Thursday, March 31, 2011

There Be Pirates Here!

Letters of Marque! Letters of Marque? We don't need no letters of Marque!

LP Atlanta members Josiah Neff and Joey Kidd kicked an ant hill yesterday when they announced they'd signed articles with the guys and gals down at the Institute of Justice to pursue some info from their local government on forfeiture disposition. I was vaguely aware of the practice but while looking at the info at the Insitute, I was dumbfounded at the size and scope of this particular government enterprise.

The bottom line for Georgia's law enforcement enterprises is in the millions of dollars each year, and that's just their share of the table droppings from the Federales operations in the ongoing War of,  War on Drugs. Lots of eye popping charts over at the Institute as well as first hand commentary and my favorite bit concerning none other than  DeKalb County's own Ex-Police Chief, Terrel Bolton:

In DeKalb County, Police Chief Terrell Bolton assigned 10 vehicles for his personal use, including a 2004 Range Rover valued at $32,000 and a 2006 Mercedes-Benz valued at $55,000. Both were acquired by civil forfeiture. Bolton explained that the vehicles were at his home because he feared another agency would take them and defended his weekend use of the vehicles by claiming it was needed to keep the batteries and tires in working order.

What a racket! And best of all it's legal basis is founded on 18th century maritime law formulated for use on that Scourge o' the Sea, freaking Pirates! No need to accuse a living, breathing, potentially lawyer employing citizen of a crime! Just accuse his car as they don't normally talk back or attempt to evade arrest. Arrest his car and you don't even have to read it that little Miranda card. Sweet!

I'm wondering. If Forfeiture laws based on piracy in the 18th century are the core of the War on Drugs, is it possible to obtain Letters of Marque and lawfully seize the prizes back from the cops? 


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Latest from Garland Favorito

My apologies to the readership about not posting the press release that Garland sent out about the Cobb SPLOST debacle, maybe I'll put it up over the weekend if I'm not elbow deep in the innards of the recently acquired Jeep Cherokee Sport. I just got this little nugget in the old email box and it's a shining example of how our public servants buy into the idea that rules are for those loser proletariats.

From the hardest working single issue activist in Georgia, Garland Favorito:

SOS Investigator for Alleged Cobb SPLOST Cover-up

Shoots Husband, Is Arrested for Drugs, Unauthorized Badge

KENNESAW, GA – Melissa Marlowe, an investigator from the office of the Georgia Secretary of State (SOS), was arrested this month after shooting her husband twice in the abdomen at their Kennesaw home. No charges have been filed yet in the shooting. Mrs. Marlowe was arrested for illegal possession of marijuana when Kennesaw police searched her home after the shooting. Police found marijuana, drug paraphernalia and an unauthorized DeKalb County Sheriff’s badge. Mrs. Marlowe never worked for DeKalb County law enforcement.

While the arrest has been reported locally, no reports have yet to identify that Melissa Marlowe was the individual assigned to investigate a case that some Georgia election integrity activists say resulted in major cover-up. That investigation involved the highly controversial 2005 Cobb County Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) referendum.

In 2005, the SPLOST referendum appeared on its way to defeat, trailing by several percentage points with just a few precincts left to count. But then unexplained transmission problems and reporting delays were encountered. The next day the SPLOST was declared victorious by a razor thin 114 votes out of 39,780 cast. The 2005 results show that 285 totally blank ballots were also cast. Activists contend that a software design flaw allows totally blank ballots to be cast rather than giving a voter the specific option of voting in one of the races or voiding the ballot. As a result, it is technically impossible to determine on Election Day whether the blank votes were omitted by the voters or the voting machines simply lost the votes during recording.

The topic of the SPLOST resurfaced at an SEB meeting several years later during public comments. After some critical comments, then Inspector General (IG), Shawn LaGrua, opened a case and assigned Melissa Marlowe to investigate. But Marlowe never contacted the individual who had complained and never investigated the transmission delays, reporting problems, vote accumulation or why the machines allow totally blank voted ballots to be cast. The complaining party, David Chastain, became so frustrated with the way the case was handled that he later decided to run for the office of Secretary of State.

Mrs. LaGrua, was the subject of several other complaints regarding improper investigation of cases related to Georgia’s unverifiable voting machines. Mrs. LaGrua eventually became the subject of dozens of Articles of Impeachment filed in the General Assemblyinvolving  these and other cases. Although her questionable practices were known to him, former Governor, Sonny Purdue, appointed her to serve as a Fulton County judge last year.

Mrs. LaGrua, a former Dekalb County Solicitor General, would have carried one or more badges similar, or identical, to the one found in possession of her former IG employee and acquaintance. Mrs. Marlowe used her service revolver to shoot her husband, Ryan, who has a previous criminal record. The necessity of why elections investigators need guns to perform their duties is unclear.

Media Contact:  Garland Favorito
Telephone:  (404) 664-4044

The Atlanta LP Files Suit!

Golly Gosh Batman, just what are you spending all that confiscated cash on?

Looks like the guys and gals over at the Libertarian Party  Atlanta affiliate are pretty damn serious about finding out and have joined a lawsuit to force the City of ATL to comply with existing law and inform the generally unconcerned public about what they're doing with all that cash and bling and property they've seized. It's supposed to run in the millions but nobody knows as the required reports on disposition aren't getting done.

Until now.

Kudos to the members of LP Atlanta for stepping up and using the system to fight the system. It's the best bit o' news I've heard this month. Here's the press release:


(ATLANTA, 3/30/2011) – Today, Libertarian Party of Atlanta members Josiah Neff and Joseph Kidd joined a lawsuit as co-plaintiffs against the Fulton County Police Department, the Fulton County Sheriff Department and the Atlanta Police Department.  The suit alleges that the law enforcement agencies named in the suit are violating requirements in state law to annually report and itemize all property obtained through forfeiture proceedings to local governing authorities. 

Neff and Kidd filed suit along with three other taxpaying residents of Atlanta and Fulton County to seek proper disclosure of property obtained by forfeiture.  The plaintiffs are not seeking any sort of monetary damages and are being represented by attorneys from the Institute for Justice. 

“As a resident of Atlanta and Fulton County, I believe agencies should comply with requirements to disclose the property they have seized and how those assets are being used,” said Neff.  He continued, “Our public servants have a duty to follow the law.”

“We continually hear how our local governments are being forced to cut public safety budgets, yet we have no accountability for how the police are using the property they obtain through forfeiture,” added Kidd.

Recent federal data shows agencies around Georgia obtaining millions through forfeiture, yet out of fifteen major agencies in Georgia, only one was able to produce the required report.  One example of questionable use was Camden County’s expenditure of $90,000 to purchase a Dodge Viper for the Sheriffs Department. 

The case is Van Meter v. Turner and was filed Wednesday in the Superior Court of Fulton County.

# # #

The Libertarian Party of Atlanta is committed to the establishment of liberty as the central focus of political debate.  As citizens of Atlanta, we primarily concentrate on the issues that directly affect our city, striving to bring liberty and individual freedom into focus for our local government officials.  We are an active group determined to make a difference.  If you believe in our mission, we want you join our team.
Brad Ploeger
Libertarian Party of Atlanta
404.939.0367 /

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Craigslist Newsbreak! The Flyest of the Freshcorts

It ain't always politics, baby.

I wish I'd written it.

Cars is cool.

The Flyest of the Freshcorts (Halfway down the qtr mile)

Date: 2011-03-22, 12:34PM EDT
Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]


Are you ready to look so fly and so fresh in the ride of your dreams? Then look no further for you have come across the baddest car in the nation.
exterior Features include:
Larger grille for more efficiant cooling during those mad sprints to 55 mph, Diamond-plate hood scoop for agressive appearance and huge increase in performance, Custom cold air intake, Custom high end exhaust by Folgers, its the best part of waking up, Custom paint to really intimidate your opponants, about 300hp worth of custom stickers have been applied, Stretigically placed rust holes for aerodynamics and weight reduction, Custom Spoiler by USPS and DUCK brand from high speed runs and increased gas mileage, Rear brake delete because Race cars dont need rear brakes, Custom oxidized headlights and third cyclops light behind the grille to really make the girls go wild!
interior features:
Custom racing seat covers jacked from a pontiac vibe, Custom painted Center counsel, clutch squeek to let you and your passengers know when your bangin' gears, Custom Air freshener chandaleir for a touch of class, dash mounted rearview mirror to really not see those people behind you, No headliner for weight reduction.
Call or Text One 51Seven 7fourfive 360one Dont let destiny pass you by. FRESHCORT LOVE!

  • Location: Halfway down the qtr mile
  • it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
image 2279802558-0image 2279802558-1

Monday, March 21, 2011

A Blast from the Past, circa 2009

You gotta love posters!

Here's one from way back when in 2009 when the spirit of Libertarian adventurism was strong in my heart and quite light on my wallet. I've seen a rash of "Old Boss, New Boss" quotes out there in FaceBookLand and thought I'd toss this out as a quick and dirty post to get back in the habit of cluttering up the blog-o-sphere once more.

I've read of late that blogging is now considered a defunct method of communication and that FaceBookLand and Twitter are the way to go, at least until next month when some new sort of commo system springs up in 4G HandsetLand and dooms Twitter to the dustbin of history. I'm quite confident that I'll miss the boat on the newest developments just like I failed to adapt well to FaceBook and never even looked into issuing "Tweets". Every time I see the word "Tweet" an image of Tweety Bird appears floating magically in the air and since that particular cartoon is on my top ten list of crap from Warner Brothers, I avoid it like the plague.

That's one of the problem's associated with being in the 50 something age group, there's lots of ash and trash scattered around the old brain pan from 5+ decades of existence here on Planet Earth. "New" stuff is constantly making links with the old stuff in my cranium and the result is some rather unpalatable combos. It's the curse of being on the cusp of the transition from the analog age of yore and todays 15 second digital world. So I'll stick with the archaic blog format for the present and once I achieve apprentice level skills with the redoubtable flipcam and related editing suites I may transition to that format as it does not involve spell check.

Old Boss, New Boss, Same Same, Higher, Higher, Baby!