Is it bad in Obama’s America? Yes it is, very bad. Monty Pelerin who wrote with me the article “When government turns predator“, has written another post, “Government Extends Its Tyrannical Role As Predator“, in which he features the question of civil forfeiture. Reading about this subject makes me wonder if God has put me in Canada for the same reason that he put Joseph in Egypt, “You intended it for evil but God intended it for good,” he said to his brothers who had sold him into slavery. For Joseph went to Egypt, and as a result, was able to save his entire family–his aged father and his brothers who hated him, their wives, children and all the servants in their households. Am I in Canada to be able to save my dear dad and my family from a crisis in the United States, when things go really bad there?
In any case, the question of civil forfeiture appeared in a George Will article, “When the looter is government”, which tells the story of man whose family business is being seized by the Justice Department. Such forfeiture is obviously a clear violation of the Fifth Amendment due process clause, but damn it, we are talking about the United States of America, a country which operates according to the rule of law, and that is why Stephen Dunn would never renounce his citizenship. Someone asked me yesterday Stephen shouldn’t be added to our Hall of Shame. No, I think we need a new award–the Boiled Frog Award for American Panglosses that believe that the United States is the best of all worlds. Are you reading this WhoaIt’sSteve?
Monty linked to two videos and I offer them here below. The impression I have is that the rule of law has broken down at all levels. Not only can MF Global steal money out of client’s segregated accounts and the banksters can commit mortgage fraud with impunity, but now the local police get in on the act with absolute impunity. America as an ideal is over. America as a nightmare has only just begun. We who are living abroad are the lucky ones. I almost regret feeling so angry at Americans.
Slightly off topic but interesting nevertheless. An interview on Swiss radio regarding banking for US persons abroad with the participation of David Kuenzi (that wrote a great article on Saverin posted here).
@renounce, I totally agree with you, there are just too many laws that serve no purpose but to define new crimes.
I think that the US is obsessed with law and crime because in the end they are obsessed with safety. I remember I was once is a swimming pool with my family and heavy clouds started to form. The lifeguards immediately forced everyone outside of the pool. But this is not only US behavior, I was once in Israel and officers in public areas were constantly asking people if their bags belonged to them. Could this obsession with safety explain why the US and Israel are often involved with wars? Safety is important, and it’s hard to define at which point it becomes excessive.
@omg, Good analogy.
This is very similar to FBAR fines. In fact, the same law that created the FBAR restricts the withdrawal of more than $10,000 in cash, inside the US. It seems that this is a widespread problem, not restricted to expatriates. I it also not new or restricted to the US. Many cities have old laws, now unenforced, restricting the way people can address others in public or what they can carry in and out of the city. Singapore prohibits chewing gum. China prohibits most couples from having more than one child. Canada prohibits doctors from accepting payments from insured patients, even if both agree. Most countries prohibit driving a vehicle or working in some professions without a license. Many countries restrict the sale of substances and weapons, even if they are legal. All these laws have valid purposes and most people agree with them, but they don’t see the problems that these laws create until they are affected themselves.
The man in the video said that he could not believe that such a thing could happen in the US. For me, if anything good has come out of the whole crackdown on US expatriates, it was to make me realize that any government has absolute power. It doesn’t really matter if those in government are granted power by birth, appointment or election, they can still do whatever they want. The only solution I see is to try to convince them by logic or empathy.
@foxy, this might unfortunately cause the officer to I suspect you as being a “sovereign citizen”.
God forbid! We can’t have people thinking they have sovereign rights!
“No man’s life, liberty, or property is safe while the legislature is in session.”
– Mark Twain
Preemptive strikes are in the name of safety
Maybe big “A” could go over the face for radio. I’m not sure I should go on TV. Perhaps I could ask Tertia to appear with me–but she was born in Canada.
@foxy, sovereignty for citizens is good, but “Sovereign Citizens” not so good.
Thanks bubble, i must have missed that post. Re being stopped by police, knowing the law and what your rights are just makes sense, and if the police know you are up on that, they will be more likely to leave you alone. They need to intimidate people to get them to give up their rights, and I suspect most cops know something about that. If you know your rights and can assert them clearly but politely, they won’t waste their time on you.
@foxy, I agree. I just want to avoid the opportunity to try. I don’t know how brave I’d be with a trooper standing by my window with a handgun in full view. I’d be inclined to make the encounter as short as possible, bleeeettttt!
I found this article on Yahoo news. Some people are saying that “civil forfeture” is just plain wrong in the comments in the yahoo article (but the link is toooo long to post here). If you ask me, this IS a case of retaliation.
I saw a case some years back where the FBI apparently raided a guys house. The guy was simple in his late 50’s; he had been saving money all of this life. He didn’t trust banks so he literally kept the money under the mattress ($400,000). The FBI found 1 marijuana joint in his house, so they confiscated the money even though 1 marijuana joint doesn’t necessarily indicate drug dealing activity.
The message I get from all of this is: “If you have it, we’ll find a way to [legally] take it.” America has really turned into a scary place. Even here, in the 3rd world, we see corruption all the time, but at least people still have some rights, which no one can deny. Things can be a little chaotic here at time, but people don’t fear the government.
These seem to be depressing times. The US, with all of its values and morals of the past, is turning into a tyrannical 3rd world country, right in front of our eyes.
@geez, you know how bad things are when you hear that almost 900,000 US war vets are waiting 6 months or more for disability claim reviews, two years for disputes. When wars go unfunded you can expect this. It’s a disgrace.
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