Last summer I was driving down MoPac when I noticed a hand made sign that said something like ‘Radio Liberty 90.1 FM’.
I tuned it in and found a station that was interesting in a train wreck sort of way. Besides the insane ravings of a local demagogue they had a lot of shows offering legal advice that seemed to consist of providing magic words that would deflect civil and criminal convictions.
There was never a station identification.
Via a ham radio mailing list I learned that the FCC has fined Raymond Frank, the alleged operator of this station, $10,000. Specifically
In this Forfeiture Order (“Order”), we issue a monetary forfeiture in the amount of ten
thousand dollars ($10,000) to Raymond Frank for willful and repeated violation of Section 301 of the
Communications Act of 1934, as amended (“Act”).1 The noted violations involve Mr. Frank’s operation
of an unlicensed radio transmitter on the frequency 90.1 MHz in Austin, Texas.
I have no idea if this Mr Frank is related to the former Travis County Sheriff.
According to the FCC
Mr. Frank asserts that, as a citizen of the Republic of Texas, he is not subject to the laws of the United States or the Commission’s Rules. Specifically, Mr. Frank asserts that the Commission lacks jurisdiction over his actions, because he operated a radio station solely within the boundaries of the state of Texas. Finally, Mr. Frank justifies violating Section 301 of the Act, because he claims the Commission’s licensing policies violate the First Amendment.
I’m mainly a software developer, but I’m also what’s called an ‘Enrolled Agent’ and own part of an income tax service. We sometimes see people who tried to evade taxes with magic words and silly arguments propagated by snake oil salesman. These poor folks sometimes lose everything and face jail time thanks to their misplaced faith in a slick talking guy selling books and dvds.
Good people with highly legitimate concerns about the size and power of the government buy into these ridiculous ideas sold by snake oil salesmen. In the process they harm themselves and their families, and they discredit real conservatives in the process.
This kind of thing makes me sad.