American shakedown: Police won’t charge you, but they’ll grab your money

U.S. police are operating a co-ordinated scheme to seize as much of the public’s cash as they can

By Neil Macdonald, CBC News Posted: Sep 11, 2014 5:00 AM ET Last Updated: Sep 11, 2014 5:00 AM ET

In the U.S., a cash-grab by police and government is dressed up in terms like “interdiction and forfeiture,” or “the equitable sharing program.” (CBC)

On its official website, the Canadian government informs its citizens that “there is no limit to the amount of money that you may legally take into or out of the United States.” Nonetheless, it adds, banking in the U.S. can be difficult for non-residents, so Canadians shouldn’t carry large amounts of cash.

That last bit is excellent advice, but for an entirely different reason than the one Ottawa cites.

There’s a shakedown going on in the U.S., and the perps are in uniform.

Across America, law enforcement officers — from federal agents to state troopers right down to sheriffs in one-street backwaters — are operating a vast, co-ordinated scheme to grab as much of the public’s cash as they can; “hand over fist,” to use the words of one police trainer.

Roadside seizure

It usually starts on the road somewhere. An officer pulls you over for some minor infraction — changing lanes without proper signalling, following the car ahead too closely, straddling lanes. The offence is irrelevant.

Then the police officer wants to chat, asking questions about where you’re going, or where you came from, and why. He’ll peer into your car, then perhaps ask permission to search it, citing the need for vigilance against terrorist weaponry or drugs.

What he’s really looking for, though, is money.

And if you were foolish (or intimidated) enough to have consented to the search, and you’re carrying any significant amount of cash, you are now likely to lose it.

The officer will probably produce a waiver, saying that if you just sign over the money then the whole matter will just disappear, and you’ll be able to go on your way.

Refuse to sign it, and he may take the cash anyway, proclaiming it the probable proceeds of drugs or some other crime.

Either way, you almost certainly won’t be charged with anything; the objective is to take your money, not burden the system.

You’ll have the right to seek its return in court, but of course that will mean big lawyer’s fees, and legally documenting exactly where the money came from. You will need to prove you are not a drug dealer or a terrorist.

It might take a year or two. And several trips back to the jurisdiction where you were pulled over. Sorry.

In places like Tijuana, police don’t make any pretense about this sort of thing. Here in the U.S., though, it’s dressed up in terms like “interdiction and forfeiture,” or “the equitable sharing program.”

Authorities claim it’s legal, but some prosecutors and judges have called it what it is: abuse.

In any case, it’s a nasty American reality.

Powers and justifications

Seizing suspected drug money has been legal here for decades, but after 9/11 police acquired a whole new set of powers and justifications. And they set about using them for profit.

‘The Washington Post this week reported that in the past 13 years, there have been 61,998 cash seizures on roadways and elsewhere without use of search warrants. The total haul: $2.5 billion.’

The total haul: $2.5 billion, divided pretty much equally between the U.S. government and state and local authorities (hence the Kafkaesque “equitable sharing” euphemism).

Half of the seizures, according to the Post, were below $8,800. Only a sixth of those who had money taken from them pursued its return.

Some, no doubt, were indeed drug dealers or money launderers and just walked away from the money. Others just couldn’t spare the expense and time of going to court.

Of those who did, though, nearly half got their money back, a statistic that fairly screams about the legitimacy of the seizures.

So does another fact: In many cases, authorities offer half the money back – money they’d claimed was proceeds of crime. And when they do issue a cheque, they almost always insist their victim sign a legal release promising never to sue.

It would also appear police like to target minorities, who tend to be cooperative and less likely to hire a lawyer.

Civil rights advocates have documented all sorts of outright legal theft:

  • The (minority) businessman from Georgia who was relieved of $75,000 he’d raised from relatives to buy a restaurant in Louisiana.
  • The (minority) church leaders who were carrying nearly $30,000 from their Baltimore parishioners to carry out church activities in North Carolina and El Salvador.
  • The young college grad with no criminal record on his way to a job interview out West who was relieved of $2,500 lent to him by his dad for the trip.

News outlets here have reported many such abuses over the years. But the Washington Post’s latest investigation exposes money-grabbing as big business.

It involves a nationwide network of enforcement agencies (except in the few states that have banned it) that operates with the help of a vast private intelligence service called “Black Asphalt” (police forces pay an enrolment fee of $19.95). The network uses consultants and trainers who either charge fees or operate on contingency, keeping a percentage of cash seized by their police pupils.

Police forces use the money to finance their departmental budgets, sometimes spending it on luxury vehicles, first-class tickets to conferences, and lavish quarters. They regard the money as rightfully theirs. One prosecutor used seized cash to defend herself against a lawsuit brought by people whose cash she seized.

It’s just human nature, really.

Give police the legal ability to take someone’s money, and to claim it’s in the national interest, and then tell them they can keep a nice chunk of it, and what other result could there be?

Travel advice

So, for any law-abiding Canadian thinking about an American road trip, here’s some non-official advice:

Avoid long chats if you’re pulled over. Answer questions politely and concisely, then persistently ask if you are free to go.

Don’t leave litter on the vehicle floor, especially energy drink cans.

Don’t use air or breath fresheners; they could be interpreted as an attempt to mask the smell of drugs.

Don’t be too talkative. Don’t be too quiet. Try not to wear expensive designer clothes. Don’t have tinted windows.

And for heaven’s sake, don’t consent to a search if you are carrying a big roll of legitimate cash.

As the Canadian government notes, there is no law against carrying it here or any legal limit on how much you can carry. But if you’re on an American roadway with a full wallet, in the eyes of thousands of cash-hungry cops you’re a rolling ATM.

ITCCS: Irish Cardinal Sean Brady to step down

The ITCCS published a few announcements, today… LW

Dublin, September 9, 2014

Cardinal Sean Brady offered his resignation today after it was recently revealed that he forced an 11 year old rape victim to sign a statement denying that he was molested and assaulted by catholic priests. This exposure of Brady happened recently on Sean Maguire’s blog radio program featuring ITCCS spokesman Kevin Annett and eyewitnesses to Brady’s action.
In related news, the ITCCS and its common law courts are convening a public inquiry this month into Cardinal Brady’s attempted cover up of the mass killing of newborn babies at a catholic home in Tuam, Ireland. The remains of over 800 babies were discovered months ago in a cistern connected to the catholic home.

Kevin’s Update

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Pope Francis says he would baptise aliens: ‘Who are we to close doors?’

Remember this, from May 14th, 2014? -LW

Pope Francis has said that he would be willing to baptise aliens if they came to the Vatican, asking “who are we to close doors” to anyone – even Martians.

In a homily yesterday dedicated to the concepts of acceptance and inclusion, Francis recalled a Bible story about the conversion of the first pagans to Christianity, according to reports on Vatican Radio.

He said Catholicism was a church of “open doors”, and that it was up to Christians to accept the Holy Spirit however “unthinkable” and “unimaginable” it appeared.

Describing how, according to the Bible, Peter was criticised by the Christians of Jerusalem for making contact with a community of “unclean” pagans, Francis said that at the time that too was “unthinkable”.

“If, for example, tomorrow an expedition of Martians came to us here and one said ‘I want to be baptised!’, what would happen?”

Clarifying that he really was talking about aliens, the Pope said: “Martians, right? Green, with long noses and big ears, like in children’s drawings.”

Full Story.

Striking Fast Food Workers Arrested Across USA

It used to be that full-time minimum wage job was enough to afford food and housing. Today, it is simply not true. While the price of a hamburger is seven or eight times what it was 15 or 20 years ago, wages have not kept-up, accordingly. -LW

(Reuters) – U.S. fast-food workers staged protests in some 150 cities on Thursday in a fight for higher pay, and organizers said more than 450 were arrested from Manhattan’s Times Square to Los Angeles.

About 400 protesters clogged Times Square during morning rush hour in the latest of ongoing actions aimed at raising their wage to $15 an hour.

They hoisted placards reading “Stick together for $15 and union rights,” and some held a sit-in at a McDonald’s restaurant, prompting 19 arrests for disorderly conduct.

Sit-ins also were held in other cities, and organizers said 465 arrests were made among protesters from Chicago, Detroit, Little Rock, Arkansas, Kansas City, Houston and Nashville.

In Los Angeles, protesters confronted managers inside two McDonald’s restaurants. And near Milwaukee, U.S. Representative Gwen Moore was among 27 people arrested.

McDonald’s worker Latoya Walker, who lives in a homeless shelter in Queens and makes $8 per hour, joined Thursday’s march for her five young children.

“With $15, I’d be able to save up enough to rent a home for my kids,” Walker said.

Protest organizers said Thursday’s actions were the biggest to date, targeting chains including McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s and KFC.

In Kansas City, protester Dana Wittman, 38, said the $9 an hour she makes at Pizza Hut is not enough for her family. “I have to choose between paying my rent and putting food on the table,” she said.

The recurring union-backed actions, which started in New York City, have steadily gathered steam since late 2012. They have helped spur a national debate about the federal minimum wage, which has been $7.25 since 2009, despite efforts by Democrats in Congress to raise it ahead of November’s mid-term congressional elections.

Protesters, many of whom are adults working 40 hours or more a week, say they cannot survive on such pay. Experts say about $11 an hour is the poverty threshold for a family of four.

U.S. fast-food restaurants this year are expected to make profits of $7.2 billion on revenue of $198.9 billion, according to research firm IBISWorld. Most of their U.S. restaurants are owned by franchisees, who set their own wages and say that raising the hourly wage will hurt their businesses.

Workers claimed a victory in July when the general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board said McDonald’s, not just its franchisees, can be liable for alleged labor law violations. But experts say it could take months, if not years, to resolve the cases.

A McDonald’s spokeswoman said the world’s biggest fast-food chain supports paying wages that are competitive in local markets and reflect a worker’s skill and experience.

The drive is being led by the Service Employees International Union, which has 2 million members. The International Franchise Association said unions want “a shortcut to refill their steadily dwindling membership ranks and coffers.”

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VIDEO American Delusion: Distracted, Diverted and Insulated from the Grim Reality of the Police State

(The video is at the bottom of the article)

obama-sunglassesSeptember 03, 2014 By John W. Whitehead

“In the age of advanced technology, spiritual devastation is more likely to come from an enemy with a smiling face than from one whose countenance exudes suspicion and hate. In the Huxleyan prophecy, Big Brother does not watch us, by his choice. We watch him, by ours. There is no need for wardens or gates or Ministries of Truth. When a population becomes distracted by trivia, when cultural life is redefined as a perpetual round of entertainments, when serious public conversation becomes a form of baby talk, when, in short, a people become an audience and their public business a vaudeville act, then a nation finds itself at risk: culture-death is a clear possibility.”—Author Neil Postman

Caught up in the uproar over this year’s latest hullabaloo—militarized police in Ferguson, tanks on Main Street and ISIS—Americans have not only largely forgotten last year’s hullabaloo over the NSA and government surveillance but are generally foggy about everything that has happened in between.

Then again, so much has happened in the year since Edward Snowden first appeared on the national scene that it’s understandable if the average American has a hard time keeping up with and remembering all of the “events,” manufactured or otherwise, which occur like clockwork and keep us distracted, deluded, amused, and insulated from the reality of the American police state.

This is not to say that many of these events are not critical or important. However, when we’re being bombarded with wall-to-wall news coverage and news cycles that change every few days, it’s difficult to stay focused on one thing—namely, holding the government accountable to abiding by the rule of law—and the powers-that-be understand this.

In fact, Professor Jacques Ellul studied this phenomenon of overwhelming news, short memories and the use of propaganda to advance hidden agendas. “One thought drives away another; old facts are chased by new ones,” wrote Ellul.

Under these conditions there can be no thought. And, in fact, modern man does not think about current problems; he feels them. He reacts, but he does not understand them any more than he takes responsibility for them. He is even less capable of spotting any inconsistency between successive facts; man’s capacity to forget is unlimited. This is one of the most important and useful points for the propagandists, who can always be sure that a particular propaganda theme, statement, or event will be forgotten within a few weeks.”

Consider if you will the regularly scheduled trivia and/or distractions that have kept us tuned into the various breaking news headlines and entertainment spectacles and tuned out to the government’s steady encroachments on our freedoms:

In late August / early September, we were treated to Justin Bieber’s run-in with police after a bout of reckless driving, the FBI’s investigation into the leaking of celebrities’ nude photos, Brad and Angelina’s wedding, James Foley’s carefully staged beheading, Robin Williams’ unfortunate suicide, the riots in Ferguson over the police shooting of an unarmed black man, growing threats from ISIS, and the ALS ice bucket challenge sensation.

That was preceded by reports of immigrant children flooding over the border, Israel and Hamas’ on-again, off-again fighting, Germany’s victory in the World Cup, Ebola breakouts in West Africa, the Malaysian Airlines passenger jet crash in Ukraine, the exchange by the U.S. of five Taliban prisoners for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the growing legalization of same-sex marriage by the states, and the kidnapping of 280 Nigerian girls for use as sex slaves.

Before that, there was the shooting rampage by an Iraq war veteran at the Fort Hood Army base, the uproar over LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s racist remarks, the Veterans Administration’s failure to provide timely care to vets, Russia and the U.S. in a tug of war over control of Crimea, the disappearance of a Malaysia Airlines flight—this one en route to China, the 2014 Winter Olympics hosted by Russia, the Seattle Seahawks’ first ever win at the Super Bowl, Gov. Chris Christie’s role in the George Washington Bridge lane closings scandal, and the outpouring of tributes over the death of Nelson Mandela.

No less traumatic and distracting were the preceding months’ newsworthy events, which included a devastating typhoon in the Philippines, France and Germany’s displeasure over the NSA spying on its people and leaders, the U.S. government’s 16-day shutdown over Obamacare, public opposition to President Obama’s plans to take military action against Syria over its alleged use of chemical weapons, another shooting rampage—this time at the Washington Navy Yard, Russia’s granting of asylum to Edward Snowden, Bradley Manning’s announcement that he is in fact Chelsea Manning, which came a day after he was sentenced to 35 years in prison for leaking classified documents, the birth of a new prince to British royals William and Kate, George Zimmerman’s acquittal of murdering Trayvon Martin, the Supreme Court’s striking down of the Defense of Marriage Act as unconstitutional, and Edward Snowden’s leaking the first of what would turn into a more-than-yearlong series of revelations about the government’s illegal surveillance programs.

As I point out in my book A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State, these sleight-of-hand distractions and diversions are how you control a population, either inadvertently or intentionally, advancing your agenda without much opposition from the citizenry. But what exactly has the government been doing while we’ve been so cooperatively fixated on whatever current sensation happens to be monopolizing the mainstream “news” shows?

If properly disclosed and consistently reported on, the sheer volume of the government’s activities, which undermine the Constitution and dance close to the edge of outright illegality, would inevitably give rise to a sea change in how business is conducted in our seats of power.

Surely Americans would be outraged over the government’s plan to turn our most casual statements into hate crimes using Truthy, a $1 million online database being created to track “misinformation” and hate speech on Twitter, as well as “detect political smears, astroturfing, misinformation, and other social pollution.” Or that the Pentagon is spending millions to find ways to put down social unrest, starting with lawful First Amendment free speech protests.

There would be no end to the uproar if Americans understood the origins of ISIS, the latest hobgoblin in the government’s war on terror, whose funding appears to track back to the CIA, which helped fund its guerilla tactics in Syria.

Parents would be livid if they had any inkling about the school-to-prison pipeline, namely, how the public schools are being transformed from institutions of learning to prison-like factories, complete with armed police and surveillance cameras, aimed at churning out compliant test-takers rather than independent-minded citizens.

Taxpayers would be up in arms over the government’s end-run tactics to avoid abiding by the rule of law, whether by outsourcing illegal surveillance activities to defense contractors or outsourcing inhumane torture to foreign countries.

And one would hope American citizens would be incensed about being treated like prisoners in an electronic concentration camp, their every movement monitored, tracked and recorded by a growing government surveillance network that runs the gamut from traffic cameras and police body cameras to facial recognition software and the armed surveillance drones that will soon blanket American skies.

Unfortunately, while much of this information can be discovered through a focused study of alternative media reports, it does require quite a bit of digging and even more determination on the part of the citizenry to take an active role in their governance—which, of course, is the key to maintaining freedom.

Professor Morris Berman suggests that the problems plaguing us as a nation—particularly as they relate to the government—have less to do with our inattention to corruption than our sanctioning, tacit or not, of such activities. “It seems to me,” writes Berman, “that the people do get the government they deserve, and even beyond that, the government who they are, so to speak. In that regard, we might consider, as an extreme version of this… that Hitler was as much an expression of the German people at that point in time as he was a departure from them.”

So where does that leave us?

As legendary television journalist Edward R. Murrow warned, “Unless we get up off our fat surpluses and recognize that television in the main is being used to distract, delude, amuse, and insulate us, then television and those who finance it, those who look at it, and those who work at it, may see a totally different picture too late.”

Filmmaker John Carpenter delivers this same warning in his film They Live, in which a deluded, blinded, indoctrinated, enslaved populace finds that the only way to break free of their oppressors is by donning a pair of special Hoffman sunglasses. Only then are they able to see clearly and distinguish between what is real and what is a carefully fabricated and expansive lie designed to keep them sated, satisfied, distracted and in the dark.

If we do not awaken to the truth and open our eyes soon, then we may well find ourselves staring at a far different, far less pleasant picture before long, and by then, it will be too late to alter our reality.

Time to don a pair of Hoffman sunglasses?

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After two cops attempted to enter his home without a warrant, Avel Amarel stands up for his rights and sends them away

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the-marxist-brothers

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The Original 13th Amendment (in Depth)

Restoring Common Law will immediately invalidate such things as Common Core, ObamaCare, and Agenda 21. -LW

Most people do not realize that the well-known thirteenth amendment – that which ended slavery in America – was not the first “Thirteenth” amendment proposed. As any Constitutional scholar (or anyone remotely familiar with American History) can readily tell you, the thirteenth amendment to the United States Constitution is an important one. Perhaps even the most important one of all. As most students learned at some point in school but quickly forgot, the thirteenth amendment that is so well known today was ratified by congress in 1865, and effectively abolished slavery in the United States.

While this amendment didn’t exactly end racism once and for all (it’s proven rather difficult to make laws to that effect), it certainly was quite an important step in that direction.

But the true history of the thirteenth amendment actually goes back much farther than The Civil War, and has very little to do with slavery.

The story begins in 1810, fifty-five years before slavery would be abolished.

There was a young woman from Baltimore, Ms. Betsy Patterson. This young lady, in some kind of flight of youthful fancy, moved to England, where she married Napoleon Bonaparte’s younger brother, Jerome, and with him had a child, young Jerome Napoleon Bonaparte (the young couple were clearly not known for coming up with clever names). Now, because of his mother’s heritage, this child by law was granted automatic citizenship into the United States, while at the same time retaining a status of nobility in France, being Napoleon’s nephew and all.

There were many among the nobles in America who viewed this as a travesty to their own national identity, and quite a good reason to add a little something to the Constitution that was apparently missing.

And thus was born the Titles of Nobility Act; a proposed constitutional amendment (it would be, of course, the 13th) stating that any citizen of the U.S. who receives a title of nobility or honor from a foreign nation without the consent of congress must be forced to give up his or her citizenship in the United States.

Apparently, the proposed amendment must have sounded quite good to congress at the time, as it passed quickly through both houses by quite a wide majority, then was sent down to the individual state legislatures to be voted on (as article 5 of the constitution requires). It is here that the amendment finally found trouble.

Such an amendment would have required approval of two thirds of the states for ratification. After three years of debate (as the War of 1812 continued to rage), the amendment finally fell just shy of the required state approval, and thus was not added to the constitution.

Or was it?

The Short, But Interesting, Legacy For several decades, it was quite a common misconception among many Americans that the Titles of Nobility Act had, in fact, been approved. Much of this can probably be blamed, one must suppose, on the yet-primitive methods of communication available in the nineteenth century. In fact, communication over long distances hadn’t been much improved over the previous several centuries at this point, apart from the introduction of the steam engine, which hadn’t yet caught on at this point, having been invented only a few years previously.

Similarly, the telegraph wouldn’t come for a few more decades, then the phone a few decades after that. In fact, word that the Titles of Nobility Act had failed spread so poorly that the amendment was actually included in several printings of the constitution during this time before the folks at the printing presses themselves finally got a clue. Eventually, it seems that people began to realize the error of their ways, though it wouldn’t surprise me if more than a few people were a bit confused when congress took it upon themselves to issue another thirteenth amendment forty years later.

Of course, this is not the end of the story. Even today, there is absolutely no end of websites and message boards (including the “Titles of Nobility Act Research Comittee”) who declare the Titles of Nobility Act to have been passed in truth, but then swept under the rug by a vast government conspiracy. It’s an intersting thought, to be sure, but constitutional scholars tend to agree that the amendment did not, in fact, pass. If they somehow could have conspired to remove the act from the constitution, however, this surely deserves some sort of praise, as such a thing must not have been easy.

In closing, here are just a few of the many people who would lose their citizenship should such an amendment go into effect today: George H.W. Bush, Norman Schwarzkopf, Rudy Giuliani, and even Bill Gates; for all of these men have one important thing in common: they have been granted honorary knighthood from Britain.

AMERICANS CONTINUALLY DECEIVED!
LEGAL MENTALITY – LIE!

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The amendment was also ratified by Virginia (state # 13): Virginia ratified the amendment on February 7, 1812. The state’s official records were burned when the British set fire to Washingtonand Richmond during the War of 1812, but numerous other records prove the amendment was ratified.

Nevertheless, the federal government insists the amendment never became law. This is a scan from a copy of “Military Laws of the United States,” by Trueman Cross. Published in 1825 by Edward de Krafft of Washington. Many books and official government documents printed between about 1820 to 1860 contain the original 13th amendment. It was never repealed.

In 1812, the votes of 13 states were needed to ratify an amendment.
The federal government admits the Titles of Nobility Amendment was
ratified by 12:

  1. Maryland (December 25, 1810)
  2. Kentucky (January 31, 1811)
  3. Ohio (January 31, 1811)
  4. Delaware (February 2, 1811)
  5. Pennsylvania (February 6, 1811)
  6. New Jersey (February 13, 1811)
  7. Vermont (October 24, 1811)
  8. Tennessee (November 21, 1811)
  9. Georgia (November 22, 1811)
  10. North Carolina (December 23, 1811)
  11. Massachusetts (February 27, 1812)
  12. New Hampshire (December 9, 1812)

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