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  • Robert Sterling
    Please send as far and wide as possible. Thanks, Robert Sterling Editor, The Konformist http://www.konformist.com Jerry E. Smith jerryesmith@gbis.com Author,
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 4, 2001
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      Please send as far and wide as possible.


      Robert Sterling
      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
      investigative phase."

      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
      they desire."

      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


      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
      attacker's death.

      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
      thieves and
      hardened criminals.

      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
      jail on
      contempt-of-court charges. Nicknamed "Shrub" by his fellow inmates,
      he has
      been locked up for 38 days and counting.

      "I would equate [jail time] to sleeping on the floor next to the
      urinal in
      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
      property rights."

      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
      is ridiculous.

      "They want ... my children to screen their own property from their own
      property. We own all the property across the street, too, every bit
      of it.
      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
      hill is
      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
      now allowed.

      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,
      which was
      built and is run by Fairfax County. Unlike Thoburn's range, there
      have been
      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
      make it
      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
      with its

      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
      range and
      any other zoning rules this week in an attempt to adjudicate .

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