By Claire Bernish – June 8, 2016
As if civil asset forfeiture, where police can seize your property without having to prove you actually committed a crime, wasn’t contentious enough already, a new device allows the Oklahoma Highway Patrol to steal money directly from your bank account — on the spot.
And it’s already in use.
The Electronic Recovery and Access to Data Machine, known by the acronym ERAD, can scan your bank account and prepaid cards, giving OHP instant access to the balance — and the funds — if a trooper believes the money is tied to a crime. OHP rolled out 16 ERAD devices in May, and unsurprisingly, has already employed the technology.
You don’t even have to be charged with a crime to be a victim of these badge-wearing armed robbers — which makes OHP’s new ERAD device an astonishing prospect.
“We’re gonna look for different factors in the way that you’re acting,” Oklahoma Highway Patrol Lt. John Vincent told local News 9. “We’re gonna look for if there’s a difference in your story. If there’s some way that we can prove that you’re falsifying information to us about your business.”
What Vincent seems to be saying is OHP will try its damnedest to find a reason to rob you at gunpoint.
“If you can prove that you have a legitimate reason to have that money it will be given back to you. And we’ve done that in the past,” Vincent added.
This reasoning turns the very concept of innocent until proven guilty on its head. And State Sen. Kyle Loveless said cases where police abused this new system have already come to light, including single mothers, a cancer survivor who had their medication seized, a Christian band, and a number of other completely innocent people.
“We’ve seen where the money goes and how it’s misspent,” Loveless said.
In fact, this is intensified policing for profit. News 9 obtained a copy of the contract between the state and ERAD Group, Inc., which shows Oklahoma paying “$5,000 for the software and scanners, then 7.7 percent of all the cash the highway patrol seizes.”
But law enforcement obstinately claims this isn’t about the money.
“I know a lot of people are just going to focus on the seizing money,” Vincent stated the obvious. “That’s a small thing that’s happening now. The largest part that we have found … the biggest benefit has been the identity theft,” he added without further explanation.
Controversy over civil asset forfeiture (CAF) surrounds the fact law enforcement is under no obligation to prove the property it seizes could in any way be tied to criminal activity. Once police have your property, most departments are free to essentially divvy it up amongst themselves.
Countless cases dot headlines around the country evidence thousands of innocent people as victims of this financial terrorism perpetrated by the government. Police even managed to ‘seize’ $53,000 from a Christian band, an orphanage, and a church.
Earlier this year, one of the creators of CAF tellingly called for the program to be abolished — and though it was briefly suspended, the Dept. of Justice allowed CAF to resume in April.
Sen. Loveless feels a conviction should be necessary for police to seize money using ERAD, and plans to introduce legislation.
“If I had to err on the side of one versus the other, I would err on the side of the Constitution,” he explained. “And I think that’s what we need to do.”
Claire Bernish writes for TheFreeThoughtProject.com, where this article first appeared.
1. The Universal Law of Harmony
This law supersedes even the fundamental law of Karma, for harmony is the supreme potential of balance. The purpose of Karma is to attain harmony. If you throw a rock into a pond you disturb the harmony of the pond, you are the cause, the effect is the splash and the ripples that flows out and back until harmony is restored. Similarly, your disharmonious actions flow out into the Universe and back upon you, lifetime after life time, until eventually your own harmony is restored.
2. The Law of Reincarnation and Karma
Until you have resolved your Karma and fulfilled your Dharma, which are the deeds you must do, you will continue to reincarnate into sequential lifetimes upon the earth. Neither God nor the Lords of Karma bestow suffering upon you during these lives, you and you alone decide what you most need to learn in your earthly sojourns, and for each life experience you seek out other souls, often with shared histories, and always with Karmic configurations matching your needs. Whenever you act with intention you create Karma. Actions are considered to be thoughts, emotions, words and deeds, and the motive, desire and intent behind each. Disharmonious acts must be balanced in the future in this life or in a future lifetime, to have Soul growth.
3. The Universal Law of Wisdom, wisdom erases Karma
If you have the wisdom to learn your lessons through love and wisdom you can mitigate your suffering. Sadly, we seem to learn the fastest through pain, through directly experiencing the consequences of our actions. As an example, you greedily take from others, and instead of learning through wisdom and love that this is wrong, you have to experience from others by someone greedily taking from you, whether later in this life or in a future lifetime.
Example: In your last life you were married to a Soul who is your mate today and whom you cruelly left for another in that previous lifetime. Before you were born into your current life, you agreed to be left by your mate, under similar circumstances. This will allow you to balance your Karma and directly experience the pain of abandonment. If through the wisdom of Master-Life-Awareness it is easier to detach consciously from the relationship with love, you will ease the pain of parting while also passing your own test, and thus absolving Karma and evolving from within.
4. The Universal Law of Grace
Karma can be experienced to the letter of the law or in mercy and grace. In other words if you give love, mercy and grace to others, you will receive the same in return.
5. The Universal Law of Soul Evolution
Everyone on Earth shares the goal of Soul evolution whether they realize it or not. We have reincarnated because we desire to evolve spiritually. By rising above all of our fear based emotions and in so doing learning how to express unconditional love we raise our vibrational rate, and move closer to a state of harmony. Even where it appears that we are not evolving we are in reality making progress. We learn through the pain of our disharmonious acts, which can be viewed as our mistakes or failures. This is the law of Soul evolution.
6. The Universal Law of Bodhisattva
Bodhisattva is a Sanskrit term commonly accepted by most Metaphysical adepts today. It means one who has transcended the need of Earthly incarnations but who has chosen to return to the earth to support others in achieving enlightenment. A Bodhisattva knows he will never really be free until all souls are free. Most serious students of metaphysics have entered the Bodhisattva Development Stage of their evolution.
7. The Universal Law of Vibrational Attainment
The entire Universe operates on the same principle of vibrational energy. When Einstein discovered that “matter is energy” he opened the door to merging science and metaphysics. The scientists have proved that energy cannot die, it can only transform (reincarnate), and, by its very nature, energy must go forward or backwards, it cannot stand still, for to do so is stagnation, resulting in transformation. You are energy. Your skin, which appears solid, is actually trillions of swiftly moving molecules orbiting each other at a specific vibrational rate; a physical life rate you have earned in the past as a result of how harmoniously or disharmoniously you have lived your past lives and your current life up until this moment in time. When you are harmonious for a lifetime, you will have attained the highest vibrational rate, the God level.
8. The Universal Law of Free Will
The law of free will operates in three ways.
1. Although many of the major events in your life are Astrologically predestined, you always have free will to mitigate the impact of the event, or to transcend it entirely. This will result from how you live your life up to the situation you have destined for yourself to experience. If you give grace and mercy to others, are positive, loving, compassionate and demonstrate by your actions that you have learned past lessons, you can minimize disharmonious experiences!
2. As you obtain Master of Life awareness and develop conscious detachment, you will be far less affected by worldly events than in the past. A Master of Life enjoys all the warmth and joy that life has to offer but detaches from the negativity by allowing it to flow through him without affecting him.
3. You always have free will in how you respond to any situation. If you respond with positive emotions, compassion and integrity, you will have probably learned your Karmic lessons and will not have to experience a similar situation in the future.
9. The Law of One
Every Soul, living and discarnate, is connected at the level of the collective unconscious, deep within the Higher-Self. We are all part of a great energy gestalt called God, and because we are part of God, we are God. It is the goal of the gestalt to move the energy forward, creating more energy. So, in living harmoniously, we each increase our vibrational rate and intensify the vibration of the entire gestalt. When we are disharmonious, we decrease the vibration of the entire gestalt, because we are one, everything you think, say and do, affects every other Soul.
10. The Universal Law of Manifestation
Everything manifest begins as a thought, an idea. Ideas and experiences create beliefs which in turn, create your reality. If you are unhappy with your current reality, you must change your beliefs and your behavior. Beliefs can be changed when you recognize those that are not working for you and begin programming what will create success and harmony in your life. The unlimited creative power of your mind, through dedication, awareness and training, can be the wisdom to rise above your Karma. Within physical and spiritual laws, you can manifest any reality you desire to experience. In regard to changing your behavior, you must decide which disharmonious behavior you want to eliminate. Then be aware that you don’t have to change how you feel about something to affect it, if you are willing to change what you are doing.
11. The Universal Law of Conscious Detachment
Buddha’s earthly teachings are best summarized with one of his statements, “It is your resistance to what is, that causes your suffering.” and by suffering, he meant everything that doesn’t work in your life; relationship problems, loss of loved ones, loneliness, sickness, accidents, guilt, monetary hardship, unfulfilled desires, and so on. When you accept what is, you accept the unalterable realities in your life without resisting them. Some things are facts. They exist, and no matter how much you resist them, there is nothing you are going to be able to do about them. Change what you can change, but have the wisdom to accept unalterable situations as they are, without wasting mental or physical energy attempting to change what you cannot change. Out of acceptance comes involved detachment. The ability to enjoy all the positive aspects of life, but to allow the negative to flow through you with out resistance and without affecting you.
12. The Universal Law of Gratitude
From the perspective of Karma and the Law of One, the more you give, the more you will receive. The more you assist others, the more you will assist yourself. The power of this Law also works in your day-to-day life.
13. The Universal Law of Fellowship
When two or more people of similar vibration are gathered for a shared purpose, their combined energy directed to the attainment of that purpose is doubled, tripled, quadrupled or more. This esoteric awareness has been used by covens, esoteric religions, healing groups, and recently, worldwide meditations for world peace.
14. The Universal Law of Resistance
That which you resist you draw to you, and you will perpetuate its influence upon your life. Resistance is fear, so it is something you need to Karmically resolve. The Law of Resistance assures that you let go of the fear by encountering it until you are forced to deal with it by learning conscious detachment.
15. The Law of Attraction
“Where your attention goes, your energy flows.” You attract what you are and that which you concentrate upon. If you are negative, you draw in and experience negativity. If you are loving, you draw in and experience love. You can attract to you only those qualities you possess. So, if you want peace and harmony in your life, you must become peaceful and harmonious.
16. The Universal Law of Reflectionis
This Law says that the traits you respond to in others, you recognize in yourself, both positive and negative. It has four primary manifestations:
1. That which you admire in others, you recognize as existing within yourself.
2. That which you resist and react to strongly in others is sure to be found within yourself.
3 That which you resist and react to in others is something which you are afraid exists within you; and,
4. That which you resist in yourself, you will dislike in others.
In other words, you have chosen to incarnate upon the manifest plane to learn to rise above the effect of fear. Those fears will always be reflected in your reactions to others. Thus your goals are very obvious once you recognize how to perceive them. As you let go of the fear, you automatically open to expressing more unconditional love.
17. The Universal Law of Unconditional Love
The expression of unconditional love will eventually result in harmony. Unconditional love is not romantic love. It is the acceptance of others as they are without judgment or expectations. It is total acceptance of others without attempting to change them, except by our own positive example. The law of unconditional love says, “If you go out of your way to express unconditional love, you automatically rise above fear, and, as you transcend your fears, you automatically open to the expression of unconditional love.
18. The Universal Law of Magnetic Affinities
By Astrologically choosing the time and place of your birth, you determine the nature or the effects you will experience in your life. On the other side, before we are born, we make decisions about the lifetime we will be entering into. You chose your parents, other souls to interact with you, and the Astrological configurations of your birth which determine your character, personality, abilities, restrictions, and timing for strengths and weaknesses. If all of this seems too complicated to be real, be aware that you are only using five to ten percent of the capacity of your brain. And the brain-mind researchers say the human brain has 200,000 times the capacity of the greatest computer ever built. Such calculations as I’ve just described would be no problem for such a computer.
19. The Universal Law of Abundance
You have within yourself everything required to make your earthly incarnation a paradise if you choose to accept that which is your divine birth-right. We live in a Universe of abundance, although the majority of those populating our planet appear to view it as a Universe of scarcity.
20. The Universal Law of Divine Order
If you seek to understand the Law of Divine Order, study the natural balance of nature, for it works very much the same way. Everything is as it should be, although mankind (our energy gestalt) is far from experiencing its potential of total harmony. There are no accidents. Your energy, translated into thoughts, words, emotions, and deeds, causes all your experiences. This assures that you always have the learning opportunities you require to resolve your Karma, and, as with you, the collective thoughts, words, emotions, and deeds of mankind create the environment for us all. If enough souls focus their energy upon peace, we will have peace. If the majority of souls are filled with anger, all have to experience war. We are all one, and like the many sub-personalities within you, the dominant traits of mankind (the entire gestalt) will emerge to resolve our group Karma.
“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or Affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, quoted in full above, was written to guarantee what the Framers called “the right to be let alone,” and what we have come to call “the right to privacy.”
The Supreme Court has ruled consistently and repeatedly that its contemporary purposes are to prevent dragnets and fishing expeditions, lest the rights of the innocent be assaulted along with those of the guilty.
The American people know that the trade-off of liberty for safety is a ruse. It may make the job of spies easier, but it surely doesn’t make us safer or more free.
In fact, when enforced, it compels all in government to show some evidence of guilt before a judge can authorize the secret or forceful seizure of private information from or about you.
In criminal prosecutions, when the government fails to follow the Fourth Amendment, the courts discard whatever evidence has been offered that is the fruit of those failures.
Thursday morning, the American people awoke to learn of the most monumental, gargantuan violation of American values in our history.
We learned, according to published reports, that the Obama Department of Justice, the same folks who improperly seized emails from Fox News and telephone conversations from the Associated Press, has nearly half of all adult Americans in its cross hairs.
We learned that the DoJ sought a search warrant for every phone call of every customer of Verizon in the United States, without showing evidence of guilt against anyone.
Verizon reports that it has 113 million customers and handles one billion telephone calls in America every day.
Since at least April 25th of this year, every one of those calls had the names of the callers and all persons on the calls, their telephone numbers, their locations, and the length of the calls identified and sent directly to the National Security Agency–America’s domestic spies–on a daily and an on-going basis.
When caught red handed Thursday morning, the feds asked us to trust them when they proclaimed that they are only monitoring the calls, they are not actually listening to them.
Who would trust them?
The Constitution doesn’t trust them. We have not seen as broad and wide and deep a violation of the Fourth Amendment in our history. But thanks to the Patriot Act–that’s the Bush-era statute that lets federal agents write their own search warrants in blatant violation of the Fourth Amendment–the feds went to a secret court and asked and received a warrant unknown to history and unheard of in its scope to monitor the behavior of nearly half the nation; and they did so without telling us.
Who would trust them?
Everyone who works for the government has taken an oath to uphold the Constitution. The Constitution is the supreme law of the land. It was written to create the federal government and to keep it off the people’s backs. It is now in shambles.
Who would trust them?
President Obama, who must have approved of this, Attorney General Holder, who must have authorized it, and U.S. District Court Judge Roger Vinson who signed an open-ended search warrant ordering it are so blind to personal liberty in a free society that they are unworthy to hold their offices.
They have unleashed spies upon half of us, and upon our doctors, lawyers, judges, police, elected officials, generals, admirals, troops, journalists, and neighbors; they have even unleashed spies on the White House staff, the Supreme Court, and the CIA.
Enough is enough.
Today, the American people know that the trade-off of liberty for safety is a ruse. It may make the job of spies easier, but it surely doesn’t make us safer or more free.
Breaking down doors in the night and arresting bad guys on a whim might make us safer, but who would want to live in such a society?
What is the value of the Constitution if the government can violate it on such an unimaginable scale, and get away with the violations?
Shortly after the Constitutional Convention completed its work in Philadelphia in 1787, legend has it that a vagrant approached Benjamin Franklin and asked him what the Convention produced. He reportedly answered “A republic, Sir, if you can keep it.”
Thursday morning we learned that the Republic has been lost. It is now a dictatorship.
Andrew P. Napolitano, a former judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey, is the senior judicial analyst at Fox News Channel. Judge Napolitano has written seven books on the U.S. Constitution. His latest is “Theodore and Woodrow: How Two American Presidents Destroyed Constitutional Freedom.”
- Obama’s legacy: Domestic spying scandal that could prove greater than Watergate, WikiLeaks (zdnet.com)
- The Fourth Amendment takes center stage during a tough week (constitutioncenter.org)