Archive for January 9th, 2016


Not much, I hope

January 9, 2016

Here’s some news that might be good news on the asset forfeiture front. We’ll see how permanent this policy change is.

What’s next for feds’ seizure program after local payments stopped?

Local law enforcement agencies will no longer reap any rewards from a controversial federal program that allows police to take money and property from individuals – and keep up to 80 percent of it – even if those individuals are never charged with any crime.

That’s because the Justice Department earlier this month suspended payments from the “equitable sharing” program that normally paid out 80 percent of those funds collected to local agencies, citing budget cuts.

The move prompted cheers from those trying to eliminate or reform such seizures and forfeitures, with some saying the action could eventually reduce the number of officers who perform such seizures. But it has also raised major concern among those local agencies and the law enforcement community nationwide about the drop in potential funding. […]


More evidence for the limited government argument (2)

January 9, 2016

Moe Lane writes at RedState:

Washington Post admits that, no: electric cars were NOT worth it.

At least, if you use the rule of thumb that any time you ask a question in a headline then the answer is always going to be ‘no:’ “The government has spent a lot on electric cars, but was it worth it?” And the answer to the question is no in this case, too. There are three ways that the Washington Post (note that I am not criticizing WaPo article author Charles Lane, here: he’s obviously figured it all out already) could have worked that out ahead of time, in fact; all it had to do was look more closely at the title. […]

Read the whole thing; it’s brief. Better yet, follow the link the to WaPo article.

When electric cars get charged from solar cells or from zero point energy (assuming that’s practical), then I’ll buy one.

But to buy an electric vehicle which is charged by coal-fired generation (as mine would be) is just adding another step, with its particular inefficiencies, to the total energy use. TANSTAAFL applies to engineering as well as to politics. That’s why engineers won’t shut up about it.

It’s tough to beat the energy density in petroleum. Unless you’re willing to burn hyrdrogen or natural gas, or you’re willing to use nuclear sources, then you should burn petroleum. You don’t have to be an engineer to look this stuff up.

My view is that people should convert their vehicles to natural gas. It’s cheaper and it’s better in terms of emissions. If you’re one who worries about catastrophic warming, look at what the switch from coal to natural gas has done for US carbon emissions. They’ve fallen since 2007.

I always think that the example of places like Cuba, Venezuela, the Soviet Union, North Korea, the old ‘Eastern Bloc’ in Europe, und so weiter, would be enough to convince anyone that governments have no business trying to run markets.

But I’m learning not to be surprised when those examples aren’t convincing.

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