“To say that anit-gun paranoia is out of hand in some of our large cities is an understatement. That’s particularly so in Washington, D.C., where one would expect that the local officials would have actually read the Constitution (since it’s showcased right there in the city), the levels to which the police are willing to go to persecute gun owners is simply astounding. Today’s shining example of the idiocy of D.C.’s gun laws and the danger they pose to the American people comes to us via Emily Miller at washingtontimes.com. . .”
Mark Witaschek, a successful financial adviser with no criminal record, is facing two years in prison for possession of unregistered ammunition after D.C. police raided his house looking for guns. Mr. Witaschek has never had a firearm in the city, but he is being prosecuted to the full extent of the law. The trial starts on Nov. 4.
After entering the house, the police immediately went upstairs, pointed guns at the heads of Mr. Witaschek and his girlfriend, Bonnie Harris, and demanded they surrender, facedown and be handcuffed.
His 16-year-old son was in the shower when the police arrived. “They used a battering ram to bash down the bathroom door and pull him out of the shower, naked,” said his father. “The police put all the children together in a room, while we were handcuffed upstairs. I could hear them crying, not knowing what was happening.”
The police found no guns in the house, but did write on the warrant that four items were discovered: “One live round of 12-gauge shotgun ammunition,” which was an inoperable shell that misfired during a hunt years earlier. Mr. Witaschek had kept it as a souvenir. “One handgun holster” was found, which is perfectly legal.
“Police in many parts of the United States are routinely seizing cash and valuables from citizens without arrest or trial. Worst of all, police officers in Texas and Virginia have actually been stopping motorists and seizing their cash.
Having a large amount of cash on you or in your car is now apparently a crime in some parts of the United States. Worse, laws set up to seize cash from drug dealers are being used to seize money from people stopped for minor traffic violations.
A disturbing article in The New Yorker magazine mentions several instances of police seizing cash from citizens. The cops used a legal doctrine called forfeiture to seize the cash. The frightening thing is that the cash and valuables can be taken without an arrest or even criminal charges. They can simply seize it on probable cause and in many cases that have nothing to do with drugs.”
“In what is as close to saying ‘trust us, we’re from the government,’ as it gets; President Obama’s traitor-identifying, blame-pointing, cover-your-assing speech on Friday has done nothing to end the supposedly “critical NSA counter-terrorism tool,” from being used on American citizens. People of America should be relieved, as the President stated unequivocally that he is “comfortable that the program is not being abused.” If only American citizens were able to see all the moving pieces, Obama implied, they would say “you know what? These [government] folks are following the law,” but because the program remains classified, it remains impossible to know what is really going on. Reassuring rhetoric aside, as the AP notes, Obama offered these inspiring words regarding the ongoing concerns that law-abiding citizens may still have beyond his assurances: “I would be worried too, if I weren’t inside the government.” Another teleprompter-less glimpse of what he really thinks? Perhaps; but for now, the NSA will continue to sweep phone records of all Americans with the possibility of creating similar databases of credit card transactions, hotel records, and Internet searches.”
Via Zero Hedge
“The Postal Service takes pictures of every piece of mail processed in the United States — 160 billion last year — and keeps them on hand for up to a month.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said the photos of the exterior of mail pieces are used primarily for the sorting process, but they are available for law enforcement, if requested.
The photos have been used “a couple of times” by to trace letters in criminal cases, Donahoe told the AP on Thursday, most recently involving ricin-laced letters sent to President Barack Obama and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
“We don’t snoop on customers,” said Donahoe, adding that there’s no big database of the images because they are kept on nearly 200 machines at processing facilities across the country. Each machine retains only the images of the mail it processes. “
“The control freaks are out of control. Once upon a time America was “the land of the free”, but now it has become “the land of the bureaucrats”, and these bureaucrats are absolutely obsessed with watching, tracking, monitoring and controlling virtually everything that you do. Last month, I wrote about how the Obama administration forced a small-time magician out in Missouri to submit a 32 page disaster plan for the little rabbit that he uses in his magic shows for kids. A lot of people thought that story was quite humorous, but the examples in this article are not so funny. In recent days we have learned that the government is monitoring just about everything that we do on the Internet, and we have also learned that a couple of innocent Google searches can result in armed government agents pounding on your front door. If you do not believe this, read on…”