Surrender is such an ugly word to my mind. But nobody talks about its precursor “indifference”. Barnhardt nails it when she says, “The opposite of love or charity is not hate. The opposite of love is indifference.”
Yesterday (Thursday) afternoon, I watched with sadness as another piece of America was torn away and auctioned off with a vote by the Orange County Legislature to pass the new “Asset Forfeiture Law” granting power to the D.A. to seize assets of drug “misdemeanor” suspects without due process, without redress until after the trial…ushering in a new guilty until proven innocent era here in Orange County, New York! Wrong on so many levels, and it was Republicans I’m ashamed to say, who sold us out! The Undersheriff (and fellow Oath Keeper) said to me “It’s been upheld by the Supreme Court” as if to apply a Band-Aid of justification to the severed artery consequence of their party-line vote. How did we get here?
As I was mindlessly watching TV the other day…the truest of tautologies…which has really become nothing more than an endless parade of Pharma/Target Box Store commercials with a slice of bread and circus sprinkled about here and there…it suddenly dawned on me; this is where our indifference has come from! And that led me to think back to the pre-Box days of the Moms & Pops, and Voilà! The answer! This is exactly how we got here!
When we were Moms & Pops WE called the shots. We controlled our own destinies because we controlled our own communities. But the greatest and most tragic unintended consequence of our lifetime has just become crystal clear to me! When we transformed our local hardware stores into Home Depots and Lowes, our local pharmacies and five and dimes into CVS and Walmarts, and our main street retail into Gallerias and Nordstroms, we gave up way much more than any of us could have ever imagined…
As I sat in the audience listening to intelligent and well-articulated arguments from my fellow citizens before the 21 law-makers, noticing the expression of mocking arrogance in response on the face of one of the legislators directly across from me, I realized that they are listening and reacting to what is fast becoming a community of powerless serfs fighting a Political Machine…and the rising tide of indifference!
***YOUTUBE– GOSHEN, NEW YORK– In a 12-9 vote, the Orange County legislators passed a law allowing law enforcement agencies to seize defendants’ cash and cars in misdemeanor drug cases, despite fierce opposition from Democrat legislators and audience members who spoke before the meeting. December 4, 2014
Asset forfeiture has been described as a form of legalized theft that serves as a major funding source for governments. Through asset forfeiture, law enforcement agencies can appropriate your property; your money, your car, your house, or any other property you own and keep it unless you can prove your innocence and that your property wasn’t used in a crime – either by you or somebody else.
Asset forfeiture violates the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. When cops seize your property under asset forfeiture laws, they don’t have to prove you guilty. The burden shifts to you. You must go to court and prove your innocence in order to reclaim your property. There are numerous horror stories about innocent people have cash seized simply because they were carrying large amounts of money for perfectly innocent reasons.
Governments rake in an astonishing amount of money through asset forfeiture. In 2012, federal, state and local law enforcement gobbled up more than $4.2 billion in assets. Federal laws, along with most state laws, allow state and local law enforcement agencies to pocket a large chunk of that money.
Watch the public comments and legislators vote here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JavAOXGo_SM