Thursday, August 31, 2006

ICE arrests 15 aliens in Roswell working for U.S. military contractor

(thanks El Reg)

You just cannot make this stuff up.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) special agents today arrested 15 illegal aliens who were working for a local company here that is under contract to paint U.S. military aircraft, including Lockheed C-130 military aircraft.
Proof for the paranoiacs! What will they do next?

Oh wait, I almost forgot: "They took my job!"

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

More on asset forfeiture

(thanks Dave Farber)

In the amusingly-titled "United States of America v. $124,700 in U.S. Currency," a man who was neither accused nor convicted of a crime was deprived of the above amount of cash, as it was in itself deemed "strong evidence" of connection to drug activity.

Once again a lone judge spoke out as the dissenting voice against the majority ruling: Judge Donald Lay:
There is no evidence claimants were ever convicted of any drug-related crime, nor is there any indication the manner in which the currency was bundled was indicative of
drug use or distribution.
Judge Lay has some very interesting things to say about the prison system in the US in the accurately-titled Dissenting Opinions series (along with a case of the missing millions).

Perhaps the courts are trying to help their brethren in the of the Treasury's FinCEN to help guard against evil kiddy-fiddlers, or terrorists, or perhaps drug dealers, or (let's face it) people wanting to keep their deals off the books, in cash, and away from Big Brother's prying eyes...

Why bother with cash-transaction reporting limits? If people don't want to carry around easily-confiscatible cash, then perhaps they'll use more [in]secure methods.

Technology vs The Law

I saw this along Main Rd Rondebosch today.

It seems to refer to this article, but I still nurture strong hopes of a technical solution to the proliferation of lawyers...

[For those not in the know, DNS is Afrikaans for DNA. Check out this edumacational poster]

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Live, Free, or Die [pick two]

(thanks L'Inq)

New Hampshire is going crazy.

First we had the police getting upset with being recorded.

And now we have the State Supreme Court in the capital getting confused as to whether items which have not been declared as contraband can be confiscated...

Dissenting, Justice Linda Dalianis wrote, perceptively, that “the majority does not explain how statutes prohibiting the production, publication, or sale of certain works render possession of such works unlawful.”
Although no-one seems yet to have made the connection yet between such "indefinitions" of possible crime (cp "Pre-crime") and asset forfeiture.

The article opines:
It should go without saying that speculation by a few judges that a crime might have been committed is a frightening basis for taking someone’s property.
but doesn't take the article's conclusion:

If the government can seize and keep a citizen’s property by simply asserting that it is contraband, even when the assertion is unsupported by the facts, then we have entered into dangerous territory.
to its logical conclusion: asset forfeiture (very often here in South Africa) is mostly speculative and should therefore not be allowed.