Civil Forfeiture: Is It Just Stealing?

Notice the headline from the Washington Post:

Policing-for-ProfitAsset seizures fuel police spending

Police agencies have used hundreds of millions of dollars taken from Americans under federal civil forfeiture law in recent years to buy guns, armored cars and electronic surveillance gear. They have also spent money on luxury vehicles, travel and a clown named Sparkles.

The details are contained in thousands of annual reports submitted by local and state agencies to the Justice Department’s Equitable Sharing Program, an initiative that allows local and state police to keep up to 80 percent of the assets they seize. The Washington Post obtained 43,000 of the reports dating from 2008 through a Freedom of Information Act request. …

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Public Enemy Number One?

militarizationThe militarization of the United States is one of the open sores bleeding our democracy. Add to that our proliferation of guns and violence, our demonstrated ability to bomb and destroy, and a significant portion of the population which lives in a bubble denying reality, and what do you expect when you hear that the United States is considered by most developed and undeveloped countries as the Disneyland of mass destruction and the most dangerous threat to the continued existence of human life on this planet.

A side observation suggests that America is in decline and will soon (if not already) be reduced and eclipsed by other nations, like China. Although this might actually be a good thing for the safety of the planet, I’m not so sure that the wing-nuts running around in positions of responsibility will not use their hurt feelings to start throwing excrement down from the trees. The threat to the American Empire just might be the impetus leading to the annihilation of civilization.

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Your inner monster

FilthBy the time I got to the later chapters of Irvine Welsh’s novel, Filth, I wasn’t even aware of his writing being filled with Scottish dialect, Cockney rhyming slang, Britishisms, Australian references, drug argot, or out and out obscenity. But I have a suspicion that, as a writer, Welsh lost some of his early steam and pushed through the finale without too much concern for a gritty narrative voice. I might be wrong and if you want to perform a more scientific analysis of the language in the novel, drop me a note with your results.

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