"But a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever." - John Adams

Friday, January 28, 2011

APD Unit Investigated Over Public Strip Search Claims - News Story - WSB Atlanta

The Police State has run amuck. In Atlanta, it is aparently ok, now, to perform strip searches and body cavity searches on the side of the road.
And you thought it was just the TSA that could sexually molest people in public and get away with it!

APD Unit Investigated Over Public Strip Search Claims - News Story - WSB Atlanta

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Monday, January 24, 2011

Fed takes a shot at Ron Paul

The Federal Reserve, no doubt at the suggestion of one of the high priced PR agents they maintain, has fired a shot at Ron Paul in his own backyard.

The Houston Chronicle carries an op-ed by Paul Hobby, who is chairman of the Houston branch of the Dallas Fed.

Let's take a look at this commentary that is boldly titled, "Hands off the Fed" Hobby makes clear right at the start this is about Ron Paul:

"Defense of our central bank is imperative just now because the House Financial Services Subcommittee, which provides congressional oversight of the Federal Reserve System, has a new chair — U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Lake Jackson. Paul is a frequent critic who has published a book titled End the Fed. Almost certainly, Paul will seek to make a fundamental inquiry into whether the United States will retain the ability to conduct monetary policy at all."

Then he says:

"No one who studies the global economic issues today would forfeit this nation's ability to conduct monetary policy through a central bank."

This statement is simply factually wrong. Congressman Paul has certainly studied the issues and has not reached that conclusion, as have many economists, mostly from the Austrian school of economics.

I'm hoping Hobby isn't trying to be serious when he writes:

"Part of the problem in this public debate is that few of us have much personal experience with, or perspective on, monetary policy. It is simply not a visible part of most people's daily lives"

The problem is that most Americans have too much experience with the Federal Reserve through Federal Reserve notes that buy less and less food, clothing and gasoline every year.
A hint to Hobby, they don't riot in Third World countries over central bank created inflation because they don't have personal experience with inflation.

It's very personal.

Hobby then tells us that the financial system went through a "near death experience" without once discussing the role of Austrian economists, before the fact, warning that such a crisis would come about because of Federal Reserve policies.
Ignoring the forecasters of the crisis, Hobby then tells us how the Fed "saved" the country despite millions losing jobs, millions losing homes and some losing jobs and homes.

One has to ask what was left standing that the Fed saved?

The answer is, of course, Goldman Sachs.

To Hobby apparently the saving of Goldman Sachs was the saving of the economy. The Fed did just a wonderful job:

"History will judge these events in the fullness of time. With the benefit of some hindsight, however, it seems the strategies employed by then Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson and Chairman of the Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke were successful, and the extraordinary measures taken by the Fed are now expected to earn a profit for U.S. taxpayers"

A profit for the taxpayers?

Hobby writes this from of all places Houston, which is where the former headquarters of Enron was located, during the same week the Fed makes a desperate Enron type move to prepare and hide huge losses on its books by a new accounting scam called "negative liabilities". Ken Lay would have been envious.

As for the "profits" to date, put me in charge of the Fed with its money printing powers and I'll quickly make the former Edsel manufacturing plant profitable.

Hobby continues:

"To imagine this series of events retrospectively without the existence of a central bank is quite difficult. Only the Fed could have waved a wand and calmed the water in roiled, interconnected markets that swooned towards a full–on contagion"

Maybe it is difficult for Hobby to imagine but not me. Goldman Sachs would have collapsed, as would have Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase,remaining would only have been the prudent banks that did not partake in the mad financial escapades of those the Fed saved.

Then things become more interesting in Hobby's column because for a minute he reveals the Fed is simply a confidence game:

"Because the dollar is a fiat currency, confidence is the only backstop, and aggressive monetary policy provided that confidence at a decisive moment."

It's another con to say that aggressive money printing provided the confidence. Huh. This part of the con isn't over. When the Fed printed money comes flying out of excess reserves, causing a trillion plus more dollars floating around on the planet, confidence is the last thing the global financial community will have in the dollar.

Hobby then gives us another laugher about Fed at transparency:

"Secrecy" is, of course, the match that lights the fires of populist dissent, and the Fed is trying many new strategies that increase transparency without exposing sober, deliberate long-term decisions to the daily vicissitudes of politics.

Oh yeah, the Fed is really reaching out and doing that transparency thing.

This is how the Reuters explained the Fed's "transparency" when it set up its Enron-like "negative liability program":

The significant shift was tucked quietly into the Fed's weekly report on its balance sheet and phrased in such technical terms that it was not even reported by financial media when originally announced on Jan. 6.

Some transparency!

Hobby should really do stand up. Here he is again, with another thigh slapper:

"If we were to abolish the construct the current Federal Reserve represents, there are several certain outcomes. Most immediately, Congress would have to replace the many billions of dollars that the Fed generates for the public till (those activities generated $78 billion turned over to the Treasury last year).

The Fed's $78 billion comes about because it prints trillions and earns the interest.There is no business the Fed runs that generates any income. Turn the powers of the Fed over to me and I'll top the Fed and give the Treasury $250 billion.

Hobby then tells us:

"The simple reality is that there are more reasons for our nation to have a monetary function than to not have it."

Yet, at the same time, he admits that Federal Reserve notes, i.e. dollars, are nothing but a confidence game. The long con is quite simply no way to run a country's finances.

Hobby then goes on to produce a list of central planning favorites that are all the rage, but have nothing to do with the Fed (other than the Fed will likely print the money to support them).The programs, themselves, will do nothing but push the economy further in the direction of socialism:

"How we achieve private sector expansion is the critical issue that policymakers must face. Growth-friendly policies will necessarily include a wide array of tools: labor/immigration policy, health care policy, tax code simplification, expedited regulatory processes, etc"

Why he calls this "private sector expansion" you would have to ask him. But he does know that the Fed will be required to print the money to support it all:

"At this moment especially then, it would seem very strange to deprive ourselves of the powerful tool that a central bank provides when access to capital and the price of capital are clearly essential to that growth."

"Access to capital" is code here for printing money.

Hobby pretty much ends the attack on Ron Paul at this point, and, indeed, it is a good point to end on because it clearly shows that the Fed is not only the creator of inflation but that it is needed to support the advancing socialist state.

Another good reason to End the Fed!

From Economic Policy Journal

Domestic use of aerial drones by law enforcement likely to prompt privacy debate

What's going to be next? Telescreens in our homes for Big Brother to keep tabs on you day and night?

Domestic use of aerial drones by law enforcement likely to prompt privacy debate

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Top 100 Libertarian Websites and Blogs

My friend and fellow Liberatian, Jason Pye, made the cut at 77. Nicely done!

The following is a list of the top 100 libertarian websites and blogs.I used an array of criteria to compile this list. Naturally high-traffic websites and notable organizations dedicated to libertarianism are on the list, but I also included some blogs and websites you may have never heard of for the value of the content they publish.
1. The Cato Institute
2. Cato at Liberty (The Cato blog)
3. The Ludwig von Mises Institute
4. The Mises Economics Blog
5. The Acton Institute
6. The Acton Institute PowerBlog
7. Reason Magazine
8. Hit & Run - The Reason Magazine blog
9. The Foundation for Economic Education
10. The Free Man Online
11. The Independent Institute
12. The Beacon (The Independent Institute Blog)
13. The Competitive Enterprise Institute
14. OpenMarket.org The CEI Blog
15. Bureaucrash
16. The Official Website of the Libertarian Party (U.S.)
17. The Official Blog of the Libertarian Party (U.S.)
18. Strike The Root
19. Freedom Watch (with Judge Andrew Napolitano)
20. Library of Economics and Liberty
21. LewRockwell.com
22. Campaign for Liberty
23. Young Americans For Liberty
24. The Daily Paul
25. The Ayn Rand Institute (with apologies to Ayn Rand)
26. Break The Matrix
27. ByteStyle.tv
28. The Free State Project
29. The Prometheus Institute
30. Capitalism Magazine
31. Liberty Pulse
32. The Agitator
33. Republican Liberty Caucus
34. Liberty PAC
35. Cafe Hayek
36. The Libertarian Alliance Blog
37. The Austrian Economists
38. Marginal Revolution
39. Will Wilkinson
40. Samizdata
41. Libertarian Christians
42. Advocates For Self-Government
43. The Fraser Institute
44. Libertarianism.com
45. The Coyote Blog
46. RonPaul.com
47. The Freedom Factory
48. GetLiberty.org - Americans for Limited Government
49. International Society for Individual Liberty
50. John Stossel at Fox Townhall ABC
51. Free Men Institute
52. The Adam Smith Institute
53. The Adam Smith Institute Blog
54. Libertarians for Life
55. Liberty Maven
56. Libertarian Rock
57. GOP for Liberty
58. Malou Innocent5
9. The Libertarian Party (U.K.)
60. Vox Day
61. The Liberty Papers
62. Libertarian Republican
63. The John Locke Foundation
64. QandO
65. The Big Picture
66. Austro-Libertarian.com
67. MindBodyPolitic
68. National Center for Policy Analysis
69. RonPaul.org
70. The Institute For Justice
71. Daniel Hannan's Blog and YouTube Profile
72. Chris Moody
73. Not PC
74. Freedom Politics
75. The Southern Avenger
76. Students for Liberty
77. JasonPye.com
78. Libertarian Papers
79. Foundation For Individual Rights in Education
80. Libertarian Meetup Groups
81. United Liberty
82. Libertarian Leanings
83. Thoughts on Freedom
84. Reform the LP
85. The Heartland Institute
86. The Volokh Conspiracy
87. The Institute For Humane Studies
88. Liberty vs. Leviathan
89. The American Conservative
90. Greg Mankiw
91. Euro Pacific Capital
92. Downsize DC
93. The Entrepreneurial Mind
94. Ilana Mercer
95. Ron Paul Blog
96. The Atlasphere Meta-Blog
97. Liberty Guide
98. Light of Liberty
99. Center for a Stateless Society
100. The Humble Libertarian

This list was assembled by The Humble Libertarian

Friday, January 21, 2011

Hamilton, Central Banks And The Death Of The Dollar

"'As on the one hand, the necessity for borrowing in particular emergencies cannot be doubted, so on the other, it is equally evident that to be able to borrow upon good terms, it is essential that the credit of a nation should be well established.' --Alexander Hamilton, Report on Public Credit, 1790"

Hamilton was the father of central banking in these USA. He and Jefferson had very bitter debates on the subject. While borrowing in particular emergencies cannot be doubted, it was never intended as a means to operate the government on a daily basis.

Thomas Jefferson wrote:

"The [privately-owned] Central Bank is an institution of the most deadly hostility existing against the principles and form of our Constitution...if the American people allow private banks to control the issuance of their currency, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all their property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered."

Even Abraham Lincoln shared Jefferson's view of the private bankers.In order to finance the Civil War, he approached the NewYork bankers to see about getting a loan for the North. The interest rates they proposed were in the order of 30%. Lincoln's response was akin to; "stuff it."He then had Congress live up to its Constitutional responsibility for issuing and valuing currency and issued his famous greenbacks.

Incredibly, like so many of us, even to the heights of power, Lincoln didn't know at first that he had the OPTION, let alone the probably-intended OBLIGATION to create money for the nation. With the civil war ending, he had come to the conclusion that his government issued currency should become the basis of there-United States monetary system. Within a matter of weeks he was shot in the Ford theatre with his monetary system dying with him.
In 1832, President Jackson vetoed the move to renew the charter of the 'Bank of theUnited States' (a central bank controlled by the international bankers). In 1836 thebank went out of business.

The Bank of the United States (1816-36), an early attempt at an American central bank,was abolished by President Andrew Jackson, who believed that it threatened the nation.

He wrote:

"The bold effort the present bank had made to control the government, the distress it had want only produced...are but premonitions of the fate that awaits the American people should they be deluded into a perpetuation of this institution or the establishment of another like it."
Andrew Jackson had at least two attempts made on his life. So proud and intent on warning the future generations was he that his tombstone is inscribed with the phrase"I killed the bank!"

It came back.

The Federal Reserve Act was passed in December 1913; ostensibly to stabilize the economy and prevent further panics, but as Congressman Charles Lindberg Sr. warned Congress:

"This act establishes the most gigantic trust on earth...the invisible government by the money power, proven to exist by the Money Trust investigation, will be legalized."

Even as early as 1916 President Woodrow Wilson was saying:

"I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country. A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated Governments in the civilized world--no longer a Government by free opinion, no longer a Government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a Government by the opinion and duress of a small amount of dominant men."

No more stinging condemnation of a concept can be given than by the man who, convinced it was for the good, championed it in the first place!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Many Euphemisms for Money Creation by Thorsten Polleit

The Many Euphemisms for Money Creation by Thorsten Polleit

The Hits Keep Coming - More Taxes Under ObamaCare

“I can make a firm pledge. Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes,” President Obama, September 12, 2008

Beginning January 1, 2013, ObamaCare imposes a 3.8% Medicare tax on unearned income, including the sale of single family homes, townhouses, co-ops, condominiums, and even rental income. In February 2010, 5.02 million homes were sold, according to the National Association of Realtors. On any given day, the sale of a house, townhome, condominium, co-op, or income from a rental property can push middle-income families over the $250,000 threshold and slam them with a new tax they can’t afford.

This new ObamaCare tax is the first time the government will apply a 3.8 percent tax on unearned income. This new tax on home sales and unearned income and other Medicare taxes raise taxes more than $210 billion to pay for ObamaCare. The National Association of Realtors called this new Medicare tax on unearned income “destructive” and “ill-advised” and warned it would hurt job creation.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

"We have met the enemy, and he is us."

The lovely Miss Puddy accompanied me to the movies a few weeks ago for a viewing of “Unstoppable” with Denzel Washington. In the movie Washington, a 30-year veteran locomotive engineer saves the day by not listening to the bureaucracy and trusting his instinct honed by years on the job. It is the story of a simple journeyman veteran who knows his trade well from 30 years on the job who saves the day. Washington represents the typical workingman who is fast disappearing in this country.

He plays a blue-collar professional who has dedicated his entire working life to his career. I read the other day that the average young person entering the workforce today will have three different careers throughout his working life – not 3 different jobs but 3 different vocations. How can anyone obtain proficiency in 3 different careers in one lifetime? I feel that if this country’s manufacturing/mining/farming economy is to be saved it will be by people like Washington’s character. Even the ordinary newspaper delivery guy can take pride in his job.
G o o g l e David Bond’s short article, “The Dog Biscuit Miracle” and see how any job can be done with dignity and pride.

Unfortunately everyone seems to be looking for Uncle Sam to be the hero and to rush in and save the day. Our old uncle is in poor shape and is hardly able to help anyone these days.

“The nation is badly insolvent and lacks legitimate income sources, something economists fail to grasp.” Jim Willie

“The US has lost 42,400 factories since 2001. The US has lost 32% of its manufacturing jobs since 2000.” Peter Grandich

We have allowed multi-national corporations to move our factories offshore and left our markets wide open. We were sold the idea that “we” could “think” and “they” could “work”. The idea that factories and mines were dirty and should be moved offshore while we could operate clean financial services, distribution and other service industry jobs was sold to us. We were taught that our economy was based on consumption. The federal reserve drove down interest rates and encouraged everyone to mine the equity out of their homes and to spend our accumulated wealth on new cars, vacations and other mindless consumer goods.

And don’t just blame the democrats.

Phil Gramm’s wife worked hard to repeal the Glass-Steagall act that allowed banks to operate in other financial markets. You would have thought we learned something from the 1930’s. All through the last 30 years our local banks have been gutted and monster national and international banks have taken over the local bank branch in your neighborhood. There was a reason that the very special business of banking with all its special privileges was only allowed to operate locally on a county basis just a few decades ago. A banker from 1980 looking at today’s mess would be astounded at what has happened. The gradual changes in banking over the past decades have been a travesty.

The Federal Reserve is now printing money with QE I (just creating money out of thin air; counterfeiting), QE II and QE to infinity.

There will be no end to monetizing the debt.

Stock outflows by investors have been high over the past year. Now bond outflows are alarming. The fed is quickly becoming the buyer of last resort for US bonds.

David Stockman says that our $800 billion defense and homeland security establishment will be forced to de-mobilize by the world bond market.

Bond vigilantes will force the US to finally balance their budget. The US cannot afford higher interest rates. The only other option is default. The fed cannot monetize the debt forever without the dollar falling apart (a default on the dollar itself).

“Any bartender could explain the situation. Bernanke is watering down the whiskey.” Bill Bonner

We are now facing a deadline with the debt ceiling. Tim Geithner says if the debt ceiling is not raised soon the US will begin to default on its obligations. Of course they have to raise the debt ceiling. Otherwise they have to cut spending by 1/3rd and balance the budget immediately. Congress doesn’t have the will to cut that deeply – YET. I predict there will be much posturing and many fine speeches but in the end they will raise the debt ceiling.

Many government agencies (BLS in particular) claim that the economy is recovering and things will be better soon. I am afraid they are deluded (probably just lying but I will give them the benefit of the doubt and politely say they are crazy). Inflation is coming in things we must import, which is a long list these days. We used to feed the world and now we must import some of our own food. Inflation in food, energy and commodities are here now and will get worse. The BLS (bureau of labor statistics, Dept of Labor) claims inflation is in the low single digits but ask anyone who is writing checks to support a family.

They will tell you their cost of living is up over 10% a year. Retail sales appear to be better but a deeper look at the market numbers show high end goods purchased by the rich are doing well while Wal-Mart sales languish.

The middle class is getting squeezed.

Howard Davidowitz says there is 21 SF of retail space for every man, woman and child in the US. This is twice the usual amount.

Internet sales will make the usual amount too high.

Those retail malls that are marginal now will not make it far into the future. Avoid REITs (real estate investment trusts) for retail commercial real estate.

This is not just a depression like the 1930’s it is a debt collapse AND a currency collapse (our currency is now a monetized debt unit). Think more 1781 and 1865 when the continental dollar collapsed in the 13 colonies and when the CSA notes collapsed in the South at the end of the War Between the States. Until the debt is washed out, written down or forgiven the economy will remain anemic and will not recover.

Transferring the debt from the banks to the government will not fix the problem. The debt is still too great. We must either cast off the debt or be slaves to it for the next several generations.

So what should the average citizen of these great United States do at this point?

Avoid municipal bonds like the plague. They will default first. Avoid long term US bonds as well. Short term US notes (6 months or less) are probably OK for now but keep your finger on the sell trigger. Cut back on all expenses and raise cash.
Live BELOW your means. Save cash and hedge that cash with precious metals. Keep your cash in local credit unions or locally owned banks.
Check their ratings and make sure you are saving in the safest institutions in your area. Cut up those credit cards and quit using them. Pay cash for your purchases. Keep 2 months of cash on hand in an emergency fund. Invest your precious metals 50% in gold and 50% in silver. Invest in physical precious metals when possible. For small investors a good investment is to simply purchase 6 months of non-perishable supplies that they normally use every day. They will probably cost 5 to 10% more in 6 months (not a bad return). Plant a garden or support a local farmer (or both).

“We live in an awkward time, too late to change course but too early to line up and shoot those responsible.” Doug Casey

I will close with another movie. “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” by C.S. Lewis is billed as a children’s story but it is much more than that. In the movie the magician tells the characters, “You’re going to be tempted, and you’ve got to defeat the darkness within before you are able to defeat the darkness without.” Bob Beltz of Walden Media says, “Lewis tells us in his story that God exists and evil exists and there’s great conflict between the forces of good and evil, and ultimately God wins.”

Greed has caused most of our financial problems we now face. We must overcome our own internal demons first. We must prepare for a great conflict. Like C.S. Lewis, I have no doubt of the eventual outcome.

“We have met the enemy and he is us.” Walt Kelly

Larry LaBorde

Silver Trading Company

Hawaii governor can't find Obama birth certificate

Hawaii governor can't find Obama birth certificate

Isn't that odd, after such a fuss made by the governor? And now he admits that it may not exist at all. Hmmm? Maybe the birthers are right about something after all.

Women searching far and wide for o.b. tampons after they mysteriously disappear from store shelves

Women searching far and wide for o.b. tampons after they mysteriously disappear from store shelves

Just one of many items that will become scarce in a hyperinflation situation.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Food Inflation - 'Explosive' Food Prices the Biggest Risk: Analyst - CNBC

Rising commodity prices in oil, gold, silver and food. This is just the early symptoms of a monetary policy failure. Hyperinflation is next.

Food Inflation - 'Explosive' Food Prices the Biggest Risk: Analyst - CNBC

Friday, January 14, 2011

Some New Taxes In Obamacare

The new utopia of Obamacare is rife with new ways to seperate you from your wealth. Of particular interest to me is the government forcing "Charitable Hospitals" to cough up $50, 000 each to the government. Now, where did that money come from? Charity hospitals are "non profit". So, if they don't produce an income and a profit, where does that money come from? Charitable contributions from individuals primarily. Contributions from post tax incomes. Keep that in mind. All of these taxes are being paid with money that has already been taxed.

$50,000 per hospital. This is likely the margin between keeping a "Shriner's Hospital for Children" or "Scottish Rite" hospital in business or closing their doors. It may seem like a trivial amount of money per hospital to some people, but to the men that stand on busy street corners with a bucket, collecting donations and giving their time and effort, this is more like felony grand theft.

Medicine Cabinet Tax($5 bil/Jan 2011): Americans no longer able to use health savings account (HSA), flexible spending account (FSA), or health reimbursement (HRA) pre-tax dollars to purchase non-prescription, over-the-counter medicines (except insulin)

HSA Withdrawal Tax Hike($1.4 bil/Jan 2011): Increases additional tax on non-medical early withdrawals from an HSA from 10 to 20 percent, disadvantaging them relative to IRAs and other tax-advantaged accounts, which remain at 10 percent.

Flexible Spending Account Cap – aka“Special Needs Kids Tax”($13 bil/Jan 2013): Imposes cap of $2500 (Indexed to inflation after 2013) on FSAs (now unlimited). . There is one group of FSA owners for whom this new cap will be particularly cruel and onerous: parents of special needs children. There are thousands of families with special needs children in the United States, and many of them use FSAs to pay for special needs education. Tuition rates at one leading school that teaches special needs children in Washington, D.C. (National Child Research Center) can easily exceed $14,000 per year. Under tax rules, FSA dollars can be used to pay for this type of special needs education.

Tax on Medical Device Manufacturers($20 bil/Jan 2013): Medical device manufacturers employ 360,000 people in 6000 plants across the country. This law imposes a new 2.3% excise tax. Exemptions include items retailing for less than $100.

Raise Threshold for Medical Itemized Deduction from 7.5% to 10% of AGI($15.2 bil/Jan 2013): Currently, those facing high medical expenses are allowed a deduction for medical expenses to the extent that those expenses exceed 7.5 percent of adjusted gross income (AGI). The new provision imposes a threshold of 10 percent of AGI; it is waived for 65+ taxpayers in 2013-2016 only.

Tax on Indoor Tanning Services($2.7 billion/July 1, 2010): New 10 percent excise tax on Americans using indoor tanning salons

Elimination of tax deduction for employer-provided retirement Rx drug coverage in coordination with Medicare Part D($4.5 bil/Jan 2013)
Blue Cross/Blue Shield Tax Hike($0.4 bil/Jan 2010): The special tax deduction in current law for Blue Cross/Blue Shield companies would only be allowed if 85 percent or more of premium revenues are spent on clinical services

Excise Tax on Charitable Hospitals(Min$/immediate): $50,000 per hospital if they fail to meet new "community health assessment needs," "financial assistance," and "billing and collection" rules set by HHS

Tax on Innovator Drug Companies($22.2 bil/Jan 2010): $2.3 billion annual tax on the industry imposed relative to share of sales made that year.

Tax on Health Insurers($60.1 bil/Jan 2014): Annual tax on the industry imposed relative to health insurance premiums collected that year. The stipulation phases in gradually until 2018, and is fully-imposed on firms with $50 million in profits.
$500,000 Annual Executive Compensation Limit for Health Insurance Executives($0.6 bil/Jan 2013)

Employer Reporting of Insurance on W-2(Min$/Jan 2011): Preamble to taxing health benefits on individual tax returns.

Corporate 1099-MISC Information Reporting($17.1 bil/Jan 2012): Requires businesses to send 1099-MISC information tax forms to corporations (currently limited to individuals), a huge compliance burden for small employers

“Black liquor” tax hike(Tax hike of $23.6 billion). This is a tax increase on a type of bio-fuel.
Codification of the “economic substance doctrine”(Tax hike of $4.5 billion). This provision allows the IRS to disallow completely-legal tax deductions and other legal tax-minimizing plans just because the IRS deems that the action lacks “substance” and is merely intended to reduce taxes owed.

I thought that this was supposed to lower costs? Looks more like finding more ways to steal from the American people.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Another Great Stride For 10th Amendment

This morning, World Net Daily reported that the state of Montana is reinforcing it's efforts to keep state sovereignty and keep the Feds out of their business.

"The state of Montana, which came up with the idea that the guns made, sold and kept inside its borders simply are exempt from federal regulations and made that its law, now is considering a new weapon that could be used to cancel much of the authority of federal agents over its residents.

A new legislative proposal would declare that the state's local county sheriffs are the pre-eminent law enforcement authority in their jurisdictions, and federal agents such as those working for the Internal Revenue Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and others, would be required to get permission from them before they could take any action.
Read More Here"

If only Georgia had the stones to put the same sort of legislation into effect.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Some Compelling Reasons To End The Fed

Aside from the never ending boom and bust cycles and the ultimate transfer of all American wealth from private ownership to that of foreign bankers, how bad could the Federal Reserve really be for the USA?

"Well, the following are 10 things that would be different if the Federal Reserve had never been created:

#1 If the U.S. government had been issuing debt-free money all this time, the U.S. government could conceivably have a national debt of zero dollars. Instead, we currently have a national debt that is over 14 trillion dollars.
#2 If the U.S. government had been issuing debt-free money all this time, the U.S. government would likely not be spending one penny on interest payments. Instead, the U.S. government spent over 413 billion dollars on interest on the national debt during fiscal 2010. This is money that belonged to U.S. taxpayers that was transferred to the U.S. government which in turn was transferred to wealthy international bankers and other foreign governments. It is being projected that the U.S. government will be paying 900 billion dollars just in interest on the national debt by the year 2019.
#3 If the U.S. government could issue debt-free money, there would not even have to be a debate about raising "the debt ceiling", because such a debate would not even be necessary.
#4 If the U.S. government could issue debt-free money, it is conceivable that we would not even need the IRS. You doubt this? Well, the truth is that the United States did just fine for well over a hundred years without a national income tax. But about the same time the Federal Reserve was created a national income tax was instituted as well. The whole idea was that the wealth of the American people would be transferred to the U.S. government by force and then transferred into the hands of the ultra-wealthy in the form of interest payments.
#5 If the Federal Reserve did not exist, we would not be on the verge of national insolvency. The Congressional Budget Office is projecting that U.S. government debt held by the public will reach a staggering 716 percent of GDP by the year 2080.
#6 If the Federal Reserve did not exist, the big Wall Street banks would not have such an overwhelming advantage. Most Americans simply have no idea that over the last several years the Federal Reserve has been giving gigantic piles of nearly interest-free money to the big Wall Street banks which they turned right around and started lending to the federal government at a much higher rate of return. I don't know about you, but if I was allowed to do that I could make a whole bunch of money very quickly. In fact, it has come out that the Federal Reserve made over $9 trillion in overnight loans to major banks, large financial institutions and other "friends" during the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009.
#7 If the Federal Reserve did not exist, it is theoretically conceivable that we would have an economy with little to no inflation. Of course that would greatly depend on the discipline of our government officials (which is not very great at this point), but the sad truth is that our current system is always going to produce inflation. In fact, the Federal Reserve system was originally designed to be inflationary. Just check out the inflation chart posted below. The U.S. never had ongoing problems with inflation before the Fed was created, but now it is just wildly out of control.
#8 If the Federal Reserve had never been created, the U.S. dollar would not be a dying currency. Since the Federal Reserve was created, the U.S. dollar has lost well over 95 percent of its purchasing power. By constantly inflating the currency, it transfers financial power away from those already holding the wealth (the American people) to those that are able to create more currency and more government debt. Back in 1913, the total U.S. national debt was just under 3 billion dollars. Today, the U.S. government is spending approximately 6.85 million dollars per minute, and the U.S. national debt is increasing by over 4 billion dollars per day.
#9 If the Federal Reserve did not exist, we would not have an unelected, unaccountable "fourth branch of government" running around that has gotten completely and totally out of control. Even some members of Congress are now openly complaining about how much power the Fed has. For example, Ron Paul told MSNBC last year that he believes that the Federal Reserve is now more powerful than Congress.....
"The regulations should be on the Federal Reserve. We should have transparency of the Federal Reserve. They can create trillions of dollars to bail out their friends, and we don’t even have any transparency of this. They’re more powerful than the Congress."
#10 If the Federal Reserve had never been created, the American people would be much more free. We would not be enslaved to this horrific national debt. Our politicians would not have to run around the globe begging people to lend us money. Representatives that we directly elect would be the ones setting national monetary policy. Our politicians would be much less under the influence of the international banking elite. We would not be at the mercy of the financial bubbles that the Fed has constantly been creating." - So says The Economic Collapse

But that's just for starters. It has come to light that Tea Party favorite and Atlanta talk radio show host Herman Cain was once a member of the Board of Directors of the Kansas City branch of the Federal Reserve Bank. Mr. Cain has formed an "exploratory committee" in preparation for a likely Presidential bid in 2012 which has many Tea Party supporters excited. I am extremely wary of Mr. Cain, especially after his recent remarks while filling in for Sean Hannity on the radio, wherein he stated "There is no need to Audit The Fed". I think the 10 examples above are more than sufficient reason for an audit, and then a complete dismantling of the entire Federal Reserve System.

Glock Sales Double In Arizona After Jan 8 Shootings

After a Glock-wielding gunman killed six people at a Tucson shopping center on Jan. 8, Greg Wolff, the owner of two Arizona gun shops, told his manager to get ready for a stampede of new customers.
Wolff was right. Instead of hurting sales, the massacre had the $499 semi-automatic pistols — popular with police, sport shooters and gangsters — flying out the doors of his Glockmeister stores in Mesa and Phoenix.
“We’re at double our volume over what we usually do,” Wolff said two days after the shooting spree that also left 14 wounded, including Democratic Representative Gabrielle Giffords, who remains in critical condition.
A national debate over weaknesses in state and federal gun laws stirred by the shooting has stoked fears among gun buyers that stiffer restrictions may be coming from Congress, gun dealers say. The result is that a deadly demonstration of the weapon’s effectiveness has also fired up sales of handguns in Arizona and other states, according to federal law enforcement data.
“When something like this happens people get worried that the government is going to ban stuff,” Wolff said.
Arizona gun dealers say that among the biggest sellers over the past two days is the Glock 19 made by privately held Glock GmbH, based in Deutsch-Wagram, Austria, the model used in the shooting.

Sales Jump

One-day sales of handguns in Arizona jumped 60 percent on Jan. 10 compared with the corresponding Monday a year ago, the second-biggest increase of any state in the country, according to Federal Bureau of Investigation data. From a year earlier, handgun sales ticked up yesterday 65 percent in Ohio, 16 percent in California, 38 percent in Illinois and 33 percent inNew York, the FBI data show, and increased nationally about 5 percent.
Federally tracked gun sales, which are drawn from sales in gun stores that require a federal background check, also jumped following the 2007 massacre at Virginia Tech, in which 32 people were killed.
“Whenever there is a huge event, especially when it’s close to home, people do tend to run out and buy something to protect their family,” said Don Gallardo, a manager at Arizona Shooter’s World in Phoenix, who said that the number of people signing up for the store’s concealed weapons class doubled over the weekend. Gallardo said he expects handgun sales to climb steadily throughout the week.

Permissive Laws

Jared Loughner, the 22-year-old accused in the shooting, has a petty criminal record, yet so far there’s no evidence that his background contained anything that would have prevented him from buying a handgun in Arizona, where limits on owning and carrying a gun are among the most permissive in the country, according to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, a gun- control advocacy group.
Critics have focused on the extended magazine used in the shooting. It was illegal until 2004 under the expired federal ban on assault weapons. The clip — still banned in some states and popular in Arizona, gun dealers say — allegedly allowed Loughner to fire 33 rounds without reloading.
Democratic Representative Carolyn McCarthy of New York said this week that she plans to introduce legislation that would ban the high-capacity magazine. McCarthy’s husband was one of six people shot to death in 1993 by a lone gunman on a Long Island railroad train. Her son was among the 19 people wounded.
“The fact that the guy had a magazine that could carry 33 rounds, he was not out to just kill. He was there to do a mass killing,” said Dr. Lawrence Kobilinsky, a forensics expert at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York.

Virginia Tech

Light and easy to use, a Glock 9 mm was also wielded by the Virginia Tech killer, Seung-Hui Cho, in a spree that left 32 people dead. The gun is among the most popular sidearms for U.S. police departments. A negative for law enforcement is that the rifling of the barrel makes it almost impossible to match a bullet to an individual weapon with ballistic tests, Kobilinsky said.
“It’s one of the greatest guns made in the history of the world,” said Wolff, whose two stores sell Glock-made weapons almost exclusively.
When Loughner allegedly walked into Tucson’s Sportsman’s Warehouse last November to buy a Glock 19 — favored as a concealed weapon because it is slightly smaller and lighter than similar caliber handguns — federal law would have required a background check via the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, a telephone-based check administered by the FBI.

Background Check

Loughner would have had to present his driver’s license and answer several questions, including queries on past drug use, domestic violence or felony convictions. Wolff said in most cases the check takes less than five minutes and the number of denials he receives is a tiny fraction of the total.
Wolff called the shooting “horrible.” Nonetheless, it has created a surge of publicity for the gun, he said.
“It’s in the news now. I’m sure the Green Bay Packers are selling all kinds of jerseys today as well,” he said. “I just think our state embraces guns.”
Arizona law allows anyone to carry a gun in public if it’s in full view, making it what’s known as an open-carry state. Until recently, gun store owners say, it was common to see people carrying weapons in grocery stores or coffee shops. That’s less true today, because last year that state passed a law allowing individuals to carry a concealed weapon without a permit.

Gun Law Rating

Daniel Vise, senior attorney with the Brady Campaign, said Arizona received a score of two out of 100 on the organization’s rating of state gun laws, and that the rate of gun deaths in the state is one and a half times the national average.
Brady Campaign spokeswoman Caroline Brewer said that some states require local law enforcement agencies to approve gun permits, a system that would have given authorities a chance to further assess Loughner, whose behavior acquaintances have described as erratic. Loughner tried to buy ammunition the morning of the shooting at a local Wal-Mart Stores Inc. outlet, then left during the sale process, according to a statement by the company.
“If a clerk at Wal-Mart picked something up and refused to sell this guy some ammunition, we can certainly imagine that law enforcement would have picked that up as well,” Brewer said.

*Taken from Bloomberg.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Shooting of a Congresswoman

Sad, just sad. Reprehensible.

Gabrielle Giffords, and the other 18 Arizonans who were gunned down over the weekend didn't deserve to be victims of an act of this sort of violence.

What was the motivation? We don't know yet for certain. The mainstream media is heartset on blaming the "right wing nutjobs", even though the shooter has been described, via Twitter, by classmate Caitie Parker as " As I knew him he was left wing, quite liberal. & oddly obsessed with the 2012 prophecy". Her Twitter account has since been gobbled up by lack of bandwidth or by the FBI, but prior to it being shut down her account is available here

The Left via The Huffington Post and AOL News (Time Warner) has published the following:

In March, Giffords' congressional office in Tucson was vandalized after she voted in favor of the bill. Sarah Palin included Giffords on a list of Democratic candidates in the crosshairs for defeat in the midterm elections because of their support for the overhaul.
When asked by the New York Post whether his daughter had any enemies, Spencer Giffords, 75, tearfully replied: "The whole tea party."
Palin, whose map of targeted Democrats was taken down soon after the shooting, posted condolences on her Facebook page, saying, "On behalf of Todd and my family, we all pray for the victims and their families, and for peace and justice."

I don't believe "in the cross hairs" is anything more than a metaphor, "in my sights", " I've got my sights set", " I aim to", "my ambition is" Get over it people. Sarah Palin no more influenced the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords than Bill Maher did.

Oh, it was Bill Maher who "joked" about Sarah Palin being the first of the useless people to be killed. He also had this to say " Above all, India is a land of spiritual renewal, where many believe in recincarnation. And if there is such a thing as karma, let's hope that Sarah Palin comes back as a wolf being shot from a plane."

So if Sarah Palin is in fact shot and killed, should we blame Bill Maher?

I think the whole country needs to back off of the whole blame game in the political arena and put it where it belongs, on Jared Loughner.

"Abuse of words has been the great instrument of sophistry and chicanery, of party, faction, and division of society." - John Adams

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Friday, January 7, 2011

Sevices in California beginning to lag

In the now bankrupt state of California, it's amazing that anyone is surprised that services are not quite what they used to be.
According to NBC Los Angeles, it will now take "months" to get your new drivers liscense.
Why not take the Libertarian approach? Why do I need a liscense to drive a motor vehicle that I own, on roads that I have through taxation, contributed to the cost of construction, or pay tolls to use?

When will the renminbi overtake the dollar?

When will the renminbi overtake the dollar?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Critical Theory

Are you kidding me? For what cost of Liberty is your perception of Safety?

Miami/Dade County to begin using Predator Drones for "Law Enforcement" and the ACLU thinks it's just great. Who paid them off?

The American Civil Liberties Union? Apparently not. It seems that the only things that the ACLU raises a stink about are violations of our rights by "conservatives" or anyone who doesn't ascribe to a Liberal social agenda. We have the government spying on US citizens, and the ACLU signs off on it? WTF? Someone ought to waterboard the Miami-Dade Police Director to get their attention.

Make no mistake, these machines have only one function: Surveillance. I don't care what the "county officials" have to say about it. "It gives us a good opportunity to have an eye up there. Not a surveilling eye, not a spying eye. Let's make the distinction. A surveilling eye to help us to do the things we need to do, honestly, to keep people safe," said Miami-Dade Police Director James Loftus.
An eye.......not surveilling, not spying......what the hell does that mean? What else does an aircraft built for surveillence do? Take pictures of bikini clad hotties sunbathing? I think not.
We are under surveillence by our government, plain and simple.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Thousands of Dead Birds and Fish. Related to BP Gulf Oil Spill?

Look at the map of the Earth HERE. Give it a minute or two to load and then check out the links associated with the "pins" on the map. Hundreds of thousands of dead birds and fish around the globe in a matter of a few days. Very strange, indeed.
I'm going out on a bit of a conspiracy limb here, but, you will notice that except in the USA, the vast majority of the dead animals are right along the sea shore. Bear with me, it's coming.
There were and still are millions of gallons of oil and dispersants like Corexit (proven to be hazardous and the EPA asked BP to stop applying, which BP ignored), associated with the BP Gulf oil spill, flowing around the globe in the currents of the oceans. Now, back to the USA and the large numbers of dead birds and fish. Notice on the map that the majority to the deaths are in the Eastern Half of the country, either along the coasts that are associated with the Gulf Stream or, inland directly North and East of the Gulf of Mexico.
Where were all of those chemicals again, oh, yeah the Gulf of Mexico. Remember the blizzard of Christmas 2010? Where did all of the moisture come from? Well, in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Western Texas, it was from the Pacific Ocean. As the storm moved East, it took a dip with the Jet Stream and picked up a tremendous amount of water from the warm Gulf of Mexico and deposited all of that moisture in the form of snow and rain all along the Eastern half of the Country.
Is there any validity to my hypothesis? I don't know, but it sure seems coincidental.

More Gloom On The Horizon In This "Recovering" Economy

World food prices rose to a record in December on higher sugar, grain and oilseed costs, the United Nations said, exceeding levels reached in 2008 that sparked deadly riots from Haiti to Egypt, according to Bloomberg Today, on that Liberal Lapdog network CNN there was great information about the spike in other commodity prices, like oil and gold.
"Experts are a bit more bullish about oil than gold, with more than a third of the 32 survey respondents predicting $100-a-barrel crude prices by the end of 2011. Nearly half of those surveyed think gold will rise at least 7% to $1,500 an ounce by year end. " CNN says.

What does this mean? Well, when accompanied by the news that World Bank has issued it's first bonds in a currency other than US Dollars, it could be the signal of a coming total collapse of the US Dollar. The World Bank began issuing bonds in Chinese Yuan today in Hong Kong. This is not going to be good for anyone holding Federal Reserve Notes.

Bludgeon and Skewer, Who Knew?

I have to send out a big thank you to my pal Shane over at the ole Bludgeon and Skewer. It seems, that his followers love my ramblings and musings. Or, they aren't quite right in the head and just read it to be polite.
I only say this, since the B&S is my number one referral!!!!
Thanks, Shane, I really appreciate it.

Collapse of Fiat Currnecy

Constitution under fire again

President Obama has allowed these United Sates to be sucked into a compact, or Treaty, with the rest of the world, in which, he takes full personal responsibility in the face of usurpation of Constitutional authority. He has pushed an agenda and signed off on a policy that amounts to a Treaty, and in full contempt of his authority.
This is an operation that should qualify as an impeachable offense. Will the Senate take it up?
I doubt it.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Land of The Free? You Have Been Lied To. The Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure: One of the Most Evil Books in Print

I recently obtained the latest edition of West’s Criminal Code and Rules, the book containing the rules you need to know if you are ever accused of a federal criminal offense. The book is updated every year, and each new edition supersedes the prior edition. It gets worse every year.

The West’s edition now runs to more than 1600 pages, with abridgments and supplements. In addition to the Rules of Criminal Procedure, the book contains selected federal criminal statutes, the Federal Rules of Evidence, the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure, and the Rules of the Supreme Court of the United States. On virtually every page are mechanisms to hurt, humiliate, control and enslave people to the government’s will – all presented within a framework of procedural rules.

In theory, these rules provide an accused with avenues to defend himself. But one can judge a scheme of procedural rules by its fruits, and the codification, growth and expansion of the Federal Rules of Procedure (of which most state procedural codes are virtual copies), have produced the world’s highest incarceration rate – and probably the highest incarceration rate ever registered in any society in human history. Even more significantly, the Federal Criminal Code and its procedural rules and guidelines have almost eliminated criminal trials in many jurisdictions, because most defendants are unable to defend themselves effectively under the rules and simply plead guilty. Such is the lopsided nature of the Federal Rules that they produce untold mountains of printed accusations and claims against individual Americans, while facilitating no more than a few sentences (generally at sentencing hearings) in rebuttal in most cases.

Footnotes are found on virtually every page of the Federal Rules, tracing dates of amendments and the steady progression of punishments over time. In general, Congress has ratcheted up sentences, expanded the limitation periods in statutes of limitations, expanded rewards for those who cooperate with the government, and limited or eliminated avenues for people to challenge government accusations and court judgments. One is hard pressed to find crimes described in the book as misdemeanors, even if they were misdemeanors long ago. Today, most federal crimes are felonies, and conviction brings more or less automatic prison time.

Altering or removing motor vehicle identification numbers? Up to 5 years in Federal prison. Using the telephone to incite or to "organize, promote," or even encourage a riot? Up to 5 years. Attempting to coerce any federal employee into "any political activity"? Up to 3 years. Removing or affixing a U.S. Customs seal on any merchandise without government permission? Up to 10 years in prison. Transporting "terrorists" on your boat? Up to life in prison. Engaging in "street gang" activity? An additional 10 years may be added to your sentence. Knowingly using a misleading domain name on the Internet in order to attract viewers to online porn? Up to two years in prison. Sending a letter in the mail urging insurrection? Up to 10 years. Trading with known pirates on the high seas? Up to 3 years.

The book seems to provide dozens of separate laws exposing unwary Americans to federal prison for simply filling out paperwork wrong. (Note that these provisions are almost never applied to people in government, who regularly fill out paperwork incorrectly.) There are provisions subjecting Americans to life in prison for cocaine possession. There are open-ended provisions which may (or may not) criminalize pouring a cup of coffee on the ground (and thus violating the Clean Water Act) or accidentally catching certain breeds of fish from the oceans. It remains only for a savvy prosecutor to fill in the blanks and add to the list of crimes that Congress may (or may not) have created.

Few people are aware that the Federal Rules (not just of criminal procedure but of civil procedure, appellate procedure, bankruptcy procedure and Supreme Court procedure) are riddled with provisions that grant more time to the government to file and respond to pleadings and briefs, greater privileges of appearance, and greater ease of prosecuting and defending litigation than individuals in the private sector. The governing advisory committees that produce these rules of procedure have offered no explanation for these filing requirement disparities.

Just a few examples:

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(a) provides that U.S. government parties have 60 days to answer civil complaints, compared with only 20 days for private-sector parties. (This same 60-day/20-day filing disparity applies to the filing of cross-claims, counterclaims and third-party claims as well);
Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 4(a) provides that litigants have 30 days to file appeals in civil cases, "but if the United States or an officer or agency thereof is a party, the notice of appeal may be filed by any party within 60 days after such entry";
Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 4(b) provides that the United States has 30 days to appeal from criminal judgments, compared with only 10 days for criminal defendants.
Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 40(a)(1) provides that petitions for rehearing "may be filed within 14 days after entry of judgment" in a civil case unless "the United States or its officer or agency is a party," in which case any party may seek rehearing within 45 days of judgment.
There are also provisions of the Rules that grant the government greater privileges with regard to the filing of amicus curiae briefs in support of government positions:

Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 29 allows "[t]he United States or its officer or agency, or a State, Territory, Commonwealth, or the District of Columbia" to "file an amicus-curiae brief without the consent of the parties or leave of court" while "[a]ny other amicus curiae may file a brief only by leave of court or if the brief states that all parties have consented to its filing";
U.S. Supreme Court Rule 37.4 provides that "No motion for leave to file an amicus curiae brief is necessary if the brief is presented on behalf of the United States by the Solicitor General; on behalf of any agency of the United States . . . ; on behalf of a State, Commonwealth, Territory, or Possession when submitted by its Attorney General; or on behalf of a city, county, town, or similar entity when submitted by its authorized law officer." All other amici are required to seek permission to file such briefs.

When compounded over time and federal jurisdictions since the 1930s (when the feds began codifying rules of court procedure), these differing deadlines for drafting briefs and pleadings have translated into millions of hours of extra time for Justice Department lawyers to research and prepare litigation documents. The disparities have almost certainly contributed to profound inequalities exhibited between Americans of different social, income and political strata in the past several decades.


Americans seeking to access the federal courts independently will find that the filing fees are substantial. It now costs $350 to file a petition or a lawsuit in federal court. That is, unless you are a government lawyer, and then there are no filing fees whatsoever. Filing an appeal? Another $450 for parties in the private sector. Again, free for the government. In recent years there have been repeated arguments that certain politically marginalized individuals (incarcerated prisoners, for example) file too many "frivolous" lawsuits. Congress responded by drastically limiting the rights of such people to file suits in federal court. Not so for the greatest single source of truly frivolous cases – the U.S. Justice Department – whose access to the courts remains limitless. This entity alone is responsible for thousands of false accusations against innocent Americans, many of whom have languished in prisons over the decades.

When neoconservatives gripe that federal courts coddle defendants (or would coddle "terrorists"), they are depicting a fictional court system that exists only in their imaginations. In practice, the federal courts overwhelmingly favor the government, and the rules of procedure are loaded with tricks and traps for the poor and the unwary. Anyone who faces the federal government in court knows that these "protections" are elusive, far-fetched, and in some cases illusionary.

Most so-called defense lawyers shiver in fear at the thought of trying to actually "defend" a client from a federal prosecution. Most begin their "defense" by seeking a plea bargain. Here is an interesting article describing the exodus of criminal defense lawyers from the field due to the increasingly lopsided rules of procedure. Criminal defense is not only unrewarding financially; it can be downright dangerous. Many of the most high profile defense lawyers of the past century – including Clarence Darrow, William Kunstler, F. Lee Bailey, Bruce Cutler, Lynne Stewart, Geoffrey Fieger (and doubtless many others) – have been subjected to criminal prosecution themselves after defending clients too zealously.

A recurring trick in federal court occurs when "defense" lawyers convince their clients to plead guilty to what a defendant believes is a minor count of a large indictment, in exchange for the government dropping other counts. After the guilty plea, a sentencing investigation is conducted by the U.S. Probation office (which is theoretically neutral but which in practice works closely with the prosecution). The Probation Office’s "presentence investigation report" invariably recommends a sentence consistent with conviction on all the counts that were "dropped" by the government in the plea deal, and the defendant is then sentenced according to the worst allegations of the prosecution (without any ability to challenge such allegations at a trial). The lawbooks are literally filled with appeals of such sentences. I have read many dozens of these cases. There are probably hundreds. Here is a thoughtful dissent by a federal judge regarding this shameful practice.

What makes the Federal Criminal Code truly despicable is its disguise as a code of fair and equal procedural protections. Indeed, this deception makes West’s Federal Criminal Code and Rules worthy of inclusion among other infamously cruel books of human history. It deserves a place on the shelves next to the Communist Manifesto, Mein Kampf, and Keynes’ General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money. The Federal Criminal Code documents the advancement of coordinated, systematic scheme of state tyrannical control – with a procedural overlay.

January 4, 2011
Dr. Roger Roots, J.D., Ph.D. [send him mail] has recently authored a detailed article on the unfairness of the Federal Rules of Procedure for the American Journal of Trial Advocacy.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

TSA Photocopies Traveller's Credit Cards and Other Personal Documents

Perhaps they just wanted to know how to keep tabs on someone who stood up to them? Papers Please!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

A New Year brings new ways for the government to infringe upon our rights.

In a brave stand against the TSA, a Charlottesville, VA man stripped naked at a security checkpoint in Richmond yesterday. On the chest and stomach of 21 year old Aaron Tobey were written these words: " Amendment 4: The right of the people to be secure against unreasonable searches and seizures will not be violated".
Mr. Tobey was witnessed at the checkpoint "absent of shirt and pants in full public view, exposing language regarding the 4th amendment, on his chest and abdomen". He was promptly arrested for disorderly conduct, given a citation and released. The article did not mention if he was allowed to continue on his journey via air.
As frustration grows amongst air travelers who are very vocal to the airlines, many airports are considering dropping the TSA in favor of private security firms, a move that many Libertarians, such as myself, consider the right thing to do.
We all must remain diligent and steadfast in our rights and challenge the unconstitutional behavior of the Federal Government every time it occurs or we will find ourselves one generation away from totalitarianism.