Image Image

  Nostalgia ain't what it used to be

Wednesday, 25 November, 2020

Piracy — a New Growth Industry

Date: 15 November, 2000

By: Chief

Imageurely I must be jesting. There are laws against piracy. Indeed, the Constitution provides original jurisdiction to the federal government over piracy cases. But am I jesting? Not on your life.

To be sure, if you or I or any other citizen committed an act of piracy we'd end up making license plates in a federal prison for the rest of our natural life, if caught. However, piracy is a growth industry for government — be it local, state or federal.

First off, just what constitutes piracy? Piracy is:

"[T]hose acts of robbery and depredation upon the high seas which, if committed on land, would have amounted to a felony."

So, if committed at sea, the crime is called piracy. If committed on land, the crime is called robbery. Either way, the crime is still a crime and a felony to boot.

What of confiscation? The government(s) does this all the time. Well, confiscation is defined as:

"[T]he seizure of private property without compensation to the owner."

But wait, there's more. Forfeiture. A chilling word with chilling consequences indeed. Our various governments use forfeiture as often, if not more so, than confiscation. Forfeiture is defined as:

"[A] comprehensive term which means a divestiture of specific property without compensation."

Have you noticed anything? Piracy, confiscation and forfeiture all have one thing in common. The loss of your property without compensation. Whether by pirates, robbers, police or other government agents is, at best, moot. The bottom line is — your property, car, bank accounts, house, cash, whatever has been taken from you without compensation. In other words ... you've been robbed!

What is absolutely horrid about this situation is this form of piracy — confiscation or forfeiture — is legal. Furthermore, whatever government agency does the actual confiscation or forfeiture gets to keep a percentage of the 'booty'. Hence, it is most certainly in the financial interest of that particular government agency to commit this legal piracy as often as possible.

But how? How could anything so absolutely immoral, so absolutely hideous, so absolutely reprehensible happen? Simple. Our elected representatives at the local level, the state level and in Congress have passed legislation allowing the government to commit piracy — to commit robbery. The government, purportedly of We the People, has authorized their agents and police to commit felonies. All in the name of 'law and order'.

How ludicrous! Law and order my foot. Lawlessness and disorder are far closer to the truth. Denial of due process is the order of the day. Violation of equal protection is their battle cry. Why? For the almighty dollar. Attend to the fact contained within various statutes — agencies keep a percentage of the booty for every act of piracy committed.

The most wicked part of this entire rape is police and other agencies do not need and are not required to have probable cause! Indeed, no warrant of search or arrest is needed. No criminal charges need be filed. No criminal trial and conviction need be applied before the piracy takes place. Mere suspicion is enough. Further, once your property is seized you, the citizen, are required, under law, to prove your innocence! The 'burden of proof' rests solely on your shoulders. That is why this flavor of piracy is called 'civil asset forfeiture'. It's not a criminal proceeding, oh no, it is a civil proceeding. As such, the rules are vastly different.

We are not talking a few hours, days, weeks or even months to get your property back. Not even close. We are talking years, thousands of dollars, thousands of man hours and a really good attorney. Even with all that, you or I still have to overcome one big hurdle — proving innocence. The presumption is you are guilty. How do you combat that? If, by chance, a court agrees with you and orders your property returned, say after two or three years, does that property, whatever it was, still have the same or increased value as when it was pirated from you? What if that property was your car? Your house? Your savings account? Do you have the time and money to fight to get back what is yours back in the first place? Additionally, do you have the resources to sue the agency responsible if you are lucky enough to get your property returned? Give it some thought.

It is one thing for We the People to have to worry about pirates and piracy should we choose to visit overseas. It is another thing entirely to worry about our own government committing piracy against We the People.

Congress, the courts and the legislatures of the several states are directly and wholly responsible for this piracy being waged against We the People. Each and everyone of them took an oath to preserve and protect the Constitution. Each and everyone of them wilfully and maliciously violated their oath for governmental gain — for profit at the expense of We the People.

"Decency, security and liberty alike demand that government officials shall be subjected to the same rules of conduct that are commands to the citizen. In a government of laws, existence of the government will be imperiled if it fails to observe the law scrupulously. Our Government is the potent, the omnipresent teacher. For good or for ill, it teaches the whole people by its example. Crime is contagious. If the Government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy. To declare that, in the administration of the criminal law, the end justifies the means -- to declare that the Government may commit crimes in order to secure the conviction of a private criminal -- would bring terrible retribution. Against that pernicious doctrine this Court should resolutely set its face." (Brandeis, J. dissenting in Olmstead v. U.S.)

We the People have had our fill of this treachery. In the days of yore pirates, when caught, where publicly hung at pierside. Their bodies were left swinging in the breeze until devoured by birds, leaving only the skeleton as a warning to others considering same lifestyle. Congress, the courts, the legislatures of the several states and all government agents participating in this modern day piracy would do well to keep the foregoing firmly in mind.

[Ed. note: This story has been updated.]

(Return to the top)