"When all think alike, no one is thinking very much." ~ Walter Lippmann
Freedom and Privacy: R.I.P.
I recently decided what I want to be when I grow up. I always knew that decision could only be made when I was finally ready, after years of pondering, reflection, and introspection. I determined that all of the roads I have traveled have led me to the same destination, a very natural selection, and the only one that makes sense for me. I am going to be a retired, invisible pirate. This may appear as an odd assortment of things to be, but in fact, these three traits fit very well together, when properly defined, understood, and implemented.
What does this get you? Freedom. No boss, no alarm clock, no schedule, no commuting, no dressing for 'success,' no rat race, no slaving away for worthless pieces of paper, no endless meetings, and no mind-numbing same-old, same-old. Retirement enables you to finally have a life of your own instead of being a wage slave for the State.
What does this get you? Privacy. Being invisible is the only way to live due to our Police State, Big Brother, the Patriot Act(s), and the REAL ID Act, not to mention rampant identity fraud, and the deep-pocket theory of endless lawsuits. Invisibility is still legal, it is still an option, and there are thousands of Americans living invisibly today.
You too can be invisible, but it requires making some lifestyle changes, doing your homework, and following a few basic rules for the rest of your life. Read J. J. Luna's How To Be Invisible (Revised Edition) and Frank M. Ahearn's 'Three Steps To Disappearing.'
The pirate's motto: 'Take all ye can carry, give nothing back.'
Pirates are (and always have been) the only truly free men in the world. Why? Because they play by their own rules and they pay tribute to no one. Everyone would like to be a pirate, whether they admit it or not.
You might think that the days of pirates are over, but you would be wrong. In some areas of the world sailing is inherently dangerous solely due to marauding pirates. For those of you who don't believe me, set up a Google Alert for 'pirates' and see for yourself. They still exist throughout the world and they are very active, on a daily basis.
Does this mean that I intend to take to the high seas, steal a parrot, wear a funny hat, and start raiding other vessels? Not hardly. Traditional pirates of yesteryear typically didn't live very long. Most of them were hunted down, captured, tried, convicted, and hung. For almost all of them, retirement was not an option. Since retirement is a primary goal for me, this type of piracy will not work.
Traditional pirates display traits that doom them; they are too visible and too high profile, thereby making themselves very tempting targets for State agents. This type of behavior must be avoided at all costs, as Luna explains in his book.
An invisible pirate can accomplish the same results as a traditional pirate, while living much longer. Invisible pirates have it made because they enjoy all of the benefits of piracy without suffering any of the drawbacks of traditional pirates.
A retired, invisible pirate could have multiple incomes, from different sources, with enough to support his chosen lifestyle, without working. The objective is sufficient cash flow, not a large cash reserve that presents a tempting target for State agents.
Of course, there is more to consider than this, but nothing that is insurmountable.
A prudent, invisible pirate would ensure that his income(s) derive from legal sources, maybe even from State agencies that are highly regarded by a majority of Americans. There are many choices available, but some are better than others. Choose wisely.
A smart, invisible pirate would live in a low cost area to minimize expenses and allow early retirement, maybe several times, if necessary. Naturally, this area would not have a state or local income tax.
A serious, invisible pirate would plan well to minimize taxable income as much as possible. Since pirates pay tribute to no one, the goal is to remain below the federal income tax bar, which is currently rising.
A mobile, invisible pirate would be a very difficult (and expensive) person to locate and essentially lawsuit-proof. Living in an RV with a laptop and a satellite dish, moving around slowly, and paying cash could get you there, if done properly.
A savvy, invisible pirate would use all of the following privacy tools: pre-paid calling cards, strong encryption, secure email, and a truly anonymous, offshore proxy server. If you simply must have a cell phone, buy a disposable one and pay cash. Keep it turned off when not in use, use it for outgoing calls only, give your cell phone number to no one, and throw it away when you run out of minutes.
This is not about breaking the law, running or hiding from the IRS , consorting with unsavory types, or ending up in prison. This is about living as a free man simply by choosing to be a retired, invisible pirate. Don't forget your flag.