Friday, January 25, 2013

Another loss for zealot U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz

Federal judge comes to the rescue in property rights case. Carmen Ortiz should have known better.

Jon Chesto of the Boston Business Journal has the details.

Thank goodness for the Institute for Justice. The government was out to seize owner Russ Caswell's motel in Tewksbury because several unaffiliated drug deals took place. A federal Magistrate Judge, Judith Dein, thought otherwise.

Dein’s ruling today pointed to several reasons why prosecutors didn’t have the right to seize the Motel Caswell:
  • The government had identified only a limited number of qualified drug-related incidents, spread out over a 15-year period. None of the incidents — law enforcement officials eventually named 15 of them — involved Caswell or his employees, or even people that Caswell was familiar with.
  • There were essentially no efforts to work with Caswell to reduce drug crimes at the property before prosecutors moved ahead with forfeiture proceedings in 2009
  • There was no warning given to Caswell that the possibility of a property seizure even existed.
  • Caswell, who lives next door to the motel with his family, and his employees took reasonable steps to secure the property and cooperate with police.
Prosecutors had been tipped off about the motel by a federal agent whose primary job was to identify properties for forfeiture. But prosecutors maintained that this wasn’t about raising money for the government, and was instead about helping local police crack down on the drug trade.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Stunningly beautiful in all its range, Bruckner's Symphony No.8, Karajan conducting

Bruckner's Symphony No.8 w/Karajan conducting "live" in St. Florian (1979)

My favorite Bruckner Symphony, No. 8 here from St. Florian.  Bruckner was no "mere country bumpkin." He was a genius who created music that gave us a glimpse of how God roars. Amazing music. It's an honor to be the 38,270th viewer of this performance.

Monday, January 14, 2013

R.I.P. James Buchanan, 1986 Nobel Laureate in Economic Science. A great man!

Economist Richard McKenzie writes a tribute to his teacher James Buchanan

 "Today, I am pleased to call James Buchanan my professor for pressing on me a remarkably simple but important point that escapes so many colleagues across the country:  Being a professor is a privileged position.  It demands scholarship, but it also demands that you give of yourself in ways that will never show up on your resume, or in your obituary."