What Reason and Vox are missing about Holder’s Civil Asset Forfeiture Reforms

The Drug War is complicated stuff, and Civil Asset Forfeiture (CAF) is one of the more convoluted bits of it.

It is therefore understandable that some journalists, at Reason and Vox specifically, are missing the forest for some admittedly distracting trees.

CAF is a license for theft by government. All levels of government want to take advantage.

The federal government does a lot of it, and individual states do a lot of it.

Up until last Friday, the federal government made it even easier for local police forces to do it — encouraging them to make all sorts of unnecessary stops and seizures, even if their state laws were against CAF or limited its use.

So even if a state wanted to shut down CAF in their jurisdiction, the police could ignore their legislators and continue regardless. This program, known as “Equitable Sharing” was limited by Eric Holder last Friday. It doesn’t end CAF of course, but it does allow state reform to go forward, which is a big fricking deal, and it has made the worst abuses less likely.

I think cautious excitement about the progress made is the right response, as I make clear in my video on the topic: see more…

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Holder prohibits most state and local use of DOJ’s asset forfeiture program

Eric Holder made headlines this week when he announced a new policy prohibiting state and local governments from using federal civil asset forfeiture laws for most cases.

The Washington Post reported, “Holder’s action represents the most sweeping check on police power to confiscate personal property since the seizures began three decades ago as part of the war on drugs.”

The DOJ’s Equitable Sharing program has allowed thousands of local and state police agencies to have seized nearly $3 billion in cash and property since 2008.

Using Equitable Sharing, a state or local police department or drug task force would seize property and then have that property adopted by a federal agency.

The agency making the seizure would then be allowed to keep up to 80 percent of the value of the items confiscated. see more…

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HoT Shop: Now open for business

We’ve finally entered the e-commerce club and are offering branded products through the HoT website. You can check it out from the menu above.

Right now, we one item for sale: our sticker/decal in nine amazing colors. Even better, it’s 30% off until the end of January.

SUPPORT HOT AND ORDER NOW: INVENTORY IS LIMITED!

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The Congressional “good standard” bar should be raised

bar-too-lowNot many elected officials explain to their constituents the reasons they vote a certain way on a given bill. Even fewer are those who will explain their vote on every bill! Justin Amash seems to be doing just that, posting on his facebook profile an explanation for his votes.

Most recently, he explained his reasons for voting “present” on a bill to authorize construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline: “I voted present on H R 3, Northern Route Approval Act. The Keystone XL pipeline is a private project owned by TransCanada Corporation. This bill improperly exempts TransCanada Corporation—and no other company—from laws that require pipeline owners and operators to obtain certain government permits and approvals.
I support construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, and holding it up for over four years (with no end in sight) for political reasons is wrong. see more…

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The economics of xenophobia

GDP increaseI recently read a pair of articles that on the surface are only tangentially connected. However after a little deep thought, I realized the authors are looking at the same problem from both a micro and macro level. The articles were “‘Buy Local’ is really bad economics” and “The economic case for open borders.” Again, after some thought I came up with the hypothesis: people who are xenophobic have a flawed understanding of economics. see more…

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Why We Need to Stop Making Murderers Famous…

Everyone has a pet explanation for the mass shootings that keep happening. Some say video games, progressives say gun control. I think it’s all much simpler than that. We need to stop turning killers into celebrities…

see more…

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STUDY: MTV has done more for the US teen birthrate than decades of policy… “almost one-third of the dramatic total decrease in teen pregnancy can be linked not to state and local public health efforts, not to the work of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unwanted Pregnancy, but to a television program created for profit”

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2014: The year police abuse went mainstream

POlice-abuse-too-many-cops-too-little-justiceIt’s time again to look at a year gone by, though unlike years past where I attempt to summarize the year, I will instead look at what I consider to be the story of the year. It’s not easy picking a top story for the entire year, in fact the top story of 2014 isn’t just 1 story, it’s an entire genre of news stories: Police Abuse. see more…

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HoT PSA: If your child does steal your gun, it is a felony…

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Libertarian VG Review: The Assassination Of Quality

Allow me to start by saying I have not only played video games since their home inspection via consoles, but I have professionally tested multiple titles for EA, Sony and Sega.

In the 1990’s the advancements of home PCs and CD burners brought us the ability to do what we have done with HBO, and Cinemax for decades with VCR’s. Youths figured out how to copy their games onto write-able CD’s. In doing so the long held right of returning an unwanted product was put under the micro scope.

To “protect” their investment capitalists in video game development and distribution had a brilliant idea — one electronics hardware/media manufacturers the world over would use to this day.

see more…

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A big year for cannabis

marihuanaThere have been major stories regarding cannabis over the last 15 months. On August 29, 2013, the Department of Justice announced, “Based on assurances that those states [that have legalized cannabis] will impose an appropriately strict regulatory system, the Department has informed the governors of both states that it is deferring its right to challenge their legalization laws at this time.” Further, Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole sent a memo to all United States Attorneys explaining the DOJ’s stance. see more…

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Larry Flynt versus The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea…

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Hells Yeah Cuba! Cuba Policy and the New American Century

Obama’s choice to reopen diplomatic relations with Cuba may be the best thing he has ever done. It rights a very old wrong, and it gives us some great new opportunities. Watch this vid to find out more…

see more…

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The only way to stop CIA torture is to abolish the CIA

endtorture3Earlier this week, the US Senate released a heavily redacted 540 page summary of a larger 6,000 page report on the CIA’s use of torture. The report, called a “footnote in history” by Senator Richard Burr (NC), detailed some of the torture techniques used in the secret CIA prisons. In addition to simulated drowning, also called waterboarding, some of the captives “were deprived of sleep for up to 180 hours, at times with their hands shackled above their heads,” at least four of them with medical complications in their lower extremities. Reuters reports, the report recorded cases of “sexual abuse, including ‘rectal feeding’ or ‘rectal hydration’ without any documented medical need.” The summary from the Senate states, “The CIA led several detainees to believe they would never be allowed to leave CIA custody alive,suggesting to one detainee that he would only leave in a coffin-shaped box.” see more…

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Liberals killed Eric Garner…

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It doesn’t really matter if Congress declares war against TIS

Senate Swearing InLast week, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) introduced a declaration of war against The Islamic State. US News reports, “Paul’s legislation would repeal the 2002 Iraq War authorization, an action the Obama administration supports, and would set a one-year timer on the 2001 anti-al-Qaida authorization, which the administration currently cites as allowing the war against the Islamic State group.” see more…

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FBI crime report lacks some useful data

holderEvery year the FBI releases what it calls the Uniform Crime Report, which details numbers of arrests – which counts one arrest for each separate instance in which a person is arrested, cited, or summoned for an offense – and various other data on crime, criminals, and law enforcement officers.

One of the numbers that jumped out to me was that arrests for cannabis possession makes up a smaller percentage of drug related arrests out west (18%) compared to the rest of the country (~50%). see more…

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Are the Ferguson riots justified?

54744b9f61e5b.imageRemember this headline? Cop involved in Ferguson shooting has fractured eye socket: report

Yeah, that’s right. The authority submissives reported Darren Wilson’s eye socket was damaged when this whole thing started, and the adherents to police authority on the right plastered this false claim and this photo was circulated:
see more…

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Confronting Convention

Pirates at work?

Pirates at work?

Right now, thanks to Mark Levin, it is rather regular to hear the call of the new States Convention, or more accurately called an Article V Convention. You can read it and the whole Constitution here.

While you are at it you can read the list of proposed amendments here.

see more…

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COLORADO: Open letter to GOP establishment from liberty movement…

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Bill Maher: “I Am Available To The Rand Paul Campaign”

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Against discrimination at the barrel of a gun

no gun in roomThe Advocates for Self Government have produced a 10 question survey designed to challenge “the dominant ‘Left versus Right’ political model” which tries to categorize “virtually all political opinion into either left and right. This model — still widely used today — is misleading and fatally flawed.”

However, this quiz still allows people to be classified as supporters of liberty, who still believe in using government force. A better, shorter quiz asks the one question: Should any good or service be provided at the barrel of a gun? This allows all people to be placed into one of two categories: people who believe in freedom, and those who don’t.

This single question can be applied to every situation: immigration, education, welfare, marriage and even discrimination. In each case, the support of liberty would say, “no good or service should be provided at the barrel of a gun.” see more…

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Jonathan Gruber Rap Ballad: Don’t Tell ‘Em

Reason.lol has come out with a very important music video illustrating the latest Obamacare scandal starring Jonathan “the stupidity of the American voter” Gruber:

Don’t let me catch you snoring
Making government bigger is never boring
Our CBO strategy’s named “Bill Cosby”
we’re looking for an improper scoring

When folks ask what’s in you lie through the tooth
Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why?
Our ideas are so good we can’t tell the truth
That’s right right right right right

But won’t people read it in three years or so?
My, my, my, my, my, my
Who’d look inside something that many years old?

I don’t know what’s worse: Some bipartisan elitist prick feels that it’s officially open season on sheep, or some libertarian elitists pricks are making music videos to bring it bubbling into the pop culture of sheep.

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