Monday, January 30, 2017

Trump Keeps His Promise to Kill The Families of Terrorists

Sources: The Intercept and Reuters

Donald Trump has made good on his promise to ‘take out their families.’ In a raid on Al Qaeda leader Abdulraoof al-Dhahab’s house in Yemen, authorized by Trump, Seal Team Six killed 8 women and 7 children along with 14 combatants. According to anonymous testimony corroborated by a Yemeni security officer and local official, everyone inside Abdulraoof al-Dhahab’s house was killed, presumably this was done indiscriminately. The raid was initiated with a drone strike on the Al Qaeda leader’s house so it is not clear how many women and children were killed in the drone strike and how many were killed by gun fire.

‘Take out their families’ was Obama’s MO before Trump adopted it


Although Trump promised to kill civilians during his campaign, this policy is not original to him. As I noted in a previous post, Obama set the precedent for this behavior including killing American citizens without a criminal trial. Obama exacerbated the current war in Yemen between the Houthi rebels, who formed a political council that was ratified by the Yemeni parliament, and the Wahhabi terrorist state by aiding the latter in indiscriminately bombing Yemeni civilians and blocking food and humanitarian aid from reaching their victims. Claiming to fight against Al Qaeda while simultaneously supporting a state (Saudi Arabia) that finances its Syrian affiliate (Al Nusra) and providing weapons to militias that act as front groups for Al-Nusra (Free Syrian Army) is as disingenuous as one can be and another sign that the war on terror is a racket. If it's any consolation, a Trump presidency will bring Obama’s abuses of power to light through Trump’s actions.

As for the one commando killed, I have only this to say:



 


Sunday, January 29, 2017

The Red Tape Times (article 18)

The Show Me State Prohibits Bars From Showing Discount Drink Prices



In another instance of regulations breaching first amendment rights, the state of Missouri prohibits alcohol licensed businesses from advertising discounted drink prices both outside their establishments and inside their establishments except on menus. Last week, the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals allowed a lawsuit filed by a number of plaintiffs contesting the regulations to go forward on the grounds that the case against the regulations “plausibly demonstrates the challenged provisions do not directly advance the government’s asserted substantial interest, are more extensive than necessary, and unconstitutionally compel speech and association.” This reversed an earlier lower court ruling that dismissed the motion. The Eighth Circuit Court found that “multiple inconsistencies within the regulations poke obvious holes in any potential advancement of the state’s professed interest in promoting responsible drinking, to the point the regulations do not advance the interest at all.” A similar statute prohibits distillers and wholesalers that list retailers in their advertisements from listing the retail price of their products, requires them to list multiple retailers not associated with one another, and requires them to make the retailer list inconspicuous. The regulations in question are nothing more than mandated information asymmetry that only presents a hassle to customers who would otherwise have all of the information necessary to make a decision before entering a bar, restaurant, winery, or other licensed establishment.


Saturday, January 28, 2017

The Repercussions of Pipeline Approvals on Property Rights

Free market proponents often exempt pipeline construction from scrutiny and tend to assume that erring on the side of economic freedom means always supporting approval for pipeline construction. Protests are met with shallow platitudes about 'energy independence', 'job creation', and 'growth', all of which are tentative at best. These platitudes are countered by different platitudes about 'global warming', 'climate change', and 'clean energy.' What is left unexamined in this ruckus are the unintended effects, not on the environment or GDP growth rates, but on one of the very pillars of civilization: property rights. This is why the false dilemma of U.S. politics is called a false dilemma: it assumes only the extremities and omits the intermediates. Under the original 5th amendment, which has been gutted by our criminal government, eminent domain could only be used to seize private property for public use, which is a position I still disagree with because it does not exclude confiscating peoples' homes or businesses. This was changed in Kelo v. City of New London, which gave private corporations eminent domain power and expanded the doctrine of public use to ambiguously mean any development that may result in economic growth. On paper, anyone's property rights can be usurped if someone else comes along and claims they can make better use of the land. The precedent set by this ruling has had a number of implications in recent years, most notably, pipeline companies have used it to seize land from family farms and ranchers, that have held tenure for several generations, under the vague and now worthless public use doctrine.

Back in early 2015 when the KeyStone XL pipeline was the proposed panacea for unemployment, few pundits on either side of the aisle took into consideration the destruction of property rights that would have occurred if Obama had approved the pipeline (this was one of the few times I agreed with him). In Texas alone, 102 landowners, most of them farmers and ranchers, would have been forced to allow a foreign corporation to build a pipeline on their land. They attempted to do the same thing against 90 unwilling landowners in Nebraska without success.

Energy Transfer Partners, the same company tied up in the Dakota Access Pipeline, seized land from ranchers in the Big Bend region of Texas so they could ship gas to Mexico through the Trans-Pesco pipeline. More, recently they used eminent domain against landowners in Iowa and South Dakota to build the pending Dakota Access Pipeline.

The end does not justify the means. Every assault against property rights on the basis of expediency sets a precedent for the further erosion of property rights and draws us a step closer to despotism. This is clear when past assaults against property rights are taken into account; a disturbing trend emerges when the concession of a corporate prerogative to seize private property is taken into consideration with other aggressions against property rights e.g. civil asset forfeiture, anti-structuring laws, warrantless wiretapping, and ever increasing occupational licensing laws. Every aggression builds up political momentum towards an absolutist state, reversing its function from a system that was meant to protect property rights from criminal trespass to a criminal syndicate that destroys property rights.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

The Red Tape Times (article 17)

A License for Freedom of Speech 



Source: Institute for Justice 

The excess of licensure laws reach a breaking point when they begin to violate our first amendment rights. The city of Myrtle Beach, SC requires amateur musicians, that play at bars for tips, to spend $100 dollars on a business license, more than they would make in a night. Playing music at a bar for tips isn't anymore of a business than street performances, especially if they only do so occasionally. The first amendment doesn't just pertain to political speech, although this was the main intention, it also includes other forms of speech and expression such as art. To hold music to a different standard than political speech is to place both in jeopardy because music is often used as a form of political speech; the historical examples are numerous. To require a government's permission for either is to abridge freedom of speech by giving government censorship power. If they can deny an amateur musician permission to play music in a private establishment where his music is demanded, then he does not have freedom of speech.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Red Tape Times (article 16)

Restrictions on Home Businesses Make Operating One Practically Illegal 




The city of Portland requires home based start-ups to jump through a myriad of hoops to operate. For instance, home based businesses can only receive 8 clients per day, can only have one company vehicle, and can only have one employee who is not a resident and only if they do not accept on site customers. Furthermore, they are prohibited from operating a dispatch service or selling retail goods and proprietors who accept customers have to submit to a city building inspection. While many of these regulations may have been well intended to reduce nuisances in residential areas, most of them are unenforceable (whose counting the clients) and these one size fits all rules rarely account for variations in circumstances. Larger lots may be able to accommodate more cars than others without spilling out into the street and impeding traffic. Some home businesses may not be able to stay solvent with only 8 clients a day, while others may be profitable receiving only 7 clients a day. The rest of the restrictions on home businesses fall within the same general category of assuming one set of rules is adequate for all possible home businesses. 

In regard to moral law, consenting parties should be free to transact unless part of the cost is imposed on a non-consenting third party (e.g. pollution). When negative externalities are probable the principle of subsidiarity should be applied and the issue of preventing nuisances should be left up to the judgement of HOAs and NAs. In this way, unique solutions can be reached that would otherwise be left to the purview of government violence. 




President Trump Issues Executive Order To Build A Border Wall

To all those who said it wouldn't happen it did. In an executive order pertaining to border security and immigration enforcement President Trump ordered:
Sec. 2. Policy. It is the policy of the executive branch to: 
(a) secure the southern border of the United States through the immediate construction of a physical wall on the southern border, monitored and supported by adequate personnel so as to prevent illegal immigration, drug and human trafficking, and acts of terrorism;
And by wall he doesn't mean a pedestrian fence or vehicle barrier, which constitutes most of the present 650 miles of barriers.
(e) "Wall" shall mean a contiguous, physical wall or other similarly secure, contiguous, and impassable physical barrier.
In a separate executive order also issued today, President Trump included a provision to withdraw federal grants from sanctuary cities e.g. just about everywhere in California, which by now, should just be ceded to Mexico and walled off as well.
(a) In furtherance of this policy, the Attorney General and the Secretary, in their discretion and to the extent consistent with law, shall ensure that jurisdictions that willfully refuse to comply with 8 U.S.C. 1373 (sanctuary jurisdictions) are not eligible to receive Federal grants, except as deemed necessary for law enforcement purposes by the Attorney General or the Secretary. The Secretary has the authority to designate, in his discretion and to the extent consistent with law, a jurisdiction as a sanctuary jurisdiction. The Attorney General shall take appropriate enforcement action against any entity that violates 8 U.S.C. 1373, or which has in effect a statute, policy, or practice that prevents or hinders the enforcement of Federal law.
Our immigration laws will finally be enforced. The cost of building this wall will be much less than the cost of illegal immigration in the long run. I doubt that someone will sell ladders just tall enough to reach over the wall as Goofus Johnson claimed or, as some more serious critics have claimed, that it will increase illegal immigration because tighter border security tends to lead to more illegal aliens living here. Even if this were true, it is contingent upon the fact that we still have a porous border.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Trump Slays the TTP And Restrains Executive Branch Hiring

President Trump has only been in office for three days and he has already destroyed a major hallmark of Obama's failed legacy. The U.S. entered into trade negotiations with a handful of Pacific rim countries during the tail end of the Bush Admin, but Obama pursued the Trans Pacific Partnership for nearly the entirety of his two terms, starting only a few months after he was sworn into office. Now, those eight years of toil have been obliterated in a single day. President Trump released a memorandum formally withdrawing US as a signatory to the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement. The trade deal was initially negotiated in secret by the most opaque administration in recent U.S. history. The only public information about this national sovereignty killing trade deal came from that bastion of Russian propaganda otherwise known as Wikileaks. I myself did not become aware of the TTP negotiations until October 2015 when I was still on Experience Project, and haven't done much research into it since February 2016, though I have talked about it in two previous posts here and here. President Trump plans to only negotiate bilateral trade deals, that is, deals made with individual countries instead of trade blocs.

President Trump also instated a hiring moratorium for Executive branch positions, in a separate memorandum, with the exception of military personnel, any positions necessary to maintain national security, or officials appointed by the president. Included in the memorandum is an order for the Office of Budget and Management to come up with a plan to reduce the size of the federal workforce and a ban on using outside contractors to circumvent the hiring moratorium. While this reduction in federal spending is relatively minor, it is nonetheless a step in the right direction that will hopefully gain momentum during the Trump administration.




Saturday, January 21, 2017

Thug Sheriff Detains Man for Looking At Him Wrong On An Airplane

Source: WISN 12 News 

Nowadays the police have become indistinguishable from the criminals they are suppose to arrest. A few days ago, we were given yet another example of this when Milwaukee Sheriff David Clark (a prominent figure in the Trump campaign) detained a man in the Milwaukee airport for asking him if he was David Clarke and shaking his head in disapproval when Clarke affirmed. This occurred while the man was boarding an airplane in Dallas. Presumably Clarke held his resentment until the plane landed in Milwaukee and had his deputies illegally detain the man in a private security room. I must emphasize here that the detention was illegal because it was done in violation of the fourth amendment; they did not have reasonable suspicion that this man had committed any crime other than the thought crime of hurting Clarke's feelz. Maybe Clarke should throw his lot in with the snowflakes protesting in Washington. A true conservative, a person who wants to preserve the principles of our Constitution and reduce government control over private affairs, believes in definite restraints on executive power as outlined in the Bill of Rights. Clarke's brand of absolutism is more akin to the views held by the marxoids rioting in DC.

Oh, and just in case you encounter this thug on an airplane, he reserves the right to preemptively assault you because hurting his feelz causes him to 'fear for his life'.
'Next time he or anyone else pulls this stunt on a plane they may get knocked out. The Sheriff said he does not have to wait for some goof to assault him. He reserves the reasonable right to pre-empt a possible assault.'


Obama Admits There Is No Evidence Of Russian Hacking


Around the 8:05 Mark.

' The conclusions of the intelligence community with respect to the Russian hacking were not conclusive as to whether WikiLeaks was witting or not in being the conduit through which we heard about the DNC e-mails that were leaked.'

In other words, the unintelligence community has no evidence of how Wikileaks got the leaked DNC emails. Notice he didn't mention that any DNC servers were hacked. More than likely the source of the leaked emails was a disgruntled Bernie supporter.




Wednesday, January 18, 2017

A Southern Border Wall Would Be Practical But Certainly Not A Panacea

It is perhaps the only practical spending proposal Trump has come up with thus far, and one of the few issues where I concur with president Trump. The U.S. already has 650 miles of various barriers along the southern border and at least 350 miles of fencing as defined by section 102(b) of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act. Furthermore, not everyone that comes here illegally does so out of 'an act of love.' A border wall would deter human traffickers, drug traffickers (except the CIA), and criminals fleeing whatever semblance of justice there is in Mexico. I don't think president Trump has a comprehensive immigration plan other than building a wall and deporting eleven million illegal aliens, which still remains to be seen. I doubt Mexico will pay for the wall so it would have to be built through deficit spending, which is inevitable anyway.

The Red Tape Times (article 15)

Source: Institute for Justice 

The petty tyrants on the Henniker, New Hampshire zoning board authority have prohibited tree farmer Stephen Forester from hosting weddings, despite the fact that it fits within their definition of agro-tourism.
II. The words "agriculture'' and "farming'' mean all operations of a farm, including:
(5) The marketing or selling at wholesale or retail, of any products from the farm, on-site and off-site, where not prohibited by local regulations. Marketing includes agritourism, which means attracting visitors to a farm to attend events and activities that are accessory uses to the primary farm operation, including, but not limited to, eating a meal, making overnight stays, enjoyment of the farm environment, education about farm operations, or active involvement in the activity of the farm.
It's common sense that eating a meal, making overnight stays and enjoying the farm environment would all be part of a wedding. Of course, the statute does not list hosting weddings or every conceivably permissible activity that would fall under marketing. Despite this lack of clarity, the town still expects him to maintain an ATV trail that passes through his land; with this in mind, Forester perfectly summed up the absurdity of the zoning board's disapproval of his site plan application.
“I can’t allow tourism on my property, but I am expected to keep this thing going and maintain it?” Forster said. “I want to invite people onto my property to enjoy it, like the town is already inviting people onto my property to enjoy it.”

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Obama's Fascist Legacy

Obama's Police State
I am more relieved than ever that the Obama presidency is over, not because I think anything will improve under a Trump presidency, now complacency towards the march of tyranny will finally die. Every leftist crying that the inevitable Trump presidency will bring fascism here has apparently been asleep for the past eight years because they have failed to grasp that the Obama Administration has set the precedent for fascism. He didn't just continue the Bush era police state; he expanded it and made it much worse. The fourth and fifth amendments have been obliterated under his administration; he not only extend the Patriot Act twice and left the PRISM program in place, he broadened it by allowing the NSA to share the private information of American citizens with federal law enforcement if they come across evidence of a crime, giving way to the use of parallel construction in prosecutions. It was also not too long ago that he signed the amendments to Rule 41, allowing judges to issue search warrants for computers outside of their jurisdiction. It was under his administration that the subpoena power of FBI field offices were expanded to include email data and browsing history and the Cybersecurity Internet Surveillance Act was passed, eliminating liability for tech companies that share Americans' data with the DHS and requiring the DHS to, in turn, share this data with the NSA, DOD, and Director of National Intelligence. Lets not forget that it was this administration that signed indefinite detention into law through a provision in the 2011 NDAA. The same administration assassinated four American citizens, through drone strikes, without a jury trial, around the same time. Now that the dictatorial powers to indefinitely detain American citizens accused of abetting terrorism, without a criminal trial, and executing them via drone strikes has been handed over to Trump, I am sure the left will start paying attention to the exponentially growing executive powers. Under his administration, civil asset forfeiture revenue ballooned from 1.5B in 2008 to a peak of 4.5B in 2014, exceeding the aggregate value of property stolen by common thieves (3.9B). The same administration brokered more weapons sales than any other since World War II, and lifted the arms embargo on the totalitarian socialist regime of Vietnam. On his watch, local and state police received more surplus military weapons than under previous administrations, and non-military federal spending on guns and ammunition jumped from 55M in 2006 to 112M in 2011. Even administrative agencies such as the FDA,  the EPA, the United States Mint, and the VA bought 335M in military gear and weapons. The EPA, for instance spent 3.1M on guns and ammunition from 2006 to 2014.

Obama's Imperialism 

The Obama admin destabilized three near east countries through three illegal wars, conducted without congressional authorization, in Libya, Syria, and Yemen. Libya has been turned into a wasteland overrun by warlords and Salafists; Yemen has been bombed into oblivion and starved by the Washington backed Saudi coalition, and Syria might have shared the same fate as Libya were it not for 'Russian aggression.' You would think that out of anyone, a noble prize winner would be repulsed by the usual excuses of collateral damage and cheap appeals to expediency, which is best exemplified by his arming of 'moderate rebels' i.e. Salafi terrorists who invaded Syria from the surrounding Gulf states and coopted the early protests.

Authoritarian domestic policies tend to be correlates of perpetual warfare either at home or abroad; historically, there is a high degree of comorbidity between the two. At present the Obama admin has deployed special forces in four different countries (Libya, Syria, Yemen, and Iraq) and is conducting the CIA drone program, that has killed hundreds of civilians during Obama's tenure, in seven different countries. It is no wonder that he has ramped up the war on terror propaganda and ramped down our constitutional rights.

Side Note: A popular misconception is that Obama ended the war in Iraq, which is false on two grounds: the agreement with the Iraqi parliament to withdraw all troops by 2011 was negotiated under the Bush admin and there are at present still a couple hundred special forces in Iraq.

The Trans Pacific Partnership 

The so called 'free trade' agreement that Obama tried to push through congress, but failed, would have had the same effect as his foreign policy, which is the consolidation of corporate power on a global scale (i.e. globalism). Had Obama been successful in this endeavor, the Trans Pacific Partnership would have dealt a single death blow to our national sovereignty. Even though it died with Clinton's loss, it still had a significant impact on our laws; the Country of Origins Labeling Act was repealed, the DARK Act was signed into law, and the executive office was given fast track authority on future trade agreements.

Final Note

I do not believe that the election of Trump has saved our republic, but it has, for the time being, slowed the political momentum towards despotism by sowing discord between the press and the executive office. Perhaps a hostile press will unwittingly bring the Obama administration's abuses to light when Trump inevitably capitalizes on them for his own agenda.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

New Rules To Executive Order 12333 Gives Domestic Law Enforcement Access to Unscreened Data

Just when we thought the Obama Administration had perfected the Police State with his 'Center for Information Analysis and Response' he never ceased to amaze with his brazen contempt for the Constitution he swore to protect. The new rules in question allows the NSA to share the raw data they gather with federal law enforcement agencies (IC elements) without screening out data retrieved from U.S. citizens and unrelated to national security issues. The introduction claims to protect our fourth amendment privacy rights (by restricting access for solely national security purposes), even though this administration has already shredded our fourth amendment. The ruse is they won't 'intentionally' violate your fourth amendment right, but they may 'inadvertently' do so, just like the Obama Admin has 'inadvertently' murdered hundreds of civilians through drone programs in seven different countries or 'inadvertently' destabilized three countries (Libya, Syria, and Yemen) spurring the refugee crisis.
D. (U) Communications between U.S. persons. Communications solely between U.S. persons inadvertently retrieved during the selection of foreign communications will be destroyed upon recognition, except
1. (U) When the communication contains significant foreign intelligence or counterintelligence, the head of the recipient IC element may waive the destruction requirement and subsequently notify the DIRNSA and NSA's OGC; or 
2. (U) When the communication contains evidence of a crime or a threat of death or serious bodily harm to any person, or anomalies that reveal a potential vulnerability to U.S. communications security, the recipient IC element will notify NSA's OGC, which will review it according to the applicable NSA procedures and policies.
The applicable policy is the 'Memorandum of Understanding' as noted on the following pages about the dissemination of information.
4. (U) Evidence of a crime. The information is evidence of a possible commission of a crime and reported as provided in the Memorandum of Understanding: Reporting of Information Concerning Federal Crimes, or any successor documents.
The Memorandum in question sets the procedure for reporting evidence of crimes committed by U.S. citizens to federal law enforcement agencies as noted in a 2015 NSA document titled Minimization Procedures Used By The NSA In Connection With The Production of Call Detail Records (CDRs)
Notwithstanding the above requirements, CDRs which do not contain foreign intelligence information related to international terrorism but are reasonably believed to contain evidence of a crime that has been, is being, or is about to be committed may be disseminated (including United States person identities) to appropriate Federal law enforcement authorities, in accordance with 50 U.S.C. 1861(h), Executive Order 12333, and, where applicable, the crime reporting procedures set out in the August 1995 “Memorandum of Understanding: Reporting of Information Concerning Federal Crimes,” or any successor document. Such CDRs may be retained by NSA for a reasonable period of time, not to exceed six months unless extended in writing by the Attorney General, to permit law enforcement agencies to determine whether access to original CDR s are required for law enforcement purposes.
I wonder what else was an accident? Maybe the last eight years was just one big ass mistake (for) americans.


Friday, January 13, 2017

UN Human Rights Council Member Imprisons Human Rights Advocates

Saudi Arabia, a member of the UN Human Rights Council (that's not a joke), continues to imprison Human rights advocates, according to reports from HRW and Amnesty International. The latest string of thought crime prosecutions comes only a few months after Saudi Arabia was allowed to keep its seat on the UN Human rights council. Some of those arrested for speaking out against human rights abuses have been sentenced to death.
On January 10th, Abdulaziz al-Shubaily, a human rights defender and a founding member of the Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association (ACPRA), a now disbanded independent human rights organization, appeared before the Specialized Criminal Court which deals with counterterrorism cases. He was sentenced again to eight years in prison in connection with his human rights work. He had faced a number of different charges including “communicating with foreign organizations” and providing information to Amnesty International for use in two of its reports. Every other member of ACPRA has been prosecuted or jailed.
On 8 January, Essam Koshak, a human rights defender,was summoned for interrogation by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in Mecca around 5pm local time. He immediately went to al-Mansour police station but was detained and never made it back home. Amnesty International has learned that Essam Koshak was not allowed to appoint a lawyer and is being questioned about his Twitter account, which he mainly used to tweet about human rights issues in Saudi Arabia. 
On 5 January Ahmed al-Mushaikhass, a founding member of the Adala Centre for Human Rights, an independent human rights organization which was not permitted to register in Saudi Arabia, received a phone call from the CID asking him to report to al-Qatif police station for questioning. On 8 January he was transferred to al-Dammam police station where he remains in custody. He has been under interrogation by the Bureau of Investigation and Prosecution (BIP) since then. Ahmed al-Mushaikhass is a human rights defender known for his work including helping families and relatives of those detained in the Eastern Province to raise their cases with the authorities. His brother, Yussuf al-Mushaikhass, was sentenced to death in January 2016 after taking part in protests in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province and is at risk of being executed at any time.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

The Reason Clinton Lost the Election - Trade Policy

It wasn't due to 'Russian Hackers.' Trumps narrow victory in the electoral college, and yes it was a narrow margin of victory despite what Trumpbots may believe to the contrary, hinged on a few rust belt states without which he wouldn't have won. If he had lost Michigan, Wisconsin, and Ohio alone he would have only received 262 electoral votes. Had he also lost in Pennsylvania, he would have dropped to 242 in the electoral college. It was Obama's support for the Trans Pacific Partnership and Hillary's silence on the matter, and probably private support, that cost her a likely sweep of these traditionally blue states in presidential elections. Even the Soros funded 'fact-checker' Snopes acknowledges that Clinton had voiced public support for TTP several times during her tenure as Secretary of State and only attempted to distance herself when the campaign year came around.
Despite her current opposition to the agreement and her attempts during more than one presidential debate to recast her previous support of it as "hopeful," the record shows that Clinton spoke glowingly of the TPP on more than one occasion, not least when she praised it in 2012 as setting "the gold standard in trade agreements."
"We want to realize the benefits from greater economic integration. In order to do that, we have to be willing to play. To this end, we are working to ratify a free trade agreement with South Korea, we’re pursuing a regional agreement with the nations of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and we know that that will help create new jobs and opportunities here at home."
"The United States is also making important progress on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which will bring together nine APEC economies in a cutting-edge, next generation trade deal, one that aims to eliminate all trade tariffs by 2015 while improving supply change, saving energy, enhancing business practices both through information technology and green technologies."
"This TPP sets the gold standard in trade agreements to open free, transparent, fair trade, the kind of environment that has the rule of law and a level playing field. And when negotiated, this agreement will cover 40 percent of the world's total trade and build in strong protections for workers and the environment."
Trump, on the other hand, was very outspoken against the TTP from the beginning of his campaign and took a strong stance against it and previous trade agreements like NAFTA, unlike Clinton, who beat around the bush when the topic of trade policy was brought up.

Since the Trans Pacific Partnership was negotiated in secret, the only source for it contents came from Wikileaks. So the Mccarthycrats are correct when they say Wikileaks cost Clinton the election, but not in the way they think it did.

It is important to note that the purpose of these so called 'free-trade' agreements is not to break down international market barriers, but to consolidate corporate power on a global scale and consequently dismantle democratic institutions. Had their purpose been to simply reduce or remove duties and tariffs on imports from member nations the agreement would not have been thousands of pages long and kept hidden from the public. Had TTP been ratified, it would have given multinationals the power to sue national governments, in international tribunals, for any regulations that even slightly cut into their profit margins, essentially eroding national sovereignty. It would have allowed pharmaceutical companies to use ever-greening to artificially inflate drug prices, and it would have criminalized investigative journalism that exposes industry abuses with vague trade secret rules. Don't get me wrong, I am pro-free trade; I'm just against all of the other provisions included in these so called free trade agreements. Its like mixing 80% spring water with 20% raw sewage. In general though, free trade would only raise wages and the standard of living if it was coupled with a land value tax system (essentially abolishing private property in land); otherwise, rising rents will reduce wages and inflate housing costs. Even though it would lead to economic growth, most of the new wealth would just accumulate at the top of the pyramid


The U.S. Needs to Ratify ILO Convention 169 (part 2)

I have highlighted some notable provisions that address past and present concerns over the deprivation of rights and autonomy. If the U.S. were to sign onto ILO Convention 169 it would ensure that progress is made in these areas. Currently, only 22 countries have ratified Convention 169 and the U.S. isn't one of them, despite its history.

Article 6 Section I. 

In applying the provisions of this convention, governments shall:
(a) consult the peoples concerned, through appropriate procedures and in particular through their representative institutions, whenever consideration is being given to legislative or administrative measures which may affect them directly

Article 7

Section 1
The people concerned shall have the right to decide their own priorities for the process of development as it affects their lives, beliefs, institutions and spiritual well-being and the lands they occupy or otherwise use, and to exercise control, to the extent possible, over their own economic, social and cultural development. 

Section 2
The improvements of the conditions of life and work and levels of health and education of the people concerned, with their participation and co-operation, shall be a matter of priority in plans for the overall economic development of areas they inhabit.


Section 3
Governments shall ensure that, whenever appropriate, studies are carried out, in co-operation with the peoples concerned, to assess the social, spiritual, cultural and environmental impact on them of planned development activities.

Section 4
Governments shall take measures, in co-operation with the peoples concerned, to protect and preserve the environment of the territories they inhabit.

Article 9 Section 2
The customs of these peoples in regard to penal matters shall be taken into consideration by the authorities and courts dealing with such cases.

Article 10 Section 2
Preference shall be given to methods of punishment other than confinement in prison.
Part II deals with land rights


Article 13 Section 1
In applying the provisions of this part of the convention governments shall respect the special importance for the cultures and spiritual values of the peoples concerned of their relationship with the lands or territories, or both as applicable, which they occupy or otherwise use, and in particular the collective aspects of this relationship.

Article 14

Section 1
The rights of ownership and possession of the peoples concerned over the lands, which they traditionally occupy, shall be recognized. In addition, measures shall be taken in appropriate cases to safeguard the right of the peoples concerned to use lands not exclusively occupied by them, but to which they have traditionally had access for their subsistence and traditional activities.

Section 2
Governments shall take steps as necessary to identify the lands, which the peoples concerned traditionally occupy, and to guarantee effective protection of their rights of ownership and possession. 


Article 15

Section 1
The rights of the peoples concerned to the natural resources pertaining to their lands shall be specially safeguarded. These rights include the right of these peoples to participate in the use, management and conservation of these resources.

Section 2
In cases in which the State retains the ownership of mineral or sub-surface resources or rights to other resources pertaining to lands, governments shall establish or maintain procedures through which they shall consult these peoples, with a view to ascertaining whether and to what degree their interests would be prejudiced, before undertaking or permitting any programs for the exploration or exploitation of such resources pertaining to their lands.

Article 16


Section 1
Subject to the following paragraphs of this Article, the peoples concerned shall not be removed from the lands that they occupy.

Section 2
Where the relocation of these peoples is considered necessary as an exceptional measure, such relocation shall take place only with their free and informed consent.

Section 3
Whenever possible, these people shall have the right to return to their traditional lands, as soon as the grounds for relocation cease to exist.


Section 4
When such return is not possible, as determined by agreement or, in the absence of such agreement, through appropriate procedures, these peoples shall be provided in all possible cases with lands of quality and legal status at least equal to that of the lands previously occupied by them, suitable to provide for their present needs and future development.

Article 17 Section 2
The peoples concerned shall be consulted whenever consideration is being given to their capacity to alienate their lands or otherwise transmit their rights outside their own community.

Article 19
National agrarian programs shall secure to the peoples concerned treatment equivalent to that accorded to other sectors of the population with regard to:
(a) The provision of more land for these people when they have not the area necessary for providing the essentials of a normal existence, or for any possible increase in their numbers.
(b) The provision of the means required for promoting the development of the lands, which these peoples already possess.

Article 23 Section 1
Handicrafts, rural and community-based industries, and subsistence economy and traditional activities of the peoples concerned, such as hunting, fishing, trapping and gathering, shall be recognized as important factors in the maintenance of their cultures and in their economic self-reliance and development. Governments shall, with the participation of these people and whenever appropriate, ensure that these activities are strengthened and promoted.

Article 25 Section 1
Governments shall ensure that adequate health services are made available to the peoples concerned, or shall provide them with resources to allow them to design and deliver such services under their own responsibility and control, so that they may enjoy the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.

Article 26
Measures shall be taken to ensure that members of the peoples concerned have the opportunity to acquire education at all levels on at least an equal footing with the rest of the national community.

Article 27 Section 2
The competent authority shall ensure the training of members of these peoples and their involvement in the formulation and implementation of education programs, with a view to the progressive transfer of responsibility for the conduct of these programs to these peoples as appropriate.

Article 28

Section 1
Children belonging to the peoples concerned shall, wherever practicable, be taught to read and write in their own indigenous language or in the language most commonly used by the group to which they belong. When this is not practicable, the competent authorities shall undertake consultations with these peoples with a view to the adoption of measures to achieve this objective.

Section 3
Measures shall be taken to preserve and promote the development and practice of the indigenous languages of the peoples concerned.

Article 29
The imparting of general knowledge and skills that will help children belonging to the peoples concerned to participate fully and on an equal footing in their own community and in the national community shall be an aim of education for these peoples.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The U.S. Needs to Ratify ILO Convention 169

Given the history of federal and state government relations with tribal nations, as well as current deprivations of autonomy, and the recent Dakota Access Pipeline protest, the ratification of ILO convention 169 would ensure that progress is made in the areas where it is still lacking. I've highlighted some areas of concern below.

Checkerboard zoning and inadequate tax revenue from land within reservations

Tribal governments are not permitted to regulate land use within their territory. This came out of the Supreme Court ruling in Brendale v. Confederated Tribes, which forbids tribes from exercising regulatory power over simple fee lands held by non-members.
(a) Any regulatory power the Tribe might have under its treaty with the United States cannot apply to lands held in fee by non-Indians. Montana, 450 U.S. at 450 U. S. 559. The Tribe no longer retains the "exclusive use and benefit" of such lands within the meaning of the treaty, since the Indian General Allotment Act allotted significant portions of the reservation, including the lands at issue, to individual members of the Tribe, and those lands subsequently passed, through sale or inheritance, to nonmembers such as petitioners. The Tribe's treaty rights must be read in light of those subsequent alienations, it being unlikely that Congress intended to subject non-Indian purchasers to tribal jurisdiction when an avowed purpose of the allotment policy was to destroy tribal government. Id. at 450 U. S. 560, n. 9, 450 U. S. 561. The fact that the Allotment Act was repudiated in 1934 by the Indian Reorganization Act is irrelevant, since the latter Act did not restore exclusive use of the lands in question to the Tribe.
Substantial economic development isn't possible without a uniform zoning code, and even if tribal governments did have regulatory power over simple fee land owned by non-members, there would still be a checkerboard pattern of trust land, allotted land, and simple fee land that would inhibit development.

As a consequence of not being permitted to apply their zoning ordinances to simple fee land owned by non-members, tribal governments are not permitted to levy taxes on non-member land owners ,within reservation territory, as a result of the later ruling in Atkinson Trading CO. v. Shirley.
In Montana v. United States, 450 U.S. 544 (1981), we held that, with limited exceptions, Indian tribes lack civil authority over the conduct of nonmembers on non-Indian fee land within a reservation. The question with which we are presented is whether this general rule applies to tribal attempts to tax nonmember activity occurring on non-Indian fee land. We hold that it does and that neither of Montana’s exceptions obtains here.
The consensual relationship must stem from “commercial dealing, contracts, leases, or other arrangements,” Montana, 450 U.S., at 565, and a nonmember’s actual or potential receipt of tribal police, fire, and medical services does not create the requisite connection.
Lack of jurisdiction over crimes committed on reservations 

Tribal governments are not permitted jurisdiction over crimes committed by non-members, felonies and heinous crimes. The highest sentence they are allowed to impose on members, convicted in their courts, is one year in prison. This along with the grinding poverty has led to skyrocketing crime rates which further inhibits economic development.

Sixth Amendment Violations
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.
During the DAPL protest, Amnesty International's human rights delegation found that half of the five hundred plus protesters arrested were not provided defense attorneys and their trials were delayed.
'According to reports, the public defender system in North Dakota is struggling to handle the case load stemming from the more than 500 arrests related to protests of the DAPL. The petition that was submitted to the Court notes that 79 attorneys have been assigned as public defenders for 265 cases, while an additional 264 people are listed without counsel. Furthermore, it is reported that private attorneys in the state either cannot or will not be able to fill the needs of those seeking representation. Other public defenders within the state of North Dakota may be limited from taking on more of these cases due to the conspiracy charges that were filed in several of these cases.' 
A lack of tribal consultation over developments that may negatively impact their well-being 

As I noted back in a post from early December of last year, the Army Corps did not consult the tribal council until well after construction on DAPL began.
The Tribal Historic Preservation Office contacted the Army Corps as early as February 2015, several months before construction began, and again in April of the same year, without receiving a response to any of the concerns they raised, their request for an environmental impact statement and and their request for tribal consultation.
Whether or not this was due to miscommunication on both sides is trivial; the principle of the matter is that they should have been consulted before construction was permitted on Corps land, even had they not sought consultation.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Concerning Political Superstitions (part 3): Policing for Profit and Other Misnomers on The Left

Policing for Profit, For Profit Prisons, and War Profiteering are all misnomers based on misconceptions about what profits are and what the profit-seeking motive entails. Like all other social ills that leftists blame on the profit motive in particular and capitalism in general, this is a particularly fatal misconception that leads to false conclusions. The fallacy that arises when people talk about the evils of policing for profit, the prison-industrial complex, or the military-industrial complex, is that they conflate profit with rent and thus the profit-seeking motive with the rent-seeking motive. Policing for profit, prison profits, and war profiteering would be more accurately described as policing for rent, prison rents, and war racketeering. What one earns, either in wages, interest or profits, is distinct and polar opposite to what one could appropriate from earnings of other's in rent. The profit-motive drives economic growth, and wealth grows exponentially providing a larger share to everyone even if their proportion of aggregate wealth shrinks. Rent is sum zero; it is set by a monopoly in a fixed supply of some factor of production or asset or by having any power to attain wealth without reciprocating wealth e.g. private property in land for instance.

'Policing for Profit'

When the police seize a person's earnings through tickets for petty traffic violations or civil asset forfeiture, they are not generating a profit from the seizure of another person's earnings but imposing a rent. The revenue generated by 'policing for profit' is not wealth, but maintenance costs imposed on the victims to supply the modern highwaymen with a fund for equipment and luxuries. It is the cost of maintaining a police state apparatus.

The Prison Industrial Complex

The same holds true for the private prison industry, though this is less obvious than in the first case because they have all the formalities of any other private business along with shareholders and employees. But private prisons are monopolies since their only customers are governments; prisoners don't get to chose among competing prisons. Private prisons do not generate profits to their shareholders, but rents because they do not create any new wealth; their supposed 'profits' actually represents the maintenance costs of incarceration. The revenues of private prisons, just the same as government owned prisons, are appropriated from the earnings of taxpayers and other industries that do not rely on taxation to survive.

The Military Industrial Complex

The same principle that holds true for the private prison industry is no less applicable to the defense industry. The revenue that defense contractors generate are no less rents because they produce  tangible goods unlike private prisons. The sole customer being the federal government, the revenue generated by producing military weapons and equipment is drawn from taxation on the profits of other industries and individuals' earnings. Furthermore, war not only doesn't create any additional wealth, only additional maintenance costs, it also destroys wealth. Defense spending diverts wealth from other industries to defense contractors. Any technological gains made by the defense industry are inevitably offset by both the monetary and opportunity costs incurred by other industries and the invaluable cost of human life. The return on defense industry production is thus a rent, and the revenue represents the maintenance cost of maintaining the empire. 

Misguided Empathy: The Truth About The So Called Refugee Crisis

I am tried of bleeding heart liberals and do gooders of every stripe whining about a lack of acceptance for refugees when they don't even have the decency to acknowledge the cause of the refugee crisis. The Obama administration's imperialistic foreign policy destabilized the countries they are fleeing from. He turned Libya into a wasteland ruled over by competing warlords and created a vacuum for ISIS to gain a foothold in Libya. He's done the same thing in Syria by arming salafist terrorist groups and placing economic sanctions against Syria. Assad isn't fighting against 'moderate rebels', he's fighting Al Qaeda splinter groups like Al Nusra, Ahrar al-Sham, and of course ISIS. He's worsened the crisis in Yemen by continuing to provide tactical support and weapons to the barbaric Saudi Royal Air-force that have murdered thousands of civilians and the Saudi Navy that has blockaded the Yemeni ports preventing desperately needed humanitarian aid and food from reaching their victims. He's placed special forces in four countries without congressional authorization for any of them, which is illegal. It's time to stop pretending he's deserving of his nobel peace prize or any praise he's received for addressing the refugee crisis. 

Obama's Ministry of Truth

Back on December 23rd of last year the NDAA of 2017 was used as a trojan horse to pass H.R. 5181: Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act of 2016. You can find the relevant portions of H.R. 5181 in Section 1287 of the NDAA of 2017, which starts on page 1396.
Establishment.—Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of State shall, in coordination with the Secretary of Defense, the Director of National Intelligence, the Broadcasting Board of Governors, and other relevant departments and agencies, establish a Center for Information Analysis and Response (in this section referred to as the “Center”). The purposes of the Center are— 
(1) to lead and coordinate the collection and analysis of information on foreign government information warfare efforts, including information provided by recipients of information access fund grants awarded under subsection (e) and other sources; 
(2) to establish a framework for the integration of critical data and analysis on foreign propaganda and disinformation efforts into the development of national strategy; and

(3) to develop, plan, and synchronize, in coordination with the Secretary of Defense, the Director of National Intelligence, the Broadcasting Board of Governors, and other relevant departments and agencies, whole-of-government initiatives to expose and counter foreign information operations directed against United States national security interests and proactively advance fact-based narratives that support United States allies and interests.
Most of the provisions seem innocuous, until you reach p1402
(f) Information Access Fund. - 
(1) Authority For Grants. - The Center is authorized to provide grants or contracts of financial support to civil society groups, media content providers, NGOs federally funded research and development centers, private companies, or academic institutions for the following purposes:
(A) To support local independent media who are best placed to refute foreign disinformation and manipulation in their own communities. 
(B)To collect and store examples in print, online, and social media, disinformation, misinformation, and propaganda directed at the United States and its allies and partners.
(C) To analyze tactics, techniques, and procedures of foreign government information warfare with respect to disinformation, misinformation, and propaganda. 
(D) To support efforts by the Center to counter efforts by foreign governments to use disinformation, misinformation, and propaganda to influence the policies and social and political stability of the United States and United States allies and partners. 
(2) FUNDING AVAILABILITY AND LIMITATIONS.—The Secretary of State shall provide that each organization that applies to receive funds under this subsection is selected in accordance with the relevant existing regulations to ensure its bona fides, capability, and experience, and its compatibility with United States interests and objectives.
 As if the $780,000,000 the Broadcasting Board of Governors spends on their own foreign propaganda efforts wasn't enough (i.e. Radio Free Europe, Voice of America, Radio Liberty, Radio Free Asia), they've come up with a new scheme to disseminate their propaganda here, under the obvious guise of 'countering foreign propaganda,' since Obama repealed the 1948 Smith-Mundt Act when he signed the NDAA for 2013. The motive is clear to anyone that isn't naive enough to believe the Federal government has their best interest at heart.
'The Secretary of State shall provide that each organization that applies to receive funds under this subsection is selected in accordance with ..... its compatibility with United States interests and objectives.'
by which they mean U.S. corporate interests and objectives; unless you're a government contractor,  creditor, career politician or bureaucrat, you are being used as collateral; there is no benefit in it for you. And we should not be so shortsighted to think they will not target domestic independent media that doesn't toe the imperialist line. There are no provisions within Section 1287 that prohibit the Center from targeting domestic media outlets. It simply states...
(B)To collect and store examples in print, online, and social media, disinformation, misinformation, and propaganda directed at the United States and its allies and partners. 
The fact that this bill was passed less than a month after the ProporNot libel was published by the Washington Compost, a holdover from Operation Mockingbird, indicates that RT is not the only target.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Political Superstitions (part 2); Thanking Veterans For Their Service

This one requires no reference as it is so prevalent that you would have to live under a rock to have never heard it. Civilians say it unthinkingly as if it were a truism like the sun sets in the west. What they don't realize is that you don't have to join any branch of the military or take up any government office to serve your country; anyone who works and/or invests in any domestic business is serving their country. Even visa workers are serving a country that is not their own. It isn't obvious at the individual level, where we only seem to be serving our self-interest, but only when we consider the big picture. An entrepreneur cannot earn a profit without serving his/her compatriots. If he/she employs anyone else, they also cannot earn a wage with serving their compatriots in some capacity. His or her vendors too cannot earn a profit without serving their compatriots even if they don't sell to the public. The same is generally true of all businesses, whether they are sole proprietors, partnerships, public or private corporations. When put into the proper perspective, this statement of gratitude becomes completely meaningless. Millions of people serve their country everyday without even contemplating death or their 'duties to society'. The adage is borne of the collectivist mindset that the 'common good' can only be secured by sacrificing the self-interest of the individual. It is a holdover from our primitive past when humans constantly lived on the edge of starvation and survival was only assured through forced cooperation

Monday, January 2, 2017

The Red Tape Times (article 14)

Originally Posted on Experience Project on January 3, 2016

An absurd anti-discrimination law in NYC makes using an improper pronoun a crime punishable by a $250,000 fine (for employers) and mandates that employers cover sex-reassignment surgery which can cost upwards of six figures as well. The unintended consequences of this legal measure are numerous. 1.) It will make potential transvestite employees a six-figure liability and therefore much less likely to be hired. 2.) Regulatory capture: this will benefit larger corporations the most ; small start-ups that can't compile with the law will go under and the larger businesses will therefore be protected from competition. 3.) It upholds a punitive justice system that is unfit for our current social state

Civil Asset Forfeiture, Anti-Structuring Laws and Other Spawns of The War on Drugs


'The highwayman takes solely upon himself the responsibility, danger, and crime of his own act. He does not pretend that he has any rightful claim to your money, or that he intends to use it for your own benefit. He does not pretend to be anything but a robber. He has not acquired impudence enough to profess to be a merely a "protector," and that he takes men's money against their will, merely to enable him to "protect" those infatuated travelers, who feel perfectly able to protect themselves, or do not appreciate his peculiar system of protection. He is too sensible a man to make such professions as these. Furthermore, having taken your money, he leaves you, as you wish him to do. He does not persist in following you on the road, against your will; assuming to be your rightful "sovereign," on account of the "protection" he affords you. He does not keep "protecting" you, by commanding you to bow down and serve him; by requiring you to do this, and forbidding you to do that; by robbing you of more money as often as he finds it for his interest or pleasure to do so; and by branding you as a rebel, a traitor, and an enemy of your country, and shooting you down without mercy, if you dispute his authority, or resist his demands. He is too much of a gentleman to be guilty of such impostures, and insults, and villains as these. In short, he does not, in addition to robbing you, attempt to make you either his dupe or his slave. The proceedings of those robbers and murders, who call themselves "the government," are directly the opposite of these of the single highwayman.'
 - Lysander Spooner, No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority N.O. VI
If I were to tell you that if congress prohibited people from buying, selling, and ingesting certain narcotics, that it would eventually lead police to steal the capital of small-scale proprietors, even if they hadn't committed a crime, and would render every citizen's 5th amendment right to due process of law null, you would think it asinine since the latter is not an obvious consequence of the former, but every violation of moral law, the law of equal liberty, sets a precedent for further violations and every statute, ruling, or executive order has not only an immediate and intended effect, but several distant and unintended effects.Whether or not such acts of government are well intended does not matter; the outcome is what matters and when governments diminish the natural rights of their citizenry widespread miseries tend to follow and social ills tend to multiply.
NO PERSON SHALL be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor BE DEPRIVED OF LIFE, LIBERTY, OR PROPERTY, WITHOUT DUE PROCESS OF LAW; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
The IRS seized $107,000 from Lyndon McLellan, the owner of a convenience store, gas station, and restaurant all in one place. His only transgression was making multiple deposits of under $10,000. McLellan was never charged with a crime, given the benefit of a public trial, or allowed to even face his accusers. Although the IRS did eventually return McLellan's money, they never compensated him for the interest he lost over the year and a half they confiscated it for.

The IRS seized $33,000 from Carole Hinders, the owner of a Mexican cuisine restaurant that only accepts cash payments. Like Mr. McLellan, she was not charged with a crime, given the benefit of a public trial, or allowed to face her accusers. Her only transgression was making multiple deposits of under $10,000. Ms. Hinders, like Mr. McLellan was unaware of the fact that banks are required to report all deposits or withdrawals over the $10,000 threshold and that any avoidance of the reporting requirement, whether intentional or unintentional, was grounds for asset forfeiture.

The federal government seized $447,000 from Bi-County Distributors, a family owned convenience store in Long Island, NY. Like Mr. McLellan and Ms. Hinders, neither of the Hirsch brothers were charged with a crime, given the benefit of a public trial, or allowed to face their accusers. Their only transgression, one which they were probably unaware of, was making multiple deposits under the $10,000 threshold. Although they were eventually able to retrieve their money with public outcry and pro-bono legal aid from the Institute for Justice, they were never compensated for the interest they had lost for the year they had been dispossessed.

The federal government seized $66,000 from Sgt. Jeff Cortazzo. His intention was to save for his eldest daughter's college from his own paycheck, but unbeknownst to him he was violating the anti-structuring law, The Bank Secrecy Act, by making multiple deposits of under $10,000. He was only able to settle for $35,000.

The Illinois State Police seized $107,000 from Mr. Adam and Jennifer Perry, who were heading for  Utah to see a hearing specialist. Their only transgression was driving a few mph over the posted speed limit and being 'suspected' drug runners. No drugs were found in their car and the police did not charge them with a crime or even cite them for speeding.

According to an analysis conducted by the Institute for Justice the IRS made 639 seizures in 2012. Only 1 in 5 seizures (128) were prosecuted as criminal structuring cases.

The modern highwaymen have only become more efficient robbers over the past four decades. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol has just recently employed special Card readers called ERADs to seize money off of prepaid cards.

The same conceptual war that has deprived small-scale proprietors of their capital and rendered everyone's 5th amendment right to due process of law null, has also swept away our 4th amendment right to protection against searches and seizures without probable cause or in cases of peoples' homes, warrantless searches and seizures.
'The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.'
So called 'Stop and Frisk', most commonly used by NYPD thugs, is one such manifestation of this, in which officers can search anyone on the basis of reasonable suspicion.  In other words, the basis for a pat down is left to the purview of the officer's personal prejudices and biases. In practice, an officer could stop and search someone for wearing a hoodie or simply looking over their shoulder, neither of which necessarily indicates they have committed a crime and for all of its hype it is a very inefficient practice: 9 out of 10 of those stopped and frisked are not found guilty of any crime. Aside from its inefficiency, reasonable suspicion is only grounds for detainment and questioning, not searches and seizures.

In the same spirit, the Wisconsin Supreme Court nullified the 4th Amendment by ruling, in a 4 -3 decision (State of Wisconsin vs. Matalonis), that police officers no longer need a warrant to enter homes and seize evidence; they just need to claim to be exercising their 'community caretaker' function.

In the U.S. vs. Pena-Gonzales, the Fifth circuit U.S. appellate court ruled that having multiple air fresheners, bumper stickers and religious memorabilia is grounds for probable cause because drug runners often use these items to conceal their intentions.  Of course their reasoning, like that used to justify 'stop and frisk', rests on the base rate fallacy. Whether the majority of drug runners use religious memorabilia and air freshener to hide their intentions is irrelevant; the vast majority of people who display religious memorabilia and use air freshener are not drug runners. The same abortion of logic could be used to justify detaining and searching anyone riding a Harley.

The same conceptual war has allowed law enforcement to use college students as slave labor for their rent-seeking enterprise.

The UN convention against transnational organized crime defines human trafficking as: 
the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs.
the consent of a victim of trafficking intended for exploitation is irrelevant once deception, coercion, force or other prohibited means have been used. Consent, therefore, cannot be used as a defence to absolve traffickers from criminal responsibility.
That confidential informants are nothing more than slave labor for the police state is clear from the facts:

1) The officers do not receive the informed consent of the people who agree to work under them as confidential informants. They only detain the suspect and therefore are not obliged to inform the suspect of his/her rights and they do not disclose the risks involved in the work they will do as confidential informants.

2) Suspects become confidential informants under the threat of violence against them i.e. incarceration

3) Confidential informants receive no compensation for their work

That no government should regulate what its citizens put in their own bodies is discernible from moral law. Every natural right (artificial division of moral law), whether enumerated in the constitution or not, establishes an equilibrium of power among everyone within which each person can adequately gratify their desires and adapt to their social conditions. Every violation of moral law, whether intentional or not, tends to reduce the capacity of some to gratify their desires, and therefore reduces their capacity to preserve their own lives, and the misery that results tends to have a rippling effect across interlocking social circles.