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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-07-2009, 02:27 PM Thread Starter
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Criminalizing Everyone

This is something that has had me concerned for a very long time. This is why I think we are drifting towards a police state. An old man gets sent to fuckin' prison for two years over some fuckin' flowers? WTF is going on?

Even the "sex offender" bullshit is getting out of hand. People that pose no danger to society are blacklisted for the rest of their lives for a mistake or even a false accusation. The police spend hundreds, if not thousands, of man hours checking up on each offender instead of protecting us from criminals that pose a real threat.

Then we have the pot heads. Folks that are put into prison for significant amounts of time for simple pot possession. Many times they don't even get any drug treatment.

Meanwhile the tax payer burden of building and running these prisons continues to go insane. Heck, the Chinese Commies don't lock up nearly as many people and they have a population three times the size of ours..

http://washingtontimes.com/news/2009...cle_top10_read

Quote:
By Brian W. Walsh

"You don't need to know. You can't know." That's what Kathy Norris, a 60-year-old grandmother of eight, was told when she tried to ask court officials why, the day before, federal agents had subjected her home to a furious search.

The agents who spent half a day ransacking Mrs. Norris' longtime home in Spring, Texas, answered no questions while they emptied file cabinets, pulled books off shelves, rifled through drawers and closets, and threw the contents on the floor.

The six agents, wearing SWAT gear and carrying weapons, were with - get this- the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Kathy and George Norris lived under the specter of a covert government investigation for almost six months before the government unsealed a secret indictment and revealed why the Fish and Wildlife Service had treated their family home as if it were a training base for suspected terrorists. Orchids.

That's right. Orchids.

By March 2004, federal prosecutors were well on their way to turning 66-year-old retiree George Norris into an inmate in a federal penitentiary - based on his home-based business of cultivating, importing and selling orchids.

Mrs. Norris testified before the House Judiciary subcommittee on crime this summer. The hearing's topic: the rapid and dangerous expansion of federal criminal law, an expansion that is often unprincipled and highly partisan.

Chairman Robert C. Scott, Virginia Democrat, and ranking member Louie Gohmert, Texas Republican, conducted a truly bipartisan hearing (a D.C. rarity this year).

These two leaders have begun giving voice to the increasing number of experts who worry about "overcriminalization." Astronomical numbers of federal criminal laws lack specifics, can apply to almost anyone and fail to protect innocents by requiring substantial proof that an accused person acted with actual criminal intent.

Mr. Norris ended up spending almost two years in prison because he didn't have the proper paperwork for some of the many orchids he imported. The orchids were all legal - but Mr. Norris and the overseas shippers who had packaged the flowers had failed to properly navigate the many, often irrational, paperwork requirements the U.S. imposed when it implemented an arcane international treaty's new restrictions on trade in flowers and other flora.

The judge who sentenced Mr. Norris had some advice for him and his wife: "Life sometimes presents us with lemons." Their job was, yes, to "turn lemons into lemonade."

The judge apparently failed to appreciate how difficult it is to run a successful lemonade stand when you're an elderly diabetic with coronary complications, arthritis and Parkinson's disease serving time in a federal penitentiary. If only Mr. Norris had been a Libyan terrorist, maybe some European official at least would have weighed in on his behalf to secure a health-based mercy release.

Krister Evertson, another victim of overcriminalization, told Congress, "What I have experienced in these past years is something that should scare you and all Americans." He's right. Evertson, a small-time entrepreneur and inventor, faced two separate federal prosecutions stemming from his work trying to develop clean-energy fuel cells.

The feds prosecuted Mr. Evertson the first time for failing to put a federally mandated sticker on an otherwise lawful UPS package in which he shipped some of his supplies. A jury acquitted him, so the feds brought new charges. This time they claimed he technically had "abandoned" his fuel-cell materials - something he had no intention of doing - while defending himself against the first charges. Mr. Evertson, too, spent almost two years in federal prison.

As George Washington University law professor Stephen Saltzburg testified at the House hearing, cases like these "illustrate about as well as you can illustrate the overreach of federal criminal law." The Cato Institute's Timothy Lynch, an expert on overcriminalization, called for "a clean line between lawful conduct and unlawful conduct." A person should not be deemed a criminal unless that person "crossed over that line knowing what he or she was doing." Seems like common sense, but apparently it isn't to some federal officials.

Former U.S. Attorney General Richard Thornburgh's testimony captured the essence of the problems that worry so many criminal-law experts. "Those of us concerned about this subject," he testified, "share a common goal - to have criminal statutes that punish actual criminal acts and [that] do not seek to criminalize conduct that is better dealt with by the seeking of regulatory and civil remedies." Only when the conduct is sufficiently wrongful and severe, Mr. Thornburgh said, does it warrant the "stigma, public condemnation and potential deprivation of liberty that go along with [the criminal] sanction."

The Norrises' nightmare began with the search in October 2003. It didn't end until Mr. Norris was released from federal supervision in December 2008. His wife testified, however, that even after he came home, the man she had married was still gone. He was by then 71 years old. Unsurprisingly, serving two years as a federal convict - in addition to the years it took to defend unsuccessfully against the charges - had taken a severe toll on him mentally, emotionally and physically.

These are repressive consequences for an elderly man who made mistakes in a small business. The feds should be ashamed, and Mr. Evertson is right that everyone else should be scared. Far too many federal laws are far too broad.

Mr. Scott and Mr. Gohmert have set the stage for more hearings on why this places far too many Americans at risk of unjust punishment. Members of both parties in Congress should follow their lead.

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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-07-2009, 02:44 PM
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...

It's only a matter of time before the shit hits the fan. Of course, the pussies in charge of causing things like this don't have the balls to stand up like a man and fight. They will continue to hide behind their laws and guns until their whole world crashes down on them. That will be what it takes to get rid of them.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-07-2009, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by line-em-up View Post
It's only a matter of time before the shit hits the fan. Of course, the pussies in charge of causing things like this don't have the balls to stand up like a man and fight. They will continue to hide behind their laws and guns until their whole world crashes down on them. That will be what it takes to get rid of them.
yep,and praise the sniper.

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-07-2009, 10:11 PM
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-07-2009, 11:11 PM
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I don't think revolution is enough. We need a good, slate-wiping plague. Something to really take us down a peg.

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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-07-2009, 11:31 PM
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No need to look that far. Everytime you drive your car you violate some obscure law of the roadway.

As far as I am concerned, the prosecutor who brought the charges against the old man for the flowers should get the death penalty. There will be some idiot who will come in here and make the claim that he was "just doing his job".

Anyone ever watch the old black and white videos of Nazi Germany when they were shipping the Jews off to concentrations camps and the rank and file soldiers made sure they got on, at gunpoint? Any sane person asks why they didn't do anything. Those guys were "just doing their job". Point being that "just doing your job" doesn't release you from your moral or ethical obligations to do what is right. Some of the biggest fuck ups in the history of the world have been a lot of people, in large groups "just doing their job".
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-08-2009, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by AL P View Post
No need to look that far. Everytime you drive your car you violate some obscure law of the roadway.

As far as I am concerned, the prosecutor who brought the charges against the old man for the flowers should get the death penalty. There will be some idiot who will come in here and make the claim that he was "just doing his job".

Anyone ever watch the old black and white videos of Nazi Germany when they were shipping the Jews off to concentrations camps and the rank and file soldiers made sure they got on, at gunpoint? Any sane person asks why they didn't do anything. Those guys were "just doing their job". Point being that "just doing your job" doesn't release you from your moral or ethical obligations to do what is right. Some of the biggest fuck ups in the history of the world have been a lot of people, in large groups "just doing their job".
I think the "just doing my job" line is just a big copout for people who are drones and can't think for themselves and do what is right.

Here's a good clip from a show I saw part of last night. It fits pretty good with what we are talking about. People get caught up with red tape and forget about logic.

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-08-2009, 10:49 AM
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Hey chicken little everything is fine, go back to sleep.

Our government needs our help, they have an addiction. Our government is addicted to our money. Since they always have our best interest at heart it's time we return the favor. We need to have an intervention, for the governments own good of course. It's just irresponsible for us to let people with a known money addiction continue to handle our money. Lets have an intervention now so we can help these sick individuals.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-08-2009, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by MR TINFOIL HAT View Post
Hey chicken little everything is fine, go back to sleep.
When they are ransacking your, your family or one of your friend's home or business, I'm willing to bet you wouldn't be as nonchalant about it.

It's bull$hit and you know it. Pull the hat out of your eyes and put down the koolaid. There are big problems with government afoot. The next election cycle is coming though so something might get done about it.

Rich

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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-08-2009, 02:18 PM
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Yeah, but those potheads are so dangerous and unruly!

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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-08-2009, 02:22 PM
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Yeah, but those potheads are so dangerous and unruly!
I know....they really go out of their way to menace other people LOL
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-08-2009, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by TexasT View Post
When they are ransacking your, your family or one of your friend's home or business, I'm willing to bet you wouldn't be as nonchalant about it.

It's bull$hit and you know it. Pull the hat out of your eyes and put down the koolaid. There are big problems with government afoot. The next election cycle is coming though so something might get done about it.
LMFAO I was joking bro. Sgt Beavis said that to me in another thread, and I was joking with him by repeating it. Read some of my threads, I know this country has MAJOR problems. SN, Location, and sig check.

Our government needs our help, they have an addiction. Our government is addicted to our money. Since they always have our best interest at heart it's time we return the favor. We need to have an intervention, for the governments own good of course. It's just irresponsible for us to let people with a known money addiction continue to handle our money. Lets have an intervention now so we can help these sick individuals.
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-08-2009, 06:21 PM
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LMFAO I was joking bro. Sgt Beavis said that to me in another thread, and I was joking with him by repeating it. Read some of my threads, I know this country has MAJOR problems. SN, Location, and sig check.
Oh

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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-08-2009, 06:46 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasT View Post
When they are ransacking your, your family or one of your friend's home or business, I'm willing to bet you wouldn't be as nonchalant about it.

It's bull$hit and you know it. Pull the hat out of your eyes and put down the koolaid. There are big problems with government afoot. The next election cycle is coming though so something might get done about it.
He's just yankin' my chain, just as I've done to him.

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Last edited by Sgt Beavis; 10-08-2009 at 11:43 PM.
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-08-2009, 06:47 PM
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Sorry didn't mean to jump in. Just found it wrong that the Gov thinks they run us when in fact we run them.

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post #16 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-08-2009, 09:50 PM
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Just found it wrong that the Gov thinks they run us when in fact we run them.

Seriously?

I'm gonna be really surprised to learn that you voted for obsama...
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post #17 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-08-2009, 10:07 PM
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Sorry didn't mean to jump in. Just found it wrong that the Gov thinks they run us when in fact we run them.
The Gov knows they run us, they just think we believe it's the other way. Sgt beavis is correct, we are going down a dangerous path to some serious problems. If our founding fathers were here today they would have been in the streets with their muskets a long time ago.

Our government needs our help, they have an addiction. Our government is addicted to our money. Since they always have our best interest at heart it's time we return the favor. We need to have an intervention, for the governments own good of course. It's just irresponsible for us to let people with a known money addiction continue to handle our money. Lets have an intervention now so we can help these sick individuals.
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post #18 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-09-2009, 03:42 PM
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The Gov knows they run us, they just think we believe it's the other way. Sgt beavis is correct, we are going down a dangerous path to some serious problems. If our founding fathers were here today they would have been in the streets with their muskets a long time ago.

You would have to pry them from the idiot box first.

I'm sure both sides could agree with this.

If all you see is one side of reality coming at you from the main stream propaganda machine, who will believe the truth? Not the people glued to the dumb down machine.



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Honor is learned, earned, practiced and respected by all decent men and women.
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