Archive for August, 2013

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This could get interesting

August 30, 2013

A description from The New York Times about a gun law being considered in Missouri. If it passes, I’ll bet we’ll hear from the US Supreme Court sooner or later.

Gun Bill in Missouri Would Test Limits in Nullifying U.S. Law

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Unless a handful of wavering Democrats change their minds, the Republican-controlled Missouri legislature is expected to enact a statute next month nullifying all federal gun laws in the state and making it a crime for federal agents to enforce them here. A Missourian arrested under federal firearm statutes would even be able to sue the arresting officer.

The law amounts to the most far-reaching states’ rights endeavor in the country, the far edge of a growing movement known as “nullification” in which a state defies federal power.

Here’s a summary of Missouri’s current gun laws.

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You can check out any time you like

August 30, 2013

Don’t Fly During Ramadan is Aditya Mukerjee’s essay about his recent experience with the TSA. It’s a long post but worth your time; here’s a short snippet.

At this point, I didn’t mind having to leave the secure area and go back through security again (this time not opting out of the machines), but I didn’t particularly want to get the cops involved. I told him, “Okay, fine, I’ll leave”.

“You can’t leave here.”

“Are you detaining me, then?” I’ve been through enough “know your rights” training to know how to handle police searches; however, TSA agents are not law enforcement officials. Technically, they don’t even have the right to detain you against your will.

“We’re not detaining you. You just can’t leave.” My jaw dropped.

“Either you’re detaining me, or I’m free to go. Which one is it?” I asked.

He glanced for a moment at my backpack, then snatched it out of the conveyor belt. “Okay,” he said. “You can leave, but I’m keeping your bag.”

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Who’s Too Weak to Live With Freedom?

August 22, 2013

An interesting interview of Alan Charles Kors, a co-founder of FIRE.

Via David Thompson

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Randy Barnett on the NSA and secret courts

August 21, 2013

Here’s Matt Welch interviewing Randy Barnett last month in Las Vegas.

This is the Wall Street Journal op-ed by Barnett that Welch mentioned at the start.

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A little humor

August 17, 2013

…that I found at imgur.

libertarian-crosses-the-road

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What we need is separation of Market and State

August 14, 2013

Via Coyote blog, here’s an NBC News report about how the PPACA (Obamacare) is affecting the job market.

Businesses claim Obamacare has forced them to cut employee hours

Employers around the country, from fast-food franchises to colleges, have told NBC News that they will be cutting workers’ hours below 30 a week because they can’t afford to offer the health insurance mandated by the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

“To tell somebody that you’ve got to decrease their hours because of a law passed in Washington is very frustrating to me,” said Loren Goodridge, who owns 21 Subway franchises, including a restaurant in Kennebunk. “I know the impact I’m having on some of my employees.”

Goodridge said he’s cutting the hours of 50 workers to no more than 29 a week so he won’t trigger the provision in the new health care law that requires employers to offer coverage to employees who work 30 hours or more per week. The provision takes effect in 16 months. […]

The White House dismisses such examples as “anecdotal.” Jason Furman, chairman of the president’s Council of Economic Advisors, said, “We are seeing no systematic evidence that the Affordable Care Act is having an adverse impact on job growth or the number of hours employees are working. … [S]ince the ACA became law, nearly 90 percent of the gain in employment has been in full-time positions.”

But the president of an influential union that supports Obamacare said the White House is wrong.

“It IS happening,” insisted Joseph Hansen, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers union, which has 1.2 million members. “Wait a year. You’ll see tremendous impact as workers have their hours reduced and their incomes reduced. The facts are already starting to show up. Their statistics, I think, are a little behind the time.”

Read Coyote’s post for more on the whole topic. He’s a small business owner himself and knows what the costs of Obamacare will be.


Update (8/23/13)
In the same vein, here’s an interesting post at Reason’s Hit & Run site: Obamacare Will Cost Delta Airlines $100 Million Next Year.

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Bambi gets SWATted

August 13, 2013

Just in case we needed a reminder that the police have become too militarized, what follows is the first half of a post at Popehat.

Mutants. Secret Society members. Communists. Baby deer.

In other news, someone brought an baby deer that had been abandoned by its mother to a no-kill animal shelter in Wisconsin.

The no-kill shelter placed a few calls, found a licensed wildlife refuge that would take the baby, and kept the animal in their fenced wooded facility for two weeks until the slot opened up at the refuge.

But, thankfully, this evil criminal conspiracy was stopped in its tracks. Thanks to brave government employees, aerial photos were taken, surveillance was performed, a SWAT team was assembled, and then nine agents of the Department of Natural Resources and four deputies “all armed to the teeth”, raided the no-kill animal shelter.

And shot the baby deer and stuffed its corpse into a body bag.

Because, you see, the law forbids private possession of wildlife. And those villains at the no-kill animal shelter weren’t going to send the deer to the licensed wild life refuge until tomorrow

Details.

The Popehat post is about a news article reported by WISN in Wisconsin. The WISN page includes a 3-minute video of its TV report.

Thirteen armed officers to serve a warrant for a wildlife regulatory violation? It must have been a very slow day at the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

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Those damned Free Staters!

August 12, 2013

This report is simply incredible.

N.H. City Wants a “Tank” to Use Against Occupiers and Libertarians
Concord police listed the nonviolent groups as domestic terror threats in a federal grant application.

After the public release of a document in which he suggested that Occupiers and libertarians pose a domestic terror threat to Concord, New Hampshire, the city’s police chief has backed away from the claim.

In an application to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) seeking more than $250,000 to purchase an armored police vehicle, the capital city of New Hampshire specified the local branch of the Occupy movement and the Free State Project, an effort to recruit “liberty-loving people” to relocate to the Granite State, as potential sources of terrorist action.

“The State of New Hampshire’s experience with terrorism slants primarily towards the domestic type,” the filing reads. “We are fortunate that our State has not been victimized from a mass casualty event from an international terrorism strike however on the domestic front, the threat is real and here. Groups such as the Sovereign Citizens, Free Staters and Occupy New Hampshire are active and present daily challenges.”

Is the Concord police chief dyslexic? Did he confuse the SLA (Patty Hearst’s kidnappers) with the LSA?

We all know, of course, what notorious terrorists those libertarians are: their bloody acts have stained the pages of history for too long now.

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A license to steal

August 12, 2013

Here’s the start of a long article on civil forfeiture by Sarah Stillman that appears in The New Yorker. RTWT.

Taken
Under civil forfeiture, Americans who haven’t been charged with wrongdoing can be stripped of their cash, cars, and even homes. Is that all we’re losing?

On a bright Thursday afternoon in 2007, Jennifer Boatright, a waitress at a Houston bar-and-grill, drove with her two young sons and her boyfriend, Ron Henderson, on U.S. 59 toward Linden, Henderson’s home town, near the Texas-Louisiana border. They made the trip every April, at the first signs of spring, to walk the local wildflower trails and spend time with Henderson’s father. This year, they’d decided to buy a used car in Linden, which had plenty for sale, and so they bundled their cash savings in their car’s center console. Just after dusk, they passed a sign that read “Welcome to Tenaha: A little town with BIG Potential!”

They pulled into a mini-mart for snacks. When they returned to the highway ten minutes later, Boatright, a honey-blond “Texas redneck from Lubbock,” by her own reckoning, and Henderson, who is Latino, noticed something strange. The same police car that their eleven-year-old had admired in the mini-mart parking lot was trailing them. Near the city limits, a tall, bull-shouldered officer named Barry Washington pulled them over.

He asked if Henderson knew that he’d been driving in the left lane for more than half a mile without passing.

No, Henderson replied. He said he’d moved into the left lane so that the police car could make its way onto the highway.

Were there any drugs in the car? When Henderson and Boatright said no, the officer asked if he and his partner could search the car.

The officers found the couple’s cash and a marbled-glass pipe that Boatright said was a gift for her sister-in-law, and escorted them across town to the police station. In a corner there, two tables were heaped with jewelry, DVD players, cell phones, and the like. According to the police report, Boatright and Henderson fit the profile of drug couriers: they were driving from Houston, “a known point for distribution of illegal narcotics,” to Linden, “a known place to receive illegal narcotics.” The report describes their children as possible decoys, meant to distract police as the couple breezed down the road, smoking marijuana. (None was found in the car, although Washington claimed to have smelled it.)

The county’s district attorney, a fifty-seven-year-old woman with feathered Charlie’s Angels hair named Lynda K. Russell, arrived an hour later. Russell, who moonlighted locally as a country singer, told Henderson and Boatright that they had two options. They could face felony charges for “money laundering” and “child endangerment,” in which case they would go to jail and their children would be handed over to foster care. Or they could sign over their cash to the city of Tenaha, and get back on the road. “No criminal charges shall be filed,” a waiver she drafted read, “and our children shall not be turned over to CPS,” or Child Protective Services.

“Where are we?” Boatright remembers thinking. “Is this some kind of foreign country, where they’re selling people’s kids off?” Holding her sixteen-month-old on her hip, she broke down in tears.

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The Army of the State (2)

August 4, 2013

Paul sends a link to this video about a business man’s encounter with an Indianapolis policeman. Luckily, no one was seriously injured or killed by this cop with a short fuse.

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