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      Abbreviated rules   07/28/2017

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badlatitude

Jeff Sessions Wants The Police To Take Your Money

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"Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Monday said he'd be issuing a new directive this week aimed at increasing police seizures of cash and property. 


“We hope to issue this week a new directive on asset forfeiture — especially for drug traffickers,” Sessions said in his prepared remarks for a speech to the National District Attorney's Association in Minneapolis. "With care and professionalism, we plan to develop policies to increase forfeitures. No criminal should be allowed to keep the proceeds of their crime. Adoptive forfeitures are appropriate as is sharing with our partners." 

Asset forfeiture is a disputed practice that allows law enforcement officials to permanently take money and goods from individuals suspected of crime. There is little disagreement among lawmakers, authorities and criminal justice reformers that “no criminal should be allowed to keep the proceeds of their crime.” But in many cases, neither a criminal conviction nor even a criminal charge is necessary — under forfeiture laws in most states and at the federal level, mere suspicion of wrongdoing is enough to allow police to seize items permanently. 

The practice is ripe for abuse. In one case in 2016, Oklahoma police seized $53,000 owned by a Christian band, an orphanage and a church after stopping a man on a highway for a broken taillight. A few years earlier, a Michigan drug task force raided the home of a self-described “soccer mom,” suspecting she was not in compliance with the state's medical marijuana law. They proceeded to take “every belonging” from the family, including tools, a bicycle and her daughter's birthday money"

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/jeff-sessions-wants-police-to-take-more-cash-from-american-citizens/ar-BBECcJm?li=BBmkt5R&ocid=spartandhp

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I know that some states have addressed the asset forfeiture problem but to see the federal government leading the way for more seizures is pretty sick.

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1 minute ago, Moderate said:

Are they going after the clinton foundation?

The Clinton Foundation is clean. Now the Trump Foundation, on the other hand, may be ripe for picking.

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4 minutes ago, badlatitude said:

The Clinton Foundation is clean. .

Saved for posterity

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Just now, Moderate said:

Saved for posterity

The Clinton Foundation books are open for everyone to read. You can't do that with anything that Trump puts his name on.

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58 minutes ago, badlatitude said:

The Clinton Foundation is clean. Now the Trump Foundation, on the other hand, may be ripe for picking.

Clean as the freshly fallen snow! :D

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Just now, Mickey Rat said:

Clean as the freshly fallen snow! :D

If you have evidence to the contrary now would be the time to step up and show the class.

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1 hour ago, badlatitude said:

The Clinton Foundation is clean. Now the Trump Foundation, on the other hand, may be ripe for picking.

Oh come on. That can't possibly be true. Fox News wouldn't LIE, would they???

-DSK

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29 minutes ago, Steam Flyer said:

Oh come on. That can't possibly be true. Fox News wouldn't LIE, would they???

-DSK

Yea and how many can remember when Lou Dobbs was the star anchor at CNN?  

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2 hours ago, badlatitude said:

"Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Monday said he'd be issuing a new directive this week aimed at increasing police seizures of cash and property. 


“We hope to issue this week a new directive on asset forfeiture — especially for drug traffickers,” Sessions said in his prepared remarks for a speech to the National District Attorney's Association in Minneapolis. "With care and professionalism, we plan to develop policies to increase forfeitures. No criminal should be allowed to keep the proceeds of their crime. Adoptive forfeitures are appropriate as is sharing with our partners." 

Asset forfeiture is a disputed practice that allows law enforcement officials to permanently take money and goods from individuals suspected of crime. There is little disagreement among lawmakers, authorities and criminal justice reformers that “no criminal should be allowed to keep the proceeds of their crime.” But in many cases, neither a criminal conviction nor even a criminal charge is necessary — under forfeiture laws in most states and at the federal level, mere suspicion of wrongdoing is enough to allow police to seize items permanently. 

The practice is ripe for abuse. In one case in 2016, Oklahoma police seized $53,000 owned by a Christian band, an orphanage and a church after stopping a man on a highway for a broken taillight. A few years earlier, a Michigan drug task force raided the home of a self-described “soccer mom,” suspecting she was not in compliance with the state's medical marijuana law. They proceeded to take “every belonging” from the family, including tools, a bicycle and her daughter's birthday money"

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/jeff-sessions-wants-police-to-take-more-cash-from-american-citizens/ar-BBECcJm?li=BBmkt5R&ocid=spartandhp

I wonder where your outrage  was when holder was AG

 

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jacobsullum/2015/01/22/despite-holders-forfeiture-reform-cops-still-have-a-license-to-steal/#5a0859587463

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6 minutes ago, badlatitude said:

Yes, a lot to be ashamed about in my opinion. How do you feel about Jeff Sessions unleashing the dogs on the poor?

Asset forfieture is wrong no matter who does it.

Its a chickenshit move

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What exactly is Trump hiding in his taxes? He's already told us he has more money than God.... He gives a lot to charities, and donates to worthy causes....... What's to hide?

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1 minute ago, Mrleft8 said:

What exactly is Trump hiding in his taxes? He's already told us he has more money than God.... He gives a lot to charities, and donates to worthy causes....... What's to hide?

Whatever it is, it is bound to disappoint and anger Americans at the same time.

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1 hour ago, By the lee said:

Why are Americans so black and white?

They killed most of the redskins and are making the browns pay for a wall to keep themselves out 

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OK, I know a little about this topic.  I don't know the US system, but I'd be amazed if it is as the linked article suggests where police purportedly seize and retain for their own purposes money and assets without any oversight.

In our small jurisdiction, property used in the commission of a crime is forfeited to the State if a Court is satisfied about the link to the crime.  For example, the getaway car.  It's not necessary for anyone to be found guilty of the actual crime.  Similarly with property that is derived from a crime - a stolen car, for instance, or something purchased with the proceeds of a bank robbery.

If there is not a direct link with a crime (for example, unexplained wealth), a debt is created to the State in the amount a Court finds to be the extent of the unexplained wealth.  So, if you've got a $mil you can't explain, and the Court thinks it is more likely than not that the $mil was obtained unlawfully, the Court declares that you owe $mil to the State. Any assets you have, not necessarily limited to the $mil, are restrained by Court order so you can't deal with them.  You can have the restraint lifted by using other assets to pay the debt.  If you don't pay by other means, the restrained assets are forfeited to the State by another Court order.  The step of imputing the debt is to address certain constitutional constraints our jurisdiction has that Aus States don't have.

If you are found guilty of 3 drug offences (not mere possession, but dealing) over any period of time, the Court that finds you guilty of the latest offence can declare you to be a drug dealer.  Then, all bets are off.  The State will now take every cent you have, and every cent you ever come into.  The number of people stupid enough to keep dealing drugs after 2 strikes is remarkably small.

I reckon it's a good system.  The biggest complaint I recognise is that the government doesn't have enough lawyers to ensure the system is applied in ALL cases.  Because the lawyers have to decide on a case by case basis, they are exposed to complaints of capriciousness, but they just have to live with that.

The lawyers who work in this field bring in significantly more than their own costs, but the money goes to "consolidated revenue", and isn't retained by any government Department, so there's no profit motive involved.  There are protections for innocent parties whose property could be restrained or forfeited by the actions of others.

Surely with all the constitutional protections Americans have, a person's property couldn't be taken from them without judicial process? 

Edited by Recidivist
Added protections for innocent parties.

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1 hour ago, Gouvernail said:

They killed most of the redskins and are making the browns pay for a wall to keep themselves out 

Subversive. Using nuance. <_<

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37 minutes ago, Recidivist said:

OK, I know a little about this topic.  I don't know the US system, but I'd be amazed if it is as the linked article suggests where police purportedly seize and retain for their own purposes money and assets without any oversight.

 

Don't be. Shakedown cops are an American tradition. Forfeiture laws just give them a veneer of legality.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/american-shakedown-police-won-t-charge-you-but-they-ll-grab-your-money-1.2760736

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18 minutes ago, ease the sheet said:

I like asset forfeiture. It's good policy. There is only one hurdle, there must be a conviction and the conviction must be of a serious nature.

 

 

Unfortunately that's not the way it is in most of the U.S.  The Massachusetts case below is a great example.  There were 15 arrests out of 200,000 room stays, and they said this is a pattern of drug dealing.  The owner of the hotel even cooperated with the police over the 14 years under question to try to stop it from happening.  Fortunately the IJ and courts saw through this.  Far too often though, the police and prosecutors will strike a grand bargain of giving the property back minus 10%.  It's totally reminiscent of organized crime.

The Michigan case was brought because the owner of the gas station did a lot of cash deposits.  Money laundering was the claim, but no evidence found.  Still, they had a tough time operating their business during the litigation period.

 

http://ij.org/case/miforf

http://ij.org/case/caforfeiture

http://ij.org/case/massachusetts-civil-forfeiture

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Without a conviction, it's bullshit. I'm surprised this gets around due process rights.

 


In  Mr crocker's links, the citizen's finally get justice, but the onus really shouldn't on the accused.

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A worrying aspect of the cases cited is that it's only money that is targeted.  Partly because allegation of money-laundering is being used as a justification, but still, the major cases here are about houses that have been used to grow dope, cars purchased from drug profits etc.  Not so much concentration on cash, and accordingly there's more required to obtain transfer of the tile to someone's house!

The shift from conviction based forfeiture came about because it was the small fry who got the convictions, but the Mr Big's accumulated the wealth.  

It appears there IS constitutional protection, but it's only after the event.  Ours requires a court involvement BEFORE the forfeiture event.  We can obtain an interim restraining order to freeze a bank account, but again, only if the Court is convinced.  I have to say I don't like your system ... it's totally open to abuse and those links indicate it's going on! 

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2 hours ago, Recidivist said:

OK, I know a little about this topic.  I don't know the US system, but I'd be amazed if it is as the linked article suggests where police purportedly seize and retain for their own purposes money and assets without any oversight.

.

Prepare to be amazed.

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5 hours ago, badlatitude said:
5 hours ago, Moderate said:

Asset forfieture is wrong no matter who does it.

Its a chickenshit move

Well, see we do agree about this.

It would be wonderful if you guys could just stop voting for people like Trump and Obama who appoint people like Holder and Sessions.

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Easing asset-forfeiture constraints is a bad idea - even as transparent as our police processes currently are (and they are transparent indeed, as much room for improvement as there may be) - policing for profit isn't in anyone's best interests. 

 

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38 minutes ago, badlatitude said:

Actually, he fooled the Washington Post into running a story making that claim, but what really happened was 97% drug war business as usual. I commented on it in the thread on this issue.

On 1/20/2015 at 8:21 AM, Uncooperative Tom said:

The above Washington Post story got some of the facts wrong.

 

Quote

...Eapen Thampy, executive director of Americans for Forfeiture Reform, who argues that "the exception swallows the rule." The Justice Department's own numbers suggest that is pretty close to the truth.

 

Holder's order applies only to "adoption," which happens when a state or local agency seizes property on its own and then asks the Justice Department to pursue forfeiture under federal law. "Over the last six years," the DOJ says in the press release announcing Holder's new policy, "adoptions accounted for roughly three percent of the value of forfeitures in the Department of Justice Asset Forfeiture Program." By comparison, the program's reports to Congress indicate that "equitable sharing" payments to state and local agencies accounted for about 22 percent of total deposits during those six years. That means adoptions, which the DOJ says represented about 3 percent of deposits, accounted for less than 14 percent of equitable sharing. In other words, something like 86 percent of the loot that state and local law enforcement agencies receive through federal forfeitures will be unaffected by Holder's new policy.

 

That is not the impression left by The Washington Post, which broke this story on Friday. "Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. on Friday barred local and state police from using federal law to seize cash, cars and other property without warrants or criminal charges," the Post reported, saying the new policy "would eliminate virtually all cash and vehicle seizures made by local and state police from the [equitable sharing] program." The Post did note, deep in the story, that Holder said equitable sharing would continue in cases "where local and federal authorities are collaborating." But it said "most of the money and property taken under Equitable Sharing since 2008...was not seized in collaboration with federal authorities."

 

That contradicts the Justice Department's numbers, which indicate that the vast majority of equitable sharing comes not from adoption but from "collaboration" of some sort, even if it is limited to federal support for multijurisdictional task forces. A 2012 report from the Government Accountability Office reinforces that point, noting that "adoptions made up about 17 percent of all equitable sharing payments" in 2010.

...

 

The exception will swallow even more of the rule now that the new policy creates an incentive for "collaboration" instead of "adoption."

 

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10 minutes ago, Uncooperative Tom said:

Actually, he fooled the Washington Post into running a story making that claim, but what really happened was 97% drug war business as usual. I commented on it in the thread on this issue.

 

Thanks, Tom, I am no Eric Holder fan and he deserves all the scorn that people discover about him.

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18 hours ago, badlatitude said:

The Clinton Foundation books are open for everyone to read. You can't do that with anything that Trump puts his name on.

It's a 501(c)3, anyone in this thread can crack their books and follow the money trail mostly at will. 

Theoretically, we should be able to do that with the Trump Foundation too, unless ... urp, they didn't actually stay compliant with their public filings ...

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.washingtonpost.com/amphtml/politics/trump-foundation-lacks-the-certification-required-for-charities-that-solicit-money/2016/09/29/7dac6a68-8658-11e6-ac72-a29979381495_story.html

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On 7/18/2017 at 1:58 PM, badlatitude said:

Thanks, Tom, I am no Eric Holder fan and he deserves all the scorn that people discover about him.

I just couldn't let that link pass without noting that Holder's "curtailing" the practice was mostly window dressing.

At least we got a little window dressing and nice rhetoric out of Holder, so that's better than what we're seeing with Sessions.

OTOH, Sessions is more likely to aggravate  media entities and politicians who might actually change the law, while the same people would just accept Holder's window dressing and praise it as useful change.

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Quote

JULY 26, 2017

Policing for Profit: Jeff Sessions & Co.’s Thinly Veiled Plot to Rob Us Blind

by JOHN W. WHITEHEAD

 

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“Laws are no longer made by a rational process of public discussion; they are made by a process of blackmail and intimidation, and they are executed in the same manner. The typical lawmaker of today is a man wholly devoid of principle — a mere counter in a grotesque and knavish game. If the right pressure could be applied to him, he would be cheerfully in favor of polygamy, astrology or cannibalism. It is the aim of the Bill of Rights, if it has any remaining aim at all, to curb such prehensile gentry. Its function is to set a limitation upon their power to harry and oppress us to their own private profit.”

— H.L. Mencken

Let’s not mince words.

Jeff Sessions, the nation’s top law enforcement official, would not recognize the Constitution if he ran right smack into it.

Whether the head of the Trump Administration’s Justice Department enjoys being the architect of a police state or is just painfully, criminally clueless, Sessions has done a great job thus far of sidestepping the Constitution at every turn.

Most recently, under the guise of “fighting crime,” Sessions gave police the green light to rob, pilfer, steal, thieve, swipe, purloin, filch and liberate American taxpayers of even more of their hard-earned valuables (especially if it happens to be significant amounts of cash) using any means, fair or foul.

In this case, the foul method favored by Sessions & Co. is civil asset forfeiture, which allows police and prosecutors to “seize your car or other property, sell it and use the proceeds to fund agency budgets—all without so much as charging you with a crime.”

Under a federal equitable sharing program, police turn asset forfeiture cases over to federal agents who process seizures and then return 80% of the proceeds to the police. (In Michigan, police actually get to keep up to 100% of forfeited property.)

This incentive-driven excuse for stealing from the citizenry is more accurately referred to as “policing for profit” or “theft by cop.”

Despite the fact that 80 percent of these asset forfeiture cases result in no charge against the property owner, challenging these “takings” in court can cost the owner more than the value of the confiscated property itself. As a result, most property owners either give up the fight or chalk the confiscation up to government corruption, leaving the police and other government officials to reap the benefits.

And boy, do they reap the benefits.

Police agencies have used their ill-gotten gains “to buy guns, armored cars and electronic surveillance gear,” reports The Washington Post. “They have also spent money on luxury vehicles, travel and a clown named Sparkles.”

Incredibly, these asset forfeiture scams have become so profitable for the government that, according to The Washington Post, “in 2014, law enforcement took more stuff from people than burglars did.” As the Post notes, “the Treasury and Justice departments deposited more than $5 billion into their respective asset forfeiture funds. That same year, the FBI reports that burglary losses topped out at $3.5 billion.”

In 2015, the federal government seized nearly $2.6 billion worth of airplanes, houses, cash, jewelry, cars and other itemsunder the guise of civil asset forfeiture.

According to USA Today, “Anecdotal evidence suggests that allowing departments to keep forfeiture proceeds may tempt them to use the funds unwisely. For example, consider a 2015 scandal in Romulus, Michigan, where police officers used funds forfeited from illicit drug and prostitution stings to pay for …  illicit drugs and prostitutes.”

Memo to the rest of my fellow indentured servants who are living through this dark era of government corruption, incompetence and general ineptitude: this is not how justice in America is supposed to work.

We are now ruled by a government so consumed with squeezing every last penny out of the population that they are completely unconcerned if essential freedoms are trampled in the process.

Our freedoms aren’t just being trampled, however. They’re being eviscerated.

At every turn, “We the People” are getting swindled, cheated, conned, robbed, raided, pickpocketed, mugged, deceived, defrauded, double-crossed and fleeced by governmental and corporate shareholders of the American police state out to make a profit at taxpayer expense.

Americans no longer have to be guilty to be stripped of their property, rights and liberties. All you have to be is in possession of something the government wants. And if you happen to have something the government wants badly enough, trust me, their agents will go to any lengths to get it.

If the government can arbitrarily freeze, seize or lay claim to your property (money, land or possessions) under government asset forfeiture schemes, you have no true rights.

Here’s how the whole ugly business works in a nutshell.

First, government agents (usually the police) use a broad array of tactics to profile, identify, target and arrange to encounter (in a traffic stop, on a train, in an airport, in public, or on private property) those  individuals who might be traveling with a significant amount of cash or possess property of value. Second, these government agents—empowered by the courts and the legislatures—seize private property (cash, jewelry, cars, homes and other valuables) they “suspect” may be connected to criminal activity.

Then—and here’s the kicker—whether or not any crime is actually proven to have taken place, without any charges being levied against the property owner, or any real due process afforded the unlucky victim, the property is seized by the government, which often divvies it up with the local police who helped with the initial seizure.

In a Kafkaesque turn of the screw, the burden of proof falls on the unfortunate citizenry who must mount a long, complicated, expensive legal campaign to prove their innocence in order to persuade the government that it should return the funds they stole. Not surprisingly, very few funds ever get returned.

It’s a new, twisted form of guilt by association, only it’s not the citizenry being accused of wrongdoing, just their money.

Motorists have been particularly vulnerable to this modern-day form of highway robbery.

For instance, police stole $201,000 in cash from Lisa Leonard because the money—which Leonard planned to use to buy a house for her son—was being transported on a public highway also used by drug traffickers. Despite the fact that Leonard was innocent of wrongdoing, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the theft on a technicality.

Police stole $50,000 in cash from Amanee Busbee—which she planned to use to complete the purchase of a restaurant—and threatened to hand her child over to CPS if she resisted. She’s one of the few to win most of her money back in court.

Police stole $22,000 in cash from Jerome Chennault—which he planned to use as the down payment on a home—simply because a drug dog had alerted police to its presence in his car. After challenging the seizure in court, Chennault eventually succeeded in having most of his money returned, although the state refused to compensate him for his legal and travel expenses.

Police stole $8,500 in cash and jewelry from Roderick Daniels—which he planned to use to purchase a new car—and threatened him with jail and money-laundering charges if he didn’t sign a waiver forfeiting his property.

Police stole $6,000 in cash from Jennifer Boatright and Ron Henderson and threatened to turn their young children over to Child Protective Services if they resisted.

Tenaha, Texas, is a particular hotbed of highway forfeiture activity, so much so that police officers keep pre-signed, pre-notarized documents on hand so they can fill in what property they are seizing.

As the Huffington Post explains, these police forfeiture operations have become little more than criminal shakedowns:

Police in some jurisdictions have run forfeiture operations that would be difficult to distinguish from criminal shakedowns. Police can pull motorists over, find some amount of cash or other property of value, claim some vague connection to illegal drug activity and then present the motorists with a choice: If they hand over the property, they can be on their way. Otherwise, they face arrest, seizure of property, a drug charge, a probable night in jail, the hassle of multiple return trips to the state or city where they were pulled over, and the cost of hiring a lawyer to fight both the seizure and the criminal charge. It isn’t hard to see why even an innocent motorist would opt to simply hand over the cash and move on.

Unsurprisingly, these asset forfeiture scams have become so profitable for the government that they have expanded their reach beyond the nation’s highways.

According to USA Today, the U.S. Department of Justice received $2.01 billion in forfeited items in 2013, and since 2008 local and state law enforcement nationwide has raked in some $3 billion in forfeitures through the federal “equitable sharing” program.

So now it’s not just drivers who have to worry about getting the shakedown.

Any American unwise enough to travel with cash is fair game for the government pickpockets.

In fact, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has been colluding with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and local police departments to seize a small fortune in cash from American travelers using the very tools—scanners, spies and surveillance devices—they claimed were necessary to catch terrorists.

Mind you, TSA agents already have a reputation for stealing from travelers, but clearly the government is not concerned about protecting the citizenry from its own wolfish tendencies.

No, the government bureaucrats aren’t looking to catch criminals. (If so, they should be arresting themselves.)

They’re just out to rob you of your cold, hard cash.

Think about it for a moment. You pay a hefty fee just to be able to walk free. It’s called income tax. As former presidential candidate Ron Paul recognizes, “The Founding Fathers never intended a nation where citizens would pay nearly half of everything they earn to the government.” And if you refuse to pay any of that so-called income tax, you’ll be severely fined and/or arrested and put in jail.

One more thing: you don’t really own your property. That is, your house or your land. Even when you pay off the mortgage, if you fail to pay your property taxes, government agents will evict you and take your home.

This is not freedom.

There was a time in our history when our forebears said “enough is enough” and stopped paying taxes (a pittance compared to what we are forced to shell out in taxes today) to what they considered an illegitimate government. They stood their ground and refused to support a system that was slowly choking out any attempts at self-governance, and which refused to be held accountable for its crimes against the people. Their resistance sowed the seeds for the revolution that would follow.

Unfortunately, in the 200-plus years since we established our own government, we’ve let the corporate elite and number-crunching bureaucrats pilfer our bank accounts to such an extent that we’re back where we started.

Once again, we’ve got a despotic regime with an imperial ruler doing as it pleases.

But what if we didn’t just pull out our pocketbooks and pony up to the federal government’s outrageous demands for more money? What if we didn’t just line up to drop our hard-earned dollars into the corporate collection bucket, no questions asked about how it will be spent? What if, instead of meekly tolerating the government’s ongoing efforts to rob us blind, we did something about it?

As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, if the government can just take from you what they want, when they want, and then use it however they want, you can’t claim to be anything more than a serf in a land they think of as theirs.

It’s up to “We the People” to demand reform.

These injustices will continue as long as we remain silent.

As American journalist H.L. Mencken observed:

The American of today, in fact, probably enjoys less personal liberty than any other man of Christendom, and even his political liberty is fast succumbing to the new dogma that certain theories of government are virtuous and lawful, and others abhorrent and felonious. Laws limiting the radius of his free activity multiply year by year: It is now practically impossible for him to exhibit anything describable as genuine individuality, either in action or in thought, without running afoul of some harsh and unintelligible penalty. It would surprise no impartial observer if … the goddess of liberty were taken off the silver dollars to make room for a bas-relief of a policeman in a spiked helmet. Moreover, this gradual (and, of late, rapidly progressive) decay of freedom goes almost without challenge; the American has grown so accustomed to the denial of his constitutional rights and to the minute regulation of his conduct by swarms of spies, letter-openers, informers and agents provocateurs that he no longer makes any serious protest.

In other words, make them hear you.

And if they won’t listen, then I suggest it’s time for what Martin Luther King Jr. called for when government doesn’t listen: “militant nonviolent resistance.”

 
More articles by:JOHN W. WHITEHEAD

John W. Whitehead is the president of The Rutherford Institute and author of Battlefield America: The War on the American People.

 

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4 hours ago, By the lee said:
  Quote

JULY 26, 2017

Policing for Profit: Jeff Sessions & Co.’s Thinly Veiled Plot to Rob Us Blind

by JOHN W. WHITEHEAD

 

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“Laws are no longer made by a rational process of public discussion; they are made by a process of blackmail and intimidation, and they are executed in the same manner. The typical lawmaker of today is a man wholly devoid of principle — a mere counter in a grotesque and knavish game. If the right pressure could be applied to him, he would be cheerfully in favor of polygamy, astrology or cannibalism. It is the aim of the Bill of Rights, if it has any remaining aim at all, to curb such prehensile gentry. Its function is to set a limitation upon their power to harry and oppress us to their own private profit.”

— H.L. Mencken

Let’s not mince words.

Jeff Sessions, the nation’s top law enforcement official, would not recognize the Constitution if he ran right smack into it.

Whether the head of the Trump Administration’s Justice Department enjoys being the architect of a police state or is just painfully, criminally clueless, Sessions has done a great job thus far of sidestepping the Constitution at every turn.

Most recently, under the guise of “fighting crime,” Sessions gave police the green light to rob, pilfer, steal, thieve, swipe, purloin, filch and liberate American taxpayers of even more of their hard-earned valuables (especially if it happens to be significant amounts of cash) using any means, fair or foul.

In this case, the foul method favored by Sessions & Co. is civil asset forfeiture, which allows police and prosecutors to “seize your car or other property, sell it and use the proceeds to fund agency budgets—all without so much as charging you with a crime.”

...

Incredibly, these asset forfeiture scams have become so profitable for the government that, according to The Washington Post, “in 2014, law enforcement took more stuff from people than burglars did.”

Let's not mince words. Sessions wasn't AG in 2014.

What he did "recently" was tear up a bit of Eric Holder's window dressing, changing nothing much in practical terms.

This isn't a Sessions problem or a Republican problem.

It's a Duopoly problem.

The only available solution at the moment seems to be Libertarians.

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On 18/07/2017 at 6:50 PM, Uncooperative Tom said:

It would be wonderful if you guys could just stop voting for people like Trump and Obama who appoint people like Holder and Sessions.

Yeah, but there aren't much in the way of credible alternatives. Even you were disappointed in the conduct of the Libertarian candidate. Some parties/candidates are not in it to win it, just to whinge and complain they didn't.

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11 minutes ago, Uncooperative Tom said:

The only available solution at the moment seems to be Libertarians.

Riiiigggghhhhttt....

 

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9 minutes ago, Bent Sailor said:

Yeah, but there aren't much in the way of credible alternatives. Even you were disappointed in the conduct of the Libertarian candidate. Some parties/candidates are not in it to win it, just to whinge and complain they didn't.

And some people are here to complain about "Session's" bad policy but are not in it to change it.

If civil asset forfeiture abuse cost votes it would be stopped today.

It doesn't.

That leads me to the conclusion that people complaining don't care enough to vote differently, just enough to whinge and complain about how it's the fault of the other half of the Duopoly. It's not.

Asset forfeiture, and the drug war generally, is a big government program supported by both halves of the Duopoly. There's no shortage of people who will complain about both, especially if they think they can blame the other half of the Duopoly, as in this thread. There's a dire shortage of people who will not vote for someone who supports the drug war and policing for profit.

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1 minute ago, Uncooperative Tom said:

And some people are here to complain about "Session's" bad policy but are not in it to change it.

If civil asset forfeiture abuse cost votes it would be stopped today.

It doesn't.

That leads me to the conclusion that people complaining don't care enough to vote differently, just enough to whinge and complain about how it's the fault of the other half of the Duopoly. It's not.

Asset forfeiture, and the drug war generally, is a big government program supported by both halves of the Duopoly. There's no shortage of people who will complain about both, especially if they think they can blame the other half of the Duopoly, as in this thread. There's a dire shortage of people who will not vote for someone who supports the drug war and policing for profit.

None of which invalidates my point. You don't an individual president per decision. You get the same one for ALL the decisions during their term. People can disagree with some policies a candidate will support whilst still believing they are a better candidate for other decisions made than the other non-credible offerings.

I don't at all blame people for thinking that, despite agreeing with Gary Johnson on some issues (such as this one), that he is not a realistic alternative. The Duopoly remains because they, between the two of them, cover the majority of positions the majority of people want supported... and the alternatives like Johnson & Stein are just not even trying to represent a majority of people's views. They're happy in their little protest corner, free from the responsibility of dealing with things like a realistic foreign policy or environmental policies that don't ignore current issues because our sun will one day expand to encompass the Earth. :rolleyes: 

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Polling on asset forfeiture and, recently, the drug war itself indicates Libertarians DO represent the majority on those issues. But it won't matter unless the majority says so with their votes.

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It's incredible that the courts, including the SCOTUS, has upheld these laws. To me, asset forfeiture as it is applied in many cases is completely contrary to the Fifth Amendment. 

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5 minutes ago, Sean said:

It's incredible that the courts, including the SCOTUS, has upheld these laws. To me, asset forfeiture as it is applied in many cases is completely contrary to the Fifth Amendment. 

You missed the loophole. The 5th talks about "criminal" cases. That's a whole different category.

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12 hours ago, Uncooperative Tom said:

Polling on asset forfeiture and, recently, the drug war itself indicates Libertarians DO represent the majority on those issues. But it won't matter unless the majority says so with their votes.

And if I said on "those issues" - you'd have a point. I said that Libertarians do not represent the majority of important issues that the majority of voters care about. That and the Libertarian Party has a clown as their candidate which no-one can take seriously. Even you, loyal (& overly verbose) libertarian that you are found him problematic in the last election.

I know you have issues believing that someone might want to talk about anything but what you want to... but see if you can parse the difference. Perhaps ask a family friend who isn't sick of your shit to help.

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3 hours ago, Bent Sailor said:

And if I said on "those issues" - you'd have a point. I said that Libertarians do not represent the majority of important issues that the majority of voters care about.

None of which invalidates my point about the topic issue. As I said, the only available solution at the moment seems to be Libertarians. Neither half of the Duopoly will end the practice.

The thread title should have been Jeff Sessions Is Slightly More Inclined To Let The Police Take Your Money Than Eric Holder (But Not In Any Way That Will Have Much Practical Effect)

OK, I admit it's overly verbose, but far more accurate and informative.

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19 minutes ago, Uncooperative Tom said:

None of which invalidates my point about the topic issue. As I said, the only available solution at the moment seems to be Libertarians. Neither half of the Duopoly will end the practice.

And there you are wrong. The Libertarians are not an available solution. Their candidate wasn't even remotely electable for POTUS. They may one day become an available solution, but they aren't one now. You want your party to be considered electable, replace Johnson with someone that isn't a complete buffoon. 

Some people like being the protest vote without the responsibility of dealing with real decisions. Johnson did nothing to convince the voters he was anything but one of those cowards.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Bent Sailor said:

Some people like being the protest vote without the responsibility of dealing with real decisions.

 

So says the fucking greens voter.

 

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On 7/20/2017 at 8:31 PM, Uncooperative Tom said:

I just couldn't let that link pass without noting that Holder's "curtailing" the practice was mostly window dressing.

At least we got a little window dressing and nice rhetoric out of Holder, so that's better than what we're seeing with Sessions.

OTOH, Sessions is more likely to aggravate  media entities and politicians who might actually change the law, while the same people would just accept Holder's window dressing and praise it as useful change.

Don't you have a thread about asset seizure and proceeds of crime that you could link us to?

You started that thread years ago. I suppose having an R talk about it makes it worse or something or we wouldn't have another new thread. :rolleyes:

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4 hours ago, Bent Sailor said:

And there you are wrong. The Libertarians are not an available solution. Their candidate wasn't even remotely electable for POTUS. They may one day become an available solution, but they aren't one now. You want your party to be considered electable, replace Johnson with someone that isn't a complete buffoon. 

Some people like being the protest vote without the responsibility of dealing with real decisions. Johnson did nothing to convince the voters he was anything but one of those cowards.

 

 

 

Nor was Trump, remember?

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6 hours ago, Bent Sailor said:

The Libertarians are not an available solution. Their candidate wasn't even remotely electable for POTUS. They may one day become an available solution, but they aren't one now. You want your party to be considered electable, replace Johnson with someone that isn't a complete buffoon. 

Some people like being the protest vote without the responsibility of dealing with real decisions.

And on this issue, the Duopoly are not an available solution either. Libertarians have been squawking about this issue since Saint Ronald began expanding use of it in the 80's. I almost NEVER come across anyone who wants to take the other side. 30 years later, it's being used for Partisan Pinball by badlat and that's about all we have seen for the last three decades.

They have the responsibility for three decades of government looting. I'm glad I didn't vote for that.

BTW, your little cartoon needs to go to another thread. To the extent that either party is similar to Libertarians on this issue, partisan hacks from the R half are correct in painting us as the worst of liberal D's because of our traitorous opposition to the funding source of the glorious drug war. You need one of their "Libertarians are really D" cartoons for this thread instead of one of the "Libertarians are really R" cartoons from partisan hacks of your elk.

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17 hours ago, Uncooperative Tom said:

And on this issue, the Duopoly are not an available solution either. 

Which doesn't negate what I said about the Libertarians. Perhaps if you want only to focus only on the Duopoly, you shouldn't make the argument the Libertarians are an available solution. They're not. Even you were complaining about the candidate.

Quote

BTW, your little cartoon needs to go to another thread.

I think it works just fine here. Especially as you are arguing against Republicans in favour of what most consider failed Republicans. That fact might upset you but, then again, thst was kind of the cartoon's point.

 

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