Category: Property Rights


John Stossel – Policing For Profit

 

 

 

 

” Eapen Thampy (Americans for Forfeiture Reform) joins John to discuss a form of legalized theft called civil asset forfeiture.

Via Wikipedia

  There are two types of forfeiture cases, criminal and civil. Approximately half of all forfeiture cases practiced today are civil, although many of those are filed in parallel to a related criminal case.

  In civil forfeiture cases, the US Government sues the item of property, not the person; the owner is effectively a third party claimant.

  The burden is on the Government to establish that the property is subject to forfeiture by a “preponderance of the evidence.” If it is successful, the owner may yet prevail by establishing an “innocent owner” defense.”

Continued

About these ads

Obama Administration Land Grab Memo Leaked

 

Outlook-US_Map-Basic-Numbered-DRKER_sm

 

 

 

” Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy’s decades-long battle against the federal government over grazing rights continues, but it may get worse over a leaked memo that was uncovered in 2010 that reveals an Obama Administration land grab initiative that may spread across other western states, possibly causing the same showdown between landowners, ranchers, and the federal government.

  The Tea Party Command Center on Saturday uncovered the lost news report where former Republican Senator Jim DeMint raised the alarm back in 2010 of a leaked memo about a planned, 10 million acre Western land grab by the Obama administration of 17 sites in 11 western states.

  The secret memo stamped, “Internal Draft – NOT FOR RELEASE” was leaked by a Department of Interior official to Utah Congressman Bob Bishop.

  The memo titled, “Prospective Conservation Designation: National Monument Designations under the Antiquities Act” proposes that many nationally significant landscapes are worthy of inclusion in the NLCS and if enacted, could very well set off another BLM and property owner standoffs.”

    This report , combined with the recent actions against Cliven Bundy and Kit Laney lend much credence to Ben Smith’s allegations that the Federal government is conspiring to bring about the conditions necessary to declare martial law .

The Examiner has more on the “secret” memo

 

Last Man Standing

 

 

 

 

 

 

” A two-decades-old battle between a Nevada rancher and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has resulted in officials armed with machine guns surrounding the ranch and forcibly removing the owner’s cattle, according to the rancher’s family.

  Cliven Bundy, the last rancher in Clark County, Nev., has been fighting a “one-man range war” since 1993, when he decided to take a stand against the agency, refusing to pay fees for the right to graze on a ranch run by his family for centuries.

  After years of court battles, the BLM secured a federal court order to have Bundy’s “trespass cattle” forcibly removed with heavy artillery, the family said.

“ The battle’s been going on for 20 years,” Bundy told the Washington Free Beacon. “What’s happened the last two weeks, the United States government, the bureaus are getting this army together and they’re going to get their job done and they’re going to prove two things. They’re going to prove they can do it, and they’re gonna prove that they have unlimited power, and that they control the policing power over this public land. That’s what they’re trying to prove.”

  Bundy said the government has brought everything but tanks and rocket launchers.”

 

Story continues

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘Tax Freedom Day’ Falls Three Days Later This Year

 

Tax Freedom Day 2014 Map_0

 

 

 

” The day when the nation collectively has made enough money to pay its total tax burden for the year is three days later this year, according to a new report.

  According to a report released Monday by the Tax Foundation, this year Tax Freedom Day falls 111 days into 2014, on April 21.

  By April 21, to group says, Americans will have made enough to pay the $3 trillion in federal taxes and $1.5 trillion in state taxes — more than they will spend on food clothing and housing combined.”

 

 

Cal_TFD_Web

 

 

 

   Bear in mind that that is the national average . If you live in a high tax state you could be a government slave for an additional couple of weeks before you “earn” anything for yourself and your family …

 

 

 

” If further broken down by state, residents of high tax states would see their Tax Freedom Day later than residents of lower tax states.

“This means a combination of higher-income and higher-tax states celebrate Tax Freedom Day later: Connecticut (May 9), New Jersey (May 9), and New York (May 4),” the authors write.”

Read more at DC Caller and at the Tax Foundation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Obama Judge: Mexican Border Fence May Have “Disparate Impact” On Minorities

 

 

 

 

” A Homeland Security initiative to put fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border could discriminate against minorities, according to an Obama-appointed federal judge who’s ruled that the congressionally-approved project may have a “disparate impact on lower-income minority communities.”

  This of course means that protecting the porous—and increasingly violent—southern border is politically incorrect. At least that’s what the public college professor at the center of the case is working to prove and this month she got help from a sympathetic federal judge. Denise Gilman, a clinical professor at the taxpayer-funded University of Texas-Austin, is researching the “human rights impact” of erecting a barrier to protect the U.S. from terrorists, illegal immigrants, drug traffickers and other serious threats.

  The professor sued in federal court arguing that the public interest in how the fence will impact landowners outweighed any privacy concerns. The data will allow the public to analyze whether the government is treating property owners equally and fairly or whether the wall is being built in such a way that it disadvantages “minority property owners,” according to the professor. It will also help the public understand the actual dimensions of the wall and decisions related to where it’s placed.

  Judge Beryl Howell, appointed to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia by President Obama in 2010, agreed that the public interest is significant. Her 37-page ruling also seems to indicate that she bought the discrimination argument. “Revealing the identities of landowners in the wall’s planned construction site may shed light on the impact on indigenous communities, the disparate impact on lower-income minority communities, and the practices of private contractors,” Howell wrote.”

 

Judicial Watch has the story

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Driver Had $50,000 Seized By A Nevada Cop, But Wasn’t Charged With A Crime. Now He’s Getting His Money Back

 

 

 

 

” After Tan Nguyen was pulled over for driving three miles above the speed limit, he had $50,000 confiscated by a Nevada deputy.  According to Nguyen, that money was casino winnings.  As reported last week at Forbes, Nguyen“was not arrested or charged with a crime—not even a traffic citation.”

  He filed a lawsuit in federal court, arguing his civil rights were violated by an “unconstitutional search and seizure.”  In that lawsuit, Nguyen claimed Deputy Lee Dove, who had pulled him over for speeding, threatened to seize and tow his car unless he “got in his car and drove off and forgot this ever happened.”

  But in a settlement reached last week with Humboldt County, Nevada, Nguyen was fully reimbursed for all of the cash that was taken from him.  He also received $10,000 to cover attorney’s fees.  In addition, the settlement fully reimbursed $2,400 to Matt Lee, who, like Nguyen, was pulled over and had his cash confiscated by Dove on I-80.  Lee slammed that seizure as “highway robbery.” 

  The settlement is certainly great news for Nguyen and Lee.  As the Institute for Justice noted previously, victories in civil forfeiture cases are rather rare, partially because “many victims of civil forfeiture simply don’t have the resources to defend themselves in court.  Since litigation can cost more than the property that was taken, many seizures aren’t even contested.”  When wins do happen, they can make national headlines, as did IJ’s successful defense of property owners in MassachusettsCalifornia and Michigan.”

 

 

   It’s a step in the right direction , but as the article notes , it’s a victory for those two men only right now as the law remains in place .

 

 

” Yet the settlement for Nguyen and Lee does not affect Nevada’s abysmal civil forfeiture laws.  The state’s current system allows police to “seize property under a legal standard lower than the beyond-a-reasonable-doubt standard used in criminal convictions.  Owners bear the burden of proof, meaning they have to prove their innocence in court.  In addition, law enforcement agencies keep 100 percent of the forfeiture proceeds.”  No wonder Nevada earned a D+ in IJ’s report, “Policing for Profit.” “

 

 

Read the whole thing at Forbes

 

 

 

 

 

 

SWAT Team Raids Organic Farm, Confiscates Blueberries

 

 

 

 

” A small organic farm in Arlington, Texas, was the target of a massive police action last week that included aerial surveillance, a SWAT raid and a 10-hour search. Members of the local police raiding party had a search warrant for marijuana plants, which they failed to find at the Garden of Eden farm.”

 

 

 

 

” But farm owners and residents who live on the property told a Dallas-Ft. Worth NBC station that the real reason for the law enforcement exercise appears to have been code enforcement. The police seized “17 blackberry bushes, 15 okra plants, 14 tomatillo plants … native grasses and sunflowers,” after holding residents inside at GUNpoint for at least a half-hour, property owner Shellie Smith said in a statement. The raid lasted about 10 hours, she said.”

 

 

 

 

     This story transpired in August of 2013 but is back in the news because the trial is starting . Yes , a trial … for “illegal” blackberry bushes ? This is the absurdity of the drug war exemplified . Neighbors complain of code violations , make bogus allegations of marijuana plants and SWAT raids a hippy commune . 

    A ten hour SWAT raid for illegal shrubs ? WTF ? Read more here and here .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wyoming Welder Faces $75,000 A Day In EPA Fines For Building Pond On His Property

 

Johnson pond wyoming epa.jpg

 

 

 

” All Andy Johnson wanted to do was build a stock pond on his sprawling eight-acre Wyoming farm. He and his wife Katie spent hours constructing it, filling it with crystal-clear water, and bringing in brook and brown trout, ducks and geese. It was a place where his horses could drink and graze, and a private playground for his three children. 

  But instead of enjoying the fruits of his labor, the Wyoming welder says he was harangued by the federal government, stuck in what he calls a petty power play by the Environmental Protection Agency. He claims the agency is now threatening him with civil and criminal penalties – including the threat of a $75,000-a-day fine. 

“ I have not paid them a dime nor will I,” a defiant Johnson told FoxNews.com. “I will go bankrupt if I have to fighting it. My wife and I built [the pond] together. We put our blood, sweat and tears into it. It was our dream.” 

  The government says he violated the Clean Water Act by building a dam on a creek without a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers. Further, the EPA claims that material from his pond is being discharged into other waterways. Johnson says he built a stock pond — a man-made pond meant to attract wildlife — which is exempt from Clean Water Act regulations.  

  The property owner says he followed the state rules for a stock pond when he built it in 2012 and has an April 4-dated letter from the Wyoming State Engineer’s Office to prove it.

“ Said permit is in good standing and is entitled to be exercised exactly as permitted,” the state agency letter to Johnson said.

  But the EPA isn’t backing down and argues they have final say over the issue. They also say Johnson needs to restore the land or face the fines. 

  Johnson plans to fight. “This goes a lot further than a pond,” he said. “It’s about a person’s rights. I have three little kids. I am not going to roll over and let [the government] tell me what I can do on my land. I followed the rules.” 

 

Fox News has more

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cops Use Traffic Stops To Seize Millions From Drivers Never Charged With A Crime

 

 

Civil Forfeiture Nevada

 

” A deputy for the Humboldt County’s Sheriff Office in rural Nevada has been accused of confiscating over $60,000 from drivers who were never charged with a crime.  These cash seizures are now the subject of two federal lawsuits and are the latest to spotlight a little-known police practice called civil forfeiture.”

 

 

Here is a picture of the offending officer smiling with his stolen money .

 

Lee Dove

Photo Credit: AP

 

The Sheriff’s department even bragged about the “accomplishment” …

 

” County officials were not shy in the past about discussing their cash seizures. The day after Nguyen had his money taken, the sheriff issued a news release with a photograph of Dove pictured with a K-9 and $50,000 in seized cash “after a traffic stop for speeding.” “

 

 

A stop that resulted in no ticket being issued , mind you … Then the arrogant Sheriff compounded the deceit by making the baseless allegation :

 

 

“This cash would have been used to purchase illegal drugs and now will benefit Humboldt County with training and equipment. Great job,” the statement said. Dove’s report said he had the money counted at a bank, then gave it to the district attorney’s office “for asset/seizure/forfeiture.” “

 

 

   Can anyone think of a more Un-American way of police “upholding the law” than to be able to confiscate private property at will without benefit of a day in court ? What happened to “innocent until proven guilty” ? The 4th amendment ?

 

 

” Civil forfeiture allows law enforcement to seize property (including cash and cars) without having to prove the owners are guilty.   Last September, Tan Nguyen was pulled over for driving three miles over the speed limit, according to a suit he filed.  Deputy Lee Dove asked to search the car but Nguyen said he declined.  Dove claimed he smelled marijuana but couldn’t find any drugs.  The deputy then searched the car and found a briefcase containing $50,000 in cash and cashier’s checks, which he promptly seized.  According to the Associated Press, Nguyen said he won that cash at a casino.”

 

    So an Officer’s word that he smelled marijuana , a specious unprovable claim if ever there was one , is justification for illegal search ? That in and of itself is reason enough to legalize pot . The criminal behavior fostered in the law enforcement establishment by the “war on drugs” has reached the point where the authorities can just take what they want , wherever they want , whenever they want . Does no one see the tyranny in that ?

 

” Nguyen was not arrested or charged with a crime—not even a traffic citation.  In the suit, Dove threatened to seize and tow Nguyen’s car unless he “got in his car and drove off and forgot this ever happened.”  That would have left Nguyen stranded in the Nevada desert.”

 

 

In order to avoid being stranded in the desert Mr Tran was forced to ...

 

 

” As a condition of release, Nguyen signed a “property for safekeeping receipt,” which indicated the money was abandoned or seized and not returnable. But the lawsuit says he did so only because Dove threatened to seize his vehicle unless he “got in his car and drove off and forgot this ever happened.”

 

 

 

   This is banditry … Government sanctioned banditry … nothing more , nothing less , and we as Americans should be ashamed of a government that not only condones but facilitates and trumpets these kind of blatant civil rights violations . Copies of Tran’s and Smith’s lawsuits can be found at the links .

Read more here , here and here .

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some Very Good News About Americans

 

United America

 

 

” We are all besieged daily by bad news. It is easy to become depressed about the present state of the nation, but there is some very good news as well.

  This is not to say there aren’t legitimate problems and concerns. The last two elections put a President in office that lies all the time. The nation’s economy has been so awful that 100 million Americans are either out of work or have ceased looking for work. Democrat political leaders are actually telling Americans that being unemployed is a good thing because it leaves them free to pursue their hobbies.

  The President has been pursuing a campaign to make Americans believe that there is massive income inequality when, in fact, there is relatively little. There has always been a very wealthy class and a very poor one. What there is, however, is a loss of wealth primarily in the Middle Class. As for poverty, America has long provided income mobility to those who wish to study and work hard to improve their status.

  What is rarely addressed is the seething power of American entrepreneurship which, at present, is trapped by a largely socialist federal government imposing a mountain of regulations that thwart growth and take money from the private sector that would otherwise be invested in the creation or expansion of business and industry nationwide.

  Americans have repeatedly suffered, survived, and overcome financial crises to come back to build the greatest economy in the world. Part of the reason for this are the long established values that Americans of every description embrace.

  That is why Wayne Baker’s new book, “United America: The Surprising truth about American values, American identity and the 10 beliefs that a large majority of Americans hold dear” is a welcome review that the author’s extensive research confirms.

The beliefs are:

  • Respect for others
  • Symbolic patriotism
  • Freedom
  • Security
  • Self-Reliance & Individualism
  • Equal Opportunity
  • Getting ahead
  • Pursuit of happiness
  • Justice & Fairness
  • Critical patriotism “

 

 

    Division is the tool of tyrants and their lackies in the MSM . Contrary to the endless attempts by our current rulers to foment class warfare we are more united in our core beliefs than the common media memes would have you believe .

Read more about “United America” at Canada Free Press

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Supreme Court Expands Police Power To Seize Your Assets Before Conviction

 

 

 

” It’s been a banner week for law enforcement at the U.S. Supreme Court. On Tuesday, in the case of Fernandez v. California, the Court broadened the power of the police to conduct warrantless home searches. But it was a decision handed down on Monday that’s likely to have the greatest impact on our criminal justice system.

  At issue in Monday’s ruling in Kaley v. United States is an area of the law known as asset forfeiture. In essence, asset forfeiture is designed to help law enforcement officials seize the ill-gotten fruits of criminal activity, such as cash, cars, or homes. To that end, prosecutors are permitted to freeze the assets of criminal suspects during trial if there is probable cause to believe those assets constitute “proceeds” of the alleged criminal activity. Notice that this freezing occurs before the suspect has been duly convicted.”

 

   Statism continues it’s long march with the aid of the very self-same courts that are supposed to protect our rights . Does anyone doubt that the deck has come to be stacked against the private citizen when the highest court in the land continually comes down on the side of Leviathan ? There comes only one more method of recourse .

   The legislative branch has forsaken the people , the executive branch has forsaken the people and now the judicial branch has forsaken the people . Scalia , Thomas and Alito sided with the State on asset forfeiture and  Alito , Roberts , Thomas , Scalia all voted to broaden the warrantless search rules for the State … For Shame . What happened to their “strict construtionalism” ?   What to do , what to do ? 

   Perhaps the most surprising thing of all is that Sondra Sotomayer was the only justice to comer down on the side of liberty in both cases . Read more at Reason.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Officials In A California City Threaten Gun Store Over Sign Featuring An AR-15, “Take Down That Sign Or Go To Jail”…

 

 

 

 

” Having lived in California my whole life I am often embarrassed to admit that’s where I live. It is stories like this that show what weak minded and weak stomached citizens we have in the state. National City officials are upset over the picture of an AR-15 being on a gun store sign.

 

Rightwing News has details

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

” Don’t Think It Can’t Happen To You .”

 

 

Published on Feb 26, 2014

” Don’t think it can’t happen to you. The state of eminent domain in America today is that if government wants your property, it can simply take it.

 http://www.LibertyPen.com “

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Colorado Couple May Lose Home In ‘Open Space’ Eminent Domain Seizure

 

 

 

” Andy and Ceil Barrie fell in love with and bought a three-bedroom home on a beautiful ten-acre property within the White River National Forest in Colorado, a sprawling reserve of 2.1 million acres. Only three years after purchasing the property and the house within it, county government officials, annoyed by the couple’s use of an ATV to drive to their property, are trying to to take the Barries’ home away.

  The county claims that it is seizing the property through eminent domain in order to preserve open space, according to an Associate Press report. The Barries say they have no plans to develop the land at all, and even let hikers travel through their property. Open space “is all it’s ever been,” Andy Barrie said.

  The Barries use an ATV to reach their home via a 1.2-mile mining road through the forest. After the U.S. Forest Service told the couple that they could not use a motorized vehicle to get to their property, the Barries claimed a legal right to use the road and are preparing to challenge the Forest Service in court.”

 

National Review has more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Time To End The ‘Secret Science’ At The EPA

 

 

 

” Here’s an interesting fact: Scientists hoping to be published in the journal Science are told in advance that they must agree to make available “all data necessary to understand and assess the conclusions of the manuscript.” The stipulation is commonplace in the scientific and academic communities, where research results must be transparent and reproducible to be credible.

  That’s supposed to be the way it is for the federal government, too. Here’s how the policy is described by the Administrative Conference of the United States: Federal officials are expected, to the maximum extent possible, to “identify and make publicly available (on the agency website or some other widely available forum) references to the scientific literature, underlying data, models, and research results that it considered. In so doing, the agency should list all information upon which it relied in reaching its conclusions, as well as any information material to the scientific analysis that it considered but upon which it ultimately did not rely.”

  Unfortunately, “secret science” is the norm at the Environmental Protection Agency, according to witnesses at Tuesday’s hearing of a subcommittee of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee. As the committee’s chairman, Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas, said, “Transparency and independent verification are basic tenants of science and must inform sound environmental policy. When the EPA does not follow these basic steps, it fails in its obligation to the American people and raises suspicions about whether its regulations can be justified.” “

 

   The notion of transparency in government has amounted to nothing but talk in recent years and nowhere is that more evident than in the regulatory morass that is Obama’s EPA . As the Wall Street Journal notes :

 

” The federal government has no business justifying regulations with secret information. This principle has been supported by two of the president’s own science and technology advisers, John Holdren and Deborah Swackhamer. “The data on which regulatory decisions and other decisions are based should be made available to the committee and should be made public,” said Dr. Holdren in testimony before the committee last year. Executive-branch rules dating to the Clinton administration require that federally funded research data be made publicly available, especially if it is used for regulatory purposes.”

 

   While the rules are plain enough , even for government workers to understand , transparency is difficult if not impossible to come by in the world of the EPA .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Woman Criticizes Honolulu’s Government, Has Her Protest Signs Bulldozed

 

 

 

 

 

 

” Choon James is a successful real estate broker with over two decades of experience in Hawaii.  But the city of Honolulu is seeking to seize property she’s owned for almost a decade to build what she calls a “super-sized” fire station in rural Hauula.

  Since January 2010, she has put up signs to protest Honolulu’s use of eminent domain.  These signs declare “Eminent Domain Abuse: Who’s Next?” and “YouTube Eminent Domain Abuse—Hawaii.”  For more than three years these signs have been up without any incident.

  But now the city is showing a callous disregard for Choon’s freedom of speech.  Back in May, Honolulu seized two of her eminent domain protest signs.  Without her consent, city employees went onto the property and seized and impounded her signs before damaging them. Even worse, the city slapped her with a notice for trespassing, for property she is trying to defend in court.

  After these signs were torn down, Choon placed three more signs there.  These lasted just a few months before the city once again seized the signs.  This time, Honolulu was much more dramatic.  On October 18, city workers, backed by police officers, squad cars and a bulldozer, came by and literally bulldozed those protest signs.”

 

More here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Texas Surpasses California As Top Tech Exporter

 

 

 

 

” Companies in Texas making semiconductors, telecommunications devices, computers, and other items shipped more than $45 billion in products to other countries in 2012, according to a report by the TechAmerica Foundation, a lobbying and advocacy firm representing the technology industries. That’s a $3 billion rise from 2011.

  Tech from Texas most often goes to Mexico– companies in the state shipped $22 billion south of the border in 2012. All that trade supported 331,000 jobs in Texas, the report said, also the most of any state. Texas has 22 percent of the nation’s technology manufacturing jobs.

“ Texas is really happy to have this kind of emphasis put on its tech industry,” said Rep. Kenny Marchant, R-Coppell, who appeared today at a news conference at the Capitol announcing the report with Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio. “It’s an incredible accomplishment to be the No. 1 state in the country.”

  This is the first year that Texas topped California in tech exports. California exports were worth $44.8 billion in 2012, down nearly 3 percent from the previous year.”

 

   Texas and it’s culture of liberty and freedom is kicking California’s Statist a** . Will the “Progressives” learn from this ? Not a chance .

  Statists are statists to the death .Too arrogant to admit to being mistaken , they can always be counted upon to provide a dictionary quality illustration of Einstein’s definition of insanity … doing the same failed thing over and over and expecting different results . 

 

Story continues

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Officer Shoots Dog At Boy’s Birthday Party

 

 

 

” A dog is dead, and its owner is alleging trigger-happy police work after a Filer officer shot the animal Saturday outside his home.

  Police, however, say the dog was aggressive and had to be put down.

  Rick Clubb said Monday that his son’s 9th birthday party was wrapping up about 5:30 p.m. when Officer Tarek Hassani came to his home on Jacklyne Circle on complaints of dogs running at-large.

  He shot the 7-year-old black labrador, “Hooch,” Clubb said, though it showed no aggressive behavior.

  Clubb said he suffers Parkinson’s disease, and Hooch was his trained service animal.”

 

 

    While the dogs were acting a bit aggressively why is it necessary for law enforcement’s first inclination always be to pull a gun . The officer was answering a call about loose dogs for chrissakes , there was no need for anyone or anything to die .

   Why couldn’t he get back in his patrol car and have headquarters call the owner and tell him to take them into the house ? That should have been easily doable .

   Once the dogs were under control the cop could have given his warning/lecture/ticket to the owner and none would be the worse . This is purely a case of arrogance on the officer’s part and that arrogance pervades the police departments nationwide .

    Unaccountable martinets is what we have allowed to be created . The neighborhood cop who was everybody’s friend and someone the kids would admire and emulate has turned into the petty tyrant with a superiority complex . God help us . War is coming .

 

Read more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thought Police: Firms Must Swear ObamaCare Not A Factor In Firings

 

 

 

 

 

 

” Is the latest delay of ObamaCare regulations politically motivated? Consider what administration officials announcing the new exemption for medium-sized employers had to say about firms that might fire workers to get under the threshold and avoid hugely expensive new requirements of the law.

  Obama officials made clear in a press briefing that firms would not be allowed to lay off workers to get into the preferred class of those businesses with 50 to 99 employees. How will the feds know what employers were thinking when hiring and firing? Simple.

  Firms will be required to certify to the IRS – under penalty of perjury – that ObamaCare was not a motivating factor in their staffing decisions. To avoid ObamaCare costs you must swear that you are not trying to avoid ObamaCare costs. You can duck the law, but only if you promise not to say so.”

 

   The slippery slope of State control just turned into a head-long plunge to the death of individual rights and private property . No longer may a business owner make employment decisions based on what’s best for the company . Now they are subject to the approval of Obama’s foot soldiers in the IRS . Good-bye private enterprise , hello state control of the means of production .

 

Fox News has the shameful details

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sochi Residents Thrown Out Of Homes For 2014 Winter Olympics

 

 

 

 

” Russian President Vladimir Putin has another problem on his hands with the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Word is spreading that many people lost their homes for the games and received next to nothing in compensation.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

” Tatyana Samokhval comforted her mother Valentina Khlystova (pictured above) as the Russian government demolished the family home. At first her husband Sergei and his son-in-law Maxim (Tatyana’s husband) tried to block the bulldozers. They eventually had to admit defeat and watch in pain as it was taken down.

  Nina Toromonyan was forced to give up her home under Law 301, which allowed the government to take over any land and buildings, even private, for the Winter Olympics. The police showed up on October 23 and took everyone out by force if they resisted. “

 

Gee , Soviet style forced resettlement ? Well it’s not like it can happen here . Oh , sorry , never mind .

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nine Years After Kelo, The Seized Land Is Empty

 

 

 

” Nine years after the Supreme Court’s Kelo decision gutted the right of American property owners to resist eminent-domain seizures, the neighborhood at the center of the case remains a wasteland.”

 

 

 

 

    Meet American hero Suzette Kelo , a woman who , though she ultimately lost her case and her home , fought the good fight for all Americans and our property rights . This is her story .

 

 

   The Supreme Court ruling 5-4 in favor of the New London Development Corp was intended to provide land , waterfront mind you , for Pfizer pharmaceuticals to build new offices with the hopes of bringing many new jobs to the City of New London . It didn’t work out that way as Pfizer backed out and a few years later actually left New London altogether .

 

” Fort Trumbull in New London, Conn., was bulldozed to fulfill the vision of politicians and developers eager to create a New Urbanist mixed-use “hub” for upscale living in the depressed town near the mouth of Long Island Sound.”

   

 

 

” But after nearly a decade, the land is nothing but vacant urban prairie. After homeowners were forced off their property for the sake of “economic development,” the city’s original development deal fell apart, and the urban-renewal corporation that ordered the destruction has not found a developer to use the land.”

 

 

 

 

   The turning of the corner in the battle for individual property rights , this ruling allowed the State to force private landholders to sell for the benefit of other , better connected , private citizens . A truly disgraceful ruling that the Supreme Court should be ashamed of .

 

 

” Traditionally, these transfers of property, or eminent domain, had only allowed governments to acquire private lands in order to build a public structure like a school or highway. The Constitution permits seizures for such instances of “public use,” but the Supreme Court decision expanded that power to allow governments to acquire people’s land with “just compensation” for a “public purpose,” which in Kelo meant the government’s belief that a different owner might bring in more tax revenue.”

 

 

The opinion of the Court was decided thusly :

 

 

Majority and concurring

” On June 23, 2005, the Supreme Court, in a 5–4 decision, ruled in favor of the City of New London. Justice Stevens wrote the majority opinion, joined by Justices Anthony KennedyDavid SouterRuth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer. Justice Kennedy wrote a concurring opinion setting out a more detailed standard for judicial review of economic development takings than that found in Stevens’s majority opinion. In so doing, Justice Kennedy contributed to the Court’s trend of turning minimum scrutiny—the idea that government policy need only bear a rational relation to a legitimate government purpose—into a fact-based test.

  In Hawaii Housing Authority v. Midkiff, 467 US 229 (1984), the Court had said that the government purpose under minimum scrutiny need only be “conceivable which, practically speaking, is no standard at all because, as demonstrated by countless science fiction writers, anything is conceivable.” In two 1996 cases the Court clarified that concept. InRomer v. Evans, 517 US 620, the Court said that the government purpose must be “independent and legitimate.” And in United States v. Virginia, 518 U.S. 515, the Court said the government purpose “must be genuine, not hypothesized or invented post hoc in response to litigation.” Thus, the Court made it clear that, in the scrutiny regime established in West Coast Hotel v. Parrish, 300 US 379 (1937), government purpose is a question of fact for the trier of fact.

  Kennedy fleshed out this doctrine in his Kelo concurring opinion; he sets out a program of civil discovery in the context of a challenge to an assertion of government purpose. However, he does not explicitly limit these criteria to eminent domain, nor to minimum scrutiny, suggesting that they may be generalized to all health and welfare regulation in the scrutiny regime. Because Kennedy signed on to the Court’s majority opinion, his concurrence is not binding on lower courts. He wrote:

  A court confronted with a plausible accusation of impermissible favoritism to private parties should [conduct]… a careful and extensive inquiry into ‘whether, in fact, the development plan [chronology]

[1.] is of primary benefit to… the developer… and private businesses which may eventually locate in the plan area…

[2.] and in that regard, only of incidental benefit to the city…’”

Kennedy is also interested in facts of the chronology which show, with respect to government,

[3.] awareness of… depressed economic condition and evidence corroborating the validity of this concern…

[4.] the substantial commitment of public funds… before most of the private beneficiaries were know…

[5.] evidence that [government] reviewed a variety of development plan…

[6.] [government] chose a private developer from a group of applicants rather than picking out a particular transferee beforehand and…

[7.] other private beneficiaries of the project [were]… unknown [to government] because the… space proposed to be built [had] not yet been rented…

  Kelo v. City of New London did not establish entirely new law concerning eminent domain. Although the decision was controversial, it was not the first time “public use” had been interpreted by the Supreme Court as “public purpose”. In the majority opinion, Justice Stevens wrote the “Court long ago rejected any literal requirement that condemned property be put into use for the general public” (545 U.S. 469). Thus precedent played an important role in the 5-4 decision of the Supreme Court. The Fifth Amendment was interpreted the same way as in Midkiff (467 U.S. 229) and other earlier eminent domain cases. However in those earlier cases the court justified the use of eminent domain on the basis of elimination of social harms such as barriers to efficient exploitation of agricultural and mineral-bearing land, elimination of slums, or large-scale title misallocation. None of these factors were present in Kelo; it was a case in which the city merely wanted to increase its tax revenues, and attract a wealthier population in place of the lower middle class home owners in the redevelopment project area.”

 

 

The dissenting Justices had this to say :

 

” The principal dissent was issued on 25 June 2005 by Justice O’Connor, joined by Chief Justice Rehnquist and Justices Scalia and Justice Clarence Thomas. The dissenting opinion suggested that the use of this taking power in a reverse Robin Hood fashion— take from the poor, give to the rich— would become the norm, not the exception:

Any property may now be taken for the benefit of another private party, but the fallout from this decision will not be random. The beneficiaries are likely to be those citizens with disproportionate influence and power in the political process, including large corporations and development firms.

  O’Connor argued that the decision eliminates “any distinction between private and public use of property — and thereby effectively delete[s] the words ‘for public use’ from the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment.” 125 S.Ct. 2655, 2671.

  Thomas also issued a separate originalist dissent, in which he argued that the precedents the court’s decision relied upon were flawed. He accuses the majority of replacing the Fifth Amendment’s “Public Use” clause with a very different “public purpose” test:

This deferential shift in phraseology enables the Court to hold, against all common sense, that a costly urban-renewal project whose stated purpose is a vague promise of new jobs and increased tax revenue, but which is also suspiciously agreeable to the Pfizer Corporation, is for a ‘public use.’

  Thomas additionally observed:

Something has gone seriously awry with this Court’s interpretation of the Constitution. Though citizens are safe from the government in their homes, the homes themselves are not.545 U.S. 469, 518 (2005)

  Thomas also made use of the argument presented in the NAACP/AARP/SCLC/SJLS amicus brief on behalf of three low-income residents’ groups fighting redevelopment in New Jersey, noting:

Allowing the government to take property solely for public purposes is bad enough, but extending the concept of public purpose to encompass any economically beneficial goal guarantees that these losses will fall disproportionately on poor communities. Those communities are not only systematically less likely to put their lands to the highest and best social use, but are also the least politically powerful.”

 

 

    This video from 2007 offers a discussion of the on-going affects of the Kelo decision from Duke university and a panel of property law experts …

 

 

 

 

 

 

    For further reading on the travesty of justice that is the Kelo decision and the continuing abuse of eminent domain by the State and the courts check out the Institute for Justice , which represented Ms Kelo and Ms Dery , the Cato Institute , Civil Liberty , Cornell University Law , Harvard Law , &  The Bill Of Rights Institute . 

    Here is the transcript of oral arguments presented by Scott G Bullock Esq. on behalf of the plaintiffs and here is a history of recent  eminent domain abuse for commercial gain from the Law Review at UC Davis .

 

   The Founders recognized private property rights as equally important to the liberty of citizens as freedom of speech and the right to bear arms  , for without the legal assurance of the natural right to keep and benefit from the fruits of one’s own labors the citizenry become nothing more than serfs .

   With that in mind we will close this post with some words of wisdom from the Founders that demonstrate just how far from their ideals this nation has fallen …

 

 

John Adams had this to say :

” The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the law of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence.”

 

James Madison on the legitimate role of government :

” Government is instituted to protect property of every sort. … This being the end of government, that alone is a just government, which impartially secures to every man, whatever is his own.”

We’ll let Thomas Jefferson have the last word on the subject of private property and takings :

“Nothing is ours, which another may deprive us of.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nebraska Cops Ordered To Pay $40k And Return $1 Million Seized From Innocent Woman

 

 

 

 

” Tara Mishra, 33, of Rancho Cucamonga, California, had her life turned upside down, her life savings taken, and her business plans quashed in March 2012 when police unlawfully seized just over $1 million from her during a traffic stop.

  Last July, U.S. District Court Judge Joseph Bataillon ordered police to return the money. This week, that same judge ordered the government to pay Mishra an additional $39,035 to cover attorney fees.

  Back in 2012, two of Mishra’s future business associates, a husband and wife, were driving to New Jersey from California to help her pursue her lifelong dream of purchasing a nightclub. The pair had more than $1 million of Mishra’s cash in the car when they were pulled over for speeding near North Platte, Nebraska, and a routine traffic stop turned into a nightmare.

  During a consensual search of the vehicle at the traffic stop, officers discovered Mishra’s cash in multiple plastic bags stuffed with $100 bills in $10,000 stacks. Suspecting drug involvement, the officers called in a K-9 unit, which indicated trace amounts of illegal drugs on the bills. On this basis, police seized the cash. Sound familiar? Nearly 90 percent of U.S. currency contains trace amounts of cocaine—hardly evidence that any particular person is involved in drug activity. The couple was released without being charged only after agreeing to relinquish the cash.”

 

Heritage has more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Homeowners Assoc. Threatens Man With $1000 Fine, Lien On House For Flying {THIS} Below American Flag

 

 

” The Homeowners Association (HOA)of Grand Haven in Palm Coast, Florida is not only putting its foot down about one man’s choice of flag in his backyard, but is fining him and threatening further action if he doesn’t remove it.

  The flag, however, isn’t the usual American flag, but a flag that pays tribute to the Wounded Warrior Project, a group that raises awareness and encourages public aid for the unique needs of wounded veterans.”

 

Story continues

 

 

 

 

 

 

From Fox News

 

 

2 Million Fine For B-Day Party

 

 

 

 

” Martha Boneta, owner of Liberty Farms in Virginia, was fined $5,000 dollars per day after the zoning administrator saw a picture of the birthday celebration on her Facebook page. Boneta was found in violation of selling farm products, such as goats’ milk soap and honey products.

“Let me get this straight,” Steve Doocy questioned on Fox and Friends, “You are in the business of selling farm products and you get in trouble for selling farm products?!” “

 

More at Fox News Insider

 

 

 

 

 

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 5,469 other followers