Tag: law

The Eternal Game of Knifey-Spoony: British Knife Control

 

Recently, a British police force tweeted out a picture of a set of knives given to them for safe disposal. The astute among you have no doubt already noticed the spoon in that picture. ‘Safely disposing of’ kitchen knives is stupid, the fencing foil is just sad, but the spoon? Thank heavens we have these dangerous instruments off the streets! Okay, maybe this is a charity (from a casual internet glance they’re St. Vincent’s but woke) is just trying to get rid of things which might be illegal and some joker dumped extra bits into the pile. Then a couple of days later the same police outfit (and I caution you that this is, in fact, a police force and not actually a Twitter parody account) tweets out this.

Yeah. You just raided someone’s toolbox. No mistaking here; that Phillips screwdriver is a threat to life and limb! I can imagine why you’d want to ban knives to prevent knife crime, but why would you ban bastard files? Tired of the cheap jokes? At this point I can see three possibilities:

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A Real Face of Privilege?

 

Amidst the various assertions that many of us have “privilege” because of our race or our sex, and claims that a single photograph of a person is evidence of privilege (see Nicholas Sandmann of Covington Catholic High School), our acquaintances over at The Daily Wire report a story with a 4 minute video showing a face of someone who truly did think she could rely on the privilege she assumed she had. (Warning on the video – she uses some vulgar terminology.)

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Exhibit A: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zjrFw3MASGc&feature=share also known as “An architect’s subversive re-imagining of the border Wall” More

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Well, he’s at it again. Gavin Newsom, California’s newly elected Governor, has once more decided his moral sensibilities take precedence over the duly enacted law. Today, March 13, 2019, Governor Newsom, with a stroke of the pen, signed an executive order placing a moratorium on executions. As per Article 5, Section 8 of the California […]

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The Rule of Lawyers

 

Let me start by telling you a story. Mr. @MattBalzer and I, we make board games. One of these games we call the Presidential Rumble. You play as one of history’s greatest presidents in the midst of a knock-down drag-out election against each other, marshaling characters from the past and laying claim to the symbols of liberty. You get some pretty great things going on; in one game Martin Luther King Jr. named Frank Sinatra to the Supreme Court. In another, Joe McCarthy declared Tecumseh to be a communist. You’ll frequently see the FBI confiscate the Constitution as evidence or the EPA declare the Statue of Liberty to be polluting and destroy it.

I’ve printed up several prototypes too. There’s a company out of Madison, WI called The Game Crafter that specializes in this sort of thing. They’ve got a pretty good racket; there are a lot more people who want to make board games then there are people who will make a living that way. The Game Crafter will professionally print and assemble single copies of a game, so you can get your idea produced even if your only customer is your mother. Really I’ve had excellent experiences with them, excepting one thing.

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Quote of the Day: “Not Law but Fraud”

 

In Mark Helprin’s 2012 novel In Sunlight and in Shadow*, we meet a returning WWII veteran, Harry Copeland, who inherits the family business from his deceased father. When the business is threatened by a mafia boss, resulting in the death of one employee, and Harry himself nearly beaten to death, Harry learns that he will find no help from law enforcement or any other authority because all of them are being paid off. Harry must decide whether he will take matters into his own hands — eliminating the mafia boss himself.

“My enemy is not the law,” he found himself saying under his breath as he walked — talking to himself was not a good sign — “but the enemy of the law, against which the law is too weak to defend itself. If the law is complicit in crime, is it the law? If, when not complicit, it not only fails to protect but proscribes self-protection, then it is not law but fraud. Anarchy arises not from those who defend themselves by natural right, but from officials who fail in their calling, look the other way, succumb to threats and blackmail, or who are themselves criminal. If without defending me the law says I can’t defend myself, it is no longer the law, and I have to defy it.”

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The (ill)Logical End of the “Why Does Anyone Need That Kind Gun?” Argument

 

David French has an excellent piece in National Review on the new push for gun control within the Democratic Party.

As a doctor, I feel I have a duty to inform the public of what I have learned as I have observed these wounds and cared for these patients. It’s clear to me that AR-15 and other high-velocity weapons, especially when outfitted with a high-capacity magazine, have no place in a civilian’s gun cabinet.

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The push to foist Newspeak upon Middle America’s unconverted heathen is now in full force, as recent events in Ohio and Virginia attest. (Frankly, I’m surprised that such controversy would erupt so deep within red America. Perhaps the administrators in Portsmouth and West Point felt an extra need to demonstrate their progressive bona fides.) In both […]

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http://enews.earthlink.net/article/top?guid=20181122/e47b488b-ae67-4e79-9691-46a554614078 All due respect to the Chief Justice who defended his colleagues against a Trump accusation in a rare remark (saying no, judges don’t have political agendas even if they always frustrate the President in the 9th Circuit). However, if they hold no political leanings, why can’t we question a suspicious pattern? More

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I know very little about actual legal procedure other than some broad principles, but that’s usually enough to make me roll my eyes at most courtroom scenes depicted in TV and movies. When a “classic” like 12 Angry Men suggests wholesale corruption of the jury process in order to achieve a fair result, it really […]

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In light of recent controversies requiring bakers, florists, photographers, and others to perform whatever service a potential customer demands, I was intrigued by a stage-setting episode in a short story written in 1927by P.G. Wodehouse (one of the best writers of humor stories in the English language). In setting up the story in The Romance […]

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New Hampshire state employees who don’t wish to join a union will save more than $1 million a year in compulsory union fees following the U.S. Supreme Court’s June ruling in Janus vs. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, according to data obtained by the Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy through a […]

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The following quotes are from Catholic World Report. Phoenix, Ariz., Jul 19, 2018 / 05:20 pm (CNA).– A new Arizona law awards contested custody of frozen embryos to the parent seeking to “develop them to birth.” A Catholic bioethicist told CNA it was a “positive development” in an otherwise unusual ethical situation. More

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Blurred Lines: Are Music Copyrights Becoming Patents?

 

Without patents or copyrights, “idea space” would be a commons. “Idea space” is the realm of potential ideas. A patent and a copyright both permit their owner to declare a region of “idea space” his own private property for a period of time, but under different terms. A copyright encloses a particular expression of an idea and was originally intended to prevent, well, copying during the duration of the copyright. A patent encloses not just one particular expression of an idea, but the idea itself, declaring all other expressions of the same idea, whether they’re copies or not, off-limits for the duration of the patent. A patent is thus a much broader right than a copyright, enclosing a far larger region of the intellectual commons than does a copyright; consequently, a patent inhibits others’ right to stake their own claim in idea space much more than a copyright does.

Copyrights have been expanding. Complaints about the increasing length of the copyright period are common. More problematic, though, is copyrights’ increasing breadth. As a copyright expands to inhibit expressions which aren’t fairly obviously copies, it becomes more like a patent in its scope, enabling rent-seeking and inhibiting creativity. This appears to be happening in the music industry. In March 2015, the creators of the hit “Blurred Lines” were convicted of infringing the copyright on Marvin Gaye’s “Got to Give it Up.” This is a blow to unoriginal songwriters everywhere. Worse, it does a lot of collateral damage in the process. As a “Blurred Lines” defense attorney put it, “This ruling elevates ‘groove’ and ‘feel’ to the level of copyright infringement.” Forensic musicologists and lawyers can expect to profit from such expansion, but artists – and listeners – can expect to suffer.

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California Attorney General, Xavier Becerra (D-CA), has threatened private citizens in California with prosecution and fines should they help Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in identifying illegal aliens for incarceration and possible deportation. Said Becerra in response to a question about the announcement: “There are new laws in place in California now in 2018 with the […]

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Law-Abiding Gun Owners Who Actually Abide By The Law

 

The General Accounting Office (GAO) decided to test one of the more common ideas of the gun control crowd, that it’s easy and quick to buy a gun on the internet, and no background check is required.

The GAO set up a simple test: They would try to buy guns without a background check on the Surface Web (sites like Armslist, Gunbroker, etc) and they would also try to buy guns on the Dark Web (sites that use Tor and other encryption tools to conceal who is buying what).

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“Lying to the FBI” and Other Meta-Crimes

 

I’m a bit concerned about Michael’s Flynn’s guilty plea. Not because Michael Flynn doesn’t belong in jail. From all I can tell, he’d sell his country or his mother for a dollar, so I rather imagine that he probably belongs in jail for something. But I’m concerned about it, and about George Papadopoulos’ plea too, for that matter.

No, it’s not because I fear they’re going to turn state’s evidence on the Donald either. While I’ve been pleased with some of his actions as president, I’ve never had any confidence in Donald Trump’s character and won’t be surprised if it turns out there’s an actual fire under this smoke. Nor will I lose any sleep if he’s replaced with Mike Pence. (On the contrary, I’ll sleep better.)

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Gorsuch, Duck-Sized Horses, and a Legal Nerd-Fest

 

This week on OppCast, we let the legal nerds take over. With the marathon Supreme Court confirmation hearings of Judge Neil Gorsuch finally in the bag, it’s not totally clear what was learned, what was accomplished and what to expect moving forward. That’s why we brought in special guest Shoshana Weissmann, digital media director of Opportunity Lives and a card-carrying legal nerd, along with the Cato Institute’s Senior Constitutional Scholar Ilya Shapiro, to geek out on what you may have missed. (And perhaps a little mutton-busting while we’re at it.)

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