Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Great resource on law enforcement program evaluation.

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays!
Anyone interested in how to make law enforcement more effective must check out this DOJ website.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Newt Gingrich assaulting the power of judicial review?

Although the Supreme Court seems often to be a mixed blessing, its power of judicial review is long-established and essential to a free society. Newt Gingrich apparently would rein in the judicial branch and the Supreme Court. This is an extremely bad idea if you value a free society. Don't get me wrong, the Supreme Court has, often damaged freedom, e.g. Dred Scott, Plessy v. Ferguson, U.S. v. Miller, Korematsu v. U.S.. However, even in these cases, it only sanctioned action taken by the other branches or state legislatures) The Court has done more good than we can expect from the other two branches (e.g. Brown v. Bd. of Education, D.C. v. Heller, McDonald v. Chicago, U.S. v. Eichman). In these cases, the Court overruled unconstitutinal policy decisions by non-judicial actors. With all its warts, I trust the Supreme Court over the President and Congress. However, I am always wary of blog material without cites or links. I would appreciate a post if anyone has evidence that this blogger is wrong.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

9th Circuit cuts back on Taser Use

The 9th Circuit is one of the most liberal circuits and one of the most skeptical about police use of force. They have jurisdiction over only Calif. and 6 other Pacific Coast and/or western states. One wonders about the need to tase a woman who is 7-months pregnant and refuses to get out of the car after refusing to sign the ticket. At least they didn't Taser her in the abdomen. The court seems to be saying that Tasers cannot be used against a non-threatening suspect/arrestee. It remains to see if any of the other Circuits will go along. The U.S. Supreme Court has not decided this issue.

Friday, December 16, 2011

The only solution for Mexico?

Some time ago I suggested that the only resolution to Mexico's drug cartel reign of terror was a Mexican government deal with the cartels. Now that it has become obvious that the U.S. is both the cause and an exacerbation (American illegal drug purchases, Operation Fast and Furious, laundering $ for the cartels, etc. see prior posts) this solution seems even more inevitable. In this very pessimistic article this writer agrees.
"It will get worse here in Mexico, unless the Mexicans themselves do something about it. They probably cannot. Vicente Fox (former president of Mexico, as Americans are all aware) favors legalization everywhere, but the cartels can easily buy any country's politicians to prevent this. The Mexican public more and more favors reaching an accommodation with the narcos: “You sell your drugs and we will turn a blind eye, but put an end to kidnappings, extortion, and the murder of the uninvolved.” This might work because it would be in the interest of the traficantes, who could discourage kidnappers by killing them unpleasantly. Nothing that isn't in the interest of the nacros will work, since they are too strong to coerce".

Use of Death Penalty Plummeting

Use of the death penalty reached a 35 year low in the U.S.. Public support is also dropping although 61% still support the death penalty for convicted murderers.

Indefinite detention without charges or trial could be authorized

The government should not have the power to arrest and indefinitely detain anyone inside the U.S. without charges or a trial. This ambiguous and potentially dangerous provision in the National Defense Authorization Act should be vetoed in the interest of a free society.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Have Obama and the Far Left adopted the Cloward-Piven Strategy?

Reckless spending, huge deficits, policies which will harm private sector economic growth and hiring seen to be intentional strategies of the Obama administration and the Far Left. This approach is consistent with, and may have been inspired by the Cloward-Piven strategy. After all, the first significant move to the far Left in the U.S. took place in the Great Depression under FDR. When people get economically desperate they no long care about the Constitution and fending off authoritarianism. They will vote for whomever offers the best deal with their vote buying. Hitler took advantage of the Depression with his socialist, nationalist and racist promises in the Party's 25 points (that's why it was called "National Socialism"). Hitler was no fan of capitalism. He tolerated and used Germany's capitalists. In terms of economics and public welfare, Nazism was closer to the left than the right. In some respects it is an error to classify Nazism as right wing. Perhaps a great socialist on a white horse will emerge if the Left's strategy works in this country.

Saturday, December 10, 2011


I use the label "authoritarian" and "authoritarianism" frequently, but unfortunately, have not attempted to define the term. Let me start the attempt with the following:
My use of the term authoritarian is based at least in part on Erich Fromm’s famous book, Escape from Freedom.
“Authoritarianism: Fromm characterises the authoritarian personality as containing a sadist element and a masochist element. The authoritarian wishes to gain control over other people in a bid to impose some kind of order on the world, they also wish to submit to the control of some superior force which may come in the guise of a person or an abstract idea.”

Most of us can accept the need from some degree of social control imposed by government. However, government is limited by the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Too many on both the left and the right have the idea that it is necessary to control people to impose order, in spite of constitutional rights. The Left is often obsessed with gun control and eliminating poverty by radically and forcibly reallocating income and property. Hate speech must be crushed in spite of the fact that it is constitutionally protected. The Right is often obsessed with government enforcement conservative Christian morality, laissez-faire capitalism and a strong government. Criticisms of religion and patriotism must be stomped out in spite of that fact that they are protected by the First Amendment. Of course, neither group wants the controls to be aimed at themselves. That is the great hypocrisy from which both sides suffer.
For some on the left, the person is often Marx and the abstract idea has evolved into democratic socialism. The person may be Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez, Juan/Eva person, Che Guevara or Mao Tse-Tung or Barak Obama. The abstract idea for some may be total equality in all dimensions of life. This would require, a totalitarian government. On the right of course, that person could be Adolph Hitler (although one could argue that Hitler's domestic economics were Socialist) and the Neo-Nazis. All of these people have both good and bad ideas. Although obviously for many the bad ideas greatly outweighed any of their good ideas. The problem emerges when people follow these leaders slavishly and unthinkingly. They give up thinking for themselves in an open but critical fashion. The forget that the Constitution is the supreme law of the land. The basic problem is that many on both sides view individual rights they fear and dislike as dispensable. The ends justify the means (sacrificing the individual). Obviously, there are people, theorists and politicians who are exceptions, but hopefully you get the picture of what I am trying to say.
Authoritarianism can be both Left- and Right-Wing. Academia, which is dominated by the left, has focused primarily on it’s enemies on the right. IMHO, freedom and constitutional rights have enemies on both sides of the political spectrum.

U.S & Mexico's Drug Cartels: Part of the problem or part of the solution?

We all know that the voracious appetite of U.S. residents for illegal drugs is the main reasons why the cartels in Mexico are so powerful. Don't these druggies feel some guilt about all the innocent people and honest cops and military personnel in Mexico who are murdered by cartels? Who are these moral idiots who feel their drug habit is more important than the lives of innocent Mexicans? In addition to inexcusably providing weapons (via BATF), DEA has helped launder millions of dollars in cartel money. Looks to me like the U.S. is part of the problem, not part of the solution. Are some of our federal law enforcement agencies out of control? Arguably, some, including BATF have been out of control for decades (e.g. see Kopel and Blackman, "No More Wacos." Of course don't forget Ruby Ridge.

Left-wing authoritarianism on campus

It is unfortunate that authoritarianism and disrespect for the rights of others are prominent on some campuses when rights are asserted. I am reminded of student protests against desegregation and various forms of protected speech. However, even authoritarians have First Amendment rights. Some people just can't adjust when rights expand.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

The real reason for Operation Gunwalker/Fast and Furious?

Thanks to Bennett Jones for the link. This is the only explanation I've heard so far that makes any sense. It has been my suspicion for a long time. Note this is from CBS, not Fox or the NRA. Stay tuned.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Latest report on Taser use on Healthy Adults

This report concludes that Taser use on healthy, normal, adults does not pose a high risk of death or serious bodily injury. Nonetheless, Taser use on such people could still violate the Fourth Amendment (see post below for latest important Taser case).

Important Taser Case from Ninth Circuit

The U.S. Supreme Court has yet to hear a Taser case. Thus, U.S. Court of Appeals decisions are the best we have on legal guidance on Taser use. This decision, from the often Left-leaning 9th Circuit, appears to significantly limit officer discretion to use the Taser.

One examination of the anti-Second Amendment mentality

There is plenty of authoritarianism on both the Left and Right to go around in this country. This article is a good examination of the Left's opposition to the Second Amendment and gun ownership.

Example of Left-wing material in scholarly journals.

There is lots of both left- and right-wing claptrap in "scholarly" journals. Because the left dominates academia there is more of the left-wing propaganda which cannot even be remotely considered unbiased. IMHO, here's a prime example. I know nothing about this particular individual, but there's a good chance he is employed by a taxpayer funded institution. However, I respect his First Amendment right to publish whatever he sees fit.