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Take my rights. Please.

July 18, 2015

I don’t think this quite reaches the level of civil disobedience but it would certainly be good for civil annoyance. (And maybe give TSA folks a clue that they should find productive work.)

In any case, I think I’ll buy a few because I like the idea.

TSA “Bill of Rights” Card

Mr Jillette and a friend of his got the idea to make playing card size copies of the Bill of Rights printed on metal. It sets off the metal detectors and you get to hear the security person say, “I’m going to have to take away your Bill of Rights.” Well, it’s not going to actually work like that very often, but the idea is there. They’re light and go right into a breast pocket. Purchase 1 or 100 and hand em out to your friends.

H.T. Jeff G

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Let’s hope he’s wrong

July 18, 2015

This is not the first time I’ve heard Mr. Schiff talk about this topic, so his prediction of inflation isn’t news. But it always leaves me wondering how the U.S. debt will be handled. (I’m not talking about the deficit, but rather the total debt of roughly $18 trillion.)

This is a particular concern to those of us who are retired or close to retirement. In the last several years it’s been very difficult to find an investment with low risk and a decent return — where ‘decent’ means a couple of percentage points above the inflation rate.

I suppose we could all buy junk bonds, keep our fingers crossed, and hope for the best.

If the inflation rate jumps up into the 10-15% range, as it did in the 1980s*, there’re going to be a lot of unhappy oldsters. And maybe a lot of unhappy youngsters, too, as the older folks figure out they need to keep working or return to work.

*When I bought my first house in 1984, the mortgage rate was 13.5%. And that was an adjustable rate note with a 17.5% cap; it was the best deal we could find at the time.

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Thank God for the Fifth Amendment

July 12, 2015

This video has been around for a while (7 years on YouTube) but it’s chock full of good practical advice, from both Professor Duane and Officer Bruch, so that I think it’s worth posting here.

If you haven’t seen it, it’s worth the 50 minutes it takes to watch it.

Avoiding talking to the police without counsel is a recurring topic at Popehat.com: in this post for example. That one’s worth your time too.

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Faster, please

July 9, 2015

What happened when Portugal decriminalised drugs?

Joint-rolling class. Heh.

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Criminal Law 2.0

July 8, 2015

Here’s a post at MarginalRevolution about an article by Judge Alex Kozinski (PDF) which appears at GeorgetownLawJournal.org.

The judge’s article is a bit lengthy but I still recommend you RTWT.

Kozinski Indicts the US Justice System

Federal Judge Alex Kozinski (9th circuit) has written a scathing indictment of the US justice system. Kozinski starts out discussing a number of myths such as that eyewitness testimony or forensic evidence is highly reliable. Business Insider gives a quick rundown of this part of the paper but they clearly didn’t read very far because the incendiary material comes later.

Kozinski, writing in part based on his personal experience as a judge, says that prosecutors are too often running roughshod over justice:

…there are disturbing indications that a non-trivial number of prosecutors—and sometimes entire prosecutorial offices— engage in misconduct that seriously undermines the fairness of criminal trials. The misconduct ranges from misleading the jury, to outright lying in court and tacitly acquiescing or actively participating in the presentation of false evidence by police.

[…]

Via Coyoteblog

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There’s usually a lot of that going around

July 7, 2015

From The Washington Post, a sensible opinion about the tempest-in-a-teapot over the Confederate flag.

There’s no race war in America

Did you know that this newspaper is named for a slaveholder? It’s right there on our masthead, the name of a man who for 56 years held other human beings in bondage on his Virginia plantation — a man, according to the official Mount Vernon Web site, who “frequently utilized harsh punishment against the enslaved population, including whippings.” This dreaded symbol of oppression is delivered to the doorsteps and inboxes of hundreds of thousands of people each morning.

Sure, George Washington also emancipated his slaves in his will, won our independence and became the father of our country — but no matter. It is an outrage that this paper continues to bear the name of such a man.

It is time to rename The Washington Post!

Think that’s stupid? You’re right. But there’s a lot of stupid going around today. The latest example: The TV Land network has pulled the plug on reruns of one of America’s most beloved shows, “The Dukes of Hazzard,” because the car in the show, the General Lee, bears a Confederate flag. There is nothing racist about “The Dukes of Hazzard.” It is a show about moonshine, short shorts and fast cars. What is accomplished by banning “The Dukes of Hazzard”? Nothing. […]

This impulse to wipe away history is Stalinist. Just like Joseph Stalin once erased people from photographs, we’re now erasing people from our collective history.

These historical purges are not only wrong, they are also completely unnecessary. If you want to see where race relations are in the South, just look at how the people of Charleston, S.C., reacted to the shootings at Emanuel AME Church. There were no race riots. The city didn’t burn. People came together — black and white — to mourn and heal together. The white mayor of Charleston joined hands with the state’s black senator and its Indian American governor to pray. Thousands of people of all races, creeds and colors formed a “unity chain” that stretched two miles across the Ravenel Bridge to honor those who died.

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Some good news about civil asset forfeiture

July 7, 2015

This is refreshing news.

Civil Forfeiture Now Requires A Criminal Conviction In Montana And New Mexico

Just in time for the Fourth of July, states are declaring their independence from civil forfeiture.

Enabled by civil forfeiture laws, police can seize and keep property without the government ever filing criminal charges. Innocent Americans actually must prove their own innocence in court if they ever hope to regain their property. Local, state and federal law enforcement agencies routinely seize property and pad their budgets with forfeiture revenue. Outlets as diverse as The New Yorker and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver have detailed this travesty of justice.

But thankfully, civil forfeiture’s days may soon be numbered. Starting July 1, two major reforms from Montana and New Mexico will go into effect. […]

Via Radley Balko

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