Thursday, September 29, 2011

On-line book review of a timely book

My latest publication is a review of a book about privacy and security in post-911 America. This is a relatively readable book about a very important topic.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Fullerton CA officer charged with 2nd degree murder

A Fullerton, CA police officer was recently charged with second-degree murder. The officer's own recording device reports that he said "See my fists? They are going to f___ you up." This occurred shortly before the victim was beaten (incl. stun gun) to death. Some agencies are now requiring that officers' record (audio and/ or video) all encounters with citizens. For some of these agencies this has replaced in the in-car video cameras. Sounds like a good policy. It will help clear or convict officers without the usual swearing contests that are often difficult to decide.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

New Second Amendment decision

9th Circuit concludes that,despite Second Amendment, habitual drug users cannot traffic in firearms. Sensible decision to me. No constitutional right is absolute. "Because Defendant also had a business of dealing in firearms, a jury convicted him of, among other things, shipping and receiving firearms through interstate commerce while using a controlled substance, in violation of § 922(g)(3") I could be wrong, but it does not appear that he was convicted of mere possession in his home. The case might be different if defendant was charged with mere possession of weapon in his home.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Too much education, too little learning

Black economist Walter Williams hits the nail on the head again: Citing the research of AEI scholar Charles Murray's 2008 book "Real Education," Vedder says: "The number going to college exceeds the number capable of mastering higher levels of intellectual inquiry. This leads colleges to alter their mission, watering down the intellectual content of what they do." In other words, colleges dumb down courses so that the students they admit can pass them

Gun Murders down in U.S.

In spite of the fact that the number of handguns and all firearms increases every year, the rates and absolute numbers of handgun and firearms homicides has decreased every year since at least 2006. This is not what one would expect if guns cause homicide.

Oath Keepers organization

Thanks to Bennett Jones for providing a link to this interesting organization. Glad to see some folks taking the Constitution seriously.

Latest on BATF's Fast and Furious Scandal

Much to the dismay of the Obama administration, the BATF Gunwalker/Fast and Furious scandal just won't go away. See the latest here from CBS News.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

NOPD under consent decree

After the conviction of NOPD officers in the Danziger Bridge incident, the Department has agreed to a consent decree to try to clean up the wide-spread problems. The consent decree will be overseen by a federal judge and will include a monitor who will check to see that NOPD is implementing the required changes. LAPD appears to have markedly improved under a similar decree. Although the article does not so specify, it appears that this consent decree is the result of a threat of federal "pattern or practice" litigation against the agency.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Gun Control in Public Housing.

One of the most pernicious forms of gun control are bans on residents of public housing possessing guns IN THEIR HOMES. These are obvious violations of the Second Amendment, yet they persist. San Francisco and some other cites dropped these bans after being sued, but they still persist. The latest suit was filed against Wilmington, Del. See this piece by the Cesar Rodney Foundation. By the way, this is not a gun-group. It is an improve Delaware government group. The public ends up paying litigation expenses and the attorneys' fees of challengers. The taxpayer foots the bill for politicians who want to ride their ideological hobby horses. These types of bans are amongst the worse. Public housing projects tend to have extremely high crime rates. Criminals living there will have guns no matter what the law or lease says. The disarmed law-abiding residents will be at the mercy of armed criminals. Arguably, the people who need the Second Amendment most are deprived of its protection. Of course, we all know the general demographics of public housing residents. Does that play a role? We all know that politicians and media types don't live in public housing.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Great quote about the citizen and the government

“It is not the function of our government to keep the citizen from falling into [political or ideological beliefs that are] error. It is the function of the citizen to keep the government from falling into error.” Mr. Justice Jackson, concurring in part and dissenting in part in American Communications Association v. Douds, 339 U.S. 382, 439 (1950).

CBS News on BATF coverup

Good short article from CBS on BATF in Gunwalker scandal. Heads have already rolled, but, as usual, the higher-ups (e.g. Holder) will escape responsibility. The stonewalling and evasion continues. Anyone who thought things would be different in D.C. after Obama took over was terrible naive. As usual, it's CYA in Washington.