cj#488> …Land of the Free…


Richard Moore

Date: Mon, 4 Mar 1996
Sender: •••@••.••• (Fred Baube[tm])
Subject: Memories ..

I can remember from the days of my youth ..

That on Oprah-style shows, you'd often hear
people going on about how "America is the
FREE-EST country in the world !!"

(As if this proved their point about something.)
(And, as if they really knew anything about
 other societies, say, parts of Europe.)

But, then I didn't hear this for a while.

Do you think it's because ..

(Possibly) the average person found out
more about the world ?
Or, many Americans stopped believing it
(after Ronnie) ?
Or, the average person stopped caring ?
Or, the average person stopped being proud
about being the "free-est", when there were
so many of their fellow Americans "abusing
their freedom" ?

(Or, am I talking thru my hat ??)

Just curious to get people's opinions.


#include <disclaimer.h>

Date: Tue, 5 Mar 1996
From: John Gear <•••@••.•••>
To: Multiple recipients of list <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Corporatism defined

>Corporatism (n.) - that system which privatizes profits while
>socializing costs and risks.

Interesting idea from another list.
John Gear (•••@••.•••)

The Bill of Rights -- The ORIGINAL Contract with America
Beware of Imitations.  Accept No Substitutes.  Insist on the Genuine Articles.

Date: Tue, 5 Mar 1996
From: "•••@••.•••" <•••@••.•••>
To: •••@••.•••
Subject: The eagle sprouts a poison talon

Hey, here it is, folks, the final necessary signal from Washington,
something-or-another's capital city.

No funny stuff like dope, the Net or cultural strangeness at issue here,
only how tenuous an excuse the government needs to take away what's yours.
Nothing more to say but this: Hide your weapons good till the time comes!

                                                          Occupied America

   "Where an idea is wanting, a word can always be found to take its place"

                                                                  -- Goethe

   Reuters New Media

   Tuesday March 5 5:36 AM EST

   High Court: State Can Seize Property

   WASHINGTON (Reuter) - In a landmark case, a sharply divided Supreme
   Court ruled Monday against a woman who protested when local
   authorities seized a car owned by her and her husband after he had sex
   in it with a prostitute.

   Tina Bennis argued that confiscation of the 1977 Pontiac under a
   Michigan nuisance abatement law violated her constitutional right to
   due process and represented an unconstitutional taking of her
   property. But the high court, in a 5-4 opinion by Chief Justice
   William Rehnquist, upheld the forfeiture as constitutional.

   Bennis said she did not know the car had been used by her husband for
   an illegal activity. At issue in the case was whether a so-called
   innocent owner's property can be seized if it is used in the
   commission of a crime.

   Her husband was convicted of gross indecency after police in 1988
   observed him having oral sex with a prostitute in the car while it was
   parked on a Detroit street. Prosecutors seized the car, saying it had
   been used for prostitution.

   The car had been bought a month before the seizure for $600 and Bennis
   wanted compensation of her share -- $300.

   But Rehnquist cited a long list of cases in which the Supreme Court
   has held that an owner's interest in property may be forfeited even if
   the owner did not know it had been used illegally. Because the
   forfeiture was lawful, he said the state cannot be required to
   compensate an owner for seizing property used in the commission of a

   ``The state here sought to deter illegal activity that contributes to
   neighborhood deterioration and unsafe streets,'' he wrote. ``The
   Bennis automobile, it is conceded, facilitated and was used in
   criminal activity.''

   Joining Rehnquist were the court's two other staunch conservatives,
   Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia, as well as Sandra Day
   O'Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

   In concurring opinions, Thomas said states and legislators have the
   main responsibility for making sure forfeiture laws are fair, while
   Ginsburg said ``Michigan, in short, has not embarked on an experiment
   to punish innocent third parties.''

   Justice John Paul Stevens in a strongly worded dissent said the logic
   of the court's decision gives states ``virtually unbridled power to
   confiscate vasts amounts of property where professional criminals have
   engaged in illegal acts.''

   Bennis was without responsibility for her husband's act, Stevens
   wrote. ``If anything, she was a victim of that conduct,'' he said.
   ``Fundamental fairness prohibits the punishment of innocent people.''

   Michigan defended the seizure on the grounds the state has broad
   police powers to fight crime and said the forfeiture was a civil, not
   a criminal, penalty.

   The high court this term also has pending two other cases involving
   use of property forfeiture laws, which have been increasingly used by
   state and federal prosecutors since the 1980s for drug and other


   Reuters Limited

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