Re: Bye-Bye to the >H Right Wing

From: Mike Lorrey (
Date: Mon Feb 11 2002 - 07:09:04 MST

Samantha Atkins wrote:
> So the US is no longer a free or capitalistic country since we
> now have thousands of selectively enforced federal "crimes" and
> dozens of excuses for forfeiture (forfeiture without due process
> where you have to prove they should give your property back).

The forfeiture you speak of is specifically in the case where a person
has been convicted of a drug trafficking offense, where after criminal
conviction, their property is seized by the government in civil court
proceedings, on the basis that the property was purchased, in part or in
whole, by the proceeds of drug money, leaving the owner to prove that
they didn't use drug money to obtain the property. While this is not
hard to do if one has used banks to process one's income and payments
for the property, when it comes to cash transactions, this is very
difficult to prove.

I've known a few people who lost their property from such actions, and
frankly, I can say that in every case it helped them accelerate their
drug addiction trajectory so that they hit rock bottom and got help a
lot sooner than they would have if they had that property to depend upon
to maintain their lifestyle and drug habit.

While I am steadfastly opposed to the drug war, and support
legalized/medicalized drug use, I am also distinctly aware, through
extensive personal experience, that an individual addicted to drugs is
not a sane, mature, consenting citizen in control of themselves (no
matter whether the drug is alcohol, pot, coke, etc, even tobacco). I
have seen previously high functioning, rational people descend into the
most ludicrous, insanely infantile behavior due to their addictions that
they are unable or unwilling to control.

In this respect, civil forfeiture functions (admittedly poorly) as a
means of treating those who act like children as children. I do not deny
that it could be improved, in the form of making such seizures
temporary, until the individual has gone through rehab and recovery,
rather than just a get rich quick scheme for policemen and police

> Also there is almost no financial privacy whatsoever.

But should there be financial privacy? It's difficult to enforce private
property rights unless there is some record of what exactly is owned by
whome. While this doesn't necessarily mean it should ALL be publicly
available to all, it does mean that when you've sold something to
someone, you have as much a right to the fact that you sold it as the
buyer does. If the buyer doesn't specifically require you to keep the
transaction private, and you have no publicly announced privacy policy,
you have a right to sell the information about the sale.

Who sells your financial info? Credit agencies obtain it from financial
institutions and businesses who have extended you credit, either in the
form of a credit card, or in the form of accepting anything but cash for
payment. When you violate that credit, they have a right to report that
fact. If you don't want bad stuff on your credit record, don't do things
that will get on there.

As Suze Ormon says, "respect attracts money, disrespect repels it". If
you demonstrate your disrespect for money, yours or other peoples, you
will repel money, in the form of loans, investment, or credit to you for
transactions and enterprises you wish to undertake. It is, after all,
other people's money, and they have a right to know how respectful you
will be of it from your past record.

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