as stolen from Wirecutter:
Between 1989 and 2010, U.S. attorneys seized an estimated $12.6 billion in asset forfeiture cases. The growth rate during that time averaged +19.4% annually.
In 2010 alone, the value of assets seized grew by +52.8% from 2009 and was six times greater than the total for 1989.
Then by 2014, that number had ballooned to roughly $4.5 billion for the year, making this 35% of the entire number of assets collected from 1989 to 2010 in a single year.
Now, according to the FBI, the total amount of goods stolen by criminals in 2014 burglary offenses suffered an estimated $3.9 billion in property losses. This means that the police are now taking more assets than the criminals.
Now, assuming these statistics are close to accurate (and we all know about assuming), this is a sobering statistic!
Does ANYONE remember their American History? Life, Liberty, Property? Bueller? Bueller?
I’d two encounters regarding drones the other night.
One was an episode of Madame Secretary, wherein the female Secretary of State co-opts her own brother to obtain information to locate and assassinate an American-born Isis member.
Via a drone strike in a foreign land.
(I’ve an ongoing discussion regarding this TV show – a friend thinks it’s a stalking horse to put Hillary Clinton in the White House. I disagree. The protagonist is a former CIA officer, married to a religious ethics professor at The War College, who is a part-time NSA guy. Hardly The Clintons!)
The second encounter was a TV commercial showing a drone package delivery (Amazon? – I don’t remember, we have The Hopper and fast-forward through most of the commercials! :-) )
Now, I don’t know if this was a planned placement of drones on commercial television to get us used to the idea of them flitting about, or serendipity, or what?
I do remember this administration’s last attorney general not ruling out the idea of drone strikes against American citizens on our own soil(!)
Two drones and The Hopper in one evening? Perhaps it’s just coincidental? Showing us how far technology has advanced?
Regular readers know I come from a law enforcement family, and am supportive of ‘the police’ in general. No one who stands with The Blue Line should be subjected to abuse, criminal violence or murder.
After all, they are the men (and women) on the street representing the government and it’s laws (theoretically, anyway…).
I stand against violations of the Bill of Rights, and the ongoing militarization of police. We need Reed and Malloy, not jackbooted, masked thugs!
I’m not a fan of propaganda, either…
With the “war on cops” narrative on the rise again, you might be wondering: When it comes to lethal violence against police officers, how does 2015 stack up against other years? Mark Perry of the American Enterprise Institute took a look at the annual number of cops who died of non-accidental gunshots, as measured by the Officer Down Memorial Page. This year isn’t over yet, obviously, but if the trend thus far continues, 2015’s rate will be higher than 2013’s. It will also be lower than every other year since 1870:
(from the Ref Desk almanac…)
1947 President Truman signs Executive Order 9835 requiring all federal employees to have allegiance to the United States
I’m reasonably certain President Truman did so,
This guy, not so much…
Is EO 9825 still in force?
If so, Valerie Jarrett, Van Jones and many others have some ‘splainin’ to do!
THIS IS THE AMERICAN PARADOX.
How do we, as a Free, Constitutional Republic, with measures taken to preserve Free Speech and Dissent, ensure those charged with the custody of said Republic, continue to maintain her as such?
“Well, Doctor, what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?” – a lady bystander
“A Republic, if you can keep it.” – Benjamin Franklin
First a NEGATIVE, in part…
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States
From time to time I read about proposals for a national law requiring reciprocity of concealed carry permits between the states. The most recent example is the Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, introduced by Senator John Cornyn, R-TX.
Sadly, I have some bad news about this proposal, and about a national CCW reciprocity law in general: It would be unconstitutional under the Tenth Amendment. (Fill Yer Hands)
Second, a POSITIVE response, in the comments…
Or perhaps I should have worded it the former Republic’s government policy…
It was recently announced that the BATFE was moving to ban certain ammunition familiar to users of the AR-15 rifle, specifically:
In a move clearly intended by the Obama Administration to suppress the acquisition, ownership and use of AR-15s and other .223 caliber general purpose rifles, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives unexpectedly announced today that it intends to ban commonplace M855 ball ammunition as “armor piercing ammunition.” The decision continues Obama’s use of his executive authority to impose gun control restrictions and bypass Congress.
It isn’t even the third week of February, and the BATFE has already taken three major executive actions on gun control. First, it was a major change to what activities constitute regulated “manufacturing” of firearms. Next, BATFE reversed a less than year old position on firing a shouldered “pistol.” Now, BATFE has released a “Framework for Determining Whether Certain Projectiles are ‘Primarily Intended for Sporting Purposes’ Within the Meaning of 18 U.S.C. 921(a)(17)(c)”, which would eliminate M855’s exemption to the armor piercing ammunition prohibition and make future exemptions nearly impossible.
Now, aside from petty power and control, why would they bother to do this? Because they see a future where armored troops are engaging the
citizenry serfs for power and control? Perhaps.
But I think it’s that time ‘honored’ reason – because they can. And have.
Which brings us to the larger question. Should anything be BANNED in a Free Republic? Or should the marketplace be the controlling factor?
Possessing, manufacturing or distributing child pornography is essentially banned. This doesn’t stop possession, manufacture or distribution. How about drugs? Substandard (or poisonous/dangerous) products from overseas? Or those domestically produced? Remember cyclamates and hexaclorophene?
Perhaps it’s a bit callous of me, but I think the marketplace should be the deciding factor. If you don’t want cyclamates, poisons or substandard foreign crap, don’t buy it! Child pornography harms children in the production prima facie, so banning that is acceptable and appropriate. Drugs? If you are an adult, it should be up to you. But, driving under the influence or committing crimes to support your habit is another thing altogether. Then you are bringing others into the mix. Without their permission.
If you inadvertently purchase something harmful, sue the bastards! But, you have a responsibility – you should be an informed consumer.
Now, to the proposed ammunition ban. The ‘sporting purposes’ argument. Obviously, the Second Amendment is not about hunting.
Their regulation and argument is invalid.
Back when I worked @ TMCCC, I befriended a guy I’ll call Batman. Why Batman? Well, he liked the Batman persona, dressed as him for Halloween and even his license plate was DRKNITE.
And he was something like 30 years of age.
He was one of the few ‘company’ friends who came and visited me in the hospital, after the accident. He brought me a stuffed Marvin the Martian. I still have it. I honor his kindness.
Then, Life separated us; he went to Australia, and I did not.
Years later, I discovered he had repatriated, and we became friends on Facebook. And made noises about getting together for lunch, or a drink.
Then, he started posting on FB about the nasty Second Amendment, and how none of us should be able to possess firearms. Obviously, his couple of years as a faux-Aussie took it’s toll.
I tried to dissuade him, first by posting about Our Constitutional freedoms, then, more directly in debate. But to no avail. He kept posting vile ideas about us being forced to give up our Rights. Me giving up mine.
So, I unfriended him. It was all I could do.
Now comes another foreign-influenced man, an actor, Liam Neeson. From Ireland, I believe.
Of late, he been making popular movies regarding his wife (and/or daughter) being kidnapped. And he rescuing them – being some-kind of agent/operative, and all.
Then this news story appears:
Speaking at the ‘Taken 3′ press conference in Dubai on Monday, the Irish-born star of ‘Schindler’s List’, who once again plays Bryan Mills in the final film of the trilogy, responded to a question about the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris last week, which he linked to gun violence in the US.
“There are too many fucking guns out there, especially in America,” said the 62-year-old. “I think the population is, like, 320 million? There are over 300 million guns. Privately owned, in America. I think it’s a fucking disgrace. Every week now we’re picking up a newspaper and seeing, ‘Yet another few kids have been killed in schools.’”
Reported by the Washington Post, Neeson added that there is a distinction between the violence of the movies and reality.
He said: “A character like Bryan Mills going out with guns and taking revenge: it’s fantasy. It’s in the movies, you know? I think it can give people a great release from stresses in life and all the rest of it, you know what I mean? It doesn’t mean they’re all going to go out and go, ‘Yeah, let’s get a gun!’”
Now, I’m all about the First Amendment, too, but, just like with Batman, I can take action. We were not friends on Facebook (so I couldn’t unfriend him) but I can not support him by refusing to see-rent-buy his movies.
It was all I could do.
Fortunately, some others stand with me:
PARA USA, the company that rented the guns used by Neeson in “Taken 3″ (2014), his latest action film, has responded to the movie star’s recent anti-gun, anti-Second Amendment remarks by stating publicly that they will no longer be providing the weapons for his cinematic fantasy roles.
There is strength in numbers. people!
Listen up, Michael Douglas, Sylvester Stallone, Stephen King and your ilk. I’m not against YOUR rights – why are you against mine?
h/t Never Yet Melted, HuffPo
First of all, my thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends of the magazine staff slaughtered by Muslim extremists in Paris.
Having said that, I don’t know what nuances ‘freedom of speech’ hold in France, but I am familiar with those nuances here.
And I side with those who do, say and publish vile things – the Piss Christ (jar with a crucifix submerged in urine) as ‘art’; some play in NYC where a Mormon has a Book of Mormon inserted rectally as part of a ‘performance’; those Westboro Baptist Church idiots…
And those who burn the American Flag as a means of social and political protest.
I side with their right to freedom of expression; this doesn’t mean I agree with them!
But, now we come to those bastards who killed 12 people in Paris (a largely gun-free zone) because they had the nerve to publish cartoons making fun of the prophet Mohammad – something Muslim extremists find reprehensible.
I’ve no problem with Muslims going about their daily business and worshiping as they please. And I can understand being upset at Mohammad being made light of, just as most Americans find the artistic and dramatic expressions mentioned earlier disgusting.
But most Americans wouldn’t kill people for exercising their ‘freedom of expression’.
“We must, indeed, all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately.” – Benjamin Franklin
“The way to overcome them in this instance is to overwhelm them with disrespect and mockery. They can silence one magazine, but they can’t silence the entire Internet. Every blogger, of every political stripe, be it left, right, and everywhere in between, needs to realize that freedom of speech and freedom of the press are the two keystones of your ideology, whatever it may be. You need to make a stand. You need to make these terrorists lose the ideological battle. And the way to do that is to republish the Mohammed cartoons yourselves. Today. Right now.”(Sipsey Street Irregulars, PJ Media)
(Recognizing, of course, that my tiny blog is infinitesimal in the world of self-expression and free press. But we must take a stand somewhere. Please go to the PJMedia link above and select one or more hated cartoons and put it(them) out there. For the good of all freedom-loving people – Guffaw)
(And other rules.)
We, as civilized human beings, have always had rules with regard to combat. War. Interpersonal violence.
Sometimes the rules were indeed civilized, as The Marquess of Queensberry describes. Sometimes, they are less so.
Modern warfare pretends to rely on The Geneva Conventions, and other treaties. A nation cannot use certain kinds of ammunition, or poison gasses, or treat their prisoners-of-war in a less than humane manner.
Now, it has come to pass that the Senate of the United States has investigated our use of enhanced interrogation techniques against enemies of The United States. And found that we engaged in tortuous behaviors.
Certainly, not the institutionalized tortures to death of the German Nazis, or the Feudal Japanese Empire, but torture nonetheless.
As Fox News populist Bill O’Reilly reminds us, it’s inappropriate to support bad behavior with other’s previous bad behavior. Of course, he supports the torture of our enemies. Hypocrite.
And the report concluded that for all the measures used, money expended and treaties/laws violated, very little of import was obtained through these methods. And many in the CIA were distressed and ashamed at engaging in these actions.
When it comes to one-on-one, I support doing all that is necessary to survive. If I am attacked, I’m not adverse to using groin and neck strikes and eye gouges to stop the attack. Or a firearm, if appropriate. Because I believe prima facie, as I am not initiating the attack, I am more moral than my attacker. And my survival is therefore paramount.
However, when it comes to Nation-States…it might be more complicated. Or not.
We, The United States, ascribe to The Rule of Law. This includes treaties into which we have entered. Treat our prisoners of war with humanity. And stand proudly with our Principles.
This doesn’t mean we are limited to 19th Century Rules, “Gentlemen do not read each other’s mail.” (Henry L Stimson, U.S. Secretary of State). Intelligence gathering is a valid tool of warfare.
It does mean if we don’t keep to our standards, we lose our National Soul. And they have already won.
So said (on camera) Michael Brown’s stepfather after the announcement of no true bill was made by the Ferguson prosecutor.
Rumors are The United States Department of Justice will be pursuing civil rights charges against Officer Darren Wilson.
No word as to whether or not Michael Brown’s stepfather will be brought up on inciting to riot charges…
AND, if it is true, shouldn’t the reverse also be true? Shouldn’t this Constitutional Republic Nation be charged with capturing and imprisoning all the folks, who by their selfish acts of violence, thievery and terrorism, are trying to bring down the Nation? Isn’t the above suggesting insurrection and treason?
I know what some of you are thinking. You are thinking protest is allowed. A Right. It certainly is. Lawful protest, for a redress of grievances.
This doesn’t include destruction of property, and looting. Never has looting been a form of protest. It is a form of burglary and vandalism.
But (you say) the Founding Fathers destroyed property as a form of protest! Remember The Boston Tea Party?
It’s true, not only did the Founding Fathers and their brethren (and sistern) destroy property – they killed officers of the British Crown. And denied allegiance to the same. TREASON.
They already had concepts of a replacement government in place when they did so. I don’t think the
protestors burglars and vandals in Ferguson have such an agenda. I think most of them are self-serving useful idiots of Lenin.
And while we’re on the subject of Tea Parties. The Left has branded ‘the Tea Party movement’ as racist, largely because anyone against the President’s agenda is colored racist. No (or scant) evidence. The Big Lie. A Big Lie repeated often enough is perceived as truth. And that it was an idea from a Nazi the protestor above is using to further an agenda.
A Nazi who would have killed her just as soon look at her.
If only these protesters had read history, including the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s writings on non-violent protest…
h/t Theo Spark