Land of the free? Hardly.

With all the issues our government could legitimately be addressing, would it surprise you to know it’s tied up contesting whether or not a couple score classic Land Rovers are legally here in the U.S.?  The simple waste of government resources (time and manpower) would be bad enough.  But these vehicles were seized from their owners — who had no idea why the government even cared — in armed raids.  You know, the kind of SWAT action that has now become as American as apple pie and baseball.

Jennifer Brinkley had a typical summer morning planned on July 15: get up, get dressed, and take her son to tennis practice. That changed when six body armor-clad Department of Homeland Security agents and local police officers showed up at her North Carolina home and blocked her driveway. They were there because of an arbitrary law promulgated 26 years ago to guard the prerogatives — and profits —of automakers and car dealers. Specifically, they were there to take Brinkley’s truck.

They wouldn’t even tell me why it was being seized,” said Brinkley, who lives near Charlotte. Though she didn’t understand what was happening, she reluctantly complied with the agents’ request. “If you’re a law-abiding citizen, what can you do?” she said.

Around 6 a.m. that same day in Yakima, Wash., and Mobile, Ala., Homeland Security agents and police came to the homes of Mike Rodeiger and Jack Montgomery, respectively, with warrants that ordered more truck seizures. Montgomery, an attorney, said they threatened to arrest him for obstruction of justice if he or his family took photos of them.

“It was disgusting,” said Montgomery, an attorney who asked Jalopnik to alter his last name for this story, out of fear that the incident could harm his legal practice. “It’s beyond weird. Weird would be a nice word for it. This is thuggery.”

There is nothing about owning a vehicle that can justify heavily armed paramilitary agents showing up unannounced, with all the risks that entails to both the citizens and the agents.  As you read the entire article, think carefully about the fact the government currently is trying to expand its regulatory power still further: this time, over the Internet.  And note this: the FCC has refused to release their proposed regulations to the public before voting on them.  Like Obamacare, the attitude seems to be that they have to pass the bill so we can find out what’s in it!

Government of the people, by the people and for the people?  That’s so 19th Century!  Know your place, peasants!!  Your betters know better!

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