Confiscating Your Property

How asset forfeiture laws violate individual rights

In America, we're supposed to be innocent until proven guilty. Life, liberty, and property can't be taken from you unless you're convicted of a crime.

Your life and liberty may still be safe, but have you ever gone to a government surplus auction? Consumer reporters like me tell people, correctly, that they are great places to find bargains. People can buy bikes for $10, cars for $500.

But where did the government get that stuff?

Some is abandoned property.

But some I would just call loot. The cops grabbed it.

Zaher El-Ali has repaired and sold cars in Houston for 30 years. One day, he sold a truck to a man on credit. Ali was holding the title to the car until he was paid, but before he got his money the buyer was arrested for drunk driving. The cops then seized Ali's truck and kept it, planning to sell it.

Ali can't believe it

"I own that truck. That truck done nothing."

The police say they can keep it under forfeiture law because the person driving the car that day broke the law. It doesn't matter that the driver wasn't the owner. It's as if the truck committed the crime.

"I have never seen a truck drive," Ali said. I don't think it's the fault of the truck. And they know better."

Something has gone wrong when the police can seize the property of innocent people.

"Under this bizarre legal fiction called civil forfeiture, the government can take your property, including your home, your car, your cash, regardless of whether or not you are convicted of a crime. It's led to horrible abuses," says Scott Bullock of the Institute for Justice, the libertarian law firm.

Bullock suggests the authorities are not just disinterested enforcers of the law.

"One of the main reasons they do this and why they love civil forfeiture is because in Texas and over 40 states and at the federal level, police and prosecutors get to keep all or most of the property that they seize for their own use," he said. "So they can use it to improve their offices, buy better equipment."

Obviously, that creates a big temptation to take stuff .

This is serious, folks. The police can seize your property if they think it was used in a crime. If you want it back, you must prove it was not used criminally. The burden of proof is on you. This reverses a centuries-old safeguard in Anglo-American law against arbitrary government power.

The feds do this, too. In 1986, the Justice Department made $94 million on forfeitures. Today, its forfeiture fund has more than a billion in it.

Radley Balko of Reason magazine keeps an eye on government property grabs: "There are lots of crazy stories about what they do with this money. There's a district attorney's office in Texas that used forfeiture money to buy an office margarita machine. Another district attorney in Texas used forfeiture money to take a junket to Hawaii for a conference."

When  the DA was confronted about that, his response was, "A judge signed off on it, so it's OK." But it turned out the judge had gone with him on the junket.

Balko has reported on a case in which police confiscated cash from a man when they found it in his car. "The state's argument was that maybe he didn't get it from selling drugs, but he might use that money to buy drugs at some point in the future. Therefore, we're still allowed to take it from him," Balko said.

Sounds like that Tom Cruise movie Minority Report, where the police predict future crimes and arrest the "perpetrator."

"When you give people the wrong incentives, people respond accordingly. And so it shouldn't be surprising that they're stretching the definition of law enforcement," Balko said. "But the fundamental point is that you should not have people out there enforcing the laws benefiting directly from them."

Balko is exactly right.

John Stossel is host of Stossel on the Fox Business Network. He's the author of Give Me a Break and of Myth, Lies, and Downright Stupidity. To find out more about John Stossel, visit his site at johnstossel.com.

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  • Off-Topic||

    "Barack Obama will work with military commanders on the ground in Iraq and in consultation with the Iraqi government to end the war safely and responsibly within 16 months."

    That clock runs out today, by the way. Another promise broken.

  • bob||

    douche bag alert. See above

  • ||

    "the Institute for Justice, the libertarian law firm."

    Sounds as though we might need more than just one.

    Great article!

  • Old Mexican||

    Something has gone wrong when the police can seize the property of innocent people.

    What could have gone wrong, John Stossel? Isn't that what the State does: Steal from innocent and productive people? The State is doing exactly what it is supposed to do, right on cue.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    Do not civil cases require proof with a preponderance of evidence?

  • ||

    I will be gracious if overruled by our resident lawyers, but the difference is "guilty beyond a reasonable doubt" and "more likely than not."

  • Horde4Lyfe||

    As a resident lawya, I add the following:

    1. 'Preponderance of the evidence' is the civil standard of proof merely meaning "more likely than not."
    2. 'Clear and convincing' is the next level. Typically, the standard of proof in civil fraud cases and cases of like ilk.
    3. Lastly, 'beyond a reasonable doubt' is the criminal standard.

    Simply put, the preponderance standard rules here as these are civil proceedings. Not a very high hurdle sadly.

  • CatoTheElder||

    There IS a preponderance of evidence that the automobile was guilty of having been driven by a drunk driver. The case was not styled as " State of Texas v. One 2004 Chevrolet Silverado", not v. Zaher El-Ali.

  • CatoTheElder||

    There IS a preponderance of evidence that the automobile was guilty of having been driven by a drunk driver. The case was not styled as " State of Texas v. One 2004 Chevrolet Silverado", not v. Zaher El-Ali.

  • Byron||

    So what? Since when can inanimate property commit a crime? Is it entitled to trial by a jury of its peers? Is it entitled to speak in its own defense? This is theft, pure and simple.

  • Gun Slinger||

    Shhhh. Insane Hussein does not want anyone challenging his ability to file charges against inanimate objects. Soon, you will start seeing cases in the docket such as:

    US vs. S&W Model 627 .357 Magnum
    US vs. Glock 19.

    Their crime? It will be an existential offense.

  • unPC||

    Exactly right, and well said. Liberals always hold the gun culpable when one person shoots another person.

  • ||

    Sorry, I have a hard time getting through this article's retarded carping about imaginary gubmint overreach through the tears of laughter at Rand Paul having his libertarian nonsense obliterated on Rachel Maddow's show.

    He's done! Not even one day after his win! He's done because he sold out libertarian views! He's done because he did not have the balls to say what adults everywhere already know: Libertarians Are Okay With Business Owners Keeping Minorities Out Of Their Businesses.

    Good riddance to a gutless asshole who stumbled while standing up for assholes and assholery.

  • Flyover Country||

    Goodbye Emil, my trusted friend
    We've known each other since we were nine or ten

    Together we climbed hills and trees

    Learned of love and ABC's
    Skinned our hearts and skinned our knees
    Goodbye Emil, it's hard to die
    When all the bird's are singing in the sky
    Now that the spring is in the air
    Pretty girls are everywhere
    I wish we could both be there

    We had joy,
    we had fun,
    we had seasons in the sun
    But the hills we could climb
    were just seasons out of time

  • π||

    What a truly aweful song. Could you please just let it stay dead.

  • ||

    I take it, then, that you support confiscation of property from innocent people. Why?

  • IceTrey||

    Actually libertarians believe that a minority owner could keep out a majority customer also. It's called the right of free association.

  • ||

    Right: Libertarians Are Okay With Business Owners Keeping Minorities Out Of Their Businesses.

  • West Texas||

    Yep.

    Although I frame it in terms that I'm not okay with the government telling me how to make use of my own property.

    Tell you what, I'll come raid your refrigerator and leave a giant turd in your toilet and then we'll see how you feel about property rights.

  • ||

    Right, in other words, you frame it in terms that avoid the natural conclusion that Libertarians Are Okay With Business Owners Keeping Minorities Out Of Their Businesses. That's what Rand Paul did, too.

    I'd ask both of you: why so gutless? Say it loud, say it proud:

    Libertarians Are Okay With Business Owners Keeping Minorities Out Of Their Businesses.

  • ||

    I guess you don't know what "Yep" means.

  • ||

    So you DON'T frame it in terms that avoid the natural conclusion that Libertarians Are Okay With Business Owners Keeping Minorities Out Of Their Businesses?

    See, cause you do. I just want to know why? If you believe it, you should say it!

  • ||

    Eh, it is NOT a logical conclusion that people who love freedom are OK with folks exercising their rights to do something offensive or annoying.

    You would understand that if you had any principles whatsoever.

    Freedom loving, fair minded folks are OK with it being legal to discriminate. We're also very OK with refusing to do any business with those do so.

    This is harder work, of course, but it's far more moral than violating the objective rights of business owners.

  • π||

    Some are that dumb, maybe you should include a definition of each word whenever addressing ignoramuses.

  • Mike||

    Gutless? He said, very clearly, "yep" Right away. If that's not clear enough for you, here: I'm ok with business owners keeping minorites out of their businesses. I'm also ok with people boycotting that business. I'm also ok with the competition playing to that policy, and making it known. I'm also ok with that guy going out of business because the market doesn't accept discrimination. But if, just IF, he doesn't fail, and he makes money, obvioulsy there's a market for it. And really, if you're a minority, do you want to associate with that guy when he's forced to let you in? Or would you rather just ignore him and give your money to a more enlightened person? I am ok with business owners keeping minorities out of their businesses.

  • ||

    Okay, so why did Rand Paul desperately avoid saying that?

  • Sean W. Malone||

    Perhaps... Just MAYYYBE... Because Rand Paul is savvy enough to realize that much like yourself, Rachel Maddow will not have any interest in an in-depth discussion of self-ownership and the resultant rights to free association/assembly that flow from it. On her television program, there will be no time alloted to explaining why we take the bad with the good and promote freedom anyway. Perhaps Rand Paul is aware of the soundbite nature of cable news and doesn't want to give anyone fodder for saying something stupid & reductionist that would be misconstrued by idiots such as yourself.

    Also, your accusatory demands for answers for fake-questions is way too reminiscent of LoneDumbass.

    But hey, to flip it around on you, why do you oppose the right of minority business owners from keeping out racists?

  • ||

    She asked the same thing four times by my count. He weaseled away four times. Your weed, it is strong.

    "...to flip it around on you, why do you oppose the right of minority business owners from keeping out racists?"

    I don't. Nobody's born a racist, genius.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    1. I don't, have not ever and will not ever smoke marijuana (even in HS). So try again asshole.

    2. So you're cool with people engaging in discrimination based on thoughts, just not on skin color. What determination allows you to differentiate? For instance, if I *were* racist, I might deny entrance to all pacific islanders to my hypothetical establishment, but how would you know I wasn't just doing it cause I thought they were racists? How do you start making the judgments necessary to tell the difference? I mean not every racist just has a sign out front that says "no blacks allowed".

  • ||

    Discrimination on the basis of identity: genetic, gender, sexual, etc. is justifiedly illegal.

    Discrimination on the basis of action is not. If someone "is a racist" they have shown this in some way: a tshirt, shooting a guy in the head once just because he was Inuit, being a tea party member (kidding).

    A person's thoughts are not knowable until they open up their mouth, put on a tshirt, shoot an Inuit for being an Inuit, etc. Your "discrimination based on thoughts" claim is complete nonsense.

    Outside of Tom Cruise films, governments don't claim psychic ability, hadn't you noticed that? No? You sure you don't smoke pot?

    Stay with us. On *this* planet.

  • ||

    "Discrimination on the basis of identity: genetic, gender, sexual, etc. is justifiedly illegal."

    So you think that it's illegal for me to want to marry a heterosexual lady from the Philippines, with dark eyes and long black hair, rather than some blond, blue-eyed homosexual guy from Norway?

    Idiot.

  • π||

    I beg to differ, I was just thinking to myself what a blatantly racist piece of trash you obviously are, and decided you had to have been born that way since there's no possible way it was learned.

  • ||

    Orel,

    You're quire wrong. EVERYONE is hardwired to be a racist or sexist or some other manner of bigot. It's a survival benefit to make sweeping generalizations from relatively small data sets. It is only through vigilant self-examination that we avoid such collectivist views and behaviors.

  • ||

    and not only are you quire wrong, you're QUITE wrong, too!!!

  • ||

    Mike explained the idea succinctly above in a couple sentences. Why couldn't Paul do the same?

  • π||

    Having fun, MNG?

  • ||

    You keep saying "okay with" and it is a complete red herring what you or I or anybody else is "okay with". Like every other single person in here, I believe it is stupid and asinine and pointless for someone to refuse to do business with another person based on their ethnicity or religion or sexuality or anything else. That is hardly the same as saying I think the government should make law which requires such a person to do business with someone he doesn't want to for whatever reason. Is this really that hard to grasp? Really??? or are you really that stupid???

  • Sean W. Malone||

    He is that stupid.

  • π||

    That stupid plus some.

  • ||

    First of all, despite your claim to the contrary, there are definitely racists here at Reason. I know this because racists are found absolutely everywhere, in every group. No law will ever change that, and neither will your fertile imagination.

    Second, no government has made any law mandating that anybody do business with anybody of any race. That's imaginary. What the Civil Rights Act says is that penalties for racial discrimination now exist.

    The reason it says that is specifically because racial discrimination in commerce and in government was common practice. And as you've said, it's asinine. And as anybody would agree, it's still a widespread practice, but nowhere near as widespread as it was.

    As asinine as racist practices are, they are deeply, deeply persistent. Individuals left to themselves have and will persist and systematize these practices. Markets, left to themselves will not only persist in these practices, they will, as they already have, establish, legitimize and conduct the most racist practice of all: commerce in human beings.

    The imposition of a law punishing systematized racism does not stop racism per se, but it does impose a penalty upon those who undertake the practice, which does serve to limit the practice overall.

    Law so happens to be the only means to that end.

    Obviously thoughtful people are often in agreement that racial discrimination is abhorrent. If this were not so, then libertarians would not reach for the holy market as the alleged cure for such practices. They would instead shrug their shoulders.

    But they may as well just shrug, because Markets Are Expressions Of Economic Systems, Not Social Frameworks, and as such have no voice whatsoever against a social problem such as systematized racism. All markets have been able to do with the problem of institutionalized racism is intensify and capitalize it to the point of slavery.

    Their market god so dismissed, libertarians then shift blame to governments for the practice. Such an odd idea coming from such individualists, that racist practices are performed by people but are somehow owned by their government.

    That's when the wheels fall off of libertarianism's trolley. Individuals are responsible for what they do, and systematized racism is done quite a bit, not due to but in spite of government. Unregulated markets will always do harm, not due to but in spite of government.

    When Rand Paul hems and haws around the natural race relations outcome of libertarianism -- that is, Whites Only lunch counters -- he is not avoiding the issue because he believes the market will take care of the problem. Be honest. He hems and haws because he doesn't care what individuals do and doesn't mind that business owners could be "asinine". As such, he is silent on the matter of apartheid - systematized racism - because his philosophy prevents him from caring about curtailing it.

    We, who are not quite so handicapped, do. And we got it done. It's curtailed. No thanks to any of you. Definitely no thanks to the Paul family.

  • Apogee||

    The one thing that's obvious from your screed is that you must have paid quite a bit to become that incoherent.

    Only a 'top flight' education can produce such confused nonsense. Consider the following retarded gem:

    Markets Are Expressions Of Economic Systems, Not Social Frameworks, and as such have no voice whatsoever against a social problem such as systematized racism. All markets have been able to do with the problem of institutionalized racism is intensify and capitalize it to the point of slavery.


    That would, of course, explain Oprah's popularity. You see, without government forcing people to watch Oprah by granting her a place on television (no market forces whatsoever - especially her book club!), it would be impossible for a black woman to reach that level of success. What with, y'know, all them racist white housewives that tune in religiously every day. That poor Oprah is a slave to those people! I hope the butler takes the chains off every night when she gets back home.

    And then there's this case of glaring blindness:

    libertarians then shift blame to governments for the practice. Such an odd idea coming from such individualists, that racist practices are performed by people but are somehow owned by their government.


    Such a stupid repetitive idea coming from the left. Surprise! Governments are comprised of people! (just like Soylent Green!)
    Drawn from that same group of racists! (like the Oprah fans!) It's the same fatal flaw in every repetitive leftist argument. Like the imbeciles they are, the left can only point to a D in front of someone's name as proof of unquestioned goodness. When the R's get into power, however, boy do those leftist faces get frowny when - all of a sudden! - the government is now made up of people! People who can no longer be trusted.

    And don't get me started on the forever-lame contradiction that:
    A) People have to have government because they cannot be trusted to protect their fellow man!
    and
    B) The people in the government would never-ever empower themselves over their fellow men!

    Here's some advice, leftist cocksuckers: Quit stealing. We're getting fucking tired of it.

  • ||

    "That would, of course, explain Oprah's popularity. "

    Wait, what?

    That's a point you made? Like, you thought it up and typed it?

    Oprah proves that markets got rid of Whites Only lunch counters?

    So, wait - I pointed out that markets did jack shit about systematized racism for 100 years following the Civil War - and that the only thing that actually did anything about it was the Civil Rights Act, and you come back with some shit about...Oprah Winfrey?

    Who was, what, one or two years old when it was signed?

    Holy fuck, that is magnificent.

    I am fucking CRYING over here!

    Thank you SO MUCH.

    I LOVE REASON.COM SO. FUCKING. MUCH.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    When Rand Paul hems and haws around the natural race relations outcome of libertarianism -- that is, Whites Only lunch counters -- he is not avoiding the issue because he believes the market will take care of the problem.


    The solution to this is to let other people set up "Blacks Only" lunch counters.

    How are "Blacks Only" lunch counters more harmful than "Whites Only" lunch counters?

  • ||

    You're right, Michael. I forgot my audience here is a little dim and needs absolutely every single thing spelled out in excruciating detail.

    So when I wrote "Whites Only lunch counters" are harmful, I realize I should have wrote "Whites Only or Blacks Only or Inuit Only or Gay Only or Mongol Only or Women Only or Inca Only or Arab Only or Aborigine Only or Polynesian Only or Etruscan Only lunch counters are harmful."

    Thanks!

  • ||

    Right: Statists Are Okay With Government Stealing The Property Of Innocent People.

    Say it. Be proud!

  • ||

    I see some type of anal theme here, yet your name is orel ? Got both holes workin there big fella?

  • ||

    I'm not gay, sorry. I'm not even a Republican.

  • ||

    Ha! You're irritating, but I gotta give you plus points for that one.

  • plutosdad||

    You are conflating two issues. Whether they believe people should perform that action, and whether they believe in someone's right to perform that action.

    Saying "OK with" is very ambiguous.

    Most of us are ok with your right to do drugs. that doesn't mean we are ok with people doing it. I wish my sister did not take heroin, but I think she should have the legal right to. The law has hurt her more than the drugs have, since the law interferes with her ability to get clean and hold a job.

    Perhaps a history lesson is in order. the reason we had Jim Crow laws was to FORCE business owners to discriminate. It turns out, amazingly, that they didn't want to buid second sets of bathrooms, seperate areas on their buses or restaurants. Most business owners, no matter how racist, liked one color above all: green.

    And even if someone does want to keep someone out, that's a great opportunity for me to open my own business right next door. The market is full of failed "christian" businesses who discrimited in some form that was legal (one example this year was a pharmacy that wouldn't sell birth control). They failed because they put their beliefs ahead of business.

    An owner who discriminates also, by definition, is putting his beliefs ahead of business decisions. Therefore, in a free market, that owner WILL fail. And a non discriminating owner will take his place.

    Now maybe that will take longer, but it's a better journey to a discrimination free society, because that society created will be full of people who saw how discrimination failed, rather than people who are forced to take certain actions and resent it and still don't believe not discrimating is better.

  • poopy||

    I watch the Madcow now and again.
    All she's got is accusations of racism.
    That's all the Left has right now.
    They accuse someone of racism, throw up their hands and say "well that explains everything, doesn't it?".

    Guilty until proven innocent, and the only way to prove one's innocence is to agree with the Left.

    I can do it too. Hey Orel, you're a racist! I know you're a racist because you watch MSNBC. But you can prove you're not a racist by choosing FOX instead! What? You're not switching stations? See! That proves you're a racist!

  • ||

    Libertarians Are Okay With Business Owners Keeping Minorities Out Of Their Businesses.

    Therefore,

    Libertarians Are Okay With Systematized Racism.

    Therefore,

    Libertarians Are Okay With Apartheid.

    Wear. It.

  • steve||

    I am not "okay" with business owners keeping minorities out of their businesses.

    I am "okay" with business owners having the right to keep minorities out of their businesses.

    Additionally, apartheid was a system of legal racial segregation enforced by the South African government. Libertarians, then, are not okay with apartheid in any respect. Your line of reasoning doesn't follow a logical progression, especially given the libertarian philosophy.

  • ||

    Yeah, and it used to be no ex-post facto laws, but the Supremes have decided that if a shrink thinks your likely to committ more sex crimes (Is there ANY evidence that these guys can predict behavior any better than a 12 year old or a crack addict???), you get to stay in jail....er, therapy a bit longer.

    You nutty libertarians and your belief in rights, limited gubermint, and justice...give it up, do the "Logan's Run" thing and just jump in the big blender.

  • WTF||

    Methinks you need to do a little research as to the meaning of ex post facto law.

  • ||

    I'd argue that if someone were convicted of a sex crime before the civil commitment statute were passed, then if the SCOTUS is going to say that the federal civil commitment is justified as a subsidiary power of the criminal power to imprison, then committing people for crimes performed before the statute was passed is ex post facto.

  • LarryA||

    You mean like the people who were convicted of a sex crime before the predator databases were passed, but are still required to register?

    Or the folks convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors before the Lautenberg Amendment was passed, but are still prohibited from possessing firearms?

  • Michael Ejercito||

    You mean like the people who were convicted of a sex crime before the predator databases were passed, but are still required to register?

    Or the folks convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors before the Lautenberg Amendment was passed, but are still prohibited from possessing firearms?


    What is wrong with the above?

  • Pope Jimbo||

    I know several probation/parole officers. All of them have told me that child molesters are mentally ill and there really isn't any effective treatment for them.

    The clincher for me though, was a talk I had with a psychiatrist who is the biggest bleeding heart liberal that I know. When we discussed this issue he stunned me by saying that he agreed with locking them up. He too said that there really was no cure for people who are psychotic sex offenders.

    I'm still on the fence. I don't doubt the experiences of the folks I cited above, but I really worry about the slippery slope this puts us on. If I thought you could trust the gubbment even a bit, I'd be more OK with civil commitments.

  • Gun Slinger||

    Besides, the big blender was in Soylent Green, wasn't it?

  • ||

    Jump in the big blender, hell! I'll be the guy with the gun.

  • Dello||

    "Libertarians Are Okay With Business Owners Keeping Minorities Out Of Their Businesses."

    LOL!

    And you assume that business owners are never minorities themselves?

    You're a racist!

  • ||

    Wow, your reply really set me back on my heels and made me think.

    Oh, wait, no it didn't.

    Libertarians Are Okay With Business Owners Keeping Minorities Out Of Their Businesses.

  • WTF||

    Yes, libertarians are ok with business owners deciding not to do business with anyone they choose not to do business with. It has nothing to do with race, per se - you're the asshole who's making it about race. The only people I have ever met (and I have met a LOT) who are race-obsessed are those on the left side of the aislt.

    Anyhow, those idiot business owners who choose their patrons on the business of skin color will suffer the results of their poor business decision. The market will decide whether they succeed or fail.

    And I, as a liberty-loving individual, can choose not to do business with them when I discover they are racist.

    You can keep spouting your inane, "libertarians are racists" meme all you want, but that will never make it true.

    Dick.

  • ||

    If that "meme" isn't true, then why did Rand Paul refuse to say that Libertarians Are Okay With Business Owners Keeping Minorities Out Of Their Businesses?

    Why so shy about the natural outcome of enlightened-self interest and the right of free association? Hmmm?

  • Ken||

    Because of reactionary fucks like you, maybe? Perhaps? Just a possibility?

  • Ken||

    Your unhinged head explosion is a prime example of why politicians circle issues.

  • ||

    Oh, it's MY fault that you won't own up to the natural apartheid-producing conclusion of your simplistic-assed worldview! I see! Well, shame on me, then! Bad Orel! Puncturing the glibertarian fantasy balloon and letting all the bong smoke out! I do apologize!

  • ||

    No need to apologise, since you plainly don't know that apartheid was the policy of the South African government.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    He probably doesn't realize that the important word in the phrase "Jim Crow Law" was "Law", either.

  • ||

    OMG! You mean there have been laws that enforced racist customs!? Holy shit, whatever will that do to my argument!?

    Oh, that's right: not a goddamn thing. Because the 1964 law was nothing other than an effort to halt and clean up the effect of such laws and customs - an effort required by the persistence of those unjust customs (that libertarians are okay with).

  • Sean W. Malone||

    By "customs", do you mean internationally enforced legal structures ensconcing the bad ideas of some people onto everyone for generations?

    God you're dumb and you're talking out of both sides of your mouth.

    The laws enforcing systemized racism were all "culture" - ignoring the massive role governments had in slavery & racism... But dramatic changes in culture and the removal of those laws isn't enough to fix the situation, no, we need even more heavy handed government... Ignoring of course that the culture was already weeding out the racist elements, and an actually free market punishes racism (limiting one's customer base for purely aesthetic reasons is a great way to lose out to people who will trade with everyone, after all). Also ignoring that by constantly dividing people legally based on race, we only keep it relevant longer.

  • ||

    "An actually free market punishes racism".

    AHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHA

    Yeah, that explains how West Africans ended up in North America in the first place. Pleasure cruises! No other way to get there, you see: too much government regulation and not enough profit in the slave trade, so they had to buy tickets.

    AAAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHA

  • Sean W. Malone||

    You're conflating two totally separate things while ignoring that any form of slavery is a violation of precisely the rights I've been talking about the whole time here.

    Fail.

  • ||

    Nope. The right to sue or charge a business owner specifically for being a racist cunt in his business is akin to the previously legal free market in slaves only in your mind. Not out here.

    Now please - yell again about how slavery wasn't a free market. I love when glibertarians do that. They think it's true! They're almost cute when they do it. Like kids.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    Wow, now you just went on a complete tangent.

    For freedom to mean anything, it needs to be evenly applied to all people - which is something that is basically the one single constant for all libertarian philosophy.

    Everyone who is a human being gets the right to life, liberty & property.

    "Free market" has nothing what-so-ever to do with the slave trade as human beings aren't commodities to be bought & sold. End of story.

    There are very, very few things that libertarians would agree aren't "for sale", and human beings are #1 on the list. Kinda violates the non-aggression axiom right from the very get-go.

    Now, if you allow human beings to be enslaved & traded then economic principles are going to apply to those things - which is where you're conflating two totally different things.

    It's not, however, part of a "free market" or a libertarian world, to have a slave trade. Completely, and utterly to the contrary. When a libertarian or anyone really advocates for a "free market", we are advocating for all people to have the right to do what they want with their own bodies, time, & property... How exactly is that compatible with a society where some people are enslaved and thus patently restricted from exercising those rights?

    What you're talking about is a "free" market for *some* people, but not for others, and that by definition is thus, not free.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    Now please - yell again about how slavery wasn't a free market. I love when glibertarians do that. They think it's true! They're almost cute when they do it. Like kids.


    Did the slaves choose to be slaves?

  • ||

    Because, underneath the thin layer of libertarian varnish, he's a politician. That means he thinks his happiness and mental well-being depends upon having the power over 310 million-plu people of a U.S. Senator. He and his dad are both excellent speakers and his dad more than the son talks the talk. But, really, what are they spending their time, money and effort on? Getting elected to federal public office. Tell you something about 'em, don't it?

  • π||

    It's always about race for leftists, why wouldn't it be, the world has never known any so racist as the left. They eat, shit, sleep, and think race 24/7, it's all they do.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Orel Hazard,

    Libertarians Are Okay With Business Owners Keeping Minorities Out Of Their Businesses.

    Yes, I am ok with that. Wanna make something out of it?

  • ||

    I do believe something has been made of it already: if you act like a racist cunt and refuse to do business with someone because of their race or ethnicity or gender or sexual preference, you can face criminal charges and lawsuits that will take away your right to own that business. And why? Exactly because if everyone who claims "I'm just a libertarian, not a racist" actually acted like a libertarian and not a racist, there'd be no need for the Civil Rights Act.

    Now, the real question is: Why Can't Rand Paul Say Libertarians Are Okay With Business Owners Keeping Minorities Out Of Their Businesses? Is it because he 1) is gutless 2) doesn't actually support the right of free association 3) a fucking racist cunt?

    Pick one.

  • Mike||

    The Civil Rights Act went overboard, yes, and shouldn't have been needed, but it wasn't because of the Libertarians, or libertarians. It was because of reactionaries. The real motive for it was state laws that FORCED business to segregate. What kind of sense does that make? How many of those business owners do you thnk actually hated blacks enough to want 2 seperate copies of everything they owned? I'm sure there were some, but not the majority like it's made out to be. The problem was state laws which forced businesses into something unconstitutionally... but instead of admitting that that particular issue was already covered by the constition, (right to free association) they decided to make it a power grab. Brilliant too.

  • ||

    Right. Because state laws were so effective at keeping "Whites Only" signs off of drinking fountains. You guys are so full of shit it's a wonder your text doesn't appear in brown.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    This doesn't even make the least amount of sense...

    The state PUT "whites only" signs on drinking fountains to begin with!

  • ||

    Oh, I see. It was the Gubmint of Mississippi who ran the Walgreens lunch counters. Right.

    I'm beginning to realize that you guys really have no clue about how little clue you have.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    No dumbass, they did run the public parks, schools, police departments and bus systems, and they wrote all the laws segregating people to begin with which made it a legally enforced norm for "Walgreens lunch counters" to only serve whites.

    As I noted above, the market actually punishes people who only serve one group of people... Your lack of understanding of history or economics beyond a 3rd grade level is disappointing.

  • ||

    LOL

    Yeah, maybe the market only needed a hundred more years after the civil war to get around to punish people who only served whites. Or two hundred years, whatever.

    Funny, the market looked a lot like the National Guard in Little Rock, didn't it? And those protesters sure didn't like the market. All shouty and fire hose-y.

    Maybe they hadn't read their Rothbard.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    Actually Orel, if you had any remote concept of history at all, you'd realize that several states maintained segregationist legal institutions for decades after the civil war and yet other states, where that wasn't the case integrated quite nicely. Many former slaves who made it to the north or the west wound up doing quite well and there was a comparatively large amount of mixed-race commercial opportunities all over the US... Just not anywhere the states legal structures kept segregation in place.

    Your failure to understand that the US wasn't just one big version of Alabama after the civil war is one of your many, many problems dude... Market forces can be overridden by laws and/or selective law enforcement protecting people who otherwise make bad market decisions.

    As I said - and as was borne out in other parts of the United States - the free market punishes those who only sell to certain races because the competitor who sells to everyone does much much better. Now, in Alabama in the early 1900s, black people were often denied approval to own businesses and cops wouldn't protect the property of those who did, all the while the legal structure was pushing for segregation to begin with.

    So the whole engine of the government worked against allowing certain people the freedom to start other businesses and sell to whomever they wanted. That's why I said a free market would have solved the problem... What existed in the South was a highly controlled market where the government denied many people the opportunity to compete.

    But yet again, move your view out of the south and into say Connecticut in 1900, and it wasn't that big an issue, nor was it in Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming... California... Etc.

  • ||

    I admire your efficiency, combining ignorance and arrogance in one package.

    When you are through playing on daddy's computer, go look up "Rosa Parks"and "bus boycott."

  • plutosdad||

    State law MANDATED whites only signs.

    wow you need to go back to history class.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    Right. Because state laws were so effective at keeping "Whites Only" signs off of drinking fountains. You guys are so full of shit it's a wonder your text doesn't appear in brown.


    States were effective at keeping "whites only" on drinking fountains.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Orel Hazard,

    I do believe something has been made of it already: if you act like a racist cunt and refuse to do business with someone because of their race or ethnicity or gender or sexual preference, you can face criminal charges and lawsuits that will take away your right to own that business.

    And you believe that's justified? If you act like a disparaging cunt and fence off the amorous pretenses of a really ugly woman, should the government also put your ass in jail? It is the same argument.

    Exactly because if everyone who claims "I'm just a libertarian, not a racist" actually acted like a libertarian and not a racist, there'd be no need for the Civil Rights Act.

    Oh, right, because the government can make this a PERFECT world just by legislating it.

    What are you, 10 years old or something?

  • ||

    Please don't use words you're not familiar with. "Amorous pretenses"? Jesus.

    If I refuse to serve that woman in a business because of who she is instead of what she has done, sanction is, yes absolutely justified. Get with the fuckin' program already. I swear, you dipshits would have 8 year olds working in coal mines if you were left to yourselves.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    You have yet to explain why there's a difference between people associating with each other for the purposes of trading vs. for sex or something else.

    If I own my property and my body, then you can neither make me trade with the "ugly woman" if I don't want to any more than you can legitimately use state force to prevent me from declining to sleep with her.

    It goes back to the fact that your argument fails at it's root premise.

  • ||

    If you can't understand - as the framers did - that commerce is commerce and association is association, I can't help you.

    See, words mean things. Sometimes they mean more or less the same thing. When they do, that's called a "synonym".

    These two words are not synonyms.

    You can associate without doing business, it is done roughly a trillion times an hour all over the country. Look! You and I are doing it right now!

    And as the financial meltdown has proven, you can indeed do business without associating; not one mortgage security trader or CDS trader on Wall Street knew any name of or ever met any of the homeowners of the underlying securities, none of whom ever knew his name or gave assent to him.

    The two words are not synonymous. The rights are not synonymous. Please, for the love of God, stop abusing the English language and misrepresenting the framers.

    I believe you don't smoke weed, but now I'm thinking you might want to start. Ben Franklin thinks so, anyway.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    They still aren't separate things, Orel. Commerce is but one type of association.

    We are associating right now for the purpose of hopefully educating a fraction of the fuckwit out of you. While I do that, I'm also "associating" with my girlfriend via skype for the purpose of maintaining a wonderful relationship, and simultaneously I'm working on some music for a client who I previously "associated" with for the purpose of commerce.

    You're the only one who is confused here.

    There are different rules for commerce because there are added issues involved - like the possibility of fraud and theft - that aren't a part of the way you and I are associating... That doesn't mean the framers of the Constitution thought the government should be in the business telling people who they could or could not trade with - and regardless, even if they did it (like slave owning) wouldn't actually be consistent with the principles of liberty.

    I've tried to explain this to you repeatedly, but rights don't come from government. So even if it were true that the founding fathers thought the government should be used to dictate who people should and shouldn't be allowed to do business with (and let me assure you the majority most certainly would not have agreed with that), it still wouldn't make it right.

    They were fallible men who didn't always live up to the ideas they wrote about and set into our government.

  • ||

    "Commerce is but one type of association"

    Yes - and for the last time, it's the type that the framers Regulated From DAY ONE.

    You wish that were not so. You wish that freedom of association as recognized by the framers supported your erroneous idea that you have a right to do business in any way you see fit. It does not: the states and individuals LOST that fight, and DID NOT have that right recognized, and neither do you. You never did.

  • ||

    1)

    But he's getting better.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Yes, because everything that's wrong MUST be OUTLAWED! Anything that's no 100% ok MUST be made ILLEGAL! There's no other way to get people to behave!

    HURR URRR HURR DURR

  • ||

    The combined brainpower of our trolls would light up a single LED for a whole second. It's really quite embarrassing. For them.

  • Ska||

    And for me too. I used that LED in my Lite Brite depiction of Mohammed.

  • ||

    There's no such thing as society! Nothing can ever be outlawed because all laws are equally bad! People can be counted on to do the right thing about everything every time!

    DURRR DUUUH HURRR DURRR

    (sound of bong hit)

  • ||

    I have been a Libertarian for a long time. This was a very difficult issue to deal with, but yes I think business owners should be able to discriminate if they want to. Property owners as well, though I am opposed to legal convenants that prohibit selling to "undesirables".
    My thought is that the owner of the business, property or service is the one who should make the decision. This also goes for anti-smoking laws that apply to private business. Prohibitting discrimination (or smoking) in Public buildings, where citizens may need to go to perform civic functions or comply with Government regulations (Courts, City Halls, etc) are fine with me as sometimes people are in these locations out of necessity. There is no "need" to Go to Bigot Bob's (apologies to all Bobs) Hardware. If you don't like the way the owner runs his business, do business elsewhere. This already applies to businesses with poor customer service or poor quality goods or poor selection.

    My personal opinion is that discrimination is dispicable, but if I belive in freedom and property rights, I must believe in the right of an owner to run his private business in a manner which I may not "approve".

  • ||

    So why couldn't Rand Paul say that?

  • Mike||

    Again, because of reactionaries who will tune him out at that moment and not listen to what he's actually saying.

  • ||

    First of all, you are misusing the word "reactionary". It actually means "in opposition to progress or liberalism" Reactionaries in this scenario would be a) racists b) Rand Paul, who preferred the status quo prior to 1964 or c) you.

    (You're welcome for that free education. I guess if you *really* believe in the free market, that puts you in my debt. Please paypal $25 to orelhazard@aynrandwasacunt.com )

    Second, don't blame me or anybody else who can read and write English correctly for the natural conclusion of libertarianism as it relates to the Civil Rights act. We're not the ones breaking our backs to not put it plainly. There is no avoiding this: Libertarians Are Okay With Business Owners Keeping Minorities Out Of Their Businesses - which means it follows that: Libertarians Are Okay With Aparteid.

    Enjoy the fruit of your tree!

  • Sean W. Malone||

    You're making the gross mistake of assuming the world view you have is supporting "progress".

    *sigh*

  • ||

    It's the dictionary definition of the word, sweetheart. Sigh at someone else.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    Way to spectacularly miss my point.

  • ||

    Way to misuse an important word - a word that actually applies much better to you than me.

  • ||

    Whoops, apologies Sean. You didn't misuse the word. My fault.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    It's alright, I already realized you have 0 reading comprehension skills.

  • ||

    "Please paypal $25 to orelhazard@aynrandwasa____.com)"

    Interesting. In your rant about minorities, you proudly use a sexist, vulgar description of female anatomy to denigrate a woman whose opinion differs from your own.

  • ||

    Yeah, you'll pull through, I'm sure. Libertarians are legendarily tough-minded.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    There is no avoiding this: Libertarians Are Okay With Business Owners Keeping Minorities Out Of Their Businesses - which means it follows that: Libertarians Are Okay With Aparteid.


    Apartheid was a government program.

  • ||

    I've read the transcript, and he plainly did answer yes to the question. He simply refused to accept Maddow's attempt to twist his position into "racism", IOW the same bullshit you're trying to pull here.

  • ||

    http://sadtombone.com

    Maddow: "Would you support the right for a business owner to have a whites only lunch counter?"

    Paul: (honest answer) Yes.
    Paul: (actual, gutless answer) The interesting thing about that is...blah blah blah

    See, you guys have to do better than that. There are a shitload of racists out there (see: Tea Party) who just want to hear it and head into the voting booth: "Yes! YES! We can tell a nigger to get out if we want! Yes!"

    Say it!

  • Sean W. Malone||

    Nice of you to gloss over the substance of the "blah blah" part though... Although it's pretty indicative of how much you actually care to think or debate about the real issues.

  • ||

    Translation: "I don't want to admit that he dodged the question. Four times."

  • Sean W. Malone||

    I don't get it... were you being self-referential? You've done nothing but dodge the issues.

  • Dave Mc||

    Assholism isn't a condition that should lead to prison. It's quite a jump from allowing someone to behave in a way, even if you you disagree with that behavior, to bearing the cross for that behavior by simply allowing for the freedom of choice to a person to engage in that behavior. If your thought process leaves that reasonable step out of the equation, your loss, but it makes you look racist, jumping to such harsh conclusions with no substance more than your own , biased opinion.

  • ||

    Right: in other words, Libertarians Are Okay With Business Owners Keeping Minorities Out Of Their Businesses.

  • CatoTheElder||

    Obviously. We're even okay with allowing assholes the right to free speech.

  • ||

    No, other way around. The free speech is the fundamental right. The right to commerce is IN NO WAY fundamental, no matter what the potheads at Mises like to think. There are hundreds of ways to get your business taken from you, and while not all of them are justified, losing your business because you refuse to serve a guy because of his genes absolutely is.

    Ha ha!

  • ||

    The right to commerce is IN NO WAY fundamental

    Support this statement with a logical argument. "Because I say so" does not qualify.

  • ||

    No, see, this is where you find the citation in the Constitution that says "Congress shall make no law abridging commerce" like it says for free speech.

    Good luck with the hunt. Pro tip: it isn't in there.

  • Mike||

    that particular right actually falls under association... you see... the fathers didn't think it would be necessary to spell every last thing out when they figured that any reasonably intelligent person would realize that freedom of association covers who you choose to associate yourself with.

  • ||

    That's not a valid argument. The Constitution does not "grant" rights of any kind (including free speech).

    Try again.

  • ||

    My last was directed to Orel Hazard, not Mike.

  • ||

    My argument is:

    "The word 'association' is not the same, nor does it mean the same thing as the word 'commerce'."

    And that's invalid how?

  • ||

    You're not even reading what I'm saying. Try again: The Constitution does not "grant" rights of any kind (including free speech).

  • ||

    And where does the Constitution explicitly fail to abridge rights to commerce?

  • Sean W. Malone||

    And to reiterate what EES just said, the Constitution does not grant rights. In fact, I'm doing a video on the Bill of Rights right now and in it I make note of an excellent quote from Thomas Paine in "The Rights of Man" which explicitly states that:

    "It is a perversion of terms to say that a charter gives rights. It operates by a contrary effect — that of taking rights away. Rights are inherently in all the inhabitants; but charters, by annulling those rights, in the majority, leave the right, by exclusion, in the hands of a few . . . They . . . consequently are instruments of injustice."

    The charter (i.e. Constitution) is merely a document which recognizes that human beings all have "inalienable" rights to life, liberty & property - and is designed specifically to restrict the government from trampling them.

    It isn't the source of anyone's rights... It is just a statement of recognition.

    The assertion/belief to the contrary is one that Chony likes to bring up constantly, and it is particularly disturbing since it means that all freedom is merely a privilege "given" to you by your government, and if your government isn't so kind, then fuck you. If government is the source of rights, then we shouldn't bother worrying about "human rights" abuses in the Sudan or North Korea, or Iran... If people don't have any rights that don't come from government, then there can be no tyrannical governments, only ones that have chosen different levels of authority over their citizens.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    If you have the right to associate with whomever you want, then you have the right to associate (voluntarily) for whatever purpose with whomever you want - if that is "commerce", "sex", "enmity", "friendship", or anything else... there is no distinction there. You're making an additional distinction as if it is relevant and it absolutely isn't. There is nothing special about commerce that suddenly strips people of their right to decide for themselves who they get to be around and if anything, commerce is ever *more* important, since it is about exchange.

    If you are someone who I don't want to have anything to do with - for whatever reason (here in America we're actually not supposed to be prosecuting thought crime, after all) - then I especially shouldn't be made to trade with you if I don't want.

    Besides which, again, you're only looking at this from one (negative) angle.

    If the racist has the right to ban blacks from his establishment, so too do I have the right not to associate with skinheads in my business.

    This is particularly important to me because I work producing media that is meaningful to me - and in fact I composed the music for the video associated with this very article.

    I have spent a ton of time & effort working my career into a position where I *ONLY* work on projects with people who I specifically want to associate myself with. Laws that require me to do otherwise are not only immoral and onerous, they specifically violate my right as a self-owner to decide for myself who I work with and what I do with my time.

    It happens that I have no issues with anyone of any race, but I do have immense issues with people who want me to work on projects supporting bad ideas and you should not, and will not, force me to work with those people... The essence of your argument however, is that it's up to government to decide who people are allowed to do business with with and who they aren't - and the principle itself is entirely wrong.

  • ||

    Take it up with the framers. There is EVERYTHING special about commerce - that is why the framers regulated the shit out of it while they left the other rights alone. Read the thing! Words like "tarriff" and "excise" are all over the place in the for a reason. They were rich white lawyers and could not have been expected to not lay out rules *governing* commerce! Wake up!

    Face it: libertarianism is okay with apartheid. Rand Paul reminded us of this yesterday. It's not nice, it's not a feel-good, it's not a joke. You make your peace with this fact by claiming some trumped up nonsense about free association being the same thing as commerce. I don't blame you for trying to avoid the association, but you haven't.

    Libertarians Are Okay With Apartheid.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    Are you not even capable of reading??

    Rights don't come from government. This has nothing to do with the framers of the Constitution...

    Though for the record, the reason the framers were concerned with commerce beyond just being a bunch of lawyers, was the problems inflicted on them by Mercantilism and the special protections certain (British) businesses largely enjoyed at the expense of the colonists, who were restricted from trading in all sorts of onerous (though tame compared to today) ways.

    The kinds of things most of them - especially Madison, Jefferson, & Mason - argued against, were precisely the things that our nation does today which are massive problems.

    Your 3rd grader's understanding of US history not-with-standing, what really chaps my ass is that you keep hammering this asinine strawman of people like me being "Okay With Apartheid", even though it is 100% antithetical to the entire philosophy of libertarianism.

  • ||

    Hey, you're the one claiming that the Civil Rights Act provision against businesses as commerce was unconstitutional under the right of free association. I can't help that you didn't notice that the framers treated commerce and free association as separate and distinct things.

    And again, when Libertarians Are Okay With Private Businesses Keeping Minorities Out, that necessarily means that Libertarians Are Okay With Apartheid.

    I can see why you'd get annoyed. It's an ugly statement.

    An ugly truth.

  • T||

    Apartheid was the policy of the government of South Africa.

  • ||

    "Apartheid was the policy of the government of South Africa."

    Just like in North America, before there was national government of colonialists, there was a free market where whites did the selling and the buying and the nonwhites were the product.

    That means claiming the government is responsible for apartheid is incredibly stupid. Apartheid was there before the government. And, same as here, it took government to attempt to get rid of it. Then it took libertarians to bitch about what a loss of rights it was.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    See above where I explain that the definition of a "free market" is that all people have rights to life, liberty & property and therefore the right to trade with each other as they see fit - provided explicitly that they are not violating other's rights to do the same.

    Now please square that with slavery, an institution by which some people are specifically denied the ability to exercise exactly those rights that would make them free.

    Secondly... Please note:

    "Apartheid (Afrikaans pronunciation: [ɐˈpɐrtɦəit], separateness) was a system of legal racial segregation enforced by the National Party government in South Africa between 1948 and 1994, under which the rights of the majority non-white inhabitants of South Africa were curtailed and minority rule by whites was maintained."

    Can you please stop being stupid now?

  • Michael Ejercito||

    Just like in North America, before there was national government of colonialists, there was a free market where whites did the selling and the buying and the nonwhites were the product.


    And slavery was enforced by the colonial governments as well as the British Parliament.

  • π||

    "They were rich white lawyers and could not have been expected to not lay out rules *governing* commerce! Wake up!"

    You're quite the pretentious moron. If anyone needs to "Wake up!" it's you. Your understanding of history is fundamentally flawed.

  • Apogee||

    And the little pussy Oral Suck runs away.

    Just like all the leftists.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    There are hundreds of ways to get your business taken from you, and while not all of them are justified, losing your business because you refuse to serve a guy because of his genes absolutely is.


    The solution to "whites only" lunch counters is to let other people set up "blacks only" lunch counters.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    There are hundreds of ways to get your business taken from you, and while not all of them are justified, losing your business because you refuse to serve a guy because of his genes absolutely is.


    The solution to "whites only" lunch counters is to let other people set up "blacks only" lunch counters.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    And while you're at it, let people like me set up lunch counters for anyone who has the cash regardless of skin color.

    While all the idiots are off ignoring huge chunks of customers, I will clean house and get rich... Win!

  • ||

    I'm guessing, yeah, you really are that stupid.

  • Derp||

    lol u mad bro?

  • A Little Focus||

    What the fuck are all of you talking about? Jesus, is this a meetup for ADHD tin-foil hat wearers or what?

    To keep it on topic: Cops, don't take my shit.

  • ||

    "Always Think Forfeiture"

    http://reason.com/blog/2008/06/09/always-think-forfeiture

  • ||

    Seizure of individuals' property, eminent domain, frivolous covenants on individuals' property use, traffic fines as revenue generators, surveillance of citizens, excessive force and coercion by police - these are the issues we should be united on instead of the eternal bickering that goes on in our political debate.

  • Anon||

    What is interesting is not the confiscation, but the fact that it is done against private individuals. Rental cars for instance that are used by someone committing a crime, are routinely returned back to the rental agency. Privately owned vehicles go to auction.

  • ||

    There actually was a second page instead of APRIL FOOL. I am suspicious.

  • ||

    The burden of proof is on the government (believe it or not, before 2000, it was on the property) regarding the underlying claim. However, the burden of proof is on the owner for "affirmative defenses" such as the "innocent owner" defense.

    The burden of proof is "preponderance of the evidence."

    So, (caveat: this is not my area of practice) if your teenage son lets one of his buddies borrow your BMW M5 to drive to the Sonic, and they get pulled over and have some pot in the car, all the government has to show to take your car is that there was pot in the car (it was used in the commission of a felony). You have to prove that you were an "innocent owner" - that you took affirmative steps to prevent the underlying crime. Which of course you didn't. Buh-bye, Beemer.

  • MRK||

    Simple solution: The property seized by police (and feds) goes towards paying the salary of civil defense attorneys. Nothing cops hate more than defense lawyers.

  • ||

    Wow, downright scary dude. Id say its safe to assume the US has indeed become a Police State!

    Lou
    www.web-anonymity.cz.tc

  • CatoTheElder||

    Well, the cops still usually need to get a warrant to bust into your house.

  • T||

    Exigent circumstances, baby. They can lie about those just as easy as they can lie about the rest of it.

  • ||

    Cato - check this out: http://www.facebook.com/l.php?.....mp;h=a75b8

    They shot the guy's dog in front of his 7 year old.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    So tonight's Stossel is a rerun?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Orel Hazard,

    I do believe something has been made of it already: if you act like a racist cunt and refuse to do business with someone because of their race or ethnicity or gender or sexual preference, you can face criminal charges and lawsuits that will take away your right to own that business.

    And you believe that's justified? If you act like a disparaging cunt and fence off the amorous pretenses of a really ugly woman, should the government also put your ass in jail? It is the same argument.

    Exactly because if everyone who claims "I'm just a libertarian, not a racist" actually acted like a libertarian and not a racist, there'd be no need for the Civil Rights Act.

    Oh, right, because the government can make this a PERFECT world just by legislating it.

    What are you, 10 years old or something?

  • ||

    if everyone who claims "I'm just a libertarian liberal, not a racist an authoritarian kleptocrat" actually acted like a libertarian liberal and not a racist an authoritarian kleptocrat, there'd be no need for the Civil Rights Act Constitution.

    See how that works, Orel? Fallacy number 1: Attributing the failings of some to the whole.

    Are there racists in libertarian drag? Sure.

    Are there authoritarian kleptocrats in liberal drag? Sure.

    Does that mean there are no non-racist libertarians, or non-authoritarian kleptocrat liberals? Of course not.

    Fallacy number 2: Paper solutions are the same as real solutions.

    Has the Civil Rights Act exterminated racism? No.

    Has the Constitution exterminated authoritarian kleptocrats? No.

    Try to do better next time.

  • ||

    See, RC, the difference between your point and mine is that mine comes from lots of real, bloody and unjust history, and yours is built only upon a rapidly expanding cloud of Sativa smoke. "Authoritarian kleptocrat" is a cute term that could mean literally anything. By comparison, "apartheid" is neither fanciful nor ambiguous.

    And apartheid is what libertarians are okay with.

    I don't attribute the "failings of parts to the whole", I attribute the failings of libertarianism's simplistic, childish fetishizing and misrepresenting of the right of free association to its natural outcome of systematized racism.

    If I was wrong, then Rand Paul wouldn't have had suuuuch a hard time spelling out his endorsement of Whites Only lunch counters. But, he did. And, happily, he's done as a national pol, even before we discover his taste in men.

  • Slowburnaz||

    "I attribute the failings of libertarianism's simplistic, childish fetishizing and misrepresenting of the right of free association to its natural outcome of systematized racism."

    Just curious... what would you consider "free association"? Or is there no such thing?

    And by "natural outcome of systemized racism", do you mean to say that people, if left to freely associate with each other, will naturally become racists? Are laws regulating our associations necessary to a free and just society?

  • ||

    Right of free association absolutely exists, on par with that of free speech.

    Despite what a lot of clowns who misunderstand the constitution claim (one such circus's name rhymes with The Play-Doh Institute) Commerce is *not* free association. Not even close.

    To begin with, commerce was from the get-go regulated hardcore by the framers whereas free association was not. Commerce is why currency and excise and tarriffs and all kinds of instruments that the framers had lots of interest in regulating exist.

    What libertarians can't stand is that this means that the government conceived by same framers has every right to rescind commerce where it sees fit without once touching rights of speech or rights of free association. You can associate all you want with whoever you want. You can say anything you want. But you can't do business any way you want and you never could.

    Butthurt libertarians don't like this plain fact and hang much of their argument on free association rights. They may as well hang them on second amendment rights for all the relevance that has.

    The Civil Rights Act was not only the right thing to do, it is exquisitely constitutional.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    "natural outcome of systemized racism" is about as clear a statement of Orel's view of humanity that you're going to find.

    Ironic that systemic racism actually declines significantly where people are free to choose who they associate and trade with as opposed to where people are prohibited from acting in their own interests... And doubly ironic that the vast majority of "systemized racism" has been an artifact of legislation.

    You know... Like Apartheid.

  • ||

    "Natural outcome of systematized racism"...is the clearest statement of North American History From The 1560s To TODAY. Ever hear of the slave trade, genius?

    You know, the free market in people?

    Boy, that was a free market we don't hear The Jacket talking much about, do we?

  • Sean W. Malone||

    What part of rights to LIFE, LIBERTY, and PROPERTY do you not understand, you fuckwit?

    People cannot be owned by other people without violating both their primary rights to life & liberty.

    God damn you're stupid.

  • ||

    Translation: "Free markets included slavery, but I'd rather not admit it. Also, a long history of institutionalized racism and the historical existence of slavery are not related things, and in any case, that was all settled a while ago."

  • Slowburnaz||

    Well hell, if we REALLY wanna take care of the problem, let's just make some laws prohibiting ignorance, greed, and money.

    Why hasn't anyone ever thought of that before? That'll clean up that dirty, evil free market.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    How is that even slightly a "translation" of what I said?

  • Sean W. Malone||

    How is that even slightly a "translation" of what I said?

  • whackystuff||

    Got anything brilliant to introduce Orel Hazard?

  • Sean W. Malone||

    Am I the only one who thinks that everything Whackystuff says is completely incoherent? It's like he's trying to say something, but the words aren't being formed properly.

  • whackystuff||

    The Civil Rights Act was not only the right thing to do, it is exquisitely constitutional.

    Civil rights were enacted pursuant to a military conquest(prize. If you were to peruse the 13th and 14th amendments you may notice what was granted were "privilages and immunities". Privilages are granted from a superior or master. So granting these "rights" and accepting them you trade one master for another. Americans may have claims of rights, U.S. citizens only privilage. The American nation has been under military rule(executive), but not martial law since Lincoln was in office, thus when in their system we are allowed civil rights subordinate to military necessity.

  • ||

    Why yes, Mr....whackystuff.

    Yes.

  • Slowburnaz||

    I think he may be referring to the fact that the Civil Rights Act was enacted via constitutional process. Therefore, it is constitutional, not necessarily *in* the Constitution.

  • whackystuff||

    If you beleive George Washington was a General?

  • π||

    Indeed, slave trade was a North American innovation, the Democratic party even fought a bloody war to keep it going at one point. Thankfully no one was injured over that one.

    Your mother must be so proud having raised such a little genius as a son. So, Einstein, how's life living in her basement treating you these days?

  • whackystuff||

    you indeed are a piece of shit and i challenge you old sckool

  • whackystuff||

    well?

  • whackystuff||

    how are you resentful of what you are?

  • Michael Ejercito||

    "Natural outcome of systematized racism"...is the clearest statement of North American History From The 1560s To TODAY. Ever hear of the slave trade, genius?


    Yes.

    And what kept people slaves was the threat of force by government agents.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    I don't attribute the "failings of parts to the whole", I attribute the failings of libertarianism's simplistic, childish fetishizing and misrepresenting of the right of free association to its natural outcome of systematized racism.


    If free association leads to systematized racism, so what?

    That is a small price to pay.

  • ||

    At the risk of discussing what ought to be the topic:

    the civil forfeiture laws are all unconstitutional, per the provision against bills of attainder. Refresher: the English Parliament would pass a bill of attainder which forfeited all of a person's estate, real or personal, to the government (or to the Crown; pick a year), usually but not always right after they passed a bill sentencing that person and/or his family to death (see my post about "drawing and quartering"). This prohibition matches the several repeated constitutional prohibitions against punishment without "due process"; that didn't include an act of Parliament as due process. The only difference between those old acts of Parliament and the modern forfeiture statutes are that (1) the crime is presupposed to have occurred or is soon to occur; (2) the statute doesn't name specific individuals but rather classes of individuals, "owners of property used in the commission of crimes". The stated purpose of the Federal and many of the state statutes betrays its unconstitutional purpose, being to frighten people into not committing crimes. Evidently, the elite wise Platonic philosophers who rule the U.S. have decided that time in prison wasn't enough of a deterrent.

  • π||

    Can't argue against what you wrote. It most certainly would appear to be true.

    This is why I push the knowledge of history angle so incessantly. The justices are either clueless of history, or don't care, leaving only the people to force them to change their criminal ways. And the people can only do that if they are knowledgeable of the history behind the highest Law of our land.

    If we can't all do that one small thing to honor our most important obligation then we will continue to get the government we deserve.

    It's knowledge that was common even among the uneducated masses of the 19th century, it wasn't "educated" out of the average American until the 20th century. The last thing this country needs is more formal education, it's done enough damage already. What's needed is true knowledge, not more indoctrination into destructive philosophies.

    It's really that simple.

    Is it any wonder our university students have incredibly high rates of mental illness? They'd like us to believe it's the demanding environment that's causing it, yet it's nowhere near as demanding as it once was when mental illness was rare. It's obvious it's something else, may I suggest aggressive mental manipulation within the schools. That will not only push the venerable over the edge, but will attract those with serious emotional and mental problems to begin with.

    People aren't flash memory existing to fill with crap programming as one pleases. Attempting to treat them as such is going to have negative consequences.

    If you're unaware of what I'm writing about use your computer to research the topic of mental illness in our universities. You may need to register with some of the sites to review the studies, at least two will want you to pay. I wouldn't, the information is also available elsewhere for free (after registration).

  • Timmy Roid||

    What a ridiculous article.

    So what do you suggest? More government regulations telling State and local police how to enforce the law? Pah!

  • π||

    Drawing attention to serious injustice is never "ridiculous."

    Nevertheless, you may stick your head back in the sand, now. There's nothing going on worth seeing around here, wink-wink.

  • whackystuff||

    you own it all?

  • π||

    No, not "it all," just your soul.

  • ||

    That is the no kidding truth. I am friends with a cop in town and he said they used money from the city's property grab fund to pay $14,000 for bicycle cop training in Hawaii (for two guys). I didn't know which was crazier, the fact they have bicycle cop training in Hawaii, the fact it cost $14,000, or the fact they got the money from property seized from potentially innocent civilians... Amazing.

  • π||

    A little off-topic, but are you aware gonorrhea can be treated these days? Unlike government encroachment on our liberties it's an annoying drip that can be easily cured.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    My liveblogging started too late for me to mention that John threatened to take his studio audience to go after Glenn Beck. It must be sweeps.

  • π||

    And this does what? Somehow invalidates the fact that asset forfeiture laws are being outrageously abused in ways they were never intended to be? Or does it simply disqualify John Stossel from presenting the case? Bring me up to speed, I'm a little confused here. I can't see where Stossel or Beck pose a threat to me, asset forfeiture is another story.

  • whackystuff||

    Got a house, think you own it?
    got a life. think you own it?
    No one owns anything, ownership lies with the state, so the state hasn't been paying the tax on the property that the state owns!

  • whackystuff||

    you owe

  • whackystuff||

    ow=own

  • whackystuff||

    0wnership is by agreement

  • whackystuff||

    If I were to kill every instance of cooperation. Would you kill me?

  • whackystuff||

    If I were to kill every instance of cooperation. Would you kill me?

  • π||

    Actually I pay cash for everything, so no "owe" here.

    Your cooperation means nothing to me, haven't asked you for it, have no need of it, have no desire for it. I'm an individual who places the highest value on the individual. Coops are useless to me.

    As for killing you, I'd only kill you, in any situation, if you left me no other option. If it's you or me, and there's choice, it's going to be you every time.

    You seem a little short on clarity, hopefully you're drunk or high. If so, unless making a jack-ass of yourself is your goal, sober up. And if not, maybe this input can help:

    Sucks to be you.

    Have you checked out the Daily Kos? Should be a perfect fit. I would have recommended the Huffington Post, but they're only neurotic so you'd still stand out like huge third thumb growing out of a beautiful woman's forehead.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    You can safely ignore my original comment. It was about the Stossel broadcast last night, but I put it in the wrong Stossel article.

  • whacystuff||

    do youreally care?

  • whacystuff||

    should be "owe=own"

  • ||

    Donald Scott.
    Murdered October 2nd, 1992 by state and federal "Law Enforcement" officers who wanted his multi-million dollar property.

  • whacystuff||

    How do you propose to remove racism? orel hazard?

  • ||

    TO ALL THE COMMUNIST IN THE IG,FBI,CIA, President Obama Tells Mexican President We are Not Defined by Our Borders INPEACH OBAMA THE COMMUNIST ,GOD OPEN YOUR EYES.///For us there are only two possiblities: either we remain american or we come under the thumb of the communist OBAMA. This latter must not occur; TO THE WEAK-KNEED REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRAT .THE COMMANDER

  • Jake||

    It's the return of King George. This reminds me of the story of John Hancock. He was *suspected* of smuggling & his ship ("Liberty") was confiscated by the British government. The charges were dropped, but the gov't kept the ship & renamed her the "HMS Liberty" to serve in the Royal Navy. A year later, she was burned to the waterline, by the colonists.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Liberty_(1768)

  • ||

    TO ALL THE COMMUNIST IN THE IG,FBI,CIA,AND U.S. Senators,, President Obama Tells Mexican President We are Not Defined by Our Borders INPEACH OBAMA THE COMMUNIST ,GOD OPEN YOUR EYES.///For us there are only two possiblities: either we remain american or we come under the thumb of the communist OBAMA. This latter must not occur; TO THE WEAK-KNEED REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRAT .THE COMMANDER

  • Bruce Majors||

  • unPC||

    Zaher El-Ali missed an opportunity to get his property back. Given the way that liberals and bureaucrats allow themselves to be dictated to by bellicose Muslims (Danish cartoon issue, Spanish elections, etc.) Zaher El-Ali should simply have shown up at the impound wearing a bulky jacket and raving about Allah and Mohammed. They would have given him anything he wanted, no questions asked.

  • ||

    No great harm would be done if a small business owner was allowed to put a sign on the front door saying: UNDER RACIST OWNERSHIP. If authorities forced the owner to take down the sign there would be left only an angry racist doing business with everybody. As a member of a minority I feel that my dollar should go only to those that have overcome the narrowness of racism. It would be a blessing to have racists identify themselves so I can take my business elsewhere.

  • ||

    The bottom line is the conflict of interest that the police have to seize property.

    “So what do you suggest? More government regulations telling State and local police how to enforce the law? Pah!”

    It is simple, just don’t let the police or government keep what they seize. Let the seized money go to schools, or other unrelated entities which are not pillaging citizens.

    I rented a very nice house with some friends while my home was being remodelled. There was some legal medical marijuana in the garden. A neighbour called and complained. When the police came the prescriptions were not hanging in the garden (our mistake). The police raided the house and seized everything of value. They asked my friend, “do you own this place” and when he said no, the officer disappointingly said, “damn, we’d love to take this place”. While they trashed our house they continually asked “where is all the money?”

    They went through my paperwork and seized my bank accounts. The District Attorney found no illegal issue and no charges were pressed. I paid a lawyer to get my property and money back, the DA threatened that he would have to charge me if I wanted to go to court and get my property back- it was a threat to try to deter me. When I pressed harder, and he could not charge me as there was no illegality under California law, he turned the money in my bank account over to the DEA (federal law enforcement that does not respect CA law) so that I would have to involve them in a case if I wanted to get my honest and hard earned money and property back. When I looked into a lawyer for that, I found it would cost more than the money they seized.

    After my situation, I learned that it is very common for the police to seize money and property of people with medical marijuana and to press no charges. If they pressed charges, people could go to court, have a fair trial and get their belongings back.

    Whatever your view of medical marijuana is aside, my house was sacked by thugs, I had my personal property taken, which was earned through tax paying 9 to 5 hard labor, and there was no intention to give me a fair trial, or to return any of the money. Allowing the law enforcement to keep what they seize is poisoning them and making them criminals.

  • Christian Louboutin||

  • christian louboutin||

    Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I'll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon.

  • surpa shoes||

    Very good post. Made me realize I was totally wrong about this issue. I figure that one learns something new everyday. Mrs Right learned her lesson! Nice, informative website by the way.

  • ปลวก||

    There IS a preponderance of evidence that the automobile was guilty of having been driven by a drunk driver.

  • RAN||

    I figure that one learns something new everyday. | RAN ran ran |

  • Scarpe Nike||

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  • 4umonclers||

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