By on November 12, 2014

Perhaps if it was published somewhere else it might have been dismissed as a libertarian rant, but an article in the New York Times about police abuse of civil forfeiture laws, where innocent property owners face the task of proving that their property hasn’t been used illegally (something that seems at odds with the American concept of innocent until proven guilty) is getting a lot of attention. Video of seminars teaching cops and prosecutors how to seize private property have surfaced and they make it seem like law enforcement is less concerned with, well, law enforcement than they are with taking your stuff. Instructions like, “If in doubt… take it!” don’t make it seem like justice is a concern. What was intended by legislators as a means to go after the tools of illegal trades has become a method of padding budgets, buying cop toys and, in what would surely be seen by prosecutors as at the very least a conflict of interest if it was in the private sector, paying the salaries of prosecutors who handle civil forfeiture cases. The Times story revels disturbing practices like wish lists of property to be seized. High on the lists are cars. Can you prove that your car wasn’t used for a crime? The government wins 96% of civil forfeiture cases.

civilforfeiture

Comments made on at one of those seminars by Harry Connelly Jr., Las Cruces, New Mexico’s city attorney have prompted the description of “policing for profit”.

From the NYT:

The seminars offered police officers some useful tips on seizing property from suspected criminals. Don’t bother with jewelry (too hard to dispose of) and computers (“everybody’s got one already”), the experts counseled. Do go after flat screen TVs, cash and cars. Especially nice cars.

In one seminar, captured on video in September, Harry S. Connelly Jr., the city attorney of Las Cruces, N.M., called them “little goodies.” And then Mr. Connelly described how officers in his jurisdiction could not wait to seize one man’s “exotic vehicle” outside a local bar.

“A guy drives up in a 2008 Mercedes, brand new,” he explained. “Just so beautiful, I mean, the cops were undercover and they were just like ‘Ahhhh.’ And he gets out and he’s just reeking of alcohol. And it’s like, ‘Oh, my goodness, we can hardly wait.’ ”

If that attitude raises your blood pressure, don’t watch these other civil forfeiture seminar videos at Buzzfeed. Prosecutors can even get continuing legal education credit for attending what are advertised as “entertaining” classes on how lawmen and lawwomen can legally steal your property. At one of those CLE courses, Mercer County, New Jersey prosecutor Sean McMurtry teaches his colleagues how to overcome the fact that the owner of a car is innocent, that in fact criminals don’t own most of the cars they seize, and to use a policy of “If in doubt… take it!”

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86 Comments on “New York Times: Police Use of Civil Forfeiture Targets Cars, Criminals Perhaps Less So...”


  • avatar
    Lie2me

    This “civil forfeiture” (legal government theft) BS is worse then all the spying your lovely government is doing on you. You are guilty until proven innocent, ha, it’s worse, because even if you are innocent you have to go back to court to get your stuff back, by that time your life is already destroyed and you haven’t done a damn thing wrong.

    Whoever said, “life isn’t fair” was a victim of civil forfeiture. No, it didn’t happen to me, but someone close to me who has yet to recover from the damage done even though they were completely innocent.

    Think it can’t happen to you? Then I have a lovely bridge in Brooklyn I’d love to sell you.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Lie2me, “You are guilty until proven innocent, ha, it’s worse, because even if you are innocent you have to go back to court to get your stuff back, by that time your life is already destroyed and you haven’t done a damn thing wrong.”

      It’s been that way for a long time in America. I can remember growing up in Huntington Beach, CA during the fifties and sixties and innocent people had their property condemned or confiscated.

      And the system of justice in America has always presumed that an accused is guilty until they can prove themselves innocent. That’s why we now hear about people (of all skin colors and races) being wrongfully imprisoned in America by overzealous prosecutors until DNA evidence exonerates them.

      Nothing new here.

      Latest thing now is Eminent Domain.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        There’s no such thing as “innocent” once you’re arrested/prosecuted. Just found not guilty. And cops will ask what you’ve been arrested for, not what you’ve been convicted of. They presume you were guilty of it, but somehow avoided conviction.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          Problem with that philosophy is that many people arrested, imprisoned (but later found innocent) could not prove themselves not-guilty and were wrongfully convicted.

          I have always wondered how many people the American courts have wrongfully put to death, who may otherwise have been proven not-guilty by DNA evidence, or other.

          When a black man is released after having been wrongfully imprisoned for 25 years, what does the State say to him?

          Of course in New Mexico the cops have a way to circumvent all the legal improbabilities. They exercise the warning shot to the head,sometimes five or six times. Ends all discussion and contention.

          New York used to be the same way.

          I’m all for the warning shot to the head, I should hastily add. Too many people think they can carry out discussions or attack a cop when that cop tells them to do something in the line of duty.

          We saw this in Ferguson, MO, a few months back. Better to have your sh1t seized than to lose your life.

        • 0 avatar
          usernamealreadyregistered

          “There’s no such thing as “innocent” once you’re arrested/prosecuted. Just found not guilty. And cops will ask what you’ve been arrested for, not what you’ve been convicted of. They presume you were guilty of it, but somehow avoided conviction.”

          Yes and no. A defendant in a criminal proceeding is entitled to the presumption of innocence, meaning that the government has the burden of proving the defendant’s guilt; the defendant does not, in principle, have the burden of proving his innocence. If a jury decides that the government has not met its burden, then the jury will find the defendant “not guilty”. A finding of “innocence” would require proving a negative, where a finding of “not guilty” indicates that the government has failed to prove an alleged fact – i.e., that the defendant committed the crime. As a practical matter, you’re correct that arrest records haunt people for years after they have been found not guilty; employment applications, professional licensing matters, security clearances, etc.

          The problem with civil asset forfeiture is that property owners are required to prove a negative. As suggested above, it’s not so easy to prove your car wasn’t used in a crime. Or that you were making sub-$10,000 deposits because you didn’t want piles of cash in your store, not because you wanted to evade FinCEN scrutiny.

          And this really shouldn’t be a left vs. right issue. If you’re a right winger, note that this is the government abusing its power in service of inappropriate ends. If you’re a left winger, note that this falls disproportionately on minorities and persons of limited means.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Meanwhile the government has all your stuff and you can’t get to work or pay your bills. By the time it all settles out you no longer have a life

      • 0 avatar
        fendertweed

        Eminent domain is MUCH harder to assert than a civil forfeiture. Not even close.

        The civil forfeiture abuse is despicable. I was involved in asset forfeiture on the LE side at one point and this is exactly NOT the way it is intended and the kind of behavior we were specifically warned to avoid.

        Some of these abusers ought to be on the other end of a lawsuit, perhaps even a RICO conspiracy claim since this sounds like racketeering under color of law.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      …Think it can’t happen to you?…

      This. A million times this.

      We applauded the Patriot Act. Willing gave up Constitutional protections to make us, “safer.” For the few who questioned Patriot Act I, you were labeled a terrorist sympathizer. 9/11 changed everything!

      Then we applauded Patriot Act II, but a few more people said, “wait a minute…” but if you questioned that, then you were a liberal against Bush.

      Then we got Room 264A, NSA monitoring, CIA and NSA counter-intelligence and psy ops on American citizens.

      Then we voted in Mr. Hope and Change, and what we got was, “meet the new boss, same as the old boss,” because government never gives up power given to it.

      And when we learned that the NSA was watching us in almost Orwellian fashion the American people…

      …did nothing.

      Hey, it’s OK, I have nothing to hide.

      Take my First Amendment with protest free zones, permit requirements, and local regulations.

      DON’T TOUCH MY SECOND AMENDMENT! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! THEY’RE COMING FOR MY GUNS I JUST KNOW IT!

      Well, at least we haven’t had to quarter soldiers in our houses – yet.

      Right of search and seizure? Ha! That’s dead. And we willingly gave it up in the name of the War on Drugs and the War on Terror. Congrats.

      Provisions concerning prosecution. Ya, the Fifth Amendment is close to dead and buried.

      Right to a speedy trial? Anyone who has been ever tried with even a petty crime knows, if you ask at your arraignment to go to trial the FIRST thing they make you do is waive your sixth amendment right. Whee!

      Right to trial by jury? Well as long as you aren’t accused of a list of terrorist crimes or labeled a terrorist by the government, or if you’re not one of the 80% of criminal causes in American courts settled in a plea deal – have at it!

      Excessive bail, cruel and unusual punishment? Black prisons, rendition, waterboarding – but hey, 9/11 changed EVERYTHING.

      Rule of Construction of the Constitution – open to translation and a lot of debate – but if you subscribe to the concept that the Ninth Amendment protects those rights not expressly stated in the Bill of Rights, just ask a gay couple in a non-marriage state how they feel about that?

      Tenth Amendment – good Lord in the name of saving the 2nd Amendment in Washington State, they tried to pass a measure that basically surrendered the 10th Amendment and instead defer to the federal system.

      We are so feckin’ screwed.

  • avatar
    brettc

    John Oliver covered civil forfeiture a couple weeks ago on Last Week Tonight. Scary stuff and the reasoning for some of the seizures is mind boggling. No matter what your political leanings are, it should scare the crap out of everyone.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      It’s not just doing something illegal then being found innocent. Anyone, like the IRS can take all your stuff, even if it turns out to be their error. Scary stuff doesn’t begin to cover it

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        True, but if, like millions of Americans who can, you keep a lot of cash around (mattress stuffers), you do so with withdrawal slips and other supporting transaction paperwork, and copies of the supporting paperwork in a safe place as backup.

        And you never volunteer information, like file a tax return unless you absolutely have to.

        Millions upon millions of people a file tax return needlessly when they don’t have to, all to get back some chump change a government entity promises to pay them, like $75 for being below the poverty level, all to get their info into their system. If you’re below the 1040 threshold for filing, why file?

        More illegal search and seizures are initiated because someone thought they were real smart and filed a claim or volunteered other information. I recently saw this happen when another real estate broker filed to recover a loss on a bad investment. He’s still not out of the woods, and he is squeaky clean!

        • 0 avatar
          Rick T.

          Pro tip – Don’t own a small business and deposit less than $10,000 in cash at a time…if you want to keep your hard-earned money.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Yeah, that was a real shame! That old lady proprietor had only been in business for forty years doing the same stuff, feeding people, when they seized her bank accounts.

            It’s the new America. It doesn’t pay to work or be self-employed anymore. The Democrat dream of putting everyone on welfare and taxing big business top death is becoming a reality.

            No wonder America has only a 66% labor participation rate.

          • 0 avatar
            fendertweed

            Be very careful. Intentionally structuring bank transactions to avoid the $10k reporting requirement is a federal crime and there are people doing time for it.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    The ACLU has been addressing this problem for years.

    Mercedes anecdote aside, minorities are disproportionately impacted by these laws. The laws that allow the proceeds from the seizures to go to federal agencies began in 1984, a byproduct of Ronald Reagan’s drug war. There’s your small government for ya.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      Big/small, moral/corrupt are two very different dimensions.

      Political platform & leanings are immaterial compared to the quality of the person. A good person in govt will do good things regardless of the law. A bad person in govt will do bad things regardless of law.

  • avatar
    Detroit-Iron

    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.[71]

    Can’t do html anymore so I will emphasize this:

    nor be deprived of.. property, without due process of law;

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      Who gives a damn about the Constitution anymore, certainly not your government

    • 0 avatar
      Geekcarlover

      Boy, are you quoting the law to me? I AM THE LAW!

    • 0 avatar
      Russycle

      I can’t fathom how lawmakers thought allowing cops and prosecutors to waive due process wouldn’t be abused. Not because cops and prosecutors are bad people, but because they’re people. And abusing power is pretty much built into our DNA.

      • 0 avatar
        bunkie

        It works because we are just fine with perverting our “sacred principles” so long as it only applies to “those people” (feel free to substitute and particular group you dislike at the moment).

        It only becomes a problem when, inevitably, most of us discover that we are being mistaken for “those people”.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          The first asset forfeiture law was passed by Congress in 1789. The concept of seizing property is obviously not new.

          What has changed is the direct profit motive given to the agencies that are entrusted with the enforcement. The drug war has been used to justify all kinds of abuses; one reason to end the drug war is to take away this excuse (although terrorism will presumably be used as a way to fill that gap.)

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    Divide and conquer. Progressives have corrupted the police with absurdly generous pay packages and early retirement funded by shaking down the public. They’ve turned the public against the police with union contracts that keep bad cops on the payroll. When the progressives enter their genocidal phase like every progressive movement before this one, will the cops still have consciences or the ability to identify with the people they’re asked to murder?

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      Ronald Reagan was a progressive? I never knew.

      The use of forfeited funds in this manner is the result of the Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984, part of Reagan’s “war on drugs.” That’s what small government looks like.

      • 0 avatar
        psarhjinian

        “Ronald Reagan was a progressive? I never knew.”

        By the standards of the modern Republican Party, Reagan was practically a pinko. They’d be decrying him as a RINO if he were in office today.

        That said, seizure of property is something that will net both progressive and libertarian ire. It’s a sad comment that the grassroots members of the Tea Party and OWS don’t realize they (should) have more in common with each other than with the political parties that they align with.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          My point was that this “small government” talk is utter tripe. Except for the (small) libertarian wing, the American right doesn’t really want small government, it just wants to interfere in other ways.

          The ACLU has opposed these asset forfeiture laws for years. Most of the calls to end the drug war have been coming from the left, not from the right. This has its origins in the drug war, and that was integral to the Republican “just say no” platform.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        If you are dumb enough to believe government CAN, at all, ever, in any way shape or form, be a force for good, you are in practice no different from a progressive.

        Forever blind to how idiotic it is to believe guys with guns who take other people’s stuff somehow differ, on account of who they claim to work for.

        The actual two party system in America, consist of the government party, and on those they feed on. The GOP and DNC are just two facets of the former.

        And, honestly, absolutely anyone who is an enemy of the former, is in absolute terms on the side of the people. Including so called “terrorists”. Those guys may not be all that either, but as of current they haven’t stolen a penny from me. Nor barred me from arming up to prevent them from doing so should they change their mind. Both of which place the way ahead of The Government on any list of those deserving support.

      • 0 avatar

        Ronald Reagan must be to blame for the current administration’s IRS’ seizure of bank accounts. Okay. It’s never the fault of the bureaucrats who enforce the law. Now, if you deposit more than $10,000 in cash, you’re reported as a possible drug dealer and if you deposit less than $10,000 you get prosecuted for “structuring” and the IRS gets to take your money. Yes, the Bank Secrecy Act was first passed during Nixon’s administration but Nixon was no small government conservative. A lot of the expansion of Washington and its power took place from 1968-1974.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          The asset forfeiture program that diverted funds to law enforcement was created by the Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984. That law was part of Reagan’s war on drugs.

          That is simply a fact. You can spin like a top if it pleases you, but I’m sticking with the facts.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            Does the name Jamie Whitten mean anything to you? This was part of a continuing appropriations bill passed by a Democrat controlled house and senate. What are facts in your moral relativist construct?

            https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/98/hjres648/text

            It really doesn’t matter where the law came from. Thirty years of perversion by your fellow travelers has rendered it a statist weapon.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “It really doesn’t matter where the law came from.”

            Of course. It would be pointless to allow facts to interfere with one of your arguments.

          • 0 avatar
            redav

            I can agree with “where the law came from doesn’t matter.” It’s how it’s used.

            It does not matter to me who made the baseball bat that beats my head in, but rather the fact that it is being used to beat my head in. Even good laws can be twisted and abused.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            I sincerely hope that this doesn’t turn into yet another exercise in Reagan revisionist history.

            Small government Reagan was perfectly pleased to seize assets. I realize that this reality is upsetting to some people, but that doesn’t change the reality.

        • 0 avatar
          Maxb49

          Ronnie,

          Ronald Reagan isn’t to blame for that, George W. Bush, signer of the USA PATRIOT Act is.

    • 0 avatar
      mr.cranky

      @CJINSD- Didn’t take long for a troll to show up.

      I guess you skimmed over the comment from someone else that pointed out that civil forfeiture laws target EVERYONE, not just conservatives and progressives.

      And no, you cannot pin the police state on progressives alone. Conservatives have traditionally been more supportive of law enforcement and the military.

  • avatar
    OneAlpha

    People allow the State to steal their money through the income tax.

    People let the State turn them into perpetual renters through property taxes.

    People allow the State to take their children away from them.

    At this point, people don’t have the right to be upset about civil asset forfeiture.

    Because as the modern world keeps telling us, it ain’t theft if the guy doing it wears a badge, or a black robe, or a grey business suit.

    That it isn’t stealing if it’s done through the official processes and procedures of the system and involves paperwork.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    A few years ago I would have been able to compartmentalized this stuff, what are the chances it happens to me or my loved ones? Should I really get upset over something like this. I’m sure the real intent is to get criminals off the street.
    Then I had a very rude awakening. Just over 5 years ago some of my friends were involved in an altercation at their business. The end result was that a person who threw a brick through their window died.
    Without hesitating, and without checking any facts, the Washington DC police chief went in front of the press and declared the 5 men involved kicked and stomped this man to death in an act of vigilante justice. The press showed blood on the sidewalk and every media outlet condemned them and urge swift and immediate justice.
    The business was forced to close and my friends were all hauled to jail. I went to the initial hearing, they were brought before the judge in arm and leg shackles and special one-piece foil-like suits. By then questions had already started to arise. They were charged with assault – not murder. The media, the police department, and as a result the local population was outraged.
    Long story short, the medical examiner determined that the man died for reasons other than any physical harm. My friends were completely innocent. But as a result of the police chief’s callous disregard for getting the facts before making a statement, their lives were completely turned upside down. And since, never once has the chief of police apologized or even acknowledged that what she did was the wrong way to conduct herself.

    So no, I’m not shocked at asset forfeiture tactics being directed at innocent people. And until we stop living in fear from the drug and terrorist boogie men, this is just how it’s going to be.
    I long for the more innocent days of watching Cops and rooting for the cops.

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      I know what you’re talking about. That was probably my favorite bar on U. St. I know it’s back up and running now, but I don’t hang out in the area much anymore.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    Well, my lengthy post just got eaten. That sucks.

  • avatar
    VenomV12

    When you have a broke government that is $17+ trillion in debt and no one wants taxes raised, they will find a way to get money which includes stealing the public’s property and it is all coming to light slowly but surely.

    On top of that the pay for police and their benefits is obscene. People complain about the UAW, but the police union is 10 times worse. People live under the fallacy that these cops are underpaid. Cop I know in town just bought herself a brand new BMW X5 and she lives in a $350,000 house. Another young cop I saw on a social media site just bought himself a brand new BMW M4.

    The level of corruption in this country is starting to make Third World dictatorships jealous. It’s really sad.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Police making foolish purchases in my neck of the woods is nothing new, but they are simply living far beyond their means for the most part. PO1 pay here is something like 61K per annum excluding overtime from what I was told, but many a young cop has to have that 35-45K truck or Jeep. Some cops help pay for these toys by taking overtime. This is not to say there are not egregious abuses by those in gov’t roles (excessive overtime or retirement costs, double or triple dipping on gov’t i.e. VA pension, muni pension, SSDI after being hurt etc) I just wanted to add clarity.

      “When you have a broke government that is $17+ trillion in debt and no one wants taxes raised”

      The debt and unfunded liabilities are mathematically impossible to be paid, they won’t be. Taxation or additional extortion such as theft by civil forfeiture at this point are simply methods of control. I saw in 2012 a new currency being introduced in line with or followed by significant geopolitical turmoil as the result of the dollar haircut. I am genuinely concerned about the long term future of the US.

  • avatar
    TW5

    How long has the government been seizing cash via red light cameras, speed cameras/traps, and a host of other nonviolent infractions that can’t be assigned to a particular driver or have little to do with protecting the general public from the offender?

    This has been going on forever. People aren’t going to suddenly take notice. The contrast is not sufficiently stark compared to their cash seizure strategies.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      TW5, maybe the NOW generation is just waking up to this fact while those of us who have been around for a while longer have seen this happening since the day Christ wore sandals.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      A premise of the article is about proving your car was not used in a crime. Let’s loosen that to be “infraction of law” instead of crime, and if your car is photoed running a red light, improperly using a toll road, speeding, or parking illegally, can you claim with a straight face that your car was not used in an “infraction of law”?

      The fact is that the precedent is that you are responsible for your property. If someone is injured on your land, you can be held liable. If someone uses your car to commit a crime, you can be sued. Disagree with the principle all you want, but the courts uphold these principles.

      To illustrate, try fighting a parking ticket using the argument that someone else was driving your car and see how far that takes you. There are many valid reasons to dislike RLCs and speed cameras, but that argument, but that is not one of them.

      • 0 avatar
        TW5

        How many points does your car have on its license? Moving violation ≠ civil infraction. The property owner is not liable for speeding or running red lights, but the court has tried to change the law so they can keep their cameras operational.

        Furthermore, civil torts have little to do with moving violations or civil infractions, especially since your examples do not have the state acting as plaintiff. There is a victim is the examples you gave, and the damages are determinable.

        If you want to discuss law, you have to offer more than a confused conflation of moving violations, civil infractions, civil torts, and criminal negligence.

  • avatar
    Dan

    Been going on for decades. Not a peep from the media. Not even Sharpton.

    Yet the civil right to punch a cop in the face after committing felony robbery still gets the circus started every time.

  • avatar
    cartunez

    I await the government worshippers telling us to just shut up and this is for the greater good etc etc…Or they will call this click bait and say it has nothing to do with cars.

    • 0 avatar
      bunkie

      No, you should definitely *not* shut up about this. In fact you should have been screaming about this for the last 20 years. Yet, strangely, almost no one complained when it got started.

      The problem, of course, is that since forfeiture is a tool used by local police, and, say, you were pro-legalization at the same time, it was a really bad idea to speak up on this subject. It’s only possible now in the dying days of the anti-drug mania that we can address the egregious crap that almost everyone ignored because “it won’t happen to me”.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      ” it has nothing to do with cars.”

      When it comes to various law enforcement arms of the US government, it often does have a great deal to do with cars. They bring in a lot of money for that Law Enforcement Agency when the cars are auctioned off.

      My youngest son is a Supervisory Agent with the Border Patrol in South Texas and his unit seizes a ton of stuff during raids, not just narcotics, drugs, cars, trucks, whatever. Guns, ammo, reloading gear, motorcycles, watercraft, etc etc etc.

      BATF has been conducting raids on various gun dealers and gunshow sellers and seizing their livelihood for suspicion, never having to prove anything.

      Yet this same BATF was complicit in the Fast&Furious action in Arizona under the guise of tracking illegal gun sales to Mexican nationals. We all know how that scheme of lies and deceit turned out. Someone died, shot with one of the weapons BATF was supposed to be tracking.

      I read a story about how a gun owner turned in a 12-gauge Streetsweeper to BATF (without first destroying it) only to have this very same outlawed Streetsweeper show up on the streets after a BATF agents house was broken into and his personal guns stolen.

      Some of this stuff you just can’t make up. Too far-fetched even for Hollywood Liberals to put into scripts!

  • avatar
    bunkie

    Time for another oh-so-appropriate quote from the Firesign Theatre:

    “Help! It’s the police!”

  • avatar
    Charliej

    Three years age, I was approaching retirement. The wife and I talked it over and decided that we did not want to be in the US any more. We closed our business, sold everything that we could and gave away the rest. Then we loaded up and left. Reading all the crap that goes on in the US confirms our decision. Our home town, in South Alabama, is having a record year for murders and robberies. We now live in a resort in Mexico and while the police are corrupt, they don’t try to steal your car from you. They are also polite, even when asking for a bribe. Dealing with mexican police, I have never had one pull a gun on me like in the US. What is it going to take to make the American public see that they must take back the power in the US from the corporations? Or are you all just afraid of trying to take back your country from the corporations? The time to end the corruption in the US is now.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      Damn right I’m afraid, but look at you, you ran away

    • 0 avatar
      Kevin Jaeger

      I certainly understand your concerns about rampant crime in some parts of the US, and police behavior has unfortunately reached the point that even the typical law abiding citizen has reason to be afraid of them. But what does either of these situations have to do with corporations? The gangs in the ‘hood doing most of the murdering and robbing aren’t incorporated.

      And the police answer to your democratically elected government. Their behavior is a government problem.

      That said, I think retirement as an expat in Mexico can be a pretty good plan.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        “That said, I think retirement as an expat in Mexico can be a pretty good plan.”

        Fine, just don’t send postcards from the edge telling us how to fix the mess you ran away from

        • 0 avatar
          Kevin Jaeger

          Sometimes a little distance and a new perspective can bring out an interesting point of view.

          And the US could learn a thing or two from Mexico – such as the way they enforce their immigration laws.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Oh, please…

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Kevin Jaeger, I have been commenting for years on ttac that many people, who can, move down to Mexico, or another Caribbean nation, and enjoy a much better life, at a much lower cost of living than they vcouldhave otherwise in ther US.

            My wife’s dad (and mom) who retired on 1 Oct at age 86+ from the family real estate business is currently doing his great farewell tour of the US, sightseeing along the way and visiting his other daughters in states like Idaho, Colorado and Wyoming before moving (permanently) to his native Germany, even though her mom and dad have both been US citizens since 1951.

            They expect to live out their lives in Germany, and be buried there.

    • 0 avatar
      DrSandman

      “What is it going to take to make the American public see that they must take back the power in the US from the corporations? ”

      Well, that’s part of the problem. It’s not the corporations perpetuating the civil asset forfeiture (stealing). IT’S THE GOVERNMENT!

      Tar. Feathers. Politician or bureaucrat of your choice. Combine all ingredients and kick them to the curb.

    • 0 avatar
      VenomV12

      I am in the early stages of plotting leaving the hell that America has become. My plan is to be out of here in 5 years max, preferably sooner. I have lived in other countries when I was younger so I can leave here without a second thought. I have a lot of family in Canada and have been visiting there more often, going back again this weekend. I might split my time between Canada and the Caribbean or maybe go to Australia, just somewhere else in general. I might have to check out Mexico also, what does the average bribe run by the way?

      I have one neighbor who got so sick of America a couple of years ago that one day that he literally came home, got a U-Haul truck, packed it up and he and his wife left for Canada that day. Left the house sitting, still here sitting unoccupied, never rented, never put up for sale, and never looked back and sold off his and her offices. That was a beautiful thing to watch, brought a tear to my eye.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        I’m sorry to say my comment disappeared into the vastness of the ttac lost-comments trash bin.

        In short, many retired military guys choose to live overseas permanently when married to a lady from one of those countries. I have friends of my age group and vintage who retired from the US Air Force (or US Army) and moved to Mexico, the Philippines, Germany, England, the Netherlands, South Korea, Japan, Thailand, etc.

  • avatar
    chicagoland

    Don’t let the door hit you on the way out, ;-)

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      +1, came back to say this

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        You guys are much too harsh on the choices that others make. My guess is that expats enjoy a much better lifestyle than we in America. If they didn’t, they would be back here in no time.

        My Canadian-born brother-in-law and my American-born Israeli brother-in-law both maintain dual residences in their respective countries. Happens all the time.

        All it takes is money.

        Lots of people I know married to Mexican ladies live in both Mexico and El Paso, TX.

        Not a big deal. A large number of Americans live in foreign countries by choice like Belize, Barbados, Honduras, Argentina, etc to where their area is almost exclusively American. Remember McAfee? Very similar.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Another comment lost to the ttac void. And I can’t repost.

        Just wanted to say, a large number of Americans live overseas or in another country and they enjoy a much better lifestyle that we in America do.

        If they didn’t, they’d be back here in a heartbeat!

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      I find the thought of a disgruntled conservative running off to Canada to be pretty damned hilarious.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        … and then turn around shaking his finger from across the border telling his family, friends and neighbors what’s wrong with them and how they should fix it

        Coward!

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          “telling his family, friends and neighbors”

          That would be neighbours, eh?

          Between the socialized medicine, higher taxes, lower incomes, and gun control, it sounds like hell on earth for an earnest Republican.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            No, the ones he left behind were neighbors. I was going to say former, but his family and friends would still be his family and friends no matter what country he lived in.

      • 0 avatar
        VenomV12

        Are you speaking to me, because I am neither Conservative nor Republican, I am not even American.

    • 0 avatar
      VenomV12

      I don’t know if you are speaking to me, but even if you are not, what is the point of a comment like yours, I don’t get these pointless bravado type of comments? A country is just that, a country, somewhere to live, somewhere to hang your hat. Individuals work, pay taxes and spend money, they pay the bills of many people, not the other way around. The person leaving the country loses nothing, just replaces one bed with another, no big deal.

      Maybe it is from living all over the world but I just don’t get the whole obsession with allegiance to a particular country or state? Does flying an American flag or Texas flag bring you any sort of extra benefits in life? It makes as much sense to me as people getting all rabid over sports teams or anything else that they don’t make money from and often pay money for. For example, if the Patriots win or lose the Superbowl, I don’t care, I am not Tom Brady, it makes me no money and does not pay my bills. It gets even worse with the masses of sad sacks that are obsessed with universities and their sports programs but have never once ever taken a class at that university or any university for that matter.

      So other than making yourself feel like some sort of Internet tough guy, you telling me or anyone else to “don’t let the door hit you on the way out” is nothing more than empty, meaningless words. People move everyday and people die everyday and the world goes on. If I need to see anyone that is important, I can get in a car or plane and go see them and vice versa.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    Charlie ;

    Fear is not an American value .

    Neither is quitting .

    -Nate

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