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'[OT] Federal Appeals Court: Driving With Money is '
2006\08\23@183254 by David VanHorn

picon face
This is SO wrong!

http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/12/1296.asp

--
Feel the power of the dark side!  Atmel AVR

2006\08\23@190745 by Jinx

face picon face
> This is SO wrong!
>
> http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/12/1296.asp

As Letterman would say - "Well, that's a black eye for everyone"
(except Judge Lay)

Dave, as you pointed out the other day - bullshit. And Penn
& Teller did one on "The War On Drugs" too

The ACLU would be all over this, wouldn't they ?

2006\08\23@194049 by David VanHorn

picon face
>
>
> Dave, as you pointed out the other day - bullshit. And Penn
> & Teller did one on "The War On Drugs" too
>
> The ACLU would be all over this, wouldn't they ?


I'd HOPE so!

As an American citizen, the only reason I should need to do ANYTHING that
isn't specifically illegal, is "Because it amuses me to do so."

2006\08\23@194408 by Howard Winter

face
flavicon
picon face
On Thu, 24 Aug 2006 11:07:13 +1200, Jinx wrote:

> > This is SO wrong!
> >
> > http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/12/1296.asp
>
> As Letterman would say - "Well, that's a black eye for everyone"
> (except Judge Lay)
>
> Dave, as you pointed out the other day - bullshit. And Penn
> & Teller did one on "The War On Drugs" too
>
> The ACLU would be all over this, wouldn't they ?

Hmmm... I thought American Law was based on English: "Innocent until proven guilty"  Is it now "Innocent until stopped by the Police"?

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2006\08\24@000312 by Jinx
face picon face

> This is SO wrong!
>
> http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/12/1296.asp

Looks like they've decided on "probable cause" rather
than "possible cause". Seizure without proof is pretty
heavy-handed. Hope the guy has some recourse, although
if this has got to the Supreme Court he must have been
through through the legal system. Even if he is guilty, the
state must prove that beyond a reasonable doubt, and
judging on the above news, that doesn't seem to be the
case, especially as there is one strong dissenter (possibly
others dissent, but y'know, politics and all that)

2006\08\24@040201 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
> This is SO wrong!
>
> http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/12/1296.asp

1.    It's almost certain that there was a drug crime involved.

2.    This will send a strong message to others in similar
circumstances.

3.    This will set legal precedence for future seizures making drug
related arrests easier.

BUT

4.    I agree with Dave.

This is in clear violation of an individuals right and ability in  a
free society to simply get on with life.
Where a situation exists that could have arisen by legal or illegal
means and there is no way of proving which means were used then the
law should have to leave things alone. The alternative is unthinkable
in a free society. Sooner than you would believe $100k becomes $50k
becomes $10k and in not too long the few odd thousand dollars of
pocket change (I should be so lucky) becomes fair target. As bad, and
possibly worse, is that such a curve will also drive expectations and
behaviours in other areas. The destruction of "innocent until proven
guilty" will spread outside the courts themselves into the policing
forces and into societal expectations and acceptabilities. The
destruction of this cornerstone of British Justice (tm) is one of a
very few steps on the path to tyranny and near complete loss of
freedom. A look (here we go again) at the changes in Germany in a 10
year period from the late 1920s shows what can be achieved when
might-is-right and 'for the good of the state' is allowed to subvert
due process and the rule of law. Stay tuned.

All that said, I really hope that it WAS in fact drug money and that
the immense focus that this is liable to bring on the guys affairs
quite coincidentally show some chink which proves to be his undoing.
There too there is a very great chance for justice to be subverted -
ie investigation in one area should not justify attempts to 'dig up
dirt' in unrelated areas - and it may be that the maintenance of
freedom for all demands that one more murderous scumbag be allowed to
go free :-).



       Russell




2006\08\24@045421 by Tony Smith

picon face
> 4.    I agree with Dave.
>
> This is in clear violation of an individuals right and
> ability in  a free society to simply get on with life.
> Where a situation exists that could have arisen by legal or
> illegal means and there is no way of proving which means were
> used then the law should have to leave things alone. The
> alternative is unthinkable in a free society. Sooner than you
> would believe $100k becomes $50k becomes $10k and in not too
> long the few odd thousand dollars of pocket change (I should
> be so lucky) becomes fair target. As bad, and possibly worse,


Shuffling large chunks of money around has been a non-no for a long time.
Getting on a plane with a suitcase full of cash has always raised eyebrows,
but in Australia (and the USA) bank tranactions > 10K automatically get
reported to the appropriate agency.  I'm assuming other countries have
similar regulations.

Of course, this led to the rise of 'smurfs', people who process large
amounts of cash (usually drug related) by running all over the place with
$9999 chunks...

Tony

2006\08\24@052146 by Howard Winter

face
flavicon
picon face
Russell,

On Thu, 24 Aug 2006 19:47:42 +1200, Russell McMahon wrote:

> 1.    It's almost certain that there was a drug crime involved.

I read the same information as you, but I can see no justification for this statement whatsoever.  I am disappointed in you!

Cheers,

Howard



2006\08\24@074134 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> > This is SO wrong!
> >
> > http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/12/1296.asp
>
> 1.    It's almost certain that there was a drug crime involved.

That depends on your value of 'almost certain'. I would describe it as
'not proven beyond reasonable doubt'.

The real question here is how you want to balance between type one
(guilty, not convicted) and type two (not guilty, convicted) errors of
the system. If you want to reduce the occurence of one type of error you
will (when all other parameters are kept equal) increase the occurence
of the other type.

In my country I have the bad feeling that pressure to decrease type one
errors, increasing workload, and budget reductions are pushing type two
errors up, way above what I feel reasonable.

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2006\08\24@081222 by Bob Axtell

face picon face
Wouter van Ooijen wrote:
>>> This is SO wrong!
>>>
>>> http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/12/1296.asp
>>>      
>> 1.    It's almost certain that there was a drug crime involved.
>>    
>
> That depends on your value of 'almost certain'. I would describe it as
> 'not proven beyond reasonable doubt'.
>
> The real question here is how you want to balance between type one
> (guilty, not convicted) and type two (not guilty, convicted) errors of
> the system. If you want to reduce the occurence of one type of error you
> will (when all other parameters are kept equal) increase the occurence
> of the other type.
>
> In my country I have the bad feeling that pressure to decrease type one
> errors, increasing workload, and budget reductions are pushing type two
> errors up, way above what I feel reasonable.
>  
MANY people in the US do not believe that banks provide enough security,
and easily have over
$100,000 in cash. Many of these are older Americans who lived through
the depression. My uncle
(who felt this way) always carried around 100 1-oz gold coins hidden in
a spare tire in the trunk of
his car, for the day that the banks would fail. At $400/oz, that's
$40,000, isn't it?

I believe this is a worrisome decision, following a string of worrisome
decisions.

--Bob

> Wouter van Ooijen
>
> -- -------------------------------------------
> Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
> consultancy, development, PICmicro products
> docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu
>  
>
>  

2006\08\24@083253 by Brian Riley

picon face
A common ploy is to 'cruise' around rural post offices buying just  
under $10K money orders. The USPS starts takiing note of transactions  
now down even in the $7K range.


---
cheers ... 73 de brian  riley,  n1bq , underhill center, vermont
  <http://web.mac.com/brianbr/>  Tech Blog
  <http://www.wulfden.org/DiskShop.shtml>
   Home of the
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On Aug 24, 2006, at 4:54 AM, Tony Smith wrote:

> Of course, this led to the rise of 'smurfs', people who process large
> amounts of cash (usually drug related) by running all over the  
> place with
> $9999 chunks...

2006\08\24@085254 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Russell McMahon wrote:

[Rant trigger]

> 3.    This will set legal precedence for future seizures making drug
> related arrests easier.

[Rant]

"Drug arrests"... The "war on drugs" is not a war on drugs. People who make
"drug arrests" don't do drug arrests. What they do is driving the price of
desired substances up into the stratosphere, where of course then the big
money can be made and possibly more weapons sold than to the army. (And
differently than most army weapons, these do get used. Daily.) Countries
like Colombia, cities like Rio de Janeiro are partially owned by the drug
money that is created exclusively by the "war on drugs" aka "the biggest
scam invented yet to fund illegal activities".

It is almost impossible to believe that the increased education and
recovery efforts that may be necessary to deal with relatively freely
available "drugs" (as if alcohol and nicotine and all the others weren't
drugs...) could be more expensive than the "war on drugs". They would
definitely be less intrusive. Of course, the money would be spent on
different people and for peaceful purposes rather than on another "war",
and that might be the real problem why things are as they are. The ones
making their cut now (both the "legal" ones and the illegal ones with good
connections to the pseudo-legal ones) don't want this to happen.

The "war" effects of this war are much more hidden in relatively "neat"
countries. But they are still present; you just have to look a bit closer.
IMO the issue here is not whether or not this was drug money; the issue is
that the brain wash is at such an advanced stage that when the word "drug"
gets used, the blinds fall down and nothing else matters anymore. Like the
medieval "demon hunts"; the differences are only incidental and not in
substance.


[No "rant end" follows here; I'm presented on a daily base with the effects
of that war. No end in sight. The effects are not that much in reducing the
exposure to dangerous substances; they are much more in giving criminal
groups tremendous financial resources and make participating in them a
financially very attractive career for anybody who hasn't really a good
shot in a very unequal society. The only thing you may have to do to get a
foot in the door is to kill your first "target" at the age of 12. This
sounds like more than it is, because at that age probably two of your older
siblings have been killed already, so you're used to "that sort of thing".
If this sounds cynical, then because that may be necessary to see this day
after day and still having to listen to the marvelous "war on drugs"
stories.]

Gerhard

2006\08\24@091842 by Brian Riley

picon face

 Gerhard is right on here, but even then he missed a point. The  
'forfeiture' laws here have been greeted and roundly embraced by law  
enforcement as the ultimate "fund raiser" gimmick. They aren't any  
too quick to give anyone the benefit of the doubt when they stand to  
drop ten to several hundred K into their budgets.

Most all of this crap has grown out of the RICO (racketeer influenced  
corrupt organization) laws being applied in ways that have even  
appalled and disgusted the man who authored them (I forget his name,  
but read an interview with him a while back).

The infamous WoD(tm) is a growth industry only recently exceeded by  
the GWoT(tm) and the fact the conduct of each has a greater negatove  
impact on  the population by our alleged protectors than from the  
perpetrators doesn't seem to matter  one wit to TPTB(tm).




---
cheers ... 73 de brian  riley,  n1bq , underhill center, vermont
  <http://web.mac.com/brianbr/>  Tech Blog
  <http://www.wulfden.org/DiskShop.shtml>
   Home of the
      K107 Serial LCD Controller Kit   FT817 Power Conditioner Kit
      Tab Robot Laser Tag Kit            MSP430 Chips and Connectors
      Propeller Robot Controller         SX48 "Tech Board" Kit



On Aug 24, 2006, at 8:52 AM, Gerhard Fiedler wrote:

{Quote hidden}

> --

2006\08\24@093224 by VULCAN20

picon face
If as they (the people who lost the money) were using their life savings
one of 2 things would have backed their story up and found them innocent
and their money returned.

1.  If the saved it in a financial institution they would have a record
of the withdrawal to back them up.

2.  If they saved the money as cash then there would be some older bills
in the money to back up their story. but if they had all bills from the
last 5 years how do you explain that.

But I do feel 100% that the " innocent until proven guilty" has been
long gone.

Bob

Howard Winter wrote:

{Quote hidden}

2006\08\24@102200 by Gus S Calabrese

face picon face
^ My desired ratio of type one to type two errors is 1:50
for crimes not including murder, major violence, major
fraud.  For those crimes, a jury must ponder the evidence.
AGSC ^

On 2006-Aug 24, at 05:43hrs AM, Wouter van Ooijen wrote:

>> This is SO wrong!
>>
>> http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/12/1296.asp
>
> 1.    It's almost certain that there was a drug crime involved.

That depends on your value of 'almost certain'. I would describe it as
'not proven beyond reasonable doubt'.

The real question here is how you want to balance between type one
(guilty, not convicted) and type two (not guilty, convicted) errors of
the system. If you want to reduce the occurence of one type of error you
will (when all other parameters are kept equal) increase the occurence
of the other type.

In my country I have the bad feeling that pressure to decrease type one
errors, increasing workload, and budget reductions are pushing type two
errors up, way above what I feel reasonable.

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


-

2006\08\24@102814 by Gus S Calabrese

face picon face

Howard Winter wrote:

> Russell,
>
> On Thu, 24 Aug 2006 19:47:42 +1200, Russell McMahon wrote:
>
>
>
>> 1.    It's almost certain that there was a drug crime involved.
>>
>>
> ^ Yes, I agree there was a drug crime involved.  The question  
> is.... who committed it ?
    Answer: the police, or any of 100's of people who had operated  
that car or perhaps the car manufacturer ....
{Quote hidden}

2006\08\24@103129 by Gus S Calabrese

face picon face
^ What is the make and license plate # of your uncle's car.
Just want to say hellooooo
AGSC ^

On 2006-Aug 24, at 06:12hrs AM, Bob Axtell wrote:

Wouter van Ooijen wrote:
{Quote hidden}

MANY people in the US do not believe that banks provide enough security,
and easily have over
$100,000 in cash. Many of these are older Americans who lived through
the depression. My uncle
(who felt this way) always carried around 100 1-oz gold coins hidden in
a spare tire in the trunk of
his car, for the day that the banks would fail. At $400/oz, that's
$40,000, isn't it?

I believe this is a worrisome decision, following a string of worrisome
decisions.

--Bob

> Wouter van Ooijen
>
> -- -------------------------------------------
> Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
> consultancy, development, PICmicro products
> docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu
>
>
>

2006\08\24@103731 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
> [Rant trigger]
...
> [Rant]

You have to take my list as an indivisible whole :-).

I agree with Dave.
I agree that this is an erosion of freedoms.
I agree that it is counterproductive on the larger scale.

I have nothing good to say overall about what was done - but do note
that it is liable to at least change some tactics of 'the unwashed',
even if not usefully.


       Russell


2006\08\24@103731 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
>> 1.    It's almost certain that there was a drug crime involved.

> I read the same information as you, but I can see no justification
> for this statement whatsoever.  I am disappointed in you!

Do note the difference in drawing a probabilistic conclusion and
justifying legal action based on the probability. I specifically noted
that I felt the "legal" action taken was unwarranted under the
principles of British justice. Maybe even under the principles of US
justice :-).

BUT the actual "It's almost certain ..." conclusion was arrived at by
exercise of Mentat skills [[[whether I actually have any or not
:-) ]]] and your failure to arrive at the same conclusion is a
commentary on our relative reasoning methodologies. However, with the
increasing antipodean UV levels and the iniquitous increases in Sapho
prices of late (I think it must be indexed to petroleum products) we
can expect to see ourselves thinking more similarly in future. (I'd
explain the UV link, but it's pretty abstract, so just leave it for a
year or so and I won't understand it either at this rate.)


       R :-) M




2006\08\24@103732 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
> Russell McMahon wrote:
>
> [Rant trigger]
>
>> 3.    This will set legal precedence for future seizures making
>> drug
>> related arrests easier.
>
> [Rant]
>
> "Drug arrests"...



Note that nothing that you said agreed or disagreed with what I said.
I think.
Note also that my statement was neither approving or disapproving.
It was a statement of my opinion on cause and effect.
It may well have been incorrect.
But it did not express judgement on this outcome.

It was also, to some extent, a troll, although this should have been
obvious enough from the overall context of my points to have been an
obvious and acceptable one. ie given these effects which may well be
seen by some as acceptable we still arrive at my final point which
details unacceptable consequences.


       Russell


2006\08\24@103732 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
>> 1.    It's almost certain that there was a drug crime involved.

> That depends on your value of 'almost certain'. I would describe it
> as
> 'not proven beyond reasonable doubt'.

Oh, absolutely. I'd do the same. "Almost certain" often fails the fair
legal test. The beauty and strength of our legal system has been to
allow people who are almost certainly done something to escape penalty
when it cannot be proven. When we start to abrogate that time honoured
principle, as they are doing here, we doom ourselves to an
increasingly tyrannical system.

Consider carefully. Think about everything that has been suggested on
this thread so far. If you had to choose yes or no for a $10,000 prize
whether the money was drug related, and having guessed they would tell
you the truth, which way would you choose? Now move the odds. What
odds would you get to before you changed your mind.

I am not saying, as several people seem to think I am, that the
authorities should have acted as they did. Just that, had all details
been known, then it seems highly probable that they would have been
vindicated. It's a big jump from there to actually acting on the
suspicion.



       Russell





2006\08\24@103756 by Gus S Calabrese

face picon face
^ Wow !  Russell, how did possessing  a large sum of money  
transmogrify into
" murderous scum" ?   Most drug dealers never kill anyone.  Most  
transactions
are between consenting adults.  More drug related deaths result  
because of government
interference than would occur if the government " just left the drug  
business" .

AGSC ^

2006\08\24@104700 by Gus S Calabrese

face picon face

On 2006-Aug 23, at 17:44hrs PM, Howard Winter wrote:

On Thu, 24 Aug 2006 11:07:13 +1200, Jinx wrote:

{Quote hidden}

Hmmm... I thought American Law was based on English: "Innocent until  
proven guilty"  Is it now "Innocent until stopped by the Police"?
" Not innocent and to be picked up at the police's convenience. "

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2006\08\24@111037 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>However, with the increasing antipodean UV levels

Oh, I was just hearing on the TV how the ozone hole was going down in size
...

well stabilising http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/5276994.stm

2006\08\24@111557 by Harold Hallikainen

face picon face
I don't recall if this case was decided by a judge or a jury. Do you think
a change to the other would change the outcome? Do you think the decision
will be appealed?

Harold

--
FCC Rules Updated Daily at http://www.hallikainen.com - Advertising
opportunities available!

2006\08\24@112912 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> Consider carefully. Think about everything that has been suggested on
> this thread so far. If you had to choose yes or no for a
> $10,000 prize
> whether the money was drug related, and having guessed they
> would tell
> you the truth, which way would you choose? Now move the odds. What
> odds would you get to before you changed your mind.

1:4

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2006\08\24@112912 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> ^ My desired ratio of type one to type two errors is 1:50

Not my value, I don't want any of my family (which I presume are not
guilty) in jail.

> for crimes not including murder, major violence, major
> fraud.  For those crimes, a jury must ponder the evidence.

Offloading the decision to a jury does not solve the problem in any way.
The way a jury balances both types of errors is highly influenced by the
system.

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2006\08\24@113322 by Jack Smith

picon face
>
>
> That depends on your value of 'almost certain'. I would describe it as
> 'not proven beyond reasonable doubt'.
>
>  

These cases are civil forfeitures against a "thing" or "res" in legal
terms, not criminal cases. Hence the caption is US versus "A 1995 Buick
Automobile" not U.S. versus Joe Jones.

As a civil case, many of the rights and restrictions that govern
criminal cases do not apply--"things" don't have civil rights; only
people do.

One major difference is the standard of proof. In a criminal case, the
guilty standard is "beyond a reasonable doubt" but in a civil case, all
it takes for one side to win is the "preponderance of evidence." When
you study law, the civil standard is often described as 50% plus the
weight of a feather on one side or the other.

Our government, in its infinite wisdom, uses these civil asset
forfeiture cases because they are much easier to win than a full
criminal case, exactly for this reason.

Civil asset forfeiture cases mushroomed with the "war on drugs" but are
now being used for things such as seizing automobiles used by customers
of prostitutes. If prosecuted for the crime of soliciting, a customer
might receive a $500 dollar fine, if indeed the case were prosecuted at
all because of the burden of proof standard and the difficulty of
introducing evidence. But if the customer is driving a new automobile,
the effective penalty assessed by the forfeiture might be $25,000, and
the government can almost always win with the reduced burden of proof.
Likewise, run an illegal gambling den out of your house? Government can
proceed against it (the house) and not even criminally charge you for
running the illegal gambling operation.

The Supreme Court did not have a good day when the found the civil
forfeiture laws were not criminal in nature. It compounded that by
allowing local governments to keep the seized asset, or sell it and use
the money to fund local law enforcement. Hence, it gives a powerful
incentive to the local police agencies to err on the side of seizure.


Jack

2006\08\24@121453 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face

On Aug 24, 2006, at 7:37 AM, Gus S Calabrese wrote:

> More drug related deaths result because of government interference
> than would occur if the government "just left the drug business" .
>
Right.  After all, look at alcohol as an example of a legal drug.
Doesn't cause any problems at all, and certainly never any deaths.
Or tobacco; another shining example of how harmless the recreation
drug business could be if the government kept its nose out.

BillW


2006\08\24@121920 by M. Adam Davis

face picon face
For that much money, one could buy two cheap 40' refrigerated produce
trailers _and_ tractors to pull them or one could get several
inexpensive refrigerated produce trucks, or one slightly used very
nice sleeper semi tractor with 53' refrigerated trailer.

I'm sorry, but their business plan doesn't make sense to me.  Further,
the fact that they are doing a cash sale on that (it's almost always
better to finance that, and invest the cash elsewhere in your
business), and the fact that they aren't using a safer method to move
money (If they lost the money through theft, fire, etc they're utterly
screwed)...

There's no reason _not_ to believe that this money isn't connected to
drugs or some other illegal activity.

That doesn't mean that they are guilty - they are still innocent until
proven guilty.  But I don't see a problem with the police siezing the
money as long as it's returned within 48 hours of seizure if they have
not been charged with a crime, and the money has not been declared
evidence.

Still, if their story is true, then the individuals mishandled their
own money in a stupid way.  They simply should not have had that cash
with them.  Still, it's possible that they honestly thought this was
the best way to go.

Either that or the "seller" was running a scam.  "I can only accept
cash.  Just bring it in a cooler, and of course this small produce
truck is worth $125 grand."

I just don't see a reason why the police shouldn't have siezed the money.

>From the court document:
"Gonzolez purportedly carried $125,000 in cash with him on
his flight, for the purpose of buying a truck that he had never seen,
from a third party
whom he had never met, with the help of a friend whose name he could
not recall at
trial. This testimony does not inspire confidence in the innocence of
the conduct.
When he was stopped by the Nebraska State Patrol, Gonzolez was driving
a rental car
that was leased in the name of another person who was not present, another
circumstance that gives rise to suspicion. Then, when Gonzolez was questioned by
officers, he lied about having money in the car and about the names of
his friends,
thus giving further reason to question the legitimacy of the
currency's presence. See
$117,920.00 in U.S. Currency, 413 F.3d at 829. The totality of these
circumstances
– the large amount of concealed currency, the strange travel pattern,
the inability to
identify a key party in the purported innocent transaction, the
unusual rental car
papers, the canine alert, and the false statements to law enforcement
officers - leads most naturally to the inference that Gonzolez was
involved in illegal drug activity,
and that the currency was substantially connected to it."

However, I do not believe that the money should be forfeited to the
government, which is the real problem.  This court decision was in
favor of the government taking and keeping the money.  I don't see a
preponderance of evidence that suggests that this was connected to
drugs.

On the other hand, why would one leave their own state to make a cash
sale on a very (probably overly expensive) truck and trailer?  Did he
have the proper license to drive a truck with air brakes - since he
was planning on driving it back himself?  This really has too many
inconsistancies to not investigate.

At any rate, don't carry large amounts of money on your person.  Even
if it's not illegal (which it almost is, tangentially) it's simply a
bad idea.

-Adam

On 8/23/06, David VanHorn <spam_OUTdvanhornTakeThisOuTspammicrobrix.com> wrote:
> This is SO wrong!
>
> http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/12/1296.asp
>
> --
> Feel the power of the dark side!  Atmel AVR
>

2006\08\24@123502 by Mike Hord

picon face
> >> 1.    It's almost certain that there was a drug crime involved.
> >>
> > ^ Yes, I agree there was a drug crime involved.  The question
> > is.... who committed it ?
>      Answer: the police, or any of 100's of people who had operated
> that car or perhaps the car manufacturer ....
> > AGSC ^

Wasn't there a study done not too terribly long ago which found
measurable traces of cocaine on virtually every large-ish denomination
US dollar bill?

Drug-dog noses being what they are, $140k+ (say, 1,400 $100 bills)
would likely be a high enough concentration to activate one.

I also failed to see any mention of charges actually being filed against
the individual.  It sounds to me like they stopped him, confiscated his
money, then decided that he hadn't commited any crime and let him go
but kept the money.  The decision is, after all, US v. $147,000, not
US v. Gonzales.  The distinction is that the cash has no rights to
violate, and that the statute rules that property is subject to confiscation
if it can reasonably be tied to drug crimes (even if the person in possession
of it isn't the one who committed the crime).

The danger here is that a citizen has been deprived of his lawful
property because, essentially, the property smelled of drugs in the
estimation of a dog.  Makes me even more hesitant to deal with cash-
in my neighborhood, the only way cash WON'T smell of marijuana is
if you accidentally washed it in your trousers!

Mike H.

2006\08\24@131638 by James Newtons Massmind

face picon face
> Hmmm... I thought American Law was based on English:
> "Innocent until proven guilty"  Is it now "Innocent until
> stopped by the Police"?
> " Not innocent and to be picked up at the police's convenience. "

Although I tend to agree that the police were a bit hasty, please do note
that the man was found innocent, released, and his money returned in the
end.

---
James.


2006\08\24@131926 by Mario Mendes

flavicon
face
Last time I checked, "innocent until proven guilty" meant exactly that,
you're innocent until proven guilty.  It makes absolutely no mention
about you being able to keep your property, regardless of it's physical
monetary representation like live cash or a Rolex you may be wearing
along with clothes full of holes at the time you're stopped by the cops.
It's complete and utter bs if you ask me.

-Mario

{Original Message removed}

2006\08\24@132146 by Brian Riley

picon face
And look at the crime and violence that grew out of Prohibition.

On Aug 24, 2006, at 12:14 PM, William Chops Westfield wrote:

{Quote hidden}

2006\08\24@132735 by James Newtons Massmind

face picon face
> Right.  After all, look at alcohol as an example of a legal drug.
> Doesn't cause any problems at all, and certainly never any deaths.
> Or tobacco; another shining example of how harmless the
> recreation drug business could be if the government kept its nose out.


Errr... Hang on a sec.

While I personally agree that the "war on drugs" has been a nightmare,
stating that alcohol or tobacco doesn't cause deaths is... Oh... You were
being sarcastic?

Anyway, as a grateful recovered alcoholic, I can tell you for darn sure that
alcohol causes... Or rather the decision to consume alcohol, causes lots of
deaths. And not just car crashes (several friends) and liver failure (my
father at 68) but also just plain old alcohol poisoning.

Tobacco kills plenty of people, both smokers and the people around them.

Having said that, none of the above is most likely to get you:
http://www.nsc.org/lrs/statinfo/odds_dying.jpg unless all the car crashes
were caused by drunks, which is not the case. Last I heard, about a third
were alcohol related. Half "involve" alcohol.

---
James.


2006\08\24@133402 by D. Jay Newman

flavicon
face
> > Hmmm... I thought American Law was based on English:
> > "Innocent until proven guilty"  Is it now "Innocent until
> > stopped by the Police"?
> > " Not innocent and to be picked up at the police's convenience. "
>
> Although I tend to agree that the police were a bit hasty, please do note
> that the man was found innocent, released, and his money returned in the
> end.

I missed the point in the article where the money was returned.
--
D. Jay Newman           ! Author of:
.....jayKILLspamspam@spam@sprucegrove.com     ! _Linux Robotics: Programming Smarter Robots_
http://enerd.ws/robots/ ! "Heros aren't born, they're cornered."

2006\08\24@134007 by Rolf

face picon face
James Newtons Massmind wrote:
>> Hmmm... I thought American Law was based on English:
>> "Innocent until proven guilty"  Is it now "Innocent until
>> stopped by the Police"?
>> " Not innocent and to be picked up at the police's convenience. "
>>    
>
> Although I tend to agree that the police were a bit hasty, please do note
> that the man was found innocent, released, and his money returned in the
> end.
>
> ---
> James.
>  
>
>  
Are you talking about the same case as the OP? Where the police did not
charge the man, released him, but kept the money (no indication that he
has got is money back)?

Rolf

2006\08\24@134612 by M. Adam Davis

face picon face
On 8/24/06, James Newtons Massmind <jamesnewtonspamKILLspammassmind.org> wrote:
> Although I tend to agree that the police were a bit hasty, please do note
> that the man was found innocent, released, and his money returned

Actually, as far as I can tell the money has not been returned:

"The United States initiated civil forfeiture proceedings against
$124,700 in United States currency, alleging that the money was
subject to forfeiture as the proceeds of a drug transaction or as
property used to facilitate the possession, transportation, sale,
concealment, receipt, or distribution of a controlled substance. See
21 U.S.C. § 881(a)(6). Three individuals filed claims opposing the
forfeiture, and after a bench trial, the district court entered
judgment in favor of the claimants. The government appeals, and we
reverse and remand for further proceedings."

So - The money was siezed, and the gov't brought a case forward to
forfeit the money to the government.  In other words, they aren't
taking any action against the man, they are simply taking the money
away with the argument that it must be drug related.

They lost the first round (ie, the court ruled that the claimant gets
the money back) but they are appealing, during which time the money is
still not available to the claimant.  the money was siezed May 28, and
the appeal filed August 19th.  Assuming the appeal has yet to be heard
and decided on, the claimant has not had the money for three months
now.

Since the case is against the money and not a person, it is not simply
"beyond reasonable doubt" but is "preponderance of evidence".  So if
the gov't is succesful in showing that it is "more likely" drug money
than truck money, then they win and keep the money.

Please note that I am not a lawyer, and my interpretation may be
incorrect.  Your mileage may vary. Do not attempt to stop blade with
hands.

-Adam

2006\08\24@135636 by Brian Riley

picon face
The purpose for these people were going to put the money, and for  
that matter none of the government's business. The WoD(tm) and cash  
is just another excuse to stick their nose where it don't belong. The  
premise on which this country was founded is still innocent until  
proven guilty. In  tis specific case the only real probable cause  
they has was the volume of cash and a questionable ID by the dog. If  
this were tried in a criminal court, a freshman lawyer would get it  
thrown out. The fiction of "US vs $147K" is an end run around the  
Constitution. They don't have a case and they know it, why else would  
they pursue it in this fashion.

For every Columbian Druggie named Gonzales, there's two or four dozen  
citizens name Gonzales just trying to make a living. This is a  
variation on the crime of 'driving while black,' If he had been white  
and spoken English with no accent, he would have had a speeding  
ticket and maybe a quick inquiry to rental agency to check the car  
wasn't reported stolen, and he would have been on his way. Once the  
money was discovered, the trooper must have though he died and went  
to heaven, high fives all over the barracks. Free donuts for a year  
or two!

The way the law is supposed to be carried out is that you have to  
prove a prima facie case against the man, and the governement didin't  
even try!

About that ID by the dog, I have read that as many as half of the  
drugs dogs in this country aren't worth the dog food they eat ... the  
WoD(tm) has opened a lucrative market and the demand has far  
outstripped the qualifed supply ... thus opening the door to quick  
buck artists supplying dogsnot even suitable to raid trashcans, let  
alone judge a man's life savings.


On Aug 24, 2006, at 12:19 PM, M. Adam Davis wrote:

{Quote hidden}

>> -

2006\08\24@135744 by M. Adam Davis

face picon face
Sorry, I was a little incorrect.  The Appeal worked to the extent that
the former ruling for the claimant is reversed, and the case is to be
brought forth for further proceedings.

So they will have to go through another court battle in order to get
their money back.

-Adam

On 8/24/06, M. Adam Davis <EraseMEstienmanspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTgmail.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

2006\08\24@140315 by Mario Mendes

flavicon
face
>> > Hmmm... I thought American Law was based on English:
>> > "Innocent until proven guilty"  Is it now "Innocent until
>> > stopped by the Police"?
>> > " Not innocent and to be picked up at the police's convenience. "
>>
>> Although I tend to agree that the police were a bit hasty, please do
>> note that the man was found innocent, released, and his money
returned
>> in the end.
>
>I missed the point in the article where the money was returned.

I did too.


2006\08\24@141921 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> Right.  After all, look at alcohol as an example of a legal drug.
> Doesn't cause any problems at all, and certainly never any deaths.

you must be kidding?

> Or tobacco; another shining example of how harmless the recreation
> drug business could be if the government kept its nose out.

OK, now I know for sure you are joking!

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2006\08\24@142103 by Vitaliy

flavicon
face
Brian Riley wrote:
[top-posting fixed]
>>> More drug related deaths result because of government interference
>>> than would occur if the government "just left the drug business" .
>>>
>> Right.  After all, look at alcohol as an example of a legal drug.
>> Doesn't cause any problems at all, and certainly never any deaths.
>> Or tobacco; another shining example of how harmless the recreation
>> drug business could be if the government kept its nose out.
>>
>> BillW
>>
> And look at the crime and violence that grew out of Prohibition.

Brian, I think you missed the sarcasm in Bill's reply.

Best regards,

Vitaliy

2006\08\24@142546 by Vitaliy

flavicon
face
Gerhard Fiedler wrote:
[snip]
> [No "rant end" follows here; I'm presented on a daily base with the
> effects
> of that war. No end in sight. The effects are not that much in reducing
> the
> exposure to dangerous substances; they are much more in giving criminal
> groups tremendous financial resources and make participating in them a
> financially very attractive career for anybody who hasn't really a good
> shot in a very unequal society. The only thing you may have to do to get a
> foot in the door is to kill your first "target" at the age of 12. This
> sounds like more than it is, because at that age probably two of your
> older
> siblings have been killed already, so you're used to "that sort of thing".
> If this sounds cynical, then because that may be necessary to see this day
> after day and still having to listen to the marvelous "war on drugs"
> stories.]

Gerhard, is what you described above something you witnessed personally,
heard from someone, or saw on TV?

2006\08\24@143221 by James Newtons Massmind

face picon face
> >> note that the man was found innocent, released, and his money
> returned
> >> in the end.
> >
> >I missed the point in the article where the money was returned.
>
> I did too.


Because that little fact wasn't mentioned in the article. Now, please
understand, I agree with the point about the police being overzealous and I
totally agree that the forfeiture of property is really getting out of hand.


But the article was a bit biased and that doesn't help the cause. To be
fair, they should have reported that the man HAS his money, but is in danger
of loosing it again.

---
James.


2006\08\24@150308 by D. Jay Newman

flavicon
face
> > >I missed the point in the article where the money was returned.
> >
> > I did too.
>
> Because that little fact wasn't mentioned in the article. Now, please
> understand, I agree with the point about the police being overzealous and I
> totally agree that the forfeiture of property is really getting out of hand.
>
>
> But the article was a bit biased and that doesn't help the cause. To be
> fair, they should have reported that the man HAS his money, but is in danger
> of loosing it again.
> http://mailman.mit.edu/mailman/listinfo/piclist

Can you list a reference as to the man having his money? Typically in
such cases the governement holds onto the money during the appeal
process. I don't believe that this is right. I also believe that the
government should *not* be able to seize property without a criminal
conviction.
--
D. Jay Newman           ! Author of:
@spam@jayKILLspamspamsprucegrove.com     ! _Linux Robotics: Programming Smarter Robots_
http://enerd.ws/robots/ ! "Heros aren't born, they're cornered."

2006\08\24@151911 by Gus S Calabrese

face picon face
I am "not solving the problem"  just suggesting a best approach.
do you have a better one ?  What is your ratio ?
AGSC

On 2006-Aug 24, at 09:31hrs AM, Wouter van Ooijen wrote:

> ^ My desired ratio of type one to type two errors is 1:50

Not my value, I don't want any of my family (which I presume are not
guilty) in jail.

> for crimes not including murder, major violence, major
> fraud.  For those crimes, a jury must ponder the evidence.

Offloading the decision to a jury does not solve the problem in any way.
The way a jury balances both types of errors is highly influenced by the
system.

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


-

2006\08\24@154426 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> I am "not solving the problem"  just suggesting a best approach.
> do you have a better one ?  What is your ratio ?

rough guess: 1:1000

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2006\08\24@163037 by Gus S Calabrese

face picon face
i prefer your ratio .....  Gus

On 2006-Aug 24, at 13:46hrs PM, Wouter van Ooijen wrote:

> I am "not solving the problem"  just suggesting a best approach.
> do you have a better one ?  What is your ratio ?

rough guess: 1:1000

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


-

2006\08\24@190302 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Russell McMahon wrote:

>> Russell McMahon wrote:
>>
>> [Rant trigger]

>> [Rant]

> Note that nothing that you said agreed or disagreed with what I said.
> I think.

Hm... Your "1, 2, 3 BUT 4" seems to imply that "making drug arrests easier"
is something you would consider good (so that you can add "but I agree with
Dave"). And I don't. IMO every drug arrest makes things worse. I may well
be wrong with my interpretation of your words, though...

In any case, the prospect of more insane drug arrests triggered the rant :)
I didn't want to agree or disagree with what you said. If it did (one or
the other), it did so coincidentally.

Gerhard

2006\08\24@190507 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Vitaliy wrote:

> Gerhard, is what you described above something you witnessed personally,
> heard from someone, or saw on TV?

Not all in person; only some of it. Most is the result of bringing into
context knowledge of general situation, documentaries, news from different
sources, personal accounts from family, friends and acquaintances, and some
is mere opinion. But nothing is based on one single source; it's (almost)
daily that something happens that adds to the mix.

[Rant mode on... level slowly increasing :) ]

After living here, and getting to know how things "work" here, what I
described is not at all unreasonable. IMO it would be strange if it weren't
that way.

I can't easily point you to online resources, as most that exist would be
in Portuguese. This wasn't meant to be a factual account; it's my vision of
how things work. Not everybody shares it. I tend to think of myself as
reasonably critical and not too easily influenced by propaganda, in
whatever form it may come.

One "Brazilian real" (BRL) is about $0.45. For many people the "ceiling" is
below 500 BRL/month. It is a common situation that a family doesn't have
enough to eat (for a variety of reasons) and that the kids are on their own
to feed (and raise) themselves. What do you think happens if one of them
gets an offer of 1000 BRL a week? Plus full "benefits" (the equivalent of
which he never would get otherwise)? The word here is (and it's not only a
word, it's a reality) that only the "three P's" go to jail: pobre, preto ou
puta (poor, black or prostitute). This is not about who's in jail; this is
about how law enforcement works and whose interest it protects. The poor
know on which side of the fence they are. Not all are strong enough to
resist the temptation.

Minors get a differentiated treatment before the law. There are some good
reasons for that, but one not so good consequence is that the ones who have
to do a "job" know that for a minor, it's a "minor" deal to get caught.
They get out with 18. This explains some of why they start so young. The
other explanations have to do with complete absence of any government
authority (in everything, from law enforcement to providing basic sanitary
infrastructure to public schools). If everybody around you works in the
"factory", that's where you go working, too. It's a rite of passage to get
accepted for the job. You're now part of the grown-up society and get to
carry a gun. Everybody carries a gun.

I could go on and on and on. Little is "hard fact" and actual personal
experience, mostly because I don't live there where "they" live. We are not
really are a good match; not I for them, not they for me. We live in
different worlds. But I live close enough to have a realistic view of what
is possible, what is probable and what is certain. And if one thing is
certain is that the prohibition of some drugs creates extremely violent
structures. Not the drugs create them; the demand and the artificial
limitation of supply through prohibition and the resulting "business"
opportunities create them.

BTW, I think that TV is extremely addictive. Someone spending only two
hours per day watching futile crap on TV is wasting a full day per week...
and not so many are able to "just say no". TV is also extremely dangerous.
Images have a tendency to go quickly deep into the unconscious, and TV
images are not reality. They are "hand picked", a purposefully chosen angle
of reality, and that's what people let into their unconscious, where it
acts pretty much uncontrolled by the mind. When you read, you can stop and
think it over before it "goes down". When you watch TV, especially the
news, you can't do that. You could, but then you wouldn't be watching the
news -- you'd be watching the first scene, and then you'd be starting to
think about it. When you're done, the news are over. Addictive, wasteful,
dangerous... "War on TV" anybody?

Gerhard

2006\08\24@201839 by Marcel duchamp

picon face
Gerhard Fiedler wrote:
>"War on TV" anybody?
>
> Gerhard
>

Yup.  I raised two kids with no TV in the house.  Guess what? Their
friends can't believe how fast they go through books.  Bedtime was
always story time - reading books.

We have a TV but no cable, satellite, or antenna.  It is only used to
watch the occasional DVD.

They are grown up now and although both have TV's in their homes, they
do not watch them all the time.

It isn't hard; throw away your TV now.

2006\08\24@203609 by Marcel Birthelmer

picon face
When I moved out of my parents' house a few years ago, I didn't take my TV
because there was no cable hookup or anything at the new house, and ever
since I've been pretty TV-free. There are a few shows (sitcoms, mostly) that
I order on DVD and watch that way, but that's not comparable to the constant
influx of actual TV. I find that I don't miss it at all.
- Marcel

On 8/24/06, Marcel duchamp <KILLspammarcel.duchampKILLspamspamsbcglobal.net> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> -

2006\08\25@082936 by Gus S Calabrese

face picon face

On 2006-Aug 24, at 18:36hrs PM, Marcel Birthelmer wrote:

When I moved out of my parents' house a few years ago, I didn't take  
my TV
because there was no cable hookup or anything at the new house, and ever
since I've been pretty TV-free. There are a few shows (sitcoms,  
mostly) that
I order on DVD and watch that way, but that's not comparable to the  
constant
influx of actual TV. I find that I don't miss it at all.
- Marcel

^ Sorry Marcel ... TV is TV  however it is delivered  AGSC ^

^  "War on TV" ???  " War " ?   Does anyone see irony of the media  
programming that
is already in place ?   AGSC ^

On 8/24/06, Marcel duchamp <RemoveMEmarcel.duchampTakeThisOuTspamsbcglobal.net> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> -

2006\08\25@112506 by Mike Hord

picon face
> It isn't hard; throw away your TV now.

Or at least cut the cable, tear down the antenna, and use
the satellite dish for an exciting mini-sled adventure come
winter!

About 7 months ago, circumstances deprived me of a TV.
Surprised myself by going from having it on for four to five
hours a day (even if I wasn't actively watching it all that
time) to never having a TV around and not missing it one
bit.

I had to buy one, finally, because I love movies way too
much to carry on watching them from my computer desk.

I would also humbly propose that if there are one or two
shows you just can't stand to miss, find some friends
and get together to watch it.  Makes it an event and you'll
get some social contact from the whole affair.

Mike H.

2006\08\25@112930 by Mike Hord

picon face
> ^ Sorry Marcel ... TV is TV  however it is delivered  AGSC ^

Humble disagreement.

The most objectionable things on TV are, IMHO, in order from
worst to less-than-worst:
1.  Advertising buried in news shows.
2.  Advertising buried in TV shows.
3.  Advertising.
4.  The news shows themselves.

See a pattern here?  Get rid of watching the news and be
selective about which TV shows you watch on DVD, and
the worst of the medium is gone.

Mike H.
"You can't fool me; I listen to NPR!"

2006\08\25@122400 by Gus S Calabrese

face picon face
No doubt about it  your list is correct
AGSC

On 2006-Aug 25, at 09:28hrs AM, Mike Hord wrote:

> ^ Sorry Marcel ... TV is TV  however it is delivered  AGSC ^

Humble disagreement.

The most objectionable things on TV are, IMHO, in order from
worst to less-than-worst:
1.  Advertising buried in news shows.
2.  Advertising buried in TV shows.
3.  Advertising.
4.  The news shows themselves.

See a pattern here?  Get rid of watching the news and be
selective about which TV shows you watch on DVD, and
the worst of the medium is gone.

Mike H.
"You can't fool me; I listen to NPR!"
-


'[OT] Federal Appeals Court: Driving With Money is '
2006\09\01@090028 by Gerhard Fiedler
picon face
Jack Smith wrote:

> As a civil case, many of the rights and restrictions that govern
> criminal cases do not apply--"things" don't have civil rights; only
> people do.
>
> One major difference is the standard of proof. In a criminal case, the
> guilty standard is "beyond a reasonable doubt" but in a civil case, all
> it takes for one side to win is the "preponderance of evidence." When
> you study law, the civil standard is often described as 50% plus the
> weight of a feather on one side or the other.

Which basically seems to mean that (at least in the US) people don't have a
right against seizure without being (criminally) guilty of any wrongdoing.

Is this correct? Anybody knows how this is handled in other countries? I
always was under the (obviously innocent) impression that for the
government (any democratic government) to be able to seize anything from
me, I have to be guilty (beyond reasonable doubt) of /something/.

Gerhard

2006\09\01@095900 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> Which basically seems to mean that (at least in the US)
> people don't have a
> right against seizure without being (criminally) guilty of
> any wrongdoing.

In my country that is basically correct, *but* there are a number of
taxes that can be applied, judged by the tax officer. That judgement is
far less open to scrutiny, review, etc. than a court judgement. And an
IMHO bad tendency of the government is to outsource that judgment
activity to 'independent' parties, which allows for even less scrutiny
than decisions made by civil servants.

(Now that you remind me - I think I did write something like that once -
but where did it go?)

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2006\09\01@101434 by David VanHorn

picon face
>
> Is this correct? Anybody knows how this is handled in other countries? I
> always was under the (obviously innocent) impression that for the
> government (any democratic government) to be able to seize anything from
> me, I have to be guilty (beyond reasonable doubt) of /something/.
>
> Gerhard


We threw that out for the "war on drugs".  I don't know this firsthand, but
I'm told that down south is where it started, with the officer, police
force, and local judges getting a cut.  Planted evidence used too
apparently.

If this keeps going, I'm gonna move to North Korea where I can get some
civil rights! :)

2006\09\01@103307 by Jack Smith

picon face

> Which basically seems to mean that (at least in the US) people don't have a
> right against seizure without being (criminally) guilty of any wrongdoing.
>
> Is this correct? Anybody knows how this is handled in other countries? I
> always was under the (obviously innocent) impression that for the
> government (any democratic government) to be able to seize anything from
> me, I have to be guilty (beyond reasonable doubt) of /something/.
>
> Gerhard
>  
Gerhard:

There are a host of matters that fall under "civil" law that can result
in seizure. (I mean civil in the sense of not criminal, in the
traditional British and American legal systems.)

For example, suppose you build an new room on your house. (This is a
true story recently covered in the local newspapers) And, suppose you
submit the plans to the county authorities and receive the proper
building permits. And, finally, suppose you build the new room in exact
accordance with the plans you submitted.

Then, after it is built, a neighbor complains to the county that the
permit should not have been granted because it failed to meet some part
of the building code, in this case, it is too close to the property
line, so the problem cannot be fixed by a small change to the new room.
The county investigates and decides that yes, the building permit should
have never been granted and orders the home owner to tear down the new
room at the owner's expense.

This is not a criminal matter, and if the home owner goes to court to  
challenge the tear down order, the county does not have to win "beyond a
reasonable doubt." Rather, all the county has to show is that it is 50%
plus a small amount that the county is correct. (Very easy to do, since
no one seriously disputes the fact that the permit should not have been
granted.)

If the home owner refuses to tear down the new room, the county could
ask the judge to assess a civil penalty (monetary fine of, say, $1000 a
day for every day not in compliance) or to find the home owner in
contempt of court (if there is a court-issued tear down order), and to
imprison the home owner until the room is torn down. Since the purpose
of the imprisonment would be coercive, not for punishment, most of the
criminal procedural safeguards would not apply. (Usually said that a
person in jail for civil contempt "has the keys to the jail house in his
pocket" since all that is required to be released is to agree to follow
the court's order.

Still, sitting in jail works the same whether you are  there for a
coercive purpose or a retributive purpose.

And, by the way, in this particular case, the home owner will not be
able to recover any money from the county for incorrectly issuing the
building permit.

So, in this  (real) example, the home owner is probably out of pocket
$150,000 or more and has zero possibility of getting it back from
anyone. If if he refuses to comply, the county can have him locked up
until he does comply. (A few years ago, a local golf course owner spent
about 60 days in jail for refusing to plant trees on his property that  
the county demanded. He was released only after planting the trees.
Since this was a civil contempt, no "beyond a  reasonable doubt" stuff
nor a jury trial. Just a judge who sent him to jail, to remain there
until he decided to plant the trees. [Some cases that say at some point
a civil contempt jail sentence stops being coercive and becomes punitive
and crosses into criminal contempt of court and has some additional
procedural safeguards.])

Jack




2006\09\01@113855 by John Ferrell

face picon face
The permit said it was OK with the county.
As I recall from a business law class long ago, a property owner has a
specific time period (7 years?) after DISCOVERY of the encroachment to
require relief from the circumstance.

John Ferrell    W8CCW
"My Competition is not my enemy"
http://DixieNC.US

{Original Message removed}

2006\09\01@115842 by John Ferrell

face picon face
It is necessary to reduce our liberty to protect our society.

If the business is legitimate why hide the details?

If you choose to draw attention to yourself in outright defiance you are
entitled to a higher level of scrutiny. The majority of the US population is
strongly opposed to coddling those who would destroy us because we choose
freedom.

When things "don't fit" we expect our law enforcement to take the necessary
steps to protect the citizens.

In these days anything suspicious warrants investigation. We are at war with
criminals and terrorists.
Violent Crime is down considerably in my state since the Concealed Carry
permits have been issued. Many citizens are armed and informed.

The pendulum is swinging ....
John Ferrell    W8CCW
"My Competition is not my enemy"
http://DixieNC.US

{Original Message removed}

2006\09\01@121819 by Jack Smith

picon face
Not the same situation. The county decided promptly, once asked to
review the case, that the permit was issued in error. By then, the
building expansion was completed. (I think it may have been at the  time
an occupancy permit was requested, and it was not granted due to the
complaint.)

Jack


John Ferrell wrote:
> The permit said it was OK with the county.
> As I recall from a business law class long ago, a property owner has a
> specific time period (7 years?) after DISCOVERY of the encroachment to
> require relief from the circumstance.
>
> John Ferrell    W8CCW
> "My Competition is not my enemy"
> http://DixieNC.US
>
> {Original Message removed}

2006\09\01@123737 by M. Adam Davis

face picon face
It could even be more confusing than that.

It's the property owner's responsiblity to comply with zoning
ordinances, not the county.  Just because they issued a permit doesn't
mean that you are in compliance - it means that you are allowed to
build that structure according to your plan as well as according to
local zoning ordinances and applicable regulations.  Although to limit
the number of problems, building permits often now include required
stake surveys and formal inspections if the proposed project is
anywhere near a property line.  Every county is different, though.

It could be that the owner thought they were in compliance, until a
formal survey was performed.  Perhaps the neighbor complains, a formal
survey is done, and -whoops- no one knew until the neighbor complained
that there was even a problem.

This may not be the case for this instance, but it's easy to see that
this could easily happen, and simply points to the fact that at the
end of the day it's completely and utterly the owner's responsibility.
They can only ask for a variance, and it's unlikely that they'll get
one.

-Adam

On 9/1/06, Jack Smith <spamBeGoneJack.SmithspamBeGonespamcox.net> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> > {Original Message removed}

2006\09\01@134953 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> In these days anything suspicious warrants investigation.

I don't think there is much objection to that. The problem is that the
pendulum is swinging towards "anything suspicious warrants conviction".

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
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consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2006\09\01@162746 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Jack Smith wrote:

>> Which basically seems to mean that (at least in the US) people don't
>> have a right against seizure without being (criminally) guilty of any
>> wrongdoing.
>>
>> Is this correct? Anybody knows how this is handled in other countries?
>> I always was under the (obviously innocent) impression that for the
>> government (any democratic government) to be able to seize anything
>> from me, I have to be guilty (beyond reasonable doubt) of /something/.

> There are a host of matters that fall under "civil" law that can result
> in seizure. (I mean civil in the sense of not criminal, in the
> traditional British and American legal systems.)
>
> For example, suppose you build an new room on your house. (This is a
> true story recently covered in the local newspapers) And, suppose you
> submit the plans to the county authorities and receive the proper
> building permits. And, finally, suppose you build the new room in exact
> accordance with the plans you submitted. [...]

I can see this, and I can even agree with that. If the law says (which it
seems to) that the builder is responsible for complying with regulations,
and if the construction doesn't, it's his responsibility to make it comply.
It would be nice to have something like a "binding permit", ie. a permit
that says that this is ok no matter what, but that's just shuffling
responsibilities around. (Which then would be with the county, and any
costs from lack of compliance would be paid by the taxpayer. Not a good
solution either.)

But that's different from the police simply seizing something that is
supposedly the product of a criminal activity, without being able to show
that there in fact was any criminal activity. In my simple logic this says
that if there is no proof of criminal activity, the byproduct is also not
proven to be of a criminal activity... Seems like a double standard to me
to say that something is a product of a criminal activity without being
able to prove the criminal activity.

Gerhard

2006\09\01@165303 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> But that's different from the police simply seizing something that is
> supposedly the product of a criminal activity, without being
> able to show
> that there in fact was any criminal activity. In my simple
> logic this says
> that if there is no proof of criminal activity, the byproduct
> is also not
> proven to be of a criminal activity.

Sadly it appears that the (western) world is leaving this standard. In
my country just being on a list of "terrorist groups" is enough to
justify sanctions to an organisation. That list is not compiled in my
country, and there is no way to defend yourself against being on that
list. I think senator McCarthy lives...

Note that I definitely don't say that the various non-western world
parts have a higher standard.

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2006\09\01@201654 by Carey Fisher

face picon face


M. Adam Davis wrote:
>
> This may not be the case for this instance, but it's easy to see that
> this could easily happen, and simply points to the fact that at the
> end of the day it's completely and utterly the owner's responsibility.
>  They can only ask for a variance, and it's unlikely that they'll get
> one.
>
> -Adam
>
>  
Not exactly.   It varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.  In my town,
I am on the Zoning Board of Appeals.  We hear variance requests.  In my
experience, we would likely grant a variance if the homeowner was
"misled" (not necessarily on purpose) by the permitting department and
had spent time and money in good faith.
--

*Carey Fisher, Chief Technical Officer
New Communications Solutions, LLC
*TakeThisOuTcareyfisherEraseMEspamspam_OUTncsradio.com <RemoveMEcareyfisherspamTakeThisOuTncsradio.com>
Toll Free Phone:888-883-5788
Local Phone:770-814-0683
FAX: 888-883-5788
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2006\09\02@073010 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Carey Fisher wrote:

> Not exactly.   It varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.  In my town,
> I am on the Zoning Board of Appeals.  We hear variance requests.  In my
> experience, we would likely grant a variance if the homeowner was
> "misled" (not necessarily on purpose) by the permitting department and
> had spent time and money in good faith.

How would that then stack up against the civil claim of the neighbor? After
all, he may be able to claim a damage from the non-compliant building.

Gerhard

2006\09\02@081851 by Howard Winter

face
flavicon
picon face
Jack,

On Fri, 01 Sep 2006 12:15:24 -0400, Jack Smith wrote:

> Not the same situation. The county decided promptly, once asked to
> review the case, that the permit was issued in error. By then, the
> building expansion was completed. (I think it may have been at the  time
> an occupancy permit was requested, and it was not granted due to the
> complaint.)

Surely in this case the home owner was granted a permit, and did the permitted work, so he is not to blame.  The person/department who issued the
permit is in error, so it should be their responsibility to correct - and pay for - that error?  And was the neighbour not given the chance to object
before the permit was issued?  (This happens here - I have received a notice from the council about an application to build a rail freight terminal
about half a mile away - it tells me how long I have to raise any objections - if I miss that boat, I don't get another chance).

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2006\09\02@115626 by Gus S Calabrese

face picon face

On 2006-Sep 01, at 11:49hrs AM, Wouter van Ooijen wrote:

> In these days anything suspicious warrants investigation.

I don't think there is much objection to that. The problem is that the
pendulum is swinging towards "anything suspicious warrants conviction".

^ I object AGSC ^

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


-

2006\09\02@115909 by Gus S Calabrese

face picon face

On 2006-Sep 01, at 14:27hrs PM, Gerhard Fiedler wrote:

Jack Smith wrote:

{Quote hidden}

I can see this, and I can even agree with that. If the law says  
(which it
seems to) that the builder is responsible for complying with  
regulations,
and if the construction doesn't, it's his responsibility to make it  
comply.
It would be nice to have something like a "binding permit", ie. a permit
that says that this is ok no matter what, but that's just shuffling
responsibilities around. (Which then would be with the county, and any
costs from lack of compliance would be paid by the taxpayer. Not a good
solution either.)

^ How about the county authorities have to show a "compelling" reason
why the construction causes a problem ? Otherwise, let it go , just  
let it be  AGSC ^

But that's different from the police simply seizing something that is
supposedly the product of a criminal activity, without being able to  
show
that there in fact was any criminal activity. In my simple logic this  
says
that if there is no proof of criminal activity, the byproduct is also  
not
proven to be of a criminal activity... Seems like a double standard  
to me
to say that something is a product of a criminal activity without being
able to prove the criminal activity.

Gerhard

2006\09\02@120230 by Gus S Calabrese

face picon face

On 2006-Sep 01, at 18:16hrs PM, Carey Fisher wrote:



M. Adam Davis wrote:
>
> This may not be the case for this instance, but it's easy to see that
> this could easily happen, and simply points to the fact that at the
> end of the day it's completely and utterly the owner's responsibility.
>  They can only ask for a variance, and it's unlikely that they'll get
> one.
>
> -Adam
>
>
Not exactly.   It varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.  In my town,
I am on the Zoning Board of Appeals.  We hear variance requests.  In my
experience, we would likely grant a variance if the homeowner was
"misled" (not necessarily on purpose) by the permitting department and
had spent time and money in good faith.
--  

^ Do you start with the attitude that a variance is "bad" ?  What  
percentage
of variances do you approve ?  How long do you spend considering a  
variance ?
If I were on such a board, I would start with the idea that the  
variance should be
approved..... then would look to see if anything compelling suggested  
otherwise.
AGSC ^

*Carey Fisher, Chief Technical Officer
New Communications Solutions, LLC
*careyfisherEraseMEspam.....ncsradio.com <EraseMEcareyfisherspamncsradio.com>
Toll Free Phone:888-883-5788
Local Phone:770-814-0683
FAX: 888-883-5788
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2006\09\02@120427 by Gus S Calabrese

face picon face

On 2006-Sep 02, at 05:29hrs AM, Gerhard Fiedler wrote:

Carey Fisher wrote:

> Not exactly.   It varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.  In my  
> town,
> I am on the Zoning Board of Appeals.  We hear variance requests.  
> In my
> experience, we would likely grant a variance if the homeowner was
> "misled" (not necessarily on purpose) by the permitting department and
> had spent time and money in good faith.

How would that then stack up against the civil claim of the neighbor?  
After
all, he may be able to claim a damage from the non-compliant building.

^ Seems like a civil suit would be a good thing for that neighbor to  
consider if
he or she claims damages.  Leave the county out of it.  AGSC ^

Gerhard

2006\09\02@145446 by Herbert Graf

flavicon
face
On Sat, 2006-09-02 at 13:18 +0100, Howard Winter wrote:
> Jack,
>
> On Fri, 01 Sep 2006 12:15:24 -0400, Jack Smith wrote:
>
> > Not the same situation. The county decided promptly, once asked to
> > review the case, that the permit was issued in error. By then, the
> > building expansion was completed. (I think it may have been at the  time
> > an occupancy permit was requested, and it was not granted due to the
> > complaint.)
>
> Surely in this case the home owner was granted a permit, and did the permitted work, so he is not to blame.  

Wrong. Just because you get a permit doesn't mean they've checked to
ensure you've complied with every building code. The permit simply means
the work can begin. It is up to the builder to ensure they are complying
with the code.

> The person/department who issued the
> permit is in error, so it should be their responsibility to correct - and pay for - that error?  

No. It is NOT their responsibility to ensure every bit of the work being
done will conform with code.

> And was the neighbour not given the chance to object
> before the permit was issued?  (This happens here - I have received a notice from the council about an application to build a rail freight terminal
> about half a mile away - it tells me how long I have to raise any objections - if I miss that boat, I don't get another chance).

So you are expecting the neighbour to check to ensure what is being
built is according to code?

While I deplore the situation this person is in, unfortunately the only
blame can be laid at them. They did not conform to code. As builder, it
was their responsibility to ensure the work WOULD conform to code.

The neighbour deserves NO blame IMHO. Even if the neighbour had said
nothing, it is very likely that eventually when the house would have
been sold the problem would have been discovered and the addition would
have had to be removed anyways.

TTYL

2006\09\02@181500 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> > In these days anything suspicious warrants investigation.
>
> I don't think there is much objection to that. The problem is that the
> pendulum is swinging towards "anything suspicious warrants
> conviction".
>
> ^ I object AGSC ^

Access Grid Support Centre?
Articulation and General Studies Committee ?
Australian Guild of Screen Composers?
Adaptive Generalized Sidelobe Canceller?
Alpine Golf & Sports Club (Thailand)?
American Grease Stick Company (Muskegon, Michigan)?
Azerbaijan Gas Supply Company?

and all of that in OO fashion?

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2006\09\02@202404 by Gus S Calabrese

face picon face

On 2006-Sep 02, at 16:14hrs PM, Wouter van Ooijen wrote:

>> In these days anything suspicious warrants investigation.
>
> I don't think there is much objection to that. The problem is that the
> pendulum is swinging towards "anything suspicious warrants
> conviction".
>
> ^ I object AGSC ^

Access Grid Support Centre?
Articulation and General Studies Committee ?
Australian Guild of Screen Composers?
Adaptive Generalized Sidelobe Canceller?
Alpine Golf & Sports Club (Thailand)?
American Grease Stick Company (Muskegon, Michigan)?
Azerbaijan Gas Supply Company?

and all of that in OO fashion?

Wouter van Ooijen

^ Yes all of the above AGSC ^

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


-

2006\09\03@054831 by Howard Winter

face
flavicon
picon face
Herbert,

On Sat, 02 Sep 2006 14:54:45 -0400, Herbert Graf wrote:

{Quote hidden}

So what the hell are they getting paid for?  Are you saying that you have to have a permit just for the sake of it, and that it does not carry any
authority beyond "you can't do anything unless we say so"?

> > The person/department who issued the
> > permit is in error, so it should be their responsibility to correct - and pay for - that error?  
>
> No. It is NOT their responsibility to ensure every bit of the work being
> done will conform with code.

See above!  :-)

Here we have two sets of "permission" needed for building work, either of which may be unneeded under certain situations, usually related to the
size of the job.  The first is "Planning Permission", which has no technical content and relates to whether the new building/extension/whatever fits in
with the local planning policies, whether it's right for the neighbourhood.  Building a skyscraper in a sleepy little village would not get planning
permission (I hope! :-).  Things like small extensions to the house (less than 10% increase in floor area) and garages less than 20m^2 (if I remember
rightly) are exempt.  Any planning application must be published to the neighbours, and they have a period of time to object.  Once this time has
expired, no further objections will be heard, although the planning committee meeting to consider it will be open to the public, and anyone can ask to
speak at that meeting, for or against the application.

Building Regulations Approval is purely technical, and are to ensure that things are built soundly, safely, and with energy requirements that meet the
current regulations.  Standards of structural integrity, insulation, wiring, personal safety, are all covered by the Building Regs. and if the application
doesn't meet them, it will be rejected.

In both cases the building as-built must match the applications, or have approved variations from it, and if not then the council may require it to be
remedied, up to and including demlition (there was a case where a large block of flats was found to have been built about a metre too close to an
adjacent row of houses, and it was demolished).  So granting the planning permission and the Building Regs. approval mean that as long as the builder
does what was approved, there can be no comeback afterwards.

The two approvals are separate, and deal with different things.  Building too close to a neighbour would be decided by the planning application, and
there are no hard and fast rules, although there are policies, and if the application is granted the neighbours can't do anything about it, but they do
have the right to object beforehand.

> > And was the neighbour not given the chance to object
> > before the permit was issued?  (This happens here - I have received a notice from the council about an application to build a rail freight terminal
> > about half a mile away - it tells me how long I have to raise any objections - if I miss that boat, I don't get another chance).
>
> So you are expecting the neighbour to check to ensure what is being
> built is according to code?

No, only whether there is an effect of the building that is to their detriment - being too close would qualify, but if they didn't object at the planning
stage, that's it!

> While I deplore the situation this person is in, unfortunately the only
> blame can be laid at them. They did not conform to code. As builder, it
> was their responsibility to ensure the work WOULD conform to code.

This is what confuses me - the plans as approved would have shown things like distances to boundaries, so the people doing the approving would
have been able to determine whether that should be allowed or not.  I say again: isn't that what they are being paid for?

> The neighbour deserves NO blame IMHO. Even if the neighbour had said
> nothing, it is very likely that eventually when the house would have
> been sold the problem would have been discovered and the addition would
> have had to be removed anyways.

But he complained at the wrong time - he should have done so when the application was made, and not because of technincal breach of regulations,
but the fact of the encroachment on his boundary, and its detriment to him.  Planning and building regs. change over time, and it's not usual to expect
existing buildings to be brought up to date.  In many cases it's impossible (my staircase is too narrow, too steep, and with too little headroom to be
built now, but I didn't have to rebuild it when the regs. changed).  In the case of neighbour-proximity, it would obviously not be possible to move
houses apart.  When you buy a house you do so as it is, not how you'd like it to be, so I don't see that as a problem, beyond the fact that people may
not want to buy it because next-door's house is too close, but buying a house expecting legal remedy against something that clearly exists is not on!  
IMHO, obviously...

That reminds me, I need to write a letter objecting to the proposed rail depot!

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2006\09\03@180340 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face

On Sep 3, 2006, at 2:48 AM, Howard Winter wrote:

>> Just because you get a permit doesn't mean they've checked

> So what the hell are they getting paid for?

Why, they're getting paid to issue permits that violate the building
codes, in the hopes that no one will notice, of course...

Oh!  You meant their actual salaries!  I was thinking of a different
sort of payment.

(in all seriousness, this sort of policy does put a damper on the
possibilities for graft...)

 :-)
BillW

2006\09\03@185637 by Carey Fisher

face picon face
Gerhard Fiedler wrote:
> Carey Fisher wrote:
>
>  
>> Not exactly.   It varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.  In my town,
>> I am on the Zoning Board of Appeals.  We hear variance requests.  In my
>> experience, we would likely grant a variance if the homeowner was
>> "misled" (not necessarily on purpose) by the permitting department and
>> had spent time and money in good faith.
>>    
>
> How would that then stack up against the civil claim of the neighbor? After
> all, he may be able to claim a damage from the non-compliant building.
>
> Gerhard
>
>  
First, the Board is supposed to (and mostly does) consider the effect on
neighboring property before issuing a variance.  In fact, during the
public hearing, anyone affected by the proposed variance is given ample
time to present and explain their concerns to the Board.  If a neighbor
then feels damaged by the decision of the Board, then the neighbor would
file a claim in court and the court would decide matters of damages etc.
Carey

--

*Carey Fisher, Chief Technical Officer
New Communications Solutions, LLC
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2006\09\03@214947 by Carey Fisher

face picon face
Gus S Calabrese wrote:
{Quote hidden}

No, we start with the idea that someone wants to do something against
the rules (zoning rules) and then we let them try to convince us that
they would (a) suffer a hardship without the variance; (b) other folks
would not suffer an undue hardship under the variance; and (c) the
result of the variance would be otherwise legal (no you can't add a
bedroom to your house that would end up in the roadway).  We probably
approve 75% of variances.  The Board is a group of plain citizens.  We
have a full time professional (paid) city department that works with the
variance requestors before the variance request is presented to us.  The
final variance request is the best give and take the city and requestor
could negotiate and we get a recommendation to approve or not from the
professional Development Director for the city.  We can then accept,
deny, accept with any changes we want or table for further discussion
between the City and the requestor.

Most of us like to visit the property under discussion before making a
decision.  We are biased, however, against requestors that LIE to us.  
Like the group that claimed their (40+ acre) property would be of zero
value to them if we didn't let them build 5 feet closer to the stream
for a distance of 10 feet than the rules allow. Ha!
--

*Carey*

2006\09\03@221815 by Russell McMahon

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I've not been reading all of this thread, but I love the idea of a
citizens review panel a la -


{Quote hidden}

I've no idea if we do this sort of thing here, but I'll be finding
out.
Many thanks


       Russell McMahon

2006\09\04@103815 by Carey Fisher

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Russell McMahon wrote:
{Quote hidden}

I guess it falls under the heading "...Of the People, By the People and
For the People..."

Carey
--

*Carey Fisher*

2006\09\04@112659 by Howard Winter

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Carey,

On Mon, 04 Sep 2006 10:38:23 -0400, Carey Fisher wrote:
>...
> I guess it falls under the heading "...Of the People, By the People and
> For the People..."

Let's hope the Government don't get to hear about it - they'll probably close it down as subversive!  :-)

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2006\09\04@125205 by Gus S Calabrese

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On 2006-Sep 04, at 08:38hrs AM, Carey Fisher wrote:

Russell McMahon wrote:
{Quote hidden}

^Russell   Why do you want to find out ?  AGSC^
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