Archive for September, 2008

Franklin Circuit Judge orders public defenders to stop refusing cases

Friday, September 19th, 2008

A Franklin CountyCircuit Judge has ordered public defenders to stop refusing certain types of cases because of funding problems. 

The temporary injunction, which was entered Friday afternoon by Franklin Circuit Judge Thomas D. Wingate, was made at the request of lawyers for Kentucky State Treasurer Todd Hollenbach and Finance and Administration Secretary Jonathan Miller. 

The executive and legislative branches are being sued by the Department of Public Advocacy, which claims that it was not provided enough funds this spring to meet its constitutional obligation to represent poor criminal defendants. 

Lawmakers, who were facing budget shortfalls, cut DPA’s budget by $2.3 million, to $37.8 million, in the fiscal year that began in July. 

Wingate ruled there are serious questions as to whether DPA will succeed in its litigation. He ordered public defenders to stop refusing to represent certain types of clients until the litigation is resolved. 

Responses to public defender service reductions, which began in July, have varied across the state. Some judges have ordered the Finance Cabinet to pay for private lawyers. Other judges have dismissed charges for defendants, including some felonies, Wingate wrote. 

“In essence, a system of inequalities across judicial lines is beginning to form because of the Service Reduction Plans,” Wingate said. 

Great Britain Allows Establishment of Sharia Courts in England – Arbitration laws used to circumvent British Courts- Similar loophole exists in Kentucky Law.

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008

The Courts in Great Britain have allowed use of their Arbitration law to allow Muslim groups to impose Sharia law on their citizens.   This loophole allows anyone signing an agreement to submit their disputes to arbitration to be bound by the ruling of the Muslim arbitrator.  That ruling will now be enforced in British civil courts.   A similar loophole exists in Kentucky law.  See statutes and citations below regarding the Ky. Arbitration Act.

We can see no reason that religious sects and cults could not pass around arbitration contracts at their group meetings and coerce members to sign similar arbitration agreements.  This would allow segments of our society to be deprived of the benefit of our statutory and common law.

News story for Great Britian From The London Sunday Times | September 14, 2008
 

 ISLAMIC law has been officially adopted in Britain, with sharia courts
given powers to rule on Muslim civil cases.

 The government has quietly sanctioned the powers for sharia judges to
 rule on cases ranging from divorce and financial disputes to those
 involving domestic violence.
 
 Rulings issued by a network of five sharia courts are enforceable with
 the full power of the judicial system, through the county courts or High
 Court.
 
 Previously, the rulings of sharia courts in Britain could not be
 enforced, and depended on voluntary compliance among Muslims.
 
 It has now emerged that sharia courts with these powers have been set up
 in London, Birmingham, Bradford and Manchester with the network’s
 headquarters in Nuneaton, Warwickshire. Two more courts are being
 planned for Glasgow and Edinburgh.

 Sheikh Faiz-ul-Aqtab Siddiqi, whose Muslim Arbitration Tribunal runs the
 courts, said he had taken advantage of a clause in the Arbitration Act
 1996.
 
Under the act, the sharia courts are classified as arbitration
 tribunals. The rulings of arbitration tribunals are binding in law,
 provided that both parties in the dispute agree to give it the power to
 rule on their case.

 Siddiqi said: “We realised that under the Arbitration Act we can make
 rulings which can be enforced by county and high courts. The act allows
 disputes to be resolved using alternatives like tribunals. This method
 is called alternative dispute resolution, which for Muslims is what the
 sharia courts are.”
 
 The disclosure that Muslim courts have legal powers in Britain comes
 seven months after Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, was
 pilloried for suggesting that the establishment of sharia in the future
 ”seems unavoidable” in Britain.
 
 In July, the head of the judiciary, the lord chief justice, Lord
 Phillips, further stoked controversy when he said that sharia could be
 used to settle marital and financial disputes.
 
 In fact, Muslim tribunal courts started passing sharia judgments in
 August 2007. They have dealt with more than 100 cases that range from
 Muslim divorce and inheritance to nuisance neighbours.
 
 It has also emerged that tribunal courts have settled six cases of
 domestic violence between married couples, working in tandem with the
 police investigations.
 
 Siddiqi said he expected the courts to handle a greater number of
 ”smaller” criminal cases in coming years as more Muslim clients approach
 them. “All we are doing is regulating community affairs in these cases,”
 said Siddiqi, chairman of the governing council of the tribunal.
 
 Jewish Beth Din courts operate under the same provision in the
 Arbitration Act and resolve civil cases, ranging from divorce to
 business disputes. They have existed in Britain for more than 100 years,
 and previously operated under a precursor to the act.
 
 Politicians and church leaders expressed concerns that this could mark
 the beginnings of a “parallel legal system” based on sharia for some
 British Muslims.
 
 Dominic Grieve, the shadow home secretary, said: “If it is true that
 these tribunals are passing binding decisions in the areas of family and
 criminal law, I would like to know which courts are enforcing them
 because I would consider such action unlawful. British law is absolute
 and must remain so.”
 
 Douglas Murray, the director of the Centre for Social Cohesion, said: “I
 think it’s appalling. I don’t think arbitration that is done by sharia
 should ever be endorsed or enforced by the British state.”

 There are concerns that women who agree to go to tribunal courts are
getting worse deals because Islamic law favours men.
 
 Siddiqi said that in a recent inheritance dispute handled by the court
 in Nuneaton, the estate of a Midlands man was divided between three
 daughters and two sons.
 
 The judges on the panel gave the sons twice as much as the daughters, in
 accordance with sharia. Had the family gone to a normal British court,
 the daughters would have got equal amounts.
 
 In the six cases of domestic violence, Siddiqi said the judges ordered
 the husbands to take anger management classes and mentoring from
 community elders. There was no further punishment.
 
 In each case, the women subsequently withdrew the complaints they had
 lodged with the police and the police stopped their investigations.
 
 Siddiqi said that in the domestic violence cases, the advantage was that
 marriages were saved and couples given a second chance.

 Inayat Bunglawala, assistant secretary-general of the Muslim Council of
 Britain, said: “The MCB supports these tribunals. If the Jewish courts
 are allowed to flourish, so must the sharia ones.”

The Ky. Arbitration Act found in Chapter 417 could be used to provide a loophole such was used in British Law to allow the establishment of Sharia Law contracts.
 KRS 417.050 Validity of arbitration agreement — Exempt agreements.
A written agreement to submit any existing controversy to arbitration or a provision in
written contract to submit to arbitration any controversy thereafter arising between the
parties is valid, enforceable and irrevocable, save upon such grounds as exist at law for
the revocation of any contract. This chapter does not apply to:
(1) Arbitration agreements between employers and employees or between their
respective representatives; and
(2) Insurance contracts. Nothing in this subsection shall be deemed to invalidate or
render unenforceable contractual arbitration provisions between two (2) or more
insurers, including reinsurers.
Effective: July 15, 1996
 

Com. ex rel. Stumbo v. Philip Morris, Usa, 244 S.W.3d 116 (Ky. App., 2007)        
KRS 417.050 provides that arbitration agreements are valid and enforceable. If a party to an agreement refuses to arbitrate, the Court may compel arbitration.”
 

The Kentucky No Fault Insurance chapter provides a limitation on Arbitration Act statute and could be a model for a law disallowing similar arbitration agreements related to religious bodies and sects. See below:

KRS 304.20-050 Arbitration provision not binding.
A provision agreeing to arbitrate any or all disputes that may arise at some future date contained in an automobile liability or motor vehicle liability insurance policy delivered, issued for delivery or renewed in this state, shall not be binding upon the named insured or any person claiming under him.
Effective: June 18, 1970

See wikipedia explanation of Sharia Law: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharia

Viagra To
Canada Order Viagra
3 Buy Generic Viagra Online
Free Viagra Samples Before Buying Index
Viagra Frequency
Viagra Brands
Lowest Cost For Cialis 20mm Tablets
Viagra Sildenafil
Viagra Viagra
Oysters Viagra
Viagra Or Cialis Prices
Viagra Triangle Cleveland Ohio
Generic Cialis Prices
Ducation Sp Cialis E
Side Effects Of Cialis
Free Viagra Fonts
Cialis Pictures Results
12 Generic Meltabs Viagra
Cialis Female Viagra
Buy Deal Deal Price Viagra
Generic Uk Viagra
Alabama Ortho Specialists
Cialis Effects Information
Cialis Label
Regalis Cialis Tadalafil
Discount Pharmacy Purchase Viagra
Where Can I Buy Viagra On
Where Can I Purchase Viagra
Viagra Vs Kamagra
Viagra Frozen Embryo Transfer
Viagra Precription Online
Cialis Generic Soft Tab
Viagra Component
Free Viagra Sample Before Buying
Viagra Description
Viagra Bezorgdienst Cialis Amsterdam
Fast Shipping Cialis
3generic Propecia Viagra
Buy Domain Viagra Atspace Org
Cialis User Reviews
Cialis Disclosure
Off Label Cialis Usage
Free Sample Of Viagra Pill
Free Cialis Free Levitra Free Viagra
Viagra 100mg Free Shipping
My Cialis
Tadalis Cialis Tadalafil
Polska Viagra
Order Viagra Cheap
Drug Meridia Overseas Retin Thousand Viagra
Viagra Online Fast Shipping
Cialis Regalis
Viagra Tolerance
Women Use Viagra
Cheapest Viagra Substitut
Cialis Rezeptfrei
Buy Viagra 1
Cheapest Cialis Erectile Dysfunction Pill
Viagra For Sell
Free Online Order Viagra
Non Perscription Generic Cialis
Fed Ex Delivery Cialis
Generic Vega Viagra
Viagra To Florida
Online Viagra Increase Fertility Sildenafil Citrat
Viagra Sales
Generic Cialis Pills Online
Discouny Cialis
Generic Viagra Minnesota
Cialis Online Consultation
What Medications React With Viagra
Compare Prices On Cialis
Viagra On Dogs
Viagra For Diabetics
Cialis Weight Loss
Viagra Generique Bon Marche
Generic Generic Viagra Tadalafil
What Is Viagra Patent Date
Viagra Success Stories
Women Take Cialis Drug
Women S Natural Viagra
Viagra Saved Chrismas
Cheap Cialis Generic Mastercard
Cialis Online Pill
Discount Order Site Viagra
Viagra Norvasc
Chalis Vs Viagra
Splitting Viagra Pills
Approved On-line Doctors Viagra
Compare Cilalis And Viagra
Women Snorting Viagra
Cialis S
Viagra Falls Movie Pics
Cialis November
Back Pain From Taking Cialis
Pregnancy Cialis
Viagra Uden Recept
Viagra Mg Pharmacy Online
Viagra Sid Web
Cialis Europe Get
Fuctions Of Viagra
Can Viagra Cause Peyronie’s Disease
Free Pill Sale Viagra
Free Generic Shipping Viagra
Viagra And Gout
Viagra With A Pacemaker Fitted
Buy Online Sale Viagra Viagra
Ejaculation Premature Viagra
Cialis Instructions
Cheap Cialis Tablet
Erect Herbal Viagra For Men Review
X Cite Herbal Viagra For Woman
Black Market Viagra
Health Care Prescriptions Lowest Cost Viagra
Does Viagra Make Your Penis Larger
1 Purchase Cialis Online
Viagra Penile Curvature
Cialis Sex Story
Cialis Cialis Genuinerx Net
Cialis Generic Identify
2737 Amerimedrx Aq Cialis Nasacort Nexium
Viagra Drug Intereaction
Ingredients Viagra
Cheapest Viagra In Uk Cheap
Pulmonary Hypertension Viagra
Order Cialis Online From Dreampharmaceuticals
Cialis Overnight Shipping
150 Generic Cialis Softtabs
Cheap Online Pill Viagra
Buy Cialis In Thailand By Letters
Cialis Bathtub
Cheap Online Order Viagra
Headache Pain Propecia Relief Viagra
Viagra Or Something Else
Best Buy Buying Online Viagra Viagra
Effects Alcohol Viagra
Generic Viagra No Prescriptio
Buying Viagra Uk
Semen Turns Yellow Viagra Bought Online
Viagra Viagra Viagra Drug Rep Ink
Cialis Storage
Viagra Master Card Purchase
Brand Name Viagra
Viagra Genaric
Edinburgh Viagra Search Find Soft
Viagra For Chf
Atrophie Cialis
Expiration Date Viagra
Doesnt Viagra Work
Viagra Nasal Sprays
Some From Of Viagra For Woment
Loss Of Vision Viagra
Cialis Tadalafil Contents Arnold Cialis
Viagra For Womenn
Wechselwirkung Cialis Und Propecia
Vasectomy And Viagra
Cialis Comments Cgi Generic Mt Tadalafil
Cialis Generic Order
Insurance Online Viagra
Nascar Driver Viagra
Online Shop Viagra
Zenera Viagra
Cialis Discount Vioxx
Cialis Ineffective
Cialis Pde4
Best Value Cialis
Viagra Prescription Price
Cialis How It Works
One For Health Viagra
Free Viagra Pills
Viagra Canada Pharmacy
Safe Viagra
Budget Rx Phentermine Viagra
Viagra Side Effects Alcohol
Very Cheap Generic Viagra
Viagra Crohn
Viagra Penis Size
Viagra Online Href Foro Forum
Viagra Warnings
Money Order Viagra
Cialis Mexico
Generic Cialis India $1.5
Qry Viagra
Paroxetine Viagra
Joke Important Bulletin Viagra Mexican Bean
Cialis Overnigh
Viagra Online Shop
Ordering Viagra Online
Condoms For Use With Viagra
Generic Viagra And Cialis
Cialis Norvasc
Cialis Generic Impotence Kamagra Viagra Viagra
Cialis Affiliate Program
Best Price Viagra
Doctor Drug Limbaugh Prescription Viagra
Free Online Viagra Without Prescription
Fee Online Viagra
Viagra Pills For Sale
Viagra Affiliate
Before And After Pictures Of Viagra
Viagra For Plants
Crush Up Viagra
Buy File Viagra
Best Prices Viagra
Cialis By Pfizer
Cialis Bestellen
Viagra Metabolism
Avoid Fake Viagra
Ni Kids Forum Sildenafil Viagra
Buy Buy Online Viagra Viagra
Viagra Reverse Tongue Atrophy
Rapid Tabs Viagra
Viagra Buy Generic
In Man Uk Viagra
Cialis Official Webpage
Online Viagra Cialis Ricetta
Average Viagra Proce
Paara Que Sirve La Viagra
Arginine Ornithine Viagra
Cialis Identification
Make Online Pharmacy Viagra Yourself
Viagra Moa
Comparison Viagra Cialis Levitra
Rash With Viagra
Cialis Open Tee Times Western
Best Enhancement Pills Like Viagra
Buy In Spain Viagra
Heart Attack Viagra
Generic Viagra And Pay Pal
Female Spray Viagra
Generic Viagra Rip-offs
Ddmac Viagra
Viagra And Depression
Cuddle Chemical Viagra Post Boosts
Discount Free Viagra Viagra
Compare Viagra Cialas Levitra
Lowest Price On Viagra
Generic Cialis Canada
Generic Viagra Discussion Forum
Search Viagra Viagra Edinburgh Find Pages
Viagra Kitchen Commercial
Can I Buy Viagra Online
Cialis Free Trail
Plavix Cialis Side Effects
Generic Viagra Compared
Viagra With Out Prescription
By Mail Sale Viagra
Mixing Cocaine And Viagra
Cialis Pills Commercial
Cialis Levetra
Viagra Samples Online
Viagra Xxx
Viagra And Street Drugs
Where Do I Buy Viagra Online
Never Mix Viagra And Steroids
Viagra And Drinking Alcohol
Cialis Tadalafil Cheapest Online
Cialis Pregnizone Side Effects In Pregnancy
Generic Viagra Versus Cialis Pills
Viagra Plotters Chance Downfall Bbc News
Buy Cialis Online Overnight
Female Viagra
Find Lowest Price For Cialis
Which Is Better Levitra Or Viagra
Discount Generic Viagra Panama
Prescription Viagra
Best Cheap Free Viagra Viagra Viagra
Discount Brand Viagra By Pfizer
Cialis Without A Prescription
Generic Quality And Viagra
Cialis Buy Generic
Cialis Key Wes
Buy Cialis Online On Sale
Local Viagra
Viagra Find Sites Computer Free
Viagra Drugs Online
Cialis Top Value
Cialis Online Fedex
Discount Viagra 50 Mg
Buying Viagra Online
Purchase And Viagra Soft
Viagra Or Kamagra Or Cialis
Phizer Viagra
Cialis Half Life
Can Woman Take Cialis
Generic Cialis Next Day
Ideal Dose And Timiming For Cialis
Qry Cialis
Viagra Side Effect Headaches
Cialis Online Online Get Cialis Cheapest
Health Net Viagra Non-formulary
Buy Levitra Viagra Online
Cheap Viagra Discount Viagra Buy Viagra
Viagra Mug
1 Cheap Dollar Viagra
Pph Viagra
Generic Viagra Pay Pal
Cialis Study
Cialis Xpress
Longer Sex With Viagra

Chief Justice Minton recognizes Constitution Day

Tuesday, September 16th, 2008

September 16, 2008

Frankfort, Ky. — In recognition of Constitution Day on Wednesday, Sept. 17, Chief Justice John D. Minton Jr. is encouraging citizens to learn about the U.S. Constitution. Read the Constitution.

 

“On this Constitution Day and every day, I urge all Kentucky citizens to gain an understanding of the document that is the foundation for our laws and government,” said Chief Justice Minton. “It is important for us to understand the rights and duties we have as citizens of the United States.”

 

Constitution Day 2008 marks the 221st anniversary of the signing of America’s Constitution in 1787. In observing Constitution Day on Sept. 17, Chief Justice Minton will discuss access to justice with students at Western Kentucky University and talk about U.S. Supreme Court decisions at Elizabethtown Community and Technical College.

 

The Kentucky Court of Justice laid the foundation for a strong civic education program in 1990. Today the court system provides training to youth and adults about the law, the legal process and the fundamental principles of our constitutional democracy. Law-related education gives individuals an understanding of our complex legal system, helping them to contribute to society as thoughtful, well-informed citizens.

  

Cheap Paxil
Order V-Gel
Cheap Hoodia
Order Cordarone
Order Shallaki
Famvir
Buy Norco
Order Celexa
Cheap Imdur
Buy Lasix
Green Tea
Cheap AyurSlim
Order Zanaflex
Actos
Order Seroquel
Hair Loss
Purchase Ashwagandha
Geriforte
Cheap Rumalaya
Percocet
Cheap Sarafem
Karela
Order Cephalexin
Order Proventil
Purchase Sumycin
Cheap Ventolin
Purchase Himcospaz
Tramadol
Purchase Diflucan
Buy Elavil
Buy Imitrex
Cheap Lexapro
Purchase Quibron-T
Purchase Tulasi
Cheap Diabecon
Cheap Bupropion
Purchase Prozac
Order Emsam
Buy Himcocid
Buy Chitosan
Female Viagra
Purchase Lasix
Purchase Nirdosh
Cheap Mentax
Order Diakof
Cheap Norvasc
Cheap Copegus
Biaxin
Cymbalta
Order Lynoral
Lipitor
Cheap Premarin
Order Miacalcin
Purchase Lopid
Buy Cystone
Zero Nicotine
Cheap Lamictal
Purchase Herbolax
Cardura
Atrovent
Cordarone
Lynoral
Purchase Zyban
Buy Cephalexin
Cheap Ansaid
Purchase Vicodin
Purchase Retin-A
Cheap Renalka
Cheap Revia
Purchase Cymbalta
Order Mysoline
Purchase Codeine
Buy Azulfidine
Purchase Accutane
Buy Brite
Buy Kytril
Cheap Rimonabant
Myambutol
Purchase Acticin
Order Coumadin
Cheap Lariam
Cheap Shoot
Aceon
Cheap Nimotop
Cheap Proventil
Purchase Paxil
Cheap High
Amaryl
Cheap Clonazepam
Cheap Brite
Buy Protonix
Diazepam
Cheap Amoxil
Purchase Lioresal
Cheap Isoptin
Buy Mobic
Order Lotensin
Buy Lamisil
Order Propecia
Lanoxin
Buy Miacalcin
Purchase Aciphex
Purchase Exelon
Serophene
Hyzaar
Buy Fastin
Buy Exelon
Order Inderal
Mobic
Order Septilin
Cheap Lorazepam
Order Didrex
Buy Lincocin
Buy Atrovent
Purchase Dostinex
Clarinex
Purchase Pamelor
Order Tenuate
Cheapest Valium
Purchase Ultram
Order Kamagra
Buy Xeloda
Lexapro
Buy Tenuate
Order Prinivil
Buy Lopid
Buy Pravachol
Purchase Didronel
Order Azulfidine
Purchase Cystone
Lorazepam
Cheap Arimidex
Purchase Fosamax
Order Triphala
Buy Hytrin
Male Enhancement
Purchase Risperdal
Buy Prevacid
Purchase Aceon
Buy Mentax
Purchase Buspar
Zyvox
Antabuse
Cheap Pravachol
Cyklokapron
Order Avodart
Buy Inderal
Order Himcocid
Buy Lortab
Purchase Bactroban
Order Trazodone
Buy Zimulti
Pletal
Order Zithromax
Buy Sinequan
Purchase Avandamet
Cheap Imitrex
Order Lamisil
Buy Bactroban
Purchase Nolvadex
Prozac
Himplasia
Order Brahmi
Purchase CLA
Cheap Abana
Cheap Cardura
Cheap Himcocid
Buy Tenormin
Omnicef
Cheap Nirdosh
Purchase Xanax
Order Mentax
Buy Crestor
Norco
Purchase Elavil
Cheap Femara
Purchase Emsam
Cheap Serophene
Menopause Gum
Order Nonoxinol
Purchase Topamax
Keftab
Purchase Lukol
Purchase Clomid
Order AyurSlim
Zyprexa
Butalbital
Buy Sarafem
Buy Coumadin
Motrin
Purchase Plavix
Order Avapro
Order Snoroff
Order Hydrocodone
Cheap Avandia
Order Ultram
Purchase Soma
Order Zebeta
Purchase Darvocet
Order Sumycin
Cheap Vicodin
Relafen
Meridia
Purchase Detrol
Cheap Septilin
Order Rogaine
Buy Nirdosh
Cheap Accutane
Purchase Aricept
Order Sustiva
Purchase Mentat
Purchase Sinequan
Buy Zetia
Purchase Geriforte
Buy Rumalaya
Buy Lisinopril
Purchase Zebeta
Buy Xenacore
Order Feldene
Buy Trazodone
Cheap Adderall
Order Flexeril
Buy Prednisone
Epivir-HBV
Purchase Prevacid
Cheap Augmentin
Nizoral
Purchase Septilin
ActoPlus Met
Lincocin
Ordering Adipex
Vitamin A
Evecare
Cheap Depakote
Buying Phentermine
Buy Clarinex
Purchase Myambutol
Cheap Inderal
Buy Zebeta
Buy Dilantin
Buy Naprosyn
Ventolin
Buy Brafix
Cheap Antabuse
Order Risperdal
Buy Lasuna
Cheap Zelnorm
Order Penisole
Pravachol
Order Differin
Amoxil
Order Elavil
Cheap Trazodone
Purchase Zerit
Avodart
Purchase Altace
Order Vasodilan
Order ZeritBuy Adipex
Elavil
InnoPran XL
Cystone
Buy Levothroid
Cheap Differin
Purchase Vasotec
Cheap Koflet
Ultimate Male
Buy Maxaquin
Vasotec
Cheap Ashwagandha
Buy Ophthacare
Cheap Fioricet
Buy Septilin
Cheapest Adipex
Cheap Percocet
Buy Levitra
Purchase Nonoxinol
Buy Ventolin
Tenormin
Purchase Biaxin
Cheap Meridia
Didronel
Purchase Cipro
Purchase Neurontin
Buy Lotensin
Cheapest Generic
Xeloda
Order Lisinopril
Snoroff
Altace
Buy Leukeran
Buy Lanoxin
Buy Lariam
Rythmol SR
Buy Soma
Purchase Percocet
Cheap Himplasia
Acomplia
Order Procardia
Purchase Crestor

PULASKI CIRCUIT JUDGE ISSUES INJUNCTION

Tuesday, September 16th, 2008

September 15, 2008

PULASKI CIRCUIT JUDGE ISSUES INJUNCTION
AGAINST CORRECTIONS RELEASE OF PRISONERS AND PAROLEES

            Pulaski Circuit Judge David A. Tapp has issued a temporary injunction against the Kentucky Department of Corrections regarding the lawsuit filed by Commonwealth’s Attorney Eddy F. Montgomery in his lawsuit against the illegal release of prisoners and parolees as part of the state’s budget bill.
            In his 56 page ruling, Judge Tapp found as fact and concluded as law many issues which the Department of Corrections had contested:  [1] That Commonwealth’s Attorney Eddy Montgomery – and not just the Attorney General – had a “continuing interest… in matters affecting offenders committed the custody of corrections..” and was therefore a proper party to bring this lawsuit and [2] That Montgomery and the citizens he represents will suffer irreparable harm and injury by continuation of the release of prisoners and parolees.  As for the need for this immediate injunction, Tapp ruled, “Offenders released improperly pursuant to HB 406 cannot be ordered to return to custody of Corrections and thus required to fulfill the lawful sentence imposed by the courts.  Such harm is irreparable.
            Judge Tapp found that 3 portions of Montgomery’s lawsuit presented substantial questions which required an injunction at this point.  Namely, Judge Tapp ruled that the Department of Corrections policy regarding retroactive “street credit”; the Department of Corrections granting “good time” credit for time not actually spent in jail; and an unconstitutional encroachment of executive authority by the legislature were of such a nature as to warrant serious consideration.  Accordingly, Judge Tapp, although declining to extend the injunction statewide, confirmed his prior ruling stopping Corrections from its wholesale release of prisoners and parolees.
            Montgomery stated that he was very pleased with the ruling.  “This ruling confirms that there are serious problems with the budget bill and the way that Corrections is releasing prisoners.  As shown by the hearings and confirmed by the Court, Corrections has turned 180 degrees and is now imposing a policy it previously argued was illegal.  Hopefully, as our lawsuit continues, we will be able to finally end this program and allow Corrections to continue with its actual goal – protection of the public,” Montgomery explained.  Montgomery further stated that this ruling should make it clear that these prisoners and parolees released are not being released carefully and with supervision, but rather turned loose with no way to re-arrest them if they again break the law.  Montgomery noted, “These Defendants are being turned loose at an unprecedented rate.  Any comments that Corrections is watching these folks is simply not the case.  In many cases – sex offender treatment, drug treatment, and education classes are simply stopped as these Defendants are thrown out the jail house door.  The high minded goals of rehabilitation are being shot in the foot by a program designed to save money at the costs of safety.”
            Montgomery stated that this ruling serves as a road map for other prosecutors to challenge the plan.  “It is well within the authority of our Attorney General to challenge this plan statewide.  Citizens of the entire state are being threatened and I’m not sure if they can wait for our lawsuit to reach the Court of Appeals.  However, in the absence of a statewide lawsuit, I’m going to do everything I can do to protect the citizens of Pulaski, Lincoln, and Rockcastle Counties.  I am grateful to the time Judge Tapp gave to this matter and look forward to the continued prosecution of this case.
           

Prosecutor Resignations at All-Time High; Justice Leaders Warn of Crisis

Tuesday, September 16th, 2008

Sept. 15, 2008

 

MADISON, Wis., Sept 15, 2008 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — An alarmingly high rate of turnover in the ranks of assistant county prosecutors threatens to cripple crime-fighting efforts statewide, Dane County District Attorney Brian Blanchard, representatives from the Wisconsin Association of State Prosecutors (ASP), law enforcement officials and victim rights advocates warned at a news conference today.

 

They called on Governor Doyle and lawmakers to take immediate action to stem the loss of experienced prosecutors, who as state employees prosecute crimes such as homicides, sexual assaults, domestic violence, and drug violations under the direction of Wisconsin’s 71 elected district attorneys.

 

“Assistant district attorneys in Wisconsin aren’t eligible for pay increases based on experience, and the lack of a salary increase structure has led to a flood of resignations,” said Milwaukee County Assistant District Attorney Jeff Greipp, vice-president and legislative director of ASP, the prosecutors’ bargaining unit. “A 2001 state contract eliminated a merit-based pay progression system in effect since 1993, but created no replacement.”

 

“Wisconsin lost 250 of its assistant district attorneys between 2001 through 2007, the first seven years after the state eliminated experienced-based pay,” Greipp said. “Those losses are about 72% of the 339.2 full-time-equivalent prosecutors working in the state. During 2008, Milwaukee County alone has so far lost 58 prosecutors,” he noted.

 

“Every victim and every community deserves to be served by an experienced prosecutor,” Greipp said. “Wisconsin is no longer attracting and retaining career prosecutors, just when they’re most needed to fairly charge growing caseloads, enforce new criminal laws and penalties, and implement new tools such as DNA evidence.”

 

The Association filed a formal complaint filed this morning with the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission (WERC) against the Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA) and the State Office of State Employment Relations (OSER). “In ongoing negotiations with DOA and OSER the Association of State Prosecutors repeatedly provided evidence of the current crisis, and described its impact on victims, courts, local government, and the justice system,” Greipp said, noting that the association also reminded state negotiators that unlike other bargaining units of attorneys in the state, prosecutors don’t have caseload caps and must handle all the cases that flood into their understaffed offices.

 

“In response, state staff told the prosecutors to ‘get a lobbyist,’” Greipp said. “That was a shock. This kind of ‘take it or leave it’ bargaining is not only inappropriate, it signals that no one is listening. This formal complaint is not about an economic offer or even about money. It’s a complaint that not only is no one listening and we were told flat out no one ever will. That’s just plain wrong.”

 

“Turnover is disproportionately decimating the ranks of mid-level prosecutors who have 5-7 years experience,” according to Milwaukee County Assistant District Attorney and ASP Treasurer Gayle Shelton. “The loss of that talent is leaving new prosecutors to examine and charge complex complaints and serious crimes without the background and resources they merit,” she pointed out.

 

“The state is letting decades of crime-fighting experience walk out the door and leaving it to second-year prosecutors to try sexual assaults and homicides,” Shelton warned. “That’s risky justice. Wisconsin’s increasing reliance on newly minted prosecutors is fair to neither victims nor the accused,” she said, noting that less experienced prosecutors tend to err on the side of charging crimes.

 

“While a handful of prosecutors have resigned to take similar positions in other counties, most have shifted their legal careers to other government agencies and private sector opportunities offering salaries commensurate with experience,” Shelton observed.

Attorneys hired as prosecutors in 2003 earn less than a city police officer, fire fighter or Milwaukee County deputy sheriff with five years’ tenure earns as a base salary without overtime. “That disparity is greater,” Greipp said, “when you consider that the attorneys are often saddled with law school loans. Wisconsin’s prosecutors also earn less than most other government-employed attorneys, such as county corporation attorneys, and take home considerably less than private sector attorneys.”

 

“For those of us who have it in our blood, being a prosecutor is thrilling, fulfilling and an honor. It’s no money job, nor should it be. Neither, though, should the Governor and lawmakers sit by while Wisconsin treats career prosecutors as though neither their work nor justice mattered,” Greipp said.

 

This spring, the members of ASP unanimously rejected a contract proposed by the state that did not call for pay progression and contained no provisions addressing the crisis in prosecutor retention.

 

SOURCE Wisconsin Association of State Prosecutors

 

Prosecutor Resignations at All-Time High; Justice Leaders Warn of Crisis

Tuesday, September 16th, 2008

 

Sept. 15, 2008

 

MADISON, Wis., Sept 15, 2008 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — An alarmingly high rate of turnover in the ranks of assistant county prosecutors threatens to cripple crime-fighting efforts statewide, Dane County District Attorney Brian Blanchard, representatives from the Wisconsin Association of State Prosecutors (ASP), law enforcement officials and victim rights advocates warned at a news conference today.

 

They called on Governor Doyle and lawmakers to take immediate action to stem the loss of experienced prosecutors, who as state employees prosecute crimes such as homicides, sexual assaults, domestic violence, and drug violations under the direction of Wisconsin’s 71 elected district attorneys.

 

“Assistant district attorneys in Wisconsin aren’t eligible for pay increases based on experience, and the lack of a salary increase structure has led to a flood of resignations,” said Milwaukee County Assistant District Attorney Jeff Greipp, vice-president and legislative director of ASP, the prosecutors’ bargaining unit. “A 2001 state contract eliminated a merit-based pay progression system in effect since 1993, but created no replacement.”

 

“Wisconsin lost 250 of its assistant district attorneys between 2001 through 2007, the first seven years after the state eliminated experienced-based pay,” Greipp said. “Those losses are about 72% of the 339.2 full-time-equivalent prosecutors working in the state. During 2008, Milwaukee County alone has so far lost 58 prosecutors,” he noted.

 

“Every victim and every community deserves to be served by an experienced prosecutor,” Greipp said. “Wisconsin is no longer attracting and retaining career prosecutors, just when they’re most needed to fairly charge growing caseloads, enforce new criminal laws and penalties, and implement new tools such as DNA evidence.”

 

The Association filed a formal complaint filed this morning with the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission (WERC) against the Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA) and the State Office of State Employment Relations (OSER). “In ongoing negotiations with DOA and OSER the Association of State Prosecutors repeatedly provided evidence of the current crisis, and described its impact on victims, courts, local government, and the justice system,” Greipp said, noting that the association also reminded state negotiators that unlike other bargaining units of attorneys in the state, prosecutors don’t have caseload caps and must handle all the cases that flood into their understaffed offices.

 

“In response, state staff told the prosecutors to ‘get a lobbyist,’” Greipp said. “That was a shock. This kind of ‘take it or leave it’ bargaining is not only inappropriate, it signals that no one is listening. This formal complaint is not about an economic offer or even about money. It’s a complaint that not only is no one listening and we were told flat out no one ever will. That’s just plain wrong.”

 

“Turnover is disproportionately decimating the ranks of mid-level prosecutors who have 5-7 years experience,” according to Milwaukee County Assistant District Attorney and ASP Treasurer Gayle Shelton. “The loss of that talent is leaving new prosecutors to examine and charge complex complaints and serious crimes without the background and resources they merit,” she pointed out.

 

“The state is letting decades of crime-fighting experience walk out the door and leaving it to second-year prosecutors to try sexual assaults and homicides,” Shelton warned. “That’s risky justice. Wisconsin’s increasing reliance on newly minted prosecutors is fair to neither victims nor the accused,” she said, noting that less experienced prosecutors tend to err on the side of charging crimes.

 

“While a handful of prosecutors have resigned to take similar positions in other counties, most have shifted their legal careers to other government agencies and private sector opportunities offering salaries commensurate with experience,” Shelton observed.

Attorneys hired as prosecutors in 2003 earn less than a city police officer, fire fighter or Milwaukee County deputy sheriff with five years’ tenure earns as a base salary without overtime. “That disparity is greater,” Greipp said, “when you consider that the attorneys are often saddled with law school loans. Wisconsin’s prosecutors also earn less than most other government-employed attorneys, such as county corporation attorneys, and take home considerably less than private sector attorneys.”

 

“For those of us who have it in our blood, being a prosecutor is thrilling, fulfilling and an honor. It’s no money job, nor should it be. Neither, though, should the Governor and lawmakers sit by while Wisconsin treats career prosecutors as though neither their work nor justice mattered,” Greipp said.

 

This spring, the members of ASP unanimously rejected a contract proposed by the state that did not call for pay progression and contained no provisions addressing the crisis in prosecutor retention.

 

SOURCE Wisconsin Association of State Prosecutors

 

6th Circuit Decision in Antidegradation Case Rejects In Part EPA’s Approval of Kentucky Water Quality Rules

Friday, September 12th, 2008

 
 

 September 8, 2008

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued an opinion on September 3, 2008 in the case of Kentucky Waterways Alliance v. Johnson, reversing and remanding in part Environmental Protection Agency’s approval of Kentucky’s flawed antidegradation rules. The Kentucky antidegradation rules at issue are required by the federal Clean Water Act, and are intended to protect water quality of streams, rivers and lakes whose quality exceeds the minimum level necessary to support the Act’s “fishable” and “swimmable” goals. Plaintiffs Kentucky Waterways Alliance, Sierra Club Cumberland Chapter, Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, and Floyds Fork Environmental Association were represented by the Environmental Law and Policy Center and the Kentucky Resources Council, Inc.
The Court agreed with Plaintiffs that the EPA had acted arbitrarily and capriciously in approving Kentucky’s rules that allowed exceptions to the requirement of justifying a lowering of water quality of high quality waters.
The 24-page opinion found that EPA’s approval of 5 of the 6 exceptions was “arbitrary and capricious” because EPA never required Kentucky to prove that the multiple exceptions contained in Kentucky’s rules would cause only insignificant, or “de minimus,” degradation of the state’s rivers, lakes and streams.
The Court also rejected EPA’s approval of Kentucky’s proposed antidegradation review for coal mining discharges. Despite the blanket exemption of coal mining discharges from antidegradation review by Kentucky, EPA approved the state rule based on a letter commitment by the state that it would interpret its regulation to require such reviews. The Court agreed with Plaintiffs that securing informal commitments from a state rather than requiring that it’s regulation be amended violates the Clean Water Act and abridges the right of the public to comment on proposed rules.
Plaintiffs also objected to Kentucky’s method for determining which waterways deserve antidegradation protection. The Court agreed that the state must protect all waters whose quality “exceed[s] levels necessary to support propagation of fish, shellfish, and wildlife and recreation in and on the water,” but was not persuaded by Plaintiffs that Kentucky’s specific procedures violated the law or that a “parameter by parameter” approach to protecting water quality is mandated by the federal law.
The Court’s opinion sends Kentucky’s rules back to U.S. EPA for further review. KRC and the other parties will be in discussion with EPA and Kentucky regarding the significant revisions and improvements in the state regulations that will be required in order to comply with the Court’s opinion. The result will be increased scrutiny of the use of public waters for waste disposal from industries, confined animal feedlot operations, cities, coal mining, and under stormwater permits.

To read the opinion, go to http://www.kwalliance.org/Portals/3/6th%20Circuit%20Decision.pdf
 

 

Viagra For Women Information From Onhealth
Tablet Viagra
John Bouchie Viagra
Cialis Compare Levitra Viagra Good
Cheapest Price Viagra
Generic Viagra Caverta Generic Viagra Pillshoprxcom
Cialis Bluepill
Which Is Better Levitra Or Viagra
J 1cialis Tadalafil
Generic Viagra Cheap No Prescription
Viagra Dosages
Buy Herbal Viagra Viagra
Drg Generic Viagra
Viagra Differences
Methyl 12 Viagra
Herbal Cialis Alternative
Human Viagra
Equivalentes De Viagra
Order Phentermine Onlineorder Viagra
Best Prices On Viagra
Viagra Labels
Cialis Princiapl Investigator
Viagra Travel
Will Viagra Treat Premature Ejaculation
Cialis Pharmacy Paxil
Herbal Aphrodisiacs And Natural Viagra
Smode Su Viagra Webrb De Mc
Viagra Pharmacology
Viagra Cialis Compare
Natural Substitute For Viagra
Man Health Viagra
91 Olds Cialis Side Marker Lens
Viagra Pennis Enlargement
Cialis Uk Online
Viagra Maximum Dose
Tadalis Cialis Tadalafil
Overnight Cialis
Viagra Sample Overnight Delivery
Cialis And Deafness
Kwiktabs Meltabs Generic Viagra About
Viagra Over Dose
1cialis Levitra Vs
Online Meds Viagra
Cheap Drug Online Prescription Viagra
Cialis And Adverse Effects
Viagra Wal-mart
Cheap Uk Viagra
Venetian Las Vegas Effects Viagra
Cialis Performance Enhancer
Taking Viagra Daily
99 Viagra Free Consultations Now
Cialis Recomendation
Chinese Cheap Cialis
Zoloft And Viagra
Buying Viagra Over The Internet
Viagra And Reduced Ammunity
Combining Viagra And Regalis
Cialis Medicine
Penegra Silagra Generic Viagra Cumwithuscom
Viagra Online Discount
Cialis Female Viagra
Q Viagra
Viagra For Female
Arizona Cialis
Cialis Nextag
Viagra From Canada
Cialis Comparison
Online Viagra Consultation
3.99 Cialis Order
Viagra Mail Order Uk
Viagra With Penicillin
Metformin And Viagra
Viagra Contest
Viagra Find Edinburgh Site Born
Impotence And Viagra
Pictures Of Viagra
Counterfeit Viagra
Viagra Sale Uk
Viagra Online Pharmacy
Compare Generic Viagra Price
Lowest Cost Generic Viagra
Womans Viagra
Drug Generic Viagra
Authentic Viagra Pictures
Niacin And Viagra
Keywords Generic Viagra
Cialis Experiment
Viagra Generic 20 Cents From India
Viagra Cost Best Price Viagra
Generic Viagra Us Licensed Online Pharmacy
Cialis Medical Information
Viagra And Atenolol
To Buy Viagra In Uk
Viagra Celais
Endocrinologist Testosterone Specialist San Diego
Viagra Online Journals Quizilla
Grapefruit Viagra Interaction
Cheap Cialis Canada
Buy Locally Viagra
Cialis Commercials
Prices Publix Viagra
Cialis State Contractor Licensing Board
Original Use Of Viagra
Best Pill Price Viagra
Viagra $7
Cialis Side Effects Eye
Viagra Ch
Viagra For Diabetics
Viagra Pharmaceutical Company
Failure Of Cialis To Work
Buy Cialis Generic Online
Viagra In Australia
Viagraviagra Softtabs
Cialis Obsessive Compulsion
Fed Ex Delivery Cialis
Online Viagra Prescription
Viagra Best Quality Lowest Prices
Viagra Onliine
Will Insurance Pay For Cialis
Cialis Clinical Trial
Free Samples Of Viagra
Offender Sex Viagra
Sites For Charles Linskaill Viagra Find
Cialis Addiction
Best Price For Cialis
New York Kamagra About Viagra
Minimum Effective Dosage Of Viagra
Cheap Deal Deal Pill Viagra
Uk Cialis Sales
Viagra And Gout
Lowest Prices For Generic Viagra
Viagra Bon Marche
Female Use Viagra
Generic Viagra Soft Tab
Natural Viagra Andes
Cialis Cialis Genuinerx Net Viagra
Generic Viagra Pay With Online Check
Viagra Sources
Christian Cialis
Buy Viagra Online Netscape Com
A Viagra Discount
Long Term Use Cialis
Viagra Attorney Columbus
Viagra Prescribing Information
Viagra Newsletter
Online Pill Viagra
Find Viagra Free Sites Computer Href
Buy Pill Viagra
Giant Viagra Pill
Gemini World Viagra
1buy Cialis Generic Online
Generic Cialis India $1.5
Viagra Cialis Vs
Men Who Take Viagra Results
Taking Viagra And Eating Bacon
Women Cialis
Viagra Compare Prices Amp Buy
Viagra Leukine Shots
Discount Drug Viagra
Viagra For Peyronie’s Disease
Cialis Colombia
Information Medil Viagra
Viagra Derivatives
Viagra Bullshit
Canadian Approved Female Viagra
Cheapest Generic Viagra 99 Cents Each
Cheap Viagra Without A Prescription
Viagra Generac
Cialis Soft Tabs Generic
Viagra Sa
Prescription Online Levitra Cialis Viagra
Lowest Price Cialis
Viagra Available Online Without Prescription
Compare Viagra Cialis And Levitra
1buy Cialis
Viagra Buy Online
Viagra Danger
Approval Online Online Shop Viagra
Sofia Viagra
Viagra Hotwheels
Cialis Soft Tablets
Aquaholics Message Board Sildenafil Viagra
Generic Cialis Pills Cheap
Snl Christopher Walken Viagra
Webresults Buy Viagra
The Cialis Promis
Buy Viagra Toronto
Buy Cialis Cheapest Tadalafil Tadalafil Table
Cheap Viagra New Zealand
Cialis 5
Viagra Chemical Compound
Free Cialis Sample
Drug Testing Cialis
Cheap Generic 50 Mg Viagra
Cialis Sside Effects
Cialis Viagra Packs Cheap Fast
Drug Generic Generic Viagra
Dangers Of Viagra
Canadian Pharmacy Viagra Best Online Pharmacy
Viagra Price Comparison
Cialis Pills Micronized
Viagra Eye Exam
Caverta Levitra Cialis
Tonytigeraz Viagra 2007
Depression And Viagra
2 00 Viagra
Viagra Nation
Cialis Denavir Ortho Tri-cyclen
Viagra Smiling Bob T Shirts
Viagra Sales On Line
Viagra Over Night Shipping
Ramipril And Viagra
Busik Online Viagra
Viagra Types
Can You Take Viagra Everyday
Female Cialis
Viagra Vs Cialis Licensed Pharmacies Online
Viagra Benefits
Buy Viagra At Safeway
Viagra Magazine Advertisement
Splitting Viagra Efficacy
Order Prescription Viagra
Viagra Jokes List
Cialis Forum Catalog
Taking More Than 100 Mg Viagra
Viagra 2bonline
Viagra Total Knee
U 52892 Viagra
Viagra Best Prices
Heart Viagra
Where To Puchase Cialis Online Usa
Find Viagra Free Sites Search Computer
Viagra Results Photos
Can You Take Viagra With Wellbutrin
Best Generic Price Viagra
Best Buy For Viagra
Cialis And Ace Inhibitors
Advantages Of Viagra
Worlds Cheapest Viagra
Generic Viagra Capsules
Bigger Erection With Viagra
Cialis Onsubmit
Brazil Viagra
Cheep Viagra From Indea
Viagra Otc Edinburgh Site Born Find
Side Effects From Viagra Email Joke
Cialis Table
Viagra Girl
Generic Viagra Softtabs
Pharmacy Cialis Silagra
Viagra Teens Teenager
Non-prescription Cialis
222 Pill Viagra
Generic Viagra Generic Cialis Pills
Yohimbe And Viagra
Generic Cialis Levitea Viagra Sampler Packages
Genuine Cialis No Prescription
Acupunture Fue Las Viagra Charles Agujas
Viagra Commercial
Generic Cialis Usa
1 Cialis Tadalafil Jpg
Cialis And Pregnancy
Low Cost Viagra Online
Generic Viagra Available
Find Search Edinburgh Viagra Phentermine
World News Viagra Find Site Computer
Viagra Jingle
Viagra Levitra Valium Cialis Tramadol Hydrocodone
Generic Cialis Pills Testimonials
Generc Cialis Discount
Otc Uk Viagra
Cialis Effects
Affiliate Free Join Program Viagra
Interaction Between Altace And Viagra
Vicodin Viagra
Keywords Cialis Levitra Vs
Lyrics Viagra In The Water
Trimix And Cialis
Fioricet Soma Tramadol Viagra
Buy Viagra Woman
Cialis And Hepatitis
Edinburgh Uk News Viagra Site Search
Generic Cialis Overnight Cheapest
Viagra From Mexico
$2.00 Viagra
Drink Alcohol With Viagra
Keyword Order Viagra Online
Viagra Covered California Hmo
Dose Viagra Make Sex Last Longer
Viagra Sex Offenders
Cialis Overnight Us Pharmacy
Cialis Maximum Dose
Cheap Online Purchase Viagra
Regaalis Cialis
Generic Viagra Compared
Viagra Generic Oregon
Cialis Generica
Best Buy Online Sale Viagra Viagra
Buy Uk Viagra
Viagra Propecia Buy Online

Book Review: The First Amendment – Creation or Evolution

Friday, September 12th, 2008

Zachary J. Lechner        September 8th 2008
Lewis, Anthony. Freedom for the Thought That We Hate: A Biography of the First Amendment. (New York: Basic Books, 2008.)

 

Freedom for the Thought That We Hate: A Biography of the First Amendment is part of Basic Books’ “Basic Ideas” series in which “a leading authority offers a concise biography of a text that transformed its world, and ours.” The authority here is Anthony Lewis, law professor, former New York Times columnist, Pulitzer Prize winner, and author of the bestselling 1964 classic Gideon’s Trumpet and the 1992 work Make No Law: The Sullivan Case and the First Amendment.

 

Writing for a popular audience, Lewis makes no great revelations in this new book, though drawing on judicial opinions and secondary scholarship, he offers a concise, useful volume on one of Americans’ most cherished and misunderstood legal rights.

Lewis delineates his main argument over the course of twelve chapter essays on the judicial history of the First Amendment. He asserts that the amendment did not arrive fully articulated when the Framers added the Bill of Rights to the proposed Constitution in 1787. Rather, its meaning took shape over time through a series of Supreme Court rulings. Not until 1931 did the Court invoke the amendment in order to protect free expression. The First Amendment “has no discernable history,” Lewis explains, meaning that justices have no record of the Framers’ intentions. So calls for original intent hit a dead end. Lewis focuses mainly on judges, who, he maintains, are influenced by their social surroundings when rendering decisions. He also writes about the significance of other actors—political leaders and citizens—in driving debates about the First Amendment. Judges function as the heroes in Lewis’s book, but he emphasizes that they have frequently ignored or upheld legislative and executive challenges to the right of Americans to think and express themselves.

 

Lewis opens by chronicling the way dissent was repressed in sixteenth and seventeenth-century England and in colonial America. One of the major instruments was seditious libel, which criminalized publications critical of either the church or the state. Leaders reasoned that such writings would demean authority and rupture the bonds of civil society. Over the first four chapters, Lewis ably charts the historical controversy over seditious libel. In a nation guarded by freedom of expression, this restriction seems incompatible. President John Adams and the Federalists used the concept as justification for the Sedition Act of 1798. This legislation enabled them to fine and imprison their political enemies. The American voters in the “Revolution of 1800,” not the Supreme Court, Lewis clarifies, nullified this legislation. Similarly, in a context of war and fears of Bolshevism, justices upheld the Espionage Act of 1917 and the Sedition Act of 1918. The Supreme Court in fact did not put the issue of seditious libel to rest until its ruling in New York Times v. Sullivan in 1964.

 

Lewis describes the importance of Justices Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. and Louis D. Brandeis in pushing the Court to sustain the constitutional guarantee of free speech. Between 1919 and 1929 they issued a series of groundbreaking dissents. These laid the path for the Court’s later rulings protecting freedom of expression. The decision in the case of Stromberg v. California (1931) marked the first time the high court struck down a statute on the foundation that it violated the First Amendment. The Court, Lewis states, determined “that free speech was a basic American value, that repression was not to be tolerated to prevent some dim and distant bad tendency.”

 

The outcome of New York Times v. Sullivan further emboldened defenders of free expression. Seditious libel was dead. No longer could Americans be imprisoned for criticizing a political leader. Common law had compelled defendants to prove the truth of their claim. The judiciary reversed this difficult burden. It now required the plaintiff to prove the falsity of a claim as well as the defendant’s knowledge of the untruth. The Court made an even larger statement in Sullivan. “What had always been a matter of state law,” Lewis points out, “became, in most cases, a subject that turned on federal constitutional law.”

 

Specifically, the Sullivan decision empowered the press to report freely on the civil rights movement. In subsequent topical chapters, Lewis devotes considerable attention to press freedom and judicial discussions regarding how far that freedom should be extended, especially when it infringes on personal privacy. The Court, however, has refused to allow the press to use truth as an unmitigated defense against privacy interests. Lewis calls for balance. He sides with the late Justice William J. Brennan, Jr., who located the central meaning of the First Amendment in the right to censure the government, not to print anything and everything about non-political figures. Indeed, Lewis is apprehensive about a press that joins with the government to invade citizens’ privacy. Ultimately, he believes, a free society necessitates a compromise between freedom of expression and the right to privacy.

 

Lewis further details the intersection of journalism and freedom of expression with a penetrating analysis of press privilege. In the Branzburg v. Hayes (1972) decision, the Supreme Court determined that journalists could not invoke the First Amendment to avoid having to testify before a grand jury. The ruling denied press privilege, and the Court has subsequently refused to revisit the issue. Nevertheless, journalists continue to claim special protections under the First Amendment.

 

Lewis asserts that the Framers surely did not equate “journalists” with “the press,” as professional journalism as we know it today did not exist in the eighteenth century. “The press” probably encompassed publishers of pamphlets, books, and newspapers. Lewis takes a middle-ground position on whether or not journalists can be required to reveal their sources. The notion of “qualified privilege” was outlined in 2005 by David Tatel, a United States Court of Appeals judge for the District of Columbia Circuit. Elucidating Tatel’s position, Lewis writes, “[C]ourts should balance the interest in compelling discourse, measured by the harm the leak caused, against the public interest in newsgathering, measured by the leaked information’s value. Thus, for example, if the government wanted to learn who leaked the story of President Bush’s order for wiretapping without required warrants, a court would weigh the harm caused by that leak against the importance of the information to the public. In my view the latter would plainly prevail, and the reporters would have a privilege not to disclose their sources.”

This moderate stance, Lewis contends, would usually but not always shelter the press. He describes the 2003 contempt proceedings against Judith Miller of The New York Times and Matt Cooper of Time. Both journalists cited press privilege in refusing to identify the person who leaked to them covert CIA operative Valerie Plame’s identity. Based on qualified privilege, and in this instance, Lewis convincingly and succinctly defends the public’s right to know. It is a good example of his nuanced consideration of the First Amendment’s guarantees and their social ramifications.

 

Before returning to the subject of the press, Lewis devotes chapters to obscenity and to the use of fear to suppress free expression. The federal government, he writes, has often justified interferences with civil liberties and the First Amendment as necessary wartime measures. In contrast, he describes the Vietnam War-era Court’s more vigorous protection of civil liberties. We are left to wonder why the justices defended the First Amendment in this conflict and not others.

 

My question points to the major drawback of Freedom for the Thought that We Hate—the author’s failure to rely adequately on social and cultural contexts for each case. Lewis certainly indicates, as any good textbook would, for example, the political expediency behind the Alien and Sedition Acts and the Cold War culture in which the 1950s courts functioned. It is common sense that Supreme Court cases and decisions are products of their times. In the introduction, Lewis suggests that he will go beyond this truism. He states that “great judges” recognized the broad social benefits of free expression, yet he insists, “judicial commitment to openness of expression grew as citizens’ did; each informed the other.” I’m intrigued by this idea, but Lewis is short on examples.

Furthermore, he leaves significant questions unanswered: How do judges’ political orientations influence their legal outlooks? (Surprisingly, Lewis generally ignores this important dynamic.) When are judges merely the products of their times, and when do they break free of prevailing societal constraints? And most essential: in terms of judges, the press, and other non-judicial actors, who influences whom, and when, and why? Perhaps in the introduction Lewis simply should have avoided making an argument about legal change and the public. Such an investigation would necessitate a complex weaving together of legal, social, and cultural history. In such a short survey, with so much territory to cover, that is a tall order for even as gifted a legal scholar as Lewis.

 

This criticism aside, strong insights abound in Freedom for the Thought That We Hate, particularly in the final chapters. Lewis explores hate speech, balancing freedom of the press with a fair trial, free speech and political campaigns, and the role of the press in a democratic society. He savages the post-9/11 media’s failure to ask the Bush Administration tough questions on torture and the imprisonment of suspected terrorists without trial. He portrays journalists as seduced by power; they are pale reflections of the fiercely independent and skeptical men and women who distinguished their profession during the Vietnam and Watergate years. Although he maintains his disappointment with the contemporary media, Lewis does acknowledge its close scrutiny of the recent wiretapping controversy, which helped journalists break free of their “deferential” point of view.

 

Many readers will share his concerns. They may find some of his other opinions more problematic. For instance, Lewis calls for restrictions on exhortations of terrorist violence. The Supreme Court has protected speech unless it involves incitements to violence that pose an imminent threat. “I think we should be able to punish speech that urges terrorist violence to an audience some of whose members are ready to act on the urging,” the author reasons. “That is imminence enough.” As with many free expression controversies, there is no easy answer.

 

While one can disagree with Lewis’s various stances on First Amendment issues, there is no denying his larger claim that “the freedoms of speech and of the press have never been absolutes.” They evolved over time to occupy a central place in the American constitutional law. Lewis concludes that above all else the First Amendment demands bravery from the press and judges. The judiciary, despite notable exceptions, has pushed American society in a progressive direction, forcing it to live up to its constitutional ideals—pay no mind, he advises, to the misguided critics of “activist” courts. The courage and openness demanded by free expression are, for Lewis, indispensable to the proper functioning of a democratic society. His short study of the First Amendment’s history reminds us of the malleability of its fourteen words and their need for vigilant safeguarding.

 

Justice Department Issues 213 Page Report on Antitrust Monopoly Law

Friday, September 12th, 2008

An Executive Summary of the Department’s report is attached. The full report can be found on the Department of Justice’s web site at www.usdoj.gov/atr/public/reports/236681.pdf.

 

WASHINGTON, Sept 08, 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire via COMTEX/ — Report Provides Consumers, Businesses, and Policy Makers With Analysis of Single-Firm Conduct Under the Antitrust Laws

 

The Department of Justice today issued a report informing consumers, businesses and policy makers about issues relating to monopolization offenses under the antitrust laws. The report, “Competition and Monopoly: Single-Firm Conduct Under Section 2 of the Sherman Act,” examines whether and when specific types of single-firm conduct may or may not violate Section 2 of the Sherman Act by harming competition and consumer welfare.

 

The Department’s report draws extensively on a series of joint hearings, involving more than 100 participants, that the Department and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) held from June 2006 to May 2007 to explore in depth the antitrust treatment of single-firm conduct. The 213-page report also incorporates commentary found in scholarly literature and the jurisprudence of the U.S. Supreme Court and lower courts.

 

Section 2 of the Sherman Act prohibits a firm from illegally acquiring or maintaining a monopoly, meaning the ability to exclude competitors and profitably raise price significantly above competitive levels for a sustained period of time. Unlike antitrust laws that prohibit anticompetitive mergers or other agreements among firms, Section 2 particularly targets single-firm conduct, such as decisions regarding whether and on what terms to sell to or buy from others. Although possessing monopoly power is not unlawful, using an improper means to seek or maintain monopoly power is unlawful where it can harm competition and consumers.

 

“Single-firm conduct offers some of the greatest challenges in antitrust enforcement today,” said Thomas O. Barnett, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Department’s Antitrust Division. “While we need to identify and prohibit conduct that harms the competitive process, we also need to avoid interfering in the rough and tumble of beneficial competition that drives innovation and economic growth. This report draws on the rich body of commentary created during the hearings, judicial precedent, and scholarly research to help us better achieve both objectives. With standards that are more clear and administrable, businesses are more likely to comply with the law, violations will be easier to identify and remedy, and consumers will be better served.”

 

The report discusses the important role that Section 2 plays in antitrust enforcement and the principles that guide that enforcement today. The report identifies and discusses a number of areas of consensus with respect to the proper treatment of single-firm conduct and highlights and examines those areas in which there is not yet consensus. The report seeks to make progress toward the goal of developing sound, clear, objective, effective and administrable standards for Section 2 analysis. It addresses the following specific issues: monopoly power; conduct standards; predatory pricing and bidding; tying; bundled and single-product loyalty discounts; unilateral, unconditional refusals to deal with rivals; exclusive dealing; remedies; and international perspectives.

 

Among the observations in the report:

 

– Enforcement of Section 2 has been and should continue to be a key component of antitrust enforcement;

– While market share does not itself prove the existence of monopoly power, it is an important factor. When a firm has maintained a market share in excess of two-thirds for a significant period and its market position would not likely be eroded in the near future, the Department normally will presume that the firm possesses monopoly power, absent convincing evidence to the contrary;

– No single test for determining whether conduct is anticompetitive-such as the effects-balancing, profit-sacrifice, no-economic-sense, equally efficient competitor, or disproportionality tests-works well in all cases. The Department encourages the continuing development of conduct-specific tests and safe harbors;

– Vague or overly inclusive prohibitions against single-firm conduct are particularly likely to undermine economic growth and to harm consumers.

– In contrast, Section 2 prohibitions that are based on clear and objective criteria, and that are carefully tailored to conduct likely to harm the competitive process, are likely to increase economic growth and to benefit consumers. Businesses are better able to comply with the law and avoid violations; antitrust enforcers can more easily identify and prove violations; effective and administrable remedies are more likely to be available; and aggressive but beneficial competition is less likely to be deterred;

– The appropriate measure of cost in relation to predatory-pricing claims should identify loss-creating sales that could force an equally efficient rival out of the market, and such a measure should be administrable by businesses and the courts. In most cases, the best cost measure likely will be average avoidable cost;

– The historical hostility of the law to the practice of tying is unjustified, and the qualified rule of per se illegality applicable to tying is inconsistent with the U.S. Supreme Court’s modern antitrust decisions and should be abandoned;

– Bundled discounting, although a common practice that frequently benefits consumers, can potentially harm competition in two different ways. Accordingly, depending on particular facts, either an analysis similar to predatory pricing is appropriate or an analysis similar to tying is appropriate;

– Antitrust liability for mere unilateral, unconditional refusals to deal with rivals should not play a meaningful role in Section 2 enforcement because compelling access is likely to harm long-term competition and courts are ill suited to be market regulators;

– Exclusive-dealing arrangements foreclosing less than 30 percent of existing customers or effective distribution should not be illegal;

– Remedies for conduct that is found to violate Section 2 should re-establish the opportunity for competition without unnecessarily chilling competitive practices or undermining incentives to invest and innovate;

– Further consideration of monetary damages and penalties for Section 2 violations may be useful; and

– The Department will continue to explore ways of strengthening cooperation with counterparts in foreign jurisdictions and to encourage further convergence on sound enforcement policies in this important area.

 

An Executive Summary of the Department’s report is attached. The full report can be found on the Department of Justice’s web site at www.usdoj.gov/atr/public/reports/236681.pdf.

Background on Section 2 Hearings:

The enforcement challenge involving Section 2 of the Sherman Act led the Department of Justice and FTC in June 2006 to embark on a year-long series of joint public hearings to study issues relating to enforcement of Section 2 against different types of single-firm conduct. The “Hearings on Section 2 of the Sherman Act: Single Firm Conduct as Related to Competition” took place over 19 days and featured 29 separate panels, in which 119 different panelists participated. The hearings covered a wide range of general topics, such as monopoly power, remedies, and international issues, as well as specific types of conduct, including predatory pricing and bidding, bundled and single-product loyalty discounts, tying and refusals to deal. Participants included members of the bar, economists and academics and representatives of the business community. The agencies also received numerous written submissions from participants and non-participants.

Complete information on the hearings, including transcripts, submissions and lists of participants, can be found at www.usdoj.gov/atr/public/hearings/single_firm/sfchearing.htm

SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice

 http://www.USDOJ.gov

 

Federal Court: warrant needed to turn cell phone into homing beacon

Friday, September 12th, 2008

 

www.arstechnica.com/news   By Julian Sanchez  September 11, 2008 –

 

It just got a bit harder for law enforcement agencies to turn your cell phone into a personal homing beacon: A federal court has slapped down the Justice Department’s appeal of a February ruling that required investigators to seek a probable cause warrant before acquiring historical records of a cell phone users physical movements. 

 

In a curt opinion released late Wednesday, Judge Terrence McVerry of the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania affirmed that February’s decision by Magistrate Judge Lucy P. Lenihan, writing for a unanimous five-judge panel, was “not clearly erroneous or contrary to law.” The Justice Department had asked the court to overturn Lenihan’s order, while an amicus brief filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, American Civil Liberties Union, and Center for Democracy and Technology had urged McVerry to ratify the lower court’s holding that a showing of probable cause was needed before a cell provider could be compelled to disclose geographic data about a subscriber.

 

The central point of contention between the government and civil liberties groups concerned whether records revealing the nearest cell tower to a subscriber’s phone at the time of a call—information sufficient to pinpoint the phone’s location only within several hundred feet—could be obtained using a “D order” based on “specific and articulable facts” showing its relevance to an ongoing investigation. This intermediate evidentiary standard is greater than what would be required to subpoena records, but less stringent than the “probable cause” required for a Fourth Amendment warrant.

 

Interestingly, both the government and civil liberties groups agreed that the lower court had erred in resolving the question by reference to language in the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act pertaining to “tracking devices.” (The appeals court declined to revisit this point.) Both the civil libertarians’ amicus and the government’s reply memorandum argued that the controlling statute was the Stored Communications Act, governing records pertaining to subscribers. That act permits judges to issue “D orders” for records on the basis of “specific an articulable facts,” but the civil liberties groups argued that this establishes a “floor” rather than a “ceiling,” leaving the courts leeway to impose a higher standard when disclosure of records might implicate Fourth Amendment interests.

 

The government cited precedent suggesting that the use of tracking technology did not amount to a Fourth Amendment search when it disclosed no more than could be gleaned from physical surveillance of a target in public places—as when a tracking beacon is attached to an automobile on public highways. Because cell tower data provides only a very approximate location, they contended, it did not permit the sort of detailed tracking that would permit authorities to follow targets’ movements in protected private spaces. Moreover, Justice Department attorneys argued, the Supreme Court has ruled that information voluntarily disclosed to third parties—as when customers provide the phone company with a dialed number—falls outside the ambit of the Fourth Amendment. Therefore, according to the government, the court should refrain from imposing a standard higher than specified by statute.

 

The court, however, appears to have been more persuaded by EFF and amici, who distinguished cell location data from automobile beacons, noting that it would permit law enforcement agencies to make inferences about the movements of persons—as well as about who was in possession of the phone at any given time—whether in public or private spaces. Moreover, they argued, a lax standard for seeking location data “enables dragnet surveillance” by permitting the government to acquire location records in bulk, then hunt for a particular pattern of movements. Though amici conceded that the government hadn’t attempted such dragnet surveillance in the instant case, they warned that cell phone tracking nis “ripe for such use.”

 

Justice Department spokesman Dean Boyd told Ars that the government is reviewing the court’s decision, but could not say whether an appeal is planned

 

LawReader makes a clean get-a-way: People sheltering at ground level at Galveston Bay when Hurricane Ike hits face “certain death,” the weather service warns.

Friday, September 12th, 2008

Sept. 12, 2008
By Stan Billingsley
Galveston, Texas is on an island just south of Houston.  Yesterday I flew into Houston and noted that this whole part of the country is covered by thick cloud layers as Hurricane Ike marches toward Galveston.  Fortunately we were about 48 hours in advance of the storm and were able to make our connection back to Louisville.
Throughout the Houston airport the televisions were showing warnings from the Gov. of Texas and others telling people living in Galveston, on the coast and those on the south side of Houston to evacuate.  Of the 6 million residents of Houston, about 1.5 million were believed to live in areas that could sustain serious damage from IKE.    All roads out of Houston and Galveston are currently loaded with people are were made true believes by Hurricane Katrina which hit New Orleans three years ago last week.
The flood wall at Galveston is only about 8 feet high and the storm surge is predicted to be as high as 20 feet in some areas.   Anyone remaining on the Island is almost certain to get wet.  Many years ago, before the advent of radar, over a thousand people in Galveston were drowned in a hurricane.

U.S. Supreme Court asked to immunize drug manufacturers from lawsuits

Friday, September 12th, 2008

By David G. Savage  Los Angeles Times

 

WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court earlier this year reinterpreted a 32-year-old federal law as barring suits against makers of government-approved medical devices. In a case to be heard this fall, the court will consider whether to extend this shield against lawsuits to the makers of prescription medicines and over-the-counter drugs that are also government approved.

If it does, it could make for a far-reaching change in the law, one brought about with little public debate.

Having failed to persuade Congress or the states to limit such suits, the Bush administration and the pharmaceutical industry went to court.

Now they stand on the verge of shutting down thousands of lawsuits that could cost the industry billions of dollars in jury verdicts and settlements.

“This is a radical restructuring of the American civil justice system,” said Georgetown law professor David C. Vladeck, formerly of the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen.

The new case before the court concerns Diana Levine, 62, a musician from Vermont whose right arm was amputated after an antinausea drug was improperly injected into an artery and caused gangrene.

She sued the drugmaker and was awarded $6.7 million by a Vermont jury. The Supreme Court agreed to hear the drugmaker’s appeal that the woman’s suit, and others like it, should be thrown out.

Advocates for the pharmaceutical industry say it makes more sense to have experts at the Food and Drug Administration – rather than jurors – decide whether a drug is safe. In 2005 alone, 17,000 suits were filed against drugmakers, they say.

“Do we really want a jury in Peoria or Santa Fe deciding whether the design of a medical device needs to be changed?” asked Washington lawyer Ted Olson, who represented Medtronic this year in the medical-devices case. The same logic applies to prescription drugs, he said.

Before this decade, the FDA had maintained that regulatory laws passed by Congress did not bar such lawsuits. Under the Bush administration, the FDA changed course, saying its federal oversight of drugs and medical devices barred most lawsuits concerning those products.

In February, the Supreme Court endorsed the administration’s view in the case of Riegel v. Medtronic. The justices, in an 8-1 decision, rejected a suit filed by a New York man whose balloon catheter burst in his chest.

The ruling was based on the Medical Device Amendments of 1976, a law passed after the Dalkon Shield disaster. This birth-control device, introduced in 1970, was blamed for 12 deaths and thousands of severe infections in young women.

To protect the public from unsafe devices, Congress told the FDA to approve new medical devices before they went on the market. Nothing was said about limiting lawsuits.

At the time, California had its own law regulating the sale of medical devices, and the new federal law said states could not enforce “any requirement” that differed from the FDA rules.

This phrase was crucial to the Supreme Court’s decision in February. The justices said that a lawsuit filed under a state’s consumer-protection law could impose an extra “requirement” on device-makers and therefore the federal law “preempted” these suits.

Nov. 3, the court will hear the case of Wyeth v. Levine to decide whether to block suits against drugmakers.

On Wyeth’s side, a broad collection of business groups argues that the FDA had approved the warning label for Phenergan and that a Vermont jury did not have the authority or expertise to decide whether a stronger warning was needed.

Vladeck responds: “If I drive my car and the brakes fail and I hit someone, I’m liable for the damage I caused. Why should companies have an immunity from liability that ordinary citizens don’t have?”

Lexington Herald Leader cites controversial Letter from a resident of Wasilla, Alaska who has know Sarah Palin since l992.

Sunday, September 7th, 2008

Sep 3, 2008

This letter was cited by the Lexington Herald-Leader on September 7th.,  but their link is not working.

A Letter From Anne Kilkenny

What follows is an open letter written by a resident of Wasilla, Alaska named Anne Kilkenny.
I am a resident of Wasilla, Alaska. I have known Sarah since 1992. Everyone here knows Sarah, so it is nothing special to say we are on a first-name basis. Our children have attended the same schools. Her father was my child’s favorite substitute teacher. I also am on a first name basis with her parents and mother-in-law. I attended more City Council meetings during her administration than about 99% of the residents of the city.
She is enormously popular; in every way she’s like the most popular girl in middle school. Even men who think she is a poor choice and won’t vote for her can’t quit smiling when talking about her because she is a “babe”.
It is astonishing and almost scary how well she can keep a secret. She kept her most recent pregnancy a secret from her children and parents for seven months. She is “pro-life”. She recently gave birth to a Down’s syndrome baby. There is no cover-up involved, here; Trig is her baby. She is energetic and hardworking. She regularly worked out at the gym.
She is savvy. She doesn’t take positions; she just “puts things out there” and if they prove to be popular, then she takes credit. Her husband works a union job on the North Slope for BP and is a champion snowmobile racer. Todd Palin’s kind of job is highly sought-after because of the schedule and high pay. He arranges his work schedule so he can fish for salmon in Bristol Bay for a month or so in summer, but by no stretch of the imagination is fishing their major source of income. Nor has her life-style ever been anything like that of native Alaskans. Sarah and her whole family are avid hunters. She’s smart.
Her experience is as mayor of a city with a population of about 5,000 (at the time), and less than 2 years as governor of a state with about 670,000 residents. During her mayoral administration most of the actual work of running this small city was turned over to an administrator. She had been pushed to hire this administrator by party power-brokers after she had gotten herself into some trouble over precipitous firings which had given rise to a recall campaign.
Sarah campaigned in Wasilla as a “fiscal conservative”. During her 6 years as Mayor, she increased general government expenditures by over 33%. During those same 6 years the amount of taxes collected by the City increased by 38%. This was during a period of low inflation (1996-2002). She reduced progressive property taxes and increased a regressive sales tax which taxed even food. The tax cuts that she promoted benefited large corporate property owners way more than they benefited residents.
The huge increases in tax revenues during her mayoral administration weren’t enough to fund everything on her wish list though, borrowed money was needed, too. She inherited a city with zero debt, but left it with indebtedness of over $22 million. What did Mayor Palin encourage the voters to borrow money for? Was it the infrastructure that she said she supported? The sewage treatment plant that the city lacked? or a new library? No. $1m for a park. $15m-plus for construction of a multi-use sports complex which she rushed through to build on a piece of property that the City didn’t even have clear title to, that was still in litigation 7 yrs later–to the delight of the lawyers involved! The sports complex itself is a nice addition to the community but a huge money pit, not the profit-generator she claimed it would be. She also supported bonds for $5.5m for road projects that could have been done in 5-7 yrs without any borrowing.
While Mayor, City Hall was extensively remodeled and her office redecorated more than once. These are small numbers, but Wasilla is a very small city. As an oil producer, the high price of oil has created a budget surplus in Alaska. Rather than invest this surplus in technology that will make us energy independent and increase efficiency, as Governor she proposed distribution of this surplus to every individual in the state.
In this time of record state revenues and budget surpluses, she recommended that the state borrow/bond for road projects, even while she proposed distribution of surplus state revenues: spend today’s surplus, borrow for needs.
She’s not very tolerant of divergent opinions or open to outside ideas or compromise. As Mayor, she fought ideas that weren’t generated by her or her staff. Ideas weren’t evaluated on their merits, but on the basis of who proposed them.
While Sarah was Mayor of Wasilla she tried to fire our highly respected City Librarian because the Librarian refused to consider removing from the library some books that Sarah wanted removed. City residents rallied to the defense of the City Librarian and against Palin’s attempt at out-and-out censorship, so Palin backed down and withdrew her termination letter. People who fought her attempt to oust the Librarian are on her enemies list to this day.
Sarah complained about the “old boy’s club” when she first ran for Mayor, so what did she bring Wasilla? A new set of “old boys”. Palin fired most of the experienced staff she inherited. At the City and as Governor she hired or elevated new, inexperienced, obscure people, creating a staff totally dependent on her for their jobs and eternally grateful and fiercely loyal–loyal to the point of abusing their power to further her personal agenda, as she has acknowledged happened in the case of pressuring the State’s top cop (see below).
As Mayor, Sarah fired Wasilla’s Police Chief because he “intimidated” her, she told the press. As Governor, her recent firing of Alaska’s top cop has the ring of familiarity about it. He served at her pleasure and she had every legal right to fire him, but it’s pretty clear that an important factor in her decision to fire him was because he wouldn’t fire her sister’s ex-husband, a State Trooper. Under investigation for abuse of power, she has had to admit that more than 2 dozen contacts were made between her staff and family to the person that she later fired, pressuring him to fire her ex-brother-in-law. She tried to replace the man she fired with a man who she knew had been reprimanded for sexual harassment; when this caused a public furor, she withdrew her support.
She has bitten the hand of every person who extended theirs to her in help. The City Council person who personally escorted her around town introducing her to voters when she first ran for Wasilla City Council became one of her first targets when she was later elected Mayor. She abruptly fired her loyal City Administrator; even people who didn’t like the guy were stunned by this ruthlessness.
Fear of retribution has kept all of these people from saying anything publicly about her.
When then-Governor Murkowski was handing out political plums, Sarah got the best, Chair of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission: one of the few jobs not in Juneau and one of the best paid. She had no background in oil & gas issues. Within months of scoring this great job which paid $122,400/yr, she was complaining in the press about the high salary. I was told that she hated that job: the commute, the structured hours, the work. Sarah became aware that a member of this Commission (who was also the State Chair of the Republican Party) engaged in unethical behavior on the job.
In a gutsy move which some undoubtedly cautioned her could be political suicide, Sarah solved all her problems in one fell swoop: got out of the job she hated and garnered gobs of media attention as the patron saint of ethics and as a gutsy fighter against the “old boys’ club” when she dramatically quit, exposing this man’s ethics violations (for which he was fined).
As Mayor, she had her hand stuck out as far as anyone for pork from Senator Ted Stevens. Lately, she has castigated his pork-barrel politics and publicly humiliated him. She only opposed the “bridge to nowhere” after it became clear that it would be unwise not to.
As Governor, she gave the Legislature no direction and budget guidelines, then made a big grandstand display of line-item vetoing projects, calling them pork. Public outcry and further legislative action restored most of these projects–which had been vetoed simply because she was not aware of their importance–but with the unobservant she had gained a reputation as “anti-pork”.
She is solidly Republican: no political maverick. The State party leaders hate her because she has bit them in the back and humiliated them. Other members of the party object to her self-description as a fiscal conservative.
Around Wasilla there are people who went to high school with Sarah.
They call her “Sarah Barracuda” because of her unbridled ambition and predatory ruthlessness. Before she became so powerful, very ugly stories circulated around town about shenanigans she pulled to be made point guard on the high school basketball team. When Sarah’s mother-in-law, a highly respected member of the community and experienced manager, ran for Mayor, Sarah refused to endorse her.
As Governor, she stepped outside of the box and put together a package of legislation known as “AGIA” that forced the oil companies to march to the beat of her drum.
Like most Alaskans, she favors drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. She has questioned if the loss of sea ice is linked to global warming. She campaigned “as a private citizen” against a state initiative that would have either a) protected salmon streams from pollution from mines, or b) tied up in the courts all mining in the state (depending on who you listen to). She has pushed the State’s lawsuit against the Dept. of the Interior’s decision to list polar bears as threatened species.
McCain is the oldest person to ever run for President; Sarah will be a heartbeat away from being President. There has to be literally millions of Americans who are more knowledgeable and experienced than she. However, there’s a lot of people who have underestimated her and are regretting it.
CLAIM VS FACT
•“Hockey mom”: true for a few years
•“PTA mom”: true years ago when her first-born was in elementary school, not since
•“NRA supporter”: absolutely true
•social conservative: mixed. Opposes gay marriage, BUT vetoed a bill that would have denied benefits to employees in same-sex relationships (said she did this because it was unconstiutional).
•pro-creationism: mixed. Supports it, BUT did nothing as Governor to promote it.
•“Pro-life”: mixed. Knowingly gave birth to a Down’s syndrome baby BUT declined to call a special legislative session on some pro-life legislation
•“Experienced”: Some high schools have more students than Wasilla has residents. Many cities have more residents than the state of Alaska. No legislative experience other than City Council. Little hands-on supervisory or managerial experience; needed help of a city administrator to run town of about 5,000.
•political maverick: not at all
•gutsy: absolutely!
•open & transparent: ??? Good at keeping secrets. Not good at explaining actions.
•has a developed philosophy of public policy: no
•”a Greenie”: no. Turned Wasilla into a wasteland of big box stores and disconnected parking lots. Is pro-drilling off-shore and in ANWR.
•fiscal conservative: not by my definition!
•pro-infrastructure: No. Promoted a sports complex and park in a city without a sewage treatment plant or storm drainage system. Built streets to early 20th century standards.
•pro-tax relief: Lowered taxes for businesses, increased tax burden on residents
•pro-small government: No. Oversaw greatest expansion of city government in Wasilla’s history.
•pro-labor/pro-union. No. Just because her husband works union doesn’t make her pro-labor. I have seen nothing to support any claim that she is pro-labor/pro-union.
WHY AM I WRITING THIS?
First, I have long believed in the importance of being an informed voter. I am a voter registrar. For 10 years I put on student voting programs in the schools. If you google my name (Anne Kilkenny + Alaska), you will find references to my participation in local government, education, and PTA/parent organizations.
Secondly, I’ve always operated in the belief that “Bad things happen when good people stay silent”. Few people know as much as I do because few have gone to as many City Council meetings.
Third, I am just a housewife. I don’t have a job she can bump me out of. I don’t belong to any organization that she can hurt. But, I am no fool; she is immensely popular here, and it is likely that this will cost me somehow in the future: that’s life.
Fourth, she has hated me since back in 1996, when I was one of the 100 or so people who rallied to support the City Librarian against Sarah’s attempt at censorship.
Fifth, I looked around and realized that everybody else was afraid to say anything because they were somehow vulnerable.
CAVEATS
I am not a statistician. I developed the numbers for the increase in spending & taxation 2 years ago (when Palin was running for Governor) from information supplied to me by the Finance Director of the City of Wasilla, and I can’t recall exactly what I adjusted for: did I adjust for inflation? for population increases? Right now, it is impossible for a private person to get any info out of City Hall–they are swamped. So I can’t verify my numbers.
You may have noticed that there are various numbers circulating for the population of Wasilla, ranging from my “about 5,000″, up to 9,000. The day Palin’s selection was announced a city official told me that the current population is about 7,000. The official 2000 census count was 5,460. I have used about 5,000 because Palin was Mayor from 1996 to 2002, and the city was growing rapidly in the mid-90’s.
2008, Sarah Palin, Vice President

Viagra Generics In India
Qu Bec Cialis
Order Viagra Air Travel Php
Cialis User Reviews
Generic Cialis Pills Stories
Viagra Herbal Alternitive
Apcalis Cialis
Senior Discount Viagra
Medil Journals Viagra
Cialis And Levetra
Cialis Retin-a Ortho-evra Patch
Cialis Online Canada
Viagra Use Longterm
Online Viagra Australia
Cheap Cialis Tablets
Sildenafil Citrate Viagra Generic
Buy Viagra Order Viagra
Buy Prescription Cialis
Buy In Spain Viagra
Find Search Viagra Free Computer Edinburgh
Best Cheap Viagra Viagra Viagra
Pcp Consult Specialist Letter Template
Compare Viagra Cialas Levitra
Trip Id Generic Viagra
I Belive In Viagra
Cialis Ic 351
Cialis Compare Levitra Performance Viagra
Plant Heather Viagra
Viagra Free Shopping Mall
Cialis Ambien
Pfizer Viagra And Its Cautions
25mg Viagra
Cialis 30 Tadalafil 30mg Ml
Bph Cialis
Cialis Dangers
Genetic Viagra Mastercard
Viagra Recipe
Viagra Frozen Embryo Transfer
Viagra Home Page
Viagra Mug
Edinburgh Report Pages Search Viagra
Is Viagra Better
Cialis Uk Chemist
Yasmin Cialis Cialis
Effects Of Viagra On Women
Brand Generic Online Viagra
Viagra Free Sites Computer Edinburgh Search
Sale Uk Viagra
Cialis Get Viagra
36 Hour Cialis
Canadian Pharmacies Viagra
Buy Cialis Pharmacy Online
Viagra Cialis Levitra Comparisons
Viagra Levitra Dissolve
Cialis Compared Viagra
Cialis Dreampharmaceuticals
Viagra Discount Sale
Cialis Best Cialis Price
Does Viagra Increase Sensitivity Of Penis
Sales Viagra
Comparison Pfizer Viagra
Can Viagra Cause Blindness
Cocaine And Viagra
College Guy Viagra Camera
Cialis Uk Suppliers
Prices Cialis
Cialis And Food Consumption
Man On Viagra Bangs His Wife
Viagra And Love
Viagra London
Generic Mexico Viagra
Generic Cialis Made In India
Viagra Generic Soft Tabs 100mg
Cvs Viagra
Order Viagra Prescription
Viagra Blood Low Pressure
Viagra Gift
Sildenafil Tablet Viagra
Generic Viagra 0d 0a
Buy Cialis Narod Ru Domain
Viagra And Pulmonary Edema
Generic Viagra Wholesale 100mg
Viagra Test
Buy Cheap Viagra On The Net
Libresource Viagra Shop Online
Cialis Reaction
Genuine Order Viagra
Low Price Viagra Finder
Cialis Free Fedex
Mix Tadalafil And Generic Viagra
Viagra Golf Head Covers
Viagra Picture Funny
Bz Generic Viagra
Best Viagra Online Source
Cialis Or Viagra Which Is Better
Cialis Effectiveness
Discount Viagra Mastercard
Contraindications To And Viagra
Heart Failure Viagra
Prices Viagra Generic
Picture Viagra Pill
Viagra Vs Levitra Vs
Instrumentation Sp Cialis E
Cialis Histamine Reaction
Site Viagra
Eye Problems Cialis
Viagra Valium Kamagra Discreet Uk Europe
Cialis Buzzmachine By Jeff Jarvis
Rx4 Cialis
Great Sex And Cialis
Viagra For Masturbation
Viagra Falls Indian Wells Theater
Does Cialis Work
Grupodes Viagra Impotencia
On Line Prescriptions For Cialis
Lyrics Viagra In The Water
Kaufen Viagra
Get Viagra Prescription Online
Dangers Of Snorting Viagra
Pc100 Viagra
Called Drug Female New Viagra
Pfizer Viagra For Woman
Dangers Of Cialis
C-ring Viagra
Generic Viagra 3a Caverta Cialis Cheap
Adult Joke Mr Bean Viagra
Try Cialis Sample Pack
Viagra By Mail Catalog
Online Games Buy Vitamins Viagra Sale
Cheap But Effective Alternative To Viagra
Garden Of Sin Viagra
Generic Viagra For Sale
Getting A Free Sample Of Viagra
Viagra Buy In Uk Online
Easybuy Viagra
Cialis Pills Chat
Connecticut Viagra Caverta Generic Veega
Discount Generic Cialis Pills Online
Paxil With Viagra
Pfizer Viagra Cheap
Order Cheap Cialis
Free Sample Generic Cialis Pills
Naturopathic Viagra
Viagra For Woman
Cheap Viagra From Pfizer
Can Weman Take Viagra
Viagra Sex Offenders
Cialis 24
Discount Bulk Viagra India
Drug Levitra Viagra Vs
Best Price Viagra
Lowest Price Viagra
Viagra Being Prescribed For Inmate
Does Cialis Cause Infertility
Viagra Amp The Red Meat Connection
Comparison Study Of Viagra Cialis Levitra
Cialis Drug Generic
Cialis Trial Offer
Cialis Causes High Blood Pressure
Herbal Cialis Alternative
Cialis Long Term
Pfizer Viagra Sperm
Viagra Rx-mex
Search Results Buy Cialis Generic Online
Cialis Floaters
Buy Viagra Caverta
Online Generic Viagra
Viagra Beta Blockers
Info About Cialis
Kamagra Viagra Supplier
Overdose Of Viagra
Viagra Drug Zenegra
Real Substitute Viagra
T 84 Viagra
Viagra Causing Blindness
Is Generic Viagra From India Safe
Soft Tabs Cialis
Cialis And Mussel Cramps
Is Mexican Viagra Real
Drink Alcohol With Viagra
Kevin Harvick Viagra
Coverage Insurance Viagra Health
Cialis And Alcohol
Cialis Treatment
When Was Viagra Realesed In Australia
Aspirin With Viagra
Raynauds Viagra
Search Viagra Viagra Find Sites Buy
Los Angeles Viagra Interaction Flomax
Lamisil And Viagra
Viagra Sample Canada
Medical Information Viagra
Cialis 20 Mg Price
Metformin Viagra Interaction
Best Viagra Viagra
Viagra Cialis On Line
Low Priced Viagra Chain Store
Cheap Drug Online Prescription Viagra
Does Viagra Help With Jet Lag
Buy Cheapest Online Viagra
Imitation Cialis
Generic Cialis Soft From India
Ditka Sound Clip Levitra Cialis
Viagra Falls Band South Bend
Viagra Online Stores
Viagra St
Negative Effects Of Viagra
Best Way To Take Cialis
150 Generic Cialis Softtabs
Viagra Tv Advertising
Order Viagra Online A Href
Discount Generic Viagra Panama
Ready Tabs Like Viagra
Viagra Canada Pharmacy
Cialis Commercials
Buy Australian Viagra
Buy Online Sale Viagra Viagra
Cialis Sale Usa
Compare Price Generic Cialis
Viagra Online Pharmacy
Funny Farm Cialis Viagra
Viagra Still Erect After Ejaculation
Cialis How Does It Work
Viagra Testimonies
Viagra Free Trials
Grapefruit Viagra
Gnc Natural Viagra
Does Cialis Have A Taste
Viagra Reviews
Can Viagra Cause Impotence
Calcium Chanel Blocker And Viagra
Cialis Addiction
Selges Cialis
Viagra 50mg Soft Tab Generic
Cialis Pills Women Effects
No Persription Viagra
Can You Take Viagra Ecstasy
Viagra Administration
Taking More Than 100 Mg Viagra
Cialis Lilly Icos
Cialis Zu Kaufen
Viagra Seldenifil Citrate
To Cialis Buy Where
Sophia Viagra Pictures
Purchase Viagra By Check
Over The Counter Viagra Alternative
Pharmacy India Viagra Cialis
Viagra And Gout
Viagra Cou On
Intra Nasal Viagra
2003 Apcalis Levitra Market Sales Viagra
Viagra Sale Buy
Cialis Spoof Video
Viagra Cialis Delivery
Cialis Soft 20 Mg
Viagra In The Philippines
Cialis Effects Side
Cialis Generic Viagra
Viagra When To Take It
Viagra And Generic Sildenafil Citrate Silagra
Cialis Cr
Cialis Women Effects
Viagra 100 50 25
Incredibly Cheap Viagra
Viagra Suppositories Ivf Thin Lining
Mix Regalis And Viagra
Flomax And Cialis Interaction
Generic Viagra Cheap
Find Charles Linskaill Search Viagra
Ending Viagra Use
Buy Cheap Viagra In Uk
Cialis New Zealand
Generic Prescription Viagra Without
Canadian Generic Cialis Pills
Viagra In Tiajuana
Cialis Viagra Packs
Pictures Of Viagra
Viagra Insurance Coverage Health
Viagra Falls Play
Ski Silverton Viagra
Generic Viagra Sample
Edinburgh Pages Find Sites Viagra Online
Women And Cialis
History Of Viagra
Viagra Resource
Pm 10kb Loading Cialis Rogers
Generic Viagra From India Pages
Cialis Pills Gwen Travis
Cialis Online Free Sample
Direct Viagra
Buy Viagra London
Cheap Generic Cialis Overnight Delivery
Viagra And Jokes
Cialis Vioxx Compare
Viagra Good Facts About
Order Viagra Online Consumer Rx
Cheap Cheap Viagra Viagra
Natural Viagra Uk
Viagra And Roids
Generic Viagra Overnigh

Brenda Popplewell joins ranks as one of Kentucky’s Top Criminal Defense Lawyers as she wins 6th. Circuit Appeal for client sentenced to 52 years.

Sunday, September 7th, 2008

Sept. 5, 2008
Brenda Popplewell (a LawReader user) of Somerset continues to stake her claim as one of Kentucky’s most effective criminal defense lawyers.  She has another victory to add to a long string of high profile courtroom verdicts in favor of her clients.   In an appeal to the 6th. Circuit she argued that her clients trial attorney had a conflict of interest when he defended two defendants with conflicting interests.  The 6th. Circuit agreed with Popplewell and ordered a retrial.
News story by AP-
 – A man serving 52 years in a 1998 western Kentucky shooting death will get a new trial after a federal appeals court ruled Thursday that his attorney had a conflict of interest because he was defending another suspect in the case.
In a 2-1 decision, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals gave prosecutors 120 days to retry Terrance Boykin, 28, on charges of complicity to murder and six counts of complicity to wanton endangerment.
Boykin was convicted in 1999 with his cousin, Treon McElrath, and a friend, Andre Everett, of taking part in the murder of Natasha Wilson in Clinton in far western Kentucky.
Judge Boyce Martin said representing both Boykin and McElrath at the trial prevented the lawyer from pursuing evidence that may have exonerated one and pointed to the other as having a larger role in the crime.
“Not only was Boykin’s Sixth Amendment right to effective assistance of counsel at trial violated, but it was also violated on appeal,” Martin wrote in an opinion joined by Judge R. Leon Jordan.
Judge Alice M. Batchelder disagreed, saying defense attorney Benjamin Lookofsky did not have an actual conflict of interest and was not constitutionally ineffective in the way he handled the case.
Wilson was shot June 21, 1998, while with her boyfriend at her grandmother’s house in Clinton. Wilson had previously filed charges against Boykin for unlawful imprisonment, burglary and sexual abuse. That night, Wilson’s boyfriend identified only McElrath as the shooter. But at trial, he said both Boykin and McElrath had a part in the shooting.
Martin said multiple decisions by Lookofsky point to his conflict. He said he failed to implicate McElrath and Everett as having committed the crime, didn’t question the boyfriend’s trial testimony and didn’t call Boykin’s grandmother to provide an alibi.
Attorney Brenda Popplewell, who handled Boykin’s appeal, said the conflict was obvious.
“I’ve not seen one as egregious as this,” Popplewell said.
Allison Martin, a spokeswoman for the Kentucky Attorney General, said prosecutors disagree with the decision, but will not ask for a rehearing.
McElrath’s case is also on appeal to the 6th Circuit. McElrath’s attorney, Chris Lasch, said he’s raised issues similar to those cited in Boykin’s case.
Lookofsky did not immediately return a message Thursday seeking comment.
 

D.C. Court stays Harriet Miers Testimony Before Congress

Sunday, September 7th, 2008

 

Sept. 7, 2008

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit has issued a temporary stay delaying the enforcement of a district court ruling compelling the testimony  of former White House Counsel and US Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers before the House Judiciary Committee in connection with the US Attorneys firing scandal.

 

The Thursday stay, which also temporarily suspends the ruling ordering current White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten  to turn over all documents subpoenaed by the House Judiciary Committee, will give the Court of Appeals time to consider the merits of briefs from the US Department of Justice and the Judiciary Committee. The Public Record has more.

In July, District Judge John Bates rejected arguments that senior White House officials are protected from congressional subpoena by executive privilege. In February, members of the House voted to hold Miers in contempt of Congress] for failing to testify and both Miers and Bolten in contempt for refusing to produce documents related to the attorney firings.

ENERGY INDEPENDENCE AND PROTECTING THE ENVIRONMENT ARE NOT MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE GOALS –

Friday, September 5th, 2008

Editorial by LawReader Senior Editor Stan Billingsley

Sept. 5, 2008


 

 

We have a problem, but there are solutions
 

The Paris Hilton Solution
 

Energy independence and the Nazi’s  Here’s what they did…
 

The environment: How endangered is it? Are they telling the truth?
 

WWII saw oil dumped into the seas and the world survived
 

The Exxon Valdez oil spill
 

The Alaska Pipeline
 

LawReader stringer, Wayne Billingsley visits Prudhoe Bay
 

The Boone Pickens Energy Plan
 

Our off shore oil and gas reserves could be massive
 

Is a gas tax attractive?
 

Cheap oil is a roadblock to the solution
 

China & India
 

Conclusion
 

Footnotes
 
                                      
Back to top
 

 

Should the U.S. allow offshore drilling in Florida, California, and the Gulf Coast? Should the U.S. allow drilling in the Alaska Wildlife preserve? We believe that these issues transcend partisan politics.
 

The environmentalists oppose drilling in these areas.  They cite the risks to the environment from the drilling but more importantly they suggest that “we can not drill our way out of this problem.”  They rightfully believe that the continued use of fossil fuels is harmful to the earth and contributes to the problem of global warming. They argue that we must immediately convert to alternative fuel sources and bypass developing any additional oil reserves.  They believe that feeding the oil addiction will just prolong the development of new technologies.

 

We believe that they are correct on their general goal, but they really don’t offer a realistic solution to our immediate problems.  We cannot simply stop buying foreign oil, and we don’t have enough domestic reserves to satisfy our current demand for oil.

 

Our current problems are:

 

  1. World demand for oil has risen and the available supply has not grown.
  2. The U.S. is sending its wealth to oil producing countries that don’t like us and in the long run this transfer of wealth is not in our national interest, and is destructive of the U.S. economy.
  3. Alternative fuel and energy resources are unproven and we have not seriously committed ourselves to finding the answers.
  4. The infrastructure necessary to develop and deliver alternative energy sources will take a decade or more to build.
  5. The continued use of fossil fuels will have a destructive effect on our environment and likely to increase and speed up global warming.

 

  Possible solutions are:

 

1.      Develop more oil reserves in the U.S.

2.      As soon as possible develop more sources of energy not dependent on oil or dirty fossil fuels.

3.      Develop and deliver energy based on wind, solar, hydrogen, nuclear, bio fuels, natural gas, oil shale, clean coal gasification and thermal (underground) energy.

4.      Implement a realistic energy conservation plan, by increasing mileage standards for automobiles, better storage of electricity, and conversion of devices that have high energy use to lower energy use, changing the methods by which we provide heat and light to our homes, and conserve energy on a massive scale..

 

We view this discussion as having two components.

 

1.      Our national security is endangered by dependence on foreign oil.

2.      Our environment is endangered by the continued use of fossil fuels.

 

Once we agree that we have two problems we have to figure a way to solve both of them at once or as soon as possible.  This provides an opportunity for a great and bold compromise.
.
 

       Back to top
 

              We have a problem, but there are solutions
 
The current Presidential election has focused our attention on the prospect of drilling for oil in Alaska and off the U.S. Coast.  Environmentalists oppose drilling for additional oil and justifiably cite the risks to the habitat.
 
Others argue that it is in the strategic interest of the United States to minimize our reliance on oil produced from areas of the world where “our way of life” is threatened by religious and political interests of the oil producing countries in the Middle East, Africa and South America.
 
I must begin this discussion with the disclosure that my father was an oil man.  He worked on oil rigs during WWII supplying oil for the war effort at a time when our ability to import oil was tightly restricted.  At that time there was little consideration for the environment as our strategic wartime interests were clear.  The survival of the United States and the survival of a free world were on the line.
 
In the late l940’s my father worked for Standard Oil in developing the oil fields in Venezuela.  In the l950’s and l960’s my father drilled for oil and gas in Texas, Oklahoma, Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Kentucky and Canada.  My two brothers and I worked in the oil fields.  I haven’t been associated in the oil business since my college years.  I disclose my background in the oil industry because I believe it gives me some insight into the reality of the effect of oil exploration and development on the environment. 
 
In the l960’s the effect of global warming was not a great concern.  The science developed since then has raised very convincing evidence that the burning of fossil fuels has had a troubling effect on the environment.  Fossil fuels include the burning of coal to make electricity. 
 
I remember clearly in the late l950’s when small oil drilling companies were bankrupted by the thousands, as the U.S. developed vast oil reserves in the Middle East and started transporting that oil to the U.S. market.  This conversion to foreign oil substantially stopped the development of domestic reserves.  In the 1950’s and early l960’s the price of oil was as low as $3.00 a barrel. (That is 1/42nd of the current $130 a barrel.  This low price meant that the development of U.S. oil reserves was rarely a profitable venture.  Consequently, exploration in the continental U.S. slowed dramatically.
 
The production cost of oil from Saudi Arabia was only pennies a barrel. At that time it cost more to transport the oil from the Middle East to the U.S. than it took to take the oil out of the ground. 
 
Little concern was given at that time to the economic problems that would be caused by the transfer of U.S. dollars to the Middle East.  Back then we bought less oil and what we did purchase form foreign sources cost a fraction of what it does today.
 

The foreign policy of the United States became more and more addicted to our access for cheap oil from the Middle East, South America and Africa.  We supported the overthrow of regimes around the world when they tried to nationalize the production of oil which was controlled largely by the large U.S. oil companies.  The present hostility of Iran towards the U.S. is directly linked to our involvement in the overthrown of the government in Iran and our support for the Shah.  Our motivation was based on assuring a supply of cheap oil. The result was that the assurance of a supply of cheap foreign oil became the focus of our foreign policy.
 
Our foreign policy of placing our strategic economic interest over the rights of other governments is now resulting in “blow back”. In the l970’s the oil producing nations united and formed OPEC, the world oil cartel. After the formation of OPEC there was no more $3.00 a barrel oil on the market.  The large American oil companies survived the creation of OPEC because their technology and equipment was needed to produce the oil from the Middle East.  The oil companies just tacked on their profits to the increased prices demanded for crude oil by the OPEC nations. 
 

Back to top
 

In the 1980 movie, THE FORMULA, the American Oil executive  played by Marlon Brando ended the movie with a famous quote, “We are the Arabs.”  That about sums it up. Our big oil companies are the Arabs.  Their interests are intertwined.
 
Some argue that the war in Iraq was started by the U.S. because those who believed it was important to control Middle East oil, recognized that Iraq has the second largest oil reserves in the world, and our control of Iraq would protect the economic interests of the United States (defined as the interests of big oil companies).  
 

After the collapse of the Soviet Empire, we were the only remaining Super Power.  
In the Gulf War, the U.S. military destroyed the fifth largest army in the world in 100 hours.
 

The Neo-Con argument is said to justify our control of Iraq by gaining a permanent military foothold in the Middle East thereby sending a message to Saudi Arabia and other oil producing nations that our interests required access to oil, and no one had better get in our way. That theory is not the only way to assure U.S. energy needs are met in the future.
 
Instead of starting efforts to make the United States less dependent on foreign oil, as called for by President Jimmy Carter in the l977, we doubled and tripled our reliance on foreign oil, and discredited any attempts to impose higher mileage restrictions on automobiles or to begin serious conservation plans on a national scale.
 
We ignored the opportunity to develop alternative fuels.  We limited exploration for oil on the continental U.S. and outlawed exploration for oil in our offshore coastal areas.  We have subsidized the big oil companies with billions of dollars in tax credits.  Removing these tax credits from  oil companies making billions of dollars of profit a month seems a reasonable course of action.  Those big oil subsidies should be repealed and the revenue earmarked to provide the funding we should be using for development of energy alternatives.
 

Back to top
 

We are told that drilling offshore will not have any effect on the price of oil for “ten years”.  The anti-drilling lobby has been successful in blocking development of American oil reserves and has consequently driven the price of oil higher.
 

What if we had started the development of these oil reserves 10 years ago?  If the U.S. had developed these offshore reserves in l976 or even l996, we would be enjoying the benefit that this would have on the current market price of oil.  The argument that it is useless to start drilling offshore now because we will see no benefit for 10 years is a sham argument.  If we start today to develop these resources then tomorrow we will be one day closer to some relief.  If we do nothing, we will always be 10 years away for benefiting from this potential oil production and more importantly, we can never develop alternative fuel resources.
 
Another factor that should be considered is the way that oil is sold on the world market.  Some economists say that the removal of market restrictions advocated by the “trickle down” economic theory and by “government regulation is the problem” theory, has allowed speculators to buy oil futures.  Oil futures are sometimes called “paper barrels” of oil, and exist for no purpose other than to speculate on the price of oil in the future.  Who are these oil speculators?   They are your retirement systems, your mutual funds, and hedge funds in which large investors place some of their money to bet against market fluctuations.  This is said by some economists to create a false demand for oil.   This bubble of oil speculation rises and falls on the predictions of future U.S. demands for oil, and on rumors of wars which might diminish the production of existing oil fields.
 
The current presidential election, reacting to the public’s anger over $4.00 a gallon gasoline, has changed the way many in the U.S. are thinking about potential solutions to the problem. The American public finally gets the message and is looking for real solutions from our national leaders.
 

We are now hearing politicians speak favorable of building nuclear power plants. Nuclear is kind of scary and may not be in the cards.  The French and Germans supply about 25% of their energy needs with nuclear power, but they haven’t solved the disposal of nuclear waste, and in the long run that presents an environmental problems that may outweigh the problems caused by the use of oil.  
 

We now have billions in incentives being given to producers of corn and ethanol.  Former oil barons are now buying commercials on television advocating alternatives such as wind and oil shale development and the building of infrastructure to deliver natural gas to replace foreign oil.  Even goal gasification projects, long held down by environmental concerns, are looking a lot better to the public.
 
Back to top
 

We suggest that oil market speculators are driving up the price of oil because they rely on past U.S. policy to bet that the U.S. will do nothing to reduce our dependence on oil.  As soon as these speculators see the resolve of the U.S. to solve the problem, then the value of “paper barrels’” sold on the oil market will drop.  In fact, the involvement of Congress in recent weeks, in calling for hearings to consider placing more control on oil market speculators, and the growing belief that both parties sense that the American people want something done, has already worked to drive down the price of oil by almost $20 a barrel. Nevertheless, the recent drop in market prices is not a reliable predictor that prices will continue to fall nor does it assure us that the price of oil won’t rise again.
 
In finding the solutions to our energy problem, we must first have a goal.  We must reduce our reliance on imported energy.  Now, having defined that simple goal, the heavy lifting begins. How do we achieve our goal?
 
We suggest the Paris Hilton solution may provide a roadmap. See:  Paris Hilton Revenge Video – Mahalo .
 
Back to top
 

That solution suggests that we drill for oil in all areas not previously allowed.  At the same time we must start developing alternative energy solutions such as nuclear, bio fuels, oil shale, coal gasification, wind power, thermal energy and solar energy, accompanied with a reduction in gas usage by the development of energy efficient cars.  The Hilton solution argues that we drill now to provide a temporary bridge to the time that we can forsake oil. That simple plan provides a possible ground for compromise from those who seek to enlarge our oil reserves and those who oppose any further use of fossil fuel.
 
Al Gore, speaks of a benefit in the development of new energy alternatives.  This technology will be eagerly sought by the whole world.   This technology will enrich the country that takes the lead in providing real alternatives to oil. This technology means new jobs and new wealth for the U.S. It also means that U.S. produced goods will be competitive in the world market. The path we are currently on, merely depletes the American treasury and enriches foreigners.  This suggests a bleak future for the U.S. if big changes in national energy policy are not adopted.
 
It has been said that the U.S. has enough coal for 600 years.  We have enough oil shale in the western U.S. and in Canada, to supply our fuel needs for hundreds of years.  We have the resources and it’s time we began to use them. Some experts predict that Middle East oil will be substantially depleted within 50 years. If it takes 50 years to become energy independent we must start well before the last drop of oil is pumped from the Saudi desert, or we face a gloomy future.
 
The reliance on foreign oil sends money to our “enemies”.  The development of alternative U.S. resources keeps money in the U.S.   So it seems obvious which alternative presents the better path to travel. We must now balance the arguments between environmentalists and energy independent camps. 
 

Back to top
 

                       Energy Independence and the Nazi’s
 

During WWII the Germans were substantially cut off from a good supply of oil needed by their war machine.  They quickly developed an alternative fuel system by building refineries to convert coal into a liquid fuel (i.e. coal gasification).  This example alone could quickly provide an alternative to foreign oil.
 

Brazil has developed ethanol use to such a degree that it can be correctly be called as a nation fueled by ethanol.
 

South African airlines have successfully being using bio-fuels for three years to fuel commercial airplanes. 
 

Other possible solutions for alternative fuel resources includes the use of hydrogen, but this will take time to develop. Wind must be used where it can be. Solar panels should be on the top of buildings in areas where solar power can be produced reliably. There should be tax breaks for geothermal use for private houses.

 

Laws will be required to implement any solution to the development of alternative fuel resources.  This may require the change in planning and zoning restrictions which prohibit alternative fuel infrastructure in many areas of the country.

 

We must prioritize our national security and the security of our economy, and free this effort from the “not in my neighborhood” mentality that limits the implementation of proven technological advances.
 
Back to top
 

THE ENVIRONMENT…HOW ENDANGERED IS IT?  ARE THEY TELLING THE TRUTH?
 
The environmentalists argue that clean air, clean water, and concerns for flora and fauna outweigh all other interests.  They oppose all drilling off shore, they oppose the drilling in ANWAR (the Alaska wildlife preserve).  They argue that development of these resources will not provide any quick relief, and will not solve our long term problem.  They are partially correct, but not totally correct.    
 

The area in which the oil industry wishes to drill in the Alaska Wildlife Reserve is only 2000 acres.   Let’s put this into perspective.  Alaska covers  571,951 square miles.  That means that out of 36,000,000 acres in Alaska, the area sought for drilling is only 2,000 acres.  That works out to 1/18,000th. of Alaska in the proposed oil field.
 

Robertson County Kentucky, Kentucky’s smallest county, covers 100 square miles.  The area sought for drilling in the Alaska Wildlife preserve is slightly less than 4 square miles.  So the area proposed for drilling in Alaska is less than 1/25th of the surface area of Kentucky’s smallest county.
 

It is our observation that the development of an oil field is not destructive of the land on any long term basis.  The interference with the surface does temporarily disrupt some of the surface, but after the drilling is completed, the surface area is restored and only a few pipeheads are evident above the surface of the land. 
 

The argument that drilling will destroy the whole wildlife preserve forever is just not supported by the evidence.  Similar claims were made regarding the development of Prudhoe Bay on the North Slope, and they have proven false.
 

We may not find large oil fields off the coast of Florida or California which offer a fifty year solution, but we may find several fields that supply enough oil for ten to twenty year solutions.  Every year we delay the loss of oil that can be produced in the U.S. extends our dependence on foreign oil, and places the national security and economic security of the U.S at risk.
 

Some environmentalists claim thousands of small oil spills associated with off shore drilling. They also claim that spills of chemical laden drilling mud has caused damage to some fish. However they rarely document any long term effect on the environment.
 
When a bird or a fish is covered with oil, it usually dies.  When fossil fuels are pumped into the air it contributes to global warming.  Global warming is likely influenced by our increasing use of fossil fuels.  The great majority of scientists conclude there is a direct relation been fossil fuels and global warming.
 

When we buy into the worst case scenarios of the environmentalists we see doom and gloom and this itself confuses and delays our search for a solution more difficult.  While the doom and gloom crowd is trying to scare us, they carefully ignore scientific research that indicates that massive reforestation of the planet could be affected in a few years, and that studies show that this alone could reduce the effect of use of fossil fuels.   These studies show that the real problem is a continued long term increase in the use of fossil fuels, and that the current levels of fossil fuel usage, which is believed to encourage global warming, could be largely reversed in as little as ten years by reforestation.
 

 The value of clean air becomes an expensive choice when balanced against widespread economic havoc that an immediate cessation of the use of fossil fuels would create.
 

While the environmentalists may be correct about the negative effects of fossil fuels, they may be overstating the damage actually being caused by the use of oil and coal. Most importantly they offer no viable solutions.  We can’t immediately stop all industry and expect to heat our homes and put food on our tables without first having developed an alternative to fossil fuels. 
 

One way we can test their theories of imminent disaster, is to examine their past predictions.  
 

 Back to top
 

WWII SAW OIL DUMPED INTO THE SEAS AND WE SURVIVED
 
During WWII German U-boats sank hundreds of U.S. ships off the East Coast.           
(See footnote No. 1.)  Every ship sank off our coast (and around the world) in WWII relied on oil for their fuel, and almost a hundred oil tankers were sank off the U.S. coast.   This oil leaked out and polluted the Atlantic Ocean.   There were many incidents in which oil covered the beaches from Florida to Maine due to the sinking of our ships.
 
During WWII 3,506 ships fueled by oil were sank.  Their fuel oil was released into the oceans of the world.  Over 456 oil tankers were sank during WWII, and most of the oil they carried was deposited in the oceans of the world.  Many of these ships are still leaking oil into the ocean.
 

In the past quarter of a century, we have had only two or three major oil spills into the oceans.  During WWII we had an average of 700 oil spills a year.  WWII was a greater environmental disaster than anything that has happened since.  Somehow we survived this disaster.  At that time we placed the winning of the war above environmental concerns.  Sometimes we have to prioritize to survive.
 
We have been drilling for oil off the Gulf Coast for over fifty years.  This practice has not been met with environmental disaster.   We don’t claim that there are never oil spills associated with the production of oil.  Accidents have and will continue to occur.
 

Recently a tanker on the Mississippi River discharged thousands of gallons of oil. No one has suggested that this mess can’t be cleaned up.  Somehow similar spills have not had long lasting effects on the environment. This also doesn’t mean that we cannot do better to prevent oil spills, or that we can’t improve our efforts to remediate these spills when they inevitable occur.
 

We suggest some anecdotal evidence that places this problem in perspective.
 
I once chartered a fishing boat and set out into the Gulf to fish with three business partners.  The Captain of our charter took us about l7 miles out into the Gulf in a heavy fog to an offshore drilling platform.  He tied our boat to the platform and we began fishing.   After about twenty minutes we had caught over a hundred sea trout.
 
We were catching fish so fast that my arms got tired from pulling them in, and I remember I would throw the line into the water and pray that the fish would take a little time to bite to allow me to recover my wind.
 
Back to top
 

The fog soon cleared over the Gulf that morning and we observed oil derricks placed about every hundred yards in all directions.  There were hundreds of oil platforms in sight.  (“There are about 3,800 offshore drilling platforms in the Gulf Coast.” St. Petersburg Times.)
 
The Captain told us that the fish loved the platforms as they formed artificial reefs where the big fish fed on the little fish.  Off the coast of Florida the government has authorized the sinking of cars and ships to provide similar artificial reefs.
 
So where was the environmental disaster from drilling off the Gulf coast?  The fish seemed to be in great supply right next to the oil producing platforms.  Could it be that the environmentalists were guilty of exaggeration?
 
Why I ask, will it be anymore hazardous to the environment if we permit drilling off the coast of Florida or off the coast of California?  This practice has worked out well in the Gulf of Mexico, why not off the East and West coast.  Are the anti-drilling people being truthful about the magnitude of the risk?
 
Considering that 456 oil tankers were sunken during WWII, where is the evidence of a continuing environmental disaster?  Could it be that while there is a risk, that risk is acceptable when weighted against the alternative economic damage that will be caused by massive oil shortages.  If we commit to the development of alternative non-polluting fuels, then over the next two to three decades that it will take to develop these alternatives,  the environmental risks will progressively become smaller as we shift to alternative fuels.
 
Back to top
 

THE EXXON VALDEZ
 
We concede the ExxonValdez  (see Footnote No. 2) was a environmental disaster. The ship carrying Alaska crude oil from Valdez  dumped an estimated 10.8 million gallons in to Prince Williams’ Sound.  This remains the worst oil spill in history.
 

Fish and wildlife were killed. Billions of dollars in damages were paid.  Fishing was limited for several years in the area of the oil spill.  But today the fishing is back, the birds have repopulated the area, and most importantly, the government has mandated that all oil tankers now have double hulls. The Exxon Valdez only had a single hull.  Maritime expers believe a double hull on the Exxon Valdez would have prevented most of the oil from spilling into Prince Georges sound.
 
The fines and damages paid by Exxon have no doubt made all oil companies monitor their men and equipment far better than was done in 1989.  This object lesson, has no doubt helped to prevent a similar occurrence in the last l9 years.
 
While an oil spill of this size can happen again, we suggest that the benefits received to the U.S. economy from the development of the North Shore Oil Fields at Prudhoe Bay, some 800 miles north of Valdez, Alaska, must be recognized.  Almost everything we do in our lives has risks.  Should we allow these risks paralyze us or is it an acceptable risk?
 
We are committed to the use of oil for the next several decades.  That decision was made fifty years ago.  Only a new energy plan can change the current plan.
 

Back to top
 

Our off shore oil & gas reserves could be massive
“The federal government estimates the nation’s outer continental shelf might hold 85.9 billion barrels of crude, including 10.13 billion barrels off California.

For comparison, the United States consumes about 7.56 billion barrels of oil per year. The nation’s sea floor also could hold 419.9 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, equal to U.S. consumption for 14 1/2 years. But the federal estimates are just that – estimates.”  (San Francisco Chronicle July 2008)

“You don’t really know what’s there until you go out and drill a well,” said Ken Medlock, an energy research fellow at Rice University’s James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy.

Back to top
 

Prudhoe Bay, Alaska
                                           THE ALASKA PIPELINE
 
We recall the warnings about how the Alaska Pipeline
(see Footnote No. 3) would endanger the perma frost and kill the Caribou by interfering with their natural habitat, disrupt the polar bears, etc. etc.  Images of oil derricks spewing oil onto the pristine tundra were suggested by the environmentalists of the day.

 
Well that hasn’t happened.  
 
Almost a trillion dollars worth of oil has been pumped through the Alaska Pipeline since it was completed 35 years ago in May of l977. Only a couple of substantial oil spills have occurred, and they were promptly remediated.  Efforts to improve on the security and integrity of the pipeline are still being implemented to assure that other incidents do not occur or that when they do occur they are rapidly cleaned up.
 
Back to top
 

A LawReader stringer, Wayne Billingsley, recently visited Prudhoe Bay where the Alaska Pipeline begins, and examined the area for us.  He reports that that the wildlife flourishes in the area.  The Tundra has not been destroyed.  He reports that strict security is imposed on pipe line workers and they are even restricted from peeing on the ground.
 

There are about 2000 workers stationed at the BP facility at Prudhoe Bay.  They are highly devoted to spoliation of the environment.  When a truck comes in with a load of supplies, they must place a plastic tub under the oil pan of the truck to prevent any oil leaks on the ground.
 

There are detailed rules preventing workers from any conduct that would endanger the environment. Workers are frequently detailed on the area around the facility to police up the grounds. There is a self-contained sewage system to prevent any waste being exposed to the ground.
 

One of the strict rules imposed on visitors and oil workers, is that they cannot disturb any wildlife.   Our stringer witnessed the “endangered” caribou grazing on the tundra grass right next to the BP facility.  During his visit there was a polar bear sighted in the area, and everyone was cautioned to avoid the area of the polar bear.  
 

This suggests to us that neither caribou or polar bears have been detrimentally affected by the presence of the oil industry.
 

One of his most telling observations was, “I didn’t see a drop of oil on the ground, anywhere.”
 

Environmentalists were clearly wrong when they made predictions that the pipeline would be a disaster for the flora and fauna of the area.  Having been so wrong on the Alaska Pipeline, why should we give much credit to their predictions of the dire effects of  drilling for oil off shore on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts or at the Alaska Wildlife Refuge or anywhere else it may be found?
There are 2 billion barrels of oil remaining under the ground at Prudhoe Bay.  This is a resource that has a value to the U.S. of $260 billion dollars.  Before we shut down these wells, we should have some alternative at hand…and no one has presented a realistic quick alternative.

 

Back to top
 

 The Boone Pickens Energy Plan 
 

Texas Oil Man T. Boone Pickens has been filling the airways with tv commercials about his plan to solve the energy crisis in America.  He basically proposes development of the infrastructure to harness energy from wind power.  He says that studies show that the U.S. is uniquely capable of taking advantage of wind power to generate electricity.
 

Then we can develop our natural gas resources.  These two efforts can dramatically reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and can do so in a decade.
 

Excerpts from the Pickens Plan:
 

“In 1970, we imported 24% of our oil.  Today it’s nearly 70% and growing.”
 

“As imports grow and world prices rise, the amount of money we send to foreign nations every year is soaring.  At current oil prices, we will send $700 billion dollars out of the country this year.  That’s the annual cost of the Iraq war.
 

Projected over the next 10 years the cost will be $10 trillion. –it will be the greatest transfer of wealth in the history of mankind.
 

“America uses a lot of oil. Every day 85 million barrels of oil are produced around the world. And 21 million of those barrels are used here in the United States.”
 

“The Pickens Plan is a bridge to the future — a blueprint to reduce foreign oil dependence by harnessing domestic energy alternatives, and buy us time to develop even greater new technologies.
 

Building new wind generation facilities and better utilizing our natural gas resources can replace more than one-third of our foreign oil imports in 10 years.”
 

“The United States is the Saudi Arabia of wind power.
Studies from around the world show that the Great Plains States are home to the greatest wind energy potential in the world — by far.
 

The Department of Energy reports that 20% of America’s electricity can come from wind. North Dakota alone has the potential to provide power for more than a quarter of the country.
 

Today’s wind turbines stand up to 410 feet tall, with blades that stretch 148 feet in length. The blades collect the wind’s kinetic energy. In one year, (one) 3-megawatt wind turbine produces as much energy as 12,000 barrels of imported oil.
Wind power currently accounts for 48 billion kWh of electricity a year in the United States — enough to serve more than 4.5 million households. That is still only about 1% of current demand, but the potential of wind is much greater. “
 

“A 2005 Stanford University study found that there is enough wind power worldwide to satisfy global demand 7 times over — even if only 20% of wind power could be captured.
 

Building wind facilities in the corridor that stretches from the Texas panhandle to North Dakota could produce 20% of the electricity for the United States at a cost of $1 trillion. It would take another $200 billion to build the capacity to transmit that energy to cities and towns.
 

That’s a lot of money, but it’s a one-time cost. And compared to the $700 billion we spend on foreign oil every year, it’s a bargain.”
 

See more details about the Boone Pickers Energy Plan at: www.pickensplan.com
 

Back to top
 

Is a gas tax attractive?
 
When I travel in Europe I am constantly amazed at the fact that gasoline costs about $8 dollars a gallon.  The Europeans have been smarter then we have.  A large part of the price they charge for gasoline is due to the high tax on gasoline.  They have kept the price high to keep the demand down.  This has resulted in their cars being smaller than ours, having 4 cylinders rather than 8.   They then spent this gas tax money on mass transit.
 
England has l,500 railway stations.  You can catch a train about every ten minutes going somewhere in England, or in Europe.  This tax on gasoline has kept people off the highway and has built and maintained excellent rail systems throughout Europe.   Instead of the U.S. government imposing the fifty cent a gallon tax proposed in the U.S. years ago, we have allowed the big oil companies to raise the price of gasoline and keep the money.  I haven’t seen Exxon or Shell building any mass transit systems in Kentucky.
 
I don’t believe we can rely on Big Oil corporations to save us. While there is a faction in this country that believes that big corporations will save us, and that government is always the problem, I haven’t drank that Kool-Aid.  I believe the Big Oil companies will continue to produce oil as long as it is the most profitable business plan.  The Government will wean us from foreign only when a better business plan is presented.
 
The public is just going to have to pony up and pay for the cure to the problem.  A gas tax of at least fifty cents a gallon, and perhaps a dollar a gallon, should be imposed and the funds spent to subsidize the development of alternative fuel sources and mass transit.
 

Once our government makes the compromise between the “drillers” and the “environmentalists” to raise money from the use of oil and commit those funds to developing clean energy alternatives, then the great compromise will have credibility, and environmentalists may then agree to another decade or two of oil use.
 

It is a troubling fact that the longer the price of oil is kept low, the ability to develop alternative fuel sources will be placed on the back burner.  Therefore, the tax will not only fund alternative fuel sources, it will make them more viable and will encourage development of new technologies.
 

Our government is spending about $3 billion dollars a year on development of alternative fuels. To put that in perspective this paltry sum equals less than one months profit for Exxon. 
 

In 2006 President Bush asked Congress to appropriate $2.1 billion for his Advanced Energy Initiative budget proposal, which would seek to develop alternative fuels.   This proposal represents only about 3 weeks of profit for Exxon.

 

When the government funds the development of alternative fuels to the tune of  $100 billion dollars a year, then we will know for sure that we are actually committed to a solution. 

 

Every day we delay in achieving energy independence, we become more subject to the influence of Middle Eastern despots and South American dictators.   If they turn off their oil spigot, or if terrorists destroy their ability to produce oil, our reserve of oil in the strategic oil reserve will be depleted in a few months and the mischief felt in the U.S., will be a life threatening catastrophe.  Is it any wonder that we have seen pictures of President George W. Bush holding the hand of the Saudi King when he went to beg for more oil for OPEC earlier this year?  
 
The gas tax is a measure that in the long term will be good for the environment. In the short term, it will do much to free the United States and other western nations from the temptation for oil producing nations to dictate our foreign policy. 
 

If we get serious about finding a solution to energy independence, we may find a solution in a couple of decades.  The alternative is to continue to rely on OPEC to provide us oil at an ever increasing price.
   
Back to top
 

                          Cheap Oil is a roadblock to a solution
 
We have not developed alternative fuels, nor have we developed our own oil reserves, largely because the convenience of cheap oil from the Middle East, has made these alternatives uneconomical.   Why pay $4 a gallon for alternative fuels when we have until now been able to provide foreign oil for $2.00 a gallon.  So the lack of a national tax on oil has actually impeded the development of alternatives.
 

We note that Europe pays up to $8 a gallon for gasoline, but they have used the taxes derived from this high price to develop energy alternatives and they have developed mass transit as a major alternative to the automobile. 
 

We will be threatened with fluctuating gasoline prices as new reserves are developed, and we must understand this and implement a tax that fluctuates so as to maintain the economic justification of alternative energy sources.
 

If we view this problem as a national security interest, then it will be more understood by the American public.
 

Isn’t it better to pay $4 a gallon for gasoline, knowing that $1 of that price will be going to assure development of alternative energy resources which will help the environment, and will at the same time free us of dependence on foreign oil?
 

At the present we are paying near $4 a gallon for gasoline, and all the profit is split between big oil companies and Middle East despots.   
 

Would Russia have invaded Georgia if they didn’t perceive a weakened America and a oil hungry Europe who are lusting after Russia’s newly developed oil reserves?  Would Iran be threatening us if they didn’t believe that they could cripple us by destroying the Middle East oil deliveries to the U.S.?   They are blackmailing us, and so far it is working.  This demonstrates the national security interest in the U.S. requires us to wean ourselves from their influence.
 

                                                 CHINA AND INDIA
 

Once a compromise has been reached between the oil drillers and the environmentalists, we then need to adopt a foreign policy to sell this solution to China and India.  Even if we clean up the environment, the rapid growth in the use of fossil fuels by China (which has a population seven times that of the U.S.) and India will wipe out any advances we make.
 

We should commit ourselves to selling the solution internationally to the worst potential polluters of the air and water.  This may require the rewriting of a number of free trade agreements, and international agreements such as the Kyoto agreement (which the U.S. has never signed).  This will require strong leadership, and will require that the U.S. become a citizen of the world.
 

 Back to top
 

                                                      CONCLUSION
 
We can’t immediately solve the energy problem or the global warming problem.  What we can do is endeavor to make a serious beginning to solve these problems.  We simply can’t immediately stop burning fossil fuels.  It took us hundreds of years to get in this fix, and it may take us another hundred years to get out of our current fix.
 
Maybe it will take us decades to begin to see a reduction in the demand for fossil fuels.  But many suggest that in as little as ten to twenty years we can substantially reduce demand for foreign fossil fuels. As alternative technologies are developed, we can begin to reduce demand for U.S. produced fossil fuels.
 
Any solution we choose is likely to require higher energy prices in the U.S.  We must realize that a failure to achieve energy independence and protect the environment will bear even higher costs in the future if we simply retain the status quo.  That is why drilling alone will not solve the problem.  But not drilling is the wrong path to travel.
 
When oil market speculators, and OPEC nations, see we are really, really serious about becoming energy independent, then they will moderate the price of the foreign oil we must rely on for the next few decades. 
 

Our political and commercial interests are being threatened by an every increasing accumulation of debt to buy foreign oil. Boone Pickens correctly states that our purchase of foreign oil constitutes the greatest transfer of wealth from one country in history.  We must cease that practice. 
 

 The value of the dollar has fallen dramatically in the last eight years.  The Euro in 2003 was worth about 80 cents.  Now it takes about $1.40 to buy a Euro.  The low value of the dollar is closely related to the price of oil we import.  The financing for this imported oil comes from the half trillion dollar deficit we are running just in 2008.  We have borrowed more than a trillion dollars from China and others to finance our oil addiction.
 

Back to top
 

Those who call for energy independence are not the enemy of those who are concerned about our environment.  The end result of energy independence can be a cleaner environment.  But they both must be done at the same time.  This is the great compromise that we must make.  Drill now and develop domestic fossil fuel sources now, but commit immediately to a massive plan to wean ourselves from these fossil fuels.
 

The Paris Hilton plan suggests a general solution to a difficult situation. The Boone Pickens plan offers a reasonable and more specific plan for conversion from oil to natural gas. 
 

The technology to run cars on natural gas was proven more than fifty years ago, and many cars and delivery type trucks are operated by natural gas.  Pickens points out that the biggest problem with using natural gas to replace oil is the building of the infrastructure to deliver this resource to the consumer.  Pickens points out that gas is current piped to almost every gasoline station in the U.S. and the task is to build the equipment to deliver the product from the service station, and to build cars that can accommodate the burning of natural gas.  Pickens suggests that the cost of implementing his plan will have a one time cost of about $700 billion dollars, but we are currently spending that much each year on foreign oil.
 

It is said that it using natural gas to fuel our automobiles will save the consumer 40% over the current price of gasoline.  Further, natural gas burns 90% cleaner than gasoline.
 

 So the bottom line is to drill for domestic oil.  Develop wind, solar, hydrogen, thermal, bio fuels and perhaps nuclear energy to achieve the immediate goal of protecting our national security from control by foreign sellers of oil.   At the same time we commit to the development of alternative fuels.   This may mean that we have to levee taxes on oil to assure that the price remains sufficiently high to justify the development of alternative fuels and to provide the revenue to invest in alternative fuel research and implementation.
  
President John F. Kennedy challenged America to focus its resources on landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth “in this decade”.  We achieved that goal in just nine years because we focused on it.  We need to fully commit to a John F. Kennedy NASA type program to become energy independent and to protect the environment. 
 

The American people have always responded to a challenge if they are told the facts.  I am betting that the American public will enlist in this effort if our leaders explain the realities and offer real solutions.
 

 

***
 Back to top
 

 
FOOTNOTES:
 
Footnote No. 1.
 
The Global Risk of Marine Pollution from WWII Shipwrecks:
Examples from the Seven Seas
Rean Monfils
Sea Australia
P.O. Box 938
Civic Square, ACT 2608  Australia
 
http://www.seaaustralia.com/documents/The%20Global%20Risk%20of%20Marine%20Pollution%20from%20WWII%20Shipwrecks-final.pdf
 
 
EXCERPTS:
 
Ocean, the Atlantic, the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean.
 
Most, if not all of the seas and oceans of the world contain the remnants of WWII shipwrecks. By combining the Pacific WWII SPREP shipwreck information and the new AMIO shipwreck geographic databases the combined total of WWII shipwrecks stands at 7807 vessels worldwide (Figure 1), combining to over 34 million tons of shipping with 861 tankers and oilers (Figure 2).
 
Table 1: AMIO WWII Shipwreck Database: Major ownership of vessels

COUNTRY

NUMBER OF VESSELS

% OF TOTAL

Britain

1903

51%

Germany

194

5%

Greece

142

3.70%

The Netherlands

157

4%

Norway

305

8%

Panama

88

2.30%

Sweden

106

2.80%

USA

607

16%

Total

3502

92.8%

 
 
Table 2: AMIO Database of Sunken WWII Oil Tankers: Ownership

COUNTRY

NUMBER OF TANKERS

% OF TOTAL

Britain

193

42%

Germany

4

0.80%

The Netherlands

20

4.30%

Norway

86

18.80%

Panama

26

5.70%

Sweden

5

1%

USA

122

26.70%

Total

456

99.3%

 
 Back to top
 

RISK OF OIL RELEASE FROM SUNKEN WRECKS
The sea is a sacrificial and corrosive chemical environment for metal objects and wooden structures. The rates of shipwreck deterioration depends upon type of construction, length of immersion, extent of burial, chemical, physical and biological factors. Salt-water corrosion along with shifting sea-bottom sediments, marine bacteria and organisms, destructive storms and currents will reduce a sunken shipwreck back to its original basis chemical elements. Some protection of a vessels metal super structure may occur due to burial in soft silts on the seabed, and reduced oxygen and temperature in deep water. But eventually a shipwreck will deteriorate over time under the sea to the extent where it may release some or all of its oil cargo, fuels, lubricants or hazardous chemicals.
 
CONCLUSION
This paper has detailed the extent of 7807 World War II sunken vessels around the worlds oceans by combining the already mostly completed SPREP database with the new AMIO database. The world-wide total tonnage of sunken World War II vessels amounts to just over 34 million tonnes of shipping with about 20 million in the AMIO and 13 million in the SPREP database. A majority of the vessels were sunk in the Atlantic Ocean which currently hosts over 3200 vessels and over 16 million tonnes. The Pacific SPREP database indicates that the Pacific Ocean hosts over 3854 vessels with a lower total tonnage of over 13 million tonnes. In total, there are 861 sunken World War II tankers and oilers on the bottom of the world’s oceans (529 in AMIO and 332 in SPREP).
 
When an oil spill event incident occurs from a sunken wreck it is usually handled on an ad-hoc reactive basis to solve the immediate pollution threat. Difficult issues such as jurisdiction, national sovereignty, political sensitivity and legal responsibility can stand in the way of a timely response to the spill. Jurisdictionally there are three main owners of sunken World War II vessels around the world. Britain (1940 vessels), Japan (3322 vessels) and the US (1022 vessels) own over 80% of all the sunken World War II vessels logged within the databases to date. There is a slight discrepancy in this calculation since Allied war losses were better recorded than Axis war losses. The next stage for the AMIO database will be to further investigate the German and Italian war losses.
 
However, the WWII wreck issue is not a technology problem but a failure on the part of the responsible parties to accept that these vessels could possibly pose a threat to the environment. It is clear, however that the problem is too big to be ignored. Passive monitoring may only work for a while, but the nature of seawater and the effect of corrosion and structural deterioration of these vessels and the passing of over 60 years indicate that it is only a matter of time; and not if these vessels will pollute and leak but when they will pollute.
 
 Back to top
 

Footnote No. 2
 
Exxon Valdez was the original name (later Sea River Mediterranean and eventually Mediterranean) of an
oil tanker owned by the former Exxon Shipping Company, a division of the former Exxon Corporation. It gained widespread infamy after the March 24, 1989 oil spill in which the tanker, bound for Washington, USA, captained by Joseph Hazelwood, hit Prince William Sound‘s Bligh Reef and spilled an estimated 10.8 million US gallons (40.9 million liters) of crude oil. This has been recorded as one of the largest spills in U.S. history and one of the largest ecological disasters.[1]
At the time of the spill it was employed to transport crude oil from the Alyeska consortium‘s pipeline terminal in Valdez, Alaska, to the lower 48 states of the United States. The vessel was carrying about 1.26 million barrels, or about 53 million US gallons (200 megalitres), of oil at the time it ran aground.
Back to top
 

Footnote No. 3
 
The Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS), usually called the Alyeska Pipeline in Alaska or the Alaska Pipeline elsewhere, is a major U.S. oil pipeline connecting oil fields in northern Alaska to a sea port where the oil can be shipped to the Lower 48 states for refining.
The main Trans-Alaska Pipeline runs north to south, almost 800 miles (1,300 km), from the Arctic Ocean at Prudhoe Bay, Alaska to the Gulf of Alaska at Valdez, Alaska, passing near several Alaskan towns, including Wiseman, Bettles, Livengood, Fox, Fairbanks, and Glennallen [see map].
Construction of the pipeline presented significant challenges due to the remoteness of the terrain and the harshness of the environment it had to pass through. Between Arctic Alaska and Valdez, there were three mountain ranges, active fault lines, miles of unstable, boggy ground underlain with frost, and migration paths of caribou and moose. Geological activity has damaged the pipeline on several occasions.
Since its completion in 1977, the pipeline has transported over 15 billion barrels (2.4 Tl) of oil.
The single 48 inch (1.22 m) diameter pipeline was built between March 27, 1975 to May 31, 1977 [2] at a cost of around US$8 billion. The pipe was constructed in six sections by five different contractors employing 21,000 people at the peak of work; 31 were killed in accidents during construction.
The 800 mile (1,286 km) route presented special challenges. As well as the harsh environment, the need to cross three mountain ranges and many rivers and streams, the permafrost of Alaska meant that more than half of the pipeline’s length had to be elevated rather than buried as normal to prevent the ground melting and shifting. There were five years of surveying and geological sampling before construction began. During construction archaeological teams were repeatedly called in to investigate previously unknown sites which were disturbed by excavation.
The Alaskan pipeline runs from Prudhoe Bay on the Arctic Ocean to Valdez on Prince William Sound. The highest point is 4800 feet. The pipeline is 800 miles long. 11 pump stations were built to move the oil through the pipeline. There are 9.04 billion barrels of oil under the ground at Prudhoe Bay.
Back to top
 

 

 

Friday, September 5th, 2008

Federal Appeals Court knocks out provisions of new bankruptcy code

Friday, September 5th, 2008

Provision That Bans Advice to Add Debt before filing Gets Struck Down

 

By BRENT KENDALL  Wall Street Journal  Sept. 5, 2008

WASHINGTON — A federal appeals court in St. Louis ruled Thursday that a provision of a sweeping 2005 federal bankruptcy-overhaul law violates the free-speech rights of lawyers.
The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down a provision of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act that barred attorneys from advising clients to take on more debt before they filed for bankruptcy protection.
The appeals court, in a 2-1 ruling, said the provision “prevents attorneys from fulfilling their duty to clients to give them appropriate and beneficial advice.”
“There are certain situations where it would likely be in the assisted person’s, and even the creditors’, best interest for the assisted person to incur additional debt in contemplation of bankruptcy,” the court said.
For example, a client contemplating a bankruptcy filing might benefit from refinancing a home mortgage to lower his monthly payments or to free up funds to pay off other debts, the court said. Or, the court said, a client might benefit from buying a car before a bankruptcy filing to ensure reliable transportation to and from work.
Thursday’s ruling was a victory for Minnesota law firm Milavetz, Gallop & Milavetz, which challenged the bankruptcy provision soon after the 2005 law went into effect.
“We have a right to help our clients put their affairs in order before they file for bankruptcy,” said Barbara Nilva Nevin, a lawyer with the firm.
Similar legal challenges are making their way through other lower courts, but Thursday’s ruling marked the first time that a federal appeals court weighed in on the validity of the provision.
A Justice Department representative said the department was reviewing the decision.
Constitutional law professor Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the University of California-Irvine School of Law, said the invalidated provision was the most significant constitutional problem with the bankruptcy law.
“This is an issue that’s going to make it to the Supreme Court,” Mr. Chemerinsky said.
 

Fen-phen attorneys Gallion & Cunningham re-indicted

Thursday, September 4th, 2008

A federal grand jury on Wednesday issued additional charges against two Lexington lawyers accused of taking millions of dollars from their former clients in the Fen Phen diet drug class action settlement.
William Gallion and Shirley Cunningham Jr. were originally charged and tried for one count each of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. On Wednesday, the grand jury charged Gallion and Cunningham with conspiracy and eight new charges of wire fraud.
Federal prosecutors now say that Gallion and Cunningham took $94 million — an increase of nearly $30 million from the previous indictment — that should have gone to 440 former clients, according to the indictment.  If convicted on all pending charges, they could be sentenced to a maximum of 180 years.

Gallion and Cunningham were initially accused of taking $65 million from their former clients, and faced a maximum of 20 years.
In the indictment, federal prosecutors said there was a side letter to the settlement agreement that outlined what each of the 440 clients were supposed to receive. In reality, the clients received far less than what the side letter to the settlement said.

What Milligram Xanax
Recreation Use Of Tramadol
Lymphocytopenia And Valium
Tramadol And Abuse Liability
Tramadol Express Delivery
Off Label Uses Of Ambien
Buy Tramadol With Paypal
Order Real Xanax 2mg
When Was Ambien Fda Approved
Ambien No Prior Prescription
Aetna Health Care Tramadol
Buy Ambien On Line
Roche Valium
Scheduled Drugs And Ambien
Pictures Of Xanax 25
Script Free Xanax
Tramadol Pain Control
Keywords Ambien
Xanax Online Pharmacy Free Consultation
Tramadol Line
Xanax With Suboxene
Purchase Ambien Prescription
Multiple Prescriptions Of Xanax
2mg Xanax Online Paypal
Ambien Online Phentermine Purchase Soma
Tramadol Warehouse
Tramadol With Hydrocodone Drug Interactions
Tramadol Withdrawal Symptom
Xanax To Treat Achohol Dependency
Mixing Ambien And Xanax Safe
Xanax Next Day No Presrciption
Generic Ambien Cheap
Ordering Ambien Online
Effects Of Valium
Dangers Of Xanax Bars And Hydrocodone
Ambien Cr For Sale
Cheapest Xanax Online Consultation
Is Ambien A Benzodiazepine
Ambien Formulary
Clonidine Valium 5-htp Tyrosine
Contraindications Between Xanax And Wellbutrin
Buy Cheap Online Pharmacy Tramadol
Long Term Effect Ambien On Liver
Bupropion And Xanax
Pharmacy Salary Tech Buy Tramadol
No Prescription Generic Valium
250 Tramadol
Valium For Muscle Spasm
Ambien Rx Buy Ambien Online
Rx Online Buy Valium
Vet Perscribed Tramadol Hydrochloride
Xanax Time Of Day
Generic Valium Online
Xanax Half Life Cycle Urine
Sniffing Valium
Valium Price
Klonopin Versus Xanax
Clonazepam Vs Valium
Leal Xanax
Sleep Aids Ambien And Lunesta
Dogs Taking Ambien
Xanax Oral
Pictures Of People On Tramadol
Like Ambien
Valium Detection Time Urine
Celebrex Renova Tramadol Cialis
Xanax Before Pregnant
Buy Tramadol Hydrochloride
Safely Order Valium Online Overnight
Ambien Sliding Doors
Ambien Zolpidem Titrate
Buying Ambien
Xanax Is Ok Dr 2 Mg
Xanax G3719
Buy Ambien For Cheap
.5 Mg Of Xanax
Ambien From Canada
High Dose Tramadol Experience
Valium Interactions
Diflucan Xanax
Menieres Disease Valium
Ambien Memory Loss
Does Methadone Effect Tramadol
Ambien And Dose
Tramadol And Depression
Tramadol Saturday Delivery Available
Ambien Cr Ways To Sleep Better
Overdose On Ambien
Alcohol Valium Danger
Will Tramadol Show On Drug Tests
Tramadol Hcl 50 Gm
No Record Valium
Ambien Off Shore
Tramadol Uk
Valium Ingredients
Get A Doctors Prescription Of Xanax
Xanax With Oxycodone
Cod Tablet Tramadol
Xanax And Borderline Personality Disorder
Equilivualnt Of Xanax And Clonepin
Tramadol Alfa Beta
Xanax Cod Overnight Delivery
Best Tramadol Online
Dosage For Xanax
Buy Tramadol Now Carisoprodol
Buy Ambien Online Without A Prescription
Valium Xanax Vs
Tramadol Compound
Affect Side Valium
Xanax Commercial
Mixing Zoloft And Valium
Buy Xanax No Prescription
Ambien Apnea Sleep
Getting Valium Of Your System
Ambien Correct Dosage
Make Xanax
Lorazepam And Ambien
Generic Tramadol Mutual
What Does Xanax Do When Sniffed
Penalty For Buying Xanax Online
Side Effects Of Prolonged Use Ambien
What Can Xanax Do To You
Valium At American Pharmacy
Tramadol Sales Saturday Delivery
Ambien Sleeping Pills
Ambien Insomnia Prescription
Get Tramadol Out Of Urine
Where Can I Get Xanax
Treatment Of Withdrawal Fron Xanax
Is Ambien Cr Generic Yet
Buy Cheap Online Xanax
Ambiens Cistern
Xanax Costa Rico
Tramadol Withdraw Pharmacy Online
Sonata Ambien
Valtrex Nasonex Tramadol
Methadone Overdose Xanax Diphenhydramine Fluoxetine
Valium Overnight Shipping Cheap
Tramadol Adverse Effects
Tramadol Cod Saturday
Ambien Mental Illness
What Is The Structure Of Ambien
Journal Articles On Ambien
Brand Name Valium Canada
Xanax And Benedryl Interaction
Compare Valium To Xanex
Injecting Xanax
Ambien Official Site
Ambien Withdraw
Can You Exercise On Xanax
Order Ambien From Canada
Online Pharmacy For Xanax
Tramadol Buzz Andnot Pharmacy
Xanax Without A Prescribtion
Is Zora Ambien
Mixing Valium With Xanax
2mg Xanax Overnight Shipping
Xanax Sleep
Xanax Overnight No Prescription Mastercard
Ambien Order No Prescription
Online Order Valium
Fatal Dose Ambien
Tramadol Police
Cheap Valium
Ambien Cr Substitute
Valium 5mg Pictures
Eating And Ambien
Can I Take Valium With Oxycontin
Can Valium Treat Tension Headache
Valerian And Valium
Drug Interactions With Valium
Buy Xanax Online Without
Same As Valium
Pregnancy And Tramadol
Gg 414 Xanax
Ambien Empty Stomach
Tramadol Drug Medication
Buy Ambien Online Pharmacy
Tramadol 100mg 180
Xanax Mexico Rx
Tramadol Cod Saturday Delivery
Pain Meds No Rx Valium
Drug Interaction Valium Prilosec
Tramadol Pictor
Ambien On Line Prescription
Xanax Adult Dose
Is Valium Diazepam Safe For Dogs
Tramadol Sice Effects
No Membership Valium
Valium Consstipation
Valium Drug Overdose
Does Xanax Slow Metabolism
Buy Xanax Without A Prescription
Ambien Women Insomnia
Order Xanax No Rx Mexico
Generic Valium Photos Description
Valium Pill
2006 Ambien Comment Post
Ambien Rx Pharmacy Online
Generic Fror Ambien
Ambien Use In The Elderly
Tramadol Drug Use
Buy Xanax By Check
Making Tramadol
Valium Meniere’s
Loratadine Ambien
Tramadol Tab 50mg Sid
Tramadol Zydol
Xanax And Incapacitation
Valium Withdrawal Time
Tramadol And Trouble Urinating
Buy Xanax 2mg
Xanax Is A Truth Drug
Tramadol Hcl Acetamenophen Par
Dependency On Ambien
Valium 48 11
Drug Tests Xanax Detection
Tramadol For Feline
Xanax And Methadone Combined
Buying Valium Uk
Does Tramadol Interfere With Sleep
Tramadol Lethal Od
Ambien Respiratory Suppresion
Tramadol And Methadose
Xanax Pill
Ambien Cr Sleep Aid
Tramadol 50mg
Ambien Cr 12.5mg
Valium Side Effects Si
Photos Of Xanax Bars
Naproxam And Ambien
Xanax Lower Heart Rate
Valium Over The Counter
Is Xanax Habit Forming
Tramadol Drug Utilization Review
Tramadol Po Box
Buy 2 Mg Xanax
Ambien Benefits
Xanax Opiate
Fda Ambien
Tramadol Chlorhydrate Dog Cat
Cheap 10 Mg Valium
Mdma And Valium
Ambien Cannabis
Domain Valium
Tramadol Dog Kidney
Mix Xanax And Clonozopam
Xanax 5 Picture
Valium Breast Feeding
Buy Xanax Bar
Xanax Without A Perscribtion
Ambien Cr Best Insomnia
Non Presciption Xanax
Vetrinarian Tramadol
Mix Valium Zoloft
Xanax Crushed On Marijuana
Money Spent On Xanax Abuse Yearly
Tramadol Quick
Myoclonus Ear Valium
Tramadol Vs Percocet
Tramadol Helps Withdrawal
Xanax Reaction With Meth
8000 Cheap Online Tramadol Under
Tramadol Habit Forming
Generic Valium No Rx
Ambien Cause Numb
Valium Xanax Ambien Zolpidem
Dogs Tramadol Hcl
Generic Ambien Overnight
Xanax Same Day Delivery
Ambien Clinical Uses
Tramadol Side Effects Interactions With Paxill
Ambien Pill Sleeping
Ambien Not Working
Tramadol Consult
100 Mg Tramadol
Generic Tramadol Ultram
Tramadol And Throat
Pharmacy Degree Line Buy Tramadol
Free Diet Plan Tramadol
Tramadol Withdrawell
Tramadol Long Term Use
Adderall Skin Allegra Skin Xanax Skin
Ambien Buy N
Tramadol Arrest
Average Prosciption Dose Of Xanax
Cheap Xanax Fedex
Xanax Hiatal Hernia
Tramadol 120 Ea Cod
Cheaper Tramadol
Totse Xanax
Enhancing Xanax
Potentiating Ambien
Tramadol Ultram Addiction
Xanax Pics
People Magazine Ambien
Information On Drug Ambien
Commview Ambien
Boston Seap Debt Counseling Tramadol Drug
Xanax Pills Pictures

Federal Grand Jury Indicts Highway Contractor Leonard Lawson, former Highway Commissioner Charles “Bill” Nighbert and Brian Russell Billings.

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008

Sept. 3, 2008

A federal grand jury indicted former state Transportation Secretary Bill Nighbert and politically influential road contractor Leonard Lawson on Wednesday, as well as Lawson employee Brian Russell Billings for conspiracy theft from the government and obstruction of justice.
The three are accused of rigging bids for road work in the Transportation Cabinet.
Nighbert and Lawson were indicted on six counts, ranging from conspiracy to misapplication of property. Billings was indicted on three counts.
According to the indictment, Lawson, 69, and Nighbert, 57, engaged in a two-year conspiracy to give Lawson’s companies access to confidential cabinet bid estimates. That allowed Lawson to avoid the competitive bidding process by submitting bids at the high end of what the cabinet considered an acceptable price range. Lawson’s projects ended up being worth about $130 million.
According to the indictment, on eight occasions in 2006 and 2007, Nighbert and/or Lawson told cabinet official James Rummage to get the bid estimates — prepared by cabinet engineers — on projects that Lawson wanted.
Rummage delivered the estimates to Lawson’s home or office in Lexington five times. The other times, he gave them to Nighbert, who passed them along to Lawson, the indictment said.
Nighbert tried to conceal his favors for Lawson by asking Rummage to also retrieve estimates on unrelated projects as “camouflage,” according to the indictment.
Lawson gave Rummage four payments of $5,000 each, according to the indictment.
Lawson gave Nighbert $36,000 disguised as an employment contract through a Pikeville utility management company that allegedly hired him shortly after he left state government last December, at the end of Gov. Ernie Fletcher’s administration.
Lawson gave Nighbert an additional $31,251 in payments through the utility company from January through March of this year while Nighbert was an adviser on transportation issues to Senate President David Williams, R-Burkesville.
Billings — the third defendant — once was the transportation engineering branch manager of construction for the Transportation Cabinet’s Lexington district office. On Wednesday, the U.S. attorney’s office said Billings, 37, is a Lawson employee and said Billings tried to discourage the government’s key witness Rummage from coming forward in the case.
According to the indictment, on eight occasions in 2006 and 2007, Nighbert and/or Lawson told cabinet official James Rummage to get the bid estimates — prepared by cabinet engineers — on projects that Lawson wanted.
Rummage delivered the estimates to Lawson’s home or office in Lexington five times. The other times, he gave them to Nighbert, who passed them along to Lawson, the indictment said.
Nighbert tried to conceal his favors for Lawson by asking Rummage to also retrieve estimates on unrelated projects as “camouflage,” according to the indictment.
Lawson gave Rummage four payments of $5,000 each, according to the indictment.
See full 22 page Federal indictment: http://media.kentucky.com/smedia/2008/09/03/13/nighbertlawsonindictment.source.prod_affiliate.79.pdf