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  1. #1 Render unto Seizure 
    LTC Member Odysseus's Avatar
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    Render unto SeizureBy Mark Steyn
    November 12, 2013 2:46 PM

    In the year 1215, Magna Carta provided a freeman of England with the right to a trial in a fixed, local law court, and protected him from being “amerced [fined] for a slight offence, except in accordance with the degree of the offence; and for a grave offence he shall be amerced in accordance with the gravity of the offence, yet saving always his contentment; and a merchant in the same way, saving his merchandise” – i.e., even for a “grave offence,” a man shall not be deprived of the ability to make his living.

    Four-fifths of a millennium later, a 21st-century American merchant does not enjoy the rights of his 13th-century English forebear. The Economist reports on yet another case of “civil forfeiture” by the corrupt and diseased IRS – a Michigan grocery store owned by the Dehkos family:
    Fairly often, someone takes cash from the till and puts it in the bank across the street. Deposits are nearly always less than $10,000, because the insurance covers the theft of cash only up to that sum.

    In January, without warning, the government seized all the money in the shop account: more than $35,000. The charge was that the Dehkos had violated federal money-laundering rules, which forbid people to “structure” their bank deposits so as to avoid the $10,000 threshold that triggers banks to report a transaction to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
    This is a quintessentially Washingtonian form of shakedown. First, they pass a stupid law that has the effect of making millions of routine, law-abiding transactions appear suspicious (in this case, deposits over $10,000). Then, the vast bloated support state of the Republic of Hyper-Regulation adjusts accordingly (in this case, insurers who’ll cover a mugging of $9,975 decline to cover one of $10,037). But by then, just to cover themselves coming and going, Washington has passed another stupid law making it an additional crime to avoid committing the original crime (thus, “structuring” your deposits to avoid the $10,000 threshold).

    Meanwhile, no one has prosecuted or even convicted the Dehkos family — or even charged them with anything. Because these days, unlike in King John’s, the state doesn’t need to:
    Prosecutors offered no evidence that the Dehkos were laundering money or dodging tax. Indeed, the IRS gave their business a clean bill of health last year. But still, the Dehkos cannot get their cash back. “They offered us 20%,” says Ms Thomas, “But if we settle, it looks like we’re guilty of something, which we’re not.”
    Oh, yeah, the coup de grâce: The grand old federal tradition of “settling.” In the shakedown state, nobody’s guilty or innocent, it’s all about the settling.
    My weekend column observed en passant that “tyranny is always capricious” and that, in a land of 300 million, people seem to figure the likelihood of it happening to them is comparatively remote. I wouldn’t be so sure about that, as an ever broker state grows ever needier. As the next senator from New Hampshire, I will pledge to outlaw “civil forfeiture.” You should demand no less from your representatives.





    This is about as tyrannical as government gets.
    --Odysseus
    Sic Hacer Pace, Para Bellum.

    Before you can do things for people, you must be the kind of man who can get things done. But to get things done, you must love the doing, not the people!
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  2. #2  
    eeeevil Sith Admin SarasotaRepub's Avatar
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    I can't believe I'm reading this happened/happening in the US.
    May the FORCE be with you!
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  3. #3  
    Senior Member Arroyo_Doble's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SarasotaRepub View Post
    I can't believe I'm reading this happened/happening in the US.
    Here is a famous one



    Odie's hyperbole aside (really? as tyrannical as it gets?), there has been a great deal of talk about asset seizure by the State from Libertarians and libertarians for some time now.
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  4. #4  
    LTC Member Odysseus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arroyo_Doble View Post
    Here is a famous one



    Odie's hyperbole aside (really? as tyrannical as it gets?), there has been a great deal of talk about asset seizure by the State from Libertarians and libertarians for some time now.
    What do you consider more tyrannical than the state seizing the assets of citizens without cause? The investigation cleared the victims of any wrongdoing, but the IRS continues to hold the money. This is theft, pure and simple, and if the IRS is permitted to get away with it, then there is no limit on their power. Unlimited power is tyranny. The only thing that would have been worse was if the IRS had gone in shooting, but it's not like that hasn't been done before. There have been numerous cases involving SWAT raids against law-abiding individuals who had property coveted by local police agencies or the feds. What, in your estimation, is more tyrannical than that?

    The case that you cited entailed sketchier circumstances, and the police were justified in impounding the money pending the results of the investigation, but since no charges were filed, it should have been returned. Of course, once the state has your assets, getting them back becomes all but impossible.
    --Odysseus
    Sic Hacer Pace, Para Bellum.

    Before you can do things for people, you must be the kind of man who can get things done. But to get things done, you must love the doing, not the people!
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  5. #5  
    Power CUer noonwitch's Avatar
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    The DEA has been doing this kind of thing for decades. Seizure of someone's assets before a conviction is wrong-not counting things seized when arrested or illegal items found while executing a legal warrant.
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  6. #6  
    Senior Member Arroyo_Doble's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Odysseus View Post
    What do you consider more tyrannical than the state seizing the assets of citizens without cause?
    Taking citizens out back and shooting them in the head.
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  7. #7  
    LTC Member Odysseus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arroyo_Doble View Post
    Taking citizens out back and shooting them in the head.
    Fair enough, but do you see the continuum? The use of force against law-abiding citizens is tyrannical, whether it involves the loss of life via a quick bullet to the back of the head or slow starvation after a home or business has been taken. Property is life. Without it, we cannot sustain ourselves, or our families. A government that can take everything that you have at its whim will have no compunction against taking the lives of dissidents.
    --Odysseus
    Sic Hacer Pace, Para Bellum.

    Before you can do things for people, you must be the kind of man who can get things done. But to get things done, you must love the doing, not the people!
    Reply With Quote  
     

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