Another reason to like Uber
May 6th, 2018 by Ken Hagler

What Do You Call a Tool to Help Uber Avoid Gov’t Stings? A Good Start. Uber uses a tool called “Greyball” to circumvent officials. It’s a tool that Uber says is designed to help it deny ride requests to people who violate their terms of service, disrupt the system, or threaten their drivers. They also have been using it to operate in places where government officials have been trying to shut them down.


Uber used this tool to operate in Portland, Oregon, as regulators attempted to use sting operations to catch them and shut them down. As the story explains, this all bothered authorities because Uber was employing people and putting them to work outside of their purview… [Hit & Run]

This is pretty old news now, but it’s another reason to prefer Uber over other ride sharing services: they were willing to do something to protect their drivers from corrupt and oppressive local governments who were paid off by the taxi cartels to attack them.

Judge admits the obvious
Mar 5th, 2012 by Ken Hagler

Maryland Handgun Permit Restrictions Found Unconstitutional by Federal Judge.

details from the Associated Press

Maryland’s requirement that residents show a “good and
substantial reason” to get a handgun permit is unconstitutional,
according to a federal judge’s opinion filed Monday.

States can channel the way their residents exercise their Second
Amendment right to bear arms, but because Maryland’s goal was to
minimize the number of firearms carried outside homes by limiting
the privilege to those who could demonstrate “good reason,” it had
turned into a rationing system, infringing upon residents’ rights,
U.S. District Judge Benson Everett Legg wrote.

“A citizen may not be required to offer a `good and substantial
reason’ why he should be permitted to exercise his rights,” he
wrote. “The right’s existence is all the reason he needs.”

Plaintiff Raymond Woollard obtained a handgun permit after
fighting with an intruder in his Hampstead home in 2002, but was
denied a renewal in 2009 because he could not show he had been
subject to “threats occurring beyond his residence.”
Woollard appealed, but was rejected by the review board, which
found he hadn’t demonstrated a “good and substantial reason” to
carry a handgun as a reasonable precaution. The suit filed in 2010
claimed that Maryland didn’t have a reason to deny the renewal and
wrongly put the burden on Woollard to show why he still needed to
carry a gun.

The Second Amendment Foundation
sponsored the suit, and Woollard’s lawyer was Second Amendment
vindicator Alan Gura, who also won the
suits at the Supreme Court that established our right to own
commonly used weapons for self-defense in the home, against both
federal and state encroachment. By moving the Second Amendment
argument here beyond the home, this case promises to help expand
Second Amendment rights even beyond the Heller and
McDonald standard.

My July 2009
interview with Gura
. My 2008 book on the Heller case,

Gun Control on Trial

UPDATE: Thanks commenter Chris Brennan:

The full decision

[Hit and Run]

It will be interesting to see where this goes (if anywhere) as California has roughly the same law. In practice, “good and substantial reason” is a euphemism for “rich and/or powerful.” For example, some years ago I was told that I could get a concealed weapon permit in Orange County for a $15,000 bribe “campaign contribution”–certainly not a sum that an ordinary person stuck living in a high-crime neighborhood could readily afford. Ironically, that price was too low, and that sheriff was ejected from office for it.

The good news for us peasants is that the government seems to have finally caught on that they really don’t need to worry about an armed citizenry demonstrating the purpose of the Second Amendment, for the reason I quoted a few years ago, but it is a good way to lose the next election. While elections are meaningless in terms of their impact on the government, they do matter to the individual politician who losses his place on the gravy train.

Series on Copyright History
Jan 27th, 2012 by Ken Hagler

History of Copyright [Falkvinge on Infopolicy]

Given the recent fuss raised by corrupt politicians (SOPA and ACTA) and thugs enforcing the “laws” of the Evil Empire on its puppet states, its interesting to look at this seven part series on the history of copyright.

The best legal system money can buy
Jul 21st, 2011 by Ken Hagler

Feature: A pound of flesh: how Cisco’s “unmitigated gall” derailed one man’s life.

High-tech entrepreneur Peter Adekeye's yearlong nightmare began after he dropped his wife off at the Vancouver International airport and headed downtown to The Wedgewood, a posh boutique hotel. Inside a tasteful boardroom adorned with gilt-framed mirrors, the US District Court for Northern California, San Jose division, had convened a special sitting to hear Adekeye's deposition as part of a massive antitrust action he had launched against his former employer, the computer giant Cisco Systems. An official court video camera recorded the proceedings on May 20, 2010—Adekeye affably answering questions in an elegant black suit accented with a pale blue shirt and a coral tie.

At 5:15pm, however, two plainclothes women—the shorter one brandishing a badge—and two uniformed police officers entered the room. Adekeye was confused, as were his two Wall Street lawyers and the special judicial master conducting the hearing. But the four lawyers for Cisco knew exactly what was going on.

“I’m from the RCMP,” the taller woman said, “I’m sorry I have to interrupt your meeting here.”

[Ars Technica]

From this article we learn that if you annoy Cisco, by bringing a lawsuit against them for example, they can get the KGB’s immigration people to keep you out of the country (and away from the courtroom), and if you find a workaround for that they can get a prosecutor to charge you with a phony “crime” and arrest you in the middle of testifying for the lawsuit (thus keeping you from being heard). Clearly Cisco is getting their money’s worth from their bribes “campaign contributions” to elected officials.

In the end their use of blatant corruption didn’t help Cisco, as they still lost the lawsuit, so apparently their bribes where misplaced–it seems like it would have been more effective for them to bribe the judge in the lawsuit. Still, this case provides an example of how corrupt the US legal system is, and how it can be subverted by an organization with a lot of money.

Lobbyists are mandatory
Aug 5th, 2010 by Ken Hagler

From the August 2010 issue of Reason Magazine:

“It’s a double standard,” Akram Allos, owner of Sinbad CafĂ© in Dearborn, complained to the Detroit Free Press. “Just because we didn’t have a lobbyist, why should we have to suffer?”

That is why you have to suffer, Mr. Allos. Welcome to the land of the fee and the home of the slave.

Quote of the Day
Aug 4th, 2010 by Ken Hagler

These people are so crooked they screw their socks on in the morning… Post

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