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Will Jim Webb do the right thing?

I don't think this will surprise anyone, but now it's official: The gun that Senator Jim Webb's aide was arrested for carrying was, in fact, Webb's gun. Webb owes no one an explanation for why he felt the need to be armed, but I do agree with Glenn on one point. This would be an excellent opportunity for Webb to sponsor a national concealed carry bill. The federal government could formally recognize the right that forty states already have.

I'm not holding my breath for that, but I will be watching Webb's voting record on guns very carefully. I've always had a more or less positive opinion of Webb, who is easily one of my favorite Democrats in Congress. I want to see whether he'll continue in that vein, or simply become yet another hypocrite who thinks the rules shouldn't apply to him.


I agree. Actually there should be no need for a national concealed carry law, since gun ownership is a constitutional right, but given the way people like Bush continue to erode, obstruct, and destroy our constitutional rights, it is necessary to spell it out.

Next we can get habeas corpus back, and our rightful freedom from unlawful search and seizure -- destroyed by RICO and the (un)Patriot(ic) Act. Yeah JMK, I know they are big hits, but they are also both unconstitutional.

Warrantless wiretapping could be next! Hell, before you know it, this could be America again.

Bailey, I mostly agree with you, believe it or not, but I'd have to point out that habeas corpus, desirable though it is, is a constitutional privilege, not a right.

"Next we can get habeas corpus back, and our rightful freedom from unlawful search and seizure -- destroyed by RICO and the (un)Patriot(ic) Act. Yeah JMK, I know they are big hits, but they are also both unconstitutional." (BH)

Actually NEITHER is Unconstitutional.

RICO statutes are used to confiscate the property of those CONVICTED of various criminal enterprises. In that regard, RICO is designed to keep thugs from profitting from their crimes.

With few and and almost ALL successfully challenged exceptions, like the proverbial farmer whose property was attached for having a few marijuana plants growing on the property, the RICO statutes have served America well and they've withstood vigorous court scrutiny.

The Patriot Act is based on the legal presumption that "acts of terrorism are NOT crimes."

That is a sound legal position.

Terrorism is NOT a crime, it's a form of unconventional warfare and when supported by rogue nations (ie. Iraq, Afghanistran, Syria, Libya and Iran) those acts of terror constitute "acts of war/military aggression," by those sponsoring and supporting nations.

The fact that a bio-weapons lab that could produce weapons grade inhalation anthrax or a chemical weapons lab that could produce various vesicants, and even nerve agents, like Sarin, Tabun or VX can be set up for LESS than $5,000, makes the interdiction of potential terrorists a military priority...a priority that trumps and yes, can exclude suspected terrorists from some of those "rights," given their status as "enemy combatants," rather than "citizen criminals."

And those warrantless wiretaps helped nab Aldrich Ames (CIA) and Robert Hanssen (FBI), back in the late 1990s.

If they could be used by a less responsible administration (and they WERE, by the one in office from 1993 - 2001) then there should be no complaint about the current administration using them, either, shoudl there?

Webb is not a Democrat, but a Carpetbagger. He was a Republican who used the Iraq war as a one trick pony to get into the Senate under the guise of Democrat. I live in VA and read the Washington Post and some real Democrats' reactions to Webb replacing consistent Dem, Harris Miller. They weren't happy.
The only reason Webb won was the political clumsiness of Allen - who I voted for despite that overhyped macaca nonsense.
So far the only thing Webb seems to have done for my state is show he has an affinity for guns and avoidance for responsiblity. That's the impression I get. Up the concealed weapons law. Webb should get his onions roasted for allowing one of his employees to twist in the wind.

Posted by Rachel:

Webb should get his onions roasted for allowing one of his employees to twist in the wind.

Ah, Rachel, so absolutely correct and so impossible.

Think of the old adage of a tree falling in a forest. If no one hears it....

Don't expect the MSM to report on this.

It will be allowed to drift away.

Now, if it had been a Republican...well, we both know the answer, don't we?

If it had been a Republican all of the presidential candidates would be already be calling for Bush to pardon him or her for whatever they have done, even perjury and obstruction of justice ... which was oddly good enough for them to try and impeach Clinton.

JMK, you are once again either stupid or lying. Under RICO, the government confiscates money, property, or any other asset it likes ON SUSPICION, not conviction.

"When the U.S. Attorney decides to indict someone under RICO, he has the option of seeking a pre-trial restraining order or injunction to prevent the transfer of potentially forfeitable property, as well as require the defendant to put up a performance bond."

In other words, guilty before innocent, illegal seizure of assets, unconstitutional.

The "Patriot" Act allows the President to decide who is a "terrorist" or "enemy combatant" -- unconstitutional.

These aren't real hard, JMK. You are just a closet fascist without the closet.

”Under RICO, the government confiscates money, property, or any other asset it likes ON SUSPICION, not conviction.

"When the U.S. Attorney decides to indict someone under RICO, he has the option of seeking a pre-trial restraining order or injunction to prevent the transfer of potentially forfeitable property, as well as require the defendant to put up a performance bond."

In other words, guilty before innocent, illegal seizure of assets, unconstitutional.

The "Patriot" Act allows the President to decide who is a "terrorist" or "enemy combatant" -- unconstitutional.” (BH)

I understand your misconception BH.

Your quoted material does not imply confiscation prior to conviction and I’ll explain why; If Tiny the Biker puts up a Meth Lab in one of farmer Jones’ out-buildings and the FBI comes in and raids that lab, BOTH Tiny the Biker and Farmer Jones will be brought in, until it’s sought out how much (if any) involvement Farmer Jones had with Tiny the Biker.

If the DA decides to charge both, then they will seek an injunction against both Tiny the Biker and Farmer Jones, barring them from transferring title of their property for the express purpose of avoiding civil forfeiture.

If the state can’t prove that farmer Jones had any viable links to Tiny the Bikers Meth operation, then the charges against him will be dropped and his property will remain his own.

If Tiny the Biker owns the clubhouse and a home he inherited from a deceased aunt, but can show no legitimate means of support (other than that illegal meth lab), then he may very well lose those properties if convicted on the meth lab charges, under the RICO statutes.

Civil forfeiture laws have been in existence since the time this country was founded and existed under English Common Law, as well. An injunction against transferring title until the disposition of the case is determined is just common sense, otherwise, thugs would merely have to transfer title during the proceeding in order to avoid civil forfeiture.

Civil forfeiture laws are designed to keep thugs from profiting from their crimes. A few years back, some members of a KKK chapter were convicted of a series of violent crimes and they were convicted and the KKK’s property was attached under RICO and sold – some of the proceeds went to victim restitution, but that RICO prosecution did something else that was very good – it kept that particularly violent chapter of the KKK from operating effectively again.

Usually when a few members of a criminal organization are convicted, the others move up and onward and the criminal enterprise continues. When the financial infrastructure of such an organization is taken away, that’s made much more difficult, which I presume we all see as a very good thing.

Civil forfeiture is also he principle behind the “Son of Sam Law” that bars convicted felons from writing books and making money from their retelling of their crimes. All such proceeds are confiscated and fo toward vicim's services.

And the Patriot Act does NOT allow the President to determine who is and who is not a “terrorist,” nor an “enemy combatant,” law enforcement does that – for instance, Jose Padilla was declared a terrorist/enemy combatant because he went to an Afghan terror training camp. That coupled with the plans he had on him, when arrested, made that determination possible.

Again, the Patriot Act is predicated upon the sound legal position that acts of terrorism are NOT mere “crimes.” All that legal precept does is to put public safety ahead of the rights of suspected terrorist's.

Again, just common sense jurisprudence.

Hadn't seen that much about Webb from any local sources, so that's an interesting take Rachel.

I agree that he shouldn't have let his assistant take the hit for having Webb's gun.

I kind of figured that Allen was done after the "maccaca" line, not because it appeared "racist," I don't believe it was, BUT he came across as arrogant in that incident.

George Allen Jr didn't help himself much in that campaign, the guy I felt bad for was Michael Steele....he ran a great campaign against a career political hack and lost.

It'll be interesting to see how the Dems deal with the likes of Webb, Tester, Casey, Schuler and the many other "Blue Dogs" they recruited last election.

Oh, yes, let's make it safe everywhere to carry concealed weapons. College campuses, high schools.. So what if teacher misplaced her handgun! Everybody is packing anyway.

The only exception, of course, are NRA conventions where carrying guns are not allowed because.. well.. if everyone was armed someone might get hurt.

Yes indeed, concelaed weapons on college campuses--maybe Ok for Liberty University but concealed guns in the hands of immature, booze-soaked, drug-addled, 20 year olds who see themselves as invincible? Great idea.

I'm not sure where you and PE came up with this whole "college campus" red herring, because I never mentioned it. I just think it would be cool if the federal government would follow the lead of all but a handful of states and adopt a "shall issue" policy nationwide.

The vast majority of the 40 concealed-carry states still place restrictions on firearms in schools, so I wouldn't worry too much about "immature, arrogant, booze-soaked, drug-addled, 20 year olds." Anyway, my guns have been in the hands of an immature, arrogant, booze-soaked, drug-added forty year old for years now, with no ill effect whatsoever, so I don't know what you're bitchen about.

Precisely the reason I DON'T carry or own a gun: because I'm an immature, arrogant, booze-soaked, drug-addled, 45 year old.

JMK, if confiscating property goes back to English Law and has always been part of our legal system, why did law enforcement need RICO?

Because you are full of shit.

The government confiscates, and even uses, the property of people never convicted of any crime, all the time, under RICO. The abuses of RICO are endless, exactly as the founding fathers would have predicted.

Being a fascist, you think that those enforcing the law can always be trusted. The founding fathers knew better.

Then again, you aren't really into the whole America thing, are you?

Indeed, BH, civil forfeiture has been a part of American civil law since its founding.

And, as I carefully showed you, RICO does NOT allow for "confiscation prior to conviction." What RICO did was to bring civil forfeiture into play in various criminal cases.

Just as a homeowner can be sued for failing to clear up a dangerous condition on their property, a crinal or criminal organization can now be held civilly accountable for their mayhem.

As you're well aware, law enforcement is a very necessary part of governance, unlike social welfare programs.

Confiscating the ill-gotten gains of hardcore thugs via RICO statutes IS certianly an "ALL American" idea. It's allowed WTC families to sue various terror-linked organizations, allowed our government to freeze the funds of foreign governments accused of sponsoring terrorism and it's allowed victims of notorious criminal like David ("Son of Sam") Berkowitz to confiscate any and all monies he'd garners from the sale of any books, movies or TV deals based on his story.

If you don't think those things are great (they are), just ask all those victims of the KKK who got some measure of fiscal restitution from the RICO-based confiscation of that organization's properties.

The controversy over RICO statutes is that much, if not most of the monies taken in under that program have gone to local law enforcement, creating an unintended incentive for some locales to push for RICO forfeitures too aggressively. The courts have done a very good job of reining in over-zealous prosecutors, in those instances.

As I said, I can understand your confusing that issue and wrongly re-framing it as "confiscation prior to conviction," which is, of course, NOT a part of RICO and never was.

"confiscation prior to conviction" is in fact ALL RICO IS. That is the very point of RICO, and nothing else.

It has not been applied only to mafia and thugs, of course. It has been used because the sheriff likes some punks new car. Toss a join in the front seat and it is all yours! Yes, the police do use confiscated property.

Stick your head back in the fascist sand and keep hating America as it was intended.

I've proven to you that RICO statutes require a conviction before the confiscation of property occurs.

"Under RICO, a person or group who commits any two of 35 crimes — 27 federal crimes and 8 state crimes — within a 10-year period and, in the opinion of the United States Attorney bringing the case, has committed those crimes with similar purpose or results can be charged with racketeering.

"Those found guilty of racketeering can be fined up to $25,000 and/or sentenced to 20 years in prison. In addition, the racketeer must forfeit all ill-gotten gains and interest in any business gained through a pattern of "racketeering activity."

"When the U.S. Attorney decides to indict someone under RICO, he has the option of seeking a pre-trial restraining order or injunction to prevent the transfer of potentially forfeitable property, as well as require the defendant to put up a performance bond. This provision was placed in the law because the owners of Mafia-related shell corporations often absconded with the assets. An injunction and/or performance bond ensures that there is something to seize in the event of a guilty verdict."

You understand, of course, that a judicial sanction AGAINST transferring title UNTIL the disposition (that's "outcome" to you) of the case determined is NOT "confiscation," right?

When thugs (violent drug dealing gangs, domestic terrorists like ALF & ELF, race-based violent gangs from the KKK to the Black Israelites, to organized crime) are CONVICTED of various crimes and their actions can be shown to be part of a "organized criminal enterprise," the assetts of that group can be confiscated upon conviction.

Of course, the courts WILL NOT allow anyone CHARGED with such a crime under the RICO statutes transfer title to avoid that civil forfeiture...that's merely precautionary, the title is still retained by the original owner UNTIL conviction and the determination of what portion of the property will be attached (that's "confiscated" to you).

In fact, in RICO cases, "There must also be an "enterprise." The defendant(s) are not the enterprise, in other words, the defendant(s) and the enterprise are not one and the same. There must be one of four specified relationships between the defendant(s) and the enterprise." That means that the kid busted with a joint in his car, or the farmer nailed for a couple marijuana plants on his property are NOT subject to the RICO statutes.

Stop arguing over something you obviously don't fully understand.

As I said, I DO recognize where you made your error, confusing the controversy over the potential of RICO to create "incentives" for local law enforcement and victim's rights groups, BUT no, that's NOT about "confiscation prior to conviction" - NEVER happens, end of story.

Dear Dumbass:

Law as a Weapon: How RICO Subverts Liberty and the True Purpose of Law


Once again, you fall on the side of a all-powerful fascist regime.

Even that article does not claim that RICO allows for "confiscation prior to conviction," and THAT Barely, is the issue at hand.

The fact is that organized crime has been using legitimate businesses to launder money for years and RICO allowed it to go after those businesses, yes, even those forced into such alliances, for the purpose of subverting organized crime's influence.

The writer of that article disagrees with the stated aims of RICO, but unlike yourself, makes no claim that RICO statutes "allow for confiscation prior to conviction."

My objection is NOT with your opposing RICO, merely your mis-characterizing it.

That's why I keep setting the record straight on that point. You must be convicted under RICO before your property can be attached/confiscated.

Whoops! I forgot who I was dealing with.

To make it more clear, here is what your own article acknowledges about RICO (that is that you must be convicted BEFORE confiscation of property occurs);

Once there were only three named federal criminal acts: treason, piracy, and counterfeiting. Now there are thousands of federal laws and regulations, and the violation of any one of them, no matter how unintentional and harmless the transgression, can lead to years of imprisonment for the convicted person.

”The growth of the federal criminal code has come in the wake of attempts by politicians and federal bureaucrats to “do something” about perceived crime rates, to stop illegal drug use by Americans, and to punish individuals who engage in “whitecollar” crime. In the process of expanding the federal role in identifying and prosecuting “criminal” behavior, however, the federal government has become a formidable conviction and imprisonment machine.

To achieve its objective of preventing the infiltration of legitimate businesses by organized crime, RICO gave the government sweeping new powers, including the power to freeze a defendant’s assets at the time of indictment and confiscate them after conviction.

As I noted, the courts WILL freeze your assetts to make transfer of title impossible upon indictment, BUT the owner STILL OWNS that property until or unless he/she is CONVICTED under RICO.

God you are tiresome. The article gives clear examples of the government seizing all the assets of RICO victims so that they can't even mount a defense.

confiscate: To seize by or as if by authority.

So, under RICO, they "freeze" (seize by authority) your bank account and all assets. You have no money, house, car, or anything. You can't defend yourself, even if you are utterly innocent.

The burden of proof is not the customary criminal burden of proof. Stop cherry picking, stupid.

Just admit that you support all forms of fascism, glue your little mustache beneath your nose, and go listen to Rush.

Barely surrender now, please....for the sake of your own dignity. Just accept that you initially mis-spoke and move on.

In your second post in this thread you clearly said, "Under RICO, the government confiscates money, property, or any other asset it likes ON SUSPICION, not conviction"

That is patently UNTRUE...and I've proven that in painstaking detail. In fact, you've proved it yourself, with the very article you posted (thankyou very much).

When a court issues an injunction barring the owner from transferring title that is (1) NOT a confiscation/seizure, as the private citizen still maintains ownership of that property and (2) NOT done "on suspicion," but upon indictment by a Grand Jury.

It seems as if you're now falling on the defense of, "But I'm Barely Hanging and I'm so stupid that I don't know the difference between "confiscation" and "freezing assetts," or between "suspicion" and "indictment." They're all such big words, don't they all mean the same thing?"

No Barely, they DON'T mean the same thing at all.

And while I accept your "dumbness defense" (you ARE pretty dumb), you didn't attempt to make any semantic argument until....well, until about, now.

In either case you're wrong.

You may very well NOT understand the not so subtle difference between indictment and suspicion or between a confiscation or TAKING and an injunction barring the transfer of title, or "freezing one's assetts in place," but as they say, "ignorance is no excuse...for, in this case, making a poor argument."

Under a RICO indictment the COURT (NOT law enforcement) CAN freeze any assetts determined by the court to be "ill-gotten gains," - that's profits from a criminal enterprise to you, Barely. ALL other assetts owned by the defendant are left unfrozen.

Again, that is a very necessary precaution, as criminals tend to do crazy shit like transferring such property to their wives, or children in order to avoid confiscation and while I'm sure you'd find that hard to believe, they really do things like that! It's a riot!!!

And the article you posted that lamented RICO being used against white collar goons like Bosky and Milliken is pathetic in its opinion, BUT at least they both understood (unlike yourself) that "RICO gave the government...the power to freeze a defendant’s assets at the time of indictment and confiscate them AFTER conviction.

Over 80% of Americans revile white collar thugs and WANT them punished harshly....even more harshly than they've been to date. Bosky and Milliken looted thousands of investors, looted pension funds, etc. and they're defended by folks like Bill Anderson and Candice Jackson....and now YOU.

And so you post an article by a couple of dopes who lament the government having "sweeping new powers" to go after such thugs!!!

New crimes require new laws....that's how the law evolves Barely.

Post 9/11 phoney charities became the focus of attention. Until recently there have been no laws requiring that a certain percentage of the proceeds of any charity go to that cause and some unscrupulous goons used that to set up bogus charities like the UFFA Widow's and Children's Fund (very close to the legitimate UFA Widow's and Children's Fund) and pocket 98% or more of the proceeds for themSELVES.

Because there were no existing laws against that, it was abhorrent yet perfectly legal. Your friends Bill Anderson and Candice Jackson (who wrote that article) would apparently lament any new laws that would enable law enforcement to go after such phoney charity scammers and "bring them to justice," just as they lamented RICO being used against the likes of Bosky & MIlliken.

Most Americans DON'T lament such new laws, because we WANT those perps punished and we WANT their ill-gotten goods confiscated to pay for victim restitution and more law enforcement.

Look, you claimed that "RICO allows government to confiscate property based only on suspicion," and you were wrong.

You mis-spoke, but your insisting on defending that obviously erroneous position moves you past the realm of "mistake," or "mis-speak" and into the far murkier waters of "blatant stupidity" and "batshit craziness," and while those are hardly unchartered waters for you, they're places I figure you might like to avoid...at least as much as is possible in your case.

To confiscate is NOT to transfer ownership. Shame on you for trying to redefine a word instead of accepting your loss. To confiscate is to take possesion of. How does the government keep RICO victims from using their bank accounts, cars, boats, planes, houses, etc.? Ohhhhhh, they take possession of them, don't they? When you go to use them, they stop you. They remove them from your possession, and put them in their possession, don't they?


God JMK, you are getting more pathetic every day.

Once again, you're now wrong on yet ANOTHER aspect of RICO, as RICO does NOT allow the COURTS to freeze ALL assetts, just those that are considered by the court/judge "ill-gotten."

Look it up....I already have.

Under a RICO indictment, a judge decides which assetts are "ill-gotten gains" and freezes only those.

The FREEZING of assetts is NOT a TAKING or "confiscation," not even close, as I've carefully explained to you.

My explanation and your subsequent defense of that erroneous position pretty much bars you from now attempting to retreat to a semantic position - ie. "But I'm Barely Hanging and I'm so stupid that I don't know the difference between "confiscating property" and "freezing ill-gotten assetts." "

See what I mean?

Your initial responses made clear you UNDERSTOOD some difference between the two, but insisted stupidly, that "RICO allows the government to confiscate cash, homes, cars...whatever it likes, based only on suspicion."

As the article that YOU posted correctly asserted RICO allows the government to "confiscate them (ASSETTS) AFTER conviction."

Again, as I said YOU'RE wrong on TWO counts: (1) RICO does not allow for confiscation prior to conviction and (2) RICO allows government to do NOTHING based on suspicion - it allows a COURT to freeze suspected ill-gotten gains" upon a Grand Jusry Indictment (NOT suspicion)...and confiscate those assetts only upon CONVICTION.

I asked you before to "surrender," by which I mean just leave this thread. You've foolishly said "Under RICO, the government confiscates money, property, or any other asset it likes ON SUSPICION, not conviction," and I've proven that that statement is wrong on TWO counts, (1) freezing suspected ill-gotten assetts (so that stolen monies can't be transfered, moved out of the country or used to pay for the legal defense of the thief) is NOT "confiscation," in fact, it's NOT even close to "confiscation," AND (2) actual CONFISCATION of ill-gotten goods can only take place AFTER CONVICTION, NOT, as you've claimed, "based on suspicion."

Wrong on RICO...wrong on H-1B Visas...Barely, you've been pretty much wrong on EVERYthing!

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