- I agree with Brian Keith’s fine analysis of the “carrots” and the “sticks” in the gun-rights movement. Except, of course, when one of the “carrots” actually goes over to the other side, pretends he can prevent what the enemy really wants, and collaborates by helping write tyrannical legislation.
- “The Oyster Shell Game.” The fedgov uses pseudoscience, lies, etc. to destroy a small business.
- From Ellendra in comments: have a “go to zero” month. (Kinda what I’ve been doing this month, except this family went much farther than I would. Maybe another month this summer …)
- “My Old Dead Drunk Self.” Breaking dependency not only on substances but on the conventions of “recovery.”
- The “sticks” will be converging in Olympia again on February 7.
- George Will on the harm inflicted by the growing welfare state.
Archive for the ‘Official thuggery, bad prosecutions, and bad law’ Category
- “The Doughty Swiss” and their fabulous franc.
- If you thought the Obama administration and fed ‘crats had backed off on using banks to try to shut down gun stores, think again.
- In one California city citizens take direct action to try to get justice against brutal cops.
- The emergency room: a microcosm for misplaced priorities. We see this in animal rescue/welfare work, too, in the form people who can afford pricey tattoos, cigarettes, and weekly lotto tickets and scratch cards — but “can’t” come up with $25 to keep their pets from producing endless, unhealthy litters year after year.
- In legalizing recreational cannabis, Alaska faces some unique hurdles. Well, one unique hurdle, mainly: that hurdle we all know and love so well, the fedgov.
- Fresh guacamole! Delightful video via A.G. in comments.
Yeah, I didn’t believe it, either, when I read the news on Friday.
Eric Holder — that Eric Holder — delivering a major kneecapping to America’s government-approved highway robbers?
But Radley Balko believes it. So I believe it.
Well, more or less.
No question about it, federal “ownership” of local asset forfeiture cases has enabled forfeiture abuse like nothing else and has done more for police corruption since anything but … well, the drug war itself. (You’ve got to wonder; was there every anyone associated with this scam who truly believed it wouldn’t lead to corruption and injustice?)
Having the feds standing by with open arms to “adopt” local seizures (thus allowing local cop-ops to keep most of their stolen goods for whatever purpose they wished) made state asset forfeiture reforms virtually moot. States would try to divert seized funds to schools or some other purpose, and cops would just make their cases federal and say “&^%$# you!” to their state governments. Then they’d go on grabbing whatever cash or assets they could without ever charging anybody with a crime.
Nice racket if you can pull it off! And for years, cops have.
So if Holder really means it and if it sticks, Friday’s announcement is a very big deal. But sadly not the end of non-criminal asset forfeiture.
In addition to the concerns Balko raises, I can think of a bunch more.
If one AG, on his own say-so, can end such a colossally abusive policy, there’s nothing to stop a future ‘crat from instituting another just like it — or worse. (Ah, the joys of “democracy”!)
It’s possible that those freedom-loving (and property-rights respecting) R’s newly in control of Congress will — in a fit of support-your-local-policeism — re-institute the worst aspects of asset forfeiture, and make it law, not just bureaucratic policy.
Even if the way is now open for meaningful state-level reform, it’s a good bet that not a lot of states will institute real reform (like banning asset forfeiture outside of limited criminal cases). Too often, “reform” has just meant states want to put the stolen cash into state coffers, rather than cop coffers. And while that would take away a lot of the incentive for stealing it in the first place, it’s not enough.
So yeah. There’s a lot that could go wrong here. And where government’s involved, you can bet that what can go wrong will go wrong.
Still … what happened on Friday might be the only good thing Eric Holder has ever done for freedom. So for the moment let’s be of good cheer.
- What is time? It rules our lives, but who can define it? Here are 10 mind-blowing attempts at explaining time. (H/T ML)
- Dear Boston: Please say hell no to hosting the Olympics.
- Oh my. Such a problem to have! Washington state pot growers and retailers face a glut of legal product. (Tip o’ hat to jed.)
- Albuquerque cops finally facing murder charges for one of their most horrible caught-on-camera moments.
- In the rage over Islamist attacks on the west and western values, let us not forget that the worst and most helpless victims are Muslims and those who live in Muslim countries.
- Lovely, starkly designed cabins from around the world But who lives in these things and how do they get by without bathrooms?
- Thanks, terrorists. From now on no more Mr. Wiseguy. :-)
- Three more hopeful looks at Western-Islamic relations: An imam says Muslims must reject violence and governments must change course; Glenn Harlan Reynolds points out that Muslim leaders are finally realizing that their “brand” is tarnished by the acceptance of intolerance; author Irshad Manji is optimistic about the future between Islam and the West.
Again, this is the opinion of a friend who wishes to remain anonymous. The following is not by me.
—–begin anon message, part II—–
I am not Charlie Hebdo, because I know that free speech is a lie. The Constitution is a dead letter, and I am a coward.
Charlie Hebdo published offensive speech that was found by a court of law to be worthy of protection. The speakers were killed.
Anwar al-Awlaki published offensive speech, and was killed. He was denied a day in court, and simply murdered.
I don’t want to be killed. I want to work for peace, but I’m not going to stick my head up and invite extremely well-armed people to shoot at me, no matter what costume they wear.
I did not write the following. It was sent to me by a friend who has concluded that free speech is now such a myth that anonymity is the only protection. These are my friend’s opinions. Because they’re long, I’ll split this into two parts and run them on successive days.
—–begin anon text—–
For your reading “pleasure.” How a gang of borderland narco cops just loooooved their jobs so much they became major narcotics thieves. And of course used their cop power, cop equipment, and cop cover to do it all.
You kinda get the impression they’d happily do it all again, too.
Vice wars. They corrupt everybody they touch. Always have, always will. Long, but interesting article.
- “I carry a gun every day.” This is great! (H/T LA)
- Wordlessly ending the hassle at a checkpoint. (Tip o hat to jed)
- Publicola is back! And he comes out swinging at the Neville Chamberlains of gun rights.
- Lenore Skenazy of Free Range Kids reviews the top 10 nanny-state fails of 2014.
- Amazing. Wonder. Beauty. Creation. Destruction. Science!
- And speaking of “science,” a prominent meteorologist explains why the NorthWET has been so very darned wet this year. :-)
- Groom calls off wedding. Bride, family, and friends have some liberating fun.
Vin Suprynowicz interview will continue as scheduled sometime tomorrow. Meantime, some tab clearing …
- The dangers of tasers. Better late than never, I guess, and the info about the post-tase brain fog is something to think about.
- Very impressive, resourceful, and brave little girl. Her father taught her well. It’s too bad her hell is just beginning.
- Speaking of a child’s (and a family’s) hell, the Washington Post has an unusually even-handed story about how that Idaho toddler shot his mother to death. It being a story about Idaho and guns, I note that the D.C.-ites (without apparent irony) assigned it to a foreign affairs correspondent. (H/T. LA)
- My first response to that widely reported claim that 2/3 of all cancers just come out of nowhere, sorry, complete coincidence, no way to prevent them, was okay, so the initial mutation might come out of nowhere, but what is your body equipped to do about it? I’m not the only one asking such questions.
- The liberation of aging.
- Cops try to bust man for smoking pot. Crowd forms a human shield to prevent them. (Via Wendy)
- Kevin Wilmeth resolves to continue to remain in “outrage fatigue recovery mode” in 2015. Good resolution, Kevin. 2014 was a rough one for too many people hereabouts.
- The latest Twitter hashtag: #IMBLOCKEDBYSHANNONWATTS. Go get ‘er, Nicki!
- So sadly believable. In the last century +, western nations have cut their average work weeks by 30 hours. Guess what people are doing with all that glorious free time?
- Was Santa good to you? Better doublecheck. Those Christmas presents may be spying on you.
- Not sure why this didn’t get more coverage a few weeks back: Woman abused and jailed for taking perfectly legal photos from a perfectly legal spot finally gets a little justice.
- Um … healthier ways to be lazy.
Of course, it never stops. Government thuggery, I mean. Because the incentives all go in the direction of tyranny.
I elaborate over at The Zelman Partisans.
When I finally narrowed the search down far enough it turned out that the quote was actually from me. But only because my brain badly mangled and probably misinterpreted something actually said by Mark Twain.
Ah, the human mind. Such a wondrous instrument.
Nevertheless, the non-quote led me to something I blogged here back in 2011. It’s the fourth of a series on “the responsibilities of a resident of a police state” and it’s worth a re-visit.
That in turn led me to a Fred Reed column of the same vintage, which is even more worth a revisit.
I’ll wait while you do that.