Monday, June 30, 2008

Levine facing criminal charges, disclipinary action arising from drug treatment program

A former Mason County physician faces not only criminal charges for drug-related offenses, but also disciplinary action for alleged "sexual misconduct" with three female patients who were part of a drug treatment program.

On June 10, the Pike County, Ohio, grand jury returned a six-count indictment against Dr. Jack M. Levine. According to the indictment, Levine is charged with two counts each of illegal processing of drug documents, deception to obtain a dangerous drug and trafficking in drugs.

In a letter dated the next day, the State Medical Board of Ohio notified Levine that it "intends to determine whether or not to limit, revoke, permanently revoke, suspend, refuse to register or reinstate your certificate to practice osteopathic medicine and surgery, or to reprimand you or place you on probation." The Board's action stems from inappropriate comments made toward or touching of female patients part of a Suboxone treatment program.

Suboxone is a brand-name drug used as a replacement for methadone to treat people addicted to opioids such as heroin.

Though it is unclear if both the indictment and disciplinary action are related, both refer to alleged actions taken by Levine in 2007.

For more on this article, go to The West Virginia Record

Monday, June 9, 2008

Why (government-sponsored) downtown revitalization efforts are a bad idea

By J. H. Huebert

What a thrill to visit cities that have “revitalized” their downtown areas! From the empty streets to the government offices to the abandoned retail spaces—what’s not to like?
Well, everything, of course.

Not only are such areas unsightly and useless, they often come at the expense of millions of taxpayer dollars and eminent-domain coercion.

There’s nothing wrong with feeling a bit nostalgic for when everyone worked and shopped in a bustling downtown—although I happen to enjoy today’s so-called “sprawl,” especially as I think about how it demonstrates how well the market serves consumers with an ever-increasing variety of goods at ever-lower prices. But in any event, fuzzy feelings about downtown areas apparently aren’t very important to most people who do have them, because those people don’t put their money where their mouths are. They choose to live, work, and shop in outlying neighborhoods instead.

Voting, however, offers such people an opportunity to act on their emotions at virtually no personal cost. Thus we get government-sponsored “revitalize downtown” efforts in cities all across America that fail again and again.

For more on this article, go to The April 2008 edition of The Freeman, a publication of The Foundation for Economic Education

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Obama and McCain are both wrong on foreign policy

by Sheldon Richman

Barack Obama’s call for talks with “our enemies” is shaping up as a major bone of contention between him and John McCain in the presidential campaign. As usual, both the Democrat and the Republican get it wrong.

Obama says he would sit down with so-called adversaries such as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Cuban President Raul Castro, and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to talk out their differences. Although somewhat vague, he emphasizes that such talks should be held with few conditions. As his website puts it, “Obama is willing to meet with the leaders of all nations, friend and foe. He will do the careful preparation necessary, but will signal that America is ready to come to the table, and that he is willing to lead.”

McCain has slammed Obama, arguing that his position shows his “inexperience and reckless judgment.”

How can both be wrong?

For more on this commentary, go to the Future of Freedom Foundation.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

NBC - TASS, American style

Did NBC (and many other mainstream media outlets) provide a pro-Bush, pro-war slant to news coverage leading up to the invasion of Iraq? "Yes, indeedy," says best-selling author, attorney and Salon contributor Glenn Greenwald.

"Don't Talk to the Police"

Virginia Beach, Va. - On March 14, Regent University Law Professor James Duane gave a presentation to the university's chapter of the Federalist Society titled "In Praise of the Fifth Amendment: Why No Criminal Suspect Should Ever Talk to the Police." Whether you're a student of constitutional law, or someone who's a suspect in a criminal investigation, Prof. Duane's talk is an excellent primer on the much maligned Fifth Amendment.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

11th Circuit to Consider Whether Right to Counsel Is Lost When Assets Are Frozen

Atlanta, Ga. - For six years, Kerri Kaley worked at a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, selling the company's latest surgical innovations to hospitals. But she and about two dozen other salespeople of J&J's Ethicon Endosurgery got into trouble with federal authorities by selling inventory that hospitals no longer wanted on the gray market, an indictment charged.

Valid prescription medical devices, such as sutures, allegedly were bought by F&S Medical of Delray Beach, Fla., which turned around and dealt the products to other medical facilities.

Now the Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., woman and her husband, Brian P. Kaley, are the poster children in an appeal pending before the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on the legal standard for pre-trial seizure of a defendant's assets.

For years, the criminal defense bar has been arguing wholesale seizures of assets are unconstitutional because they strip defendants of their Sixth Amendment right to choose the counsel of their choice.

"The Kaleys simply want to use their own money to retain counsel of choice to defend them at trial," said one of their attorneys, Howard Srebnick of Black Srebnick Kornspan & Stumpf in Miami.

"The government is interfering by freezing their assets, including the equity in the home they purchased more than a decade ago, without giving the Kaleys an opportunity pre-trial to confront witnesses and present evidence to establish they have committed no crime."

For more on this article, go to

9th Circuit Blasts U.S. Prosecutor for Withholding Documents

San Francisco, Calif. - Roundly denouncing a Las Vegas federal prosecutor for withholding 650 pages of evidence potentially helpful to two lawyers charged in a stock fraud case, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld dismissal of all 64 charges and refused to allow a retrial.

"This is prosecutorial misconduct in its highest form; conduct in flagrant disregard of the United States Constitution; and conduct which should be deterred by the strongest sanction available," wrote Judge Kim Wardlaw.

The panel found the Nevada U.S. Attorney's Office violated the constitutional obligation to turn over potentially exculpatory information to the defense under Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963).

Five men, including attorneys Daniel Chapman and Sean Flanagan, were charged in 2003 in a 64-count indictment of a complex securities trading scheme called a "box job," in which a small group secretly control corporate shares and manipulate stock through straw officers and shareholders, according to the opinion in U.S. v. Chapman, 2008 WL 1946744.

For more on this article, go

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Suckered into a subprime mortgage: Learing disabled Wis. man buys home he didn't want, and can't afford

Milwaukee, Wis. - Pedro Medellin, a young bank teller who lives with his mother, knows he isn't a typical homebuyer.

"With what I make," he asks, "how would I get approved for a mortgage?"

Yet somehow he did.

While earning $9.25 an hour, Medellin struggles to pay a $103,500 high-interest loan for an often-vandalized house on Milwaukee's north side. The city assessed the property at almost $40,000 less.

To cover the loan, Medellin sends a check each month to a local lender for $1,079 - more than his monthly take-home pay. He must dip into his small savings account or hit up his mother for cash to make up the difference.

The story of how a 24-year-old man with a negative net worth received a six-figure loan from a reputable lender shows how eager the financial community was to dole out subprime loans before the nation's mortgage meltdown.

As housing prices were rising year after year, lenders across the country had eased underwriting standards. As a result, many homebuyers were able to secure high-interest loans without disclosing such basic information as their employment, income or assets. The real estate boom stalled, and many subprime borrowers found themselves unable to refinance or sell their homes.

In Medellin's case, the deal wouldn't have been possible without the motley collection of individuals and firms eager to get a piece of the 8.75% loan and the fees that went with it.

For more on this article, go to The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

Monday, June 2, 2008

Property rights: The Achilles Heel for GOP electoral success in November

by Steve Greenhut

One of the guilty pleasures I expect to partake of later this year is watching the Democratic electoral tsunami obliterate Republicans in the November election. It's not because I often agree with Democrats, who manage to get almost everything wrong, but nothing but a disaster can shake any sense into a GOP that, as one prominent Republican told me, has "engaged in a wholesale abandonment of its limited-government principles."

The California GOP can't figure out its irrelevance, and the Republican governor insists that he is protecting the "little guy" by taxing, borrowing and spending on an even grander scale than his Democratic predecessor. GOP legislators are busy sending out hit pieces in the primary, swearing to do everything short of setting up machine-gun turrets on the Southern border to keep out illegal immigrants, even though no legislative candidate will have any influence whatsoever on immigration policy.

But for all this cluelessness and pandering, the state GOP and its allies in the business community have been unable to unite behind a core pro-freedom position – one that's popular among Californians of all parties and all ethnic and demographic groups. It's the issue of property rights and, in particular, the narrower matter of eminent-domain reform.

For more on this op/ed piece, go to The Orange County Register

Chicago realtor profits from alderman-husband's zoning decisions

Chicago, Ill. - It's hard to miss Barbara O'Connor's face on a drive through North Side neighborhoods, where her real estate signs beckon buyers to "find your way home."

In the last decade she has built a thriving business selling houses and condos, many of which couldn't have been built without zoning changes the developers sought from the 40th Ward alderman—her husband, Patrick O'Connor.

Barbara O'Connor has sold more than $22 million worth of houses and condos in the O'Connors' home ward after the projects first got a thumbs up from her husband. And she has sold homes worth millions of dollars in other parts of the city for developers who at one time or another have come to her husband for help.

It's a situation unique to Chicago, where neighborhood projects live or die on the word of the local alderman, and decisions made long before any public meetings are ultimately rubber-stamped by the City Council.

For more on this article, go to The Chicago Tribune

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Why recessions are important

by Llewellyn H. Rockwell Jr.

We all want to live well and no one wants their living standard to decline. That makes sense, right? It's just the way we are made.

What does not make any sense is the strange article of faith that has descended over Washington, DC, that says that no prices must ever be permitted to decline due to recessionary pressures. All resources in the national treasury, every conceivable monetary manipulation, all efforts of every regulatory body must be marshaled toward the great national goal of re-pumping the economy, which must never ever be permitted to fall even a tiny bit

Welcome to the War on Recession, which is being pursued with the same vehemence and folly as the War on Terror, and will likely prove just as spectacularly destructive of its own aims as well as liberty itself. Maybe we need songs, banners, and little ribbon pins and car magnets too.

For more on this commentary, go to