Jerry E. Smith News Clippings
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Editor, The Konformist
Jerry E. Smith
Author, HAARP: The Ultimate Weapon of the Conspiracy
(Adventures Unlimited Press, 1998)
Member, American Media Association
Secret Service Raids Gold-Age
Sat Mar 31 00:02:13 2001
Secret Service Raids Gold-Age
by Declan McCullagh
WASHINGTON -- The Secret Service has raided a New York state
that exchanged dollars for grams of the digital currency called
A bevy of agents from the Secret Service, Postal Service and
police recently detained the owners of Gold-Age, based in
and seized computers, files and documents from the fledgling
U.S. Attorney Daniel French said Friday that the
investigation involved charges of credit card fraud. "We
haven't brought charges yet," French said. "We're in the
Gold-Age owner Parker Bradley says that during his
eight-hour interrogation on March 12, the Secret Service
seemed less interested in credit card fraud and more
interested in the mechanics of e-gold. Until last year,
Bradley accepted credit cards and paid out e-gold, but said
he quit because too many people used stolen credit cards
when conducting business with him.
"The interrogation became less about me and more about
politics and e-gold," Bradley said. "They were trying to get
me to blame e-gold for fraud. Just to be blunt, these guys
have no clue about how e-commerce works, how e-gold
works or what I was doing."
E-gold is a 5-year-old firm based on the Caribbean island of
Nevis that provides an electronic currency backed by
physical metal stored in vaults in London and Dubai. The
company says it has 181,000 user accounts and stores
about 1.4 metric tons of gold on behalf of its customers.
Bradley's Gold-Age company, which he ran with his wife out
of their home until the raid, was one of about a dozen e-gold
currency exchange services: He took dollars and credited
grams of gold, silver, platinum and palladium to a customer's
account, less a modest fee.
"I have no political statements to make," Bradley said. "I'm
just running a business. People can use e-gold for whatever
Jim Ray, vice president at Omnipay -- the largest e-gold
exchanger -- says he was aghast at a Secret Service raid
directed at one of his competitors and customers.
"I think the case is an outrage," Ray said. "I think this is a
symptom of too many donuts on the cops' part.... To me,
this is a very serious business. They've just taken out one of
my best market makers for no reason."
Still unclear is why the raid took place. French indicated that
it could be more than a routine credit card investigation,
saying "at this point, it's being investigated as a credit card
One possibility is a broader investigation directed at some
users of e-gold, which is less anonymous than cash but more
anonymous than credit cards. Former Treasury Secretary
Lawrence Summers has warned of malcontents using the Net
and encryption to dodge taxes, and it's possible that the
feds don't exactly approve of a system that's more
privacy-protective than the heavily regulated banking
Current federal regulations require banks and credit unions --
about 19,000 in all -- to inform federal law enforcement of
all transactions $5,000 and above that have no "apparent
lawful purpose or are not the sort in which the particular
customer would normally be expected to engage."
Because e-gold is not a bank that lends money -- it's more
akin to a warehouse that stores gold on behalf of its
customers -- it's not covered by those rules.
Mike Godwin said the raid evokes memories of the notorious
Steve Jackson Games raid by the Secret Service a decade
ago, which led to the formation of the Electronic Frontier
"Why did they take the hardware?" Godwin asks. "If what
they wanted was business records, why did they take the
equipment in such a way that shuts down the business?"
"These people are presumptively innocent," said Godwin, an
attorney who writes frequently about law and technology.
"Even if they are subjects of a federal investigation, the
Secret Service should know better than to swoop in and
engage in disruptive searches of people they're not ready to
Justice Department guidelines give a great deal of latitude to
law enforcement officers who wish to seize computers.
"Agents may obtain search warrants to seize computer
hardware if the hardware is contraband, evidence or an
instrumentality or fruit of crime," the guidelines say.
Bradley, who was raided, says that he's retained a lawyer
and is asking that his computer equipment be returned. He
said that in addition to the Secret Service seizing his
business records, the raid seemed personal: They snatched
his passport, birth certificate and personal checkbook.
"When it was obvious I had done nothing worng, they tried
to get me and my wife -- interrogating us seperately -- to
implicate e-gold," Bradley said. "They said, 'Might (e-gold) be
doing this, could they be doing this?'"
Announcements / Notices
On 03/12/2001, the Gold-Age office (our home) was wrongly raided by
Syracuse branch of the U.S. Secret Service (SS, excuse the
All of our computer equipment, business records, software, and many
non-business items were stolen by the SS in this raid; even though we
not been charged with any crime (because we have committed no crime),
they refuse to give us more information. We were also taken and
interrogated for about 8 hours, over the course of the interrogation,
the whole thing seemed to become less about Gold-Age, and more about
e-gold & politics -- they wanted us to lie about e-gold.
Additionally, our lawyer has been getting nowhere fast when dealing
the Secret Service agents in question... we suspect that they have
realized their grave error in this wrongful undertaking.
Gold-Age is actively seeking the return of our property and records,
and plans on aggressive pursuit of other legal remedies and
for this violation of our civil/constitutional rights as U.S.
As a result of this SS-fiasco, Gold-Age's services are effectively on
hold for the foreseeable future. We apologize for any inconvenience
may cause our loyal customers and any interested "Newbies". For those
that wish to use the EZCmoney payment system to purchase e-gold,
we recommend GoldToday
Thank you for your understanding, and to all those who have written or
to offer support -- THANK YOU! The encouragement is greatly
The U.S. Monetary System is a Ponzi Debt Scheme
SECRETS OF THE FEDERAL RESERVE
United States The Secret Service
Secret Service AFAUSSS Directory
Part 1: http://www.apfn.org/apfn/silent1.pdf
Part 2: http://www.apfn.org/apfn/silent2.pdf
Anne Williamson exposes Federal Reserve
How your money -- and life -- are controlled by America's banking
"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude
than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We
not your counsel or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands of those
who feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you. May posterity
that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams
At The Mercy of Criminals
By JOHN R. LOTT JR.
Hardly a day seems to go by without national news coverage of yet
another shooting. Yet when was the last time you heard a story on the
national evening news about a citizen saving a life with a gun?
Few people realize that civilians use guns defensively to stop about
2 million crimes a year, five times more often than guns are used to
commit crimes, according to national surveys.
Last week, a police officer received national attention for stopping
a school shooting in El Cajon. Where was the similar national news
coverage when equally heroic civilians used their guns to stop other
school shootings, such as the ones in Pearl, Miss., and Edinboro,
Some of this lopsided coverage is understandable. An innocent
person's murder is more newsworthy than when a victim brandishes a
gun and an attacker runs away with no crime committed. Unlike the
crimes that are avoided, bad events provide emotionally gripping
pictures. Yet covering only the bad events creates the impression
that guns only cost lives.
Even the rare local coverage of defensive gun use seldom involves
more than very brief stories. Newsworthiness also dictates that these
stories are not the typical examples of self-defense, but the rare
instances where the attacker is shot. In fact, in 98% of the cases,
simply brandishing a gun is sufficient to stop a crime. Research at
Florida State University and at the University of Chicago indicates
that only one out of 1,000 defensive gun uses results in the
Here are some of the 20 defensive gun use stories that I found
reported in their respective local media in a single week, March
* Clearwater, Fla.: At 1:05 a.m., a man started banging on a patio
door, briefly left to beat on the family's truck, but returned and
tore open the patio door. At that point, after numerous shouts not to
break into the home, a 16-year-old boy fired a single rifle shot,
wounding the attacker.
* Columbia, S.C.: As two gas station employees left work just after
midnight, two men attempted to rob them. The sheriff told a local
television station: "Two men came out of the bushes, one of the men
had a shovel handle that had been broken off and began to beat [the
male employee] . . . about the head, neck and then the arms." The
male employee broke away long enough to draw a handgun from his
pocket and wound his attacker, who later died. The second suspect,
turned in by relatives, faces armed robbery and possible murder
* Little Rock, Ark.: By firing one shot with a rifle, a 19-year-old
man defended himself against three armed men who were threatening to
assault him. One of them was treated for a flesh wound.
* Detroit: A mentally disturbed man yelled that the president was
going to have him killed and started firing at people in passing
cars. A man at the scene, who had a permit to carry a concealed
handgun, fired shots that forced the attacker to stop shooting and
run away. The attacker barricaded himself in an empty apartment,
fired at police and ultimately committed suicide.
* West Palm Beach, Fla.: After being beaten during a robbery at his
home just two days earlier, a homeowner began carrying a handgun in
his pocket. When another robber attacked him, the homeowner shot and
wounded his assailant.
* Grand Junction, Colo.: On his way home from work, a contractor
picked up three young hitchhikers. He fixed them a steak dinner at
his house and was preparing to offer them jobs. Two of the men
grabbed his kitchen knives and started stabbing him in the back, head
and hands. The attackers stopped only when he told them that he could
give them money. Instead of money, the contractor grabbed a pistol
and shot one of the attackers. The contractor said, "If I'd had a
trigger lock, I'd be dead."
* Columbia Falls, Mont.: An ex-boyfriend is accused of entering a
woman's home and sexually assaulting her. She got away long enough to
get her handgun and hold her attacker at gunpoint until police
* Salt Lake City: Two robbers began firing their guns as soon as they
entered a pawn shop. The owner and his son returned fire. One of the
robbers was shot in the arm; both later were arrested. The shop
owner's statement said it all: "If we did not have our guns, we would
have had several people dead here."
* Baton Rouge, La.: At 5:45 a.m., a crack addict kicked in the back
door of a house and went in. The attacker was fatally shot as he
charged toward the homeowner.
What advice would gun control advocates have given these victims?
Should they have behaved passively? Unfortunately, by making it
difficult for law-abiding people to get the most effective tool to
defend themselves, gun control often puts victims' lives in jeopardy.
- - -
John R. Lott Jr. Is a Senior Research Scholar at the Yale University
Law School and the Author of "More Guns, Less Crime" (University of
Chicago Press, 2000)
Copyright © 2001 Los Angeles Times
"Yard Nazis" imprison Virginia busninessman
Here's more on crimes committed by Community Development (Zoning
--Jerry E. Smith
Don Casey <donald1@...>
How far can government go to control your property?
Zone On the Range
By David Shuster FOXNews.com
FAIRFAX, Va. John Thoburn owns a golf-range business in suburban
Washington, but he now spends his days and nights in jail among
The Fairfax County, Va., zoning board claims Thoburn planted some
improperly on his golf range, a charge he denies. Thoburn refused to
when the board ordered him to move some of the trees in question, so
ordered him to shut down his range.
Thoburn refused, so last month a Fairfax County judge threw him in
contempt-of-court charges. Nicknamed "Shrub" by his fellow inmates,
been locked up for 38 days and counting.
"I would equate [jail time] to sleeping on the floor next to the
a public restroom," Thoburn told Fox News. "I'm here in jail for the
to operate my business on my property. It's private property. I'm
Thoburn says that he has already spent $125,000 on 700 trees mandated
the zoning board. But the board is demanding that 30 trees be moved
alongside property boundary between the range the nearest homeowner's
to create a protective screen. In an interesting twist, however, that
neighbor is John Thoburn's father, Bob, who says the landscape
"They want ... my children to screen their own property from their own
property. We own all the property across the street, too, every bit
So, it doesn't make any sense," Bob Thoburn said.
In an escalation of the battle, the zoning board has also targeted a
man-made hill behind the range for regulation. The board says the
the wrong height. But according to John Thoburn, the board refuses to
him what height it wants.
The county earlier took issue with cups being provided along with soft
drinks at the range, so the board banned cups at the range. Only cans
The board has also regulated the use of lights at Thoburn's range, as
as the inclusion of miniature golf and putting greens. All told, the
has imposed 25 conditions on Thoburn over nine years.
But it's a different story a few miles away at the Oakmar range,
built and is run by Fairfax County. Unlike Thoburn's range, there
no requirements to add trees, no restrictions on lights and no
against miniature golf or putting greens. And in the clubhouse, cups
provided for soft drinks or coffee.
The county insists there is no double standard at play.
"Every case is individually studied and analyzed by the board of
appeals and conditions are placed on various projects in order to
work within the community," said county spokeswoman Merni Fitzgerald.
According to Thoburn, the county is trying to steal his customers and
down his business. The zoning board denies that charge, but adds it
press to keep Thoburn in jail for as long as he refuses to comply
As the fight continues, Thoburn's sister runs the range. Thoburn's
would have taken care of the business, but since she too was
with a jail sentence, she and their three sons fled to Texas.
There may be an end in sight, however. A local judge has ordered the
to submit its requirements for the height of the hill behind the
any other zoning rules this week in an attempt to adjudicate .
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