Government Seizure of Houses

Too often voters read the blurb on a sample ballot and think, “Yeah, that sounds good.” But, if you don’t think of the broader ramifications of the bill; if you don’t think about how much power you are giving to the government–you might just run into the type of government overreach in the article below.

The rare moments Christos Sourovelis can take a break from running his own painting business, he can be found toiling away on his family’s dream house in the suburbs of Philadelphia.

“I’m a working guy. I work every day, six days a week, even seven if I have to,” Sourovelis says. One day this past March, without warning, the government took his house away, even though he and his wife, Markella, have never been charged with a crime or accused of any wrongdoing.

“I was so upset thinking somebody’s going to take my house for nothing. That makes me crazy,” Sourovelis says, shaking his head.

The nightmare began when police showed up at the house and arrested their 22-year-old son, Yianni, on drug charges — $40 worth of heroin. Authorities say he was selling drugs out of the home. The Sourvelises say they had no knowledge of any involvement their son might have had with drugs.

A month-and-a-half later police came back — this time to seize their house, forcing the Sourvelises and their children out on the street that day. Authorities came with the electric company in tow to turn off the power and even began locking the doors with screws, the Sourvelises say. Authorities won’t comment on the exact circumstances because of pending litigation regarding the case.

Police and prosecutors came armed with a lawsuit against the house itself. It was being forfeited and transferred to the custody of the Philadelphia District Attorney. Authorities said the house was tied to illegal drugs and therefore subject to civil forfeiture.

In two years, nearly 500 families in Philadelphia had their homes or cars taken away by city officials, according to records from Pennsylvania’s attorney general.

Authorities use a civil forfeiture law that allows them to seize people’s property when that property is connected to the sale of illegal drugs.

CNN legal analyst and consumer attorney, Brian Kabateck, says the law is intended to protect the public. “It discourages crime and it takes the ill-gotten gains away from the bad people.”

But not all people who have their property taken away are charged with a crime. Unlike criminal forfeiture, the civil law allows authorities to seize property without the owner ever being convicted or even charged.

In North Carolina property can be forfeited only if the property owner is actually convicted of a crime. This is not so in other states.

Civil liberties attorneys with the Institute for Justice, who recently filed a class action lawsuit against Philadelphia authorities for abusing the law, say, “Civil forfeiture is something that is an assault upon fundamental notions of private property ownership and due process.”

But Kabateck disagrees, “It’s a good law. It works. That doesn’t mean that it doesn’t sometimes have issues that need to be corrected. The system constantly has to change.”

In Pennsylvania, the City of Brotherly Love is far and away the most aggressive in the state when it comes to people’s property. Over a four-year period, Allegheny County, the second largest county in Pennsylvania, filed about 200 petitions for civil forfeiture. Philadelphia filed nearly 7,000 petitions in one year alone, according to the class action lawsuit, in which the Sourvelises are plaintiffs, along with other Philadelphia citizens.

Philadelphia officials seized more than 1,000 houses, about 3,300 vehicles and $44 million in cash, totaling $64 million in civil forfeitures over a 10-year period, according to the lawsuit.

To read the rest of the article go to:

http://www.cnn.com/2014/09/03/us/philadelphia-drug-bust-house-seizure/index.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+rss%2Fcnn_topstories+%28RSS%3A+Top+Stories%29

 

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Is Marxism on the Horizon for the United States

Special Forces Lt. Gen. W.G. Boykin Warns of Engineered Economic Collapse, Martial Law, Dictatorship

He makes some interesting points that deserve attention

 

Obamacare’s Newest Target?

My husband and I have had some serious illnesses/surgeries. When you go through something like being told you have three brain aneurysms on the carotid arteries, you want to be able to get to the very best doctors you can. I’ve lived through that, and thank God, the three surgeries/procedures saved not only my life, but, more importantly, the quality of my life. Bob and I made the hour long drive to get to the best, Dr. Giannota, a Neurosurgeon at USC University Hospital.  (University of Southern California)

We would not have been able to have the security of knowing I was getting the very best care, if we’d had anything other than an Indemnity insurance policy. Unlike an HMO or PPO, with an Indemnity plan you can pick and choose your doctors. YOU can decide what the best plan of action is for you at that time. You are not tied down to a specific “Group.”

My husband has, now, been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. It’s not something that anyone wants to hear, but after going through about five neurologists, we have found the one that we feel is giving Bob the best care. She is at UCI (University of California at Irvine). Again, she would be out-of-network of any Group plan that would be available to us. And, again, it’s about a forty-five minute drive to get to her. That is our choice–and isn’t that what America used to stand  for…freedom to choose?

Over the years, I have learned that, if you can get to a  University doctor, and if your doctor is a “Fellow” at the University, you are getting the top of the line in new procedures. I, personally and for various reasons, have been a patient in UCI, USC University Hospital (not the Community Hospital), and UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles). Thank the dear Lord, I was able to get this care. I DO NOT TAKE IT LIGHTLY.

Is the Indemnity Plan going to be the next casualty on Obama’s hit list for good health care? Is the fact that Bob and I have been willing to pay the 20% rather than a co-pay a bad thing? Is the fact that we were willing to drive the extra mile or so to get the care we wanted a bad thing? According to Obama and the Democrat controlled Senate, I guess that’s just too much freedom and thought work for us. No, they need to take all that brain activity out of our hands. After all, they’re smarter than we are, right? Yeah, just let are brains turn to mush, because the government can handle everything for us!

Something else to think about. Obama and the Democrats like to shout about equality in our country. Has anyone considered that the people who live in high income areas will have access to better care than those who live in poorer areas? That’s what happens when you force people to be in “Groups.”

I don’t know that this will happen, and I’m sure Obama and his minions don’t know, either, but below is the article I found on Patriot Post.

Another ObamaCare insurance policy casualty may be what’s known as fixed benefit or indemnity insurance. People who hold these policies receive a fixed sum of money when they use health care services, and because they’re not tied to a network, these policyholders can visit any doctor they like. And they’re less expensive than the typical insurance policy. Yet new regulations sprouting from ObamaCare would make these plans illegal because they don’t offer the required benefits of the law. That means – you guessed it – another wave of cancellations of plans that people like. There are hundreds of thousands of people on these policies, and enrollment in them has increased thanks to ObamaCare’s spiking premium costs. The poor will be hardest hit.

http://patriotpost.us/posts/25158#post-comment

 

Potential Scams Through ObamaCare and Navigators

House Oversight Committee on Obamacare facilitators

Some of us have commented about concerns over scams and abuse through the implementation of ObamaCare. One big concern are the Obamacare navigators being hired to sign people up and to explain it to people. It seems the scams and abuse have already started.

The article below is from the Heritage Foundation. But you can get details straight from the House of Representatives’ report posted here.

The Obamacare Scams Are Already Starting

Heritage warned that the new Obamacare insurance exchanges could threaten your privacy—and it’s already happening, before the exchanges are even open.

In a new report, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee presented these shocking findings:

there are already numerous reports of scam artists posing as Navigators and Assisters to take advantage of people’s confusion about ObamaCare. According to recent news reports, scam artists are calling individuals and asking for information to sign them up for their “ObamaCare card,” are asking seniors for their personal information to verify their Medicare and Social Security status and are going door-to-door threatening people with prison time if they do not sign up on the spot. The Administration is keenly aware of these reports and concerns, but has thus far failed to take appropriate measures.

Even when it’s not malicious, the new Obamacare system—employing “navigators” who aren’t run through background checks or adequately trained—opens up a host of opportunities for identity theft. Last week, an employee of Minnesota’s insurance exchange (MNsure) emailed out the names and Social Security numbers of 2,400 insurance agents. The insurance broker who received the email said, “If this is happening now, how can clients of MNsure be confident their data is safe?”

Indeed.

The Oversight Committee reports that the exchange system thus far is a combination of shoddy planning and bad incentives. Navigators, who are supposed to help people sign up for the exchanges, are allowed to be paid based on the number of people they enroll in Obamacare.

California’s insurance commissioner—a Democrat and strong supporter of Obamacare—raised concerns that navigators would put consumers at risk for scams: “We can have a real disaster on our hands.”

The exchanges don’t open for business until October 1, but Obamacare has already led to the release of highly sensitive personal information for thousands—and the lack of planning makes it ripe for scams. Nothing about this law is working the way it was advertised, which is why the House is voting today to defund Obamacare (while still funding normal government functions). Next week, Senators will have a chance to do the same—protect their constituents from the ravages of Obamacare.

Read the Morning Bell and more en español every day at Heritage Libertad.

Originally posted here – http://blog.heritage.org/2013/09/20/morning-bell-the-obamacare-scams-are-already-starting/

Poll: Obama Collapses to 38% Approval

Poll: Obama Collapses to 38% Approval with ‘All Adults’ http://ow.ly/oPxLN

The conventional wisdom is that when you poll “all adults” as opposed to a tighter screening for “registered voters,” Democrats generally do better. If that is the case, the latest poll from The Economist/YouGov is the worse news yet for a president obviously in over his head with the Russians and Syria. Obama currently sits at 38% approve/56% disapprove with all adults.
Polling in the thirties is danger territory for any American president. When a president loses the people, he loses his political power to achieve any agenda through persuasion and arm-twisting.
With registered voters, Obama is doing a little better with 43% approving, 55% disapproving.
Another poll released today shows that “a majority of Americans believe that President Barack Obama’s handling of foreign policy is worse than or no better than President George W. Bush.”

Did You Miss the Big Picture About the 2 Million Biker Event

I just spotted a great post that sums up how easily too many people missed the big picture about the 2 million bikers ride —

Way to go to the author of this post –

About Dean Garrison

I am a truth seeker. My only political allegiance is to The Constitution. I still cling to the American Dream but I am currently watching the progression toward the American Nightmare. I will not rest until this country is back on the right course. Send me a Friend Request on Facebook

2 Million Bikers Invade D.C. and Remind Us That 9/11 Still Means Something to Real Americans

I am not always the sharpest knife in the drawer. I heard about this “Million Muslim March” and did some research.

I found out that it might be more like a “Dozen Muslim March” and I wrote an article about that. Why? Because I thought that a lot of bikers were going to D.C. only to be disappointed.   I was trying to help them out. But, as sometimes happens with me, I was failing to see the big picture.

A few days ago I was talking to a friend that is going and he told me that I was missing the point. This was not about 12 Muslims who will be looking for a place to hide. This is much bigger than that. This “2 Million Bikers” ride is more about sending a message to our government than to intimidate a few Muslims. I believe his exact words may have been, “Dean, this is the warning shot. There will not be another.”

That’s a pretty bold statement, don’t you think?

When I first heard about these 2 Million Bikers, I couldn’t really believe it was possible. I thought about the IRS Tea Party protests and the disappointing numbers. I thought it would turn out being 20,000 bikers and that would be a very good showing. I was very wrong. As of Tuesday afternoon there were reports of 800,000 bikers on the road and headed for D.C. Wow!!!

The above video didn’t impress me that much at first, but then I thought about the scope of this thing. This is just one road at one point in time. There are 800,000 on the road, at a minimum, and they really could hit the 2 million number.

Today I wanted to write this huge article about what 9/11 meant to me and why it is sacred to Patriots. There is nothing I could write that would inspire anyone more than what is happening right before our very eyes.

2 million, and yes I now believe that number is possible, bikers are headed to D.C. to take a stand for their freedom, my freedom and yours.

This country has shed many tears since September 11th, 2001. We shed many more tears on September 11th, 2012 as four Americans died in Benghazi.

We don’t know the truth of who the enemy is or was.

Now we are being told that it is in our interest to support Al Qaeda in Syria. Did 10,000 people die at the hands of Al Qaeda so that we could support them? Who could blame our service men and women for objecting to the idea of supporting the terrorists who killed their brothers and sisters?

Somehow the politicians are still failing to see this point.

We live in a land of confusion, scandals and political spins that none of us can keep up with.

We don’t know if we have any friends at all in D.C. We send these officials to the Capitol to represent us and they always seem to let us down.

So are these bikers going to D.C. to rattle a few Muslims? Nope. I get it now and I am kicking myself for not finding a way to go take part in this.

There is an unspoken theme behind this ride.

Twelve years later we have finally decided that enough is enough. We are taking our country back no matter what Obama or his partners in crime say.

It is not negotiable. We are no longer begging these people to do the right thing. We are sending a message today that this 9/11 is much different than the previous 11. Twelve years later we are awake.

September 11th, 2013 will be remembered as the day when millions of Americans made a statement. This is our country and we are taking it back no matter how far we have to go to do it. It is a new day of independence.

Much like July 4th 1776 when we declared that we were no longer slaves of Britain, today there is a new declaration being made. We will no longer be ruled by servants who act as our masters.

My friend was right. This is a warning shot and there will not be another.

I would like to thank each and every one of you who rides today in body or simply in spirit. There may be 2 million bikers in D.C. but even if it is just 20,000 it will not matter. For every biker there in body there are 100 there in spirit who are riding with them.

Thank You so much for giving us something to believe in on a day when we badly needed it.

God Bless America. We can not rest and we can not give up.

This is our time.

http://dcclothesline.com/2013/09/11/2-million-bikers-invade-d-c-and-remind-us-that-911-still-means-something-to-real-americans/

The Other Nanny State

I’ve been debating about whether to write this post – but an exchange I saw on Facebook today convinced me to move ahead with this idea.  First let’s lay the groundwork to explain “the nanny state” and then I will share my new perspective on another nanny state we have in the US.

Anyone on the “right” and plenty of the “left” would readily admit that its common for some people on the left to engage in what we could call “the nanny state”. Mayor Bloomberg is a great example of that with his ban on large sugary drinks – for just one example. Actually – if you look up “nanny state” on Wikipedia – Bloomberg’s picture is there — no kidding.

This is how Wikipedia defines the nanny state – en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanny_state

Nanny state is a term of British origin (and primary use) that conveys a view that a government or its policies are overprotective or interfering unduly with personal choice.[2] The term “nanny state” likens government to the role that a nanny has in child rearing. An early usage of the term comes from Conservative British MP Iain Macleod who referred to “what I like to call the nanny state” in his column “Quoodle” in the December 3, 1965, edition of The Spectator.[3] It is defined by Dictionary.com as “a government perceived as authoritarian, interfering, or overprotective” and has also come to be associated with intrusive practices of having the government basically “baby” the populace by being in charge, in control of, and even financing all of its needs. Some governance claimed to represent a nanny state are those that emerge from application of public health, risk management of health and safety policies.

Here are some examples of “The Nanny State Gone Wild” – http://www.informationliberation.com/?id=39805

The following are 18 examples of the nanny state gone wild….

#1 New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has announced that he wants to ban the sale of all large sodas and sugary drinks in order to fight obesity.  Personally I don’t have any sodas in my refrigerator, but I certainly do not want the government telling me that I am banned from drinking large sodas.  Every American should have the freedom to decide if they want to drink soda or not.

#2 In North Carolina, authorities are threatening to send a blogger to prison for blogging about his battle against diabetes….

#3 In San Francisco, if you do not recycle your trash correctly you can be fined up to $500.

#4 The following are just some of the cities that have started using RFID tracking chips to monitor the recycling habits of their citizens….

  • *Cleveland, Ohio
  • *Charlotte, North Carolina
  • *Alexandria, Virginia
  • *Boise, Idaho
  • *Dayton, Ohio
  • *Flint, Michigan

#5 In Minnetonka, Minnesota you can be fined up to $2,000 for having a muddy vehicle.

#6 In Hazelwood, Missouri it is against the law for little girls to sell girl scout cookies in front of their own homes.

#7 San Francisco has implemented a ban on Happy Meal toys.

#8 Over the past couple of years there have been quite a few instances all over the country where lemonade stands run by children have been shut down by police because the children had not acquired the proper permits.

#9 State legislatures all over the country have been passing legislation making it more difficult for parents to opt out of having their children vaccinated.

#10 In many U.S. states is it now illegal to collect any rain that falls on to your own property.

#11 In San Juan Capistrano, California it is against the law to hold a home Bible study without a “conditional use permit“.

#12 In New York City, it is against the law to smoke at public parks and beaches.

#13 In California,”food confiscation teams” visit the homes of people that have been discovered to have purchased raw milk.  The following is from a recent Natural News article….

#14 In Hilton Head, South Carolina it is illegal to have trash in your car.

#15 In major cities all over the United States feeding the homeless has been banned due to “health reasons”.

#16 In Louisiana, one church was ordered to stop passing out water because it did not have the proper permit.

#17 At public schools all over the United States, the lunches that little children bring from home are now inspected to make sure that they meet USDA guidelines.  The following is one recent report of this phenomenon from North Carolina….

#18 Today, a vast array of government agencies is constantly monitoring what all of us say and do on the Internet.  They claim that this helps makes us all more “safe” and “secure”.

I think that many people would find at least some of these regulations to be excessive and could be perceived as government overreach. People who keep an eye on the news – are likely to agree that we are seeing a lot of examples of government overreach.

But – I feel there is another type of overreach and another incarnation of the nanny state that we see on a regular basis. That is overreach by people who push their ideals of how to “protect” people in the name of religion. Read on because I would like to hear your thoughts…. although I know we are likely to disagree.

Not everyone has the same beliefs – and that doesn’t just pertain to how we each feel about God, religion etc. There are things that each of us may feel are “wrong”, “unacceptable”, “dangerous”. “hazardous” etc. I feel sure that Michael Bloomberg does feel it is his responsibility to protect the people of NYC and some of the ways he feels that should be done, have upset many people.

So – why is it different when a person says they are trying to protect you by insisting that its “wrong” for you to participate in various types of behavior. A couple that come to mind from religions are the limitations on the “appropriate behavior” between 2 consenting adults. This is especially true with restrictions  on physical activities between a married couple. While I totally agree that if one partner or the other doesn’t want to participate in specific sexual acts, their spouse should respect that. However, I do not feel a government, their clergymen or any politician should mandate what is and is not acceptable.  Why isn’t that an example of a “nanny state”?  Instead of calling it the nanny state, it is often labelled intolerance, but its a very vocal intolerance and judging people who do not act and believe the same. Remember, we have a lot of freedoms in this country and we are trying to protect those freedoms.

I could provide many examples from my life – where people put themselves in a position to mandate what was appropriate or acceptable for people they felt they had to “protect”. Too often, over time, it was revealed these people were over reaching and were being hypocritical through their actions. I’ll leave that for now – that is definitely a different blog post.

I am not speaking about things that are physically dangerous or harmful. I’m also not talking about things that break the law. There are many things we know truly do damage people. However, I am talking about people who want to dictate what people can say, how they should act, what they think about, and basically how they live their lives.

There was a lot of this sort of overreach and nanny state from the right during the presidential primary debates. And – I think this is one of many things that is hurting the GOP and Conservatives as a whole. Politicians need to just keep their mouths shut about certain topics — one prime example is the many ways GOP men have done so much harm with their thoughtless and uninformed comments about rape and other types of abuse of women. Many comments from some religious leaders are another prime example. There was one recently that was so insulting and just completely out of touch with reality. I listened to the video and checked to see if it was from 30 or 40 years ago….

Anyway – this is just a perspective that has been pushing its way to the forefront of my thoughts more and more lately and it always helps me to get these thoughts out. So – how do you think this overreach by telling people what is or is not “acceptable” in their personal lives affects Conservatives?