Andrew McCullough's Blog

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Patriot Act again!

January 29, 2009

For the last several years, I have lived with a Little gnawing fear in the back of my head. It all started with a letter from the bank where I keep my general account for my law office. Due to the Patriot Act and its provisions on money laundering, they had found "suspicious" activity in my account. They had closed the account without warning, because the main source of funds was money from another account in my own name. That account, of course, is my client trust account, where I keep client money until it is earned. Once a week or so, I transfer that money to my general account and use it to pay firm bills, including my secretaries. Then I take what has not been spent on bills and transfer it to yet another account in my name -- my personal account, and pay my own personal bills. I have been doing this for 35 years. When I explained this to them, they apologized, told me it would not happen again, and reopened my account. But, of course, by then, there were several bounced checks that I had to deal with.

Well, today, it happened again. This time they have given me until Monday to get my money out, before they close the account. Somewhere in Texas, Mr. Bush is laughing that his outrageous "national security" measures have caught another innocent victim. This time I do not want to reopen the account. I asked for 30 days to clear it out in an orderly manner; and I am awaiting word. In the meantime, I am not identifying the bank. But I am angry, hurt, and afraid of my government and what it can do to turn my life upside down without any thought or repercussion.

I am Chair of the Utah Libertarian Party. Many ask why we need a small party like ours. Why not work within the "two party system"? Well, today, we see why there must be others who will raise their voices and tell the government to stop oppressing its citizens. And to stop enlisting our banks, our neighbors, and our associates to help. Almost all members of Congress, from both "major" parties voted for the Patriot Act without even knowing what was in it. I cannot continue to live in fear like this. I will find a smaller bank, where I can talk to the bank officers, and where they will not do this to me again. But, I am not the only one who has been treated like this.

What about you? Are you living in fear? Or are you just too naive to be afraid? On January 20, I woke up and declared that the "reign of terror is over." No, it is not! We still have cause to live in fear. Mr. Obama, what will you do to make it less so?

Monday, January 12, 2009

News and comments

January 12, 2009

I just got back from Las Vegas where I watched the national championship college football game on TV. The big news in Utah, of course, is that our Attorney General is investigating the BCS for anti-trust violations, becvuassde Utah did not get into the title game. Well, I'm a Utah fan as well, but the AG does not seem to understand the role of government. Our team did great this year, and we are all unhappy we didn't get into the championship game. But using taxpayer money to fight over college football is a real waste of time and money at a time when taxpayer funds are in short supply. Hopefully our AG will find something else to occupy him, and this will go away, before our "pretty, great state" becomes more of a laughing stock than the polygs downs south have already made it.

Speaking of Mr. Shurtleff, Paul Rolly reported a week or so ago that our AG is giving the cold shoulder to the Tribune as a way of punishing them for some unfriendly reporting. Sounds a little like the kind of shenanigans between the Governor of Illinois and the Chicago Tribune. The Tribune, of course, utterly ignored my own candidacy for AG this past year, despite my active campaigning and my advertisements in their online edition. Perhaps they got what they deserved.

Well, the Republican reign of terror in Washington is at an end. What a relief! but then the Democrats will want more of our money in taxes. Please remember to do your very little part to keep an open debate by checking off the Libertarian Party box on your Utah Income Tax return this year. And maybe next time we will have the resources to avoid being completely ignored (except for "Super Dell", of course.)

An finally, a foot note of history, Mr. William Zantzinger, of Maryland died last week, at 69. He became somewhat famous when he "killed poor Hattie Carroll with a cane that he twirled round his diamond ringed finger at a Baltimore hotel society gathering"; and the judge "handed out strongly for penalty and repentance, William Zantzinger with a six month sentence." Since I learned that Bob Dylan song in the 60's, I wondered what really happened. And now his obituary filled in some of the details. The song was a lament on the social inequality of justice in this country. I think the days of a white man not being properly punished for killing a black woman are now long gone. And starting next week, we are truly in a new era. I voted for our Libertarian candidate for President, but I have great hopes for President Obama. May God be with him in his efforts to undo the damage done by Mr. Bush.
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