Just like the good ol’ days

Posted on August 8th, 2009 by bile
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Small businesses that received $682 million in IOUs from the state say California expects them to pay taxes on the worthless scraps of paper, but refuses to accept its own IOUs to pay debts or taxes. The vendors’ federal class action claims the state is trying to balance its budget on their backs.

Lead plaintiff Nancy Baird filled her contract with California to provide embroidered polo shirts to a youth camp run by the National Guard, but never was paid the $27,000 she was owed. She says California “paid” her with an IOU that two banks refused to accept – yet she had to pay California sales tax on the so-called “sale” of the uniforms.

The class consists mostly of small business owners, many of whom rely on income from government contracts to keep afloat. They say California has used them as “suckers” as it looks for a way to bankroll its operations while avoiding its own financial obligations.

“Instead of seeking funds through proper channels, the State has created a nightmare,” the class says. “Many of these businesses will not survive if they are required to wait until October 2009 to have these forced IOUs redeemed by the State.”

The class claims the state is violating the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments. It demands that California be ordered to honor its own IOUs, plus interest. They are represented by William Audet.

I’m reading about this very same type of situation from back in the 1700′s. Check out Part 2 of Volume 2 of Conceived in Liberty.

Massachusetts government printed money (one of the first in history) to pay debts and then later effectively refused to redeem them for specie. Wonder why the US Constitution says that the states could only coin gold and silver as money? Read this to get an idea.

Asset forfeiture brought to a new level

Posted on November 3rd, 2008 by bile
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“If the court grants our request … then if any law enforcement officer sees a Mongol wearing his patch, he will be authorized to stop that gang member and literally take the jacket right off his back.” – U.S. Attorney Thomas O’Brien

“The government can’t ban confederate flags, swastikas, or klan robes, and it sure as hell can’t ban the display of the Mongols’ logo.” – Marc J. Randazza

“What if the government had decided that, because of the Watergate scandal, nobody could use the word Republican again? – Zeichner Ellman

The Justice Department indicted 79 members of the Mongol Nation Motorcycle club for racketeering on October 21. The indictment included federal seizure of the “Mongols” trademarked name.

The case hasn’t even gone to trial yet , but U.S. District Judge Florence-Marie Cooper has authorized the seizure of the defendants’ . . .

* Clothing, motorcycles, and other property bearing the Mongols trademark.
* Any similar property bearing the trademark that belongs to the defendants’ “agents, servants, employees, family members, and those persons in active concert or participation with them.”

In other words, many people who weren’t even indicted will have their property seized.

This ruling has serious problems . . .

* In April, Mongol Nation transferred its trademark to Shotgun Productions, LLC, in April, a company that isn’t even named in the indictment.
* Prohibiting possession of trademarked items sets a dangerous precedent. If the government for some reason seizes the Nike swoosh, could FBI agents strip Tiger Woods of his cap, shirt, and shoes?

Civil asset forfeiture was already wrong. The government has no right to seize property without a trial and conviction. But now Judge Cooper and the Justice Department have taken it to a whole new level . . .

* An organization could lose its trademark because of the alleged crimes of some of its members.
* Normal asset forfeiture only seizes property alleged to have been used for illegal purposes, but now the government can take property simply because it sports the wrong logo!
* People completely unrelated to any indictment are now having their property seized too!

Civil asset forfeiture already violates the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th Amendments to the Constitution. Now it endangers the First Amendment too. Government officials could trump-up charges against any organization they don’t like, seize its name, and put it out of business! It could happen to DownsizeDC.org!

This will chill freedom of expression.

Civil asset forfeiture must die. Use our Educate the Powerful System to tell Congress to repeal civil asset forfeiture.

Use your personal comments to tell Congress . . .

* About the Mongol case
* That’s its wrong for the government to seize property without due process and a conviction
* And even more wrong to seize property simply because it sports a legally-obtained, trademarked logo.

Demand that Congress abolish civil asset .forfeiture.

Thank you for being a part of the growing Downsize DC army.

And a hat tip to The Legal Satyricon blog for providing links to government documents.

James Wilson
Assistant to the President

This is really slick. I hadn’t considered such an action. Asset forfeiture has generally been able to continue do to its reach. It effects few and often those who are accused or convicted of a crime taking advantage of the fact that many do not wish to be associated with criminals and therefore will not stand up for their rights. However, should that reach grow as it has in this particular case perhaps there will be more public outrage. Then again perhaps not. Eminent domain has been more and more abused recently with relatively little increase in response.

Curtail Conversing with Cops

Posted on June 9th, 2008 by bosco
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I liked these two videos when they popped up on the Social Memory Complex:

As far as speaking to police is concerned, I tend to avoid it for all but minor matters such as traffic tickets and asking directions. If you want to increase your chances of getting out of a traffic ticket, I recommend reading this book. I’ve been pulled over numerous times and never received a ticket for a moving violation. Other than that I haven’t really had many run ins with the police.

Court rules that the state had no right to take FLDS children

Posted on May 22nd, 2008 by bile
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The state of Texas should not have removed more than 400 children it took from a polygamist sect’s ranch, an appeals court ruled Thursday.

Earlier this year, authorities raided the Yearning for Zion ranch in Eldorado, Texas, after they received reports of child abuse.

About 460 children were taken from the ranch, which is run by the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a polygamist sect linked to the jailed “prophet” Warren Steed Jeffs.

Parents have denied the claims of abuse and have been fighting to get their children back.

This is a great turn of events. Just in the past days I’ve heard that another court in Texas hearing some part of this case told the mothers that if they wanted their children back they’d have to repudiate their religion. As I understand it that’s an unforgivable sin, blasphemy. If true that’s absolutely disgusting. Effectively asking them to choose between eternal damnation or their child. In any case this ruling is the first positive thing to come out of this travesty. Hopefully it continues on this new path. Unfortunately even if nothing is ever found likely no one from the State will be held responsible for this. No charges will be brought or if they are nothing will come from it. No restitution. The Nuremberg defense will be used and at worst maybe a reprimand or a bureaucrat or two will loose their job. Nothing however to change the likely pre-existing belief the FLDS had that the modern world was controlled by Satan. They have no doubt now.

It bugs me that as much as the MSM talks about this case they still don’t really mention that the original call was a fake. That the whole operation was completely unfounded. That several if not dozens of the women are over the age of 18 yet kept in custody as children. Likely they prefer to stay with the younger ones but it’s still disgusting.


Here is the AP version:

A state appellate court has ruled that child welfare officials had no right to seize more than 400 children living at a polygamist sect’s ranch.The Third Court of Appeals in Austin ruled that the grounds for removing the children were “legally and factually insufficient” under Texas law. They did not immediately order the return of the children.

Child welfare officials removed the children on the grounds that the sect pushed underage girls into marriage and sex and trained boys to become future perpetrators.

The appellate court ruled the chaotic hearing held last month did not demonstrate the children were in any immediate danger, the only measure of taking children from their homes without court proceedings.

More eminent domain abuse in New Jersey

Posted on May 13th, 2008 by bile
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LONG BRANCH – Members of the Marine Terrace, Ocean Terrace, Seaview Avenue Alliance will join attorneys Wednesday in Trenton in the next skirmish of their years-long battle to remain in their homes, which Long Branch is trying to acquire through eminent domain.

Homeowner Louis T. Anzalone will be 91 at the end of the month. His wife, Lillian, already is 91, and they are the most senior residents of their oceanfront neighborhood. They will fight on, despite their hope that their twilight years would be spent differently.

“Everything depends on what these clowns are going to do to us,” said the plain-spoken Anzalone. “I’m just thinking of what our lives are going to be involved in. At 91, how many more years do I have? I wanted to have a little bit of peace at this age.”

The Anzalones will be in the courtroom Wednesday.

“It is an atrocity what they are doing,” he said of the forces that support eminent domain.

Mayor Adam Schneider, who has been demonized by eminent domain opponents, said his position is unchanged since the city decided to acquire the homes in the MTOTSA section for the second phase of Beachfront North, a proposed luxury condominium community.

Rich people want a beach front view, politicians want more tax money and have developer friends so those who have owned their property for years have it designated as blight by the town and taken from them at the threat of violence. Too bad after Kelo v. New London this really can’t be labeled “abuse” of eminent domain but expected behavior.

Police State: Memphis Part 2

Posted on April 21st, 2008 by bile
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Operation Thug Huntin’

…or “How I spent my Saturday night”

Over 50 law enforcement agencies came together this weekend for Operation Sudden Impact (they said my name for it wasn’t PC enough). In any case, a whole boatload of the Po-Po got together and ran gang interdictions, traffic saturations, drug sweeps, fugitive searches, and some other things I can’t tell you about for a 24 hour period.

It was fun. More about it here.

On the serious side, we now know the mid-south agencies can work together and bring a LOT of police presence and firepower down on a given area if we ever need to do it in a hurry.

Here is a list of agencies involved courtesy of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Web site:

Follow the link to see the huge list of agencies. Check out the comments:

Thank you for the work you do! I’m a Memphis native, relative of former MPD officers, and worked in law enforcement myself. I really enjoy reading your blog. My entire family still lives in Memphis and I go home as often as I can. It’s sad to see what’s become of my hometown. You guys are to be commended for the hard work you put in. Love your commentary!!!


FBI raids, Arabs whine, liberal media listens…

There are a couple of stories this weekend on two separate Memphis TV stations (WREG and WHBQ) about some FBI raids on local businesses last week. Both stories center on the poor Arabs who are being harassed by the big, bad Feds. The TV reporters seem really ticked off the FBI didn’t bother to call the TV stations personally and let them know all the facts of the case and exactly when the raids were going to take place…how DARE law enforcement do something without telling the TV news departments?This would be funny except for the fact that the public buys this biased crap.

The stations ran different angles on the same basic story, but the common thread was that the FBI is harassing Arab-owned businessmen and employees. So, in the interest of balance (not to mention those fact thingies), Memphis, ETC would like to share some general facts about middle eastern businesses, terrorism, and the reality of it all.

I wasn’t in on these raids, but we’ve done some in the past. The FBI is always armed with a search warrant, which makes the raids totally legal. Most federal judges won’t sign a search warrant without some really compelling evidence that something criminal is afoot. Apparently that was the case here as well.

To the citizens with their heads buried in the sand, let me state another fact. Terrorists and those who support them are living right here in the Mid-South. They are 99% middle eastern. You may try to spin that, or ignore that fact, but that IS a fact. They are using our laws and our society’s political correctness to skirt the law and fund operations that directly threaten the security of the United States. You may not like that fact, but again, it IS a fact.

Yes, it looks like the FBI did raid Arab owned businesses. Well, last I heard, there were no Canadian, Native Americans, or any other ethnic group besides the Arabs trying to explode a nuclear device in our country. Plus, it’s a funny thing about police work…you follow the evidence in anti-terrorism ops and it just seems to lead to middle eastern folks. Gee, I wonder why?

One of the stories also made mention of the fact that there were some odd items seized in the raid, such as ball caps and jewelry. Well, that may be odd to some Cub reporter who doesn’t care about getting both sides of the story, but that was the bit of information that made the light go off in my head.

I believe the FBI is on to some Arabs running these little corner grocery stores you see that offer all sorts of things besides groceries…you know, CD’s, DVD’s, clothing, jewelry. I’ll bet you my stock in Halliburton this particular case is about counterfeiting and media piracy. Plus, I’d further bet that the FBI thinks funds from these illegal sales are being funneled back to whatever county these jerks are from to fund terrorist operations.

Here’s how it works: Mohammad opens a little store usually in the poorer sections of town. Oh, by the way, your governments lets these folks do this and not pay taxes for 7 years to encourage new small businesses…but guess what? Mohammad has a huge family over here, and at the end of seven years he just sells the business to his brother. Gee, another 7 years of tax-free operations, courtesy of the U.S government. Mohammad sells DVD’s and CD’s cheaper than Wal-Mart, because Mohammad has a $10,000 DVD duplicator in his back room where he is duplicating these movies and CD’s. He sells in the black communities and poorer sections of town because he knows no one will report it because they don’t care. Mohammad is also in the market for stolen cell phones which he can wipe and sell overseas. Since Mohammad pays no taxes, he can afford to send a large amount of his profits back to Yemen, Iran, or wherever…where the money is funneled to the same organizations trying to kill out sons , daughters, moms and dads in Iraq. But in this case this week, the FBI seems to have gotten wind of the operations, and the big bad Feds busted in and took Mohammad’s computers and duplicating equipment, his business records, and some of his counterfeit stuff for evidence. So, Mohammad goes crying to the liberal media which happily gives him a stage for his predictable “They are profiling me” whine, and the liberals just drink that stuff up like it was a Starbuck’s latte’.

I am constantly amazed at the willing suspension of disbelief a lot of Americas have about terrorists operating in American, right now, in YOUR neighborhood. Chances are you’ve bought stuff from them. Even more amazing is that the news media takes a passing glance (maybe) at these stories when actual terrorist are caught…like the University of Memphis Arab student who just happened to have a pilot’s uniform, airport layout diagrams, and books on how to fly planes and act like a pilot (plus all his Muslim jihadist propaganda) in his car.

Wake up, people….

Just because it’s legal doesn’t make it right. Is this guy going to go justifying what Mao, Stalin, Hitler, etc. did because it was all “legal.” And what was the results from those raids? Where any of them convicted on anything related to terrorism or even the dubious “sponsor of terrorism?” Where are these Arabs who are bringing in nukes? What’s the delivery mechanism? Prove to me that this isn’t bigoted propaganda used to bring about a police state?