Dec 31st, 2005 by Ken Hagler

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Poten­tial Leg­is­la­tion on Wyoming Gun Laws
— Ver­mont Car­ry and “no
retreat” may be com­ing to my home state. Wyoming just keeps look­ing
bet­ter. [codrea]
Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Beck­et Hinck­ley of Cheyenne is plan­ning to spon­sor a
bill that would allow peo­ple to car­ry a con­cealed weapon with­out going
through the appli­ca­tion process.

Two oth­er leg­is­la­tors are spon­sor­ing a mea­sure that would make Wyoming
a “no retreat” state.
[End the War on Free­dom]

I’m amazed by how many states didn’t already have “no retreat” laws. Cal­i­for­nia has always been that way. It’s iron­ic that a state noto­ri­ous for Jim Crow laws regard­ing own­ing and car­ry­ing guns actu­al­ly has some of the best laws on self-defense.

Dallas SWAT .
Dec 30th, 2005 by Ken Hagler

Dallas SWAT. On January 5, A&E will debut a reality show that follows the professional and personal lives of the Dallas, Texas... [The Agitator]

I've seen ads for this show while commuting. They're really quite sinister, showing a group of heavily armed soldiers in black uniforms glowering at the viewer.

Flour Power .
Dec 29th, 2005 by Ken Hagler

Flour Pow­er. A Bryn Mawr stu­dent gets caught at an air­port with con­doms filled with flour. She and her dorm mates made them as gag squeeze-toy stress reliev­ers dur­ing finals. A field test — con­duct­ed twice — indi­cates that the con­doms are filled with opi­um, cocaine, and amphet­a­mines. The girl spends the next three weeks in jail on drug charges that could bring 20 years in prison.


Also, ya’ got­ta’ won­der if things would have turned out as they did had the sus­pect had been some­one less sym­pa­thet­ic than an aca­d­e­m­ic hon­or stu­dent at Bryn Mawr. [The Agi­ta­tor]

Unfor­tu­nate­ly, I don’t won­der about that at all.

I do have to won­der about how eager the Feds are to believe their own tests, no mat­ter how implau­si­ble the results. Opi­um, cocaine, and amphet­a­mines all blend­ed into one com­plete­ly homoge­nous pow­der (which looks just like flour) in one con­tain­er?

Leica Digital M announcement for PMA? .
Dec 29th, 2005 by Ken Hagler

Leica Dig­i­tal M announce­ment for PMA?. Much to the delight of many Leica afi­ciona­dos there’s now more than a hint that Leica are ready­ing a dig­i­tal ver­sion of the M7 rangefind­er cam­era. Ste­fan Daniel of Leica is quot­ed in the lat­est edi­tion of LFI (Leica Fotografie Inter­na­tion­al) mag­a­zine as say­ing “The Dig­i­tal M will be intro­duced as a com­plete pack­age that will include new wide-angle lens­es.“ The rumour mill also car­ries some spec­i­fi­ca­tions; 10 megapix­els with a 1.3x crop fac­tor, 2.5” LCD mon­i­tor and SD stor­age. We expect to… [Dig­i­tal Pho­tog­ra­phy Review (]

The crop fac­tor isn’t as bad as it is with Nikon’s dig­i­tal SLRs, but it’s still a crop fac­tor, so I won’t be buy­ing one of these.

Academia’s Unconstitutional Restraining Order .
Dec 28th, 2005 by Ken Hagler

Academia’s Uncon­sti­tu­tion­al Restrain­ing Order. Over at the Volokh Con­spir­a­cy the oth­er day, Jim Lund­gren explained a little-known (to me, any­way) rou­tine prac­tice of government-mandated… [Hit and Run]

From the quot­ed post:

bq. The fed­er­al gov­ern­ment has inter­pret­ed its cen­sor­ship pow­er so broad­ly that, even for research that is sup­posed to be exempt from cov­er­age under the fed­er­al statute, the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment has insist­ed that a researcher get pri­or approval from an IRB that the work is indeed exempt. […]

How this mas­sive sys­tem of goverment-sponsored cen­sor­ship got going with lit­tle atten­tion from Con­sti­tu­tion­al schol­ars (before Philip Ham­burg­er) is a mys­tery to me. It is time for the courts to declare the IRB sys­tem what it is: uncon­sti­tu­tion­al.

Here’s anoth­er case where the ques­tion con­tains the answer. It got going because schol­ars, like vir­tu­al­ly all the rest of the Amer­i­can peo­ple, are under the mis­tak­en impres­sion that the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment has a cen­sor­ship pow­er, when in fact it is actu­al­ly express­ly denied such a pow­er.

I also note that accord­ing to many com­ments on the Rea­son post, Mr. Lund­gren is wrong about the func­tion of IRBs.

Is It Treason to Defend the Consitution? .
Dec 28th, 2005 by Ken Hagler

Is It Trea­son to Defend the Con­si­tu­tion?. The New York Post accus­es The New York Times of toy­ing with trea­son in an edi­to­r­i­al. It cites three sto­ries in its indict­ment of its rival news­pa­per, but do the accu­sa­tions have any mer­it?

Recent­ly, The New York Times has revealed the NSA’s spy­ing on inno­cent Amer­i­cans, the CIA’s secret pris­ons, and the New York Police Department’s under­cov­er infil­tra­tion of protests. The Post edi­to­r­i­al pos­es this ques­tion: “Does The New York Times con­sid­er itself a law unto itself — free to sub­ver­sive­ly under­cut basic efforts by any gov­ern­ment to pro­tect and defend its cit­i­zens? ”

Good ques­tion, and the answer should be “yes” if that gov­ern­ment is vio­lat­ing the Con­sti­tu­tion and the rights of the cit­i­zens it claims to be pro­tect­ing. Accu­sa­tions of trea­son are being thrown about quite a bit these days, but exact­ly where is the trea­son? Isn’t spy­ing on and jail­ing Amer­i­can cit­i­zens with­out charges trea­son to the Con­sti­tu­tion? Isn’t kid­nap­ping for­eign­ers and spir­it­ing them off to secret pris­ons for tor­ture trea­son to the prin­ci­ples for which Amer­i­can has tra­di­tion­al­ly stood? Isn’t con­ceal­ing, excus­ing, and defend­ing gov­ern­ment secre­cy and mis­con­duct trea­son to the Amer­i­can peo­ple?

Only through the rule of law, not men, can we be secure. My hon­or­able dis­charges from the Marine Corps and, lat­er, the Nation­al Guard excused me from the oblig­a­tion to fol­low orders with­out ques­tion. Even then, accord­ing to the Uni­form Code of Mil­i­tary Jus­tice, that oblig­a­tion only extend­ed to law­ful orders. I refuse to acknowl­edge that the gov­ern­ment can select an ene­my for me, invol­un­tar­i­ly enlist my unques­tion­ing sup­port in fight­ing that ene­my, and then accuse me of trea­son if I don’t.

Here is a selec­tion of quotes on the “oth­er side” of trea­son:

Trea­son implies respon­si­bil­i­ty for some­thing, con­trol over some­thing, influ­ence upon some­thing, knowl­edge of some­thing. Trea­son in our time is a proof of genius. Why, I want to know, are not trai­tors decorated?–Antoine de Saint-Exup

Digital Content Security Act .
Dec 22nd, 2005 by Ken Hagler

Dig­i­tal Con­tent Secu­ri­ty Act. bdwool­man writes “Con­gress is leav­ing a spe­cial gift under the tree for Hollywood’s film indus­try. Just before clos­ing for the hol­i­days, leg­is­la­tors intro­duced a new pro­pos­al designed to curb redis­tri­b­u­tion of movies.The Dig­i­tal Tran­si­tion Con­tent Secu­ri­ty Act would embed anti­copy­ing tech­nol­o­gy into the next gen­er­a­tion of dig­i­tal video prod­ucts. If it makes its way from Capi­tol Hill to the Oval Office and becomes law, the mea­sure will out­law the man­u­fac­ture or sale of elec­tron­ic devices that con­vert ana­log video sig­nals into dig­i­tal video sig­nals, effec­tive one year from its enact­ment. PC-based tuners and dig­i­tal video recorders are list­ed among the devices.” [Slash­dot]

It would also make it ille­gal for peo­ple to con­vert their old VHS home movies to DVD, because the tech­nol­o­gy to do so would be cov­ered by this law.

re: leftist hypocrisy on civil liberties .
Dec 21st, 2005 by Ken Hagler

re: left­ist hypocrisy on civ­il lib­er­ties. Thanks to Drudge for reveal­ing that both Pres­i­dent Clin­ton and “Saint Jim­my” Carter signed Exec­u­tive Orders autho­riz­ing war­rant­less search­es of Amer­i­can cit­i­zens. Clin­ton Deputy Attor­ney Gen­er­al Jamie S. Gore­lick opined that the pres­i­dent “has inher­ent author­i­ty to con­duct war­rant­less search­es… By Nor­man Sin­gle­ton. [ Blog]

Indeed. What both­ers Democ­rats about Bush’s spy­ing is not that it’s ille­gal, but that he’s a Repub­li­can. Of course, the same is true about the Repub­li­cans who cur­rent­ly sup­port Bush, but would be scream­ing about it if Ker­ry were in office doing the same thing.

Another Torture Charade .
Dec 20th, 2005 by Ken Hagler

Anoth­er Tor­ture Cha­rade. It is amus­ing to see the media’s hosan­nahs over the Bush administration’s agree­ment to accept the McCain amend­ment to pur­port­ed­ly pro­hib­it U.S. gov­ern­ment offi­cials from tor­tur­ing peo­ple.
This will be only one more pro­vi­sion in the statute book.
Unless some­one can find a way to make the Bush admin­is­tra­tion to obey the law, then pass­ing anoth­er law is sim­ply anoth­er in a long series of cha­rades. Tor­ture is already ille­gal under U.S. law. Until the top Bush admin­is­tra­tion offi­cials who helped craft and approve the tor­ture poli­cies are pros­e­cut­ed, then any “reform” is anoth­er Wash­ing­ton con on the Amer­i­can peo­ple.


From lew : “The War on Drugs exemplifies the State strangling the society it governs.
Dec 20th, 2005 by Ken Hagler

From lew:
“The War on Drugs exem­pli­fies the State stran­gling the soci­ety it
gov­erns. It is gov­ern­ment of the State’s min­ions, by the State’s
min­ions, and for the State’s min­ions. For them, the War on Drugs is a
win­ner.” — Michael S. Roz­eff
[End the War on Free­dom]

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