There might be rules under which torture is justified, oh, and did we mention that if we suspect you are a terrorist, we can take your stuff forever too.
July 27, 2004 1:43 AM   Subscribe

"withdraw these materials immediately and destroy all copies by any means to prevent disclosure of their content," Just when you wanted to go to the library and get your copy of the "Civil and Criminal Forfeiture Procedure" and "Select Federal Assets Forfeiture Statute" brochures - the Department of Justice says that they were for internal use only and not intended for the eyes of the public. Is this something to be concerned about or conspiracy in action?
posted by nyoki (52 comments total)
 
Seems pretty clear
Casey Stavropoulos, a spokeswoman for the Justice Department, said the pamphlets were written by Justice Department attorneys who intended them to be law enforcement tools for federal prosecutors.
Government lawyers don't want their tactics published.
posted by stbalbach at 1:59 AM on July 27, 2004


So, how long until the pamphlets are all over the net?
posted by Zonker at 5:23 AM on July 27, 2004


It amazes me that there are still people out there that not only dont think fascism is growing, but would defend something like this.
posted by MrLint at 5:23 AM on July 27, 2004


How long til November? Too much information is disappearing--from government websites, and now from libraries?

And what Zonker said: I hope some librarians scan them in and post them.
posted by amberglow at 5:41 AM on July 27, 2004


How long til November?

You think a White House change would fix things like that? I feel it's more like there's this collective sense of fear that is more dangerous than any one dude in the White House. But hey, what do I know?
posted by angry modem at 6:16 AM on July 27, 2004


Wow, some scary parallels with Il Duce's infamous pamphlet-recalling rise to power...
posted by techgnollogic at 6:22 AM on July 27, 2004


i dunno, if you don't want info getting out the last people i would give it to were librarians. I really can't see that many librarians destroying these things, they're usually violently against that sort of thing.
posted by rhyax at 6:24 AM on July 27, 2004


I really can't see that many librarians destroying these things

It's more of a job for firemen.
posted by iamck at 6:43 AM on July 27, 2004


Google turns up some hits for at least one of these. The PDF is a lengthy memo-style document; I don't know whether it's the actual pamphlet. However, it does have many issues and cases you'd need to consider and cite if you were attempting to take somebody's property.

I'll call the local libraries today to see whether they've complied with the DOJ's directive yet.
posted by spacewrench at 7:57 AM on July 27, 2004


I suspect that this goes way beyond the current administration. The two mentioned pamphlets concern the same topic: asset forfeiture. That is the largest black budget law enforcement backdoor appropriation ever created. Every police department in the country, local, state and federal, gets money from this program.

Even in the early 90s, local police were getting a 10% cut of the take, yet well over $600M every year. Which would imply that $6 BILLION dollars worth of stuff is being "arrested" every year, back then. A two-man police department that just happened to be in a town where a big federal drug bust takes place could get several hundred thousand dollars, just because it was done in their jurisdiction. They may have been sound asleep at the time. It is like winning the "cop lottery."

I say "arrested", because most of the property and money is not "seized", per se, it is "arrested". And "arrested" property, unlike people, has no civil rights. This is an important distinction. If the property was seized, it has to be returned unless someone is charged with a crime. But if it is arrested, even if no person is charged, they can keep the asset unless it is contested in federal or state court, *in civil litigation* depending on who holds the asset.

It will cost you a non-refundable minimum of $100,000 to get your property back. So if your property is worth LESS than $100,000, it isn't worth it to try.

In a lot of cases, especially involving drugs or a lot of cash, who the police raid, and the divvy up of the stuff, is the biggest priority, not what crimes may or may not have been broken. Since they can't re-sell drugs, they want to make the bust *after* the drugs are sold, so they can get the cash, instead.

They will also wait until after the person-who-may-or-may-not-even-be-arrested buys some big ticket item, especially an expensive house, boat, or car--something that the police can "turn over" quickly at auction for cash, to do the bust. The police are trained to be redundant, to cover their butt, so they will be sure to find at least *some* drugs. People will willingly surrender a LOT of assests before they will opt to go to prison for a year instead, which is the threat.

Even the small fry are caught up in this. If you are stopped on the street and you have less than $50, you can be arrested for vagrancy. More than $100, and they can "arrest" your money as drug sale proceeds. Good luck if you think you can get it back. No further evidence needed. Have a nice day, and no, you are free to go.
posted by kablam at 8:09 AM on July 27, 2004


Darn, forgot the great link:

http://www.fear.org/
posted by kablam at 8:12 AM on July 27, 2004


You think a White House change would fix things like that?

Yes.

Two words: John Ashcroft
posted by nofundy at 8:22 AM on July 27, 2004


I feel it's more like there's this collective sense of fear that is more dangerous than any one dude in the White House.

But when that dude, and those he appoints, are dedicated to exaggerating and capitalizing on that sense of fear every chance they get...yes, replacing him with someone with a more moderate approach and more traditional American values will make a difference.
posted by rushmc at 8:26 AM on July 27, 2004


Kablam is right...these black hole laws are among the scariest and least talked about in the country. I certainly hope these brochures make it onto the web. Our tiny, rural, local library doesn't get these kind of publications, or I'd go photocopy them myself.

And may I just say, bless those Boston librarians. God love 'em and help them fight the good fight.
posted by dejah420 at 8:49 AM on July 27, 2004


nofundy: Clinton appointee Stephen Breyer has been on the wrong side of more than one civil forfeiture case.

Blaming the executive branch for the civil forfeiture nightmare is short-sighted. Save your ire for the knuckleheads on the bench who allow this to happen.
posted by trharlan at 9:09 AM on July 27, 2004


the war on drugs: self-supporting since 1990
posted by quonsar at 9:35 AM on July 27, 2004


If you are stopped on the street and you have less than $50, you can be arrested for vagrancy. More than $100, and they can "arrest" your money as drug sale proceeds.

Please tell me you're kidding. You have to be joking. There must be a catch -- you gotta do something other than just not happen to have any cash on you.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:50 AM on July 27, 2004


In other news, it's probably worth mentioning that 1 in 32 Americans was incarcerated or on parole last year.

That should scare the shit out of you.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:51 AM on July 27, 2004


kablam: that is exactly what i suspected. the F.E.A.R. website seemed like it could be yet another tin-foil hat group, but the underlying issue of seizure seems so dirty it's hard to believe it's law. and then to see that there is a concerted effort to remove the literature about such a nasty arrangement from public view - just when threats of terror are reaching another crescendo and the patriot act is dribbling over into all sorts of unexpected places and our basic protections are being underfunded - seems like both the executive and judicial branches are giving this issue a huge pass because of, like you said, the BILLIONS of dollars that can be made to augment their budgets.

not to mention five fresh five's point about the prison industry.
posted by nyoki at 10:02 AM on July 27, 2004


You think a White House change would fix things like that?

Yes.

Two words: John Ashcroft


Two more: Sandy Berger
posted by techgnollogic at 10:07 AM on July 27, 2004


Three more: Senator Richard Shelby
posted by amberglow at 10:19 AM on July 27, 2004


also, doesn't a statute have to be public? are things like that allowed to be secrets?
posted by amberglow at 10:20 AM on July 27, 2004


Two more: Sandy Berger

heh...let ole Sandy have those documents

<a href="http://www.michaelmoore.com" >Hatriotism</a>
posted by republican at 10:20 AM on July 27, 2004


Can any of you with more constitutional law knowledge than myself explain exactly how the courts justify these laws? After all, the fifth amendment is explicit regarding the due process requirement for deprivation of property: it's held to the same standard as deprivation of life or liberty.
posted by mr_roboto at 10:35 AM on July 27, 2004


Civil asset forfeiture is evil. What's more to know?

I studied this in law school in the early 90s. I can no longer recall the source, but some of the Supremes have sounded off on CAF and they don't like it, not for what it does, but because they know eventually the backlash will swing to the other side and make siezures more dificult than they were prior to asset forfeiture.

The case I always recall:

Boat leasing company rents a 2.5 million dollar yacht to some wealthy private individual for a lease term of one month. The Coast Guard boards and searches the yaght duting the one month lease, and finds a single joint.
The yacht is seized and becomes the property of the US Gov't. The private individual is never arrested, just dropped of at shore.

The lease company tries all legal steps to reaquire title to their boat. The gov't refuses to, under the CAF stats, which require no legal proceedings to convert property into gov't property*.

At trial, and appeal level, the boat leassors gain much sympathy from judges who can nevertheless find no way to compel the gov't to return the boat, let alone submit to legal review of the propriety of the siezure.

They make a final appeal to the Supreme Court, and the Court grants cert. Verdict: Its not your boat anymore, it belongs to the US Gov't.

*The CAF stats essentially permit the gov't agent to seize any property that is deemed to be an instrument to the commision of a crime. So, a car is an instrument to finding hookers, and a multi million dollar yacht is an instrument to smoking a joint (cuz who can tread water and blaze at the same time?)

The simple truth is that the CAF stats are really an Equal Rights Statute. ie. the gov't can now treat all Americans like they treat Native Americans.
posted by Fupped Duck at 10:55 AM on July 27, 2004


Roboto: Its a complicated and torturous legal fiction, but essentially, the siezed item is deemd an instrument of the crime and so is treated as a criminal itself (somewhat in the way that corporation is treated like a person).

The complexity of this strained legal fiction is far more complex, and beyond the scope of MeFi. But interms of evil & insane rationale, thats the gyst of it.

It gets uglier than that too, cuz there's been cases documented where dirty sheriffs have trumped up crimes to grab property they decided they wanted (Malibi, CA, I think?)

It all goes a long way to explaining why the governemnt wants as little light shed on this matter as possible. Its dirty dirty stuff, beyond any justification, legal or otherwise.
posted by Fupped Duck at 11:03 AM on July 27, 2004


trharlan,

I thought the discussion was about the removal and destruction of public documents, not about forfeiture laws. Is that not correct? If I am correct, then what I said is very accurate.
No, Sandy Berger did not destroy and hide documents from the public technologic so you can put that dog back under the porch.

How can anyone with even half a brain defend Ashcroft? And what the hell does Michael Moore and your failed attempt at linking his site to the non-existent word "hatriotism" have to do with anything in this thread republican? Is this a freeper wing nut Google bomb attempt? If so they're gonna need smarter monkeys than you!
posted by nofundy at 11:16 AM on July 27, 2004


SNAP! google bombs are so 2002 ... or whenever

I suspect that this goes way beyond the current administration.

i'd say both sides of the "whose fault is it" camp are partially correct. changing the administration probably won't make a dent in crazy forfeitures. however, it might curb the expansion of forfeiture law:

from kablam's link:
Expansion of forfeiture powers under the USA PATRIOT Act

the important thing is that they weren't able to repeal the advances made in the Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act of 2000. but it seems like the administration sure as hell tried.

i honestly don't know if a Kerry administration would be better or worse on crinimal forfeiture (both major parties have to be "tough on crime") but i would say that the president and attorney general do have a lot of influence on these laws.

*waiting patiently for some renegade librarian to slip a blogger a photocopy*
posted by mrgrimm at 12:00 PM on July 27, 2004


Okay, so I followed up with Sean Murphy, author of that Boston Globe story, and got the full titles of all 5 withdrawn publications so I could request them all at the Boston public library. Turns out they were expecting just such a request and had the list handy. One was unavailable because it was out to be copied onto microfiche; I guess they don't plan on parting with that one any time soon.

Of the four that I looked at, all did indeed deal with civil and criminal asset forfeiture (of which I know nothing). The strange thing was that one was literally just a directory of government installations that deal with this, and two were copies of various titles of the US Code (sometimes with recent changes annotated). This stuff, at least the portions of the US Code, is just not something that's even possible to remove from the public domain.

The fourth one I looked at, "Select Criminal Forfeiture Forms", was the only one with any plausibly new work by anyone at the DOJ. It started with an introduction to criminal forfeiture procedure, which included a lot of caselaw analysis relevant to that field. I haven't read it, I'm not sure if there's any big bad secrets that should be kept away from the prying eyes of... well, criminal defense attorneys, I suppose. All in all, there were about 300 pages of documents, so I didn't copy them all.
posted by rkent at 12:08 PM on July 27, 2004


in other news, the government today siezed all the assets of frito-lay incorporated after determining that a rold-gold brand pretzel was instrumental in a presidential assassination attempt.
posted by quonsar at 12:20 PM on July 27, 2004


More on asset forfeiture from Reason.
posted by homunculus at 12:34 PM on July 27, 2004


Even the small fry are caught up in this. If you are stopped on the street and you have less than $50, you can be arrested for vagrancy. More than $100, and they can "arrest" your money as drug sale proceeds. Good luck if you think you can get it back. No further evidence needed. Have a nice day, and no, you are free to go.

kablam is on the money on this one--although I would add that, from my accquaintances' experience, carrying cash above $100 was always problematic if you were stopped by the police and you didn't fit the bourgeois profile of the day.

But forfeiture laws certainly codified and expanded what had been an age old practice of a crooked few. Typical horror stories often involve people like landscape contractors and antique dealers being stopped in airports enroute to conventions or trade shows--people who pay in cash and, hence, carry large amounts of it when they travel. For whatever reason they get stopped--if they get searched, and airport security or the police see the cash--it's gone, most likely for good. 'Cause if the authorities take money from innocent people, they are still most reluctant to give it back--it might cause an unfortunate precedent or something to choke off the money stream.
posted by y2karl at 4:36 PM on July 27, 2004


Okay, so I'm walking around downtown whereever, USA, heading from work over to the coffeeshop for my morning fix. Left my wallet in my motorcycle pants by accident, which are in my locker, so I bummed a couple bucks from a coworker as I headed out the door.

A cop stops me for whatever reason -- maybe I jaywalked. I give him a bit of 'tude, because I'm grumpy because I need my caffeine fix.

Is it really true that (a) I could get a pat-down for no particularly good reason; (b) I could be up shit creek 'cause I don't have my wallet on me; (c) I could be freakin' arrested because I only have a couple dollars?

Please, please tell me it ain't so. Because if it is, the USA is in much worse condition than I'd ever imagined.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:17 PM on July 27, 2004


(both major parties have to be "tough on crime")

Are we ever going to see a major candidate with the stones to come out and say that "tough on crime" = "excuse to lock up the poor and minorities"? (I finally saw that terrific Chappelle's Show sketch with the two justice systems-- absolutely some of the most trenchant commentary on its problems.)

God damn it. Stuff like this depresses me-- it's a reminder of just how fucked we really are right now and how few people are aware of it or even doing anything about it.
posted by nath at 6:23 PM on July 27, 2004


You think that lawmakers and law enforcement officials use crime as an excuse to lock up poor people and minorities? Like all that drunk driving and drug dealing and stealing cars should be legal, but it's not because the Man can tout is as a reason to arrest a bunch of poor brown people? Maybe the reason why so few people seem unaware of "just how fucked up we really are" is because you're the one who's out of touch.
posted by techgnollogic at 8:32 PM on July 27, 2004


More like "tough on crime involving the poor and minorities".
Remember - a gram of powdered coke will get you a steep fine, but a single crack rock and you're doing time.
How likely is it that Rush Limbaugh will be arrested, much less do jail time?
posted by bashos_frog at 9:19 PM on July 27, 2004


They got tough on Martha Stewart, though - but that's just because she was a Democrat.
posted by bashos_frog at 9:20 PM on July 27, 2004


but that's just because she was a Democrat.

I think it had more to do with the fact that she was an "uppity bitch", as one of her detractors referred to her.

Please, please tell me it ain't so. Because if it is, the USA is in much worse condition than I'd ever imagined.


No, Virginia, there is no Santa Clause, and the U.S. has been going downhill for decades as it pertains to individual rights. More and more rights are taken away from citizens, while corporations gain more. Corporations merge, becoming huge, unstoppable monoliths that say...have the right to use the FBI to take *all* your stuff if you copy a song.

Property rights have become meaningless as local, state and federal governments have used the right of "eminent domain" to take property away from citizens and give it to corporations with little compensation to the property holder.

In Texas, they don't need a *reason* to arrest you. You can be arrested and held for up to 48 hours before they have to charge you with a crime. Trust me when I tell you that the cops routinely round up homeless folks and toss them in the clink for big conventions or other times when having the "great unwashed" visible would be politically inconvenient.

As American citizens, we are no longer safe in our homes from unwarranted intrusion, we are not safe in our persons from unwarranted searches, we are not safe in general from unwarranted arrest and lockdown.

We haven't been a free citizenship in my lifetime. It's just that the last 20 years or so have been particularly egregious in the loss of liberty.
posted by dejah420 at 6:51 AM on July 28, 2004


Are you trying to earn your Moonbat badge or something?
posted by techgnollogic at 10:57 AM on July 28, 2004


techgnollogic - kindly, if you can, refute the factual assertions of deja420's post; because I for one would be delighted to learn that she's wrong. (So, I imagine, would she.) No points for merely snarking at the characterizations and interpretive part of her comment.

And I am totally baffled as to when the republicans began defending government takings; fully half the planks in the Republican platform relate to the sanctity of private property, affirming the evil of government takings and limitations on the use and enjoyment of private property. Is it merely the the mention of words like "crime", "drugs" and "terrorism" (without, I might add, burden of proof) that causes them to do such an enthusiastic and unprincipled one-eighty?
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:26 AM on July 28, 2004


Are you trying to earn your Moonbat badge or something? -techgnollogic

Is this an example what passes for debate on your side of the fence, sparky? I mean, feel free to prove me wrong. Tell me how the RIAA isn't suing 12 year olds, show me cases where the MPAA isn't knocking down doors because of people streaming videos, show me a case where a landowner prevailed over a corporation when the landowner was in a prime real estate location and didn't want to sell. Let's talk about how you must have a SS number to open a savings account, let's talk about how any transaction over 10K *must*, by law, be reported to the feds. Let's talk about the people who, without being charged with a crime, have lost property, cash and dignity...all in the name of catching a few crackheads and pot-smokers.

Come on baby, debate me if you've got something...otherwise, you just look like a 3rd grader doing the "nyah nyah" dance.
posted by dejah420 at 12:12 PM on July 28, 2004


I'd really like a direct answer to this, and even more so if you can provide a link to a court case or news item demonstrating that this has happened"

Okay, so I'm walking around downtown whereever, USA, heading from work over to the coffeeshop for my morning fix. Left my wallet in my motorcycle pants by accident, which are in my locker, so I bummed a couple bucks from a coworker as I headed out the door.

A cop stops me for whatever reason -- maybe I jaywalked. I give him a bit of 'tude, because I'm grumpy because I need my caffeine fix.

Is it really true that (a) I could get a pat-down for no particularly good reason; (b) I could be up shit creek 'cause I don't have my wallet on me; (c) I could be freakin' arrested because I only have a couple dollars?

posted by five fresh fish at 12:17 PM on July 28, 2004


Factual claims? What like "the U.S. has been going downhill for decades as it pertains to individual rights"? Since when? Since the Civil Rights movement? Since Universal Suffrage? Since the end of Slavery?

Dejah420 means that individual rights have been going downhill for decades. What, since equality "peaked" in the 60s after a century of skyrocketing liberation? We've "declined" for "decades" without repealing the 19th amendment, or the civil rights act of 1964? Or even Roe v. Wade? Are you shitting me?

More and more rights have been taken away from citizens

Like what? Any fundamental ones? Are you characterizing standard legistative polishing and clarification and "taking away rights" or what? If this isn't "We're losing our rights to download mp3s" chicken little horseshit, then you'll have to further enlighten me. Last time I checked, Metafilter was a pretty good example of Free Speech. Meetup.org happily helps coordinate free association, and damn if I can't buy more guns and ammo than I can carry at a dozen locations within 15 minutes of where I stand.

Property rights have become meaningless.

That's a straight up lie, and so is saying governments take property with "little compensation to the property holder." Emminent domain is as old as the United States, and there's plenty of things you can do to fight it. If property rights were meaningless, I can't imagine there being anything to do but cash the government's check.

I'd love to see more info on this "In Texas, they don't need a *reason* to arrest you" stuff. Google and I couldn't find anything to support taht statement.

We haven't been a free citizenship in my lifetime.

What constitutes a free citizenship? Is this some wingnut libertarian definition of freedom? If not, when was the last time we were a free citizenship, according to your definition?
posted by techgnollogic at 12:22 PM on July 28, 2004


fff: I know of the Supreme Court ruling that people do not have a Constitutional right to refuse to give a police officer their name, but I'm not aware that that includes providing an actual ID, like a driver's license. Are you talking about the Hiibel case or something different?
posted by techgnollogic at 12:30 PM on July 28, 2004


You think that lawmakers and law enforcement officials use crime as an excuse to lock up poor people and minorities? Like all that drunk driving and drug dealing and stealing cars should be legal, but it's not because the Man can tout is as a reason to arrest a bunch of poor brown people?

It must be a nice fantasy world you live in, where the laws and the justice system are applied equally and fairly to those of every race or economic means.
posted by nath at 2:15 PM on July 28, 2004


Who said the justice system is fair and equal? There's a huge gap between recognizing that certain groups of people end up being unfairly targeted or scrutinized by the justice system, and believing that crime is just some made up excuse to arrest the poor and minorities. The latter viewpoint, your viewpoint, is an unsubstantiated extreme, which is probably why "so few people" seem to you to be doing anything about it.

If poverty makes one more susceptible to criminal activity, that's one thing, but it wouldn't be fair and equal for law enforcement to cut poor criminals or minority criminals some slack because they've had a hard life. The Justice Department is in the business of law enforcement, not poverty assistance. If you want to help poor people, focus on their poverty, and do something about it before they become criminals.
posted by techgnollogic at 3:14 PM on July 28, 2004


Does poverty make one more susceptible to criminal activity?
Or does it make one more susceptible to criminal prosecution?

If you believe the first statement, you must know some very different rich people than me.
posted by sonofsamiam at 3:19 PM on July 28, 2004


I'm not talking about any cases. I want to know if you, sans wallet, with only a few bucks for coffee, could be arrested for S.F.A.
posted by five fresh fish at 3:32 PM on July 28, 2004


Factual claims? What like "the U.S. has been going downhill for decades as it pertains to individual rights"? Since when? Since the Civil Rights movement? Since Universal Suffrage? Since the end of Slavery?

Oh good lord, boy. What part of "decades" confuses you?

Let's just go back as far as the Reagan Era, shall we? The golden shining heart of capitalistic democracy where Americans, blinded by the cult of personality didn't notice that behind the shining silicone master, deregulation, privatization, union busting and consolidation created an irrevocable economic barrier to the common man. And don't even get me started on Reagan and civil rights. Almost a hundred years of efforts to bring the working man to parity was devastated in the Reagan years.

The right of eminent domain and "takings" has been misused over and over and over again.

Dejah- More and more rights have been taken away from citizens...

Techo - Like what? Any fundamental ones?


Um...well, let's see:

October - 2001 PATRIOT ACT passes. Have you read this monster? Allow me to list for you the liberties and rights we lost under it:

* FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION:
Government may monitor religious and political institutions without suspecting criminal activity to assist terror investigation.

* FREEDOM OF INFORMATION:
Government has closed once-public immigration hearings, has secretly detained hundreds of people without charges, and has encouraged bureaucrats to resist public records requests.

* FREEDOM OF SPEECH:
Government may prosecute librarians or keepers of any other records if they tell anyone that the government subpoenaed information related to a terror investigation.

* RIGHT TO LEGAL REPRESENTATION:
Government may monitor federal prison jailhouse conversations between attorneys and clients, and deny lawyers to Americans accused of crimes.

* FREEDOM FROM UNREASONABLE SEARCHES:
Government may search and seize Americans' papers and effects without probable cause to assist terror investigation.

* RIGHT TO A SPEEDY AND PUBLIC TRIAL:
Government may jail Americans indefinitely without a trial.

* RIGHT TO LIBERTY:
Americans may be jailed without being charged or being able to confront witnesses against them.

See also: BORDC's A Guide to the USA PATRIOT Act and Federal Executive Orders (PDF)

So...yeah punkin....I think we can safely say that some "fundamental" ones are impacted.


Regarding your questions about being able to be held in Texas, may I refer you to our most recent legislative changes:

MISDEMEANORS:
A person arrested without a warrant and who is detained in jail must be released on bond in an amount not to exceed $5,000.00 no later than 24 hours after the person's arrest if the person was arrested for a misdemeanor, and if a magistrate has not determined whether probable cause exists to believe that the person committed the offense.

FELONIES:
A person arrested without a warrant and who is detained in jail must be released on bond, in an amount not to exceed $10,000, no later than 48 hours after the person's arrest if the person was arrested for a felony and a magistrate has not determined whether probable cause exists to believe that the person committed the offense.

If the person is unable to obtain a surety for the bond or unable to deposit money in the amount of the bond, the person must be released on personal bond. A prosecutor may file an application for postponement for release, upon which the magistrate may postpone the release of a person but not for more than 72 hours after the person's arrest.


So...I'm thinking your google-fu is about as strong as your straw men.

A free citizenship has a voice in their government that isn't just a token. A free citizen isn't required to carry identification as a matter of course. A free citizen doesn't have to worry about their land being taken because property value around them rises. A free citizen knows the Constitution and is ready to defend it...even if it means wearing the label of "moonbat" spouted by psuedopatriots who have no knowledge of their own history. Free citizens don't necessarily agree with each other, but they'll fight tooth and nail to make sure you have the right to say your piece. Free citizens don't go quietly into the dark night of bread and circuses promised by a regime that exists only to enrich itself. Free citizens *are* this country. And we're damned proud of it.

So, don't try to lie to me like I'm Montel Williams, and tell me that nothing has changed. I'm not that stupid, and you're not that smooth.
posted by dejah420 at 5:41 PM on July 28, 2004


...if the person was arrested for a misdemeanor...

...if the person was arrested for a felony...


I didn't ask you any questions about being able to be held in Texas. You go right ahead and show me more info on this "In Texas, they don't need a *reason* to arrest you" stuff whenever you feel like it, Miss Google-Fu.

A free citizenship has a voice in their government that isn't just a token.

My vote isn't a token. Having a voice in your government doesn't automatically mean you'll ever get your way either, no matter how free you are.

A free citizen isn't required to carry identification as a matter of course.

I'm not required to carry identification as a matter of course. I could walk around for weeks without ID and never run into a problem.

A free citizen doesn't have to worry about their land being taken because property value around them rises.

Most people don't worry about their property value rising. Most, in fact, hope their property values rise. Either way, it's hard to imagine how whether or not you have to worry about your property value rising determines whether your are free or not. Besides, eminent domain is written into the 5th Amendment to the Constitution, so how does it demonstrate a loss of freedom in your lifetime, much less the past 200 years?

Free citizens don't necessarily agree with each other, but they'll fight tooth and nail to make sure you have the right to say your piece.

As far as I can tell, we've both been saying our pieces just fine, no teeth or nails required, so where's the problem?

Free citizens don't go quietly into the dark night of bread and circuses promised by a regime that exists only to enrich itself.

Now you're telling free citizens what not to do?

Free citizens *are* this country. And we're damned proud of it.

I agree, which is why I don't understand why you just said We haven't been a free citizenship in my lifetime.
posted by techgnollogic at 7:21 PM on July 28, 2004


You say we haven't been a free citizenry in your lifetime, and so I ask you when we were free and you then spout off a little bit about the Reagan administration, and a whole bunch about the Patriot Act of 2001. I realize that you're identifying further losses of rights, but you said we weren't free in your lifetime. Were you born in the Reagan Administration? And if we haven't been a free citizenry in your lifetime, then it's not because of the three year old Patriot Act.

Again, when was the last time we were a free citizenry.

Your link to an article on Reagan's civil rights record says, "it's difficult to find a president who was less supportive of civil rights." Hmm how about the twelve that owned slaves? What was this damning civil rights record of Reagan's? Oh, he opposed affirmative action. He sided with Bob Jones University's segregationist policies regarding interracial dating. He only signed the MLK holiday into law under pressure from Republicans in Congress. And for these, it's difficult to find a single president who was less supportive of civil rights??? Where's the perspective?
posted by techgnollogic at 7:47 PM on July 28, 2004


they backed down
posted by amberglow at 8:03 PM on August 3, 2004


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