The Dissent Of The Governed: Only 21% Of Americans Believe The Government Has The Consent Of The Governed by smonebkyn


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									The Dissent Of The Governed: Only 21% Of
Americans Believe The Government Has The
Consent Of The Governed
By Miguel Duque
March 17, 2014

Is government legitimate?
The most recent results of an annual Rasmussen poll indicate that only 21% of Americans believe that
their government has the consent of the governed. That result, with whatever weight it carries, suggests
that a whopping 79% are not even positive that this government is legitimate.
This shouldn’t come to much surprise considering the state’s inflating track record of abuse and
brutality. Take, for example, how it has sought to force millions of us, at the threat of escalated theft
and violence, to purchase the health care plans of the equally-corrupt corporations that use government
privilege to pillage and destroy the free market. Take the enormity of the so-called justice system which
serves no purpose other than to wage war both against competing criminal firms and against
completely innocent people whom they kidnap and hold for ransom. Take the notion that the state now
spies on every single electronic communication of everyone in the world at every second of the day.
Take the nightmarish reality that we’ve handed the power to eradicate the entire planet in an instant to
complete psychopaths. We are witnessing police state, security state, welfare and warfare state fully
unveil itself as a monstrous beast from hell.
 There can be no consent where it can’t be withdrawn. The government in America, along with every
 other government in the history of the world, derive their authority from the barrel of a gun. They
 neither stand nor have they ever stood for justice or liberty or equality or any other naively-accepted
 falsehood virtue that a state often purports to uphold. Yet they have grown so powerful and greedy
 and thirsty for blood.
And still people are rising up and emancipating themselves from mental slavery. Just as the days of
chattel slavery have all but seen their end, so shall the days of statism. All it will take is the individual
integrity to remove violent, coercive, or aggressive behavior from our personal lives, to refuse to
condone it or remain complicit in it any further.
The people are waking up to the illegitimacy of the state. Stay vigilant and hold out hope, friends.
These are trying times, but peace is just beyond the horizon.

Police Can Take Your Cash Without Charging
You With A Crime
By Lucy Steigerwald

On Friday, the district attorney's office in Humboldt County, Nevada, agreed to return the $50,000 that
had been seized from Tan Nguyen during a traffic stop on September 23, 2013. Nguyen had never been
charged with a crime, much less convicted of anything—Humboldt County sheriff’s deputy Lee Dove
pulled him over for allegedly going three miles over the speed limit, then searched his car without
permission (though the cops claim consent was given) and found what Nguyen said was gambling
winnings. The 37-year-old California resident’s luck clearly ran out when he was stopped by Dove,
however, and according to his lawsuit, Nguyen was given a choice—give up his money or try to get
home without his vehicle.
This wasn't an isolated incident or a mistake on behlaf of the cops. In a photo that the Humboldt
County Sheriff’s Department put on Facebook (and has since deleted), Dove posed proudly with a
police dog and the $50,000 he had seized. The officer, who is also accused of taking $13,800 and a
handgun from another driver in a similarly flimsy traffic-stop scenario, is presumably feeling less
puffed-up now. On Friday, the local district attorney’s office promised that that driver, Nguyen, and
another person who had $2,400 taken, would get their cash back, and that forfeiture policy would be
Is it good that the DA is checking on these stories? Sure. Are these Nevada horror stories particularly
surprising? Not if you know the bizarre state of asset-forfeiture laws.
Civil asset-forfeiture laws vary, but like many other bad laws they’re generally used to take money and
property from individuals suspected of drug crimes. According to Nick Sibilla of the Institute for
Justice (whom I briefly worked with at Reason magazine), 37 states mandate that the property owner
prove that his or her property is innocent of any criminal ties in order to get it back. The Institute for
Justice, a libertarian-leaning law firm that has often fought asset-forfeiture abuse, rates Nevada’s law a
D+—under the state's current rules, police departments get to keep 100 percent of the profits from sales
of seized property, and cops need only show “clear and convincing evidence” of that property’s
connection to a crime. That’s “a higher standard than many states,” according to the Institute for
Justice, “but still lower than the criminal standard of beyond a reasonable doubt. But the burden falls
on you to prove that you are an innocent owner by showing that the act giving rise to the forfeiture was
done without your knowledge, consent, or willful blindness.”
Often cash—usually anything over $10,000—is deemed by the cops suspicious and inherently tied to
drug trafficking. That makes it tough for people, like high-stakes gamblers, who tend to have a bunch
of bills lying around. Worse still, forfeiture incentivizes departments to continue the failed war on
drugs, as large chunks of the profits from seized assets go back to local cops. Sibilla notes that seizures
by sheriff’s departments in other states have been in the millions—including a whopping $20 million
taken in two decades by Sheriff Bill Smith in Camden County, Georgia.
These Nevada cases—though they ended happily thanks to lawsuits and bad publicity for the cops
involved—reek of theft and intimidation on the part of the police. But sadly, they’re not unique. The
good news is that, if the drug war ends, asset forfeiture may suffer as well. We just need to hurry up.
Now on to the rest of this week’s bad cops:
–On March 11, a stretch of highway near Rockville, Maryland, was shut down for 30 minutes so local
police could capture three armed bank robbers. We're not trying to encourage bank robberies, or to
suggest that bank robbers should be allowed to go about their business, but it sure seems like the police
were using excessively aggressive tactics in response to a relatively minor crime. (No one had been
killed; this wasn’t a terrorist attack.) This operation included a roadblock and officers who “walked
from car to car with pistols, shotguns, and semiautomatic rifles drawn,” according to the Washington
Post. Police also barked orders at drivers and demanded to search their cars.
–A 20-year-old member of the US Air Force was shot by Alabama police on March 6 after he was in a
car accident, and his family is baffled about how that could have happened. On the night in question,
Michael Davidson, an airman first class, clipped another driver’s car and stopped to exchange
insurance information. According to Davidson and his family, before he could even get to the other car,
the police appeared; Davidson held up his hands to make sure nothing awful happened. When he turned
around, wallet in hand, hands in the air, officer Phillip Hancock, of the Opelika police, shot Davidson
in the stomach. The young man’s family said that the cops at the scene were screaming questions about
where another person was, adding to the confusion, but Davidson had been driving alone. Police say
they quickly called emergency services, but Davidson and his family claim that the airman was kept
cuffed and bleeding on the ground while police searched his car. (Davidson's memory is hazy, since he
passed out.) His father says the family wasn’t told about his son being shot until noon the next day, and
that Davidson almost died during his surgery. Police have yet to explain why Davidson was shot except
that the officer thought he was in danger—perhaps from the now permanently injured 20-year-old’s
–On March 6, ten San Diego police officers swarmed into a strip club with guns and bulletproof vests.
They proceeded to photograph the exotic dancers without letting them get dressed and shut down the
club for several hours while confusing and intimidating the club’s staff and manager, who thought
maybe police were looking for “a bank robber or serial killer.” Nope, it was a basic random compliance
check to make sure each worker was who she said she was and that the club had the proper licenses in
place. It’s unclear why this took a team of heavily armed cops.
–Two Brooklyn men recently filed a lawsuit in federal court alleging that some NYPD cops arrested
them after they refused to give their White Castle hamburgers to the officers. On October 31, 2013,
Danny Maisonet and Kenneth Glover were carrying their famously greasy treats home during the
aftermath of Hurricane Sandy when they ran into some cops who straight-up demanded their food.
According to their suit, when they declined to hand over the burgers, they were hit with flashlights,
handcuffed, and taken into custody. Officer Angelo Pizzarro says the men were blocking the sidewalk
while he and his colleagues were attempting to arrest looters—but charges of disorderly conduct and
obstructing government administration against Maisonet and Glover were later dropped.
–A suit filed earlier this month in Philadelphia district court alleged that Philly police Tasered a 76-
year-old man half a dozen times in August 2012 after mistaking the man for his brother, who had just
been causing a scene in a salon. The cops threw Robert Gross to the ground and cuffed him, then jerked
him to his feet. When the old man asked what was going on, they Tasered him six times. The police
don’t dispute their treatment of Gross, and they charged him with resisting arrest and disorderly
conduct, the latter of which stuck. At Gross’s trial, cops argued that he had been belligerent and had
tried to punch the arresting officers. Gross, who argues that the cops thought he was his brother Carl, is
alleging that his 14th and Fourth Amendment rights were violated and that the officers committed
assault and battery. Meanwhile, Carl Gross—who had caused the scene in the salon—was put into a
home for dementia sufferers soon after the incident. Sounds like he wouldn’t have warranted six hits
from a Taser either.
–Yes, Baltimore cop Jon Boyer is “hunky,” but we’re not going to focus on his ripped bod or dreamy
eyes or whatnot—he saved a stray kitten from the streets, adopted it himself, then posed for an anti–
animal abuse organization’s ad. Even if he looked like Mark E. Smith he’d be a worthy Good Cop of
the Week. Keep rescuing those kitties, Jon!


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