University of Idaho Warns Professors About Discussing Abortion

There has been much talk in the last week about a letter from the University of Idaho General Counsel’s Office warning professors about discussing abortion. The warning is outgrowth of the No Public Funds for Abortion Act (Idaho Code Section 18-8701 through Section 18-8711). However, in my view, the media’s interpretation of the letter has exceeded any reasonable construction of the law. The law does not prevent professors from discussing abortion or supporting the right in their classes. Such a bar would be a serious denial of free speech and academic freedom principles. If that were the intention of sponsors, it should be denounced by people on both sides of this abortion debate. However, I do not see the evidence (as claimed by some) that this is a bar on professors either discussing abortion or expressing their support for the right.

The critical section does refer to those who “promote” abortion. However, this is in a section clearly directed at the referral and assistance in actual abortions. Indeed, that word is sandwiched between other clauses that are clearly referencing the performance or facilitation of abortions:

“18-8705. USE OF PUBLIC FUNDS FOR ABORTION PROHIBITED.

(1) No public funds made available by the state, a county, a city, a public health district, a public school district, or any local political subdivision or agency thereof and distributed by any institution, board, commission, department, agency, official, or employee of the state, a county, a city, a public health district, a public school district, or any local political subdivision or agency thereof shall be used in any way to provide, perform, or induce an abortion; assist in the provision or performance of an abortion; promote abortion; counsel in favor of abortion; refer for abortion; or provide facilities for an abortion or for training to provide or perform an abortion.”

At most, this is ambiguous where a court is likely to adopt the narrower meaning under the interpretative canon of noscitur a sociis. Courts will interpret terms like “promote” in light of other terms that appear in the same provision (“it is recognized by its associates”).

I think the provision is sufficiently clear that this is not a bar on the discussion of abortion or the expression of support for Roe v. Wade or the right of abortion.

The unsigned email from the University of Idaho’s Office of the General Counsel does not claim the clarity referenced by some pundits. Rather, it says that the enforcement or interpretation of the law “remains unclear.” In light of that claimed ambiguity, the office cautions that abortion and similar topics “should be approached carefully” and be limited to relevant classroom instruction.  Thus, if the subject is relevant to the classroom, it is not saying that abortion cannot be discussed.

However, one line in the email is particularly concerning:

“Academic freedom is not a defense to violation of law, and faculty or others in charge of classroom topics and discussion must themselves remain neutral on the topic and cannot conduct or engage in discussions in violation of these prohibitions without risking prosecution.”

I do not see the requirement of faculty to be “neutral” in such discussion as a legal matter.

The Idaho law should have been drafted more clearly and expressly recognized that the law is not meant to curtail academic freedom in professors expressing support or opposition to abortion rights. The inclusion of the word “promote” without limiting language should not have made the final version of this law.

The letter triggered alarm on the Idaho faculty. I cannot speak to the intent of the legislators. Idaho has previously had laws struck down under the First Amendment, including an “AG-Gag” law outlawing undercover investigations into agriculture operations. However, there appear ample legal arguments to protect those faculty who continue to speak from one perspective of the right to abortion.

That is not to say that professors should not seek balance. I personally approach such sensitive subjects in a way that presents both sides. If I have a strong view of a case or doctrine in prior writings, I will state so for full disclosure but then work hard to give the opposing side. Indeed, I often spend more time presenting views with which I or the class may disagree to ensure that the class considers such issues fairly. However, I feel compelled to be clear about any personal bias or prior position on legal doctrines or cases.

In the context of the section, promote does not seem to be synonymous with support but facilitate or direct in terms of actual abortion services. As noted by Eugene Volokh, this is not a new issue. In U.S. v. Williams, a 2008 case involving a statute that made it a crime to “advertise[], promote[], present[], distribute[], or solicit[]” child pornography (or material purported to be child pornography). In context, Justice Scalia held, “promote” should not be read to cover mere advocacy:

“[T]he statute’s string of operative verbs—”advertises, promotes, presents, distributes, or solicits”—is reasonably read to have a transactional connotation. That is to say, the statute penalizes speech that accompanies or seeks to induce a transfer of child pornography—via reproduction or physical delivery—from one person to another. For three of the verbs, this is obvious: Advertising, distributing, and soliciting are steps taken in the course of an actual or proposed transfer of a product, typically but not exclusively in a commercial market. When taken in isolation, the two remaining verbs—”promotes” and “presents”—are susceptible of multiple and wide-ranging meanings. In context, however, those meanings are narrowed by the commonsense canon of noscitur a sociis—which counsels that a word is given more precise content by the neighboring words with which it is associated. “Promotes,” in a list that includes “solicits,” “distributes,” and “advertises,” is most sensibly read to mean the act of recommending purported child pornography to another person for his acquisition.

[T]he term “promotes” does not refer to abstract advocacy, such as the statement “I believe that child pornography should be legal” or even “I encourage you to obtain child pornography.” It refers to the recommendation of a particular piece of purported child pornography with the intent of initiating a transfer.”

I do not believe that the General Counsel’s Office was intentionally seeking to alarm or trigger a backlash. Such lawyers often gravitate to the most cautious interpretative approach to avoid any risk for clients or employees. However, FIRE is correct in calling for the office to rescind the letter to reinforce the rights of free speech and academic freedom. Even without rescinding the letter, the university can clarify that faculty are not gagged under the law in voicing support for this right. My concern is that this letter can create a chilling effect on professors discussing this important issue in class.

Nevertheless, regardless of what the university may do, I simply think that the more sweeping interpretation would not be enforceable in an actual court challenge.

134 thoughts on “University of Idaho Warns Professors About Discussing Abortion”

  1. Throughout your posts, you never provide any evidence that abortion is not an issue for the states.

  2. I might suggest not investing any time into replies made to anonymous users or those who appear to be previously banned or the comment is in violation of the civility rules.

    Netiquette Rule 7

    Rule 7: Help keep flame wars under control

    “Flaming” is what people do when they express a strongly held opinion without holding back any emotion. It’s the kind of message that makes people respond, “Oh come on, tell us how you really feel.” Tact is not its objective.

    Does Netiquette forbid flaming? Not at all. Flaming is a long-standing network tradition (and Netiquette never messes with tradition). Flames can be lots of fun, both to write and to read. And the recipients of flames sometimes deserve the heat.

    But Netiquette does forbid the perpetuation of flame wars — series of angry letters, most of them from two or three people directed toward each other, that can dominate the tone and destroy the camaraderie of a discussion group. It’s unfair to the other members of the group. And while flame wars can initially be amusing, they get boring very quickly to people who aren’t involved in them. They’re an unfair monopolization of bandwidth.

    {FLAME ON}

    NSFW

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_QyYaPWasos

    {FLAME OFF}

    😉

  3. Steve Wetherspoon: I am only doing what Prof. Turley avoids discussing. After his column re the 11th Circuit slapping down Judge Cannon’s non-sensical ruling-that Turley supported, he has said nothing about Trump’s legal problems. But I understand. It’s tough defending the indefensible. When and if Trump is actually indicted I’m sure Turley will have more to say. But until that time it doesn’t mean I have to remain silent re Trump’s continuing threat to our Democracy. I understand. All of you who are big MAGA supporters are finding it painful to see Trump’s world crumbling. But, hey, you drank the cool aid, not me. So you are in denial and don’t want any reminder that you fell for Trump’s scam!

    When Trump is in an orange jump suit I will rest–assured that no one is “above the law”. The Q is what are you going to do when your “leader” is in a federal prison?

    1. Given the Recent revalations that the Furniture store where millions of Obama documents are bing stored – including probably thousands of classified documents, is NOT a NARA fascility, and NOT compliant with NARA documents standards – that the building is privately owned and rented by the Obama Foundation,
      and that the Obama foundation has agreed to pay NARA 3.8M to remove all these improperly and insecurely stored documents and store them properly and securely,

      I would note that YOU and the Media LIED about that for months now.

      Why wasn’t the Obama Foundation raided ?
      Why isn’t there a Grand Jury exploring this issue ?

      In what world is an abandoned furniture store in Chicago more secure than the government offices of an ex-presisdent in a gated community, with 24×7 secret service presence ?

      You rant and rave over the 11th circuit. Yet it is clear that you do not hold democrats to anything close to the same standards.

      I personally have no problems with Obama storing his presidential documents – including classified documents in an abandoned furniture store prior to placing them in his presidential library. I have no problem with those documents being in Obama’s or the Obama foundations custody rather than the National Archives.

      But you have claimed that the law is otherwise – FOR TRUMP. but Not Obama ?

      You and those of you on the left have been REPEATEDLY wrong on the law – as was the 11th circuit court of appeals.
      Those errors are important.

      But we can still have the rule of law – with bad law, or laws that are applied improperly.

      We do not have the rule of law, when the law is applied preferentially or discriminatorially.

      As is typically the case – YOU are lawless.

    2. We have heard this nonsense about Trump going to prison everyday since he walked down the escalator.

      Have you heard the story of the little boy who cried wolf ?

      Regardless, should by some miracle the left actually succeed in “bagging Trump”.
      The effect on so called “Trump followers” will be NIL.

      Why ? because this is only about Trump is YOUR head ?

      Do you think that if Trump vanished tomorow – people would not still be livid with democrats over the border ? Over inflation ? Over the looming recession ? Over bad energy policy ? Over poor national security that resulted ?

      It is tyrants that seek to protect their regime from criticism by jailing those criticising them.

      Trafalgar – a pollster that leans slightly left, has warned that all current polls are likely being skewed even further left today.
      They are being skewed by the self evident use of the machinery of law enforcement against ordinary citizens.

      In prior elections there was a noticable skew for what was called the timid trump voter – people who were voting from Trump but would not tell polsters.

      Today people are increasingly afraid to publicly confirm support for anything MAGA for fear of being targeted by the DOJ/FBI.
      As of yet, the voting booth is still sacred. If you vote by mail – your family or neighbors or possibly even the FBI might influence your vote. But if you go to the polls you get to ACTUALLY vote secretly in the voting booth.
      And inside the secrecy of that voting booth – you can tell the DOJ/FBI to F themselves.

      Recently the FBI swatted a pro-life minister infront of his family – with guns drawn.
      Over an incident where an abortion clinic worker intimidated the ministers 12yr old Son, and was shoved away from him.
      A federal court had previously dismissed the incident. Yet DOJ/FBI still found it necescary to SWAT this man.
      This is the same DOJ/FBI that has not done anything regarding vandalism, and arson at over 100 prolife clinics, including instances that resulted in injury.

      Do you think that instances like that are not going to effect voting ?

      You can be pro-choice, or pro-life. Which of us is not going to stop a stranger from intimidating our children ?

      In VA a father was assaulted by police, beaten to the ground, arrested, and fortunately subsequently released – for calling a school administrator out for allowing the rape of his daughter by a transgendered boy in the women;s restroom, and when this was reported – transfering the trans student to another school where he assulted another student.

      If your daughter was raped at school as a consequence of bad policies, and the school refused to do something about it – would you show up at a school board meeting angry ?

      You think this is about Trump ? This is about YOU! it is about YOUR failed and dangerous policies.

      You have sowed the wind, you will reap the whirlwind.

      I can not tell you precisely what those on the right will do – regardless of what happens to Trump.

      But I can warn you as those int he civil rights movement did 50 years ago

      NO JUSTICE, NO PEACE.

  4. This is quite interesting to me in terms of how it relates to Section 230(c). Why is that phrase “or otherwise objectionable” not read narrowly in the context of its associates to refer solely to porn or threats instead of the entire kitchen sink of any comment that the provider disapproves of?

    (c)Protection for “Good Samaritan” blocking and screening of offensive material
    (1)Treatment of publisher or speaker
    No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.

    (2)Civil liability
    No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be held liable on account of—
    (A)any action voluntarily taken in good faith to restrict access to or availability of material that the provider or user considers to be obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected; or

    1. This should be trivial.

      To the extent that the law protects content providers from the posts of their clients – the law is constitutional.
      To the extent it the law protects them from their own actions it is not.

      That is mushy when their actions are to suppress content they do not like.
      Proper application of common law would require that their customers can hold content providers liable for censorship that violates their Terms of service. Terms of services that are changed after the client starts using the service shoudl be treated as contracts of adhesion – and interpreted broadly infavor of the client and narrowly for the service.
      Content providerss should have to have clear published criteria for censorship and their clients should have a legitimate cause of action when those terms are violated. that not only means that clients should be able to successfully challenge censorship that is beyond the published criteria, but should also able to demand censorship of the posts of others that meet the criteria.

      The latter is actually important. It really does not matter what censorship rules a content provider has if they are consistently applied. I highly doubt censorship of social media would last very long, if content providers subjected left posters to the same censorship as they apply to the right.

      However when they take a public position as to the truthfulness of content they supresss – they are liable for that position.

      Congress can not through law constitutionally Abolish defamation.
      You would have to amend the constitution or read the 1st amendment as far more absolute.

  5. Is Bottoms offering to have Biden, the left, democrats – actually follow the constitution as written ?
    Where is the part of the constitution that allows the president to spend a Trillion dollars without congressional approval ?
    Where is the part of the constitution that allows the president to ignore immigration laws ?

    Is Bottoms offering to have democrats, the left actually follow the election laws of our country ?

  6. In that whole diatribe – did Ms. Bottoms actually say anything ?

    “MAGA Bad!” is not an argument.

    The MAGA “agenda” is fairly well know to all of us.

    The core principle is “America First”.

    I find it hillarious that a president that has just spent $4000 for every man woman and child in the country – without the constitutionally required consent of congress could talk about constitutionality.

    Frankly I find the left talking about constitutionality to be laughable and offensive.
    The left has never had any respect for the constitution.

    Those evil MAGA republicans expect elections conducted according to the federal constitution, the state constitutions and election laws.

    Bottoms did what those on the left always do. she did what Clinton did in 2016.

    They take their own shortcomings and failures and project them onto their opponents.

    Clinton has too many ties to Russia – push a compliant press to fixate on Trump’s non-existant connections to russia.

    Biden has no clue about the constitution – pretend that MAGA seeks to violate the constitution rather than enforce it.

    When the left bends over backwards to conduct lawless and unconstitutional elections – project that lawlessness onto those angered by their lawlessness

    When you have made a mess of the border – blame that on your predecessor who successfully cleaned up the prior mess at the border.

    And on and on.

    1. John B Say,
      “MAGA Bad!” also is not a winning platform to run on.
      But it is all they have.
      They cannot or will not discuss the disaster at our Southern border.
      They keep trying to gaslight American’s of how great the economy is. We all know it is a lie.
      Biden used to comment about long car lines in 2020 at food banks. Just recently those lines were back and surpassed the 2020 numbers. But he is suddenly silent on that.
      We all see his mental decline but they keep propping him up there.
      They keep saying MAGA Republicans are against the Constitution, another lie. And they are destroying the country. Another lie. Wokeism is what is destroying the country. But they cannot defend the wokeism they have embraced.
      And we all see it.

  7. Just one more example of attempts by the media (and others like-minded) to scare, divide, etc. Facts and plain language matter not to them!

      1. In slow motion.

        That’s an important point. It also helps to keep the public focused and gaslighted on individual events, and not permit them to see the “satellite view” of what is truly the root cause of the events.

  8. I don’t have critical analysis anymore. If you pay even a modicum of attention to the MSM, and if you give dutiful attention to your own life as you live it, this should be by all rights beyond the pale. I do not know what kind of ‘different’ result Democrat voters are even hoping for at this point. The absolute ****storm the left has pushed on us over nearly the past decade would be hilarious if it weren’t so serious. Vote the dems out. Or don’t, if you are so insulated by wealth and isolation that you don’t see what’s nibbling at your door, you won’t be insulated forever. Useful idiots aren’t the ‘poor’ anymore. They are increasingly wealthy, leftist, morons. I respect the Professor trying to keep it focused and professional, but I think he’s in denial about what he’s dealing with. The low level government employees, such as state senators and county treasurers do not make policy, they only enact it, and they may very well be good people. With the rest we are at absolute grade school level bull**** with modern dems and their attempts to win elections, and so very many of us see it and are just done. Whether or not we can do anything about remains to be seen for a few weeks. If voting doesn’t work, something else will have to. Accept that our modern dems are a regime serving only themselves, they are part of a global regime serving only themselves, and let’s move on for the better of all of us. Please. While we still have a country. The focus on minutia is getting less important by the day, and all of us will regret it if we don’t act accordingly. The signs have bee clear for a long, long time. A life spent working during the day and visiting Facebook the rest of the time is no longer a possibility. Get. Off. Your. Butts.

    1. James,
      No need to say it.
      I always vote, but usually Independent/Libertarian.
      This go around, like you say, we have to stop the insanity.
      I know of a few moderate Dems who think their party has been overrun with the far Leftists. Or as Bill Maher said, “I did not leave the party, the party left me.”
      I dont know if they are going to vote at all.

      1. The evidence we are seeing so far is that Democrats are going to vote in unusually high numbers in 2022.

        But that exceptional turnout is confined to deep blue districts where democrats will dramatically overvote.
        Throughout the country the base of both parties is highly motivated to vote.

        The net impact is that deep red places will vote red and deep blue places will vote blue.
        The Generic ballot is favorable to Republicans – the natural tendency of democrats to congregate in big cities gives Republicans a 4pt advantage in congressional districts.

        The really big deal is the swing districts, and the current evidence is a very large swing of minorities and independents towards republicans in purple and pink districts.

        And several pollsters are warning that they beleive their polls are artificially skewed towards democrats in this cycle.
        One of the effects of the left campaign of censorship and Biden an democratrs demonization of political opponents is that many people on the right are lying to polsters, or not talking to polsters.

        1. John B. Say,

          You’re forgetting that high numbers of women are registering to vote and that include republican and democrat. That doesn’t mean they will vote strictly on party lines. Kansas is deeply red and yet it was women who made the majority of the voters who disagreed with republicans wanting to put anti-abortion measures on the state constitution.

          1. I am not forgetting anything.

            If you are right about how abortion factors in elections – the supreme court will have been vindicated.
            if you are wrong – the supreme court will have been vindicated.

            I have laid my position on abortion repeatedly – there is no right to an abortion. There is a right to control of your own body.
            This produces a result that is similar in outcome to Casey, but constitutionally defensible.

            But the similarity in outcome does not mean equally constitutional.
            Roe was unconstitutional, Casey was unconstitutional. Dobbs was correct to reverse them.
            But Dobb’s should have found a right to control your own body.

            But that would have required overturning lots of LEFT wing nut decisions that people do NOT have the right to control of their own body.

            Absent a correct decision on a right to control your own body. Returning the issue to th states is correct.

            Kansas can do as it pleases.

            in those 26 states with referendum – go out and collect signatures and get a constitutional amendment on your state ballot.
            Right or left, it does not matter.

  9. Darren,
    I’ve made 3 comments on this post today and all have been removed. Please let me know why. 1 was an original comment that clearly did not violate any rules. 1 was a reply to a comment by S. Meyer and 1 was a reply to an anonymous reply to my original.

    1. Olly,
      If you have a direct reply to a comment that is later deleted by the moderator then your reply disappears too, it’s just that simple. It’s not implying that you did anything wrong, in fact your comment is still in the system it’s just not visible because it’s intricately and permanently linked to the comment that was removed.

      1. I suggest that you don’t reply to anything that Anonymous writes because one of those Anonymous’ comments is routinely being deleted because of “his” ridiculously and very intentionally uncivil behaviors.

      2. I am aware of that Steve. That is why I broke that down. Unless my original comment violated some rule, then it should still exist among the comments. My reply to Meyer should exist unless Meyer’s violated some rule. My reply to anonymous in the thread of my original comment should exist unless the anonymous comment violated a rule, or again that my original violated a rule. None of the comments by myself, Meyer or anonymous violated any rule that I can tell.

        Thanks.

    2. Olly,

      Comments made by previously banned users and those in violation are summarily deleted. The threading model of WordPress is such that if a parent comment is deleted, its “children” (replies) are not shown. It is a flaw in the nesting design of the software. A preferrable model would be to promote the Child comment up one level and allow it to be displayed but this is not how they designed the software. The effect this has is that any comment made in reply to one that is deleted, the system will not show the replies after the deletion. It is there but is not visible, if that makes any sense.

      Unfortunately I don’t know of anything that can be done on our part to correct this. I know it puts regular users subject to having to know who is banned and who is not. I might suggest not investing any time into replies made to anonymous users or those who appear to be previously banned or the comment is in violation of the civility rules.

      As for the original one you said was lost. I checked the filters but didn’t find any in spam or moderation that were from your user account.

      1. I might suggest not investing any time into replies made to anonymous users or those who appear to be previously banned or the comment is in violation of the civility rules.

        Thank you Darren, you and Steve are of course correct. We can respond to a comment by anonymous, just make it an original comment.

      2. Darren Smith wrote, “A preferable model would be to promote the Child comment up one level and allow it to be displayed but this is not how they designed the software.”

        That’s actually not very hard to program into the software depending on how they have the parent/child linking stored, the problem is that usually when the parent comment is deleted the context of the child comment goes away with the deleted parent which could easily make the promoted child comment not make much sense.

        Personally I try to always quote what I’m replying to that way the context is never assumed but clearly shown and that would make the child promotion work for my replies because context would not be lost.

      3. Thank you for your explanation.

        We would all prefer that WordPress dealt with this better.
        For posters who care – WordPress is open source software, go solve the problem and submit your solution to wordpress and hopefully they will incorporate it.

        Personally I do not find this some monumental problem.

        If one of my comments gets deleted because it is a child of a post that violates the rules here – I can live with the fact that my post gets deleted too. that is not censorship.

        Further, I spend time writing my posts. I do not spend time going back and admiring past posts.
        If a post of mine gets deleted as a child or a post that violates the rules – I would not even notice.

        To those who are paying great attention – if your post is getting deleted due to threading.
        Repost it. If you have gone to the effort to discover that it exists in the past and not the present, the step to repost it are small.

        Regardless, We do not live in a perfect world.

  10. The one problem with “free speech and academic freedom”–in an academic setting—is that younger college minds often adopt and develop views and values that are consistent with those professors/teachers/instructors that they LIKE–and not on the merits of the underlying subject or issue. {Older adults often do the same thing.} Students may be more impressed by the cloak of authority and respect appurtenant to a professorship which gives clout to the professor’s opinions; further, to gain sub-surface favor with the professor, they are more likely to adopt his views.
    What if a professor spoke out against a state law that prohibited sexual contact with minors? He might discuss the old Greek custom of older males grooming young boys. A student may then infer that the professor “promoted” such conduct and that the law was old-fogey Victorian-era nonsense. [“teacher’s pet” can take on new meaning, ha ha]. Indeed, some people break the law because they cannot resist the prohibited activity, -others break the law because they disagree with it.
    So how does such dichotomy hold an organized society together?
    I do not disagree with the right for a professor to speak out against a state law, -but outside of the classroom. Accordingly, I understand the General Counsel’s cautionary statements, and defer to the professors the opportunity to support an academic policy that ensures both or multiple sides of an issue be objectively covered. This is a very slippery slope. At least the good professor is talking about college-level

    1. That’s not the meaning of the medieval latin legal term not spelled “university”. It means free from obligation to the local lord, hence academic freedom. The only restrictions on the professors were established by the professoriate, meeting as a body. The modern meaning is then that the professor may say whatever he d*****d well pleases, except of course there are the limits of propriety and the oversight of the senior faculty. But not the state government. Period.

  11. Jonathan: Now that we have exhausted the “free speech” controversy at U of I let’s move on to some other important news–like all the troubles Donald Trump finds himself in.

    Trump is mad at he lawyers for suggesting Judge Dearie as “special master”. That decision has come back to bite Trump on his backside. So Trump is taking action. He just announced Chris Kise, the expensive attorney Trump was forced to pay a $3 million retainer fee, has been “sidelined” from leading the team fighting over the material seized by the FBI. No explanation. Perhaps, Kise will be shifted to handle the NY AG’s civil lawsuit over the Trumpster’s tax-dodging scheme. Maybe an admission that the legal challenge to the FBI search is a loser case?

    And the DOJ and Trump are having problems finding a company to digitize the 11,000 files for Judge Dearie. In a filing the DOJ says none of the 5 vendors approached for the job “were willing to be engaged by Plaintiff”. Since Trump is on the hook to pay the bill maybe vendors are afraid they won’t get paid. Now that wouldn’t happen, would it?

    Finally. Trump is having problems establishing Truth Social as an alternative to Twitter. Digital World Acquisition (DWA), that was to provide $1.3 billion for the deal, has said investors are pulling out–disappointed that there have been few sign-ups for Truth Social. In a regulatory filing DWA said it has changed its address to: “3109 Grand Ave #450″ in Miami. The Financial Times reports ” a search of the address brings up a UPS store nestled between an Italian restaurant and a nail salon in the waterfront neighborhood of Coconut Grove”. A sure sign Truth Social is headed for death by a thousand cuts?

    For all the Trump lovers on this blog there is more bad news about your leader–that I will save for another post.

    1. “I want to thank all of you here, including bipartisan elected officials like Rep. McGovern, Sen. Braun, Sen. Booker, Rep. — Jackie, are you here?” Biden said. “Where’s Jackie? I thought she was going to be here — to help make this a reality.”

      “Jackie are you here? Where’s Jackie?”

      Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-IN) died in a car accident in August

    2. Dennis McIntyre,
      Do you know that it appears to the rest of us that Donald Trump is living rent free in your psyche? There are treatments available outside this virtual world to treat obsessions if you simply admit that you have a problem and seek the help.

      Seriously Dennis, this is one of the longest obsessive looking trolling deflections I’ve seen around Turley’s comment threads.

      1. Well rats, my little (InsertTongueFirmlyInCheek) (/InsertTongueFirmlyInCheek) starting and ending faux tags to show I was being intentionally facetious in my first paragraph didn’t show up. 🙁

        1. Steve Witherspoon,
          Dennis is another one of those whom I just scroll past.
          But even if you were being facetious, your comment of exactly how much Trump has broken him is quite accurate.

    3. A recent FOIA request revealed that contra those on the left here, the millions of Obama Documents – including many many many classified Documents that Are stored in the abandoned Furniture store in Chicago are NOT in the posession of NARA.
      They are in a private building owned by a third party, rented by the Obama foundation – not NARA, not stored in compliance with National Archive standards, and with near certainty far less secure than anything at Mar-A-Lago.

      That begs the question “why hasn’t Obama’s furniture store been raided ?”

      Time and again those on left post claims that are made out of thin air. Often the press back’s up this nonsense.
      And then months later we find proof that it was all LIES.

      The FACT is that there was nothing unusual about Trump’s possession of documents from his presidency.
      There is nothing unusual about Trump’s posession of classified documents.

      What is unusual is the holy war that the Democrats and the left have waged.

      The courts should void the warrant, demand the return to Trump of ALL these documents, and end this.

      The alternative is that the board of the Obama Foundation should all be charged with the same list of crimes listed in the MAL warrant.

      Regardless, we have ONE law that is the same for the left and the right.
      If we do not have that – we do not have th rule of law, and government is illegitimate.

      1. Who made the FOIA request and when? You provide no links to the information you claim.

        NARA leases the warehouse where Obama’s records are kept. The building is privately owned, BUT it is secured and not accessible to the public.

        “ The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) assumed exclusive legal and physical custody of Obama Presidential records when President Barack Obama left office in 2017, in accordance with the Presidential Records Act (PRA). NARA moved approximately 30 million pages of unclassified records to a NARA facility in the Chicago area where they are maintained exclusively by NARA. Additionally, NARA maintains the classified Obama Presidential records in a NARA facility in the Washington, DC, area. As required by the PRA, former President Obama has no control over where and how NARA stores the Presidential records of his Administration.
        This location is indeed a former furniture store, but that is hardly unusual. According to the Chicago Tribune, the space was leased in February 2016 by the General Services Administration (GSA) and NARA took official custody of the documents on Jan. 20, 2017, the day of Trump’s inauguration. However, they were able to begin managing and handling the documents before then. The location is an old Plunkett’s store which was shuttered in 2009, and, contrary to the claims by PJ Media, it is secured and not open to the public. The Tribune reported that Obama’s documents would remain there until the opening of the Obama Presidential Center, and only then would some documents be available for public viewing.”

        https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/obama-classified-docs-furniture-warehouse/

        1. I am sure this story was not reported on MSNBC,
          regardless, the FOIA request and the provided results are available if you care.

          The building is obviously not secure.
          The Obama Foundation is paying 3.8M for NARA to move the contents to someplace that actually is secure.
          The Obama Foundation rents the building.

          You can find pictures of the fascility quite easily if you wish. Not only are their news stories, but you can find it on google earth if you wish.
          I am sure the front doors are locked, and there may even be a security guard – or not.

          But this fascility is not 1/100th as secure as the presidential office in the Trump residence that is guarded by the secret service 24×7 in the gated community on a secured island.

          I beleive you are completely wrong that NARA is renting it. But that matters only a little – because it is obviously insecure.

        2. Who made the FOIA request ?
          Why does that matter ?
          Lets pretend Hitler made a FOIA request of NARA – does that change the records NARA must provide ?

          snopes ? Ha Ha.

          I would note that your own reporting is self contradictory. If the Obama Foundation is not dealing with the records – why would they claim they are staying there until the Library opens ? Wouldn’t NARA say that ?
          If the documents are secure and being managed by NARA – why is the Obama foundation paying to have them moved to a secure location that meets NARA’s criteria for government archives ?

          Finally – I do not care who is managing them right now – we agree on where they are stored, and that fascility is OBVIOUSLY not a fraction as secure as The doubly locked closet in the presidential offices, in Trump’s private residence guarded by the Secret service, in a gated community on a secure island.

          Mar-A-Lago is not as secure as Fort Knox, but it is many many times more secure than an abandoned furniture store in a strip mall in chicago.

          And tens of thousands of classified documents are stored there.

        3. NARA lists its facilities on the national archives .gov website.
          The abandoned furniture store is not listed as a government owned or rented facsility.
          Or atleast it was not when this story broke.

          Numerous news outlets including the NY TImes confirmed the move of these documents from the whitehouse to the abandoned furniture store – including the new york times. Including noting this move included millions of documents and tens of thousands of classified documents.

          There is no dispute the fascility is not owned by NARA.
          NARA does not list it as a fascility they are renting.

          A Sept. 11, 2018 letter on the Obama Foundation Website to NARA reads as follows:

          “The Obama Foundation agreés to transfer up to three million three hundred thousand dollars ($3,300,000) to the National Archives Trust Fund (NATF) to support the move of classified and unclassified Obama Presidential records and artifacts from Hoffman Estates to NARA-controlled facilities that conform to the agency’s archival storage standards for such records and artifacts, and for the modification of such spaces. The first transfer of $300,000 was already made on August 9, 2018. An additional interim transfer will be made within 180 days of that date. Subsequent payments are subject to the negotiation of terms of the digitization process and museum operations.”

          Elsewhere
          “While no firm date has been announced for the completion and opening of the Barack Obama Presidential Library near the University of Chicago, its future contents will stay in Hoffman Estates for four more years,” the Daily Herald reported

          There is zero doubt that NARA is aware of this and involved in this.
          I would further note that there is a Separate fascilty with a smaller collection of Obama Documents – likely those from the oval office, that NARA claims is at an undisclosed location and provides former president Obama access whenever he wants.

          Such as space inside his chicago home.

          There has never been an issue lit this before. This is entirely a game the Biden admin is playing.
          NARA had access to the documents at MAL.

          What is clear here is this have never been about classified documents – Obama has full access to all the documents at the furniture store as well as the smaller undisclosed location. There are classified documents in both of these locations.

          This entire mess is an effort to PREVENT Trump form having access to his own documents, including classified and declassified ones.
          It is also an effort to allow the Biden Admin to have access to Trump’s documents.
          The PRA explicitly precludes this.
          During the Trump administration – no one sought to go through the Obama Presidential documents to obtain documents on Obama’s participation in the Collusion delusion. What information we have of Obama and Biden’s involvement is from other agency records or WH meetings, such as Comey’s and Rice’s notes.

    4. Sanctions should be levied against all the govenrment attorney’s involved. And costs paid by them.

      If Jame’s civil complaint had merit – those businesses that Trump purportedly defrauded would be in court themselves.
      Their not.

      The whole claim is ludicrously stupid on multiple levels.
      One of the businesses I own does commercial bank loan due dilligence. If you borrow money for a home – the bank requires an assessor to value the home. If you borrow using a commercial property as colateral, there will be a whole army of due dilligence profesionals descend on the property, they will value it, they will determine operating costs, current maintanace, estimated future capital improvement and maintance costs, environmental issues, verification of rents, market assessments of future rents, and on and on. My company is hired to do a small PART of this for properties ranging from 4 unit appartment buildings, to 2M sq ft warehouses. I have never done a Trump property, But I have done similar extremely high value properties in Manhattan, including famous ones along Central Park.

      But lets presume that Trump not only forwarded a bogus property assessment, but somehow either bribed or otherwise got the numerousindependent due dilligence professionals to go along with an erroneous value.

      There is STILL no actual harm of crime. Say Deutche Bank lends Trump an extra 11M secured by a property whose value is not sufficient. So long as Trump pays the loan back there is no Crime.

      I can call Llyods up today and insure my left ear lobe for 50M. So long as I pay the insurance premium Llyods does not care if my Ear lobe is actually worth 50M.

      There is absolutely nothing to this NY AG lawsuit. It never should have been filed. It should have been dismissed with predjudice instantly, and sanctions levied.

      1. “ But lets presume that Trump not only forwarded a bogus property assessment, but somehow either bribed or otherwise got the numerousindependent due dilligence professionals to go along with an erroneous value.”

        It’s fraud. When the paper work clearly states that what they are putting down is true and correct and two sets of values are used for the same property for two different purposes it’s called fraud.

        U.S. banks won’t do business with Trump specifically because they don’t trust him. The majority of his loans come from foreign banks which may have different rules on how they value property.

        The disparity in values is so staggering that even a regular joe couldn’t get away with it. MAL is valued at $75million for tax purposes, but using that same property to borrow money from a foreign bank and valuing it at $739 million is just ridiculous. No U.S. bank would buy that kind of valuation to lend money to Trump who is well known for not paying contractors or even lawyers.

        Trump is going to have it prove that his property is really worth $739 milllion in court and the IRS will want to know if he’s being honest with his tax valuation. If he’s saying that property is worth $739 million then the IRS will want to know why that valuation gap is so large. Naturally any government entity will have to suspect that fraud is being committed.

        1. I rarely reply to a Svelaz post because his errors are non-stop, and his understanding is near nil. I do so in this instance because many who own homes can relate to paying property taxes.

          Who sets the tax? The property appraiser, not the owner. How does Svelaz know how much the assessment is for MAL? It’s published. Svelaz’s foolishness doesn’t let him recognize that the banks have access to that number.

          Where is the fraud? The assessed value is open to the public. The bank has its specialists that evaluate what a property is worth. They set the amount they are willing to loan and the interest rate that covers risk, costs, and profit. Donald Trump can place any amount on his property that he wishes. When Trump bought MAL, people thought his valuation of MAL was too high, but today it is assessed at $75million. Trump was right. But Trump values it at a higher rate. The property appraiser sets the value based on location, square footage, and a few less important things. There may be some variation based on formulas for appraisals, but when a property is an income-earning business, its value is worth much more than the appraisal. Not only that, but specific buyers might be willing to pay many multiples more for such a business if it is synergetic to their own.

          In summary, Svelaz doesn’t know anything about the subject. The ultimate value of a business is set by the seller and the buyer, not by loons who think they know it all when they know nothing.

          1. S. Meyer says,

            “Who sets the tax? The property appraiser, not the owner.”

            Nope. The county sets the property tax. The appraiser determines the value of the property according to the local market values. If you’re a homeowner and that is what you think the appraiser does you might want to re-educate yourself on how your property taxes and home valuations work.

            “How does Svelaz know how much the assessment is for MAL? It’s published.” You answered your own question. Trump made that valuation public during his Fox News interview too. So it was easy “guess “ what the value of MAL was thanks to Trump.

            “When Trump bought MAL, people thought his valuation of MAL was too high, but today it is assessed at $75million. Trump was right. But Trump values it at a higher rate.”

            Trump has his appraiser value MAL at $75 million when he filed his tax return. He valued it at $739 MILLION when he filed paperwork to borrow money from the bank. There’s a HUGE difference between $75million and $739 million. Naturally any government entity would like to know why there is such a huge difference. Trump’s resorts are LOSING money. Not making more. This is why it’s a problem. His Truth Social platform is already failing, just like the rest of is failed business ventures. it’s only a matter of time before he has to pay for these gargantuan bank loans and the properties he used as collateral are not really worth the amount he stated in his loan applications. It’s more likely Trump has been laundering money for the Russian mafia thru his properties. He is pretty tight with Putin and his buddies. Everyone knows that.

            “The ultimate value of a business is set by the seller and the buyer,…”

            Nope. The ultimate value of the business AND the property is set by the MARKET. Not the seller or the buyer. S. Meyer seems to be lacking in real knowledge about how properly values and property taxes work.

        2. You do not know what fraud is,
          First the actual paperwork says the opposite of what you claim. Trump provided values and specifically said that the Bank was obligated to do its own due diligence.
          This BTW is the NORM. I own a Due Diligence company. Banks hire me to perform due diligence on properties. I have done assessments of properties in Manhattan on Central Park that are more valueable that Trump’s properties.

          I have also refinance my own properties as well as insured properties. Owners self reports of the value of their properties are a STARTING POINT. They are essentially the Offered price, in contract terms.

          Regardless, Actual Fraud requires actual HARM. If I tell you that my homes is worth 1M and it is not, there is no Fraud, because you are not harmed by my misrepresentation.

          The standard of Fraud you are pushing would make nearly every seller in the world guilty of Fraud for stating a hoped for value.

          Your argument also fails because Asking prices are NOT market prices.
          The price of anything is what a buyer and seller freely agree to. There is no other price.

          I own rental properties. If I seek to do a cash out refinance, I can ASK the bank for as much money as I want.
          It is done ALL THE TIME. What the Bank is willing to give me will be 80% of THEIR appraised value of the property less any other securuty interest in the property.

          It does not seem that you have ever bought or sold anything that did not have a fixed sticker price.

          If you go to a car dealer and manage to buy a car for less than the listed price – did the car dealer commit fraud ?

        3. You are completely clueless. I own several rental properties.
          One is assessed at 15K by the local municipality for tax purposes. Its Market value in July was 150K. It is probably down from that now.

          Tax assessment prices are driven by politics. They vary all over the country.

          But it is quite common for the Tax appraised value of a property to be derived from some percentage of the most recent sale price of the property.
          If the property has not been sold for a couple of decades and the local appreciation rate is high factors of 10 or more differences are trivial to attain. As noted above I have a property with a factor of 10 difference myself. And it is NOT located in a high appreciation locality.
          But it also has not been sold in several decades.

          No bank anywhere is going to take seriously a tax apraised value that is more than a few years old. Frankly they are unlikely to pay the slightest attention to tax appraisals at all.

          1. “But it is quite common for the Tax appraised value of a property to be derived from some percentage of the most recent sale price of the property.”

            Tax appraised values of a property are derived from current market values AND the recent sale price.

            You wouldn’t value property for tax purposes $75 million and then inflate that to $739 million as collateral value to borrow from a bank. That’s a major difference in valuation. Would you make propose such a valuation on any of your properties?

            1. “Tax appraised values of a property are derived from current market values AND the recent sale price.”
              Nope, there is no nationwide specific means to set the tax appraised value.
              I do not know the rules for every state – except that one of the several chices the IRS allows for valuing property is the Tax appraised value.

              I can tell you for absolute certain that in my community the tax appraised value is NEVER more than half the likely current market value, and that it is quite common for the tax appraised value to be 1/10 or even less the current market value.
              Further, local pols CONSTANTLY talk about re-apraising properties to increase tax revenue, but they virtually NEVER do it – because the people who get screwed by new tax appraisals are old people on fixed income.

              Tax appriased value matters a great deal with respect to local property taxes. It matters to a small extent with respect to inheritance taxes.
              Over the long run it has negligible effect on state and federal income taxes. In the long run the only values that matter for income tax purposes are the price when the property is sold. That is when all the taxes are due. And if the property is a commercial property, you are allowed to roll the profits from one property sale into the purchase of another, avoiding taxes AGAIN.
              This sounds like tax fraud – but it actually isn’t. It is no different that the way corporate taxes should be. Zero taxation until the profits turn into actual revenue to the owners or shareholders. If I roll the money from the sale of one rental property into the purchase of the next – I am seeing an increase in my wealth – but not in my income or my available cash. I get taxed when I take money out as income.

              “You wouldn’t value property for tax purposes $75 million”
              I do not value my own property for tax purposes. The local municipality does. I have nothing to do with the tax appraisal.
              In MOST places some formula based on the most recent purchase price of the property sets the value. I own 3 different properties.
              The tax apraisal for one is about 1/10th its market value. the other is about 1/6th, and the 3rd is about 1/4.
              Two of those properties are not even appraised based on what I paid for them when I bought them, but what they were bought for on the prior purchase. I do not know Why the local tax appraisals are what they are – though if I wanted I could find out. There are archaic rules that effect local property tax values. I strongly suspect the same is true in much of the country. I do not follow tax appraisals the same in other states as my own. But I do know enough to know none of those I am aware of have even a fraction of properties anywhere close to current market value.

              “and then inflate that to $739 million as collateral value to borrow from a bank.”
              Again just as I do not get to set my tax appraised value. I also do nto get to set my value for collateral in a mortgage.
              The Bank will ask me what I think my property is worth. They will start loan preparations based on 80% of the value I give them.
              But there will always be an ACTUAL appraiser done by a state certified appraiser, and THAT will be the value used for the mortgage.
              Prior to 2008 borrowers had a tiny amount of leverage – they could SOMETIMES influence the banks choice of which appraiser to use.
              I bought a rental property in 2009 and the day before closing the bank called and said the appraised value came in about 20K lower than expected. I told the bank and the sellor “Oh Well, I guess I am not buying this property, please return my deposit” my lawyer backed me up.
              And damned if by the next day the appraiser had changed the appraised value.
              I have also been told by bank managers that I had good relations with that when I went out to buy a property, not to worry about being on the hook for my deposit if I decided I wanted out of the deal. Just to contact them in person and tell them I wanted out and they would assure that my loan was not approved, and therefore I got my deposit back. I have never needed to do that. And most of the time when I buy a property I make a cash offer with no contingencies at all, with near immediate settlement. Nor do I get an apprasial – until AFTER the actual sale when I go to refinance and get my cash out. I do my own due dilligence for my purchases. But I still do it. I do nto take anything the sellor says at face value.

              In commercial real estate the rule is not Buyer beware. It is quite literally everyone is responsible for doing their own due diligence.
              The same is true for a refinance.

              “That’s a major difference in valuation. Would you make propose such a valuation on any of your properties?”
              All the time.

              People call me on the phone several times a week trying to buy one or another of my properties.
              I tell them EXACTLY how much they need to offer for me to sell, and right now that value is quite high because we are headed into recession, we are in the midst of inflation, and interest rates are high – so the LAST thing I want to be holding is CASH.
              And for the record, I am currently asking 10 times the tax appraised value.
              My ask drives most of the kick the tires people away. But not all. I frequently get offers that meet my ask, but usually have other conditions I am not prepared to agree to.

              I am also looking to go in and refinance one of my properties soon, and I will absolutely be telling the bank that the values is 10 times the current tax appraised value, and the bank will do their own due dilligence, and if they are unable to write a mortgage for 80% of MY value, then I will not refinance.

            2. I have given you dozens of reason your are wrong.

              But the absolutely most important one is that free markets are FREE.

              If McDonald’s wants 8.99 for a big mac. I can CHOOSE to pay 8.99 or not.
              Technically I could make a counter offer. But the staff at a McDonalds franchise have neither the authority or judgement to do such a thing.
              Though I would bet that the actual owner would probably take a 50% off offer for all the fires in the fryer when he is closing for the night.

              When Trump went to Deutche Bank he said – I want to refinance this property. I want a mortgage for $X.
              You can give me a mortguage for that amount or I walk away.
              And DB can say “this is the amount we will loan you” take it or leave it.

              That is how free markets work. There is no “value”

              The market price of absolutely anything is ONLY what a willing buyer and a willing sellor agree to.

              I have told you abit about my properties.
              If You come to me and want to buy them from my – my price for the one property is 500K, my price for the other is 150K.
              Take it or leave it. Maybe in a few years those prices will be higher or lower. But right now those are the only offers I will accept.
              That is the market price. It does not matter what Zillow says, or what an appraiser says.
              I do not have to sell, and I am not going to sell unless you meet my price.

              But if My daughter came to me and said “Dad, I want to buy one of your apartment buildings” – do you thinkt he deal would be the same ?

              I am not obligated to sell to anyone. I am not obligated to refinance, those are CHOICES. I will only do so if I get what I want.
              Conversely the buyer and the bank will only agree if THEY want to.

              I also have apartments for rent. That is another price. If you fill out an application and your credit turns out to be poor, but not so poor that I am going to say no, what I MIGHT do is say – fine, I will rent to you, but I went two months deposit in cash upfront, and I want a 2 year lease.
              Or I might say – your credit is poor – I want an extra $50/mont on the rent incase I end up having to evict you.
              I have also had people apply that impressed me, they application was approved with flying colors and I really want them as a tenant.
              I can say – if you will sign a lease tonight I will knock $50/month off the rent.

              I do not typically repaint between tenants. But I sometimes give new tenants a credit to repaint the apartment.

              The POINT is not the details. It is that I own the property, I can make whatever conditions I want. My only constraint is how badly I need a deal to go through.

              I was with my father at a settlement conference on a Million dollar property of his. He had told the real estate agent before listing the property EXACTLY the amount that he had to receive IN POCKET to close the deal – before the property was listed. When the agent ran through the numbers at settlement it was 15K short. My father got up and headed to his car. He told them that was not what he agreed to. Between the agents and the lawyers and the buyers they worked it out and he walked away with what he had asked.

              In a free market ALL transactions are voluntary. No one MUST buy, no one MUST sell.
              Often – nearly always most of us have many other factors pushing us to sell or to buy.
              Every day that an apartment sits unrented costs me money. I have preasures on me – my mortgage, my other expenses, that push me to agree to an offer.

              Further once an actual agreement happens – offer, acceptance, consideration, the agreement is now Binding.
              But not before.

              Fraud in price is quite literally impossible. if the identical building down the road sells for $500M and Trump demands 750M – that is not Fraud.
              And it can never be fraud. The buyer or lender is free to say no.

              Price fraud never occurs. Real fraud is misrepresenting what you are selling – not its price.
              If I say I have a Babe Ruth Baseball card in mint condition and I want $1M for it – you can pay it or not. If someone else will only buy it fo $250K that is your problems. But if the card is a forgery – that is Fraud.
              Fraud is misrepresentation of WHAT you are selling – not price.

              I will further note that most fraud in WHAT your are selling, only applies to naive buyers.

              If Trump fails to tell DB that there was a fire on the 25th floor – that would not be fraud. DB is supposed to do their due dilligence and check out what they are buying. And I can guarantee you DB sent an ARMY of people to examine everything before finalizing the deal.
              They checked the revenues, they check the property condiction, they checked the maintanence, they checked for outstanding code violations, they check for environmental hazards, they had multiple appraisal done. and on and on and on.
              Banks are expected to do their due diligence before writing a mortgage. They are legally required to.
              And as has been noted – Trump’s valuation specifically required them to do their own due dilligence.
              That is not some Trump special that is the NORM.

              Finally DB wrote a mortgage, they gave Trump some amount of cash, and he give them a legal interest in the building until he pays back the loan according to the terms.

              If Trump valued the building at 100 times what AG James thinks it is worth – so what ?
              DB is receiving mortgate payments based on Trump’s value of the property.
              No one has been harmed.
              There is no crime.

              If this case is not thrown out quickly it is only because the judge is as stupid or political as AG James.

              The only question here is how quickly will James lose this case and whether she will face sanctions.

              There not only is no case here, there CAN BE no case here.

              If everything James says is true – no crime, no one harmed.

              1. “Fraud in price is quite literally impossible. if the identical building down the road sells for $500M and Trump demands 750M – that is not Fraud.”

                Svelaz wants that to be a fraud. He doesn’t want to accumulate knowledge. Lack of information leaves him unsure if his deal is good, so he wants the government, in this case, to fix prices so that no matter what he does, there is assurance he did it at the right price.

                Who is the better businessman, and who will create the most wealth? Certainly not one relying on another to make decisions for him. In essence Svelaz wishes to pull everyone down to his level. He feels unable to compete in a capitalist system.

                1. Fraud in a contract must be a misrepresentation about FACTS.

                  One of the fundimental errors of those on the left is they misunderstand that prices are what is NEGOTIATED.
                  Possible fraud would be – I just replaced the roof, when you did not. Or my average collected rents for the past month were 2M/month.
                  When they were half that.

                  I would note that every one of those “possible frauds” – would not be fraud in a mortgage today.
                  They would not. because commercial buyers are required to do due diligence.

                  A better example of fraud today – would be as the deal is being negotiated, Third party due dilligence companies conduct inspections – I own a business that does this. So we schedule an inspection friday. One of the things I inspect is sprinkler systems. Say on Friday the sprinkler room is locked, no one can find a key. The standards – there is an ASTM standard, for PCA’s allows me to ask the owner or the property manager the condition of the sprinkler system AND rely on it in my report. I am obligated to report “John Doe told me ….”
                  If I do not distinguish information I got from the owner from observations, My report will be treated as all observation – and I am legally responsible for the observations I report. If my report has sections that reply on owner reports – I, and the buyer are legally allowed to rely on those reports. Under most circumstances error would NOT be treated as Fraud – but the sellor would still be responsible for the difference in cost between what was actually there and what was reported. If the difference was obvious deception – then it would be fraud.

                  Regardless, fraud in selling or mortgaging a commercial property today is very hard.
                  In several years in the entire industry that I am aware of, there has only been one significant instance of actual fraud.

                  A major and reputable high end property management company was lying about its occupancy rates and submitted false reports when these properties were refinanced. This occurred during Covid. When certain due diligence rules were relaxed – for about 9 months major lenders did not allow us to inspect occupied units. That made it impossible for us to verify by observation occupancy rates. By 2021 we were close to back to normal rules – except for strict masking requirements, and that we are not allowed to go into any unit where a tenant says they have Covid.
                  That usually happens now about 1 in 10 units, and it is generally Tenants lying and trying to void letting property managers into their apartments.
                  But I do not care because “thems the rules.”
                  The false occupancy rate claim was exposed when the company went bankrupt to the tune of a couple of billion dollars.
                  But in all probability the lendors will be made whole. Independent of Fraud, banks are SECURED, They get paid.
                  The investors will likely lose everything. But they were the ones doing the lying – or their management company.

            3. “You wouldn’t value property for tax purposes $75 million and then inflate that to $739 million as collateral value to borrow from a bank.”

              There’s somebody who doesn’t understand the difference between a property valuation (for local property taxes) and a business valuation.

        4. Trump does not have to prove ANYTHING.

          IF and ONLY IF Trump mortgaged a property – then the MORTGAGE AMOUNT is between him and the lender.
          It is NOT your business, it is NOT the NY AG’s business.

          The lender with absolute certainty went to an enormous amount of trouble to establish the actual value of the property in numerous ways prior to providing Trump with a mortgage.

          Further whatever any bank has lent Trump for these properties – he is making the mortgage payments.
          If he was not – they will foreclose. If they are unable to sell the property for the outstanding balance of the loan, they will get a judgement against Trump, or all other Trump assets.

          This does not typically happen when ordinary people are foreclosed on – because ordinary people do not own other assets with values worth going after. But DB knows with absolute assurance that Trump will not default on a property loan without going completely bankrupt.
          And they also did their own due dilligence not just regarding the property being mortgaged – But Trump himself.
          Before they provided money for a mortgage – they veryified that Trump has a personal networth AFTER outstanding liabilities sufficient that if he defaulted on the mortgage they could get their money elsewhere.

          1. “The lender with absolute certainty went to an enormous amount of trouble to establish the actual value of the property in numerous ways prior to providing Trump with a mortgage.”

            We don’t know that. So far the banks have not shown that they knew of trump’s valuation differences. Trump IS known to be a liar. U.S. banks won’t touch trump because they have been burned by his business failures. That’s why he’s reliant on foreign banks now.

            1. Yes, we do know that.
              First I know that because it is literally one of the things that I do for a living.
              I also know it because due diligence is a legal obligation for lenders/buyers in a contract.
              There are SOMETIMES exceptions in law for naive buyers – but DB is not one of those.
              We also know because the very document that you cite as providing the value – which is part of the contract here,
              Required DB to do its own due diligence.
              Because if they did not – so what the contract is still binding.
              BTW Mortgages are a contract.
              And finally, I would bet that Banking law in both the US and Germany require them to.

              I would further note that in high value deals there are other parties.
              As many of us now know in mortgages we often have CDO’s – collateralized Debt Obligations – basically mortages bought by third parties and bundled together into another security. And then we have CDS’s Credit Default swaps – contracts that basically insure CDO’s against excessive losses.

              So If DB is loaning Trump money – but they are selling that mortgage, or pooling the mortgage and selling shares in the pool, or insuring the mortgage or the pool, then all those other parties, have rules that DB must follow.

              As an example many of the properties I do due dilligence on are what is called a FANNIE or a FREDDIE. That does not mean that Fannie May or Freddie Mac are the lenders. Often they just insure the transaction. Or they are lenders to the lenders.
              Regardless, Fannie and Freddie have whole books of rules for transactions like this.
              And they absolutely positively require extensive due dilligence.

              Finally we KNOW that due dilligence was performed because Trump has not defaulted and there is no victim.
              No one has been harmed by this.

            2. “So far the banks have not shown that they knew of trump’s valuation differences.”
              No bank is suing Trump. AG James is. It is unlikely she will be able to get useful testimony from a bank – if DB even shows.
              Regardless, it is irrelevant whether they knew of the valuation differences. Due diligence is the responsibility of the lender,
              that is the law, but even if it was not Trump’s valuation includes language requiring the lendor to do due dilligence.

              “Trump IS known to be a liar.”
              False and not relevant.

              Do you know that trillions of dallars of free market transactions occur EVERY DAY where the buyer and the sellor do not even know each other ?
              If you have an IRA – sales and purchases are occuring everyday between you and people you do not know.
              Whe you buy a share of apple stock – you do not know who you buy it from – they could be a “liar”, a cheat, a scoundrel, a money launderer, and drug dealer. Yet there are NEVER any problems with these deals.

              We have had hundreds of years to work out the kinks in mortgages – except when government interferes there is no fraud.

              “U.S. banks won’t touch trump because they have been burned by his business failures. That’s why he’s reliant on foreign banks now.”
              US Banks are free to lend to whoever they please and visa versa.

              With respect to your claim that US banks have been burned by Trump. I highly doubt that. Especially not on a mortgage.
              A mortgage is a secured debt. In bankruptcy it has the absolute highest priority.

              If you partner with Trump(or anyone else) in a business venture, and the deal fails – your screwed. That is how the world works.
              The banks will get paid – Banks tend not to make unsecured loans.

              When there is a bankruptcy the first people to lose are the owners, partners, investors share holders.
              I would note these are also the people who will make the most should the venture succeed.
              That is how investment and risk works – high risk, high return.
              Trillions of dollars were lost in the dot come bust. But there was no recession.
              Because the people who lost money were investors who were aware of the risk. The super rich became a bit less rich.
              While the housing bubble caused a recession – because the losers were people who bought homes that lost value.
              Because an investment that was supposed to be low risk wasn’t

              I would note that in the financial crisis, depite all the talk about CDO’s and MBS’s and CDS’s and MTM and TARP and Bailouts.

              The banks actually never really got bailed out. In the end government FORCED loans on them to fix market liquidity. But all those loans were paid back. And all the MBS’s whose values tanked ? They were eventually sold for near, at or above face value.

              Mortgages are for decades, there has never ever in US history been a time in which the value of real estate dropped from the begining to the end of a 15yr period. Banks know that. That is actually why TARP I failed – and what caused the financial markets to “seize”
              Banks refused to sell their MBS’s when the market price dropped too low.

              Remember that thing I said before.
              The price of something is what a willing buyer and a willing sellor agree to.

              If Bear Sterns offers 100M of MBS’s for trade and the best offer they get is $25M everyone quits trying to sell MBS’s because they are worth far more than 0.25/$ and everyone knows it.

              Regardless, back to the point. Banks do not lose money on mortgages EVER – not even in bankruptcy.

              It is far more likely that US banks CANT lend to Trump, than that they wont.
              That they can not meet his terms.

              Deutche Bank is NOT a lender of last resort. They are NOT on step above loan sharks.
              They are probably the most conservative lendor in the world. Probably only the US federal reserve has more financial power.
              They are not where you go when no one will lend you money. They are where you go when your credit is stratospheric.

              But you are a left wing nut – god forbid you should think about whether anything you hear actually makes sense.

            3. Deutche Bank is not a mere foreign Bank. it is one of the most conservative and respected banks in the world.
              They do not lend to people with bad credit.
              They lend to people with excellent credit.
              They may lend to scoundrels and crooks, but they lend to scoundrels and crooks who with absolute certainty will pay them back.

        5. To the extent that Taxes factor into this AT ALL – overvaluing your property increases your taxes.

          Regardless Tax valuations are completely different.
          They have absolutely nothing to do with this, and nothing to do with reality.

          This is a civil lawsuit by the NY AG. The IRS and Taxes will not be addressed in court in anyway.
          James is a State AG, Not the federal government.

          With respect to both state taxes and the IRS the current value of the property is totally completely irrelevant.
          With the exception of property taxes – which are a common form of local taxes – not state or federal taxes,
          Taxing authorities int he US do not tax wealth, they tax Income.

          There are three specific instances in which Federal and state taxing authorities care about property values.

          The first is when properties are transfered. Some states charge sales tax on property transfers. That tax will be for a percent of the amount the property was transfered for.
          The other thing that happens when a property is transfered is that Capital gains MAY occur. Capital gains are taxes on INCOME resulting from selling a property at a higher value than you bought it for.
          Again the tax is based on Actual selling prices – not appraisals.
          The last instance in which valuations matter for Tax purposes is with respect to depreciation.
          US Tax law universally allows Business owners of property to take a tax deduction for the decline in the value of assets they own.
          The property must be a business property. There are several specific means that the IRS (and States) allow for calculating depreciation of land/buildings. Regardless, the base value of the property is set at the actual transfer price. A new base value is set when you refinance a property – the good news being you get to start depreciation over from a new higher value. The bad news is that you owe capital gains on the difference between the current depreciated value and the refinance value.

          Some businesses go to a great deal of trouble to get the maximum possible depreciation on their property.
          But the IRS mostly does not care. Real Property Depreciation gives businesses a tax break year after year – in return for much higher capital gains when they finally sell.

          Put simply the IRS will not care in the slightest how Trump valued his property. They only care about actual sales or refinace prices.
          And they do not care much about those – because the tax laws are setup such that they will get their money eventually regardless.
          Local municipalities do their own assessments, and there is massive amounts of politics involved. Local tax assessments never have anything to do with reality, and are not typically effected by refinancing.

        6. Svelaz,
          There is pretty much nothing in your post that is correct.
          It is clear you have nothing to do with the real world.

          Anyone who has ever bought a car, bought a home,
          bought something at auction, bought anything on Facebook, craigslist or ebay
          KNOWS that there is no fraud in asking a high (or low) price.

          Free market transactions are VOLUNTARY.
          Pricing fraud does not exist in actually free markets.
          Further to the tiny extent that government regulations provide “fraud” protections.
          Those are for naive buyers.
          There is almost no regulation in the financial world that Trump lives in.
          Because it is not necessary. Deutche Banks was never going to be deceived
          people at Trump’s level do actual due diligence many times over.

          I would note that nearly all the legislation passed after the financial crisis regulated small finance
          it regulated payday loans that had nothing to do with the housing market.

          This is not a domain that government belongs in.
          Frankly it is not a domain that people like AG James are capable of.
          People intelligent enough to negotiate billion dollar financial deals do not work for the government.

    5. As we have just discovered through FOIA that NARA NOT in custody of the Obama presidency Documents in the abandoned Chicago Furnature store, that they are stored improperly and insecurely in a privately owned faiscillity that is being rented by the Obama Foundation – Not NARA and that the Obama Foundation is paying NARA 3.8M dollars to recover the documents and store them properly, that there are Millions of documents – many of which are classified improperly stored in this chicago furniture store,

      This Trump Grand Jury should be disolved, the warrant rescinded, the documents returned, the WH, DOJ/FBI sanctioned, and Trump’s legal fees paid.

      And if NARA is not happy with how Trump is dealing with Documents – NARA can address that in Civil Court with Trump

      What is increasingly clear is that democrats, Biden and the left are actively destroying “the rule of law”.
      One of the central premises of “the rule of law” is blind justice.

      It is clear that Biden and Democrats have weaponized law enforcement under their control to target republicans.

      We are orders of magnitude “Worse than WaterGate”.

      Those of you defending the left. democrats, are morally repugnant.
      You are much more than a danger to democracy. you have destroyed something far more fundimental – the rule of law.

      1. Sorry, it seems you are wrong about NARA not having custody of Obama’s records. They do have custody, since 2017. The dispute you are talking about was resolved a long time ago. This is old news.

        Trump has bigger problems since he was REFUSING to cooperate with NARA which is why they had to issue a subpoena and failing at that ended up with a search warrant being executed at his residence.

        “ And if NARA is not happy with how Trump is dealing with Documents – NARA can address that in Civil Court with Trump”

        They already are addressing that in civil court. This where Trump is now. Instead he’s now refusing to cooperate with the special master he was demanding. Trump is getting tangled up in his massive web of lying and deceit.

        Democrats are letting laws enforcement do it’s job. Trump refusing to cooperate and obfuscate are making matters worse for himself. It’s not law enforcement that is the problem. It’s Trump.

        1. No this is not old news.

          No one is claiming that NARA is not involved with those documents – and BTW there are two locations – not just the furniture store, there is a “super secret, undisclosed location” with a much smaller amount of documents that Obama has near immediate access to. Such as say a SCIF in his home in Chicago.

          There are several FACTS here.

          NARA does not list this fascilty as owned or rented by them.
          There are claims that GSA rented it but no evidence of that so far.
          The building is privately owned, and The Obama foundation is paying for it and admits that it does not meet NARA requirements.

          The facility is not a tiny bit as secure as where Trump’s documents are.

          Obama as well as designess have full access to this facility and the super secret one – probably in Obama’s Chicago home.
          The whole classified document issue is horseschiff.

          To the extent there is a meaningful distinction between the Obama and Trump documents – those of Obama are far LESS secure.

          There is no reason that the Documents Trump had could not be at MAL.

        2. I forgot, the presidential office at MAL is owned By Trump and LEASED to the federal government.
          Except that it is far more secure that is no different than you CLAIM is true of the Furniture store.

        3. “They already are addressing that in civil court. This where Trump is now.”
          Trump is in Civil court addressing the WARRANT. Trump filed this lawsuit.

          Neither NARA nor DOJ went to Civil court making any claims regarding these documents.
          NARA has not been to court at all.

          “Instead he’s now refusing to cooperate with the special master he was demanding.”

          This is a civil case filed by Trump over a criminal warrant.
          The underlying issues are still fundimentallly criminal. Or at the least Trump’s attorney’s must treat them as such.

          This could have been resolved by NARA Trivially at the start.
          NARA could have agreed that Trump could keep all this material at some location convenient to him – such as the presidential offices at MAL, just as they have done for Obama, so long as NARA had access to them, could archive them and record, scan, … as needed.
          The presidential offices are a government leased space at MAL. There is no issue here.
          There is not and never has been a classified document issue – that has entirely been a red herring from the start.
          All ex-presidents have full access to all classified documents, both of their own administration and of the govenrment as a whole.
          In FAC the PRA pretty much is the reverse of what the left has claimed. The CURRENT administration has very limited access to the presidential records of the prior administration, and must go to court to gain access.

          It is unlikely that Obama has ever visited the furniture store – but he is free to do so whenever he wants, and he is free to access the classfied documents there.
          Conversely Trump as president and now Biden MUST get a court order even to access unclassified documents at the Obama furniture store.

          As noted there is a much smaller collection of Obama documents – classified and unclassified that Obama has very easy access to, and with near certainty he and or his designees access regularly.
          And AGAIN Neither Trump as President, nor Biden can access these without a court order.

          “Trump is getting tangled up in his massive web of lying and deceit.”
          That would be Biden and DOJ/FBI.

          “Democrats are letting laws enforcement do it’s job.”
          False, the WH has been driving this since the start – this is well documented.

          “Trump refusing to cooperate”
          Trump has no obligation to cooperate.
          This is pretty trivial – read the PRA – the ex-president and those he designates has full access to his own presidential records.
          The current president must go to court for access.
          It is the Biden admin that is trying to circumvent the law.

          ” and obfuscate are making matters worse for himself. It’s not law enforcement that is the problem. It’s Trump.”
          Of course it is law enforcement that is the problem.
          They do not belong involved in this at all.

          In fact there is absolutely nothing here and never has been.
          There is not even a civil issue much less a criminal one.

        4. Please explain to me how the abandoned plunket furniture store in Chicago is more secure than the presidential offices at MAL ?

          Whether you like it or not by LAW expresidents have unlimited access to their own documents – including classified ones.
          By LAW the current administration MUST go to court to access the presidential documents of past administrations.

          Trump’s presidential office in MAL is space leased BY THE GOVERNMENT.
          If you are actually able to establish that the government is leasing the abandoned Plunket Furniture store, you would still fall far short of the presidential offices at MAL in security.

          Next expresidents and their designees have FULL access to their presidential records – including classified ones.

          So there is not and never has been an issue regarding classified documents.

          Next – while we can only suspect where the small trove of documents Obama has immediate access to is. Fundimentally that is no different fromt he presidential offices at MAL – except that there has been no FBI raid on it. There are a small number of documents there – probably numbers similar to those Trump had at MAL. Some of those documents are classified.

          I have no idea if Obama reviews those classified documents everyday – and you have no idea if Trump has viewed the classified documents at MAL ever. But infact both Trump and Obama are free to do so.
          Both by Obama’s EO and by the PRA.

          So where exactly is some key difference between Obama’s records and Trump’s ?

          What justifies a search warrant ?

          There is absolutely nothing, that has been made public.

    6. With respect to Truth Social.

      SO WHAT ?

      Twitter is in trouble in its lawsuit against Musk. Its share price has tanked.
      So has Facebooks. Social media more generally is increasingly looking to be a poor investment.

      If Trump has made wise choices with Truth Social – he will profit.
      If not he will lose money.

      What business is that of yours ?

      Trump’s networth declined slightly while he was president.
      It has been increasing since he was not.

      While he was born with a silver spoon, he is turned it to Platinum.

      Further Trump did not become wealthy by selling public office.

      The Biden’s the Obama’s, the Clinton’s wealth comes entirely as a consequence of public office.

      That is far more troubling, that is far more corrupt.

      1. They are being digitized so specific documents can be reviewed faster. They don’t belong to Trump. The burden of proof is on Trump since it’s a civil case. He is the one who wanted the special master he’s responsible for paying for it.

        1. There is no need to review them fast.
          There is no need to review them at all.
          Return them all to MAL. NARA can come by to catalog them and assure they are being properly preserved.

          That would be the same arrrangement that has existed for prior presidents.

          The fact that some of these documents are marked classified is irrelevant.
          Obama has unrestricted access to the abandoned furniture store with 10’s of thousands of classified documents.
          He has far more convenient access to his super secret smaller repository at, in or near his home, again containing lots of classified documents.

          There never has been a criminal issue here.
          There is no case.
          The documents should be returned to Trump.

          Anything NARA is unhappy with – they are free to take to court.

          If DOJ wants access to Trump or Obama presidential records they must as the PRA requires – go to court.

          Using a warrant to obtain possession is itself a CRIME. It is theft.

        2. They do belong to Trump inarguably. These documents will end up in a PRIVATE library owned by Trump or a Trump created and managed foundation. There is no question where they will end up and who owns them.
          We can debate fine points over the extent of control that NARA is given and whether NARA’s temporary custody is mandatory or optional.
          There is not only no doubt that Trump owns them.
          There is no doubt that Trump has full access to them – just as Obama does.
          There is no doubt that it is irrelevant whether some of them are classified or not.
          There is no doubt that the current executive has no access to these documents without a court order.
          There is no such valid civil court order. The warrant is a fraud on the courts. There is no crime.
          The DOJ/Biden admin is trying to use criminal law to evade the requirements of the actual law.

          At the very extreme the only actual legal conflict here is the precise location of the small collection of Documents that Trump has determined that he wants easy access to. Unarguably he has the right to easy access. Unarguably it is irrelevant whether any of these are classified.

          As noted – NARA has already publicly stated that aside from the millions of documents at the abandoned furniture store there is a smaller store at a secret location (Obama’s house) that Obama has full and immediate access to, and there are classified documents in that location.

          So the entire debate here – if there is any debate at all – Obama’s private stash is in all likelyhood in his presidential office in his home,
          is about how much access NARA has to these documents, and how close to Trump in feet and inches, he can insist on having these documents.

          There is not a single other point of debate.

          DOJ has unlawfully used another warrant to steal Trump’s documents.

        3. With respect to the cost issue you are talking about.

          It is nearly always the case that the target of a warrant wants a special master.
          But the decision to appoint a special master rests with the courts.

          I am near certain that Cannon is the judge on this case – specifically because Reinhart was the Magistrate.
          She is the actual judge that handles matters for this district, Reinhart is her magistrate.

          Trump’s request for a special master is a filing in the same matter.

          The 11th circuit court of apeals was wrong, in so many ways. Not only were they wrongly weighing an issue of fact, not only did they get the burden of proof wrong, but they were also wrong because the decision to appoint a special master is at the discretion of the lawyer court.
          DOJ is not harmed by delay no matter how much they whine.
          Special masters are not common, but they are appointed by judges all the time.
          I would note – there is no rule in court that if you file the lawsuit, you must pay to have documents scanned.
          The party in posession of materials – if they are a party to the case must pay to provide other parties copies.
          If documents are demanded from 3rd parties – then the party making the demand pays.
          DOJ/FBI is not a 3rd party.

          Regardless, the scanning issue is trivially resolved – do not scan the documents.
          There is no right to convenience.

          Personally I think this is a piddling small issue.
          But if Trump and DOJ wish to fight over it – Trump should win.
          Paper all arround.

          I suspect that is actually what Trump wants.
          One of the things Trump has done RIGHT nearly from the begining is that he does almost nothing legal electronically.
          Had Trump had all these documents scanned and on a server at MAL there would have been arguments like those against Clinton.
          Further copies can start showing up all over and massive finger pointing.
          So long as the copies are paper they will actually be harder to copy, and easier to prove who leaked them when they are leaked.

    7. You are drowning in TDS.

      There are few if any “Trump lovers” on this blog. Though there are alot of people with far better grasp of reality than you.

      I have no personal animus for Joe Biden. But he has been the worst president in the 21st century – and the 21st century has had the dreggs of presidents. Trump – easily the Best president in the 21st century is still not much more than average for US presidents. Joe Biden is working hard to become the worst president of US history.

      These are not judgements based on personality. They are based on actual performance.

      Democrats, the left, though aparently not you, as slowly discovering that their policies DO NOT WORK.

      When Biden took office had he done nothing – the country would have improved dramatically.
      Instead we have a mess with every single thing he touched.
      Trump left him with everything on autopilot to prosperity, abundance and improvement – both in the US and even globally.
      But everything Biden has touched has turned to Schiff.

      That is self evident to nearly all of the country. People think things are going to h311 by the largest margins ever.

      Democrats are running from Biden as fast as they can. But they have a problem. Much of the current mess was not made by Biden alone – the entire administration and democratic congress is complicit in nearly the entire mess.

      You rant and rave about Trump – as if, should Trump disapear all your troubles would be over.
      The stupid policies you have pushed if Donald Trump would just stop holding rallies.

      That is idiocy. Trump could disappear from the planet tomorow, and very little would change.
      Trump spotted a wave of change in US politics and rode it to the whitehouse.
      He did not create that political wave. He was just one of the first to see it.

      The working class is not fleeing democrats because of Trump. They will no return when he is gone.
      Hispanics and black men are not fleeing the democratic party because of Trump. they will not return when he is gone.

      We are in the midst of a political re-alignment in the country. I would note that realignment is driven by the left far more than the right. All the issues that Republicans are succesfully running on are driven by the FAILURES of the left.

      Socialism does not work – anywhere. Despite US democrats head long rush towards it.

      The left has sown the wind.
      It is reaping the whirlwind.

  12. I have lived in the affected area since 1970. While I don’t know precisely how counseling is done over at UofI, it seems likely that it is similar to the situation @ WSU. Over here it is part of student health services.
    The effect of the letter from the legal office at UofI is that the health counselors can only direct counselees to come over here, across the state border, to the Planned Parenthood office.

    1. Why is health counseling a legitimate government function ?

      Everything government does is through FORCE.
      At the barest minmum anything government provides, it does with money taken from people by FORCE.
      Few would pay taxes, but for the ability of government to use FORCE if necescary to collect them.

      When government spends money it MUST ALWAYS remember that money was taken by force.
      Those who provided it did not chose to.

      In return for government takes from us – we expect “the rule of law” not lots of free services and things.
      Health has never been the legitimate domain of government.

      If you want counseling – for whatever reason, pay for it yourself and go wherever you wish.
      anything else is immoral

        1. Not full tuition at state universities FOOL.

          You reply to me often enough, I should not have to repeat the argument that NONE of this would be an issue if government got entirely out of education – where they do not belong.

          Abortion counseling is not the business of private universities – BUT that is between those colleges and the PARENTS who pay tuition.

          You do not seem to understand that nearly ever controversial issue is trivially dealt with outside of government where private actors are answerable to their owners and clients for their policies.

      1. “ When government spends money it MUST ALWAYS remember that money was taken by force.
        Those who provided it did not chose to.”

        Government doesn’t take taxes by force. It does so according to the law. Which is consent from the governed. When constitutions are ratified it includes the consent of the governed. Some people don’t like that they have to pay taxes and that’s fine. If they don’t want to pay taxes then they can stop working and not pay taxes. They can live off the land avoid roadways, water infrastructure, etc, etc, etc. In Alaska homesteaders do exactly that HOWEVER they do still benefit from somebody else’s taxes when they have to travel by state paid railroad links near their estates.

        “ In return for government takes from us – we expect “the rule of law” not lots of free services and things.
        Health has never been the legitimate domain of government.”

        It should be. Because it benefits society at a large and being able to stay healthy, alive is a natural right. According to libertarians that should include government provided healthcare. Lot’s of governments in other developed countries provide this as a basic right and it does benefit their societies a lot better than our own.

        1. Svelaz,
          if you do not pay your taxes what happens ?
          If you are absolutely determined not to pay your taxes – eventually “men with guns” will come and take your freedom and/or your property BY FORCE.

          “Government is not reason, it is not eloquence-it is force! Like fire it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master; never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action.”

          Eric Garner died because he refused to comply with NYC laws forbidding the sale of loose cigarettes – a tax law.
          NYPD officers arrested him and that arrest ended in his death.

          Government is FORCE, the law is FORCE.

        2. Our consent to the constitution requires that government confine itself ONLY to those enumerate powers within the constitution.
          Government if permitted to tax us – to pay to perform its constitutional functions.
          Absolutely nowhere int he entire constitution is there provision for health care.
          The only “infrastructure” in the constitution is postal roads and military forts.
          In fact the federal government is constitutionally prohibited from owning land inside a state EXCEPT for forts.

          Elections are consent to allow those we elect to excercise the powers WITHIN the constitution.
          To exceed the enumerated constitutional powers you must amend the constitution – to get the consent of the governed.

          The social contract, the constitution is not an unlimited grant of power to government to do as it pleases.
          We are not slaves.

          This debate is not about alaska homesteaders.

          It is about the FACT that all FORCE – whether by you or me, or by government MUST be jusitifed.
          I would note that “consent” is PART of the requirement for justified use of force.
          But alone it is not sufficient.
          I can not consent to be enslaved. Not by government, not by a private individual.
          Most constitutional rights can not be abrogated merely by my consent.

        3. Contra the pro-life crowd – there is no right to life.
          Being alive is OBVIOUSLY not a right.
          Atleast 13 people and possibly hundreds were killed recently by Huricane Ian.
          There is no right to life.
          There is no natural right to life.
          Nature does not give a $hit about our lives.

          Rights are with respect to what other humans – and particularly governments can and can not do to you.
          Further rights are best understood in the negative.

          You do not have the right to free speech.
          You have the right NOT to have government infringe on your speech.
          You have the right NOT to have your life taken from you by others.
          There is no right to life.

          If there is no right to life – which is obvious.
          Then even more obviously there is no right to healthcare.

          I told you first that rights are best understood in the negative.

          there are no positive rights – there are not rights that create an affirmative responsibility to act in others.

          You may NOT kill me. You have no obligation to keep me alive.
          You may not damage my health. You have no obligation to provide me healthcare.

        4. Svelaz,

          you have either been abysmally educated or paid no attention in school.

          And you wonder why the uproar over the nonsense in our current education.

          We have spent 150K years worjing out basic human rights, the social contract, natural rights. the rule of law.

          Figuring these out – getting them right was not easy. Billions of people have died getting to the imperfect system we have today that still works better than anything ever before.

          Yet, you keep making arguments that were resolved hundreds, sometimes thousands of years ago.

          You think know one has addressed the legitimate scope of govenrment before and that you can just make it up ?
          We have spent thousands of years working on that.
          We have spent thousands of years working on self government.
          On rights.

          Do we have it perfect ? No. but the odds of YOU finding dozens of flaws as well as ways to make things work better – that have not already been tried and found wanting are near zero.

          There is pretty much nothing that democrats of the left are seeking to do today that has not in soem form been tried often before and failed.
          Maybe not in precisely the way it is being tried now. but close enough.

          Nearly all the arguments I make are ancient, and have been accepted and worked for hundreds sometimes thousands of years.

        5. I would suggest reading the nobel prize winning work of economist Elenor Olstrom.

          She studied much the area you are addressing – what benefits society – particularly scarce resource problems – tragedy of the commons problems. the allocation of relimited resources.

          And she found the so called tragedy of the commons problem does not actual exist. Humans have solved these problems on their own and without government more effectively than government.

          Lets look at something near and dear to the extreme left. Sexual Transition surgery.
          More than a century ago – you were limited to cross dressing. No matter how much money you had there was nothing else that could be done.
          About a century ago the first sexual reassignment surgeries started, they were costly, bad, and most people died from them.
          Even a few decades ago it cost more than 100,000. Today in the US top and bottom surgery is 15-25K. Or you can go to Brazil where more surgeries are performed and the quality is actually better for half the price, or to Thailand and pay half as much again.

          The current fight we are having over “gender affirming healthcare” for children only exists, because these things are possible today and very affordable. We are fighting over whether gender clinics should be able to provide teens with hormones without their parents consent.
          Yet, any teen with internet access can get the same hormones online with no ones permission cheap enough that they can afford them from typical allowances.

          Government did not make this happen – free markets did.

          People are dying from fentanyl today – because fentanyl is CHEAP.

          If you want healthcare to be expensive – make it a right. Which is very close to what we have done.

          If you want the best possible healthcare at the most affordable cost – get government as far away as possible.

          I challenge you to find absolutely ANYTHING that does not have government involvement that is not much cheaper today than 50 years ago.
          With cost measured as the amount of minimum (or median) wage labor needed to purchase that good today vs. 50 years ago.

          I was married in 1983. I bought a top of the line Amana Side-by-side fridge Wholesale for 1200. No ice maker, no ice or water in the draw.
          No meat drawers.
          The MW was 3.35. it took 358 hours of labor to buy that Fridge. Today I can buy a much better fridge – 1/4 the energy costs, larger, ice maker, water and ice in the door, special trays and drawers, … for $999 retail and the MW is 7.25. If I worked 350 hours I could buy a super duper fridge with AI and internet that tells me when to buy more food. But the standard top of the line fridge much better than that of 1983 costs 137 hours of MW labor – or about 1/3 the cost.

          Find me ANYTHING – that govenrment is not entrenched in that does not cost far less today.

          Free markets make everything affordable eventually – government makes things more expensive.

        6. “Lot’s of governments in other developed countries provide this as a basic right”
          They do – though most are trying to get out of it.
          Though I would note most government do NOT have systems like the British NHS – which is a failure and always has been.
          The british increasingly have a system like ours – medicaide – which has what NHS has devolved to with poor care for everyone.
          and private insurance for an ever growing number of people.

          I would further note that nearly everything needed to raise the life expectance of even the poorest country to about 78 years,
          has been known since the 50’s. All that is needed to reach the life expectance of developed nations is antiseptics, antibiotics, and IV fluids.

          “it does benefit their societies a lot better than our own.”
          Completely false.
          Most US healthcare is like a lamborghini Huricane.
          Most EU healthcare is like a Volkswagan Passat.
          Most world healthcare is like a ford focus.

          Each of these will get you accross manahattan in exactly the same amount of time.
          But they are not equal in quality, and most of us grasp that Lamborghini owners are not paying to get across manhattan faster.

          My mother developed colon cancer. She had medicare plus an excellent supliment.
          She spent about 1/4 of her last year in the hospital. The cancer wing had two nurses for each patient. marble floors, high end entertainment systems. private marble baths, wood paneling, a side room for the family to either eat in or to sleep in.
          The room was about half the size of my home. While she got the best possible healthcare, nothing was going to stop the fact that she was going to die. The care probably prolonged her life a few months. She would have gotten the same healthcare benefit anywhere in the developed world – even india. But she would not have gotten the same experience.

          I would suggest looking at mallow’s hierarchy of needs. When we have done all that is possible to sustain life. if our society is afluent enough – we will STILL spend to improve aspects of our lives higher on the pyramid.
          US Healthcare is the most expensive in the world – partly because of government, and party because for most of us it is the very best experience that money can buy – and we are a very rich county.

          There is another fundimental difference in healthcare between the US and those countries you falsely claim do better.
          That is also a side effect of our incredible affluence. And that is we are the unhealthiest people in the world.
          We live a sedentary lifestyle. We have double the rate of type II diabetes of anywhere else in the world. In most of the world Type II diabetes is a death sentence. In the US it is an inconvenience. It comes with high medical costs, but most people with type II diabetes live a normal lifespan.
          We have incredible rates of obesity. Our poor are more afluent than anywhere else in the world and they are the most obese of anywhere in the world. Obesity is rare in much of the world – because it has always been a condition of the rich. Oddly today in the US the affluent are healthy and the poor are obese, but that is partly cultural change, and partly the wealth to afford better health.

          Regardless, the claim that the rest of the world is doing better is utter malarkey.

          There is almost no medical affliction of any kind that you can have that US not only leads the world in treatment, but that your creature comfort level care in the US will be far greater.

          The health failings in the US are the consequence of a much less healthy population as a result of poor health choices that come with greater wealth.

          If you imposed the Canadian or British or German or Swedish systems on the US – life expectancy would drop about 5+ years.
          Those systems are incapable of dealing with the poor overall health of Americans.

  13. It’s the Marxism silly. It’s really stupid but that’s how easily people are offended, because they’ve been trained to be.
    By Marxists
    And the RINOs in Idaho just want you to Think they’re conservative.

    1. These irrational overreactions to any limitation on abortion, pornographic material in schools, teaching sexuality to 5 year olds, ‘family friendly’ drag shows, etc. are an attempt to turn Republicans into hypocrites.
      It is blatantly obvious that we live in a two-tiered society making every leftist look like a hypocrite (although it’s not actually hypocrisy as they genuinely believe anyone who doesn’t submit to the Church of Wokeism is evil and a serious ‘threat to democracy’), and we have gotten very good at pointing out their double standards. I was beginning to think that focusing on the left’s flouting of basic norms was pointless, but I guess not. Apparently it’s really bothering them.
      The academics, politicians, media pundits who reeeeee over such things aren’t that daft. They know the Idaho bill doesn’t prohibit discussing abortion just like they knew the parental rights act in Florida didn’t prohibit saying the word ‘gay’. They also know their audience is that daft and will accept what they say without question or thought.
      In this case by bleating that their free speech rights are being curtailed (one of our loudest complaints of late), they provide fuel and talking points to their drones who then argue with normal people that the mean ol’ Republicans are being hypocrites.
      In the Age of Information these tactics fall flat.

  14. Jonathan: When the right-wing legislature passed its draconian abortion law after Dobbs you never protested. That’s because you supported Alito’s non-sensical decision. Now you are reaping the whirlwind. Last year the Idaho legislature passed even more drastic legislation banning “promoting” abortion by any public employee. The law also prohibits school-based health clinics from dispensing emergency contraception–even in cases of rape–a potential violation of federal law. So it’s understandable UI’s General Counsel is taking a cautionary approach–even telling university employees to restrict themselves to providing “condoms for the purpose of helping prevent the spread of STDs but not for the purposes of birth control”. The Idaho law is having a chilling affect on “free speech” and you are suddenly concerned? Even IU’s law school is not immune from the GC’s admonition to be “totally neutral”. Law school professors are concerned that in discussing the Dobbs decision if they criticize Alioto’s reasoning they might be violating university policy. You are a little late to the party. Where were you when it really counted?

  15. I’m no lawyer, and I am not a left wing progressive. On the surface, this looks like the right immitating the left. This is wrong.

  16. Dear Professor, I think if you read the following sections from the legislation to which you refer you will see a language meant to shut down discussion of abortion and abortion policy at public universities. You may not care about it but the University that receives public fund has to be very careful. That is what chilling speech is all about. I learned that in my first year Constitutional Law class.

    “2) No person, agency, organization, or any other party that receives funds authorized by the state, a county, a city, a public health district, a public school district, or any local political subdivision or agency thereof may use those funds to perform or promote abortion, provide counseling in fa- vor of abortion, make referral for abortion, or provide facilities for abor- tion or for training to provide or perform abortion.
    (3) No fund or committee authorized by Idaho Code for the special pro- tection of women or children shall be authorized to use or distribute public funds for payment for abortion, abortion referrals, abortion counseling, or abortion-related medical or social services.”

    1. “Justice Holmes”, nothing in the language you cited is “meant to shut down discussion of abortion and abortion policy”. And nothing in that language does so. The language is clear, and it doesn’t affect discussion at all. You are simply misrepresenting it, and I have to assume you’re doing so deliberately.

  17. Why can’t people who purport to be educated understand the first Amendment? Freedom of speech is just that. This flies directly in the face of that unconstitutionally contrived legislation titled “hate speech. Won’t the SCOTUS please rule on that hate speech issue and CLEARLY DEFINE for all the blockheads out there just what free speech implies.

  18. “The letter triggered alarm on the Idaho faculty. I cannot speak to the intent of the legislators. Idaho has previously had laws struck down under the First Amendment, including an “AG-Gag” law outlawing undercover investigations into agriculture operations. However, , there appear ample legal arguments to protect those faculty who continue to speak from one perspective of the right.”
    *****************************
    I can. We presume legislators don’t intentionally intend to violate the First Amendment, so it’s interpretive overreach. Idaho still admits jurisdiction under the Constitution, I believe.

  19. Could also be lefties firing up the base with “They are coming for your abortion rights” drama.

    Lefties have been effective at getting abortionists revved up about a total ban instead on the reality – putting the decision in voters’ hands.

    1. What I question is just how large is the group that is really concerned about abortion rights. There is a considerable swath of citizens who are not or never will be touched by this topic. Is all the hype about voters being motivated by Roe just that, left media hype?

    2. It’s really obvious to me that abortion activists do not want the decision of abortion legality put in the hands of the people, as in the voters, because they’re damn sure that they will loose the legal battle. I firmly believe that there are far, far more people out there that are on the side of the basic human right to life than there are those that want the legal right to exterminate helpless human beings. Abortion activists have been able to rationalize away their individual responsibilities related to sex for years and now they’re going to have to face the public and the facts about abortion and how it exterminates a helpless human being, this is why abortion activists are so angry about the Supreme Court ruling.

      Abortion is not, and never was a constitutional right.

      1. “ It’s really obvious to me that abortion activists do not want the decision of abortion legality put in the hands of the people, as in the voters, because they’re damn sure that they will loose the legal battle. ”

        You have it backwards. Case in point, Kansas. It was anti-abortion advocates that put the decision of abortion legality in the hands of the voters. They sure lost that battle in a near landslide.

        It’s anti-abortion supporters who are more afraid to put or accept a referendum on what their state should do with the legality of abortion.

        “ Abortion is not, and never was a constitutional right.”

        But I can be a state constitutional right according to the Supreme Court. States can codify a right to abortion in their state constitutions.

        “ Abortion activists have been able to rationalize away their individual responsibilities related to sex for years…”

        Individual freedom and liberty is the rationalization. One that even conservatives get. The deep “concern” for the “innocent human being” conservatives ends the minute they are born. After that they become freeloading welfare babies or whenever taxes are raised because single mothers or young couples need help or apply for services. I don’t see conservatives clamoring for increasing pre-natal care programs or free child care to support those “innocent human beings”. If you say it’s not your responsibility to pay for that then it’s not your responsibility to dictate what they choose to do with someone else’s choices.

        1. Svelaz wrote, “Case in point, Kansas. It was anti-abortion advocates that put the decision of abortion legality in the hands of the voters. They sure lost that battle in a near landslide.”

          We are in partial agreement regarding Kansas.

          Yes, the Republicans couldn’t get the voters to support their poorly worded constitutional amendment (link below). I’m not surprised one bit that the Republicans tried this but in my opinion it was the wrong way to approach the issue. I’m not in favor of abortions and I wouldn’t even support a Constitutional Amendment that prevents access to abortions and my statements elsewhere in these threads support that. This is a social issue that needs to be addressed with effective laws that originate from the people through their legislatures. The state legislature simply needs to create/pass laws that puts the kind of limitations they desire on access to abortions. Going head first into a Constitutional Amendment regarding abortion was the wrong approach and I think the voters of Kansas made that clear.

          The get the impression from you and others that some people might be thinking that as a result of the referendum abortions are a constitutional right in Kansas and Kansas State Legislature can’t create laws to limit access to abortion; if that’s your opinion, then your opinion is not based on fact. The fact is that the Constitution of the State of Kansas does not make abortion a constitutional right in fact it doesn’t mention abortion even once. (Link to the Kansas Constitution is below)

          I stand by my statement 100% that abortion is not, and never was a constitutional right.

          Referendum
          http://kslegislature.org/li/b2021_22/measures/documents/hcr5003_00_0000.pdf

          Kansas State Constitution
          https://www.kssos.org/other/pubs/KS_Constitution.pdf

          1. The Kansas constitution doesn’t explicitly say that abortion is a right. However it does guarantee the liberty of individuals to make their own choice and that include the right to choose an abortion.

            The Kansas legislature wanted to put more restrictions on abortion, but the voters clearly didn’t want that because the amendment stated to give the legislature the power to put more limits. With the clear and overwhelming number of voters saying no to that they made it known to the legislature that’s not what they wanted.

            This referendum was originally supposed to be in the November ballot when larger numbers of voters are expected to vote. The Republicans in the legislature put it in the primaries when voter participation is lowest. After the Dobbs decision women registered to vote in record numbers and clearly made a point to republicans in the legislature to clearly say “No” to their amendment.

            It wouldn’t be surprising if other states had similar results if they had their own referendums. That’s why republicans don’t want them.

            1. Svelaz wrote, “The Kansas constitution doesn’t explicitly say that abortion is a right. However it does guarantee the liberty of individuals to make their own choice and that include the right to choose an abortion.”

              You just made a claim that I don’t think you can support but I’ll give you a chance.

              Please quote directly from the Kansas Constitution word-for-word where it states anything close to “it does guarantee the liberty of individuals to make their own choice and that include the right to choose an abortion”.

              Svelaz wrote, “The Kansas legislature wanted to put more restrictions on abortion, but the voters clearly didn’t want that because the amendment stated to give the legislature the power to put more limits. With the clear and overwhelming number of voters saying no to that they made it known to the legislature that’s not what they wanted.”

              Uh no Svelaz, you can’t make a blanketed assumption like that. You cannot make an assumption as to why voters voted the way they did, you can only state that they voted down the Constitutional Amendment, period. That amendment is done.

              The legislature can turn around tomorrow morning and create/pass laws that could end up in roughly the same place legally; however, it’s not in their constitution where it’s a lot harder to change than legislation. Nothing specifically regarding abortion belongs in any state or federal constitution and the voters made sure of that – at least for now.

              1. “ Uh no Svelaz, you can’t make a blanketed assumption like that. You cannot make an assumption as to why voters voted the way they did, you can only state that they voted down the Constitutional Amendment, period. That amendment is done.”

                Actually I can. Because exit polling in the state showed the majority of voters didn’t want the republicans in the media to put more restrictions on abortion in the state. I know for a fact because I was one of the volunteers doing exit polling.

            2. The Kansas supreme court decided hat Abortion was a right guaranteed by the Kansas constitution.

              the referendum was to amend the constitution to make it clear that Abortions was not a Kansas constitutional right.

              The people of Kansas can do as they please. The likely shift in pro-life efforts in Kansas will be to get rid of the left leaning justices. That will correct the misinterpretation of the Kansas constitution by the Kansas supreme court.

              Then pro-choice advocates will have to pass an amendment that makes Abortion a right – which is just as unlikely as Kansans passing an amendment to make clear it is not.

              Constitutional amendments face proper and natural resistance from people.

              Should the people of Kansas fix their broken supreme court,
              then the Kansas legislature will have to decide what it thinks that people will support in terms of abortion laws.

              That is actually the proper way to deal with this.

              Regardless I am not from Kansas – and I doubt you are either.
              This is properly a matter for the people in the state of kansas.

              1. “ Should the people of Kansas fix their broken supreme court,
                then the Kansas legislature will have to decide what it thinks that people will support in terms of abortion laws.”

                The Kansas Supreme Court is not broken. In fact it has one of the more stable state Supreme courts in the country. The Kansas legislature already got the message from the people when they overwhelmingly said no to the proposed amendment and as I noted to Witherspoon I am one of those voters who said no and volunteered to do some exit polling. It was pretty clear what the people wanted. That was not disputed.

                1. The kansas supreme court is broken. There is no right to abortion in the Kansas constitution, just as there is none in the US constitution.

                  But I do not care to debate this with you. You have made incredibly stupid statements about government and rights, you are either the product of an absymal education or you learned nothing from school, history or reality. You – like most of the left are trying to force on us all models of government that DO NOT WORK and we know that from lots of bad experience.

                  I personally do not care much about the issue of abortion – beyond that you err when you make things like an abortion a right.

                  Kansas is an example of reaching the outcome that it appears the people of kansas wanted through a deliberately broken and lawless process.

                  One of the things about free markets that is slightly less true about self government is that it MOSTLY self correcting – that in the long run we reach the same outcome that we would without govenrment screw ups. Just much less eficiently – in otherwords governmnt rarely provides us with anything we can not better provide for ourselves. But it does make us poorer than if we did it ourselves.

                2. The people of kansas do not need to change their constitution.
                  They need to change there supreme court.
                  The 2019 Kansas Supreme court decision that found a right to abortion in the Kansas constitution is error.
                  There is no right to an abortion in the US constitution or the kansas constitution.

                  Further there is no rational scheme of rights that can include the right to an abortion.
                  The Kansas Supreme court – unlike the US supreme court DID correctly find a right to control of your own body.
                  That DOES give you the right to remove a fetus from your body. That does NOT give you the right to kill it.

                  In most cases today the difference in outcome between a right to an abortion under cases and a proper application of a right to control your won body is zero. But the one approach is constitutional and consistent with any workable system of human rights,
                  The other is not. Further the future will come. Casey’s viability standard ultimately would have ended any right to an abortion as medical sceince advanced.

                  You say the people of Kansas want abortion to be legal – that appears to be the case.
                  But the right way to do that is through legislation, or ACTUALLY changing the constitution to include a right to an abortion.
                  Not manufacturing one from whole cloth.

                  It is NOT the role of the courts – including the Kansas (or US) Supreme court to decipher the will of the people.
                  The people express their will at elections, through the legislature and even through changes to the constitution.
                  Whether you like it or not, the will of the people – not just in Kansas but the whole country at the time these constitutions were ratified was that abortion should be a crime. The argument that any constitution written before 1950 has a right to abortion in it reflecting the will of the people is lunacy.

                  The will of the people changes over time. When the constitution must change to reflect that – it must be actually changed.
                  More often than not, constitutions do not need changed – the LAW does. That is an easier task. Changing laws is supposed to be easier than changing constitutions.

            3. Kansas has one of the more limited referendum processes. The only means to get a question on the ballot is as a constitutional amendment. Amendments must be proposed by the legislature, and they must have a 2/3 majority in both chambers.

              26 states have initiative or referundum processes that can be initiated by voters.

              If you wish to override the legislature or governor in those states – on abortion or any other issue – gather signatures and have a referendum.

              You keep spraying this nonsense that Republicans will not let you do something – as if that is meaningful.

              Throughout this country legislators are elected. If you do not like what they are doing – vote them out.

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