28 March 2020

[Perrin Lovett @ PerrinLovett.me] - Goodbye, Public Schools?

Editor, Freedom Prepper 

Maybe the best thing that has come out of the Corona hoax is the closure of the government’s “schools.” They’re done for the 2019-2020 year and it’s possible that they might not return this fall. Good riddance.
Allegedly, the kiddos are “learning” remotely. I guarantee that 90% of them haven’t even logged in since they left the prison halls a few weeks ago. And the prisons are beginning to drop all of their precious tests, now existing only to deliver lunches and host neighborhood parades.
Georgia school officials took steps Thursday to scrap final exams and relax a wide range of other accountability rules for the state’s nearly two million public-school students who have been out of class since last week due to the impacts of coronavirus.
I realize this may hamper my efforts to ridicule low scores for this year, but hopefully, this is the end of the “schools” so that will no longer be necessary.
For the other ten percent, and parents, you are essentially homeschooling. You might as well make that permanent. Kara Stiff offers some words of encouragement to that end.
My heart goes out to all the parents who were never planning to homeschool, but nevertheless find themselves teaching their children at home today. I chose this beautiful, crazy life, and I completely understand why some people wouldn’t choose it. But here we are. We have to do what we have to do. You don’t want them to fall behind. You don’t want to lose your mind.
Believe it or not, it’s a golden opportunity.
Read the whole thing, but remember that it is almost impossible to fall behind what the inmates have left. Take advantage. After their parades, and if there is any money left in the coming years, maybe some of the good teachers could involve themselves in true education.
### 

27 March 2020

MBM - The #COV, CBD & The Last Ride of Big Government on the Great American Scream Machine

I had a feeling hours ago. After all the texts & phone calls.

Especially after the messages from my "dear" friends...

+++

Conyers, GA jumped the shark today, and if all is holy they -will- pay "dear" consequences...

But we don't care about Conyers.

I should've known that it was cover-up for a bad thing from the beginning...

The City of Covington - led by Fleeta Baggett Smith, Don Floyd & Steve Horton - has just enacted full-on socialism in the home city.

The businesses in the Central Business District will be getting all employees paid good, government money; the rest of y'all can suck it!

Just remember the driving force on this thing, and the money behind it (per our info - John Bezborn & Mystic Grill) - and NEVER FORGET!

SMH, indeed...

Lord help us all.

- MB McCart

26 March 2020

Kayla's Corner: Stay Positive; Stay Vigilant & Remain Respectful

Hey everyone, and welcome back to the Corner.  




The Piedmont Chronicles - Your Source for the REAL Story 



Most know I'm known for writing about local & fun news, social gathering spots, restaurants and more. Unfortunately, because of the Coronavirus, most gatherings and events have been postponed. I will try to get the new dates on all of them as they become available.


I wanted to take this time to reach out to everyone to let y'all know that I am praying for a better tomorrow. I am aware that everyone is facing troubles right now, as I completely understand and am as well . I just want to remind everyone that we have to try to stay positive, stay vigilant, and remain respectful. 

When I say to stay positive, I simply mean try to look at the glass half-full. If you can, try do it for yourself and also do it for others. Just like a virus,I believe energy can also be transmitted to another. Spread the positive energy if you can and try to be thankful for what you  have.

STAY VIGILANT.  Your surroundings, Everything You Touch, Is important right now. Make sure to be aware of your surroundings and how to handle them with care. Ask yourself should I be wearing gloves before touching this? Should I sanitize my hands before or after?if The answer is yes, then do it! This is how we can be proactive about stopping viruses and germs from spreading!

Remain Respectful.  At this time it is crucial to respect others decisions. Whether it be time off from work, space from a loved one or friend, or just simply facing differences in opinions. Let's be mature about this and just remember to try to be respectful of others. keep in mind that people are scared right now and can be facing things you don't know about.

I believe in our community and I always have. I appreciate you taking the time to read this, but more importantly, to understand what I said today. Make sure to spread the word & spread the good energy but while remaining six feet apart so we don't spread this virus. 

Thanks again,

Keeping an Eye on Covington

25 March 2020

[Perrin Lovett] - Shelter in Place or the Terrorists - scratch that - Virus Wins

Shelter in Place or the Terrorists Economy Virus Wins

First, the good news: Guess who is the owner of 18 brand new and hopefully unused rolls of toilet paper? That’s right. This guy! Ah, the simple pleasures of good old apocalyptic ‘Murica. As an added benefit, I received the eternal blessing of staying saaaaaaaaafe from every mask-clad woman I encountered at Publix. I had found some excess cash which I had hidden away for future vices. So, upon making off with Mr. Whipple’s delight and before returning to the bunker, I sought to entertain myself with a burger from a local eatery. They were closed, as was the I-talian joint, the gym, the rec center, the library, the bar, the other bar, and even the cigar lounge. Friends, when the cigar club shuts down, we have a problem.

Flatten the reserve… Picture © by Perrin Lovett - free for usage except by law firms and ad agencies.

You might not have heard, but America is experiencing what may be the largest, most lethal health event in recorded human history. The media is intentionally obscuring the numbers. This year alone - from January 1 until today - the death toll is closing in on 200,000! Those poor souls add to the 60 million tiny babies already wantonly murdered in this dead nation since 1973. It’s not just an atrocity, it’s a genocide, a holocaust. Never forget? Never again? This being a crime crying out to Heaven for vengeance, we might expect God to act, like with a plague or something. For now, we have to settle for an economic depression.

The warnings and observations of Dr. Todd Vispoli are coming true as each new day passes. It’s almost like he, or rather, the pen behind him, is prophetic. The idiots in Washington are moving mountains to gin up trillions of dollars in alleged remediation for the financial calamity wrought by those same idiots and the very same usurious thieves they plan to give the money to. Orange Man blasphemes about a “resurrection” by Easter (when the churches will still be closed, I imagine). Interest on short-term Treasuries dipped well below zero in a display of the actual value of the currency (of which there will soon be at least $6 Trillion more). Viral unemployment benefits and fake tax rebates start to look a whole lot like universal basic income. The Federal Reserve is set to receive new and greater powers to issue more “digital currency” from their crystal ball of doom. All of the irresponsible, anti-American, globalist-minded corporations and otherwise bankrupt industries cue up like hogs at the trough. 

Millions of citizens in the “land of the free and the home of the brave” cower inside their homes, venturing out only to fistfight over basic necessities. The public schools continue their unique brand of abject failure, only now, in a digital classroom that nobody understands. And, in general, the more susceptible among us are beginning to crack. Not that bad, yet. It’s not like SWAT teams are called to remove deranged neighbors or anything.

Perrin’s neighborhood, Sunday night, when the SWAT team removed a deranged neighbor or something. Picture © by Perrin Lovett - free for usage except by law firms, ad agencies, and other media outlets.
And, my curmudgeonly senses are tingling. I sense some other disturbance brewing. Have any of you noticed, during all of the endless, foolish press conferences and pundit gibberings, the constant echoing of words like “invisible enemy,” “battle,” “defeat,” “war,” “war-footing” and a few others? They’ve all got the same script and they’re hammering it relentlessly. Why do I get the strange feeling that the powers are psychologically conditioning the public for something? 

A few other questions:

Why did so many prominent CEOs suddenly resign and skip town a month or two ago?

If all non-essential offices are supposed to be closed, then how the hell is Congress open?

If you get $1200 “free” from Uncle Sucker, but there is no toilet paper available to purchase, do you use the fiat to wipe your ass?

If Washington can afford to part with Trillion$ in giveaway cash, then why do we have to continue to pay taxes? Seriously, if they can print an entire year’s GDP in six months, then why have any taxes at all?

Is a combination of Chloroquine and UV radiation effective against usury and tyranny?

Will there be another pointless election this fall? Would that matter, either way?

Why did my intel source suddenly get quiet when I joked about “Them” releasing COVID-19 in October?

Which country(s) is all that war talk aimed at?

When, if ever, will the sheep notice the rabid werewolf rampaging amongst them?

-and-

Wouldn’t all those terrible carcinogenic chemicals in the fragrant cigar smoke kill the invisible enemy?

Now, social distance you later, alligator!

My leathery buddy requires no bailout and is immune to the Chinese bug, though he may have problems if the restaurants continue to stay closed. Picture © by Perrin Lovett - free for usage except by law firms, ad agencies, the MSM, and the University of Florida.


24 March 2020

A Tuesday Check-in w/ MB - We Have Met the Enemy & They Are Us

Greetings, Citizens. 




March 24th, 2020, almost in the books.

Does it seem like each day is now lasting a week? Maybe that's just me, but I've heard the same from others.

Have we all just lost all good sense? Is that it?

Well, to be fair, we've been this way for a pretty long time. No, it's different this time. And I believe many of us feel it.

As I said on the book of faces there other day, I believe there are some silver linings w/ thing.

Some Silver Linings
- gas prices
- folks reconnecting
- up until the 1970s the USA had the best education system in the world. After the Department of Education was established we started to sink like a stone. Estimates range from us having dipped to 16th or 23rd, or maybe somewhere in between (my guess is maybe 21). I truly believe that we'll be making a strong rebound just over the next few months. Our girl is thriving & I'm hearing the same from many of you
- the decrease in traffic! Thank You, Lord! Much appreciated.
- we all tend to congregate; it's simply in our Nature, and the congregations now mean so much more, governmental edicts aside

I wrote that four days ago; it feels like a month.

Still feeling that 100%.

A day later, I wrote this: 


More & more it feels as if signs are pointing to this ultimately being a good thing, perhaps a true Jubilee of sorts & possibly a new Pax Americana & an era of Good Feelings.

And I still feel that way, too. 

|||||||


As a rule, the more blue among us keep wanting more & more government force & action, but there have been exceptions.

Here lately, I've seen some left-leaning folks I know make right-leaning arguments & vice versa.

I've seen a few libertarians espouse big government.

I've seen at least a couple of die-hard conservative Christians kneel to the throne of the omnipotent state.

But mainly, I've seen a lot of panicking. Data, logic & reason are not in vogue right now, either.

Last night, the 23rd, after the GAGOV & POTUS spoke, my reaction was that of one of relief, and to a lesser extent, one of pleasant surprise.

Still a -partially- free country as of today (disregarding the Northeast & West Coast); Georgia's looking okay (except, apparently, for Statesboro & Evans Co.).

Interesting time, my friends, interesting times... 


- MB McCart 









23 March 2020

[Perrin Lovett] - When Bubba Met Kenny

There is a terrible viral epidemic in America. Already this year, nearly 30 million Americans have been infected and nearly 25,000 have died. I write, of course, of the yearly apocalypse known as the ordinary flu season. We’d better shut down the entire economy. We are doing just that at the moment for the strangest reason imaginable. My friends, say what you like, but it is my opinion that the Coronavirus Panic is a ridiculous, low-effort hoax. That is not to say it isn’t real. A hoax, being a thing or activity conducted or utilized for deceptive purposes, generally involves something very real, not fake. I perceive it as a most-convenient cover for the pre-existing, independent collapse of the economy, of which I have written about before, here and elsewhere. But, just like the free-fall collapse of Tower Seven, the disease obviously exists. 

As I write this, the US has around 40,000 cases. Upon your reading it, we’ll probably have 50,000. On Saturday morning, I talked to one of them, my old friend and Augusta-area patient zero, Jason Hasty. I use his name because he said it was okay and because he previously disclosed his condition to the media. He’s running for District Attorney and wanted the truth to prevail regardless of how it impacted his campaign. That’s the kind of man he is. Accordingly - and, Lord, I never thought we’d come to this - I hereby endorse Jason Hasty for DA of the Augusta Judicial Circuit! A plague. A depression. Perrin endorsed a politician. I know, right? Anyway, if you live and vote in the counties of Columbia, Richmond, or Burke, then you have no better option than Jason, a true friend of freedom, truth, and justice. 

Much of what we discussed and he shared with me appeared in a weekend article in the Augusta Chronicle. He’s not exactly sure where, when, or how he contracted COVID-19. And his symptoms, like those of many patients in the news, are slightly different than the “fever, cough, and chest pressure” the CDC repeats. He had all of those, to varying degrees. On the phone, he sounded a little congested. Then again, as I spoke from a park bench in a pollen blizzard, I’m sure I sounded much the same. But he reported fatigue and pain, specifically in the legs and neck, as the worst of it, rating those a “nine” on the old scale of one through ten. His treatment has consisted of staying home and resting. It’s working - I am most happy to report that he is on the mend and already feeling much better. 

I had drafted something else about the COVID and the economy. Read my letter to President Trump (I doubt he will). Also, read more of my infamous ripoff poetry, The Masque of the Red DEBT. There’s much else to say, which I might get to later (assuming we maintain electricity and the internet). The closing of the churches bothers me, although given how Americans have shunned God, it might be a fitting return. If not, then perhaps we can answer their “spiritual communion” with a little of what I call “spiritual tithing.” I had a lot more, but then, something else terrible happened...


Kenny Rogers died last Friday at the age of 81. Many people know his songs. Many know his acting and his roasters. But few ever got to know him, if just briefly. I was one of the lucky few. Here’s how it happened:

About 25 years ago, in Athens, I was dating another one of the many sweet girls who were too damned good for this old (even when younger) sinner. We’ll call her Jen. Jen was the manager of the Hallmark Card Shop in the Alps Shopping Center. Whenever I got the chance, I would venture by, hang out with Jen and the girls, squish spiders, move boxes, and otherwise make a nuisance of myself. I almost felt like part of the team and they graciously (or mockingly) made a nametag for me. It read: “Hallmark - Bubba.”

One afternoon, the store wasn’t very busy and the women had business in the stock room. They suggested that “Bubba” watch the front, so he dutifully stood behind the register, which he had previously operated (owing much skill to this regular job at JC Penney). And then, in walked the very lovely Wanda Miller (then, just a GF) and the legend himself, Kenny Rogers! Bubba kind of went slack in the jaw the way a lot of real Bubbas do. Rogers looked around for a second, peeled off a couple of Benjamins for Wanda, and left her to shop. She made a not insubstantial purchase. While ringing her up, Bubba asked something like, “I-i-is t-t-that Kenny Rogers?!” She affirmed that it obviously was, and then kindly suggested that Bubba go out and say hello.

I found Mr. Rogers in the driver’s seat of a minivan (not kidding), with the window down, acting like any man waiting for his girlfriend at a card shop. I walked up and said, “Uh, Mr. Rogers?”

He said, “Hello, Bubba!”

I said, “I love your music! And the chicken!” (I thought that maybe some fans neglected his culinary excellence). 

Wanda joined us mid-conversation and he volunteered an autograph before they left. I think it might have been her receipt. Whatever it was, I long ago lost it. But, I’ll always have the memory. In a world of bullshit and hoaxes, Rogers was the genuine thing, a true American gentleman. I honestly have met very few nicer people in all the years since - certainly, among the famous and powerful types I’ve encountered. I was a nobody college kid behind a fake retail badge; yet, he treated me the way I suspected he treated everyone - as a friend. I watched what Dolly Parton said, this weekend, about their long friendship. It must have been as beautiful as she is. I’m proud that Bubba caught just a tiny fraction of the grandeur. I’m glad that back then, we hadn’t started this social distancing foolishness.


Rest in peace, Gambler.


20 March 2020

[Fred Wheeler] - The World on the Other Side

So much for globalization.

If we survive the eschatological angst over the Wuhan Virus there will be life on the other side of this. The question is: what will it look like?

First, it's not like we weren't warned. The 1953 movie, "War of the Worlds"  based on the novel by H.G. Wells from 1887 pointed to the peril. In the movie aliens from space invade our planet and, because of their superior technology, overwhelm all the armies of the world. On the very eve of final destruction, all of the aliens mysteriously die, succumbing to the plain ole pathogens  in the Earth's atmosphere for which they have no immunity. 

The more technologically advanced we are, the more complex our society is and the more interdependent our economic systems are, the more vulnerable we are to the sudden introduction of a new variety of germ.

This thing probably will end sooner than we think. But, in the meantime there will be dislocation. It's going to be rough. Some folks will lose their jobs. But, MMM, GE and Honeywell will be hiring because they will be manufacturing protective masks and ventilators. Home Depot in Covington is hiring. I bought two shirts on line the other day.

We are discovering that, yes, nations need borders. Converting your economy into a service economy and out-sourcing your manufacturing--especially to a country that has an unfriendly authoritarian government is not a good idea. There are certain things such as steel, strategic materials and now we're discovering, medicine, which should not be processed in foreign countries.

If you are an individual company, perhaps you should re-examine your  supply chain. Yes, China has cheap labor, but dealing with them is  equivalent to riding a tiger.

What will life be like post Wuhan? Pantries will be fuller. Students and schools will move toward on-line courses. More box stores will close and more on-line business will be done. There will be more working at home. By applying tariffs we will be doing more manufacturing domestically. Individual companies will alter their supply chains. Restaurants will be more likely to have take-out windows. Home delivery of food and groceries will become more popular. We'll go to fewer movies and watch more television. Perhaps families will grow closer together. People will play more golf.


19 March 2020

TPC - Covington Council Enacts Voluntary Curfew; Votes to Ban Groups of 10 Persons or More

Restaurant Owners & Hairdressers Say Their Businesses Will Be Decimated 

###



A RESOLUTION PROHIBITING GATHERINGS DURING LOCAL STATE OF EMERGENCY RELATED TO COVID-19; AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.
WHEREAS, Covington, Georgia has experienced an event of critical significance as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) disease (“COVID-19”); and
WHEREAS, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, (the “CDC”) indicates that COVID-19 is a new and contagious respiratory disease caused by a novel (new) coronavirus that was first detected in China and which has now been detected in more than 100 locations internationally, including in the United States; and
WHEREAS, as reported by the World Health Organization (“WHO”), the world has experienced a deep humanitarian crisis with more than 191,000 cases and more than 7,000 deaths due to COVID-19; and
WHEREAS, COVID-19 is officially a global pandemic according to the WHO; and
WHEREAS, President Trump has declared a national emergency for the United States of America in response to COVID-19; and
WHEREAS, on March 14, 2020, Governor Brian Kemp declared a public health state of emergency due to COVID-19; and
WHEREAS, as reported by the Georgia Department of Public Health effective as of March 19, 2020, Georgia now has 287 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and ten (10) COVID-19 related deaths and the number is increasing daily; and
WHEREAS, the CDC and Georgia Department of Public Health have issued guidance on the emerging and rapidly evolving situation of the COVID-19 pandemic, including how to protect oneself from illness; and
WHEREAS, social distancing is recommended by the CDC and Georgia Department of Public Health to prevent the continued spreading of the illness in the community; and
WHEREAS, Atlanta, Athens-Clarke County, Dallas, Pittsburgh, Washington, New York and California have all banned large public gatherings in public places during the COVID-19 pandemic; and
WHEREAS, New Jersey has recently enacted a statewide curfew to help curb the spread of COVID-19; and
WHEREAS, the CDC expects that additional cases of COVID-19 will be identified in the coming days, including more cases in the United States, and that person-to-person spread is likely to continue to occur; and
WHEREAS, if COVID-19 spreads in Covington and the rest of Georgia, at a rate comparable to the rate of spread in other affected areas, it may greatly strain the resources and capabilities of county and municipal governments, including public health agencies, that provide essential services for containing and mitigating the spread of contagious diseases, such as COVID-19, and the situation may become too large in scope to be handled in its entirety by the normal county and municipal operating services in some parts of this State, and this situation may spread to other parts of the State; and
WHEREAS, the Charter of the City of Covington, in Sections 1.07(q) grants to the City the power to protect the safety, health, peace, good order, and general welfare of the public; and
WHEREAS, the code of ordinances of the City of Covington, at Section 2.52.040 grants to the mayor of Covington the power to determine that an emergency exists, and the Mayor of Covington joins in execution of this resolution to evidence that determination by him individually; and
WHEREAS, the Mayor and Council of the City of Covington, Georgia did, on March 16, 2020, declare that a local state of public health emergency exists within the territorial limits of the City of Covington, Georgia due to COVID-19; and
WHEREAS, the Mayor and Council of the City of Covington find that the present state of emergency requires extraordinary and immediate corrective actions for the protection of the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of Covington and the surrounding communities; and
WHEREAS, to prevent or minimize injury to people resulting from this event, certain actions are required, including but not limited to, a curfew and prohibition on gatherings;
NOW, THEREFORE, the Mayor and Council of the City of Covington, Georgia hereby ordains that it is hereby.
THEREFORE, IT IS RESOLVED:
1. The City Council adopts and makes the findings discussed in the “Whereas” paragraphs the factual findings of the Council.
2. The City Council hereby reaffirms its determination of March 16, 2020 that a local state of public health emergency exists within the territorial limits of the City of Covington, Georgia due to COVID-19.
3. That the Mayor or, in the event of his disability, the City Manager, shall have the authority to request that the Newton County Health Department activate the Covington-Newton County Emergency Management Agency’s Emergency Operations as necessary to address the current public health emergency.
4. The City Council and all other boards, commissions or agencies of the City, shall have authority to conduct meetings and take votes by teleconference in accordance with O.C.G.A. Section 50-14-1(g).
5. The Mayor, or in the event of his disability, the City Manager, shall have authority to take such actions deemed necessary or appropriate for the public health and safety of the citizens of the City of Covington in accordance with section 2.52.040 of Chapter 2.52 of the Covington code of ordinances.
6. That in accordance with section 2.52.040 of Chapter 2.52 of the Covington code of ordinances:
(a) Voluntary Shelter in Place: Beginning at 9:00 P.M. on Friday, March 20, 2020, and concluding at 5:00 A.M. on Tuesday, April 7, 2020, unless otherwise extended, a voluntary shelter in place policy is hereby implemented requesting the persons not loiter, wander, stroll, or play in any public place within the territorial limits of Covington, provided, however, that the provisions of this section shall not apply in the following instances:
i. When a person is upon an emergency errand;
ii. When a person is traveling to, or returning directly home from, lawful employment or otherwise engaged in lawful employment that makes it necessary to be in above referenced places during the proscribed period of time;
iii. When a person is attending or traveling directly to or from an activity involving the exercise of First Amendment rights of free speech, freedom of assembly, or free exercise of religion;
iv. When a person is engaged in interstate and intrastate vehicular travel through Covington, Georgia;
v.. When a person is walking, biking or running to or from their residence for recreational or fitness purposes; and
vi.. When a person is procuring food or medicine or seeking medical care.
(b) Prohibition on Gatherings: Beginning at 9:00 P.M. on Friday, March 20, 2020, and concluding at 5:00 A.M. on Tuesday, April 7, 2020, unless otherwise extended, all public assemblages, events, and gatherings within the territorial limits of the City of Covington of more than ten (10) or people shall be prohibited, not including employees in restaurants, bars, and/or entertainment establishments and exempting gatherings within buildings owned by the City of Covington, Newton County, Georgia, the State of Georgia or any hospital or healthcare facility.
(c) If a restaurant is licensed to sell beer and wine for on-premises consumption, such restaurant, during the effective dates of this Resolution only, shall be authorized to sell unopened bottles of beer or wine currently in inventory as of this date for take-out consumption off-premises.
(d) The due date and payment of alcohol excise taxes of restaurants licensed to sell alcoholic beverages pursuant to Article 3 of Chapter 5.12 of the Covington code of ordinances shall be delayed through and until June 30, 2020 and shall not be subject to penalties or interest. Any alcohol excise taxes of restaurants that accrue and are unpaid during the period until June 30, 2020 shall be paid to the City in six (6) equal installments in the months of July through December. All alcohol excise taxes of restaurants shall be due and payable in the normal procedure beginning July 1, 2020.
7. It is hereby declared to be the intention of the Mayor and Council:
(a) That all sections, paragraphs, sentences, clauses, and phrases of this Resolution are and were, upon their enactment, believed by the Mayor and Council to be fully valid, enforceable, and constitutional.
(b) That, to the greatest extent allowed by law, each and every section, paragraph, sentence, clause or phrase of this Resolution is severable from every other section, paragraph, sentence, clause or phrase of this Resolution. It is hereby further declared to be the intention of the Mayor and Council that, to the greatest extent allowed by law, no section, paragraph, sentence, clause or phrase of this Resolution is mutually dependent upon any other section, paragraph, sentence, clause or phrase of this Resolution.
(c) That, in the event that any phrase, clause, sentence, paragraph or section of this Resolution shall, for any reason whatsoever, be declared invalid, unconstitutional or otherwise unenforceable by the valid judgment or decree of any court of competent jurisdiction, it is the express intent of the Mayor and Council that such invalidity, unconstitutionality or unenforceability shall, to the greatest extent allowed by law, not render invalid, unconstitutional or otherwise unenforceable any of the remaining phrases, clauses, sentences, paragraphs or sections of the Resolution and that, to the greatest extent allowed by law, all remaining phrases, clauses, sentences, paragraphs, and sections of the Resolution shall remain valid, constitutional, enforceable, and of full force and effect.
8. All ordinances or parts of ordinances in conflict with the provisions of this Resolution are hereby suspended during the effective dates of this Resolution (or any extension thereof) and the terms and provisions of this Resolution shall prevail.
9. This Resolution shall become effective immediately upon its adoption.
10. The City Clerk, in consultation with the City Attorney, shall have the power to correct scriveners’ errors.
SO ORDERED AND ORDAINED this 19 day of March, 2020.

-33- 

DEVELOPING...

STAY TUNED

[Ryan Ralston] - THE BROKEN WINDOW

“When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in a society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.” – Frederic Bastiat 

CIVIL ASSET FORFEITURE
Civil asset forfeiture is an authorized procedure that permits law enforcement officials to seize property they assert was involved in criminal activity. It charges the property itself with involvement in a crime, allowing law enforcement to seize cars, homes, cash, or other valuables without ever having to charge an individual (person) with a crime. 
Taken directly from the DEA’s website: “Forfeiture is the government taking of property that has been illegally used or acquired, without compensating the owner. The United States Government uses asset forfeiture to seize and forfeit property from those involved in crime which benefits law enforcement and the public.” 
Think about the language used by the DEA for one moment before proceeding: “…which benefits law enforcement.” That means law enforcement can (and will) seize your property for their personal gain. 
To get their property back, owners must navigate a costly and time-consuming legal process. Law enforcement agencies and prosecutors want to keep the proceeds, which creates incentive to seize more property, even if little to no evidence exists linking the property to a crime (remember – the government possesses monopoly over violence and with the threat of force and imprisonment, can seize your property for their personal gain – i.e. to their benefit). 
Between 2001 and 2014, law enforcement nationwide seized cash and goods worth an estimated $29 billion through civil asset forfeiture. 
According to the Washington Post, since 2008; 298 police departments and 210 drug task forces have seized the equivalent of 20% or more of their annual budgets. The WP also found law enforcement took more property from American citizens than burglars did in 2014. 
Who is the criminal? 
Civil asset forfeitures disproportionately impact poor and minority communities. For example, in Nevada, in 2016, two-thirds of seizures occurred in zip codes with higher-than-average rates of poverty. 
In 400 federal cases examined by the WP, where people challenged seizures and received money back, the majority were people of color. 

HIGHWAY ROBBERY, UNRESTRAINED  
During the past twenty years, the federal government alone seized $36.5 billion in assets from Americans, many of whom were never charged with a crime.
Most of the money seized during this civil process returns to the law-enforcement agency that seized it, providing funds for a variety of needs, including paramilitary equipment, vehicles, travel, and training. 
Civil asset forfeiture is a controversial tactic employed by law enforcement, established on the falsehood that property can be a “criminal.” 
This practice bypasses the Fourth Amendment's guarantee that Americans are free from unreasonable search and seizure, and it provides a corrupting incentive for police to circumvent the law to supplement their budgets.
Civil asset forfeiture and theft are one in the same. 
It poses one of greatest threats to personal property rights our nation faces. Property is being seized regardless of the owner’s guilt or innocence. The burden of proof is not “beyond reasonable doubt,” which makes it easier for law enforcement to seize your property. All law enforcement must prove, based on the preponderance of the evidence, is that your property might be related to a crime, or there is no other likely source for the property other than criminal activity. 
That’s it. 
Most seizures of cash, as a result of a traffic stop, does not lead to formal criminal charges being filed against the involved party, nonetheless, law enforcement keeps the money (again, for their benefit).  
Local police departments sidestep state restrictions on the use of forfeited property through the federal Equitable Sharing Program, under which the Department of Justice adopts a forfeiture and sends 80% of the money back to the agency to spend (as they see fit). This circumvention of the law washes the hands clean of local law enforcement agency heads.  
Police departments are required to file reports showing how they spend seized funds, but little to no accountability (oversight) exists if discrepancies are discovered. The agency charged to investigate a purported wrongdoing is the local district attorney’s office, who themselves, receive a portion of the seized funds to supplement their annual budgets. 
Why would a local district attorney’s office bite the hand that feeds it? 
Police departments have become addicted to utilizing seized funds, and without them, many would not survive today’s economic challenges. The federal Equitable Sharing Program is the catalyst for local law enforcement’s dependency on seized property. The seizures are nothing more than vaguely disguised theft, wrapped in morality. 
The DOJ admits it has no oversight of The Equitable Sharing Program, acknowledging they failed to advance methodology to “oversee their seizure operations, or to determine whether seizures benefit criminal investigations or the extent to which they pose potential risks to civil liberties … the risks to civil liberties are particularly significant when seizures that do not relate to a criminal investigation are conducted without a court-issued warrant, the presence of illicit narcotics, or subsequent judicial involvement ...”
The DOJ concedes they have no control over a questionable program (that may violate one’s civil liberties), yet, local law enforcement agencies continue to engage in this practice, unrestrained. 
THE DEFENDERS (ROB FROM THE RICH AND GIVE TO THE POOR)
Local law enforcement agencies defend the need for civil asset forfeiture. They argue it plays an important role in saving taxpayers money by supplementing departmental budgets that would otherwise be unable to support the rising costs of travel, training, and the purchase of vehicles, firearms, and other miscellaneous equipment. 
One mid-west sheriff went as far as describing law enforcement agencies who participate in civil asset forfeiture as, “Turning our police forces into present-day Robin Hoods,” with expanded highway interdiction. “All of our hometowns are sitting on a tax-liberating gold mine,” he wrote.
Locally, law enforcement groups like the Georgia Sheriffs Association, whose members can make or break local politicians, have opposed restrictions on civil asset forfeiture.

TINA BENNIS
In 1996, the U.S. Supreme Court embraced the notion of property as the “offender.” The case involved a woman named Tina Bennis, whose husband, John, was caught by the Detroit PD having sex with a prostitute in the family car. The authorities declared the car to be a public nuisance and seized it. Tina Bennis, who knew nothing of her husband’s escapades, claimed she shouldn’t lose her half of the car. The US Supreme Court disagreed, 5-4.
Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist based his decision on an early 19th-century precedent involving the Palmyra, a ship commissioned as a privateer by the King of Spain to attack U.S. vessels. A 19th-century court ruled “the thing is here considered as the offender.” The ship would be seized even if the owner was innocent of the privateering. 
In 2017, Justice Clarence Thomas, in response to Rehnquist, wrote that the Court “should not tolerate ... harsh and unfair historical practice from the colonial era. These forfeiture operations frequently target the poor and other groups least able to defend their interests.” He added, “Perversely, these same groups are often the most burdened by forfeiture. They are more likely to use cash than alternate forms of payment, like credit cards.”
A year later, while speaking about another civil asset forfeiture case involving a stopped motorist in Indiana, Justice Neil Gorsuch ridiculed the view of Rehnquist, saying during oral argument, “Here we are in 2018 still litigating the incorporation of the Bill of Rights. Really? Come on.”
Justice Sonia Sotomayor, quipped, “If we look at these forfeitures that are occurring today, many of them seem grossly disproportionate to the crimes being charged.”

THE LIBERTARIAN PERSPECTIVE 
The libertarian point of view about civil asset forfeiture is simple. Private property should be protected from government overreach, and the DOJ’s incompetent dominance of civil asset forfeiture, nullifies the effectiveness of state forfeiture-law reform. 
The law that earmarked civil asset forfeiture funds for law enforcement passed with bipartisan support during the height of America’s declared war on drugs (by and large, an abysmal human rights violation, in/of itself). 
One senator influential in passing the law was Joe Biden.
Before his death, Rep. Henry Hyde spoke about the process of civil asset forfeiture, saying the practice, “Has allowed police to view all of America as some giant national K-Mart, where prices are not just lower but nonexistent — a sort of law-enforcement pick-’n-don’t-pay. Forfeiture should be a crime-fighting weapon, not a money-making machine for law enforcement.”
In 2014, Sen. Rand Paul, and Sen. Charles Grassley, sponsored civil asset forfeiture reform legislation, but Democrats didn’t show up for the hearings. 
The legislation went nowhere. 

HOLDER v. SESSIONS 
Attorney General Eric Holder reformed The Equitable Sharing Program in 2015 to require criminal charges or warrants before federal adoptions of forfeited property could move forward. 
Attorney General Jeff Sessions, reversed Holder. Sessions said, “Our law-enforcement partners will tell you, and, as President Trump knows well, asset forfeitures is a key tool that helps law enforcement defund organized crime, take back ill-gotten gains and prevent new crimes from being committed, and it weakens the criminals and the cartels.”

OCGA 16-13-49 (CIVIL ASSET FORFEITURE)
According to Georgia Law 16-13-49:
“Proceeds received may be used for any official law enforcement purpose except for the payment of salaries or rewards to law enforcement personnel, at the discretion of the chief officer of the local law enforcement agency, or may be used to fund victim-witness assistance programs or a state law enforcement museum. Such property shall not be used to supplant any other local, state, or federal funds appropriated for staff or operations.”
“The local governing authority shall expend any remaining proceeds for any law enforcement purpose; for the representation of indigents in criminal cases; for drug treatment, rehabilitation, prevention, or education or any other program which responds to problems created by drug or substance abuse; for use as matching funds for grant programs related to drug treatment or prevention; to fund victim-witness assistance programs; or for any combination of the foregoing.”



COVINGTON POLICE DEPARTMENT 
The Covington Police Department participates in civil asset forfeiture on both state and federal levels. On the state level (local), CPD works in conjunction with the Newton County District Attorney’s Office to seize property.  On the federal level, CPD assigns at least two of its officers to a DEA task force in Atlanta for the sole purpose of civil asset forfeiture. Those officers work in conjunction with the US Attorney’s Office (Northern District - GA), to seize property. 
All seized funds are ultimately sent back to CPD. 
Since 1997, CPD has been led by Chief Stacey Cotton. 

COVINGTON, GA – CRIME STATS – 2016 (WITHIN THE CITY LIMITS)
  • The population was 13,916 (majority, non-white)
  • 25% lived in poverty
  • 17% had no health insurance 
  • Murders – 1
  • Rapes – 1
  • Robberies – 24
  • Aggravated Assault – 35
  • Violent Crimes – 61
  • Burglaries – 138
  • Thefts – 555
  • Entering Autos – 176
  • Auto Thefts – 42
  • Property Crimes – 911
  • Violent crime increased from the year before by 23%

COVINGTON, GA – CRIME STATS – 2018 (WITHIN THE CITY LIMITS)
  • The population was 14,044 (majority, non-white)
  • 30% lived in poverty
  • 15% had no health insurance 
  • Murders – 0
  • Rapes – 7
  • Robberies – 16
  • Aggravated Assault – 28
  • Violent Crimes – 51
  • Burglaries – 77
  • Thefts – 487
  • Entering Autos – 115
  • Auto Thefts – 63
  • Property Crimes – 627
  • Violent crime increased from the year before by 3.6%

CPD – CIVIL ASSET FORFEITURE – STATS – 2016
  • Sworn officers – 59
  • Supervisors - 18
  • Seized state funds – expenditure - $20,270
  • Seized state funds – end of year balance – cash on hand - $20,221
  • Seized federal funds – expenditure - $285,527
  • Seized federal funds – end of year balance – cash on hand - $290,750
  • Seized funds spent – training - $35,481
  • Seized funds spent – travel - $30,567
  • Seized funds spent – awards - $3,525
  • Seized funds spent – equipment - $19,273
  • Seized funds spent – meals during meetings - $10,471
  • Seized funds spent – general supplies - $1,941
  • Seized funds spent – gun range supplies - $521
  • Seized funds spent – ammunition - $52,465
  • Seized funds spent – conferences - $22,623
  • Seized funds spent – advertisements - $4,558
  • Seized funds spent – special investigations unit - $32,784 (a now disbanded street-level narcotics unit comprised of CPD officers and NCSO deputies)
  • Seized funds spent – LE dues/associations - $2,381
(These numbers were rounded to the nearest dollar)

CPD – CIVIL ASSET FORFEITURE – STATS – 2018
  • Sworn officers – 66
  • Supervisors - 18
  • Seized state funds – expenditure - $9,603
  • Seized state funds – end of year balance – cash on hand - $1,942
  • Seized federal funds – expenditure - $101,922
  • Seized federal funds – end of year balance – cash on hand - $214,669
  • Seized funds spent – training - $16,630
  • Seized funds spent – travel - $34,461
  • Seized funds spent – awards - $5,612
  • Seized funds spent – equipment - $36,948
  • Seized funds spent – general supplies - $5,861
  • Seized funds spent – investigations/operations - $5,852
  • Seized funds spent – contracts - $5,100
 (These numbers were rounded to the nearest dollar)

CPD – CIVIL ASSET FORFEITURE – EXPENDITURE – TRAVEL – 2016/2018 (TOTAL)
CPD - 2016/2018 – Combined Total – Travel - $65,028

CPD, CONYERS PD, MONROE PD - CIVIL ASSET FORFEITURE – EXPENDITURE – TRAVEL – 2016/2018 (TOTAL) – FOR COMPARISON 
Conyers PD - 2016/2018 – Combined Total – Travel - $18,066
Monroe PD – 2016/2018 – Combined Total – Travel - $15,337
Conyers PD and Monroe PD – 2016/2018 – Combined Total – Travel - $33,403
CPD outspent Conyers PD and Monroe PD combined for – 2016/2018 – in travel by over $31,000
(In 2016, Monroe PD combined their travel/training expenditures into one total – $13,044, it is reflected in these numbers. In 2018, Monroe PD spent no seized funds on travel, but spent $2,293 in seized funds on training, which may incorporate travel. It too, is reflected in these numbers)

GEORGIA (THE COUNTRY IN THE CAUCASUS REGION OF EURASIA) 
Cotton has been the chief at CPD for 23 years, and during his tenure, became immersed with the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police (GACP), the Commission of Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA), and the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP).  
All these organizations require extensive travel, not only throughout the state of Georgia, but across the country and, at times, the world. 
Cotton flies himself and various members of his command staff to seminars, conferences, and meetings sponsored by these organizations, to places like Florida, California, Utah, and Canada. 
Moreover, Cotton flew members of his command staff to the country of Georgia to instruct international law enforcement officers on principles/practices of American law enforcement. During one such trip, an all-male delegate from CPD, flew to the country and spoke about the importance of women in supervisory roles within law enforcement. There was only one problem. At the time, CPD had no women in supervisory positions. Not one. Even more alarming, some of command staff flown to Georgia were not certified instructors. They were not authorized to teach in the state of Georgia, but Cotton allowed them to fly overseas and teach in the country of Georgia.  (These flights overseas have occurred during the past five years and one occurred in 2019.)
Currently, out of 18 supervisors at CPD, only one is female and only one is a person of color. The other 16 are white males. 
Cotton manages, on average, 60 personnel and spends (in two years, alone) over $65,000 dollars in travel for a handful of command staff, maybe as little as 10 individuals. 
An alarming number from the 2016 stats, shows Cotton spent over $10,000 on food and over $52,000 on ammunition. Who is the CPD at war with?  

CPD GUN RANGE 


The gun range owned/utilized by the CPD has been in disrepair for nearly a decade. The firearms staff is top notch, one of the best in Georgia, but they can only do so much with what Cotton allows. For a law enforcement agency that touts its international accreditation, the conditions in which CPD officers are required to train are abysmal. 
The onsite building used for classroom instruction is half a century old. The HVAC system, like its lone toilet and sink, works periodically. 
Dumpsters overflow with trash and there is not adequate cover for training in inclement weather.  
Cotton spends over $75,000 on food and travel for his command staff but accepts a sub-standard facility for his entire department to train at. 



This is unacceptable and a failure to lead on the part of Cotton.
One cannot help but wonder, how much good could be accomplished with $75,000 going toward the improvement of conditions at the CPD gun range?
It may not address all the issues, but it’s a decent start. 


"CE QU'ON VOIT ET CE QU'ON NE VOIT PAS" (THAT WHICH WE SEE AND THAT WHICH WE DO NOT SEE)
In 1850, French economist Frederic Bastiat, penned an essay entitled “Ce qu'on voit et ce qu'on ne voit pas.” The parable seeks to show how opportunity costs, as well as the law of unintended consequences, affect economic activity in ways that are unseen or ignored. It later became known as the broken window fallacy. 
In Bastiat’s essay, a child breaks a window. Afterwards, the author reflects: 
“Suppose it cost six francs to repair the damage, and you say that the accident brings six francs to the glazier's trade – that it encourages that trade to the amount of six francs – I grant it; I have not a word to say against it; you reason justly. The glazier comes, performs his task, receives his six francs, rubs his hands, and, in his heart, blesses the careless child. All this is that which is seen.”
“But if, on the other hand, you come to the conclusion, as is too often the case, that it is a good thing to break windows, that it causes money to circulate, and that the encouragement of industry in general will be the result of it, you will oblige me to call out, ‘Stop there! Your theory is confined to that which is seen; it takes no account of that which is not seen.’”
“It is not seen that as our shopkeeper has spent six francs upon one thing, he cannot spend them upon another. It is not seen that if he had not had a window to replace, he would, perhaps, have replaced his old shoes, or added another book to his library. In short, he would have employed his six francs in some way, which this accident has prevented.”
Hundreds of thousands of dollars in seized funds are being spent by Cotton (on things that may not be necessary) and there appears to be no oversight from City Hall. The “that which is seen” by officers at CPD. 
As a result, those same officers watch their chief and members of his command staff fly across the country, and at times around the world, while being forced to train at a gun range facility in poor order, adversely impacting morale and expanding a divide between officers and supervisors, leading to an “us versus them” mentality. The “that which we do not see” by Cotton and other supervisors at CPD. 

ACCOUNTABILITY (THE ABSENCE OF)
Covington City Manager Scott Andrews, along with Mayor Steve Horton, need to be aware about how seized funds are being spent.  
They can be contacted by email at: www.cityofcovington.org or by phone at: 770-385-2010.
Cotton can be reached by email at: scotton3@covingtonpolice.com  and stacey.cotton@covingtonpolice.com or by phone at: 770-786-7605. 

(The data used in this article was obtained from the Prosecuting Attorney’s Council of Georgia, reported directly by the CPD, Conyers PD, and Monroe PD, in accordance with requirements mandated by law in OCGA 9-16-19. The data is publicly accessible via the Carl Vinson Institute of Government website: www.cvig.uga.edu. Note: If CPD is reimbursed by the State Department - for the cost of sending personnel overseas - it was not annotated in the report filed by CPD to PAC – Georgia.)