Government Desires to Freeze Megaupload Assets Even if Case is Dismissed

The United States government said today that even if the indictment of the Megaupload corporation is dismissed, it can continue its indefinite freeze on the corporation’s assets while it awaits the extradition of founder Kim Dotcom and his associates.

 

Judge Liam O’Grady is weighing a request to dismiss the indictment against Megaupload because the federal rules of criminal procedure provide no way to serve notice on corporations with no US address. At a hearing in Alexandria, VA, he grilled both attorneys in the case but did not issue a ruling.

 

O’Grady speculated, with evident sarcasm, that Congress intended to allow foreign corporations like Megaupload to “be able to violate our laws indiscriminately from an island in the South Pacific.”

 

But Megaupload’s attorney insisted that this may not be too far from the truth. Megaupload, they said, is a Hong Kong corporation with no presence in the United States. He argued it was perfectly reasonable for Megaupload to be subject to the criminal laws of Hong Kong, but not the United States.

 

“It’s never had a US address”

 

For its part, the government suggested that it could sidestep the mailing requirement in one of several ways. For example, it could wait for Kim Dotcom to be extradited to the United States and then mail notice to him, as Megaupload’s representative, at his address in prison. Or, they suggested, the government could send notice of the indictment to Carpathia Hosting, a Virginia company that has leased hundreds of servers to the locker site.

 

The government also mentioned the possibility that it could use the provisions of a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty to send notice to Megaupload’s Hong Kong address.

 

Read More: at ArsTechnica.com. 

Art Collector Herbert Vogel Dies At 89

Herbert Vogel, a well renowned art collector who possessed over 5,000 works despite his modest income, has died at the age of 89.

 

Pieces from Vogel’s collection have been distributed to museums throughout the United States. A National Gallery of Art spokesperson, Deborah Ziska, reports that Vogel died Sunday of natural causes in New York City.

 

Vogel was one of the earliest collectors who campaigned in support of minimal and conceptual art in the 1960s. He married Dorothy Faye Hoffman in 1962 and inspired her to join him in the art world. They used his salary as a U.S. postal clerk to purchase art while living on what she earned as a librarian at the Brooklyn Public Library.

 

 

Department of Defense Approves Rout 1 Expansion at FT Belvoir

The Department of Defense and the Department of Transportation today announced the approval of $180 million from the Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) for the Federal Highway Administration to widen U.S. Route 1 through Fort Belvoir, Va.  The expansion of U.S. Route 1 will facilitate a safer and easier commute for patients, service members, and civilian employees of the new Fort Belvoir Community Hospital.

 

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said, “Fort Belvoir is a premier military installation with a growing importance in our defense community and the community of Fairfax County.  The expansion of Route 1 will improve the quality of life for all service members and civilians serving at this key post.”

 

“This project will create jobs, ease congestion, and improve safety and accessibility along a critical route for the area’s military personnel and others driving in Fairfax County,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.  “Road projects like this one are what President Obama was talking about when he called for an America built to last.”

 

The funds will be used to widen — from four to six lanes — 3.5 miles of U.S. Route 1 from Telegraph Road north to Mount Vernon Memorial Highway.  The project will include new bike lanes, pedestrian facilities, drainage and utility improvements.  It will also preserve a corridor for future transit needs.

 

In addition, the project will improve access to Fort Belvoir at Tully Gate and Pence Gate, which serve as the main access point to the new Fort Belvoir Community Hospital.  The hospital receives more than 574,000 outpatients and 10,000 inpatients per year and impacts Fort Belvoir access for 23,000 military and civilian personnel in the area.

 

Acting through an interagency agreement, the Federal Highway Administration Eastern Federal Lands Highway Division will complete the project in coordination with Fairfax County, the Virginia Department of Transportation, and the command at Fort Belvoir.  Groundbreaking for the project may commence once all environmental requirements have been met.

 

This announcement marks the first funding approved under the $300 million program authorized by Section 8110 of Public Law 112-10, The DoD and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011, which enabled the Department of Defense to finance projects for transportation infrastructure improvements associated with medical facilities related to the 2005 round of the Base Closure and Realignment process.  In November 2011, OEA invited Fairfax County to apply for these funds after a selection panel comprised of Defense and Transportation officials reviewed concepts to improve access to medical facilities across the nation.

U.S. News Ranks VCU Medical Center No. 1 in State and Metro Area

U.S. News and World Report’s Best Hospitals edition has ranked the Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center the No. 1 hospital in Virginia and in the Richmond metropolitan area, reflecting four programs — nephrology, pulmonology, orthopaedic surgery and urology — in the top 50.

 

Specifically, the Division of Nephrology jumped from the No. 49 spot to No. 28; Pulmonology moved from its former ranking of “high achieving” into the 36 spot; the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery moved from high achieving to 39th; and the Division of Urology moved from high achieving to 45th in the country.

 

This year’s Best Hospitals showcases more than 720 of the nation’s roughly 5,000 hospitals. Fewer than 150 are nationally ranked in at least one of 16 medical specialties.

 

The hospital rankings are like a GPS-type aid to help steer patients to hospitals with strong skills in the procedures and medical conditions that present the biggest challenges, said U.S. News Health Rankings Editor Avery Comarow,

 

“All of these hospitals are the kinds of medical centers that should be on your list when you need the best care,” Comarow said. “They are where other hospitals send the toughest cases.”

 

Sheldon Retchin, M.D., CEO of the VCU Health System and vice president for VCU Health Sciences, said the No. 1 ranking in the commonwealth “is a fantastic endorsement of our commitment to excellence in patient care.” He added that it also reflects “our goal of bringing the latest and best therapies, treatments and cures to our patients and to the community.”

 

John Duval, CEO of MCV Hospitals, said, “the VCU Medical Center’s continued ranking as one of America’s best hospitals affirms that our investments in physicians, staff and technology, along with our goal of becoming the safest hospital in the country, are showing results.”

 

Read more here: at the VCU News website.

 

A Wasted Vote

“”I understand how difficult it can be for an African-American in today’s society. In fact, I can relate to black people very well indeed. My ancestors once owned slaves, and it is in my lineage to work closely with the black community. However, just because they were freed over a century ago doesn’t mean they can now be freeloaders. They need to be told to work hard, and the incentives just aren’t there for them anymore. When I’m president I plan to work closely with the black community to bring a sense of pride and work ethic back into view for them.” – Mitt Romney

These are the words of a man who “thinks” he is qualified to be the leader of the best country on earth. These words, while sugar coated, indicate that a lineage of ownership over a race means you identify with its problems. They say in fact that the struggles of a race that experiences oppression in its daily life should just be thrust aside and that the man who embraces his family’s history of ownership should be the one to lead them towards prosperity.
As a citizen of this country, I am offended. Not so much by his words, but by the ignorance they represent. I am offended by the brashness he uses towards those he deems as “freeloaders,” and I feel that this shows that he is not qualified to run a parking lot let alone a nation.
Privilege is not a good lens to view through when attempting to understand poverty. Ownership does not make you qualified to feel for the common man. In fact, it makes the common man feel that you are a dictator waiting to happen.

If you choose to exercise your freedom of choice for this man, be aware that he is a fool. He has no grasp of the big picture, and only sees the details that he feels will effect a small financial margin of society. This man does not deserve a vote if he truly feels this way.

In fact, I could go so far as to say that I would rather vote for a person who is not of this nation, than for someone who feels that the history of a nation’s people is to be disregarded.

Make up your own mind. Vote for whom you choose. But please use your brain before you waste your vote.

This blog not sponsored by Obama for America.

An RVAMaverick creation.

Anger Caused by Drama

It is hard to get inspiration, when people bring down your every word.
You look for motivation, but instead there is just anger.
Anger at the struggle young brothers go through to survive.
Anger at the sisters tossed up and to the side.
Anger at the reality sensibility makes us endure.
Anger at the childhood we left to be mature.
Whatever is the source, the outcome is the same.
There is drama in the system, and anger is its name.

For each one of us who tries to rise above the storm
Another motherfucker wants to make bullshit the norm.
He is never satisfied with working day to day.
He would rather lie and steel, leaving the rest of us to pay.
He don’t give a shit that his crimes make us look bad.
He only cares about how much Marijuana is in his bag.
Whether mister criminal is cynical, my anger is the same.
There is drama in the system, and anger is its name.

For those who walk the streets of bedlam know the way is tough and hard.
They have learned it in the schoolhouse, and seen it in the yard.
They know that no one cares if they realize the truth.
That drama is a force that is best left in our youth.
I leave you with my knowledge that drama comes from shame.
That shame reinforces drama, and Anger is its name.

An RVAMaverick creation.