Monthly Archives: May 2009

‘Hate Crime’ Bill Criminalizes Free Speech

More loosely-worded, unconstitutional ‘legislation’ — an alleged Hate Crimes Bill that could very easily be used by the federal government as an attempt to stifle free speech — that conveniently leaves plenty of room for interpretation is working its way through Congress, offering more evidence that those in Congress should be required to read and understand the United States Constitution before being allowed to take a Congressional seat.

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution — Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression — states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

H.R. 1966 — the Megan Meier Cyberbullying Prevention Act — proposed by Rep. Linda T. Sanchez of California states that:

“Whoever transmits in interstate or foreign commerce any communication, with the intent to coerce, intimidate, harass, or cause substantial emotional distress to a person, using electronic means to support severe, repeated, and hostile behavior, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both….

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America’s Money Is Being Held Hostage

Some investors in 401(k) retirement funds are reportedly finding that they can’t get their money — the months of turmoil in the stock market has resulted in some individuals finding their investments in certain retirement-plans frozen — and some employers are having trouble getting rid of risky investments in 401(k) plans.

One such victim is Ed Dursky who was laid off in March. He found that he couldn’t withdraw $40,000 from his 401(k) retirement account that was invested in the Principal U.S. Property Seperate Account, an account that invests directly in office buildings and other properties. Last fall, that account stopped allowing most investors to make withdrawals since many of its holdings have become harder to sell. Other victims of 401(k)’s having their money held hostage can be found in the article from the Wall Street Journal.

The inconvenient withdrawal restrictions are preventing people like Mr. Dursky who have been laid off from accessing their savings. Many 401(k) investors aren’t aware that some behind-the-scenes maneuvers are causing more problems with their retirement plans. According to the Wall Street Journal, many funds offered in 401(k) plans lend their portfolio holdings to other investors who receive collateral in exchange that gets invested in normally safe liquid holdings.

Those actions are aimed at generating a small but relatively reliable return to help offset fund expenses, but recently, many of the collateral investments have gone bad, resulting in money managers restricting retirement plans’ withdrawals from the lending funds. In cases of employer bankruptcy and other events that can cause withdrawals, funds can be locked up for months at a time.

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