Monday, July 28, 2008

Burton S. Blumert on buying gold and silver

The latest installment in "The Lew Rockwell Show" in now available, and, like the prior four, couldn't have come at a better time. Podcast number five is an interview with Burton S. Blumert, president of The Center for Libertarian Studies and publisher of, on the subject of buying gold and silver.

As the federal government is bailing out both the housing and banking industries pushing the American economy closer to recession, Blumert compressess his 50 years of experience in the precious metals industry into this 16-minute interview.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Lew Rockwell podcasts

Anyone wanting a no-holds-barred analysis of why America is in the current political/economic morass needs to listen to this, and the three accompanying podcasts hosted by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, editor of and president of the Ludwig von Mises Institute.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

N.J. high court clarifies proper course for open-records suits

Trenton, N. J. - People who feel they were wrongly denied documents they requested under New Jersey's Open Public Records Act must act quickly if they want to use the courts to force governments to release them, the state Supreme Court ruled yesterday.
In a unanimous ruling, the state's high court affirmed the law's 45-day window for people to sue when a government or agency refuses to turn over documents. The court also said governments that turn over public documents because of such lawsuits must pay all legal fees.

"Citizens are entitled to swift access to public records, and both the public and governmental bodies are logically entitled to have any disputes brought and addressed in the same, rapid manner," wrote Chief Justice Stuart Rabner.

The law allows governments to take up to seven days to either release documents or deny a request for them. It gives 45 days for people to sue after their requests are denied. Yesterday's decision said that is enough time for people to launch legal challenges, and provides certainty for governments.

For more on this story, go to The Newark Star-Ledger

Photo: The New Jersey Supreme Court. Chief Justice Stuart Rabner, who wrote the Court's opinion in a recent decision on how open-records lawsuits should proceed, is seated on the front row in the center.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Bloggers find themselves under more legal scrutiny

Brattleboro, Vt. - When Christopher Grotke answered a late-night knock on the door, he did not expect to find the deputy sheriff on his doorstep serving notice that he was being sued. Nor was he prepared for the charge: libel.

Someone had posted a comment on his citizen-journalism Web site,, stating that a woman in Brattleboro, Vt., was having an extramarital affair. The accused woman then sued Grotke and his Web site co-founder for failing to edit or delete the comment.

The blogging community increasingly is subject to lawsuits and threats of legal action running the gamut from subpoenas to cease-and-desist notices.
Since blogging became popular in about 2004, there have been 159 civil and criminal court actions involving bloggers, according to the nonprofit Media Law Resource Center (MLRC) in New York. Seven cases have resulted in verdicts against bloggers, with cumulative penalties totaling $18.5 million. Many more legal actions never result in trial.

For more on this article, go to The Christian Science Monitor

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Wolverines look to slash elected officials' pay; Dems warn chief justice not to block proposal

LANSING, Mich. - Democrats are taking aim at the Michigan Supreme Court chief justice, calling on him not to block a proposal they're backing that would cut judges' pay.

The ad, which began running last weekend, urges Chief Justice Clifford Taylor not to block a proposed ballot initiative that would, among other things, cut judges' pay by 15 percent and reduce the salaries of legislators, the governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, and secretary of state by 25 percent.

For more on this story, go to Legal Newsline

Photo: Michigan Chief Justice Clifford Taylor is a target of state Democrats who want to cut the salaries of elected officials, including judges.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Colo. blogger provides "fair and balanced" satirical magazine cover

By now, everyone, including those living in the most remote holler of West Virginia, knows of the controversy surrounding the current edition of The New Yorker. The cover shows presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama, dressed in traditional Muslim attire, with his wife, Michelle, dressed in camouflage pants and sporting an AK-47 assault rifle exchanging a pound in the Oval Office of the White House.

Upon its release, the magazine cover invoked outrage including a statement by Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton calling it "tasteless and offensive." In response to the hoopla, the New Yorker issued a statement saying the cover was satire (ostensibly to the laughable characterization FOX news "anchor" - and dumb blond of the year-nominee - E. D. Hill made following Obama's victory rally in St. Paul, Minnesota on June 3 referring to "the pound" as "a terrorist fist-jab" ).

Speaking of "fair and balanced," get a load of the satirical "New Yorker" cover a Colorado blogger did of presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain as a POW in the Hanoi Hilton. Given the historical records that undergirds both "covers," one can only wonder if it's really satire.

Negligence led to woman's breast cancer, suit claims

A Mason County hospital and two physicians are named in a malpractice suit alleging they failed to properly diagnose a woman for breast cancer.

On June 13, Kathleen and Thomas Edwards filed suit against Pleasant Valley Hospital and Drs. Suresh K. Agrawal, of Point Pleasant, and Thomas J. Piechowicz, of Marietta, Ohio. In the three-count complaint and suit, filed with the assistance of Charleston attorney Marvin W. Masters, the Edwards' allege each were in some way responsible for Kathleen developing breast cancer.

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

One suit dismissed, another filed against Vaidya

Despite the dismissal of one, a Mason County physician finds himself defending against another malpractice suit.

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

Sunday, July 20, 2008

What's wrong with selling your vote?

by Sheldon Richman

Poor Max Sanders. The 19-year-old University of Minnesota student faces five years in jail and a $10,000 fine; he is accused of putting his vote in the presidential election up for auction on eBay. He started the bidding at $10. The charge is bribery, treating, and soliciting.

I’m confused. Aren’t all our votes for sale? Each candidate tries to bribe us with future benefits of all sorts. Basically, a campaign is an effort to buy votes wholesale.

For more on this op/ed, go to The Future of Freedom Foundation

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Fannie and Freddie bailout 101

by William L. Anderson

One way to make someone’s eyes glaze over is to explain the various relationships in financial matters. Discussions of swaps, equity, options, short-selling and the like quickly become technical and esoteric, and most people instantly tune out what is being said.

Unfortunately, this situation convinces people that finance is complicated and cannot be understood – and so it must be left to the "experts" who are assumed to know better. Thus, the average person – the taxpayer who will be left on the hook – does not really understand why entities like "Freddie Mac" and "Fannie Mae" are in trouble, and why their "bailouts" are a disaster. They only know that the people who are supposed to be "in charge" of these things are declaring success

For more on this op/ed, go to

Friday, July 18, 2008

Calif. development agency officials award themselves generous bonuses

San Diego, Calif. - For several years, the president of the agency tasked with redeveloping some of San Diego's most blighted neighborhoods has been paying herself and her top deputy tens of thousands of dollars in bonuses and extra compensation unbeknownst to members of the City Council or the agency's board.

Carolyn Y. Smith, president of the Southeastern Economic Development Corp., and her top deputy, finance director Dante Dayacap, shared $77,276 in taxpayer-funded bonuses and additional compensation in fiscal year 2005-2006. That year, Smith reported to the City Council and SEDC's board that she would be paid a salary of between $130,000 and $160,000, but by the end of the year she had earned $206,328.

The additional pay for the government officials came to light following a review of SEDC's tax records, which revealed a complicated system of unsupervised payments for top SEDC officials that are not explained in its public budget. The officials regularly receive annual five-figure bonuses under payment programs overseen by Smith and vaguely titled "acknowledgement" and "cost of living."

In total, between fiscal years 2003-2004 and 2006-2007, SEDC's top four officials collectively received about $256,000 through the various bonus and extra compensation programs.

For more on this story, go to The Voice of San Diego

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The IRS v. Robert Kahre

Las Vegas businessman Robert Kahre, along with his attorney, William A. Cohan, talk with Steve Murphy of "Insider Exclusive" about his battle with the IRS to pay his employees in gold and silver coin. This interview includes footage of FBI and IRS agents raiding Kahre's business in May 2003. According to Cohan and Kahre, agents attempted to destroy these videos and lied about it in court documents.

Nevada businessman stands up to IRS on issue of paying employees in gold

Las Vegas, Nev. - On a 106-degree May afternoon in 2003, government agents raided several establishments belonging to Southern Nevada businessman Robert “Bobby” Kahre. With guns drawn, officials held more than 20 handcuffed workers in the sun without water as agents collected records and other materials.

Kahre hadn’t committed a crime. He had upset the Internal Revenue Service by paying his workers based on the face value of gold and silver coins, versus the market value in the Federal Reserve system (the value of the coins in U.S. paper dollars). Even though the coins were in circulation, displayed a face value, and were regulated by Congress, the IRS’s confusing and endless tax code did not determine how to handle these gold and silver coins if used for payroll. The tax code only references dollars. It does not distinguish between coined money and paper money.

For more on this story, go to Liberty Watch

Photo: Las Vegas attorney Joel Hanson, who served on the Kahre defense team.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

"20/20" blows the lid off hypocritical traffic stops

Warren, Mich. - Traffic court in Warren, Mich., is a busy place. Sometimes, the courtroom is so crowded it's standing room only. Clutching their tickets, dozens of people line up at the cashier's windows to pay their fines. Many people are here because a cop said they didn't come to a full stop at a stop sign.

Though some drivers try to dispute the cops' versions of what happened, judges tend to believe the cops.

One police officer, David Kanapsky, generated many of those stop sign tickets.

For more on this story, go to "20/20."

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Ex-Chicago cop on the run

During its Saturday broadcast, "America's Most Wanted" featured Eddie Hicks, a former Chicago Police Department sergent accused of operating a racketeering ring during the last 10 years of his 30 years on the force. An FBI sting caught Hicks, and other Chicago cops, pretending to be DEA agents taking drugs from suspected dealers only to resell the drugs to another dealer.

Hicks, who was indicted by a federal grand jury in 2001 on charges of possession of a controlled substance and racketeering, never showed for his trial on June 9, 2003. Police suspect Hicks may either be in Brazil or Nevada.

The allegations against Hicks come amidst a police department that has been under already intense scrutiny for misconduct and corruption. For more on those allegations, go to "60 Minutes" and "20/20."

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Del. man wanted for kidnapping may be in W. Va.

Yesterday, "America's Most Wanted" featured David Matusiewicz during its "15 Seconds of Shame" Segment. Matusiewicz, 41, is wanted by p0lice in New Castle, Del. for kidnapping his three daughters, Laura, Leigh and Karen, then-5-, 4- and 2-years old, respectively, on Aug. 26, 2007.

According to AMW, Matusiewicz, a licensed optometrist, was scheduled to take the children on a tw0-week trip to Florida. When they did not arrive back on schedule, Matusiewicz's ex-wife, Christine Belford, who has custody of the children, called police.

Though no reasons were given, it is believed that Matusiewicz may be working in either Texas or West Virginia. Those with information on Matusiewicz's whereabouts are encouraged to contact either AMW or your local police department.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Ohio man gets MADD about modern-day probibitionsim

Welcome to Jeff Brown's counter crusade!

History about to repeat itself in bailout of mortgage industry

by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.

Ludwig von Mises had a theory about interventionism. It doesn't accomplish its stated ends. Instead it distorts the market. That distortion cries out for a fix. The fix can consist in pulling back and freeing the market or taking further steps toward intervention. The State nearly always chooses the latter course, unless forced to do otherwise. The result is more distortion, leading eventually, by small steps, toward ever more nationalization and its attendant stagnation and bankruptcy.

When you think about the current Fannie Mae-Freddie Mac crisis, you must remember Mises's theory of intervention. Reporters will not, but you must, provided you want to understand what is going on. President Bush is considering a fateful step in a 60-year-old problem: the nationalization of these mortgage companies. He wants to guarantee the $5 trillion (that's trillion with a "t") in debt owned by these companies. Another option would be to put these monstrosities under "conservatorship," which means that you and I will pay for their losses directly.

Either way, it turns out that there is no magic way to put every American citizen, regardless of financial means or credit history, in a 3,000 square foot home. Someone, somewhere, sometime has to pay. No matter what rescue plan they are able to cobble together, that someone is you.

For more on this op/ed piece, go to

Friday, July 4, 2008

Poor shortchanged by payday loan bans

by George C. Leef

In 2006 North Carolina joined a growing list of states that ban “payday lending.” Payday loans are small, short-term loans made to workers to provide them with cash until their next paychecks. This kind of borrowing is costly, reflecting both the substantial risk of nonpayment and high overhead costs of dealing with many little transactions. I wouldn’t borrow money that way, but there is enough demand for such loans to support thousands of payday-lending stores across the nation. They make several million loans each year.

But no longer in North Carolina.

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

Photo: Unwelcome in West Virginia - A billboard near the foot the Bartow Jones Bridge in Henderson advertises payday loan services across the river in Gallipolis, Ohio. Payday loans were officially banned in West Virginia last year following an agreement with the attorney general's office. For more on the agreement, go to The West Virginia Record.