You Only Think You Own Much of Anything

by Edgar J. Steele
December 23, 2007



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My name is Edgar J. Steele. 

Originally, I sent this out as a squib to a small list of insiders.  I consider it so monumentally important to all of us, however, that I have decided to elevate it, at least, to an unrecorded column posting on the site.

My good friend and correspondent Virginia Abernethy incisively observed, in responding to my "squib" regarding the story I reproduce in its entirety down below:

"A robbery in Lima, Ohio, was thwarted by an elderly, armed home-owner.  But medical marijuana found in the house became the pretext for confiscation of life savings, first by the city and then snatched from the city by the FBI.

"The victim of robbery from street criminals and then government criminals is at risk of never seeing his money again.

"IMO, most -- if not all -- street drugs should be de-criminalized. Would stop smuggling of drugs and many people across our border with Mexico.  The vanishing profit motive would stop efforts to hook school-children on drugs.  Would result in mass release from prison of those convicted only on drug charges.  Would save law enforcement resources for use in crimes that threaten public safety.  Would eliminate one rationale for government confiscation of private property."

Throwing Money at Problems

Indeed.  And only one Presidential candidate favors the Federal decriminalization of drugs in America, placing their control at the state level, where the Constitution clearly intended such things:  Ron Paul. 

Alcohol is one of the most damaging drugs in existence and its legal, state-run control is what keeps it out of our children's hands, by and large.  Ron Paul is a doctor, don't forget, who has seen up close the boomerang effect that the "War on Drugs" has been having upon America.  Oddly enough, Ron Paul seems to be the only Presidential candidate who sees the boomerang effect the "War on Terror" is having, as well.

Have you noticed something odd?  For the past sixty years, every time America declares war on something, all we ever seem to get is more of the object of any such "war":  Welfare, poverty, crime, terror, drugs, etc.  There is a reason, of course:  throwing massive amounts of government money at anything simply generates more of whatever you throw the money at.  Think about it!  It sounds like a joke - a bad joke. at that - but it isn't.  Of course it is true.  How could things ever be otherwise?

The War on Rock 'n Roll

It is high time we started declaring war on things we actually need - Rock 'n Roll, perhaps.  Yeah!  Rock 'n Roll.  Folks would be dancing in the streets in no time.  Smiling.  Laughing.  Having too good a time to get into trouble, do drugs or bomb the hell out of small defenseless countries halfway around the world.

Reading, for another example.  The War on Books!  Before you know it, people would be lying in the grass all across America, lost in the wonder of the written word.  Why, the savings in electricity from unused TV sets alone likely would be enough to eliminate America's reliance upon foreign oil! 

Consider the beneficial effects simply from having Christian fundamentalist dispensationalist wackos actually reading their Bibles to learn what God wants of them, rather than listening to the twisted, perverse spewings of those like John Hagee!

You Only Think You Own Much of Anything

However, an even more ominous portent arises from the asset-seizure story below, and it is a clear indicator of just where we are headed in America regarding private property rights in general.

Travel with more than a couple thousand dollars and it will be seized if found and you will pay hell in getting it back - we're familiar with this scenario by now, of course, both at the airports and on the highways.  Now, however, even your home cash/gold/silver/food stash is in danger when found by authorities, who may legally assume it is theirs unless you can "prove" you earned it. 

Read the following article for a prime example of the current status of the ever-expanding asset-forfeiture laws in modern Amerika: 


Man wants his $400K back from the FBI
Greg Sowinski | gsowinski@limanews.com
- 12.18.2007
Luther Ricks Sr. sits in the living room of his Greenlawn Avenue home where authorities took more than $400,000 from him earlier this year following a fatal self-defense shooting in his house. The FBI now has his money and is refusing to give it back. (Photo by Matthew Hashiguchi)

LIMA — Two robbers who broke into Luther Ricks Sr.’s house this summer may have not gotten his life savings he had in a safe, but after the FBI confiscated it he may not get it back.

Ricks has tried to get an attorney to fight for the $402,767 but he has no money. Lima Police Department officers originally took the money from his house but the FBI stepped in and took it from the Police Department. Ricks has not been charged with a crime and was cleared in a fatal shooting of one of the robbers but still the FBI has refused to return the money, he said.

“They are saying I have to prove I made it,” he said.

The 63-year-old Ricks said he and his wife, Meredith, saved the money during their lifetime in which both worked while living a modest life.

A representative of the FBI could not be reached for comment.

During the fatal shooting incident inside the house June 30, Ricks and his son were being attacked by two men and his son was stabbed. Ricks broke free, grabbed a gun and shot to death 32-year-old Jyhno Rock inside his home at 939 Greenlawn Ave.

Police originally took the money after finding marijuana inside Ricks’ home, which Ricks said he had to help manage pain.

“I smoke marijuana. I have arthritis. I have shingles, a hip replacement,” he said.

Ricks, who is retired from Ohio Steel Foundry, said he always had a safe at home and never had a bank account.

American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio Legal Director Jeff Gamso said Ricks has a tough road ahead, not impossible, but tough to get back his money.

“The law of forfeiture basically says you have to prove you’re innocent. It’s terrible, terrible law,” he said.

The law is tilted in favor of the FBI in that Ricks need not be charged with a crime and the FBI stands a good chance at keeping the money, Gamso said.

“The law will presume it is the result of ill-gotten gains,” he said.

Still Ricks can pursue it and possibly convince a judge he had the money through a lifetime of savings. Asking the FBI usually doesn’t work, he said.

“The FBI, before they would give it up, would want dated receipts,” he said.

If the FBI does keep the money, it would be put toward a law enforcement use, if the city of Lima does not fight for it because the city discovered it, Gamso said.

Lima Law Director Tony Geiger said he has not been asked to stake a legal claim for the money.

(On-Line link to above story from The Lima News http://www.limaohio.com/story.php?IDnum=47047 )

Logical extension:  Can you "prove" your wife's wedding ring is hers?  Can you "prove" much of anything you possess is yours?

I sometimes see only one key difference between Communism and Fascism, both of which represent massive monolithic state control:
    Under Communism, the State owns everything and allows you the minimum freedom that it feels will keep you from rebelling.
    Under Fascism, the State controls everything and allows you the minimum freedom that it feels will keep you from rebelling.

I'm not sure what to call this system into which we now are evolving from our current corporate fascism (no, not a Republic and America hasn't really even been a Democracy for a long, long time). The word slavery comes to mind.

Keep the following in mind:  Precisely one Presidential candidate is on record opposing asset forfeiture laws, while the others all support them, at least tacitly - Ron Paul.

Consider: If this story shows where we are, folks, just where do you suppose we are headed? Think long and hard about that. What, exactly, is going to change things? We have only one, last chance and his name is Ron Paul.

New America. An idea whose time has come.

My name is Edgar J. Steele.  Thanks for listening.  Please visit my web site, www.ConspiracyPenPal.com, for other messages just like this one.


Copyright ©2007, Edgar J. Steele

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