The cops, I mean.
No pretext, just hand it over.
And now, here.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol is using a gadget called an Electronic Recovery and Access to Data Machine (ERAD – god, how the state’s thugs love their acronyms) to simply vacuum whatever money you happen to have on a prepaid gift card. The machine accesses your data – like a card reader at the cashier of any store/restaurant where you just bought something – and takes it.
All of it.
Without your having “bought” anything.
These thugs – literally, in the historic sense (see here about the infamous Thuggee Cult of India) simply steal whatever they wish, using threats of lethal reprisal to assure the cooperation of their victims, who are legally forbidden to defend themselves.
This is an outrage for which there are no words.
Screams are the only appropriate response.
And, perhaps, something more.
It may be time for that – god help us.
Mind, there is no conviction – or even accusation. Merely the thug-in-costume’s assertion that you – his victim – seemed (to him!) to be behaving “peculiarly.” Because no reasonable person would ever feel the slightest bit nervous and defensive, having just been waylaid by an armed thug with the legal power to simply strip him of his possessions and possibly his life, if he objects in any way.
How about women who “seem nervous” when confronted by a man who steps out of dark alley and throws a few questions their way?
We are truly through the Looking Glass. And it does not look good.
The chief thug – a creature calling itself Oklahoma Highway Patrol Lt. John Vincent – bared its fangs as follows”: “We’re gonna look for different factors in the way that you’re acting… we’re gonna look for if there’s a difference in your story… “
Not the italicized portions (leaving aside the usual illiteracy).
The creature adds:
“If you can prove that you have a legitimate reason to have that money it will be given back to you.”
I italicized the works. Do you savvy?
It is up to you to prove to the thugs that you’ve not committed a crime. That what you have is rightfully yours … not according to any defined/objective standard but according to how they feel about it…. or they’ll just take it and so much for due process or even common decency.
How does one prove that the $100 (or the $10,000) they have with them is “legitimate” to the satisfaction of a thug-with-a-badge who is the sole arbiter of what constitutes “legitimate”?
What about this hoary old business of having to establish that a person stole something before the state can steal from him?
It appears that the only safe way to travel in the land of the “free” is with no more than $20 in your wallet and leave the credit/debit cards at home.
Do not travel with prepaid gifts cards for the kids.
Something is more than slouching toward Bethlehem. Something is – I hope – about to rise in a rictus of rage. This cannot be allowed to go on.
Of course, it’s really nothing new.
The thugs-in-costume all around the country have been just taking people’s cash for years – the holding of “too much” or “excessive” cash by the victim being the only pretext necessary under the law to simply take it.
That is, to steal it.
Because Drugs (or just because).
But this is an escalation.
Most people don’t – out of prudence – normally carry large amounts of cash. Not that this justifies stealing it. But one can – one could – reduce the risk of being robbed blind by a costumed thug by not carrying cash.
But it’s damn near impossible to leave your house without cards in your wallet. To pay for things without needing to carry large amounts of cash.
Now that’s not safe to do anymore, either.
Also, these ERADs cost money – your money, as the taxpaying sheep who “helps” fund their acquisition by the thugs-in-blue. Now comes the incentive to use the new toys – to make as much use of them as possible.
To make them pay.
Each one reportedly costs $6,600 and the company that makes them scores 7.7 percent of the “revenue” generated. Policing for profit.
The mind boggles.
Consider that by using license plate scanners (read about that here) the thugs can immediately know whom to target – based on their bank accounts. Which are in your name. Like your car is. And your license plate number is tied to your Social Security number (which is never to be used for purposes of identification) … which is tied to your bank accounts…
Is it beyond the realm of plausibility to imagine what the state might do with such information?
When you buy prepaid cards, Uncle Knows.
Uncle also Knows what’s in your checking and savings account, too.
And now he knows he can just Hoover either or both – just because he can.
It is obscene.
But, “brave” and “free” Americans do not seem to object.
Perhaps they ought to.
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