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+ - DEA steals life savings of innocent man

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 writes: In another example of civil forfeiture, DEA agents confiscated the life savings of a man heading to California based on no evidence.

There was no evidence of a crime, the man was never charged, but three weeks later he still has not gotten his money back.

Sean Waite, the agent in charge for the DEA in Albuquerque, said he could not comment on the Rivers case because it is ongoing. He disputed allegations that Rivers was targeted because of his race. Waite said that in general DEA agents look for "indicators" such as whether the person bought an expensive one-way ticket with cash, if the person is traveling from or to a city known as a hot spot for drug activity, if the person's story has inconsistencies or if the large sums of money found could have been transported by more conventional means.

"We don't have to prove that the person is guilty," Waite said. "It's that the money is presumed to be guilty."

Read the whole article. This is entirely unconstitutional. The fifth amendment to the Bill of Rights expressly forbids the taking of private property "without just compensation."

Comment: Re:Too early for criticism. (Score 1) 238

I thought he had simply mis-spoken or was mis-quoted given that the commercials have already run for more than a year.

If the quote is accurate, then it must mean the new tax rules began in 2015.

Still, it's one year of hype leading to a launch that virtually no one showed up for.

Comment: Re:Admirable aspects (Score -1) 74

by mc6809e (#49464299) Attached to: 1980's Soviet Bloc Computing: Printers, Mice, and Cassette Decks

Those industrious few that were repairing and reusing equipment should have been free to start their own enterprises and invent and produce new things. Instead they had to struggle under communism and miss the opportunity to become the next Steve Jobs of Eastern Europe.

Of course by holding them back all were kept equally poor (except party insiders) and so the pride and ego of even the most incapable person was spared any uncomfortable comparison.

+ - China Builds Artificial Islands in South China Sea 1

Submitted by writes: Matthew Fisher reports that to support part of its claim to about 85 per cent of the South China Sea, Beijing is building artificial islands on tiny outcroppings, atolls and reefs in hotly disputed waters in the Spratly Archipelago. Tons of sand, rocks, coral cuttings, and concrete are transforming miniscule Chinese-occupied outcroppings into sizeable islands with harbors, large multi-story buildings, airstrips, and other government facilities. Adm. Harry Harris Jr., commander of the U.S. Navy’s Pacific fleet, dubbed Beijing’s island-building project in the South China Sea “a great wall of sand" and says China has created “over four square kilometers of artificial land mass,” adding there were serious questions about Beijing’s intentions. The scale of China's construction in the Spratly Islands is clear in new satellite images. "What's really stunning in these images, every time you see a new set of images come out, is just the speed and scale at which this work is occurring," says Mira Rapp-Hooper. A spokeswoman for China’s Foreign Ministry insists the islands are being built to give ships a haven in the typhoon heavy region. “We are building shelters, aids for navigation, search and rescue as well as marine meteorological forecasting services, fishery services and other administrative services” for both China and its neighbors, the spokeswoman said, according to Reuters, though no one was buying that explanation.

Comment: Re:Hawaii (Score 5, Interesting) 228

by mc6809e (#49431517) Attached to: Amid Controversy, Construction of Telescope In Hawaii Halted

This is more likely an expression of Hawiian nationalism which has been on the rise in recent years.

In some cases it has crossed the line into race hatred as the Southern Poverty Law Center noted a few years back.

And there are several independence groups. China has even offered to arm them.

Comment: Re: Invisible hand (Score 4, Insightful) 536

Another problem are price controls.

Often the local franchise authority (set up by the city or state or county) sets prices for services.

If the price is set too low, then the cable company can't legally charge enough to pay for the infrastructure to reach certain customers, even if those customers are willing to pay more to get service.

Too much of everything is just enough. -- Bob Wier