Don't Be Fooled by the Latest Coverup of Legalized Governmental Theft

The government is absolutely brilliant when it comes to making dramatic and life-altering laws sound so boring you'd rather get a root canal than figure out what they really mean. So it's no surprise people's eyes glaze over at the mention of "civil asset forfeiture." Call it something else --- legalized governmental theft --- and they just might perk up.

Don't think it exists? Just ask Lyndon McClellan, whose bank account of more than $107,000 was seized by the IRS in 2014. As the owner of a convenience store in Fairmont, North Carolina for over a decade, the IRS deemed McClellan's frequent cash deposits evidence of criminal activity, and a good enough reason to take his money --- even though he was never charged with a crime.

If it could happen to McClellan, it could happen to anyone.

Here are some facts you should know about how the government lawfully takes property from innocent citizens.

What Is It?

According to the Institute for Justice, civil asset forfeiture is the process by which the government takes and sells someone's property without ever convicting them with a crime, and "one of the greatest threats to property rights in the nation today."

They go on to describe how these cases proceed under the "legal fiction" that cash, cars or homes can be "guilty," leading to some bizarre case names such as, "United States v. 434 Main Street, Tewksbury, Mass." Because these cases are technically civil actions, property owners are not considered eligible to receive standard protections merited to criminal defendants, such as an attorney and a trial.

How Did It Start?

The roots of civil asset forfeiture laws date back to the 1600s in England, eventually making their way into colonial law, which earns them one of the longest running legal legacies on record. Popularized during the prohibition era and used sparingly in the 20's and 30's, these laws temporarily fell out of favor until the drug wars of the 1980s.

What's the Argument for Keeping It?

Some people --- particularly in law enforcement --- love the program and will fight tooth and nail to not only keep it but expand its use even further. Those in favor see it as a way to stop drug cartels and limit the ability of drug dealers and "bad hombres" to engage in illicit business.

The Federalist Society makes these points in favor of the law:

The government also uses forfeiture to take the profit out of crime, and to return property to victims. No one has the right to retain the money gained from bribery, extortion, illegal gambling, or drug dealing. With the forfeiture laws, we can separate the criminal from his profits --- and any property traceable to it --- thus removing the incentive others may have to commit similar crimes tomorrow. And if the crime is one that has victims --- like carjacking or fraud --- we can use the forfeiture laws to recover the property and restore it to the owners far more effectively than the restitution statutes permit.

Does the President Support It?

While addressing a group of sheriffs earlier this month, President Donald Trump appeared to fully endorse civil asset forfeiture. After one sheriff opined about a troublesome bill seeking to abolish the practice in Texas, Trump demanded the name of the person introducing the bill and said, "We'll destroy his career."

In all fairness to President Trump, he did not appear to have prior knowledge about the program. If you watch this video, Trump seemed to ask plenty of questions with the intent gaining a greater understanding, but he only got the law enforcement's version.

What's the Argument for Abolishing It?

This argument seems simple --- the government should have to prove wrongdoing before being able to seize someone's money, car, home or any other asset. The Foundation for Economic Education made this point:

In poor nations, a corrupt cop will stop motorists to shake them down for pocket change. In the United States, we’ve legalized a bigger version of that sleazy behavior.

Who Is Opposing It?

Some politicians, including Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI), have taken a strong stance against civil asset forfeiture. After Trump's statements, Amash came out with the following response:

President Trump today endorsed stealing property from law-abiding Americans who haven't been charged with --- let alone convicted of --- any crime. He also said, "We'll destroy his career," about a conservative Texas state senator who opposes this unconstitutional civil asset forfeiture.

My staff and I will work to introduce a bill to end civil asset forfeiture. I always will stand up for limited government, economic freedom, and individual liberty. And I always will keep my oath to support and defend the Constitution.

What Is Glenn's Point of View?

Glenn shared his thoughts on the civil asset forfeiture on his February 13, 2017 radio program, in light of news coverage of President Trump's meeting with sheriffs. Below are excerpts from his monologue:

Civil asset forfeiture --- we talked about that last week. But we didn't talk about what that was about. We've been very concerned. And if you are a conservative and you're suddenly not concerned about this, ask yourself why.

Because we were all very concerned when this was happening under Barack Obama. And no matter what anybody tells you, it is not good. If we don't put a fence around this and make sure that it is only used for what it was meant to be used for.

And, quite honestly, I have a problem with it, even the way it was meant to be used.

It means that you don't even have to be charged with a crime, let alone found guilty. Charged with a crime. And the police can come in and take your stuff, seize it, claim it to be theirs, sell it, use the money any way they want, and you have no recourse.

Unfortunately, it's happening to regular people.

If it happens to one person, it needs to be guarded against. And it's happened to several people. I'm going to give you some examples coming up in a second. But it's happened to several people. And it has to be guarded against and stopped.

Listen to more from Glenn's radio program here.

Acclaimed environmentalist and author of "Apocalypse Never" Michael Shellenberger joined Glenn Beck on the radio program Wednesday to warn us about the true goals and effects of climate alarmism: It's become a "secular religion" that lowers standards of living in developed countries, holds developing countries back, and has environmental progress "exactly wrong."

Michael is a Time "Hero of the Environment," Green Book Award winner, and the founder and president of Environmental Progress. He has been called a "environmental guru," "climate guru," "North America's leading public intellectual on clean energy," and "high priest" of the environmental humanist movement for his writings and TED talks, which have been viewed more than 5 million times. But when Michael penned a stunning article in Forbes saying, "On Behalf of Environmentalists, I Apologize for the Climate Scare", the article was pulled just a few hours later. (Read more here.)

On the show, Micheal talked about how environmental alarmism has overtaken scientific fact, leading to a number of unfortunate consequences. He said one of the problems is that rich nations are blocking poor nations from being able to industrialize. Instead, they are seeking to make poverty sustainable, rather than to make poverty history.

"As a cultural anthropologist, I've been traveling to poorer countries and interviewing small farmers for over 30 years. And, obviously there are a lot of causes why countries are poor, but there's no reason we should be helping them to stay poor," Michael said. "A few years ago, there was a movement to make poverty history ... [but] it got taken over by the climate alarmist movement, which has been focused on depriving poor countries, not just of fossil fuels they need to develop, but also the large hydroelectric dams."

He offered the example of the Congo, one of the poorest countries in the world. The Congo has been denied the resources needed to build large hydroelectric dams, which are absolutely essential to pull people out of poverty. And one of the main groups preventing poor countries from the gaining financing they need to to build dams is based in Berkeley, California — a city that gets its electricity from hydroelectric dams.

"It's just unconscionable ... there are major groups, including the Sierra Club, that support efforts to deprive poor countries of energy. And, honestly, they've taken over the World Bank [which] used to fund the basics of development: roads, electricity, sewage systems, flood control, dams," Micheal said.

"Environmentalism, apocalyptic environmentalism in particular, has become the dominant religion of supposedly secular people in the West. So, you know, it's people at the United Nations. It's people that are in very powerful positions who are trying to impose 'nature's order' on societies," he continued. "And, of course, the problem is that nobody can figure out what nature is, and what it's not. That's not a particular good basis for organizing your economy."

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:

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Dr. Voddie Baucham, Dean of Theology at African Christian University in Lusaka, Zambia, joined Glenn Beck on the radio program to explain why he agrees with Vice President Mike Pence's refusal to say the phrase "Black Lives Matter."

Baucham, who recently drew national attention when his sermon titled "Ethnic Gnosticism" resurfaced online, said the phrase has been trademarked by a dangerous, violent, Marxist movement that doesn't care about black lives except to use them as political pawns.

"We have to separate this movement from the issues," Baucham warned. "I know that [Black Lives Matter] is a phrase that is part of an organization. It is a trademark phrase. And it's a phrase designed to use black people.

"That phrase dehumanizes black people, because it makes them pawns in a game that has nothing whatsoever to do with black people and their dignity. And has everything to do with a divisive agenda that is bigger than black people. That's why I'm not going to use that phrase, because I love black people. I love being black."

Baucham warned that Black Lives Matter -- a radical Marxist movement -- is using black people and communities to push a dangerous and divisive narrative. He encouraged Americans to educate themselves on the organization's agenda and belief statement.

"This movement is dangerous. This movement is vicious. And this movement uses black people," he emphasized. "And so if I'm really concerned about issues in the black community -- and I am -- then I have to refuse, and I have to repudiate that organization. Because they stand against that for which I am advocating."

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

We're going to be doing an amazing broadcast on Thursday, July 2nd, and we will be broadcasting a really important moment. It is restoring truth. It is restoring our history. It is asking to you make a covenant with God. The covenant that was made by the Pilgrims. And it's giving you a road map of things that we can do, to be able to come back home, together.

All of us.

And it's never been more important. Join us live from the Standing Rock Ranch on Blaze TV, YouTube and Facebook at 8:00 p.m. Eastern time on Thursday July, 2nd and restore the hope in you.

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On last week's Wednesday night special, Glenn Beck revealed where the Black Lives Matter organization really gets its funding, and the dark money trail leading to a cast of familiar characters. Shortly after the program aired, one of BLM's fiscal sponsors, Thousand Currents, took down its board of directors page, which featured one of these shady characters:

Ex-Marxist professor and author of "Beyond Woke," Michael Rectenwald, joined Glenn Beck on the TV show to fill us in on the suspicious change he discovered on the Thousand Currents webpage and the Communist terrorists who is now helping run the organization. (Fortunately, the internet is forever, so it is still possible to view the board of directors page by looking at a web archive from the WayBack Machine.)

Rectenwald revealed the shocking life history of Thousand Currents' vice chair of the board, Susan Rosenberg, who spent 16 years in federal prison for her part in a series of increasingly violent acts of terrorism, including bombing the U.S. Capitol building, bombing an FBI building, and targeting police for assassination.

"Their whole campaign was one of unbelievably vicious, murderous cop killings, assassinations, and bombings," explained Rectenwald of Rosenberg's terror group known as the May 19th Communist Organization or M19.

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:


Glenn's full investigation into the dark origins of the funding behind Black Lives Matter is available for BlazeTV subscribers. Not a subscriber? Use promo code GLENN to get $10 off your BlazeTV subscription or start your 30-day free trial today.

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.