Thursday, October 02, 2014

Voter Fraud is Happening Across the Country!

Voter fraud is real and it is happening all across the country. While there are always exceptions to the rule, these are predominantly Liberal Democrats who are breaking our immigration laws and trying to swing elections.

First, there is the story of Miss Christina Ayala, a State Representative in Connecticut who was arrested on Friday for 19 counts of voter fraud. Her crime? She allegedly voted all across the state, including districts that she did not live in. Not surprisingly, Ms. Ayala is a Democrat, a member of the Party that believes it is racist to check IDs before allowing people to vote…

Then there’s the group the New Georgia Project, a liberal organization that is currently under investigation for voter fraud. Their mass-registration efforts have come under increased scrutiny and an investigation is ongoing. Add it to the list of liberal organizations that have to cheat in order to compete.

And thirdly – and this is a big one – the liberal group Battleground Texas was caught on videotape failing to take action when confronted with an admission of voter fraud! An undercover volunteer lied to the staff and told them that she had broken multiple election laws. Instead of reprimanding her and turning her over to authorities, the liberal group swept it under the rug… ON CAMERA! This is the same group that was caught registering people to vote and copying registrant data for campaign purposes…

These are just three instances of the types voter fraud that are taking place across the country. This isn’t limited to just Red or Blue states… it is happening everywhere.

And unless we act now and demand a national Voter ID system, these Liberal voter fraud campaigns will continue!

All of this is happening while a political fight rages in Ohio over the state’s voting scheme. Prior to this year, Ohioans were given 35 days of early voting.

This right there is a problem. When most states are limited to voting on just one day, or by absentee ballot, Liberals have given Ohioans the ability to vote in SEPTEMBER for an election in November!

No wonder Ohio went to Obama the last two elections. There were Liberal organizations paid to spend a whole month getting-out-the-vote. Perhaps these Ohio groups were like their Texas counterparts who were caught handing out Cocaine in exchange for Democratic votes!

This year, the Ohio legislator changed the state’s election laws to reduce the early voting window from 35 days to 28 days. The argument was pretty logical: If the election is on November 4th, no one needs to be casting a ballot in September.

The case went back and forth through the lower courts until the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 to allow the changes to remain in place, at least temporarily.

All across the country, liberal activists are violating election laws while simultaneously claiming it is racist to demand a photo ID in order to cast a ballot. They claim that this amounts to racism and discrimination.

The only problem is that practically EVERYONE has a photo ID. You need photo identification to board an airplane, rent an apartment/apply for a mortgage, open a bank account, and to apply for government assistance programs like food stamps and Medicaid. You need a photo ID to drive a car, buy cigarettes or alcohol, receive medical treatment at a hospital, and buy a firearm. You need a photo ID to buy cough medicine, get married, travel abroad, and to get a job.

The list goes on and on…

You can’t survive in America without a photo ID and that is why states like Texas offer new photo IDs for free to those in need.

It isn’t racist to ask a voter to prove their identity, especially when you have liberal groups going around and bribing people to vote with beer, cigarettes, and even Cocaine!

It isn’t discrimination to ask people to prove their identity, given the fact that we hear stories every year of deceased individuals casting ballots!

The facts are on our side. Voter fraud does exist and when you have important elections decided by just 500 votes (as was the case in 2000 with Florida), we cannot afford to just sit back and watch as our Republic is hijacked!

I had to pay $100 to take a firearm class and then another $150 to apply for my right to bear a concealed firearm in public. By the left’s standards, this should be unconstitutional. Forcing anyone to spend upwards of $250 to exercise a Constitutional right is ridiculous.

If, as the Liberals claim, it is allegedly unconstitutional to force someone to show an ID at the ballot box, then it should be unconstitutional to be forced to show an ID when carrying or purchasing a firearm!

If this truly was a Constitutional argument, then you can’t have one without the other.

But this isn’t about Constitutional rights. This is about the Liberals trying to steal elections. This is about keeping the door wide open so that illegal aliens can vote and so that Democrat groups can bribe people with Cocaine to vote a certain way.

The Supreme Court’s ruling is definitely a good start, but we need to make sure that photo ID is REQUIRED across the country in order to vote.

Cough syrup is apparently too dangerous to buy without an ID, but we are talking about electing the men and women with their fingers on the button and the power to end life on this planet at any given time. The least that we can do is make sure that these politicians aren’t elected fraudulently!



Time to Change Course: Stop Letting Police Seize Property from Innocent People

“[Civil Asset Forfeiture] should be abolished.”  That’s the considered opinion of the two men — John Yoder and Brad Cates — who, in the 1980s, oversaw the development of federal civil asset forfeiture as a tool to combat organized crime and the drug trade.

Forfeiture does not apply to organized crime or drug crimes alone; some 200 other crimes now render individuals’ property subject to seizure.

At the time, forfeiture seemed eminently reasonable. Drug kingpins were making millions from criminal enterprises that banked on addiction and suffering. Whether because they lacked enough evidence to convict kingpins or for tactical reasons, law enforcement officers settled for hitting them in the wallet by seizing money and property traceable to illegal activity.

But three decades later, asset forfeiture’s biggest targets aren’t kingpins; it’s the cash found during routine traffic stops for small-time infractions. As Yoder and Cates point out, forfeiture does not apply to organized crime or drug crimes alone; some 200 other crimes now render individuals’ property subject to seizure.

And most troubling of all, in most states and under federal rules, a citizen’s cash, car and other property can be taken without law enforcement having to charge or convict the owner of a crime. In fact, to get property returned, owners usually have to prove their innocence.

That’s what happened to grocery store owner Terry Dehko when the IRS showed up at his store, accused him of the crime of “structuring” and seized his entire bank account. IRS agents were more willing to put Dehko into bankruptcy than to consider the possibility that his reason for making frequent sub-$10,000 cash deposits was perfectly innocent and reasonable: His insurance covered only up to $10,000 in cash losses from robbery.

One need not be an expert to see the perverse incentives built into a system that pins officers’ continued employment or advancement on their ability to seize cash and property.

And then there’s the Caswell family, who had owned Motel Caswell since 1955. Federal officials tried to seize the motel from the Caswells because some small percentage of occupants had, over the years, been arrested for criminal activity while staying there. A successful seizure would have represented a huge financial windfall for law enforcement. In May, Caswell sold the property for $2.1 million after beating the seizure, but if law enforcement officials had their way, that money would have gone to them rather than the Caswells’ retirement.

These stories are the tip of the iceberg, and both the Dehkos and the Caswells were fortunate to have pro bono legal representation from the Institute for Justice. Many others are not as fortunate and have to make do with cutting deals that allow police to keep part of what is seized, or lose it altogether, simply because getting a lawyer is often more costly than the value of what was taken.

Law enforcement agencies have become increasingly beholden to the financing civil forfeiture provides, allowing them to purchase equipment and finance special task forces outside the scope of the regular political process. One need not be an expert to see the perverse incentives built into a system that pins officers’ continued employment or advancement on their ability to seize cash and property.

Reform is clearly imperative. Sensible reform should preserve the ability of law enforcement to go after true criminal masterminds and drug kingpins but still protect innocent citizens from abusive practices. For example, breaking the profit motive by preventing law enforcement from keeping what it seizes would go a long way toward stopping the rampant use of civil forfeiture against ordinary citizens.

Another possible reform is to increase protection for property owners by raising the burden of proof and placing that burden solely on the government.

Congress also could require law enforcement to charge property owners with a crime — and convict them — before proceeding with a forfeiture action. If prosecutors fail to do so within a reasonable period of time, law enforcement should be required to return the seized property.

Finally, a practice known as “equitable sharing,” in which local and state law enforcement officers seize property and then refer forfeiture actions to federal authorities in return for a portion of the resulting proceeds, encourages state and local authorities to do an end-run around some state laws that limit the ability of local authorities to seek forfeiture and to keep the resulting proceeds. This practice should be severely curtailed or eliminated.

In recent weeks, both Rep. Tim Walberg, R-Mich., and Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., have introduced legislation in Congress to reform federal forfeiture laws along the lines outlined above. In support of his bill, Walberg recently took to the floor to criticize the lack of due process protections in federal forfeiture laws. A number of states have recently taken up the mantle and passed reforms as well.

Just last week, Rep. Scott Garrett, R-N.J., and Rep. Tony Cardenas, D-Calif.,introduced H.R. 5502, the House version of Paul’s legislation. In other words, bipartisan reform looks like a real possibility in this Congress or the next.

But as lawmakers debate the “how” of civil forfeiture reform, one thing is absolutely clear: The path forward cannot be the status quo.



The myth of the “Food Deserts”

Not mentioned below is that many of the "desert" areas DO have food shops, just not supermarkets.  Small ethnic shops --  "bodegas", Korean shops, Indian shops etc are there but not used by all because poor people tend to be conservative in their food choices

Most journalists aren’t aware of this, but “food deserts” in the United States are a hoax.

A food desert has been arbitrarily defined as an area in which at least 20 percent of the households have incomes that put them below the federal poverty line, before receiving any welfare benefits or considering public transportation options or the existence of grocery delivery services, where the nearest grocery store is more than a mile away in urban areas or more than 10 miles away in rural areas.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture produced the following map to describe the areas where food deserts meet its definition:

What most journalists don’t realize is that the concept of a food desert originated with a study in 2006 funded by the LaSalle Bank of Chicago, which was then the largest business lender in the city.

That’s important because, as a business lender, the bank would profit from the solutions most likely to be implemented by politicians seeking to rectify the “crisis”: building more grocery stores.

That inherent conflict of interest came to a head in Portland, Oregon, where the residents of such a food desert successfully fought against having a grocery store put in their community to “fix” their neighborhood’s food-desert crisis. Gawker‘s Vann R. Newkirk II explains, starting with the role of one of Chicago’s more preeminent former citizens in promoting the concept of food deserts as a crisis requiring government action:

"In previous efforts to promote her “Let’s Move” campaign, First Lady Michelle Obama lauded mayors for easing zoning and permit requirements for grocery stores to move into food deserts. One of her stated goals of the program is “to bring grocery stores and other healthy food retailers to underserved communities all across the country.” Obama’s campaign to get people moving, increase awareness about nutrition and get farmers markets to disadvantaged areas was so politically safe—and universally accepted as necessary—that she remains easily one of the most favored public figures in this country, despite being married to one of its least. Locally, across several large metropolitan areas, efforts to move grocers and farmers markets near poor neighborhoods have often been met with wide acclaim. These were the rare policy options that worked in a free market system and helped increase quality of life for disadvantaged communities. Slam dunks, they seemed.

But the evidence that grocers and farmers markets actually irrigate food deserts never came. In fact, the actual existence and mechanisms of food deserts have been questioned. The developing body of research has suggested over the past few years that while spatial access to groceries is a factor, economic and cultural access are more important. As Betsy Breyer, a researcher from Portland State University noted, “I don’t think the [food deserts] idea captures the full spectrum of food access possibilities and problems in poor communities.” In many cases, even building expensive stores directly next door to poor people, while solving the “food desert” issue from a definitional perspective, actually does little to help the underlying problem. Public perception and policy, however, have been retreating from the woefully inadequate but somewhat compelling conclusions about nutrition justice at an absolutely glacial pace.

The conflict between public policy, perception and local facts and realities came to a head in national news when earlier this year residents of a once-predominantly black neighborhood in Portland successfully rallied against the building of a Trader Joe’s on a vacant lot in the area. Many folks were baffled. Why wouldn’t people in this place labeled as a clear food desert rejoice at the fact that they could get great groceries (and tasty cookie butter) right down the street? But what outside viewers and eager Traderites willfully ignored was that many citizens were deathly afraid of gentrification and being displaced from their own neighborhoods in a city well-known for aggressive gentrification, much of which had involved early incursions by large chain grocery stores.

Breyer said that in the case of Trader Joe’s in Portland, the food desert concept was “used as an excuse to push an agenda that had nothing to do with food access for low-income communities” and had more to do with providing a rationale for securing access to cheap, promising real estate for developers and, eventually, the chain. The lower-income inhabitants of the neighborhood had figured out what policymakers and informed citizens across the country hadn’t: that the courtship dance with grocery stores was a dance with death for the people that needed the groceries most. The jig was up."

Solving the “problem” of food deserts was never the point of the government programs supposedly established for the purpose of eliminating them. The purpose of these programs is and always have been to benefit the crony capitalist industrial complex of banks, real estate developers, and corrupt politicians.

Never mind the interests of those who would rather not have their tax dollars fund such follies or see their already debt-burdened government borrow large amounts of money to solve problems that really never existed in the first place.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated) and Coral reef compendium. (Updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten.

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