The Delta Proclamations IV

The Delta Proclamations IV

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

If you have been paying attention over the past few years, you have seen the issue of privacy come up repeatedly in the media (main-stream and non-main stream). What we have not seen nearly as much of, at least not in the main-stream media, are stories about the confiscation of private property in which no criminal charges are filed or ever intended to be filed. This is known as civil-asset forfeiture. In a nutshell, if the state “suspects” that property, cash, or other assets in your possession were obtained in an illegal manner, they may confiscate it. In many of these situations, you will not be charged with a crime or face any type of criminal penalty. However, once confiscated, it is up to the you to prove that your property was obtained in a legal fashion… you know, because our system is built on guilty until proven innocent, right?

The Fourth Amendment has its roots in our history as a British Colony. At that time, we colonists had no protections against seizure of property by the Crown. Though several American laws were enacted which forbid such activity, as they were not issued by the Crown and its sovereignty, these laws were little more than symbolic gestures building up to our eventual revolution. Ultimately, the objective of the Crown, at first, was tax collection. Seizures and searches eventually turned into a method of preventing rebellion, but tax collection was their first and primary function.

Fast forward to modern day and we are protected by the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. We never have to worry about the state searching our smart-phones or other devices without a warrant or probably cause. No one ever has to worry about having records for cash they have on them when they are stopped and searched, which of course never happens without probable cause. No one has to worry about a state agent determining that, despite evidence to the contrary, you are engaged in an illegal activity and it is obvious all of your assets were obtained from this activity, so they need to be seized after ransacking your home and may or may not be returned after you have proven your innocence…right? Right?

Somehow, at some point, something went terribly wrong. The government by the people, for the people became the government by the government, for the government, at the expense and well-being of the people. Once again tax and revenue generation and control, is at the core of its activity. At some point, it became too much of an inconvenience to prove a citizen guilty. It cost too much, and the result didn’t generate anything more than pulling a criminal off the street. There must be a way to make this more beneficial for the state. Wait, the Brits had the right idea! We can just say “they got that ______ by breaking the law! Even though we didn’t catch you in the act, since we KNOW you are guilty, trial is irrelevant, we will be taking your cash and goods. Oh, and by the way, if you want it back, you will have to cover your costs and prove yourself innocent. If you push the issue and can’t prove yourself innocent, you will be paying our costs as well.” Instead of having to provide a judge with credible, probable cause for a warrant, the state has formed the FISA courts to secretly issue warrants against citizens that the state merely suspects are engaged in activity they do not approve of. Other times, they simply invade our privacy without cause or any method for the citizen to protect themselves. If the citizen tries to defend their rights, they are deemed a criminal and prosecuted for daring to question the almighty sovereign.

So, how bad is it? The Washington Post, a known left leaning organization, did a study in 2014 and found that since post 9/11/2001, there had been nearly 62,000 cash seizures (just cash, not other assets) performed with no warrant and no indictments thereafter. Between 2008 and 2014, of $2.5 BILLION in reported spending, 81% came from civil asset forfeiture seizures in which no indictment was ever filed.

The state has an insatiable appetite when it comes to feeding itself. It continues to bring in record amounts of income from taxes (taxation is theft, but that is for another day) but despite this, it does not get its fill and turns to the outright theft at gunpoint of citizen property. The state becomes more bloated and as it does, it becomes more hostile towards the rights of the citizenry who feed it. King George and the British Empire were no different. They viewed our forefathers as income providers whose purpose was to feed the empire. Subjects who resisted, whether by word of mouth or action, were eliminated. And then the line was crossed. The British decided to disarm the citizenry in Concord. But the subjects had had enough and fought back in the first battles of the American Revolution, and in 1791, enshrined in the Bill of Rights, our newly formed Government agreed it would respect and protect the God-given rights of it citizens.

And yet here we are… the state says “you used this cash to break a law or obtained it by breaking a law”, and now you have to prove to the state, who has already decided you are guilty, that you are innocent and it was indeed wrong of them to seize your property. Civil asset forfeiture is a tragic example of how supposed “gaps” in constitutional protections can be used to circumscribe or circumvent our enumerated God-given rights. It relies on the assumption that people’s property rights are not God-given and can be forfeited without due process. That assumption makes a mockery of both the protection of private property, a bedrock of our republican system, and the presumption of innocence.

So, how bad will it get? Fortunately, there are a number of people and organizations on both sides of the political spectrum that agree this behavior by the state is unacceptable and are fighting to restore the rights of the citizens. Unfortunately, there is also a bloated state that exercises unconstitutional control over those making the decisions on this subject. Even the US. Attorney General is corrupted by the allure of power over the people that violating the Fourth amendment brings. If someone in his position advocates for it, what can the rest of us do? We fought a war against the most powerful empire on earth, at the time, over this type of behavior. Father of the Fourth Amendment, James Otis said “Can there be any liberty where property is taken away without consent? One of the most essential branches of… liberty is the freedom of one’s house”.

  Just because you are not directly or immediately affected by actions such as civil asset forfeiture or FISA warrants to invade your privacy does not mean you will not be as the hunger of the state increases. Remember, our Constitution and Bill of Rights were meant to instruct the state about what it specifically was allowed to do, and even more specifically, what it could not do. If the founding documents are silent, the state should be as well. Where the documents speak, they are required to listen and obey. They (the state) are supposed to work for the people. Never forget, of all the rights protected, the right to bear arms is the single right that protects all the others, especially the right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure, and provides citizens with the ability to ensure that the state works for them. Remember, be aware, be prepared.

THE DELTA PROCLAMATIONS II

THE DELTA PROCLAMATIONS II

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

If you have been paying attention over the past few years, you have seen the issue of privacy come up repeatedly in the media (main-stream and non-main stream). What we have not seen nearly as much of, at least not in the main-stream media, are stories about the confiscation of private property in which no criminal charges are filed or ever intended to be filed. This is known as civil-asset forfeiture. In a nutshell, if the state “suspects” that property, cash, or other assets in your possession were obtained in an illegal manner, they may confiscate it. In many of these situations, you will not be charged with a crime or face any type of criminal penalty. However, once confiscated, it is up to the you to prove that your property was obtained in a legal fashion… you know, because our system is built on guilty until proven innocent, right?

The Fourth Amendment has its roots in our history as a British Colony. At that time, we colonists had no protections against seizure of property by the Crown. Though several American laws were enacted which forbid such activity, as they were not issued by the Crown and its sovereignty, they were little more than symbolic gestures building up to our eventual revolution. Ultimately, the objective of the Crown, at first, was tax collection. Seizures and searches eventually turned into a method of preventing rebellion, but tax collection was their first and primary function.

Fast forward to modern day and we are protected by the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. We never have to worry about the state searching our smart-phones or other devices without a warrant or probably cause. No one ever has to worry about having records for cash they have on them when they are stopped and searched, which of course never happens without probable cause. No one must worry about a state agent determining that, despite evidence to the contrary, you are engaged in an illegal activity and it is obvious all your assets were obtained from this activity, so they need to be seized after ransacking your home and may or may not be returned after you have proven your innocence…right? Right?

Somehow, at some point, something went terribly wrong. The government by the people, for the people became the government by the government, for the government, at the expense and well-being of the people. Once again tax and revenue generation and control, is at the core of its activity. At some point, it became to much of an inconvenience to prove a citizen guilty. It cost too much, and the result didn’t generate anything more than pulling a criminal off the street. There must be a way to make this more beneficial for the state. Wait, the Brits had the right idea! We can just say “they got that ______ by breaking the law! Even though we didn’t catch you in the act, since we KNOW you are guilty, trial irrelevant, we will be taking your cash and goods, and by the way, if you want it back, will have to cover your costs and prove yourself innocent and if you push the issue and can’t prove yourself innocent, you will be paying our costs as well.” Instead of having to provide a judge with credible, probable cause for a warrant, the state has formed the FISA courts to secretly issue warrants against citizens that the state merely suspects are engaged in activity they do not approve of. Other times, they simply invade our privacy without cause or any method for the citizen to protect themselves. If the citizen tries to defend their rights, they are deemed a criminal and prosecuted for daring to question the almighty sovereign.

So, how bad is it? The Washington Post, a known left leaning organization, did a study in 2014 and found that since post 9/11/2001, there had been nearly 62,000 cash seizures (just cash, not other assets) performed with no warrant and no indictments thereafter. Between 2008 and 2014, of $2.5 BILLION in reported spending, 81% came from civil asset forfeiture seizures in which no indictment was ever filed.

The state has an insatiable appetite when it comes to feeding itself. It continues to bring in record amounts of income from taxes (taxation is theft, but that is for another day) but despite this, it does not get its fill and turns to the outright theft at gunpoint of citizen property. The state becomes more bloated and as it does, it becomes more hostile towards the rights of the citizenry who feed it. King George and the British Empire were no different. They viewed our forefathers as income providers whose purpose was to feed the empire. Subjects who resisted, whether by word of mouth or action, were eliminated. And then the line was crossed. The British decided to disarm the citizenry in Concord. But the subjects had had enough and fought back in the first battles of the American Revolution, and in 1791, enshrined in the Bill of Rights, our newly formed Government agreed it would respect and protect the God-given rights of it citizens.

And yet here we are… the state says, “you used this cash to break a law or obtained it by breaking a law”, and now you have to prove to the state, who has already decided you are guilty, that you are innocent, and it was indeed wrong of them to seize your property. Civil asset forfeiture is a tragic example of how supposed “gaps” in constitutional protections can be used to circumscribe or circumvent our enumerated God-given rights. It relies on the assumption that people’s property rights are not God-given and can be forfeited without due process. That assumption makes a mockery of both the protection of private property, a bedrock of our republican system, and the presumption of innocence.

So, how bad will it get? Fortunately, there are a number of people and organizations on both sides of the political spectrum that agree this behavior by the state is unacceptable and are fighting to restore the rights of the citizens. Unfortunately, there is also a bloated state that exercises unconstitutional control over those making the decisions on this subject. Even the US. Attorney General is corrupted by the allure of power over the people that violating the Fourth amendment brings. If someone in his position advocates for it, what can the rest of us do? We fought a war over this type of behavior. Father of the Fourth Amendment, James Otis said “Can there be any liberty where property is taken away without consent? One of the most essential branches of… liberty is the freedom of one’s house”.

Just because you are not directly or immediately affected by actions such as civil asset forfeiture or FISA warrants to invade your privacy does not mean you will not be as the hunger of the state increases. Remember, our Constitution and Bill of Rights were meant to instruct the state about what it specifically was allowed to do, and even more specifically, what it could not do. If the founding documents are silent, the state should be as well. Where the documents speak, they are required to listen and obey. They (the state) are supposed to work for the people. Never forget, of all the rights protected, the right to bear arms is the single right that protects all the others, especially the right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure, and provides citizens with the ability to ensure that the state works for them. Remember, be aware, be prepared.

THE DELTA PROCLAMATIONS I

THE DELTA PROCLAMATIONS I

With the recent tragedy in Florida, the call for gun-control has once again been renewed and strengthened with the AR-15 front and center as its poster-child of scary guns that must immediately be outlawed. Legislation has been proposed at state and federal levels ranging from banning future sales of the AR-15 to outright bans of semi-automatic firearms for sale or even possession by law-abiding citizens. We see calls for changing the legal age for purchasing a firearm of any type, banning of accessories, confiscation without due process or method of appeal (sure it exists in theory, but our justice system has long since rid itself of innocent until proven guilty requirement replaced with a system that assigns guilt unless you have the cash to buy your way out).

What we are seeing is an all-out attack from the far left, and acquiescence from the center left to center right, not only on our 2nd amendment rights, but the 4thamendment as well. (To take it a step further, the entire bill of rights is under attack, but that is for another day.) We fought a war over these issues. We gained the reputation of being a people who, yes, I’m stealing it from the meme, will “cross a frozen river to kill you, in your sleep, on Christmas.”  Think I’m crazy? Maybe a little but let’s take a journey down the slippery slope and see what the removal of a single amendment could cause.

Slowly, but surely, every law that passes that puts restrictions on the private ownership of firearms sends us one step closer to the loss of the liberties we still retain. Today, it’s the bump-fire stock being banned. An accessory. Not even a firearm, but an accessory. Don’t own one? You’re not affected then, right? Tomorrow the ban will be on trigger enhancements. But wait, my 3lb single stage drop-in trigger is included in this? Something went wrong with that law, surely, they didn’t mean to affect people like me with a trigger like this? Next the regulators decide that all newly manufactured firearms require a permanent NYC style 12lb trigger to prevent accidents and keep the public safe. I suppose you are only affected if you want a new firearm, and who wants those? And on down the slope we go until eventually:

News flash: 2nd Amendment repealed. Private ownership of firearms and ammunition is no longer legal. Citizens have a 30-day amnesty period to report to Federal Firearms Disposal Centers that have been set up throughout the nation and surrender all firearms and ammunition. Any citizen that fails to do so and retain either firearms, ammunition, or both, will be guilty of a violation of SAFE Citizens Act of 2024 punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 per violation and 10 years in Prison.

So now what? Assuming the majority of firearms owners will not submit to violation of basic rights, how does the government intend to execute this law? Well, the 2ndamendment was repealed, so why not officially modify the 4th amendment. Probable cause is no longer a requirement for search and seizure, mere suspicion by the government will suffice. Oh, and if any firearms are found when your home is being searched, your home and possessions are at jeopardy as well as they were used for the purposes of concealing illegal weapons… Of course, there are an infinite number of variables that would make it impractical to attempt to confiscate all firearms or imprison those still possessing them, at least right now. But what about 30 years from now, or even just a decade? Even if we only give an inch, keep giving them, and you eventually have given a mile.

Could it get this bad? History tells us, yes. It could get this bad, it has been this bad. Again, we fought a war over this type of behavior. My point is to reiterate the words of Benjamin Franklin – “Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety”.  Just because you are not directly or immediately affected by a piece of legislation does not mean you will not be by the next step. Remember, our Constitution and Bill of Rights were meant to instruct the government on what it could do, not what it was restrained from doing. If the founding documents are silent, the government should be as well. Where the documents speak, they are required to listen and obey. They (the government) are supposed to work for the people. Of all the rights protected, the right to bear arms is the single right that protects all the others and provides citizens with the ability to ensure that the government works for them. Remember, be aware, be prepared.