(Via The Alyona Show at YouTube)
What do you get when you mix the mushy-headedness of libertarianism with the nuttiness of right-wing extremism, all juiced up in the right-wing populism of the Tea Party movement?
Well, one of the outcomes is the rise in "sovereign citizens" -- those folks who believe in tinfoil-hat conspiracy theories about the government, including the notion that all you have to do is magically sign some documents an voila! You're no longer subject to the jurisdiction of the federal government and its laws!
Indeed, as you may recall, this even allows you to move into mansions that are in foreclosure and proclaim them your very own. And as we saw in the case of Jerry and Joe Kane, there is a dark, violent side to this as well.
This was why, last week, the Southern Poverty Law Center released a study on sovereign citizens reporting a sharp increase in the numbers of people who were claiming sovereign citizenship:
As many as 300,000 people identify as sovereign citizens, the Southern Poverty Law Center found in a study to be published Thursday that was obtained by The Associated Press. Hate group monitors say their numbers have increased thanks to the recession, the foreclosure crisis, the growth of the Internet and the election of Barack Obama in 2008.
Adherents expect the current American system of government to end one way or another.
"I'm the Patrick Henry of the 21st century. I'm here to regain our freedom," James McBride said in a jailhouse interview. "I'm going to, or die trying."
At the heart of their belief system: The government creates a secret identity for each citizen at birth, a "straw man," that controls an account at the U.S. Treasury used as collateral for foreign debt. File enough documents at the right offices and the money in those accounts can be used to pay off debt or make purchases worth thousands of dollars.