Asset Forfeiture Panic of 1873


Here is the text of the Comstock law.
March 3, 1873, 42nd Congress, page 1873, amending the already harsh and lengthy postal monopoly law of June 1872, which allowed Comstock himself to meddle in the mail service….

CHAP. CCLVIII—An Act for the Suppression of Trade in and Circulation of, obscene Literature and Articles of Immoral use. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That whoever within the District of Columbia or any of the Territories of the United States, or other place within the exclusive jurisdiction of the United States, shall sell, or lend, or give away, or in any manner to exhibit, or shall offer to sell or to lend, or to in any manner exhibit or shall in any way publish or offer to publish in any manner, or shall have in his possession, for any such purpose or purposes, any obscene book, pamphlet, paper, writing, advertisement, circular, print, picture, drawing or other representation, figure or image on or of paper or other material, or any cast, instrument, or other article of an immoral nature, or any drug or medicine, or any article whatever for the prevention of conception, or for causing unlawful abortion, or shall advertize the same for sale, or shall write or print, or cause to be written or printed, any card, circular, book, pamphlet, advertisement, or notice of any kind, stating when, where, how, or of whom, or by what means, any of the articles in this section hereinbefore mentioned, can be purchased or obtained, or shall manufacture, draw, or print, or in any wise make any of such articles, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and, on conviction thereof in any court of the United States, or in any Territory or place within the exclusive jurisdiction within the United States, where such misdemeanor shall have been committed; and on conviction thereof, he shall be imprisoned at hard labor in the penitentiary for not less than six months nor more than five years for each offense, or fined not less than $100 nor more than $2000, with costs of court.

Mystical prohibitionism with guns

Previous Draconian law meddling in international communications

SEC 2. That section one hundred and forty eight of the act to revise, consolidate, and amend the statutes relating to the Post-office Department, approved June eighth, eighteen hundred and seventy-two, be amended to read as follows:
“Sec. 148. That no obscene, lewd, or lascivious book, pamphlet, picture, paper, print, or other publication of an indecent character, or any article or thing designed or intended for the prevention of conception or procuring abortion, or any article or thing intended or adapted for any indecent or immoral use or nature, or any written or printed card, circular, book, pamphlet, advertisement or notice of any kind giving information, directly or indirectly, where, how, of whom, or by what means either of the things before mentioned may be obtained or made, nor any letter upon the envelope of which, or postal-card upon which indecent or scurrilous epithets may be written or printed, shall be carried in the mail, and any person who shall knowingly deposit, or cause to be deposited, for mailing or delivery, any of the hereinbefore-mentioned articles or things, or any notice or paper containing any advertisement relating to the aforesaid articles or things, or any notice, or paper containing any advertisement relating to the aforesaid articles or things, and any person who, in pursuance of any plan or scheme for disposing of any of the hereinbefore-mentioned articles or things shall take, or cause to be taken, from the mail or any such letter or package, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and on conviction thereof, shall, for every offense, be fined not less than one hundred dollars nor more than five thousand dollars or imprisoned at hard labor not less than one year nor more than ten years, or both, in the discretion of the judge.”

[$5000 would in 1873 buy 221 oz of gold, today worth over $295,000]

SEC. 3. That all persons are prohibited from importing into the United States from any foreign country any of the hereinbefore-mentioned articles or things, except the drugs hereinbefore-mentioned when imported in bulk, and not put up for any of the purposes before mentioned; and all such prohibited articles in the course of importation shall be detained by the officer of customs, and proceedings taken against the same under section five of this act.

[asset forfeiture provision]

SEC. 4. That whoever, being an officer, agent, or employee of the government of the United States shall knowingly aid or abet any person engaged in the violation of this act, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and, on conviction thereof, shall for every offense be punished as provided in section two of this act.

SEC 5. That any judge of any district or circuit court of the United States within the proper district, before whom complaint in writing of any violation of this act shall be made, to the satisfaction of such judge, and founded on knowledge or belief, and, if upon belief, setting forth the grounds of such belief, and supported by oath or affirmation by the complainant, may issue, conformably to the Constitution, a warrant, directing him to search for, seize and take possession of any such article or thing hereinbefore mentioned, and to make due and immediate return thereof, to the end that same may be condemned and destroyed by proceedings, which shall be conducted in the same manner as other proceedings in case of
municipal seizure, and with the same right of appeal or writ of error: Provided, That nothing in this section shall be construed as repealing the one hundred and forty-eighth section of the act of which this act is amendatory, or to affect any indictments heretofore found for offenses against the same, but the said indictments may be prosecuted to judgment as if this section had not been enacted. APPROVED March 3, 1873.

Observe that here was a law inviting faith-based zealots to forcibly meddle in and make seizures against trade, production, healthcare, speech, writing, advertisement, seeing, reading, and even mailing a letter or postcard! Sure enough, BLAM! By the sheerest of coincidence (to GOP and Democratic Party eyes), the destruction of freedom engineered by the 1872 Postal Monopoly law morphing into the Comstock laws at federal and state levels immediately preceded the Panic of 1873 and a ghastly depression! The Kleptocracy spares no effort in coming up with alternative causation scenarios.

This sort of error was repeated in 1907 and  1927, was loudly publicized in 1929 and silently enforced in 1932, 1987 and 2007. Flash crash repetitions occurred in May of 2010 and March of 2015. Yet economist-impersonators lecturing at subsidized schools direct attention away from these sorts of correlations and the inductive temptation they entail. Some stock market investor or corner-seeking clique is instead singled out for blame, as in Farenheit 451.

The idea of fanatical Altrurian looters or faith-based zealots turning the police into a lynch mob capable of collapsing the economy is not allowed inside of government schools. Since learning from experience is discouraged by collectivist trompe d’oeil in History, to preclude repetition of such crashes and depressions, an Atlas Shrugged Amendment would serve just as nicely. The free trade amendment would make a nice cornerstone to the Libertarian Party Platform:

Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of production and trade.

The LP already appropriated the Non-Aggression principle as set forth by Ayn Rand in 1947–while minions of Hitler’s Socialist Altruria were stretching ropes at Nuremberg. That principle has served us well. The Republican Party has for decades copied the 1976 Prohibition Party platform plank urging a Constitutional Amendment, Why? To overturn the Roe v. Wade decision copied from the 1972 Libertarian platform. Republicans appropriated the Prohibition Party plank demanding physicians be constitutionally coerced in order that women shall not possess individual rights.

Need a translator able to research financial enactments and relate them to loss of freedom and financial disasters?

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3 thoughts on “Asset Forfeiture Panic of 1873

  1. Pingback: Six million pro-choice votes in 2016 | libertariantranslator

  2. Pingback: Individualism vs. Socialism | libertariantranslator

  3. Pingback: Libertarian Impersonator False Flag | libertariantranslator

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