Tag: San Bernardino

Apple, Originalism, and the All Writs Act


iPhone_6_PLUS_preview_MG_1875Originalism as a method of judicial interpretation is now irrelevant, some claimed after the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia. It never really worked and now it’s destined to fade away.

Tell that to federal magistrate judge James Orenstein in New York, who yesterday ruled for Apple in a case in which the feds had invoked the All Writs Act to demand the unlocking of the phone of suspected drug dealer Jun Feng (the case parallels the far higher-profile case of the San Bernardino killer’s iPhone).

The Act grants federal courts broad power to issue “necessary or appropriate” writs, which the government would like to interpret to include types of writ Congress has declined to authorize explicitly even after considering doing so. In Judge Orenstein’s reasoning, it matters very much what the All Writs Act was understood to mean at the time of its passage in 1789.

Defending Against an Active Shooter


On his podcast last week, Michael Bane talked about altering our practice to accommodate the new reality of Islamic terrorism. In essence, we should prepare ourselves to deal with some of the same kind of things that Israel has been dealing with since about 1947 or so (Thankfully without the hordes of invading T-62′s for now, at least.).

Since at least the early ’70s, the paradigm in the United States for armed personal defense has been defending against street crime: Muggers and rapists were our greatest worry, not a re-creation of Charlie Hebdo on American soil. Sadly, those days are in the past. We’re no longer worried about the bad guy coming within bad-breath distance to do us harm, now we also need to worry about attackers with rifles whose intentions aren’t to rob us, but to kill us in the name of their god. Because there is nothing that an active shooter with a rifle wants from you besides your death, the distance of a potential deadly encounter is significantly increased, which affects how we practice and train with our defensive pistol.

Member Post


Following criticism of his seeming insensitivity to the largest terror attack on U.S. soil since 9/11, Barack Obama is reluctantly making a brief pit stop in San Bernardino to express scripted condolences before continuing his flight to a 5-star multi-million dollar vacation in Hawaii. Based on his previous comments about the slaughter, we expect him […]

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The Libertarian Podcast with Richard Epstein: “Responding to the ISIS Threat”


This week on The Libertarian podcast, Professor Epstein considers the public policy questions stemming from the San Bernardino attack: do gun control efforts have a new currency after yet another mass shooting? Does the US need to seriously constrict immigration? Did the USA Freedom Act’s restrictions on the collection of metadata leave the country needlessly vulnerable? Find out Richard’s take on those questions and more below or by subscribing to The Libertarian via iTunes.

San Bernardino and the Progressive Temptation


TerrorAs evidence about the horrific mass murders in San Bernardino unfolded, and explanations about the killers’ motive devolved to the familiar statement, “we can’t rule out terrorism,” the rest of us shocked by this slaughter wondered why the authorities were so hesitant.

In fact, only 48 hours after the event, we learned quite a bit. For instance, in spite of CNN, MSNBC, and other progressive tripe-peddlers suggesting everything from right-wing terrorism to the triggering effects of a nearby Planned Parenthood, it was clear that this was a premeditated assault carried out by “very religious” Muslims. The wife, Tashfeen Malik, even professed allegiance to ISIS on her Facebook page. As far as motive goes, how about the title of Brigitte Gabriel’s book on the subject: Because They Hate: A Survivor of Islamic Terror Warns America. Isn’t that enough?

Apparently not, according to a witch’s cauldron of MSM pundits frothing at the mouth to blame the whole thing on guns, therefore on the NRA, and therefore and especially on the NRA’s principal supporters in Congress, the Republican Party. And everyone by this point has seen the Daily News headline, which shouts, “GOD ISN’T FIXING THIS,” followed by the subhead, “As latest batch of innocent Americans are left lying in pools of blood, cowards who could truly end gun scourge continue to hide behind meaningless platitudes.” The Daily News followed it today with another blazing headline that grouped Wayne LaPierre with four psychotic mass murderers. The subhead read, “Syed Farook joins long list of murderous psychos enabled by the NRA’s sick gun jihad against America in the name of profit.” Perhaps the most ominous headline was a headline about US Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who vowed to “Prosecute Those Who Use ‘Anti-Muslim’ Speech That ‘Edges Toward Violence.’”

In the wake of the shooting in San Bernardino, we get into the “thoughts and prayers” debate that broke out last night after the NY Daily News published its provocative front page.

Then, Dinesh D’Souza joins to discuss his new book Stealing America: What My Experience with Criminal Gangs Taught Me about Obama, Hillary, and the Democratic Party and get into detail about his experiences while incarcerated in a halfway house in Texas. But that’s not all — the great Garry Kasparov calls in to talk about his book Winter Is Coming: Why Vladimir Putin and the Enemies of the Free World Must Be StoppedHis comments on Putin and Russia’s place in the world are not to be missed. Finally, a meditation of Chick-fil-A courtesy of Ricochet member Olive and her post The Roaring Success of Chick-fil-A in New York City.

Member Post


Over the past week you’ve undoubtedly read stories or tweets about how “mass shootings” claim more lives than terrorist attacks or that they happen more than once per day in 2015. I know my Facebook feed is clogged with waiters, bartenders, and college dropouts* who know exactly how to end the epidemic of mass shootings […]

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My Thoughts and Prayers Are With the Victims


Yes, perhaps the phrase deserves the mockery. It’s a cliché, and rarely does a cliché have the power to comfort. To reach for it suggests that the victims weren’t even worthy of a few moments of a good speechwriter’s thought. It’s the wrong response.

But what’s the right response to a well-planned, murderous attack on a center for the developmentally disabled? What could the right response be? The French have recently taken to saying, “On ira les buter jusque dans les chiottes,” as Putin said before the second Chechen war. I won’t translate it, because it’s vulgar, and because Americans don’t need speechwriting or statecraft lessons from Vladimir Putin. But it does sound more honest, at least, than a prim, pursed-lipped recitation of the phrase “our thoughts and prayers are with the victims.”

Big Government Is Bankrupt Government


The year 2007 marked the height of the housing bubble. Residential real estate prices were through the roof, especially in Arizona, Nevada, and California where speculators had swamped the market. This overvalued sector resulted in exceptionally high revenues for the Sun Belt cities that based most of their budgets on steadily growing property taxes.

Several cities, understanding the ups and downs of business cycles, maintained their level of spending or increased it by a modest amount. But other municipalities acted as if the good times would never end. Glendale, Ariz. borrowed to build a gargantuan pro football stadium and hockey arena nearly 20 miles from the city center. Stockton, Calif. borrowed $300 million to build their own arena, shopping centers, theaters, and a palatial waterfront complex.