Hoist the Black Flag

Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Mon, 11 Nov 2002 13:00:00 GMT
From smith2004:
As usual, the peepul voted, the gubmint won.
The State too often is like a driver who hits a pedestrian, gets out of his car and says to the victim, "It's lucky for you I was here to help." -- Alan Turin

From samizdata:

I found while driving in Wyoming that wearing a stetson and driving a beat- up pickup meant you could go as fast as you like, while the police picked up Californian winnebagos that went one mph over 55. After all, they wanted to bring money into the state, not merely circulate it. -- Terry Pratchett

From a Google search for black flag slitting throats (I wanted to use this quote today, but couldn't remember the exact words):

"Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and start slitting throats." -- Henry Louis Mencken

Scott Bieser at Rational Review - Wise Guy News - cartoon commentary on the winner in last week's election. Too true to be funny.

I wrote the following for one of the newsletters I subscribe to:

Asset Forfeiture and the Fourteenth Amendment

I was browsing through one of the little brown constitution booklets that I receive periodically from the Cato Institute, when something caught my eye. Section 1 of the fourteenth amendment says:
"All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."
Besides shredding the fourth amendment, the war on some drugs has turned asset forfeiture into a cash cow for many sheriff's departments. The use of this legalized theft has been spreading. I remember reading that if you're found talking to a prostitute in Troy [New York], they steal your car. Someone on another mailing list said that in Wisconsin, if the game warden finds a loaded gun in your car, he assumes you are hunting without a license and steals your gun and your car, and arrests you for a misdemeanor. You can defend yourself against the misdemeanor, but you can't get back your gun or car. Even in cases where you can attempt to get your property back, the case ends up being something like "State of New York v. 1993 Honda Civic" and you have to prove the innocence of your property (really). Probably the most frightening stories I've read about asset forfeiture are in the book Drug Warriors and Their Prey: From Police Power to Police State by Richard Lawrence Miller.

It seems from my simple reading of the fourteenth amendment that it categorically forbids the practice of asset forfeiture. But then, I'm not sure what "without due process of law" means. Do any of the better-legally-educated-than-I folks here know whether anyone has attempted a fourteenth amendment defense against asset forfeiture? I have no personal need of such a defense, but theft by the state sticks in my craw. I want to fight it by any means possible. At the very least, things must change so that the owner must be convicted in a criminal case before his property can be taken as part of the sentence.

Steve Trinward at Rational Review - Election Scorecard - a review of Mr. Trinward's predictions and the outcomes for the gubernatorial races in Wisconsin, Iowa, and Massachusetts, the Massachusetts senate, and Massachusetts Question 1.

R. Lee Wrights at Rational Review - You say you want a tax cut? - well, you ain't gonna get it any time soon from the Republicans.

Now I will admit that it sounds pretty friendly. I mean how can anyone oppose having a secure homeland? The problem is the new department will be an unnecessary redundancy. You see, we already have a department for homeland security. As a matter of fact we have had it for decades. It's called the Department of Defense. Homeland security is the primary mission of the Defense Department, so why do we need another bureaucratic agency to do a job that is supposed to be already taken care of? Moreover, why does the economic recovery of American businesses and citizens have to take a back seat so the government can spend more money than it already does? Well, because President Bush says so, that's why? And thanks to the 2002 off-year Republican revolution, Bush can basically do whatever he wants.

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