Responsibility in Government|

20 Year Old Co-ed Attacked and Jailed by Government

From Bill Crutchfield is another recent story of Government over reach.  The sad thing is that no one admitted wrong doing, accountability, or said I am sorry.

From Bill Crutchfield, and outstanding entrepenuer who grew his company from his garage:

I am providing you with a news reports about the arrest and jailing of a 20-year-old UVa student who committed the unthinkable crime of buying sparkling water at a local grocery store.  This is another example of the obscene government overreach that is surely causing our founding fathers to roll over in their graves.
Bottled-water purchase leads to night in jail for UVa student
osted: Thursday, June 27, 2013 10:37 pm | Updated: 11:30 am, Fri Jul 5, 2013.


Posted on June 27, 2013

by K. Burnell Evans

When a half-dozen men and a woman in street clothes closed in on University of Virginia student Elizabeth Daly, 20, she and two roommates panicked.

That led to Daly spending a night and an afternoon in the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail. Her initial offense? Walking to her car with bottled water, cookie dough and ice cream just purchased from the Harris Teeter in the Barracks Road Shopping Center for a sorority benefit fundraiser.

A group of state Alcoholic Beverage Control agents clad in plainclothes approached her, suspecting the blue carton of LaCroix sparkling water to be a 12-pack of beer. Police say one of the agents jumped on the hood of her car. She says one drew a gun. Unsure of who they were, Daly tried to flee the darkened parking lot.

“They were showing unidentifiable badges after they approached us, but we became frightened, as they were not in anything close to a uniform,” she recalled Thursday in a written […]

Another Music Company, Another RAID, Another Reason

FROM Hartley Peavey who shared his experience with me:

That “raid” was VERY traumatic for us since it came right in the middle of our North American Sales meeting.. To say that it was a “Barney Fife Moment” would be an understatement!!!..

An order for 10 Crest Power amps was taken by our German Rep @  the Frankfurt Musik MESSE from our distributor for Lebanon…. Apparently he put on the order that they “May want this shipped to Damascus” instead of to his warehouse in Lebanon.. This order came thru to our us Crest office which was about 4 miles from our main office… Apparently one of our little country girls spoke to a freight forwarder in Houston and quoted the info on the order about ”possibly wanting this to be shipped to Damascus”… I’m sure that she didn’t have ANY idea that Syria  was a “blacklisted country” and that Damascus was in Syria!!!..

The Houston freight forwarder apparently called U.S. Customs and told them that we were trying to ship goods to a “Blacklisted Country”…. All this resulted in a “raid” by 24 swat equipped “ I.C. E. agents out of the Fort Lauderdale office…

In the middle of our sales meeting our Security guard @ the front desk came into our meeting to tell me that I “Had to go to the lobby RIGHT NOW”!!!!!… I went out and these 24 guys and a big Ms. Hi-Way Patrolman were there in our lobby!!.. I asket them “ what the hell is all this about”… Their “leader” handed me a search warrant and said that “we have information that you are sending goods to a blacklisted country”…. I had NO IDEA what he was talking about so […]

DOJ Targets Students Who Ask for a Date – Act in Hamlet

Andrew Kloster

May 16, 2013 at 5:30 pm


Last week, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) Civil Rights Division and the Department of Education (ED) Office for Civil Rights issued a joint letter memori­­­alizing an “agreement” with the University of Montana relating to Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Any university receiving federal funds must comply with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1964 or risk losing those funds. These acts prohibit discrimination and ensure that students all have equal access to critical public educational goods.

However, this letter goes further, much further, and tells all American universities that they must define prohibited sexual harassment as “unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature” that “can include unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature, such as sexual assault or acts of sexual violence.”

Now, some of these things ought to be prohibited. Sexual violence, including rape, must be prohibited on campus, and schools ought to refer such crimes to appropriate law enforcement when appropriate. If a school refuses to effectively deal with rapes on campus because that school’s administration has a bias against women, that sounds like Title IX sex discrimination that might require taking away federal funding.

However, the bait-and-switch here is that nestled between harassment’s everyone agrees upon are things that cannot and should not be prohibited on college campuses. For example, prohibiting all “unwelcome verbal conduct of a sexual nature”means that a professor discussing sexual politics could be guilty of sexual harassment; a student asking another student out on a date could be sexual […]

Science Lab Mistake makes 16 Yr Old Felon

Daniel Dew

May 8, 2013 at 10:18 am

Sigrid Gombert Cultura/Newscom

Sixteen-year-old Kiera Wilmot, described by her principal as “a good kid,” had good grades and had never been in trouble at school—let alone with the law. Now she is facing felony charges for a “science experiment gone wrong.”

Kiera mixed household chemicals in an eight-ounce water bottle at school. The “experiment” resulted in the cap being blown off the bottle and smoke coming out of the top in what was described as a “small explosion.” Nobody was injured, nothing was damaged, Kiera didn’t run from what had happened, and she immediately told school administrators what had happened, taking full responsibility. There are no allegations that she intended to hurt anyone or cause any damage, or that she even intended for the bottle to pop its top.

She has since been expelled from school and charged with possession and discharge of a weapon on school property (a felony punishable by up to five years in prison) and discharging a destructive device (also a felony punishable by up to five years in prison). Altogether Kiera is facing up to 10 years in prison and a felony criminal record.

As we have noted previously, a felony conviction can ruin Kiera’s entire life. It can affect where she can work, where and whether she is admitted to college, and where she can live—not to mention the stigma that comes with a felony conviction and the loss of constitutional rights such as the right to vote and to own a firearm.

Accidents, like the one that happened at Kiera’s school, were not treated as crimes at common law (law that developed over hundreds of years in England, and was brought to the American Colonies). The […]

Six years for shipping lobster in plastic not cardboard

Matthew Spalding, Ph.D.

February 8, 2013 at 6:00 am

The next time a cashier asks “paper or plastic?” think of Abbie Schoenwetter. He spent more than six years in federal confinement for shipping lobster in plastic instead of cardboard.

There’s no American law against doing so. But thanks to a vague, overly broad, and otherwise unjust federal criminal law, the U.S. government claimed it was upholding a Honduran regulation.

Abbie Schoenwetter’s business, health, and family life (he has a wife and three kids) were wiped out because unreasonable federal prosecutors used an unjust law to target Abbie and a Honduran fisherman from whom Abbie purchased his seafood.

He’s finally free now. But he notes that “The worst thing anybody can do to you is take away your freedom.”

Indeed, the purpose of the U.S. Constitution is to secure the rights and liberties promised in the Declaration of Independence.

Today, though, the federal government has acquired a nearly unquestioned dominance over virtually every area of American life.

The scope and depth of its rules means that the national government increasingly regulates more and more of our most basic activities, from how much water is in our toilets to what kind of light bulbs we can buy. This is a government that is increasingly unlimited, undemocratic, and damaging to popular self-government.
Conservatives want to restore real limits on a government that is out of control.
This will not occur all at once or across the board. Nor will it result from one judicial decision, presidential order, or comprehensive piece of legislation. We will be strategic, defining and pursuing a realistic path that measurably reintroduces constitutional limits—by focusing government on its primary obligations, restoring its responsibility and democratic accountability, and correcting its worst excesses.

America’s Opportunity for All, […]

No prison until feds took over

The late Internet activist was facing a stern warning from local prosecutors. But then the U.S. Attorney’s office, run by Carmen Ortiz, chose to make an example of Aaron Swartz, a new report says.

by Declan McCullagh
January 25, 2013 1:14 PM PST Follow @declanm

Federal prosecutor Carmen Ortiz, who threatened Aaron Swartz with decades in prison.(Credit: U.S. Department of Justice)

State prosecutors who investigated the late Aaron Swartz had planned to let him off with a stern warning, but federal prosecutor Carmen Ortiz took over and chose to make an example of the Internet activist, according to a report in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly.

Middlesex County’s district attorney had planned no jail time, “with Swartz duly admonished and then returned to civil society to continue his pioneering electronic work in a less legally questionable manner,” the report (alternate link) said. “Tragedy intervened when Ortiz’s office took over the case to send ‘a message.'”

The report is likely to fuel an online campaign against Ortiz, who has been criticized for threatening the 26-year-old with decades in prison for allegedly downloading a large quantity of academic papers. An online petition asking President Obama to remove from office Ortiz — a politically ambitious prosecutor who was talked about as Massachusetts’ next governor as recently as last month.

Ortiz, 57, also came under fire this week for her attempt to seize a family-owned motel in Tewksbury, Mass., for allegedly facilitating drug crimes, despite ample evidence that the owners worked closely with local police. In a stinging rebuke, U.S. Magistrate Judge Judith Dein tossed out the case yesterday, siding with the motel owners — represented by the public-interest law firm Institute for Justice — and noting (PDF) that prosecutors had alleged a mere “15 […]

Government overreach root of Obama’s problems

Michael Gerson, Washington Post Writers Group

So, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration has investigated the IRS investigation of conservative groups. And the FBI has launched a criminal investigation of the IRS.

And the State Department’s Office of Inspector General is investigating the Accountability Review Board that investigated the administration’s response to the Benghazi terror attack. And House committees including Armed Services, Foreign Affairs, Judiciary, Oversight and Government Reform, Ways and Means and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence are variously investigating the Benghazi matter, the IRS and the Justice Department investigation of The Associated Press.

And all the lawyers rejoiced.

If there is any thread that unites these scandals, it is government heavy-handedness. Seizing the phone records of, say, three editors and reporters would constitute a leak investigation. Seizing the phone records of perhaps 100 is a fishing expedition and a form of intimidation. “They’re sending a clear message to our sources,” says National Journal’s Ron Fournier. “Don’t embarrass the administration or we’re coming after you.’”

The IRS’ heightened scrutiny of conservative organizations was not a collection of unfortunate clerical errors. It involved demands, under penalty of perjury, for the “minutes of all board meetings since your creation,” summaries or copies of material passed out at meetings and information on donors. Long IRS silences were punctuated with ultimatums.

It is impossible to predict the course of any scandal. The trail of IRS wrongdoing may end in a bureaucrat’s outbox. Or practices generally known to senior IRS officials in the summer of 2011 may have been more broadly discussed and concealed within the government. The Justice Department press dragnet may have been needed to deal with a major national security risk. Or it may have been a disturbing case […]

Government overreach: Scrutiny of Tea Party, AP unnerving

The Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of Tea Party groups for extra scrutiny and the Justice Department’s secret seizure of Associated Press phone records are egregious examples of government overreach.

President Barack Obama should quickly get to the bottom of these insults to the First Amendment and deal with them forcefully, unless he wants to sacrifice his second term to investigations that, unlike the Benghazi charade, would have a disturbing basis in fact.

While both instances are inexcusable, they are also understandable.

Congress had pressured the administration to crack down on leaks related to national security. Republicans, in particular, accused the administration last year of helping Obama’s re-election effort by leaking information that made him look tough on terrorism.

While the Justice Department has not said why it seized the AP phone records, the timing suggests it had to do with leaks revealing a plot to bomb an airliner foiled by the CIA.

Whatever the motive, there can be no justification for the Justice Department’s overbroad sweep, seizing the records of more than 20 AP telephone lines plus reporters’ and editors’ home and cell phones, including possible contacts with confidential sources, whether or not they had anything to do with national security and the CIA.

As a onetime professor of constitutional law, Obama should know better. The right to gather and report the news free of government interference is part of this country’s bedrock. Also, if we want an open, democratic society, the leakier the government, the better.

The Obama administration has shown unprecedented zeal for investigating and punishing leakers and whistleblowers. The New York Times reports that six current and former officials have been indicted in leak-related cases under Obama, twice the number brought under all previous administrations combined.

Spying on journalists […]

Overreach: How Far Will Obama Go

AP Monitoring Raises Fears of Government Overreach: How Far Will Obama Go to Crack Down on Leaks?

David Cay Johnston, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and president of Investigative Reporters and Editors, joins us to discuss the growing scandal over the Justice Department’s seizure of telephone records from Associated Press editors and reporters. The action came as part of a probe into the leaks behind an AP story about how U.S. intelligence thwarted a Yemen-based al-Qaeda bombing plot on a U.S.-bound airplane. “This is a very troubling aspect of this administration — it is hostile to the news media,” Johnston says. “They’re behaving much more like a corporation than like the people’s government.”


This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: We’re speaking with David Cay Johnston, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who’s also the current president of Investigative Reporters and Editors. I wanted to ask you about another matter, a big story this week in Washington. The Justice Department has admitted to seizing the work, home and cellphone records of almost 100 Associated Press reporters and editors. The action came as part of a probe into leaks behind an AP story about how U.S. intelligence thwarted a Yemen-based al-Qaeda bombing plot on a U.S.-bound airplane. During testimony before the House on Wednesday, Attorney General Eric Holder was asked about the probe and why the AP was not notified of the subpoenas beforehand.
ATTORNEY GENERAL ERIC HOLDER: I was recused in that matter. As I described, I guess, in a press conference that I held yesterday, the decision to issue this subpoena was made by the people who are presently involved in the case. The matter is being supervised by the deputy attorney […]

Government Overreach Kills Business

Tuesday, 27 Sep 2011 09:23 AM

By George Will

Cindy Vong is a tiny woman with a problem as big as the government that is causing it.

She wants to provide a service that will enable customers “to brighten up their days.” Having fish nibble your feet may not be your idea of fun, but lots of people around the world enjoy it, and so did some Arizonans until their bossy government butted in, in the service of a cartel. Herewith a story that illustrates how governments that will not mind their own business impede the flourishing of businesses.

Vong, 47, left Vietnam in 1982 and after stops in Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, settled in San Francisco for 20 years, before coming here to open a nail salon with a difference. Her salon offered $30 fish therapy, wherein small fish from China nibble dead skin from people’s feet.

Arizona’s Board of Cosmetology decided the fish were performing pedicures, and because all pedicure instruments must be sterilized and fish cannot be, the therapy must be discontinued. Vong lost her more than $50,000 investment in fish tanks and other equipment, and some customers. Three of her employees lost their jobs.

The plucky litigators at the Goldwater Institute are representing Vong in arguing that the Constitution protects the individual’s right to earn a living free from unreasonable regulations. In a 1932 case (overturning an Oklahoma law requiring a new ice company to prove a “public need” for it), the U.S. Supreme Court said the law’s tendency was to “foster monopoly in the hands of existing establishments.”

The court also said: “The principle is imbedded in our constitutional system that there are certain essentials of liberty with which the state is not entitled […]