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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