching his firearm, asking me to slowly open my backpack followed by “oh, it’s just cheese” is enough for me. Setting off radiation sensors due to a medical stress test a few weeks before was another fun time. But they complimented me for filling out the declarations form correctly…apparently most do not.

  68. Gman says:

    Gee, Can’t wait for government run healthcare. Go in for knee surgery come out with an appendectomy. Hey it was on the form!

  69. We have a nation of people bordering on feral. You’re a person of means, why don’t you emigrate?

  70. NH says:

    Lesson learned – bring a lawyer with you next time. It may be worth it.

  71. Pat says:

    Can I ask this question? What would the harm have been in signing the form? My guess is it would have been less than what happened?

  72. MD says:

    I’m not really sure what you expected to happen, but you’re attributing the problem to the wrong entity; its not the US government’s fault, its your builder’s fault.

    The agent didn’t have the authority to change the form, and you didn’t have the ability to sign it. The seizing of your boat was inevitable. Everyone acted properly, but a mistake was made somewhere down the line, likely by your builder who probably provided a CAD price for your boat to the US government. Why the builder would use a nonstandard form of currency other to submit pricing and value information to a foreign government is nonsensical.

    The problem is your assertion that the price is incorrect may be true, but it also may not be true, and the customs agent has no idea whether or not you are telling the truth, and likely did not receive the paperwork and prepare the document.

    This isn’t a problem with government bureaucracy, this is common sense. Allowing you to change the form on your word alone exposes the government to significant risk of fraud.

    You did the right thing by not signing the document when you knew it was false, but you need to hold the proper party responsible, not slander the US government for not reading your builder’s mind that the price they were submitting was in a foreign currency which the US government does not transact business in.

    • MD says:

      Also, I should say, perhaps she was so eager to seize your boat, because then she’s got a boat for the day. You attribute this to some sort of glee from itching for something to happen, ie a power complex, but maybe her excitement was about her job going from signing boring paperwork all day, to being able to drive a sweet boat around. Who wouldn’t get excited? I would.

      To me it sounds like you’re looking to fault the government, whereas I just see it doing its job, and you unfortunately picked an incompetent contractor to build your boat.

      • Hal Romberg says:

        You really don’t see anything wrong with the government’s actions on this? It’s OK for them to coerce people into perjuring themselves and steal their lawfully acquired property if they refuse? It’s acceptable for a bureaucracy to refuse corrections to incorrect data?

        Governments exist to protect the persons, property and liberties of their citizens. In this case, ours failed miserably.

        • MD says:

          I don’t see how the coerced him into perjury. I mean, she’s clearly bad at her job since she said didn’t care about the value difference and suggested he sign it anyway, but I can’t imagine that’s official government policy.

          The government’s policy of not allowing transfer of the boat without proper paperwork though, yeah I’m cool with that, and since there was a dispute as to the value, seizing it does seem appropriate until it can be resolved.

          The bureaucracy didn’t refuse corrections. The modification was coming from Arrington (buyer), not the boat builder (seller) and was being made to the improper authority. The agent didn’t have the discretion to modify the documentation. Down the road I’m sure the bureaucracy will accept proper modification and it will all be cleared up.

          It may not be protecting Arrington, but it is protecting every single other member of this country and enforcing the social contract we all agree to, which includes that we will properly declare the value of goods we bring into the nation from abroad.

          • DAvid says:

            MD says the seizing of the boat was “inevitable.” That’s just the sort of thing that inevitably happens when there are mistakes in paperwork. Good God. You do understand, MD, that the man’s boat was taken from him, by force, and that the agent who took it is a human being with free will who could have refrained from doing so, do you not? And you do understand that it was vicious and wrong to take the boat, do you not?

    • Pizz says:

      CAD are as standard as USD, actually more standard than them as the payment was made in Canada using that currency. First time something paid for a foreign currency crosses the US border?

      • MD says:

        Every time you declare the value of an item being imported into the US, you declare it in USD. To the US government, there is absolutely no other form of currency than the USD. Where the payment was made is irrelevant, you are trying to bring an item of X value into the US. A CAD value is meaningless. Sorry, but the US government should not be wasting its time doing currency conversions for private parties; they can do that themselves.

  73. jdoe says:

    I am not sure why there is such a long discussion about government here. This isn’t a government problem so much as it is that one person.

    The lady is clearly incompetent for that job if she has trouble understanding basic reasoning.

  74. Greg A says:

    They forgot to put sails on your boat!

  75. Kudos for taking an oath seriously, and standing up for your principles — just like Sir Thomas More (depicted in the outstanding play/movie “A Man For All Seasons”) did, although without the same penalty, one hopes!

    • Steve Wick says:

      Here, here… Moore is the Correct spelling but the thought is quite right .. From the same play.. ” If you cut down the thickets of the law, when you turn around you only have the devil himself to face!” In our case, the Government has become just that. a devil in disguise! Abuse of power and the reduction of truth to convenience!

  76. Vieux Foque says:

    You’re lucky she didn’t shoot you for illegally being on government property. She would be vindicated (and justified) by DHS management. You would be billed by the US medical system. And you still would not have a boat.

    • rpressergmail says:

      “I understand this concern on behalf of the taxpayers.
      People want value for money. That’s why we always
      insist on the principal of Information Retrieval
      *charges*. It’s absolutely right and fair that those
      found guilty should pay for their periods of detention
      and the Information Retrieval procedures used in their
      interrogations.”

  77. Srawofni says:

    You should have been buying GUNS!!!

  78. Hal Romberg says:

    There’s a word for stuff like this. They used it a lot back in the mid to late 1700s. We called it “Tyranny”. Just sayin’.

  79. dwgoodall says:

    It seems to me that format schooling should include contract law. No matter what occupation you are in, you are confronted with legalese documents and have to decide to accept what is written or not. Over the years as a contract software engineer, I have had to sign contracts with increasingly pernicious language. If I don’t like what it says, I mark it up and initial the changes and the potential client can live with the change or I don’t get to work. In one case we couldn’t come to agreement about their contract so I suggested they try mine, two pages. They liked it and proceeded to steal it and use it. But back to the subject. One of the reasons we don’t like EULA’s and “click to accept” contracts, it that they often exceed twenty pages.

    The last time I bought a house, the agent who was a notary as well came by with her notary book, and a bottle of wine. She said the wine would make it easier to get through the two inches of paperwork. When I got to the signature at the bottom (with the appropriate warnings) I started reading each page. She said, “what are you doing?”, I said shouldn’t we at least read over what I am about to certify under penalty of law to be correct?. She said, “we’ll never got through all of this at this rate, it could take days… just sign it.”

    Through it all, I developed a sense of what a contract was. A agreement between two legal entities outlining the responsibilities of each, and so on. If one of the partIes wanted to change the agreement after it was executed, there were procedures of notification and acceptance. These days the big players put language into the contract that says they may change the terms without notification, and it is your responsibility to notice the changes within thirty days, or that means you accept them. The terms are often posted on the vendors web site. Twenty or more pages long with no high-lighting to show you what has changed. There are so many of these in your life now, that if you wanted to stay in compliance and aware of the terms of active agreements you have, you would pretty much have to spend all your time reviewing and parsing these lengthly terms of service agreements and decide if you can’t licve with the quiet changes going on and have to terminate the contract. If this is happening with a cellular vendor, and they change the terms, and you don’t like it, and you terminate because of the changes, you still have to pay the early termination, even if it was’t your fault. Contracts and terms of this sort exist for all software licenses you have, plus your cell phone, and all your banking and credit cards, and insurance…

    Back to what I was saying, legal training should be part of high school or GED.

    If you are actually lucky enough to be able to read and comprehend that the text is incorrect, you either have to decide to acquiesce and just sign all this stuff, damn the consequences, or rebel and that has it’s own set of consequences.

    Sorry this was so long, but you set me off about having to sign under penalty of perjury.

    • The last time we purchased a house, the Escrow Agent told me, “Your signature is not acceptable…”

      And then told me that I had to sign in a particular way. Yet, I was forced to sign a form stating, “This is the signature I use to sign legal forms…”

      Catch-22.

  80. Wouter Vos says:

    How does this have anything to do with bureaucracy? Don’t you want imported goods to be registered? The problem here is corruption or a government official not doing her job. Not the fact that a boat has to be registered.

    • Hal Romberg says:

      What is gained by having our goons shake down lawful commerce across the borders and add red tape to every process? Seems to me the only thing it does is give well connected local producers a leg up, and make us pay higher prices for inferior goods.

      By all means, inspect for nukes, terrorists, and really dangerous stuff, but I can’t see any valid reason to register everything that comes in from abroad. Just another way for Big Brother Incorporated to generate some revenue by taking what better people have produced.

  81. Joseph says:

    You may want to contact John Whitehead at the Rutherford Institute in Charlottesville, Va. He specializes in correcting abuses of human/property rights. Thank you for having the courage to stand up for your principles (and those of many of us).

  82. horne.doug@gmail.com says:

    Where are all of the people who say “if you don’t do anything wrong, you don’t have anything to worry about” who always show up when someone criticizes homeland security things … where are those bastards? For folks who are currently debating drones … this is why you don’t want individuals in the government making unilateral decisions about who dies … they can’t even get importing a boat right.

  83. The thing is that the same types of things are happening with local police forces: they have strong financial incentives to seize property and often do so with little to no recourse. I recall a hotel owner who had all of his commercial property seized because police said “illegal activity” was happening there. The man dutifully called in any suspicious activity – he did his part to keep crime down. It didn’t matter though: police just took it all.

  84. Jeff Carson - CPYB says:

    You need to hire an import broker to import any boats new or used from Canada into the US now. Your broker that sold you this boat should have known this.

    Contact Airport Brokers in Seattle and they can get you sorted out.

  85. SmarterThanYall says:

    What would I have done? Exactly what you did, with the possible exception of calling my lawyer immediately and asking how big the settlement will be. You followed the rules. The agent did not, or if she did, they were very bad rules. Unless they decide to rendition you, you’ll have your day in court or, more likely, they will apologize profusely for the errors of their agent and promise to do a better job of training.

  86. Steve says:

    I know it’s popular to blame the big-G Government for things like this, but I had virtually the exact same experience with a private company. It’s a bureaucracy problem, and the government is essentially the largest private company in the world.

    When closing on our house, the lawyers had some paperwork that we had to sign, part of which attested to our current income. It actually listed our income from the previous year, which was less than half of what we were making at the time. So, the mortgage handler with us just had us put in the correct amount, initial it, and fax it back to the mortgage company.

    Long story short, we were there for many hours, and the only way we could get the key to our new house was to sign a new copy of that original form, without corrections. This is after months of paperwork from the mortgage company, which we were happy to fill out so they could be certain we weren’t selling drugs, laundering money, switching jobs, etc.

    We didn’t recently sell TechCrunch, we can’t just get a lawyer because we are supposed to sign something that everyone knows is incorrect.

    • Equis says:

      Did the private company in your experience have customer service representatives with the authority to shoot you if you gave them too much lip? This is a government problem, dolt.

  87. doughorne says:

    And, yes, this is a government writ large problem ….. you had an extremely simple problem, suggested a simple solution … having your boat impounded as a consequence is a totally inappropriate response in this situation. If this person was following rules, the rules are stupid; if this person was not properly trained, that’s the fault of the trainers; if this person is incompetent the employer (the government) has a problem. There’s no excuse here … you tried to perform a totally reasonable task and were inconvenienced by a ridiculous process that you have no control over. It is not reasonable to say “our government controls imports … when you try to import something they will impound it … then you hire a lawyer” … not reasonable. You say that doesn’t happen: apparently it does. You say “it’s just that individual” and I say that person is representing the US government and its policies in that job … when you are standing there, that person is the US government (that’s why that person has any power). That individual has zero power until she is an organ of the government … the buck stops at the government.

  88. shelley painter says:

    Wow, I am glad they seized/stole your boat. It makes me feel safe. Since they stole your boat I just feel it in my bones that our country is safe from all terrorists, except maybe the homegrown ones

  89. David says:

    … Mike, two lessons to be learned here:
    — First, buy American.
    — Second, never, ever argue with a female federal agent – particularly when she carries a gun [power trip.] Remember that a gun + pms always cause major trouble…

  90. Rory says:

    My Father is a commercial fisherman and has dealt with similar situations more frequently than you can imagine for the past 25 years. It’s amazing how abusive people with power become (specifically ones our criminal federal government agencies). I say criminal because it’s factual. It takes special people to do all the right things, get punished for it, and still not lose their cool. You handled the situation perfectly and best of all, shared your experience for others to learn from. I’d call it a lose/lose/lose situation, just a matter of the degree.

  91. Joe E. says:

    Yeah, yeah… so the DHS person was an asshat and she was just waiting for an excuse to put on the mirrored sunglasses and show *you* to disrespect her “authoriteh”. However…

    … what in the *world* possessed you to try to purchase such a big-ticket item like a boat/car/plane across national borders? It makes me weary just thinking about all the crap you gotta do when you buy one of those from another *state*, much less another *country*. Stuff like that is best left to the 1% who: 1) Have very particular tastes which they can afford to sate and nothing domestic will fit the bill, 2) Have henchmen to investigate all of the conformance issues (what import taxes/duties are there? Does the item meet my country’s regulations, or does it need to be modified when getting here?), 3) Have rich friends who have done it already, and 4) Have enough money and political connection to make sure that the worker-bees in the DHS just rubber-stamp you and send you on your way.

  92. Brian Winniford says:

    Your attorney can handle the civil part of the dispute, but isn’t suborning perjury a criminal offense? Call the local Federal Prosecutor’s Office to report that a US government employee knowingly attempted to coerce you into perjuring yourself on a form that specifically indicated doing so would be a crime.. It sounds like the DHS employee committed a crime per your description especially if you repeatedly informed her that you were unwilling to sign the document as it contained false information.
    Also, call your US Senators and House Rep. They may get involved out of common decency or for the chance at a sound bite about them standing up for their constituents.
    One of the advantages of an overly officious government is that you can usually find another department or agency willing to be overly officious with the first agency.

  93. Wow, how ridiculous.

    Mike, I think you did the right thing not signing it.

    Now the question is, do her superiors fix this without too much hassle because they are embarrassed by the incompetence or do they stand behind her because they can’t admit fault. Of course, only after they do some serious joy-riding . . . and maybe do something with the boat that actually warrants its seizure!

    Anyway, sorry you have to go through this crap.

  94. OC says:

    For what it’s worth, I’ve had similar experiences at that boarder crossing (by car) between Bellingham and Vancouver, B.C. I was searched there. Apparently a 25 year old software engineer with a new convertible is suspicious.

    I’ve heard stories from friends questioned about how can they afford nice cars, etc. Maybe the new stuff sells better at auction after seizure.

  95. william says:

    Can I say it is time to overthrow the DHS bureaucracy? Resist their illegal attempts to violate you rights. Let them arrest you, the sue the shit out of them. There are plenty of lawyers out there who will take your case – pro bono.

  96. Bill says:

    It is hard to feel sorry for an idiot. It doesn’t matter what it is, if the government hands you a paper and tells you to sign it, you sign it, unless you are prepared for the legal battle. If it is to protect your rights, like not signing a confession to a crime that will send you to jail, then it is worth the legal battle. If is relatively minor error like this it is not.

    In regards to all legal documents. You initial each page as you read it. If you find a mistake, you cross it out, initialize, and then pen in the correction. When done, you sign the form. It is more likely they will accept the correction, over going though the effort of printing out another copy. In fact the only time I had that happen once while working at CERN. Even then though, it was not rejected on the spot. Rather it was reviewed and then I had meeting scheduled where they could explain to me why the corrections were not acceptable. It turns out they were right, so I signed a new copy of the unaltered document. Even though, if I was right, I probably would have signed the document if I could not convince them I was right, as there was nothing of significance that would cause serious problems, but it would have caused serious problems to been sent home and not be able to complete my research.

    In the case of the boat, if they had rejected my change. Odds that they are trying to entrap you into a perjury charge are slim. But just having the officer mark the form and keeping a copy of the rejected form with information about who that officer was would be sufficient evidence for any jury in the world.

    If course not everyone can think fast enough on there feet. So, if you can’t, that is when you pickup the phone and ask for your lawyer talk with the officer. Most people don’t have a lawyer on retainer that will show-up right away. But then most officers will tread extra carefully once you even get a law office secretary on the phone, and will tell you at least what your options are for legal review of the document they want you to sign.

    I hope eventually you do get your boat back. But you know congress passes some really stupid laws at times, and it could be the officer acted fully within the letter of the law and boat is gone for good. I would not just assume you will get it back. If you do, by the time you are done you may have spent more in legal fees than the boat is worth.

    • Bill –

      The problem with your reply, is that if Michael did this, any time in the future that an ambitious US Attorney wanted to nail him, all they would have to do would be to find this form, determine that it was untruthful (not incorrect, because that negates legal liability) and nail Michael to the wall.

      If you do not believe that things like this happen, see Three Felonies A Day (http://www.threefeloniesaday.com/Youtoo/tabid/86/Default.aspx).

      The US Attorney Office us to have a this great game, “Indict an Icon”, where the senior lawyers would nominate someone like Martin Luther King or Mother Theresa and the junior attorneys would come up for a strategy that would force them to plead to a lesser offense at the threat of a more serious offense.

      • Ted Flamously says:

        Three felonies a day pretends that Diane Huang was given a two year prison sentence for shipping lobsters in clear plastic bags.

        “American businesswoman Diane Huang was convicted under this far-reaching provision, despite her unawareness of the supposed Honduran law banning the shipment of lobsters in clear plastic bags. ”

        The Dept of Justice tells a much different story with a compelling case of someone who was knowingly importing lobsters that were knowingly illegally harvested.

        http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2000/November/647enrd.htm

        Does the government do bad things to good people? Absolutely, and sometime it properly spanks bad people who pretend they aren’t really bad people.

      • Bill says:

        Not really. As he admits himself the USD and CAD are about par. Pretty much every US document needs to be in US currency. The laws for doing the currency conversions are not that precise. Which day is the currency exchange applied? What rate during that day? Which bank’s rates? Is it he buy rate, the medium rate, or the sell rate? What time of day. In the end, as anyone who has ever had to file taxes abroad can testify to, there is about a 2% “fudge” rate in the exchange. That is with taxes, and you can bet the IRS defines the exchange rates to use much more carefully that say the DHS.

        So in the end a 1.0 exchange rate probably was within legally excepted margin of errors. Thus, the argument wasn’t in the “value” but it was in the fact it was listed as USD. But everyone knows in the US, you use USD. Using CAD for a US government form is probably about as meaningless as using Pamper Points, Box Tops, or Bitcoins. The government needs the amount to be expressed in USD because that is the legal tender of the country. If the transaction is anything other than that it needs to be converted to USD. My guess is the value of he boat is high enough, that racketeering laws could apply if all the paper work is not filled out tracing the money spent abroad. While I’m not in favour of the racketeering laws, they are established law.

        Now, if this was some grunt who had never dealt the government and just normal contract law, I could see being ignorant about the whole thing and thinking that he had a legit reason to pick a fight with the DHS. But this is a successful business man, who has dealt with contract law, tax forms, accounting, etc enough to know probably even more about this than I do. I can only be left to believe he knew full well what he was doing, but decided to be stubborn. That in my book is stupid.

    • David says:

      “… congress passes some really stupid laws at times…” — at times? Every single day!!!!!

    • What kind of a moron are you? Just as much lack of a sense of right and wrong, truth and lies, justice and injustice as the insensitive goons that seized the boat illegaly, for not cooperating to commit perjury, which was a set up to (a double whammer therefore) seize the boat if you would have signed. ALWAYS demand paperwork/ witness by some lawenforcing agent: saying: Okay: I will sign only when you will sign a formthat says YOU required me to sign this (incorrect) form, countersigned by this law-enforcement officer. If not, I want the lawenforcement officier to witness I refuse to hand over the keys to my boat. If you force me to, I want a writte testimony countersigned by all prsent that you seized the boat, and that in NO WISE I gave my keys volutarily.

      • Excuse me… this is a response to the comments of the fellow up there… Bill –
        February 22, 2013 at 9:03 am who commented: “It is hard to feel sorry for an idiot. It doesn’t matter what it is, if the government hands you a paper and tells you to sign it, you sign it, unless you are prepared for the legal battle. If it is to protect your rights, like not signing a confession to a crime that will send you to jail, then it is worth the legal battle. If is relatively minor error like this it is not.” THIS KIND OF BEHAVIOR HAS BROUGHT YOUR NATION TO THE PLAVE IT NOW IS IN! Like the proverbial frog: Thrown into boiling water, it would jump out immediately. But being thrown in cold water, heating it up slowly it is being coocked without even nticing it. This is what they have done the all of the world, and are continuoung to do, one little thing here and one there… LITTLE ABUSES ARE and have been MORE DANGEROUS AND MORE EFFECTIVE THIS WAY THAN OUTRIGHT BIG ONE’S. IT IS THE LITTLE FOXES THAT SPOIL THE VINE, THE IBLE SAYS! Learn that lesson, if there is still time!

  97. Webby says:

    I can understand his point but it really depends on which arsehole is working that day. I don’t live in the US, but a 3rd-world island near Africa. I understated the number of shoes in my shipment of personal effects by a factor of two. So they sent in a valuation officer who was really nice and made me pay the import taxes owed plus a fine. In my defence, when I was asked how many shoes I had, I said “a lot” but you can’t put that on the form. it has to be a number. I gave an approximate number without knowing that this was a serious matter with penalties like seizure of entire shipment!

    Am glad am over this hump now, and I can start rebuilding my life in my dirt poor homeland.

  98. Raoul says:

    KEEP UP THE GOOD FIGHT!!!!!!

  99. Justus Ranvier says:

    Government is just a mafia with fancy costumes.

  100. Nunuv Yurbiz says:

    We live in unprincipled times.

  101. acteon says:

    The U.S and Canadian currencies are more or less on par right now. So it mattered little what currency it said.

    • Julie Cochrane says:

      It matters that he believed it was a lie. If he had signed it, he would have been screwed. They could have come back a year later saying the currency adjustment should have been X–where X is something a tiny fraction off from one for one–and he would have been up a creek because he *believed* he was telling a lie on the form when he signed.

      The proper way for the form to be filled out, as another person in this thread has already indicated, is to have an attached worksheet that shows the currency conversion–and that attached worksheet would have been appropriate even if the exchange between USD and CAD was one for one. If the additional worksheet had been attached, then even if the government decided later the currency conversion should have been some other rate, he would have been legally covered.

      The form (with worksheet) would merely have been incorrect, not falsified.

      It looks like the answer to this that should satisfy everyone unless they’re stupid is to attach the appropriate worksheet with the currency conversion of CAD to USD, and explicitly stating the one for one conversion.

      If I was his lawyer, this is what I’d go for—“Just attach the currency conversion sheet stating your using 1 for 1 conversion, for the record, and my client can and will sign the form.”

      Alternately, get the customs guys to put in writing that they have confirmed that the form is correct. Then you can sign it, saying you raised your objections, they reviewed them and made a ruling, and you interpreted their ruling to mean they were using a one for one par conversion. “They insisted their form was right, I reasonably relied on their determination.”

      “I reasonably relied on their determination” wouldn’t get you out of back taxes if they apply a different exchange rate later, but it should get you out of any crime based on a willful bad act like perjury.

      I’m not a lawyer.

  102. bobsutan says:

    Name names. This thug needs to be held accountable for her abuse of public trust and misuse of power.

  103. Ronald says:

    Move to Europe. (While you’re still allowed to)

  104. Harold Solbrig says:

    Reminds me of the lie that everyone used to have to tell to board an airplane. You were asked, “Has this bag been in your possession at all times since you packed it?” Of course it hadn’t. You packed it at 7 AM, checked it with the bellman until noon, tossed in the back of a shuttle and schlepped out to the airport. The correct answer, however, was clearly “Yes”.

    I was with a person who didn’t understand this ritual and, instead, told the truth. It was quickly made clear that this was the *wrong* answer. My friend was hustled off into a back room where he was searched and then held until his flight departed. He then had to buy another ticket at full fare to get home. Suffice it that he will never do *that* again.

    The key, I believe, is to make sure that every passenger (or citizen) can be detained at will. The easiest way to do this is to demand that everyone commit a crime such as perjury before allowing them to enter, exit, travel, buy goods, etc.

  105. Paul says:

    Like most legal documents I sign, for minor corrections, I neatly cross out the mistake, correct it, initial and date it. I then sign the former and move on. Most DHS staff are glorified security guards.

  106. Mark Topster says:

    Why did you accept her offer to sieze your boat? Are you not aware that “orders” from public agents are merely offers in contract? And that flashing scary badges and guns is just a strategy to intimidate you into consenting, or trick you into going into dishonor by arguing? Perhaps she was excited because she couldn’t believe you accepted her offer to hand over your boat free and clear to the US government? Perhaps she gets rewarded with good job performance?

    Why didn’t you reply to her offers with conditional acceptances? Why did you instead go into belligerence and argue, thereby forfeiting your rights? Why are you continuing your belligerence by hiring a public attorney to argue for you? Why are you not opening a private administrative process enforced via a UCC maritime lien on the property? You bought a boat and you want to travel between jurisdictions but know nothing of maritime law, contracting law, international commercial law, and your inalienable rights? I’m glad our public agents are protecting their incompetent people from hurting themselves abroad by taking away their boats!

  107. CP says:

    This has to be the king of first world problems. I wonder if you would have been so principled if the US dollar was stronger than the Canadian dollar and the invoice price of the boat (on which you’re going to be taxed) was actually less than what you paid for it.

  108. We’ve had the pleasure of repeated encounters with your Department of Homeless Insecurity. I’m glad to see a US citizen questioning their actions. Too many of your countrymen are blinded by the “we’re here to protect you from terrorism” crap that your government likes to spout. We are law abiding middle aged Canadian citizens with no criminal record of any kind. Our “mistake” was to show up at Sumas crossing within a few days of having changed our license plates from SK to BC. We don’t know for certain that it was the license plate database that caused our subsequent 3 day ordeal but it is the only thing that makes sense. Regardless of what initially triggered our harassment we are now routinely subjected to “secondary screening” whenever we cross the border which is frequently.

    The effect on us has been to cause us to avoid the US whenever possible. If we can overfly your country to visit Mexico that’s what we do. When we take our boat out into the Gulf Islands we avoid going to Anacortes and instead go north up the Strait.

    The pendulum swings and eventually US citizens may take back the rights that DHS is taking away from you. I hope you don’t wait to do that until its too late.

  109. David Geller says:

    Which model did you get – the 450? It’s a beautiful boat. Why wasn’t there a broker involved, or someone to help you navigate this process. While what happens sounds terrible and very annoying I’m not seeing any fault with you or the agent. The dealer made the mistake. Should the agent have “let it go”? On a $1M+ boat? I don’t think so. And, seriously, any changes to doing things exactly by the book in those waters is usually a strong indicator for other potential problems. The waters between Victoria and Vancouver and Puget Sound in the US sees lots of drug running. Also, a broker might have warned you that the customs agents in several of the entry points South of BC are VERY uptight and hassle LOTS of PEOPLE.

  110. Sovereign says:

    name the “people” that force others to “live” under the machine and parasite (money)

    Post the list – it will be used…

    Sovereign SoEvReigns

  111. Davidwr says:

    The agent who asked you to lie may be guilty of suborning perjury and perhaps other federal and, if jurisdiction isn’t barred, state crimes. I recommend she seek legal counsel.

  112. Antonio Angelo says:

    its always the principles that get you in the most trouble. if you just put them aside and let government take care of you everything will run smoothly the rest of your life. although possibly at a slightly slower pace, maybe a little less competently and with your interests secondary to the good of the bureaucracy.

    • Pete says:

      Some of your replies section says all that’s needed to describe the really, really tragic level of fear and paranoia, not to mention the absolute fealty to the state,
      that some folks are stricken with.
      I can see Pt. Angeles, and San Juan Island from where I live. they don’t look any different, from 20 and 30 years ago, when I used to visit both regularly, but the changes have been huge, and terribly damaging to your country.

  113. truthspew says:

    Just a helpful suggestion. I hope you recorded the interaction. Always, and I mean ALWAYS record interactions with government bureaucrats.

    But even if you didn’t, sue the shit out out of DHS. Sue them until they shit bricks.

  114. This is the US Coast Guard to inform you that your boat has been identified as abandoned at the bottom of the shipping canal off the west coast of San Juan Island. There will be a 1000 dollar fee for each day that it remains.

  115. Don’t drone me, Bro!

  116. John says:

    A badge, a gun, and a strong police union is a unintentional recipe for a police state.

  117. william Conley says:

    I think the important point here is that this case specifically invalidates any signature on any DHS form by anyone when that signature involves any interaction with personnel. I mean, it does not impact mail-in forms, but obviously anyone being accused of falsifying a form would do well to request your testimony.

  118. Michael a key point I would make in all of this, is that:

    1. It is a Federal offense to law to a Federal Agent
    – (18 U.S.C. Section 1001, see http://corporate.findlaw.com/litigation-disputes/how-to-avoid-going-to-jail-under-18-u-s-c-section-1001-for-lying.html)

    2. The form clearly stated that signing it would also open you to liability for perjury if it was untrue (avoid saying, incorrect).

    You refused to sign an untrue document. You refused to commit perjury. And the consequence was that your boat was seized.

    Yet, if you had signed the form, and an ambitious US Attorney wanted to take you down, they could have gone after you for this and indicted your for a felony. See Thee Felonies a Day (http://www.threefeloniesaday.com/Youtoo/tabid/86/Default.aspx) or the experience of Aaron Swartz for more on the sad reality of what can happen here.

    Now, if you want to play this for keeps, I would contact both the US Attorney Office in Seattle and the Federal Grand Jury (approach them separately) and request that they indict this Federal Agent for attempting to coerce you into filing a false statement with the US Government.

    I believe you can and should claim that the seizing of the boat by the agent was retribution for your refusal to commit perjury as directed to by the agent.

  119. Deborah Bach says:

    Hi Michael. I’m the editor of the daily boating news site Three Sheets Northwest (www.threesheetsnw.com). I’d like to talk with you and possibly write a story about your boat being seized. Would you please drop me an email?

  120. chase says:

    Irrelevant, it would be just as much a pain in the ass to buy a gun in canada and bring it here (probably much more so, wouldnt know, never wanted a canadian gun before). Also good to see the internet cant talk about literally ANYTHING without someone adding guns somehow.

  121. Devil says:

    Please do not forget to post an update and also whether you sued them or that particular agent!

  122. While adopting our daughter, we had to have a number of meetings with DHS/ICE.

    In none of the meetings did the people we interact with ever introduce themselves. In all cases, when we asked them to do so, they refused saying, “You don’t need to know who I am….”

    In one of our final interactions, we were asked to present id to the official with whom we were interacting. Having reviewed the DHS/ICE (actually, it was INS) website prior to the meeting, I had brought my passport.

    Yes, the passport that gets me into and out of the country. The passport that gets me onto flights. The passport that every single Federal and State agency I have every interacted with accepts as definitive proof of my identity.

    This official refused to accept it. She said, “I want your Driver’s License.” When I attempted to point out that her own agencies web site said, I could use my passport, she said, “I don’t care what it says, I want you driver’s license.”

    She then cut our session off, forced us back to the waiting room. I then had to leave the building, go to our car – since we were not allowed to have our bags with us and had to bring everything we had in a ziplock bag – to get my wallet and my driver’s license.

    Back through to security and a 60 minute wait until she could see us again.

    I reported this to the INS Ombudsman – including the fact she refused to identify herself – and heard nothing back despite repeated inquiries for status.

  123. Kyle says:

    Living in the new Insecurity State. Happiest day of her life? Should be her last day on the public payroll. How do we help make that happen?

    15 years of international business travel led me to taking this year off from getting onto an airplane AT ALL, in no small part because of what a descent into Cloud Cuckoo Land crossing our own damned border has become.

  124. These days just waking up in the morning violates some local, state or federal law.

  125. Lukas Halim says:

    Thank you for making the effort to fight this.

  126. Thomas Horne says:

    I could have sworn that Subornation of perjury was a federal crime. Well so much for actually enforcing the law.

  127. James B says:

    They aren’t “agents”. They are bureaucrats with a gun. In the same way whenever I enter the USA I’m greeted by a row of hostile DHS paper pushers all armed to the teeth. I’m not sure what part of their job description requires these “agents” to be heavily armed in order to process paperwork but you can see their eagerness for someone to cause a commotion so they can go all wild west on their asses.

    Anyway hope you get your boat back. Bet the next form they give you also has a mistake on it.

  128. A nail that stands up gets hammered down says:

    What a bunch of butthurt. You should have signed the form and taken your boat. You got what you deserved for being a bozo. As to the agent’s “excitement.” You can’t tell the difference between anxiety and excitement in another person. My free advice to you is to stay the hell out of Mexico, your inability to deal with authority would get you killed there.

  129. Concerned_Citizen_Dad says:

    Crossing the border has become surreal. Last June, our family was going on vacation – from Maine to Canada was great – the Canadian Customs agent was pleasant, professional, and really made us feel welcome.

    Coming back through VT, my 21 YO, son ( in the US army, civilian clothes ), was *screamed at* by the US customs agent because he was talking on his cell phone. “GET OFF THAT PHONE – YOU MIGHT BE SETTING OFF A BOMB”. We made it across the border somehow, and didn’t get anything stolen or even need a full car/personal search, so I guess it wasn’t bad.

    Gods honest truth. Who the heck are these people working for, and what has happened to our country?

    Good luck getting your boat back, and check the engine hours.

  130. Wil C. Fry says:

    “What would you have done? Maybe most people would have just signed the form.”

    I would not have signed the form. Then again, I’ll probably never be buying a boat, certainly not a high tech boat that has to clear customs, either. But I don’t sign forms until I’ve read them, and I don’t sign forms that I know to contain inaccurate information.

    In most cases, it just produces an incredulous look from the bureaucrat, and then a sigh of resignation as they correct the form or produce another one, or tap their fingers impatiently while I read the fine print.

    I hope your situation gets worked out soon.

  131. Britt says:

    It’s difficult to argue with crazy. If I were a boat-owning sort, I would have done the same. Untruths, even silly clerical ones, might come back to haunt you. Adam Lennard (a Brit, of SleepTalkinMan fame) only recently was admitted back into the United States– with his American wife– having been banned for a teeny omission on one of those airplane issued claim forms. Same terminology in fine print that he didn’t take as seriously as you did. I hope you get it back in time for Memorial Day Weekend.

  132. David Laird says:

    This is ridiculously easy. Don’t discuss the form with the agent. Just alter the incorrect information, initial by that, then sign the form. If they don’t like how you have altered it, they can arrest you :)

  133. Rock says:

    I’d have tossed her in the lake, I suspect.

  134. Thomas Jefferson says:

    The question actually should be why said government thug is not on the bottom of the ocean feeding the fish…

    It is only a question of time before the tipping point is reaching in dealing with these types and a second civil war kicks off. We are in sight of that point now.

    As you read these stories, take stock of where we are and how we got here. Then contemplate the future.

  135. Don Gwinn says:

    Reminds me of the time the TSA security guys at the airport in Norfolk, Virginia tossed my bag containing a pistol and ammunition onto the scanner without waiting for me to add the signed “Firearm Declaration” form that their agency requires to be kept inside the case with the firearm at all times.
    First they told me it was too much trouble to retrieve it; it would set off their scanner and we’d just add the declaration on the other side.
    It didn’t, and the next guy just chucked it into the back luggage area while I got as far as, “Wait, sir, don’t take that to–”
    Then they assured me that the bag wouldn’t go through security again when I changed planes–in Philadelphia, after midnight–so it was no big deal.
    Then their supervisor assured me that the bag wouldn’t go through security again when I changed planes–in Philadelphia, after midnight–so it was no big deal.

    However, they didn’t confiscate either my luggage or my firearm. The supervisor eventually asked, “Sir, would you like me to go get the bag back so you can put the paperwork in there?”

    Yes, yes I would.

  136. Rob Saurini says:

    Somehow this story reminds me of Brazil ( the movie ).

  137. bevinnefromhevinne says:

    And contact your congressman/woman – that’s what they are there for – to run interference with wild gov’t crap! Seized your boat – ERGH!

  138. bevinnefromhevinne says:

    Reblogged this on I Make things Two/Too and commented:
    Absolutely AMAZING – poor guy!

  139. Drew Baby says:

    Maybe if you had bought an American boat, things would have turned out a lot better for you, Comrade.

  140. Neutrino says:

    Reminds me of the Dilbert cartoon where the secretary has the boss sign several forms.
    Boss: “Wait, this is murder confession.” Secretary: “It’s for the file.”

    Michael, I, too, wouldn’t sign the false statement.

    As for the agent:

    “Who can seriously doubt that the power which a millionaire, who may be my employer, has over me is very much less than that which the smallest bureaucrat possesses who wields the coercive power of the state and on whose discretion it depends how I am allowed to live and work?”

    – From the great Friedrich Hayek in “The Road to Serfdom”. A road this country travels down, with greater speed in recent years.

  141. Dex says:

    Call the State Police and have the wench arrested for Grand Theft Boat.

  142. msbpodcast says:

    You won’t particularly want what gets returned after a vindictive TSA agent has had to cough up the keys to your boat.

    I’d start a pool on the size of the hole you’re going to discover in your keel with side bets on how many fittings are actually still on the boat when its brought back to the surface.

  143. hp says:

    The only good bureaucrat is one with a pistol at his head. Put it in his hand and it’s good-bye to the Bill of Rights.

    – H.L. Mencken

  144. Daniel says:

    You my friend, are awesome. Thank you for not complying with the bullshit. We need more people of principle who doesn’t do stupid shit because it’s the easy way out.

  145. Cory says:

    And this is the same government who wants to have sole position of all the guns. Trust them. Yeah, right.

  146. Lee says:

    We used to ski every winter at Whistler, fly into Seattle from SF, with all our supplies (wine etc) , and drive over the border. After 9/11 – No More.

  147. jerry says:

    f@ck the DHS, straight up.

  148. You’ve always wanted to be a pirate, eh? :)

    Next time, buy a wooden boat from a domestic master craftsmen. I purchased my first skin of frame kayak from Ben.

    http://www.etsy.com/listing/94368976/custom-aleut-inspired-skin-on-frame-sea

  149. Had you signed, you would have been arrested for lying, charged with terrorism, held without Miranda Rights under the Patriot Act and had Buddy sold as property confiscated during the performance of illegal acts.

  150. Daniel says:

    The reason why she is so exited is because she just made a HUGE commision by taking your boat, border agents get cash handouts whenever they seize property, the more higly valued said property the bigger the reward.

    She simply is using the government and the situation for personal gain….

    Welcome to Mexico.

  151. lucychili says:

    perhaps they want to look at the tech and would have taken it if you had signed because you had signed something incorrect. it sounds like a no win situation. good luck.

  152. adam says:

    Next time there is a mistake on a govt form just one line the error and initial the change. Then sign the document. The person who files it will usually correct it if need be later. But at least on the official document you make it true. I learned that in the navy. No one questions it.

  153. Mike says:

    What is the agent’s name?

  154. Tom says:

    It’s not a mystery what happened to you.
    No.
    It is because DHS – DER DEPARTSCHEMENT OOFT HOMELUND SEKURITY is staffed by GODDAMNED IMBECILE GOONS… the same as the GODDAMNED TSA GOONS WHO MOLEST YOU at airports… both agencies coming existence as a direct result of the GODDAMNED FALSE FLAG MASSACRE BLACK OPERATION HOAX of 9/11.
    Sorry,
    you got HOAXED

  155. AH says:

    Jew, the showers are that way!

  156. R. Vince says:

    Maybe sequestration will get rid of a few ofthese government bozos. What we need to do is defund the whole thing, and put them all out on their asses. We don’t need their TSA, their meat inspectors,their border agents or US customs, their federal agencies – FDA, EPA, Edication…none of it. We don’t need any of them — it’s the other way around. We need to stop funding the whole thing.

  157. jason says:

    GTFO, seriously, I’ve been living and working here in Iceland for the past year. Best decision I’ve ever made. Quality of life is better and you’re so free in little ways I couldn’t even explain but a decade of living in the USA had conditioned me to believe was “normal”. Come out here we’ve got a startup scene with great folks.
    I’m serious just do it.

  158. BOAT says:

    B.O.A.T. Bust Out Another Thousan

  159. rick says:

    Stick it to the man.*

    * The paradox, of course, is I can say this in this country (USA). In some other placea, I’d be seized.

  160. Jayce says:

    I’m hoping the next time you are asked to vote for either the corrupt and thieving Democrats or the corrupt and thieving Republicans, you’ll “just say no” and vote either third party or write in.

  161. Bill Abbott says:

    Interesting story, might even be exactly the way you describe. Or not. That’s the funny thing about disputes like this. More than one version, depending on who tells the story.

    Bringing a large asset across an international border is not something to undertake casually. Maybe you’ve never had a problem before, but its a well known way go grow gray hairs and waste time. When the official paperwork that they draw up is wrong, you can assume its not going to be a matter of a few minutes or more signatures.

    Just as a matter of scale, how big is this ‘boat’ and how much is its declared value in US $? What laws apply to the import of any object of that value? What laws apply to the import of a boat that size, of that value? What laws apply to the import of watercraft in general? Goods from Canada? Brand-new, custom-made articles, vs used?

    I’m puzzled why you couldn’t take the keys back and sail back to sunny southern Canada, though. Did you try?

    I’d say you did the right thing not signing a form you wouldn’t attest to the truth of. And maybe the agents were all irredeemable fools intent on doing as much harm as possible.

    In a crowd where only one (pretty good) joke challenges @poorsheep claiming that the famous shoe bomber was only burning fuzz off his sneaker laces, (seriously?) you can spin all the jackbooted thug nazi US government black helicopter baloney you want. But as someone who once considered buying a water-cooled VW pickup truck in Canada and personally importing it, I’m not all that surprised you had trouble.

    You know why VW pickup trucks stopped being sold in the USA? Chickens. The European Union put a tariff or duty on US chicken meat and our Congress responded with a 25% tariff or duty on light pickup trucks. From anywhere. The Japanese makers got around this by shipping their trucks ‘incomplete’ and adding the beds here. With a ladder frame, no big deal. Time was, you’d see truckloads of painted and finished beds being hauled into the NUMI plant where they’d be bolted to trucks fresh off the boat, and then they went out to the dealerships.

    We’re talking real, full size 1 ton payload trucks here, not the VW Rabbit trucks from the 1980s. Until the present, front-wheel-drive models, VW pickups were unibody, based on the VW Bus, and couldn’t be driven around without the bed attached. So, when the tariff or duty was imposed in the 1970s, that was the end of VW pickup trucks in this country. They sell them in Canada and they’re smog-legal and meet all the safety requirements for North America, but dealer’s don’t carry them and you can’t order one for US delivery. Nor is it casually easy to order one in Canada and import it. Better to find a used one in Canada, they’re treated differently once they’re not new (15,000 miles, maybe 10,000, is the threshold). I wouldn’t even start trying to buy a used truck in Mexico and importing it.

    Why am I telling you this? Because importing stuff is more complicated than it should be and far stupider. And you, not the Homeland Security folks, have to master your brief and argue your case if you expect to prevail. You can assume they’ll be difficult and obtuse. Its always been so. Nobody who’s done business across international borders will be surprised. FedEx can get it from Customs here to Customs there in 24 hours, but getting it through is a whole ‘nother thing.

  162. Chuck says:

    It’s time for the Department of Homeland Security to go. They are a completely redundant, bloated organization that has so far succeeded in doing exactly nothing to protect us from anything. They have tied up our “freedom” with so much bureaucracy that they seem to be doing a damn good job of accomplishing Osama’s goal. I only hope I live to be old enough to see the DHS go down in history so that we can see how the story is to be written for future generations.

  163. Jason says:

    You need to call a Federal Judge and the FBI, and then a lawyer. The media attention you have already taken care of. Although, by now you probably already retained a lawyer, but if they haven’t done or instructed you to do the former you need a better lawyer. That customs agent is about to become a high school janitor. You did absolutely nothing wrong. Don’t get angry, get your damn boat and make sure corrupt idiots with badges get made examples of.

  164. David Ransom says:

    If you know the name of the DHS Customs Agent, go to the Office of the US Attorney and swear out a criminal complaint against her. She tried to get you to commit a Federal felony.

  165. JeanHuguesRobert says:

    Michael, you should move to the south of France. Good cheese, good wines, no startups.

  166. This is how libertarians are made. People only realize the insanity and inhumanity of bureaucracy once they are affected by it. They are happy to punish everyone else with expanding, feral bureaucracy with their favorite magic word to solve all problems – “regulation.” USDA and FDA raid raw milk farmers with SWAT teams, Interior Department raids orchard growers with SWAT teams, DEA raids innocently harmless pot smokers with SWAT teams. It’s all normal.

  167. We don’t do that sort of thing here in New Zealand. Of course, this isn’t the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave…

  168. Paul says:

    I would have made the change as I saw fit, initialed beside the change, and signed at the bottom. That is legal in every business. Shove it to the agent and leave.

  169. Ima Tard says:

    DeeeYou’d (Dude), I have the same types of problems, luckily on a much smaller financial scale. Honesty and Integrity have little value to the Modern Horde. It can be difficult for aware, intelligent persons to live in such an imperfect world.
    I’ve had similar issues traveling to foreign countries and also with the IRS. Being coerced into filling out ‘official paperwork’ falsely, or you will not be permitted entry. I had an IRS officer insist I input false information and submit it.
    What are your expectations in a country where 80+% of the people are liars, cheats, scammers and opportunists seeking an unearned advantage? Sad part is much of the world is worse. Just another Divine Comedy.
    I READ EVERYTHING before signing, seems to piss pushy bastards off. Like the time I leased a truck for my business on Valentine’s Day. After dealing with the sales-tard, the finance-tard drew-up the paperwork. Only problem was what was printed out contained errors and said I’m not signing that. So the ‘tard-collective’ including the sales-manager TARD were all upset with me for keeping them from their significant others on Valentine’s Day. Asshats, geez, are there worse examples of human-like bacteria than sales-asshats! In hindsight I’m glad sales-tards don’t carry badges and guns.
    I don’t agree with most of the assertions above to the effect the ‘agent’ was in error. I think if you are able to see it from a more proper perspective you share a portion of the blame. She probably believed she was performing her job.
    I too am tripped-up by these types of hurdles when dealing with the shut-up and go along mentality of government agents and clerks. I have learned to say F-it and move along. Insisting on being ‘correct’ leads to wasting ‘priceless’ time that can never be replaced, and costs that will never be recovered. It doesn’t pay to be honest in such a shitty corrupt world of cheats and shucksters. I will debate anyone saying ‘Ignorance is Bliss’, but playing dumb sometimes makes the world spin a little smoother. And I’ve found it doesn’t change what time I get up, eat, or go to bed next Saturday.
    I chuckled when I read your ‘droned’ comment. I don’t know if you coined that or read it elsewhere.
    ‘Hey, what happened to Steve?’, Oh, you didn’t hear – he ‘drone-dead’, ehhehe. I will be adding it to my vernacular vocabulary along with ‘drone-ding’, a death not necessarily involving water.

  170. Robert Roehm says:

    Very likely they will auction the boat away.

    You will still get stuck with taxes and fees.

    Oh, and don’t forget a penalty fee they will charge you for disposing of the boat. Failure to pay this will mark you a target for TSA searches, and set you as a “flight risk” barring you from taking trains or airplanes, even crossing borders. Same would happen if you decide to go through with any court action.

    Best to write off the boat and order a new one, and pray that you don’t run into her again. If you do, sign the form, and later request a correction to be made due to the currency conversion flux.

    • Are you a member of that criminal bunch that is called the State? NEVER REWARD CRIMINAL BEHAVIOUR, ESPECIALLY BY THOSE WHO ABUSE THEIR AUTHORITY! Which they prove they are not entitled to. By their behaviour, these criminal authorities disqualify themselves to be allowed acess to the public, let alone have authority over them!

  171. 40 foot says:

    America is now a fascist police state……don t be surprised by this type of event

  172. Even though it may appear you got screwed for doing the right thing I’m betting it was the best course of action. If you HAD signed the form – both parties knowing it was incorrect – I’m 100% sure she would have then arrested and cuffed you immediately the ink was on the paper. These agencies, created under the false flag of fighting terrorism are more bent than a $7 note. At least this way you will eventually get your boat back. If you’d gone along with her plan you’d never see it again. They’d probably used it for their weekend break boat.

  173. Anon says:

    Two words: Inspector General
    As an Executive Department Employee I understand, respect and fear the IG.

    http://www.oig.dhs.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=51&Itemid=133

  174. Nota Weed says:

    The government will take EVERYONE’S property…

    EXECUTIVE ORDER 10990 allows the government to take over all modes of transportation and control of highways and seaports.

    EXECUTIVE ORDER 10995 allows the government to seize and control the communication media.

    EXECUTIVE ORDER 10997 allows the government to take over all electrical power, gas, petroleum, fuels and minerals.

    EXECUTIVE ORDER 10998 allows the government to seize all means of transportation, including personal cars, trucks or vehicles of any kind and total control over all highways, seaports, and waterways.

    EXECUTIVE ORDER 10999 allows the government to take over all food resources and farms.

    EXECUTIVE ORDER 11000 allows the government to mobilize civilians into work brigades under government supervision.

    EXECUTIVE ORDER 11001 allows the government to take over all health, education and welfare functions.

    EXECUTIVE ORDER 11002 designates the Postmaster General to operate a national registration of all persons.

    EXECUTIVE ORDER 11003 allows the government to take over all airports and aircraft, including commercial aircraft.

    EXECUTIVE ORDER 11004 allows the Housing and Finance Authority to relocate communities, build new housing with public funds, designate areas to be abandoned, and establish new locations for populations.

    EXECUTIVE ORDER 11005 allows the government to take over railroads, inland waterways and public storage facilities.

    EXECUTIVE ORDER 11051 specifies the responsibility of the Office of Emergency Planning and gives authorization to put all Executive Orders into effect in times of increased international tensions and economic or financial crisis.

    EXECUTIVE ORDER 11310 grants authority to the Department of Justice to enforce the plans set out in Executive Orders, to institute industrial support, to establish judicial and legislative liaison, to control all aliens, to operate penal and correctional institutions, and to advise and assist the President.

    EXECUTIVE ORDER 11049 assigns emergency preparedness function to federal departments and agencies, consolidating 21 operative Executive Orders issued over a fifteen year period.

    EXECUTIVE ORDER 11921 allows the Federal Emergency Preparedness Agency to develop plans to establish control over the mechanisms of production and distribution, of energy sources, wages, salaries, credit and the flow of money in U.S. financial institution in any undefined national emergency. It also provides that when a state of emergency is declared by the President, Congress cannot review the action for six months. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has broad powers in every aspect of the nation. General Frank Salzedo, chief of FEMA’s Civil Security Division stated in a 1983 conference that he saw FEMA’s role as a “new frontier in the protection of individual and governmental leaders from assassination, and of civil and military installations from sabotage and/or attack, as well as prevention of dissident groups from gaining access to U.S. opinion, or a global audience in times of crisis.” FEMA’s powers were consolidated by President Carter to incorporate the National Security Act of 1947 allows for the strategic relocation of industries, services, government and other essential economic activities, and to rationalize the requirements for manpower, resources and production facilities. 1950 Defense Production Act gives the President sweeping powers over all aspects of the economy. Act of August 29, 1916 authorizes the Secretary of the Army, in time of war, to take possession of any transportation system for transporting troops, material, or any other purpose related to the emergency. International Emergency Economic Powers Act enables the President to seize the property of a foreign country or national. These powers were transferred to FEMA in a sweeping consolidation in 1979.

    The leaders of the world are focused on a New World Order with one appointed government with ONE appointed leader, did you vote for that?

    • What happened to the land of the brave and the free? Your Founding Fathers would turn in their graves. This is worse than the Svyet Russia ever was. This is evidence of the hirelings and traitors your congress and senate and white house are. Do NOT let all these crimes by the very worst criminal organisation of the nation corner you. You should get more resolve to RESIST the crimes of the growing tyranny by the government. Get organised!

  175. Ashana M says:

    I don’t know what I would have done. But I’m not sure it’s fair to talk about 2 people as the “government.” If seizing the boat made the woman’s day, she’s perhaps a bit nuts. And I’ve found there are nut jobs in every walks of life. The executive branch is not an exception from this. If the original official who said, “It’s just paperwork,” was rather cavalier in doing his duty, then there are people like that in every profession and every company as well. Annoying, and it shouldn’t happen, but their time may well come to face the music.

    I hope you get your boat soon.

  176. Dilbert Thompson says:

    Of all the waste and redundancy in government, DHS is the worst. Brought about when people were frightened, it now prevents progress with great efficiency while doing virtually nothing to provide security to the homeland. Just another stupid move by the worst president in the history of the United States of America.

  177. jack says:

    And you couldnt find a boat built in the US,you deseive the hassel.

    • John says:

      @jack: I think you’ve missed the point.

      @MichaelArrington: First, as US voter, sorry dude… I tried, but there was just no stopping the insanity (where was Susan Powter when we needed her most?) Good luck with official channels and please let us know how this turns out. Of course, any of the gory details you can share along the way would be very much appreciated.

  178. Loren says:

    There is no reason that DHS should have anything to do with this. It is not a security issue within the bounderies of the United States. The new American Gestapo is out of control and can’t be stopped. One more reason Obama wants your guns.

  179. lorenjay says:

    There is no reason that DHS should even be involved in this transaction. It poses no threat to the security of the United States. This new American Gestapo is out of control and is taking over every aspect of the United States Government. It must be stopped. One more reason Obama wants your guns and has purchased 1.7 billion rounds of ammunition for DHS in the last eight months.

  180. scellwood says:

    The inspector’s implied glee at finding an opportunity/justification to grab these “spoils” for her local agency office is disgusting. So, name this for what it is: “the spoils of war” – the spoils of a slow-moving, cloaked-by-bureaucratic-procedure-war – but war none-the-less, of some citizens against other citizens, by the indirect means of a creeping vote to gain permanent control and in-principle unlimited use of the government’s guns. Mark Steyne recently coined a phrase naming the essential condition we now find ourselves in, of which this is an example:
    “Every Man a Criminal.” (The payoff of his article, and root-source of this identification, is at its conclusion, btw)
    Problem is, now that we are almost fully consumed by this non-stop shake-down of all-against-all, the gang who thinks they’ve “won,” by finally gaining effectively permanent control, will be in for a bitter surprise. After putting the opposition in a straight-jacket, and no longer having them as an obstacle to unlimited “wise” use of government police powers “for our own good,” the Pyrrhic Victors will be faced with the next phase of this Lord of the Flies culture that has been nurtured for so long and now run rampant. This is the phase that always ensues when fully-discretionary use of force and thus total power is finally achieved: the wise rulers will turn on each other with the same unlimited, unchained power. Someone will be an apostate. They must go. And we all know what that has meant with such regimes, throughout history. The regime will begin to consume their own in purges and “nights of the long knives/daggers, etc”. And then, as history has shown, it will be the absolutely bloodiest mass-murderer of them all who stands on top of the pile at the end. And these “fools with blood on their hands” who brought us to this repeat of history’s tragedies will still stare in astonishment and wonder at how it all “went wrong”…and will never question the principle of “power over thy neighbor, mutual servitude for all, and you are lesser than the community and thus expendable” that led to yet another holocaust.
    They who shall live by the sword, shall die by the sword…whether it is their own sword in their own hands, or the swords of the government in the hands of robotic “just following orders” henchmen who they had thought were just their puppets. Until their heads were next on the chopping block.
    P.S. Jack: your next assignment is to rationalize the next phase of compulsion and out of control pollice powers. “First they came for the poor guy buying a boat from the next island over that happened to be Canadian, then they came for me and the bread on my table.” When the Gestapo comes, you ready to rationalize that, too, if someone doesn’t buy/do/speak/think what you want? If you think that is too extreme, think twice – you are surely paving the way for someone someday to walk up to your door and say, “sorry, sir, we need your body for our purposes – you haven’t been using it in an approved fashion.” “Hassel” my ass, you are making that day inevitable.

  181. Nemesister says:

    Today’s government is yesterday’s royalty. Bring back the guillotine. Heads must role!

  182. Robert Bienstock says:

    Allow me to offer a contrary opinion: This incident had nothing to do with the government and everything to do with the damage having a job that doesn’t connect with ones purpose does to the psyche. When you hate your job, the thing you hate the most is when someone forces you to actually do it. That Customs agent was so checked out and oppressed by her work that by you requiring her to actually turn on her brain to figure out how to handle your problem, all of her loathing for her job kicked in and she resorted to rote unreasonableness. That’s the same behavior exhibited by the TSA agents reported above when you reject the full body scan. The only thing that makes this situation worse is that the Customs and TSA agents are given tools by the government that allows them to really screw you over if they get the urge to do so.

    What I try to do in these situations is to treat these people with compassion and try to get a shared reality with them about how messed up but important their jobs are. Once they get that I get their world, they go out of their way to want to be helpful. I don’t know if that would have made a difference here but maybe. You have to always remember that the government isn’t a thing, its just people. And when you treat people with compassion for how tough their job can be and respect for their humanity, you should get the results you want. The best way to get people to cooperate is to find them right and the best way to get them to prove that they are right and you’re wrong is to find them wrong.

  183. Chester says:

    This BS will stop only when FedGov drones start disappearing without a trace. Easy to do when that great big ocean is right there….

  184. Tidmore says:

    What these goons fail to comprehend is that once the revolution starts in earnest, ANY federal government employee will be viewed as the enemy and targeted. This will either require every federal government employee to receive armed protection 24/7 and since that is not likely, there will be massive resignations and the entire federal government will come to a standstill, collapse and then be relegated to the ash heap of history where it belongs.

  185. Similar says:

    My immigration paperwork required 1.5x poverty level as income or 4x poverty level in savings. We had the latter.

    The agent refused to accept this under the grounds that, “You could go to Vegas tomorrow and gamble it all away!” She was incredibly proud of herself for that piece of logic.

    We pointed out that that could be true of any amount – 4x, 40x, 400x – she looked even more proud of herself and declared that just made her point.

    We asked her why the forms allow for either an income OR a savings level if no amount of savings could ever protect against this hypothetical scenario. She replied (this was just after 9/11) that she didn’t care, too many forms were getting sent back and hers weren’t going to be among them. If that meant refusing legitimately completed forms, just so she could feel safer, so be it.

    We returned with my mother in law to vouch that someone with sufficient income would cover my living expenses if needs be. She earned several times the poverty level. The ever forward thinking agent decided my mother in law could quit her job at a moment’s notice and so that didn’t count either.

    At this point, she’d brilliantly concluded that there was absolutely no way any person could emigrate to the U.S. You may have savings but you could gamble it away. You may have income but you could quit your job. So, despite the criteria being clearly laid out in the forms, no one can ever qualify to enter the U.S.

    Fortunately, she was sufficiently proud of her deductive reasoning and being smarter than the entire immigration system that she then accepted our going and getting my father in law as well. In her twisted logic’s world, apparently two people would never both quit their jobs. We chose not to point out the flaws in that.

    Along the way, I happened to mention in passing that I played guitar. She demanded to see my fingertips. I’ve been playing for long enough, yet not that heavily, that there’s no broken skin and the callouses are pretty smooth. She, of course, knew better. I got called a, “Liar, liar, pants on fire” for that one. No joke. She actually used the kindergarten rhyme.

    In a world where every call to our bank, insurance agent, etc. is recorded, it amazes me that every conversation with government officials IN OUR EMPLOY aren’t. There are a great many good, honest, hard workers. But the few who can’t handle the power, who are far too excited by bullying with it, need drumming out.

    Record their interactions. When their side is backed up, you can quickly disprove false allegations and you improve your reputation. When they’re abused, you have evidence to back up prosecution or other penalties. When it is debatable, you have a learning experience to work from. And, yes, when they try ordering you to lie on a form, when they refuse to allow the full picture to be explained, when they call someone a “liar, liar, pants on fire!”, when they make up new rules, they can be easily called on it, addressed and the department’s reputation improved.

    I agree: There are many good workers who suffer needless abuse. Hiding the actions of the abusive employees builds a culture where DHS is synonymous with petit power hungry bureaucrats. Make it transparent. Fix the real problems. Take away the power of the false allegations. You’ll end up with those good workers being treated much better by a populous who can begin to trust them again.

  186. Paul says:

    Get like 100 lawyers and sue them for violating your Constitutional rights and for interference with NAFTA free trade agreements. The NAFTA violation is gross and horrible and the worst of the two because it makes the DHS look like a bunch of Fascist goons who hate Capitalism which they are. I’ll say it again DHS hates Capitalism and the Republic.

    Amendment IV
    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

    If you win which you won’t because the Judicial System hates Capitalism and the Republic you could sue them for 50 x to 100 x times monetary damages!

  187. god says:

    First world problems… Awwww white people :). I’m sure you where one of the Patriot act sheeple after wtc.

  188. I was from China, I guess that makes me more tolerable to the unpleasantness and frustration when dealing with the government. But my observation is that whether in China or in US, there are a good percentage of morons and stupid people (the percentage is much higher in China because of brainwash).

    And the number is especially higher in the government organizations than in most private sectors, because it’s less demanding in a government job. And often times you will find that these people being put on positions which grant them some kind of authority that can make other people’s life unnecessarily harder or even miserable. How can we change this? I don’t really think there is a way to make all those morons disappear. You just have to deal with it or live with it. If you can’t, you just leave, like me, tried my best to stay away from the country run by morons.

    Finally I have to say, what you experienced is really nothing comparing to what an average Chinese will experience in his/her life time.

  189. Rudy says:

    I would gett a couple friends with AR-15s and take your boat back.

    • Looking from outside says:

      A cop died a few days ago. Incinerated alive. All he wanted was some truths to come out. He used guns. He lost. Sorry.

  190. Stephen says:

    Asking you to sign a federal document – knowing that information on the form was incorrect – was a crime and should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. “Just sign it anyway” is a felony, if I recall correctly… IANL, but having worked as a techie on a federal contract for several years, I spent an absurd amount of time being instructed on proper interaction with the Federal government (time billed to the American taxpayer, of course).

    Also : If the DHS is trying to seize and retain the boat, IJ.org might like your case! They have a group working civil forfeiture cases.

  191. MKEgal says:

    What if you’d simply added “CAD” on the line by the price? Don’t ask permission, just correct the error & initial it.
    But I agree that the gov’t agent was completely out of line, esp. in presenting only a partial story to her supervisor (only the part that supported what she wanted to do).
    Or get the supervisor there in person.
    “No, thanks, I’m not giving you my boat. I’m going to take it home. We just need to get the form corrected so I’m not swearing to a lie. If that takes getting your supervisor here with us, because you can’t correct the mistake, then please do that.”

  192. Dave Hill says:

    Aren’t we getting a little over zealous? Just like the bitch who seized your boat. I feel your pain. She was dead wrong. She didn’t have enough gray matter to solve a simple clerical error.

    However, SHE is not the government. You did the right thing, she did not. Send your side of the story in writing, to the proper authorities. You have the right to complain. Sue her for any extra costs incurred because of her stupidity. Im sure she didn’t call Obama on the hot line and ask what to do!

    I’ve been screwed by incompetent employees at fast food, hotels, retail stores, the bank, the motorcycle shop, at work and too many other places myself. You have to give the company an opportunity to correct first. IF they back HER up, then that’s a whole different ball game!

  193. Looking from outside says:

    Reminds me of a famous STNG scene. “How many lights do you see?”

  194. Jeremy Walker says:

    “Those who would give up Essential Liberty, to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety” – Benjamin Franklin.

    It would be an excellent idea if the mandarins at the DHS understood this. It’s now the largest US Gummint Agency by budget except the DoD – and completely out of control.

    Doing right, and being penalized for it – well it seems contrary to everything this fine country was built on. And I’m a US-resident Brit, and a sailor too.

    Take this all the way, mate. Loads of good Silicon Valley law firms (and Seattle too) would love to take this on as a pro-bono case.

  195. Exocet says:

    Went through Customs/Immigration the other day for an international flight. My backpack went through the x-ray and was subsequently searched and everything removed and spread out on a table. The TSA Agent told me that my leather skipping rope was not allowed to be carried on the plane because it was classified as “sports equipment” and the leather cord could be used to strangle someone. I then pointed out that also lying on the table was my 8′ laptop power cable, 6′ iPhone cable, 5′ portable modem cable and 3′ earphones cable and commented that all of these could easily strangle someone and probably easier than the thick leather cord of my skipping rope. Her reply was “Yes, I agree, but they aren’t sports equipment..” It was pointless to try and rationalize or try and argue with her as she was going to flex her little bit of power no matter what. She then took the skipping rope away and threw it in a trash bin and let me on my way. WTF?

    • rob says:

      hehe $15 dollar an hour super heros

    • Mike M says:

      Simple, next time glue a USB plug on each end of the rope.

    • I would not have allowed her to do that without demanding a receipt from her that she confiscated my property and threw it in the trashcan. She is NOT authorised to do so! You should have told her to pack my property in a separate bag, and put it on the plane with the regular luagguage – after labeling it, and giving you a receipt for it just like any regular luaguage – so you could have collected it at your destination. If she would have refused that, I would have demanded paperwork to file a complaint and collect damages (or at least tell her I would do that). People that are hired for the TSA, customs and other agencies are the very worst goon; they have never had brains, or left them somewhere else. Manners they do not have at all. Their superiors probabaly select such people from those who apply for that job and train them to even become worse. To instill fear in the public, who has not yet learnt the lesson that these people do NOT serve the public at all. They are far worse a tyranny than any terrorists they are supposedly hired to protect the public from. Blessed is the day the public is delivered from being forced by abuse of government /law etc. to submit to humiliation by the government agents in the name of our wellbeing… What a lie.

  196. NURREDIN says:

    I feel for you,and you don’t even look like a terrorist.They probably would have shot me.Try being a Jew with an Arabic name.I get sent to the ‘Ben Laden” room every time I try to fly. Maybe I’ll get a boat for all my trips.I take Amtrak everywhere now.

  197. Jay says:

    Sign the document and add (Tax rate may be adjusted). This covers the (Truth) clause. Simple and legal.

  198. Mr. Helpful says:

    Call Kim Documentation and they can either help or point you in the direction of a good marine attorney to resolve this. Like Bruce King who I believe is in Seattle. He may be an elephant gun swatting a fly for this type of case.

    The primary issue is getting your boat. The latent issue is exposing the complete lack of professionalism by DHS. I would be fired if I were wishing Shame on a customer as a result of some dispute.

    Unless he’s a troll, that is a stunningly arrogant display of unprofessionalism.

    But a lot of commies voted to be treated like serfs by bureaucrats last November so elections have consequences. I’m surprised he didn’t take a lead from Obama and deliver that castigation while on stage behind some former employers you didn’t offer same sex marriage benefits to and who have since had partners who die of cancer.

  199. Mr. Helpful says:

    Employees even.

  200. Yeah … I’m not a fan of bureaucrats, or big gummint. I am always pointing out – even in the private industry – the reason we have human beings in these jobs is because they’re supposed to have REASONING powers and human insight. What part of her job couldn’t be automated if she merely follows ‘rules’ regardless of whether right or wrong?

  201. JJ Swiontek says:

    I would either have changed the numbers on the form or with my signature, I would have added a quick note on the errors on the form.

  202. Harry H. says:

    JJ’s answer sounds reasonable, which without saying anything to the agent while initialing the change certainly woulda shoulda coulda passed muster with both them and you. You sound as if you are a man of principle. Let me ask you, do you read all the legalese bullshit you are forced to say you agree with before being allowed to say, add an apple app to your ipad? Do you insist when filling out an official & important form on checking the box to explain that you once forgot to pay a parking ticket in 1987, still have a library book you forgot to return in the sixties, and once smoked dope with Jimi Hendrix? Ok, so you wish to adhere to principle. You didn’t wish some bureaucrat anxious to get the paperwork for your boat outta the way and off their desk to force you into “lying” on an official form. Yet you say the real difference in dollars at present was almost nothing. So going along with the ‘program, wouldn’t have cost you. And being a total arsehole and refusing to give into their pettiness when perhaps goaded cost you your boat, a lawyer’s fee, time aggravation, money, and the joy of your long awaited purchase to use on the water. Is it that you are a truly techno nerd whose greatest thrill was showing off the exact megahertz of your electronics? If your story is true, and not just some embellished made for sailing anarchy types to jump gung ho ho ho on the bandwagon, then as sorry as we all must be that our government has retained maintained and at times expanded a very distasteful element of unfeeling and well nigh fascistic bureacracy at times, you are a truly and completely an udiot to not simply have signed and taken your boat to everyone’s satisfaction, most especially your own. As much as you think they prefer to take it, I bet had you smiled and signed, their relief would have echoed yours. Then again, somehow I don’t see you getting involved in the legal fees necessary to make this a celebrated test case against the resources of the federal government. I bet you’re simply relieved if and when you get your boat back, which you’d already have in your possession if you hadn’t been such a dumbshit stubborn thinking you’re making an important point american idiot about it. Like the man doing the interrogation overseas, or the sob working for the warden might say, we can do this the easy way or the hard way. You chose the latter.

    • Ian says:

      If you don’t have principles, all you have are wants and needs, strengths and weaknesses, reconciled in a dog-eat-dog world. It saddens me that your ‘pragmatic’ approach to government is increasingly common.

  203. mickcgorman says:

    You have to remember that “officials” are not allowed to think so the agent probably did the the best they could. Chill out, it will all be good in the long run.

  204. The DHS and similar government enforcement agencies continue to exist and perpetrate harm because being one of those enforcement agents is acceptable to most people. Were the vast majority of Government Enforcers shunned by others – no voluntary association of any type, including sales and services – there would be far fewer individuals willing to do the actual harm that government decrees/mandates/regulations/laws/etc “authorize”. By all means, try using reasoned logic on anyone you know who is currently a government enforcement agent or thinking of becoming one, but if s/he rejects it, s/he’s NOT your friend nor interested in the long range wide viewed best interest of others, nor even hirself (him/her self).

  205. Reblogged this on An Average American Woman and commented:
    There are no words to convey my deepest sympathy to you.
    What the gov did, No problem, I believe that in a heartbeat. <–that's sad!

  206. Bob Todd says:

    I am glad I am eighty. This used to be a wonderful country, the USA, but now it is time for the AGE to end and the one with the 1000 years to start. Google Robert Wheeler Todd. See you all there soon.

  207. The real issue here is that someone with access to a blog, and audience and lawyers can fight back. What about the victims who don’t?

    This is what makes a country a plutocracy: the law works for those with the resources to fight, and not for anyone else.

  208. Phil Dean says:

    I can echo these frustrations. 5 years ago I found and bought a boat across Lake Huron from where we live in Michigan, but in order to get the boat the 40 miles from where I purchased it to where I wanted it, I was told I had to hire a “Customs Broker” and get an import license. Jumped through all the hoops with significant expense, completed all the paperwork, finally got the boat (a 20 year old sailboat). 2 months later received a notice and summons from DHS of a “penalty” with a payment due that was more than 3x the cost of the boat – over $250,000! Long story short, hired a lawyer, worked through the Customs Broker, and finally got it sorted out as a “clerical error” attributed to me, but one that could never be clarified or identified. Essentially, they just gave up trying to seize my property thanks to an aggressive lawyer. All for a 20 y/o boat purchase. I heartily agree with the frustrations of this blog, and with the derisive sentiments about US government greed and bureaucracy. Although I’m not a conspiracy theorist, I’m almost afraid to this day to put my name to this response for fear of some sort of retaliation. That’s a shame.

  209. Jeremy Walker says:

    “It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong.”
    — Voltaire

  210. Joe says:

    Without saying another word, I would have just corrected the form from US$ to CAN$ and signed it. I sign contracts like this all the time (that’s really what it is). They either just accept it or have to type/print the whole thing over.

    This way, they can’t say you refused to sign it because you did. You just made a slight correction on the firm too. Now it’s on them to accept your correction.

  211. Hey Mike, glad you got your boat back! We share your love for boats and despisement for bureaucracy and we’d like to offer you a week on board an incrediblue boat ( http://www.incrediblue.com/ ) in the Mediterranean. Drop me a line at antonios[at!]incrediblue.com

  212. Mike V says:

    The USA has elected an aristocracy that permits no control over it. This was done a very long time ago. It will never change.

  213. Warren Gamache says:

    I would have handwritten and initialed the changes myself, took a picture with my iPhone and then signed.

  214. George W says:

    That’s what the “Security Theater” is all about………. It’s even better at the airports where the “dirty bag” catch rate is below 50%. I always wondered where the people who flunked toll booth school would eventually wind up?

  215. Charles Tripp says:

    You did the right thing. I sign government forms a lot as part of my job and it matters what you sign.

    Further evidence that the government is out of control.

  216. DHS Employee No 1 says:

    I am sure the DHS has already requested all the IPs of the naysayer comments to bring swift justice to them. Posting negative comments is just a milder form of terrorism to them. :)

  217. Sean says:

    The DHS agent committed a criminal offence by attempting to persuade you to commit a felony (sign a false declaration). I suggest that you call the FBI and the local police and swear out a complaint against the agent as well as file a complaint with the DHS asking for this agent to be fired.

  218. Mike says:

    You said “A person with a gun and a government badge” but left out “high school education, government pension, overpaid position”. Please be more careful in the future.

  219. Brendan Kelly says:

    These folks consider the Constitution to be “only paperwork”, why should a sworn form be any different?

  220. Art says:

    What if the writer is, in fact, wrong? What if the DHS official was entirely correct and both documents were both denominated in the same currency? Are we to assume the writer doesn’t make mistakes? What would make anyone believe that the writer is more credible than the functionary?

    Given the complete lack of physical evidence, documentation, and third-party witnesses all any objective observer could conclude is that there is a difference of opinion.

    Granted, that this blog is home court for the writer and the audience seems entirely unskeptical of the account, to the point of resembling a frat party in cheering, doubling-down, burnishing, expanding upon the hackneyed story line of a noble citizen harried by an incompetent bureaucrat. Gee … is there a story line more likely to gain populist acclaim? Bad-mouthing low-level government functionaries is child’s play.

    Doing so without any evidence, trivial.

    Almost as trivial as making up a story about a wealthy, egotistical, entitled jerk who assumes he is always entirely correct seeing a mistake where there is none, throwing a fit over an imaginary point of principle and blogging about it to boost his ego. That would be wrong.

    It would be interesting to hear an unrestrained account from the other side before drawing firm conclusions. Something that isn’t likely to happen.

    • How long have you been working for the government, Art?

    • crosspatch says:

      “Given the complete lack of physical evidence, documentation, and third-party witnesses all any objective observer could conclude is that there is a difference of opinion.”

      As the government is who seized the boat, the onus would be on the government to prove it had reason to do so. The onus is never on the citizen to prove the government doesn’t have reason to. The default is that government must leave people’s property alone unless they have a specific reason.

      I probably wouldn’t have signed the document either as it could be used as evidence in a tax investigation later if some tax authority claims I paid X for a boat I said was worth Y. Just because a currency is called the “dollar” doesn’t mean it is worth the same as the US dollar. This looks to me like a government employee who was embarrassed over having made a bonehead assumption, got called on it, and took it out on the citizen.

    • Julie Cochrane says:

      Good question, I suppose. Almost. Except I think the answer is obvious:

      The guy posting the story is credible about the amount on the invoice being in CAD because he bought a boat from Canada, he’s credible about the amount on the US form being in USD because it’s a US government form, and he’s credible that the agent didn’t know the difference because it’s fairly common for people who aren’t unusually well educated to miss things like that. More often than not, people get it right–but running into someone who made that mistake is not unusual.

      It would, however, be very unusual for him to make up out of whole cloth that the invoice was in CAD and the form in USD.

      He is also credible because we know from another commenter that that particular form is supposed to have a currency conversion worksheet that goes with it–and it’s common sense that it would.

      It strains credulity beyond the breaking point to imagine that he’s lying about the form *lacking* a currency conversion worksheet.

      His account of events makes sense as the kinds of ways real people actually behave, and the kinds of errors real people make. The bureaucrat who’s come on here and posted “their” side of the story said he “was there.” Except that there’s nothing about anything he said that rings true as him actually physically being on the boat with the woman and the boat owner.

      The only way I can see for him not to be outright lying would be if he were the guy on the other end of the phone that the woman called. If he was, then he’s being disingenuous trying to claim “I was there” knowledge of what went on between the woman and the boat owner when she wasn’t on the phone with him. He knows what *she said* happened between them. Maybe she told him the truth from her point of view, but *he* is trying to spin and do damage control. He reeks of spin.

      So…she got to drive a cool new power boat around and gets to hang onto it for awhile and maybe drive it around more. The boat owner, on the other hand, doesn’t have his boat for awhile and has to worry about its condition when he gets it back.

      And the dispute is all, apparently, over a missing currency conversion worksheet. I infer that it’s missing because if it had been prepared and properly attached, the guy telling “their side” sure would have mentioned it.

      You’re making the “reasonable doubt” error of processing an argument. Most real world problems, in court, are not criminal and don’t get decided on reasonable doubt. Most of them get decided on the “preponderance of the evidence.”

      In “he said/she said” terms, “preponderance of the evidence” boils down to, “Who do you believe is more likely than not telling the truth and about what?”

      His version of events makes sense. Theirs doesn’t pass the sniff test. By “preponderance of the evidence,” I believe the DHS officer he interacted with either didn’t understand she needed the currency conversion worksheet or didn’t want to go back and do the work of writing one up, got mad that he was being a hassle to deal with, and since she had the power to seize his boat, she did—to “show him” that he “couldn’t get away with treating her like that.”

      I wouldn’t be surprised if he comes off as a bit abrasive and a bit of a tool in person, but being annoying isn’t supposed to be enough to get your property seized.

      One of the times I went through customs to go to Canada, I was right behind one of my fellow Americans who was a total idiot and complained about having to go through customs at all, “Because the two countries are so close.”

      The Canadian Customs agent declared in a sharp brogue, “But not the same! And they never will be!” (Yeah, she really did speak with a brogue. Personal accent, I guess.)

      Meanwhile, I’m sitting there cringing because I know I’m gonna catch hell and have my documents scrutinized to hell and gone because she’s been torqued off by “The Ugly American.” She was a bureaucrat; he was a jerk. There are typical ways bureaucrats and jerks interact.

      So I was very polite and meek with the Canadian Customs people while they went over my documents with a fine-toothed comb. I was a consultant up under NAFTA doing some work at a client site, but Canadian authorities really closely scrutinize that “consultant” title. I was legit, but it took me about five times as long to get through customs that time as it did the next time i went through.

      Back to the boat incident, it is clear from “their” side of the story that DHS thinks this guy was being a total jerk to them. Again, this tends to *support* his story, because how he says they acted is the kind of way bureaucrats frequently react when they think you’re being a jerk.

  221. All you need to say is this:
    1. Do you have a search warrant?
    2. No? Then you are trespassing, and I am calling the police to remove you.
    3. You object to this? I’m calling my lawyer to come and talk to you. Please step off of the boat.

  222. Reginald says:

    The bad news is that getting full relief won’t be easy or cheap.

    The good news is that there are laws that protect you in such situations. If you suffered any financial loss or damages, you can sue the government under the Federal Tort Claims Act. You must first submit a claim on an SF-95 and give the government up to six months to process (i.e. deny) your claim. Then you can sue.

    The violation of due process by seizing your property for refusing to sign a false statement is cognizable under Bivens v Six Unknown Agents. This is a suit against the officer herself, acting under color of federal law, and violating your civil rights. I would not pin your hopes to seeing a dime from her under this law though. Proving your case would be your word against hers. If you have the form and the invoice, it might be enough proof. But I don’t think you or a lawyer will want to risk loss of tens of thousands of dollars with a chance of getting almost nothing from her.

    Someone suggested calling the FBI. No, the correct place to complain is the Office of the Inspector General of DHS. They will likely do nothing, but they are the right people to ask to do something and then have them do nothing.

    The “search warrant” argument doesn’t apply. Customs maintains custody of your property in transit until such a time that the “paperwork” is complete. The officer was CORRECT in making sure the paperwork was done; you have no right to receive your property until the procedures are followed. The officer was INCORRECT in having you sign a false statement on the form and refusing to allow you to correct it.

    There is probably a process of appeal through DHS and a claim through the Administrative Procedures Act. She might be disciplined for her actions simply because there was a payable claim.

    The “badge and gun” argument plays well in Peoria, but your lawyer will probably suggest you don’t play that card. Focus on the unlawful act and deprivation of your rights, not some exaggerated fear of imminent harm.

    What she did was repugnant, and I know you want justice. Just do not believe that the Justice System does justice. Those government employees aren’t much better than THAT government employee. If you suffered real harm, then go for it. If it is just a disturbing story, then share it, collect your boat, and enjoy fishing. Trust me, you’d rather fish than spend the next two years in court.

  223. Nicholas says:

    Summed up, this story is appreciated as it is another brush stroke in the huge mural that most apathetic people refuse to see or care about, despite it being huge and in their faces every time they look up, get married, get a job, get paid, drive a car, open a business, travel, buy anything, etc. I believe this apathy is mostly due to the implication that action on behalf of the people is required. Possibly abrupt action. This behavior is not unlike the schoolchildren standing around the two kids fighting who do nothing to stop the violence, because they are cowards, by nature most likely. Anyway, what this part of the “mural” is about is the slow introduction of the new Schutzstaffel (SS). Remember how apathetic most Germans were while the Nazis took total control. To believe that will not be repeated simply because we teach it in history classes is nonsense. You are witnessing it first hand RIGHT NOW.

  224. jd says:

    “Like I said, this will get worked out one way or another.”

    That is an assumption.

    Second assumption: you will get your boat back in a timely fashion. I work at the patent office. Although highly unethical, many examiners i know have operated in the fashion as you described above, with equal malevalance.

  225. Warren Bonesteel says:

    Welcome to Police State America.

    Enjoy your stay.

    (Another way to put it: Welcome to reality. Enjoy your stay.)

    The only real question about living in a police state is: what are you going to do about it? Cards, letters, emails, phone calls, elections and protests don’t seem to change anything. So, you gotta think a bit outside Teh Box.

  226. Carl Moore says:

    Heck, maybe they will store your boat at the same FEMA camp they deport you to for having the nerve to stand up to the Nazis. Welcome to Hope and Change in the new Amerika!

  227. Dick says:

    Let me give you another point of view. This country is in this state because of guys like this boat owner. He had it coming and I don’t feel sorry for him. He showed stiffness and formalism and shouldn’t be surprised that he was met with the same. Your gov just shows a mirror image of yourself. So, no boat (he’ll think twice before he asks a gov agent to retype an official form, signed by the supervisor because they are numbered and checked) and I hope that taught him how to swim.

    • Nicholas says:

      Dick, the concept that “government is a mirror image of yourself” I believe is less accurate than “treat others as you wish to be treated.” It’s more personal than “gov’t” vs. citizens.” The way boat owner above treated the officer resulted in the the officer slamming back. However, this is a symptom of a larger problem. First, government is only a “mirror” image when it is an unjust government. Just government is a supplement to the people, not a mirror. Summed up, “if men were angels, government would not be necessary.” This means that to the extent that men fall short of being able to completely govern themselves, government supplements. Further, in the above example, it does simply boil down to this: The government official gave a form with an affidavit (SWORN STATEMENT) on it. The official effectively asked (forced or blackmailed, with property at ransom) the person to SWEAR HIS NAME TO A STATEMENT THAT HE KNEW WAS FALSE, or at least in question. That is absolutely reprehensible on the part of the official. FURTHER, it is always the duty of the people to govern the government (keep it in check). Those who see injustice, abuse of power, infringement on rights, and dishonor in office, have the responsibility to do something about it, whatever that may be. I applaud this man for sticking to the truth, and doing something about it, rather than being another apathetic idiot becoming part of the problem instead of fixing it.

      • Ken says:

        Nicholas,
        I see government in a quite different light from your view.
        The way I see it is government sets the standards of morality and decency, and encourages individuals to follow suit. I have always faced government in the way in which my father taught me. That is “Deal with others honestly and forthrightly and they should reciprocate. I have never tried to cheat anyone in my life, including government, and yet it is constantly coming down on me as heavily as it can. For example, I always did my taxes honestly and no one has ever found any mistakes of any kind, and yet, for more than 30 years, government has tried to cheat me, and actually succeeded once, and it has gotten to the point where I have to have someone front for me when I am dealing with it. I am not abusive, but respectful, and no one can justifiably say anything to the contrary.

        As for debt. The government decided decades ago to begin piling up debt, and people saw it was working for government,so they jumped on the bandwagon. Government fostered the fantasy world we live in now, and we are all living with the consequences. The Keynesian world we live in is in an advanced state of self-destruction, but few, if any, seem to understand the consequences. This is the result of going to government-operated schools, which teach a distorted view of American history and government and avoid economics and money management like the plague. Why? Because if we really understood money management, we would not be in the shape we are in now. You simply cannot take on more debt than you have in assets. Actually, anything more than 25% us bad, but who follows that kind of guideline? We are, in the word of some contemporary commentators “sheeple.”

        When you look at it objectively, the Mafia and Cosa Nostra are all either dead or in prison, and now the Federal government has taken its place. It lies to us about the current level of inflation, which is probably about 5 times the official rate. This alone can distort our perception of the economy to the point of obfuscating the true problems facing us. The Federal Reserve is a cartel of banksters who operate the economy for their own benefit.

        So where is your equal treatment? Down the toilet!!

  228. Ken says:

    It’s just as bad inside the bureaucracy for those of us who are just trying to get along. When I was just starting out, I had a couple of bureaucratic jobs, and both times I was fired for just doing my job. Not like the woman you tell about. i was inspecting milk plants and trucks. This was during the late 60’s when cottage containers were being switched from paraffin-coated containers to thin plastic. The containers were packed in regular milk crates, and if the trucks traveled any distance, the containers might tumble over, the tops pop off and the contents spill into the crate. At the destination, the workers would scoop up the spillage, put it back into the container and send it off to the grocery. Also the cleaning of the crates was not good and I found the yellowed remains of earlier shipments in the bottom. I did not think this was a good idea, so I wrote it up on the inspection sheet. This happened again and again, and after the third time, my “superiors” had a meeting with a company representative (I was not told of the meeting0, and together they decided that the best course of action was to fire me, and get someone in that job who would turn a blind eye to that situation.
    Now you know why there are all of the seals and plastic strips on so many things you buy. I know that later someone with more influence came along and changed the rules.

  229. Handle says:

    Anarcho-Tyranny anyone?

  230. When I enter the Channel and there is a larger boat coming at me I yield, even if I have the right of way because I feel it is a smart and safe to do so. Fighting the government over a trifling matter is not smart.

    • Nicholas says:

      Please see my post above, to Dick.

    • Nicholas says:

      Further, had that been the philosophy of the founding generation, we would still be part of the British Empire.

    • Nicholas says:

      Please see also, David vs. Goliath (1st Book of Samuel)

    • WRONG RESPONSE! Cowards will not only end up in the Lake that Burns with Fire and Brimstone (Rev.21:8) YOU ARE PART OF THE GROWING PROBLEM! Because of your behaviour, these goons feel free to go from bad to worse. You must stand you ground. No matter is trifle… as the government itself shows. They abuse any little thing, even if they provoke it… to push the public into a smaller and smaller corner. The only proper response is to push bank, resist, in a legal way, correct them. Every person like you who gives in, adds to their strength and to the publics problem. It’s like feeding gators: People are told NOT to feed gators, because they will loose their fear of man. The government should fear the public. Not the other way around. DO YOUR HOMEWORK, and learn from your Founding Fathers!

  231. Horse ofadifferentcolor says:

    I would have corrected the information on the form by crossing out the incorrect information, writing in the correct information and initialling it and then signing the form.

    • Nicholas says:

      This is likely the best response I have encountered here. This is what I would have done as well. Simple, appropriate, legal, and proper. However, I suspect, given the apparent resolve of the official, this scenario would have played out in a similar fashion nonetheless.

  232. MadPat says:

    Well, I do not have time to read all the replies, so this may have been said. But in your original post you asked; “What would you do?” I think I would have simply lined through the error and then modify the amount (value in question) or the USD to CAN dollars, or whatever, with the pen in hand, initial the correction, and then sign and smile. If they had a problem with the document at that point, then it would be incumbent upon them to correct the document and have you resign. But in terms of it still being a legal/valid document – I think it would have been fine.

  233. I would have gotten the badge number of the DHS person you were working with, and written my congressman. Then I would have reported it to the local press. The woman was abusing her power, and deserves disciplinary action as a result.

  234. This is simply evidence of the growing tyranny of our government. Part of the growing evidence that the State/ the government is the very worst criminal organisation of the nation! There is NO justification for not allowing you to speak to the second person, stating simply: “He won’t sign,”and confiscating YOUR boat. I would have simply stated to both of them: “I will not sign the false declaration this paper is. You – who should be examples of truth and justice and correct behaviour to the public who pays your income to be served by you, not to be tyrannized, are ordering me – on the penalty of confiscation of my boat which I consider an act of WAR by the very worst enemy of the people: YOU, the Government! – to commit an illegal act! As a law-abiding citizen I can not be part of that! You made the wrong form. It is YOUR duty to make a correct form I can sign. Please get off this boat, and do not come back until you have the proper form. You should not have handed over the keys. They can even use that against you. You should have told them: Get someone from law-enforcement so that it is recorded I did not willingly hand over the keys to this boat, but did so – and I want this is writing – as I was forced to do, because I refused to sign this illegal document! I doubt that they would have pursued it! The woman bluffed, and you, not having experience, took the bait. Good luck! They do not fight fair. Do NOT expect them to.

    • Not to discourage you, but I would have required the authorities – if there was no way out of it, being forced, witnessed by some lawenforcing officier, to sign a paper, testifying the condition of the boat, itemized, specified, so that whenever it was handed back to you, you could always demand repair of any damages that you could prove were not there when you handed them to boat. No wonder the woman was jubilant. You obliged fartoi easyily. I do not blame you. If you have no experience dealing with injustice, especially by the government, the lessons of being a law-abiding, honest, correct citizen, are costly! Next time, you’ll be better prepared.Better to be put in jail, being right, and knowing you put up a fight and have done everything you could within your power, with your face held high, then – as so many commentators here would do – to lick the hands, feet and butts of the goons that humiliate you by their abuse of power and giving people a hard time, for which their superiors apparently hired the worst scumm of the land. .

  235. HELLO YE ALL! I recommend ye all read the books and articles by Eustace Mullins (watch also his video on my youtube channel – dutchlionfrans) Start with the book : “The rape of Justice.” http://www.scribd.com/doc/44448290/Eustace-Mullins-The-Rape-of-Justice-America-s-Tribunals-Exposed-1989

    And also of brigadeer rtd Jack Mohr. Just google “israelelect mohr.”

    And Ted Pike hate speech. And check the website: “rense.com”

    When you read the book “http://www.scribd.com/doc/10381214/What-Really-Happenend” you find reasons for the present-day state of the United States.

    Do also check into the fact that American law-enforcement is being trained by Israelis, who are teaching American police etc. to treat American citizens to be handled like Palestinians. Watch the video’s in my playlists. Like: “States are our worst enemies as worst criminal organisations” http://www.youtube.com/playlist?feature=edit_ok&list=PLwRRzJo9TolT-kZBZO-1CBojztLY_Z6TX

    Israel teaches American police how to treat Occupy Wall Street protesters like Palestinians http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I06K6Bx_IC8 & http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-CT8YVOdkFU

    My comment there: “Obviously our very worst enemy – the very worst criminal organisation of the nation is the government! Instututed by God, Who also gave it the power to do it’s work, which is FOR the people & AGAINST evil powers. But when the government itself has become the very worst terrorist organisation – the very worst tyrant… and if God does not employ His power to intervene & revenge, saying “His Kingdom is not of this world” what can we do? Why then did He set this up? Is this not enmity against man?” I struglle with this question with God!I can not accept it.

  236. DHS puts the “fun” in disFUNctional!

  237. Jason says:

    I have run into this type of stuff before & if they are unwilling to make or acknowledge the mistake I do the following very simple solution – hand write above your “live” signature the error – “I purchased the boat in Canada, using Canadian currency. The change to US dollars in this document was not generated by me & cannot verify whether or not the exchange rate is correct.”

  238. Pootis man says:

    God dammit… not again. I think we see too much of the bad government officials and see too little of the good ones.

  239. Charles Beehner says:

    This is the kind of crap that takes place when the government gets too much of our money.

  240. The HLS agent was probably disappointed she didn’t get to use one of her hollow point bullets on you.

  241. nuance news says:

    Reblogged this on Nuance news and commented:
    The times we are living in

  242. Chaz says:

    DHS/ICE/HLS are nothing more then a bunch of land pirates themselves. They police for profits to meet their departments budgets and pocket you’re money, cars, boats and homes.
    This accounts for federal and state agencies. Policing for Profit – The Abuse of Civil Asset Forfeiture video link can be found by visiting the following link: http://www.ij.org/policing-for-profit-the-abuse-of-civil-asset-forfeiture-private-property-rights

    • See how criminal the USA government is! Stealing from innocent citizens to fill their treasure chests. Their methods are outright tyrannical and criminal – making the government the people’s very worst enemy. Since the authorities are totally corrupt, and will not repent, for their consciences are seared with hot irons (necessary to be able to tyrannize innocent people > hence the very worst goons / criminals are hired and put on a uniform!) we must organise RESISTANCE and warfare prayer!

  243. publius says:

    payback time The DHS agent probably had a relative who lost his/her tech job to a foreign cheap scab labor tech worker on a h-1b or L visa. Arrington is a 5th column when it comes to shilling for cheap foreign labor visa programs resulting in the selling out of the lives and fortunes of our fellow American citizens.

  244. jamie h says:

    Well this is to bad, ever think our country could get so screwed up? Wait to see what happens when they get our guns and they are starting right now

  245. tom carter says:

    The problem is all government agencies are designed to generate capital for the government by using the judiciary. this is how Clinton was able to pay off the national debt in 6 years without raising taxes. In this country it has come to everything being about money. Somebodys going to get paid. Now this poor guy is going to have to hire a lawyer, which keeps the abundence of lawyers and their emlopees busy, which keeps the court system going and all the state and Federal government emplyees working, and he is going to have to pay an unjustified fine, or at the very least court cost, then storage fees which are accumulating by the day all to recover his own property. Its all about the money. somebodys got to get paid in the usa…

    • Aaron says:

      Clinton never paid off the national debt. He balanced the budget so that he didn’t generate MORE debt (briefly). The only president to have ever paid off all national debt was Andrew Jackson and he did it by closing down the National Bank (aka Federal Reserve).

  246. Donald says:

    Birth certificate registration created a ‘Trade name’ from our real name. This is a business name and the Account title name at the “bank”. When we are billed, notice the Trade name is billed, not your real name? The trade name is spelled in all CAPITAL letters.

    Long story short….We pay taxes/fees as a business would pay. Even if you are not or do not own a business. We think the trade name is our name so we pay without further questioning. Notice the similarities comparing what you pay to what a business pays….with registration fees, paying for water, property tax (ground rent) etc…

    When businesses pay taxes/fees…they pay from profits or revenue (income). There is little to no physical strain.
    But when employees pay fees/taxes as a business would pay, the employees are forced to use their own energy and labor to *create* value for the currency they use to pay the taxes/fees.

    DO NOT BE FOOLED–>Employees do NOT receive…do NOT earn nor gain income or wages, Why? Because employees must work TO CREATE VALUE for the currency they are paid with. Wake up folks, this ‘fiat currency” is valueless until we create its value.
    They can print the currency, BUT THEY CANNOT PRINT THE CURRENCY’S VALUE!

    The employees paycheck DOES NOT PRE EXIST THEIR LABOR, employees are creating it through working!!

    Then why is “income tax” collected from employees? It is not taxed income…it is income…tax. Meaning, the tax IS the income for the irs! Income is profit. Employees are paying a “profit tax” using their own energy and labor.
    And being charged as a business is charged, explains the income tax charge.
    employees charged as a business causes them to be slaves to their labor.
    We work longer and have less, because we pay business taxes/fees. We work to ‘create” value so the irs can collect that value as profit.

    What happens when a business goes out of business? They foreclose.

  247. Aaron says:

    Welcome to government, which operates at the end of a gun, which is pointed at you. You will comply.

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