This has been a tough week for blogs, because I've wanted to blog about many stories concerning space, some recent discoveries of gravitational anomalies in Weyl crystals or Weyl materials, and so on, but the cultural news has, again, taken precedence, because the assault on fundamental liberties continues. More recently, I've been complaining that the Republithug party has been - for a very long time - the party of "fake opposition" to progressivism and statism.
Well, once again, it has stepped forward, and proven me to be correct, as Attorney General Jess Sessions has decided it's "ok" for assets to be seized, effectively nullifying at the federal level the efforts of states to curtail the practice, according to this article shared by Mr. M.D., and citing, let it be noted, a lamestream media report from See B.S. News:
Note the opening three paragraphs:
The Justice Department announced their plans to reinstate the use of asset forfeiture, especially for drug suspects -- making it easier for local law enforcement to seize cash and property from crime suspects and reap the proceeds.
The practice has been criticized because it allows law enforcement to take possessions -- such as cars and money -- without indictments or evidence a crime has been committed.
"Civil asset forfeiture is a key tool that helps law enforcement help defund organized crime, prevents new crime from committed and weakens the criminals and cartels," Attorney General Jeff Sessions said on Wednesday announcing the revived DOJ policy.
The problem, of course, is that one only has to be suspected of criminality, in order to lose all one's assets. It's a wonderful way to deal with potential political enemies: trump up a suspicion of criminal activity against an individual who is really a political enemy, and voila, problem solved.
And it has happened. There have been cases of Christian music groups touring the country whose assets, including some thousands of dollars of cash, were "forfeited" on the mere suspicion of criminal activity.
This can happen to you, to your children, to your friends, to me... to anyone deemed an enemy of the state. And don't put it past the "authorities" to plant evidence in order to achieve it.
The problem, of course, is that it is wholly unconstitutional. When the oligarchs met in Philadelphia to give us the current American constitution, the anti-federalists insisted upon a Bill of Rights, sensing that without it, all the vehicles of repression were still in place. One of the articles - the sixth - of that Bill of Rights, clearly states:
Article the sixth... 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.
Asset forfeiture of course, by any normal person's standards of language, customary usage, or understanding, an unreasonable search and seizure. Of course, there will be plenty of lawyers and so on to argue this case or that case, this precedent, or that precedent, to say otherwise, and that it is all "perfectly legal and constitutional."
And that is America's problem: the willingness to believe authority and clever sophistical arguments, over the clear - and regrettably unenforced - language and provisions of the Constitution. Does this mean the drug dealer gets to travel down the interstate free from unreasonable search and seizure? Yes it does, because that protects the freedom of all.
What is intriguing, however, is that the practice has been challenged by states:
CBS News' Paula Reid reports that 24 states have passed laws limiting the practice, but local law enforcement can get around those restrictions by giving seized assets to the federal government instead of returning them to their owners. This practice is called "adoption" and it's been used to seize almost $1 billion in assets over the last decade.
Think about that for a moment: twenty-four states, just one shy of half the states in the union. What this means is that the federal government is now acting in opposition to almost half the state governments in the country, effectively nullifying their own wishes and their own attempt to curtail abuses, and those state governments have acted because their angry and frustrated citizenry have seen enough of the abuses of the federal Robespierres blathering about virtue and fighting crime and so on. Robespierre, of course, had his own way of cutting away the difficulties of independently thinking people. Regrettably, the comparison becomes more and more apt, because the policies of the federal government more and more resemble those, not of constitutional government, but of a Committee of Public Safety, the wet dream of every progressive, and a National Convention issuing more and more assignats (federal reserve notes), while Europe looks on in disbelief at the growing instability of a neighbor...
See you on the flip side...
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