Monday, January 25, 2016

Legal Services Corporation

The legal landscape in this country is difficult to navigate without an expert guide, and many people simply can't afford to hire a lawyer when they need one. That's why the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) was established by Congress in 1974:

Its purpose is to "provide financial support for civil legal aid to low-income Americans. LSC promotes equal access to justice by providing funding to 134 independent non-profit legal aid programs in every state, the District of Columbia, and U.S. Territories." So, if you have a low income, need help with a legal problem, and don't happen to be related to the type of lawyer you need, the LSC site can help you find a legal aid organization in your area.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Constitution Annotated

The upcoming Presidential election and a number of other recent events have raised many questions about what is and is not "constitutional." Is Ted Cruz qualified to run for President? Is President Obama legally empowered to take executive action on gun control? One of the best places to seek an answer to those questions, and others, is the Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation, popularly known as the Constitution Annotated:

If you don't have the time to go get a law degree or the money to hire a lawyer to answer these questions for you, doing a bit of research here may help to put your mind at ease. If nothing else, it's an impressive source for you to cite the next time a debate breaks out at the dinner table.

Monday, January 11, 2016

International Lottery Scams

This week's $1.3 billion Powerball prize may have given you a case of lottery fever, but this page from the Federal Trade Commission can help you avoid getting caught by an international lottery scam:

Whenever you get a solicitation that sounds tempting, just keep in mind that it's against federal law to play a foreign lottery.

There's additional information from the U.S. Department of State here:

And from OnGuard Online here:

Even when you gamble, you should try to minimize your risks.

Monday, January 4, 2016

National Wildlife Refuges

You may have heard on the news that a group of armed individuals has taken over part of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon. The reason they've done this seems to be a dispute over the use of federally-owned lands. If you're curious about what uses the federal government is making of that land, see this site from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the agency that runs the National Wildlife Refuge System:

The Malheur Refuge is closed for the time being, but every state has at least one Refuge and Oregon has 17 in addition to Malheur. Feel free to visit one near you, and don't forget your bird-watching binoculars.