- Lawsuit: Man contends he was arrested for contempt for not standing on his leg. Which the arresting officer had just broken.
- Another arrest in Austin for providing free rides home from bars. And from the discussion of that post over at Reddit: “I am personally involved in the lobbying effort to keep these guys off the street and honestly the reason is simply to restrict competition.”
- Nice photo of a runway model.
- Good roundup of great journalism on the death penalty.
- Anonymous releases hacked emails from Texas police department. Disturbingness ensues.
- Dustup of the day: Cato’s Tad DeHaven vs. Lloyd Chapman, head of the American Small Business League.
- How U.S. companies profited from torture flights.
Category: Motorist Freedom
Cops in Florida have written thousands of tickets to motorists for flashing their lights to warn other motorists of speed traps. Problem is, flashing your lights to communicate isn’t against the law in the Florida.
So one motorist has filed a class action.
. . . the lawsuit says the FHP is well aware they are wrongfully applying the state law and they are doing it as a means of generating revenue. In 2005, a court order was even issued saying the state law doesn’t prohibit the flashing of vehicle headlights.
Campbell isn’t the only one. Since 2005, FHP records show more than 10,429 drivers have been cited under the statute.
In addition to seeking the refund of the $100 ticket, the lawsuit seeks damages in excess of $15,000…
A New Orleans police officer has been arrested for writing more than 200 phantom seat belt citations. Why would he do that?
Glenn Gross, who works in the NOPD’s information technology department, was writing bogus tickets for seat-belt violations, allowing him to collect extra pay, Superintendent Ronal Serpas said.
The department received a federal grant in June that pays for overtime for officers who enforce seat-belt laws. Rather than doing the work and writing up motorists who had violated the law, Gross, 44, wrote tickets to phantom motorists, officials said.
Officials said the investigation is continuing and that other officers, and possibly a supervisor, are also under scrutiny. Serpas said he couldn’t say how much overtime Gross collected as a result of the scam.
You know, libertarians are often mocked when we decry mandatory seat belt laws, or when we get all hot and bothered about federal meddling in trifles like this.
Even if you don’t much care about personal freedom, here’s why this stuff matters: Put aside this particular cop and his made-up violations. Put aside the others who may also be implicated in the investigation. Put aside also the (legitimate) concerns about how such incentives might encourage bad cops to fine actual motorists who are wearing seat belts, or about how primary seat belts laws give police another reason to make pretext stops that can then lead to dubious searches and harassment.
Even assuming that everybody’s motives are on the up and up, here, you still have a city with a murder rate that’s ten times the national average. And here you have a federal program that hands out bonus checks not to cops who spend their time walking beats in dangerous neighborhoods, who patrol high-crime areas, or who put in overtime to solve murders . . . but to cops who hunt down motorists who aren’t wearing their seat belts.
- Sarah Palin: Still an idiot.
- Nashville food trucks forced to form a political organization. Kinda’ sad that you can’t just provide a product people want anymore. You have to become politically active, too. For simple self-preservation.
- Anti-U.S. propaganda posters from North Korea.
- Aftermath of crash involving truck loaded with printer ink.
- Scott Greenfield has more on that Texas Appeals Court dash cam ruling.
- The Economist on the Danziger bridge convictions. I wonder if syndicated conservative columnist Deroy Murdock is ever going to apologize to the victims he libeled?
- Here’s a chart that might surprise you.
- How courts sanction prosecutorial misconduct.
Drivers have no recourse if police say the tape from a dashboard-mounted video camera is not available, according to a ruling Wednesday from the Texas Court of Appeals. Mark Lee Martin wanted to defend himself against drug possession charges filed in the wake of an August 29, 2008 traffic stop, but he was told no video was available.
Travis County Sheriff’s Deputy Darren Jennings claimed that he pulled over Martin that evening because he failed to signal a left-hand turn. Within less than two weeks after the incident, Martin’s attorney formally requested that the department preserve video evidence from the stop. Subpoenas were issued to ensure “all videos and dispatch calls” would be saved. At trial, Jennings was asked why the camera evidence had not been kept.
“Since I didn’t put it in my report it wasn’t preserved because I didn’t believe it had any type of evidential value,” Jennings told the court.
The dashcam is automatically activated when an officer turns on his emergency lights. Department policy states that all video must automatically be saved for thirty days. Jennings could not say whether his machine was operating that night, but he would have noted either at the beginning or end of the shift if the device had not been functional. Jennings stated that the only way to know for sure if the video had been taken would have been if he had preserved the video. Martin argued the police were obviously hiding evidence.
“The officers intentionally destroyed the video and thereby put exculpatory evidence as far as the search is concerned or evidence favorable to the accused out of the reach of the accused,” Martin’s attorney claimed. “We feel that for no other reason the search is invalid and any evidence found as a result of that search should be suppressed.”
The appellate court found no merit in this argument.
“We agree with the state that the record supports a finding by the district court that the police did not act in bad faith,” Justice Bob Pemberton wrote. “The United States Supreme Court has held that ‘unless a criminal defendant can show bad faith on the part of the police, failure to preserve potentially useful evidence does not constitute a denial of due process of law.’”
The court found no evidence of bad faith because the officer testified that he had “no clue” whether there even was a recording made.
Relevant excerpt from my Reason piece “The War on Cameras”:
Last March, Justice Lee Ann Dauphinot of the Second Court of Appeals in Texas complained in a dissent that when defendants accused of driving while intoxicated in Fort Worth challenge the charges in court, dash-camera video of their arrests is often missing or damaged. “At some point,” Dauphinot wrote, “courts must address the repeated failure of officers to use the recording equipment and their repeated inability to remember whether the car they were driving on patrol or to a DWI stop contained the video equipment the City of Fort Worth has been paying for.”
Well I guess they are addressing it, now. They’re giving cops a how-to guide when it comes to destroying dash cam footage that makes them look bad, or that could exonerate a motorist: Just make it look like you’re incompetent, not malicious.
- Agitator guest blogger alum Alyona Minkovsky does a Q&A with Brian Lamb tonight on C-SPAN.
- LAPD officers allege ticket quotas.
- More laws named after dead people.
- Next in line for a bailout: the U.S. Postal Service.
- Ken at Popehat has been on a rampage lately—a delightfully entertaining rampage of truth, light, and goodness.
- DOJ files secret brief in wiretapping case that plaintiff’s attorneys aren’t permitted to see.
- Anonymous claims to have hacked 70 law enforcement websites, says big information dump is coming.
- Up next: the higher education bubble.
- I know my tray table is in its locked, upright position. If you know what I mean.
- After two deaths, Charlotte police department shelves tasers pending a safety review.
- Some good perspective on “Leiby’s Law.”
- Amazing how the verbiage changes in these stories when the home invaders who shoot the dog aren’t wearing badges.
- Massachusetts plans to use high-speed license plate scanners to create massive database to indefinitely store driver whereabouts. Sure. This isn’t creepy at all!
- Newark cop arrests, puts choke hold on TV camera man, then charges him with “disorderly conduct.”
- Republicans for limited government.
- No rest in the war on lemonade stands.
- Pittsburgh police commissioner orders cops to make at least 10 traffic stops per month in predominantly black district.
- Hope you have a permit for that imaginary gun.
- Another lefty activist group that’s demanding transparency from free market groups . . . but won’t disclose its own donors.
- When al-Qaeda is defeated, will we get our civil liberties back? (This is a rhetorical question.)
- Photo of Pete Eyre with one of the jurors who acquitted him yesterday.
- More on that study of Alabama judges who override juries in death penalty cases: Not only do they overwhelmingly override juries in favor of sentencing defendants to death, they’re more likely to do so in an election year.
- Prosecutor still on the job after two DWI arrests in two weeks.
- Utah woman pulled over for driving too slow, then arrested for recording the stop.
- Three members of Kansas City SWAT team indicted on federal conspiracy charges.
- Jogger arrested for warning motorists of a speed trap.
- Video of police in California detaining a man who is not violating the state’s open carry law.
- Alabama allows judges to override jury sentences in death penalty cases. Study shows that 92 percent of overrides are when judges impose a death sentence over the wishes of a jury.
- Yes, it’s true. If the government monitors you for every minute of every day, there’s a good chance that if you’re ever falsely accused of a crime, footage from government cameras could get you off the hook. This is not a persuasive argument in favor of government monitoring you every minute of every day.
- Adam Mueller and Pete Eyre go on trial tomorrow in Greenfield, Massachusetts. They’re charged with felony wiretapping for openly recording at a police station.
Maker of Ignition Interlock Devices: Public Safety Demands a Law Requiring Ignition Interlock DevicesMonday, July 11th, 2011
Shocking, isn’t it?
But good on the Washington Times for exposing the money grab behind the “public safety” campaign to mandate the devices for first-time DUI offenders.
A bill that would withhold up to 5 percent of each state’s highway funding unless that state requires such as device in the cars of all convicted drunken drivers was introduced in the Senate in February by Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg, New Jersey Democrat, and last month in the House by Rep. Eliot L. Engel, New York Democrat.
For the past 18 months, lobbyists for “ignition interlocks,” as they are called, have jockeyed to inject a provision into the crevices of the transportation reauthorization bill, a tentative outline of which was released Friday by Rep. John L. Mica, Florida Republican.
The hospitality industry says a mandate could pave the way for a different type of sensor, other than a Breathalyzer, to be made standard in all cars within five years, in line with a separate House proposal introduced last month that would allocate $60 million over that period to develop the technology. Those devices would be set to detect blood alcohol content near the legal limit, likely through skin contact with the steering wheel.
The Coalition of Ignition Interlock Manufacturers hired lobbyist David Kelly, a former chief of staff and acting administrator at the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration. Mr. Lautenberg’s former chief of staff, Tim Yehl, now lobbies for Ignition Interlock Systems of Iowa . . .
The manufacturers are taking a page from a well-worn playbook: lobbying campaigns in which private companies advocate for government requirements that would make them rich by aligning with activist forces who provide moral pronouncements that are appealing to politicians and – once on the table – the public . . .
“The overwhelming majority of entities that want to regulate in some way are composed of Baptists and bootleggers,” said Peter Van Doren, editor of the quarterly journal Regulation, referring to the two groups that pressed for Prohibition 90 years ago: religious zealots who viewed alcohol as immoral and the gangsters who profited from its illegal status.
Manufacturers are “probably sincere and also making an alliance with Mothers Against Drunk Driving – the mothers would be the Baptists,” he said. “They’re going to them and saying if you mandate this thing, your version of the world will come along, and it just so happens we’ll get rich – but of course they don’t say that part.”
I’m fine with mandating these devices for repeat offenders. But first-time offenders is too much, especially for someone barely above the too-low legal limit. And I don’t think it’s unreasonable to worry about the possibility that this campaign will expand to demand the devices in all new cars.
I’d also add here that there may indeed be good public safety arguments for this policy. I just don’t think the anti-alcohol fanatics can be trusted when they try to make them. A few years ago, for example, I wrote about a MADD report that “evaluated” DWI fatality data in all 50 states. Somehow, MADD’s objective analysis determined that every state was in urgent need of an ignition interlock law, regardless of whether the state’s DWI stats were trending up, trending down, or unchanged.
In Tennessee, a big drug bust is in jeopardy after a federal judge found that police had no reason for the traffic stop that led to the subsequent search and arrest:
It should have been a victory for Tennessee narcotics policing. Drug task force agents see a car zoom past on Interstate 65 South in Robertson County — prime conditions for the kind of pretextual traffic stop that could lead to a drug search. Indeed, a search of the late-model Ford sedan reveals that the two Hispanic men from Dayton, Ohio, are drug mules who’ve been paid a pittance to risk transporting a half-kilo of heroin down a known drug corridor . . .
Instead, Lt. Shane Daugherty, a team supervisor with the 17th Judicial Drug Task Force and perhaps one of the most high-profile narcos in the state, now finds his own credibility in question. Meanwhile, the Ruizes are all but ready to walk out of jail as free men. With one ruling, federal district Judge Aleta Trauger rendered the evidence Daugherty discovered off limits and the prosecution’s case against the cousins virtually unwinnable.
The message Trauger’s memo sends to the agent and the Tennessee law enforcement community in general is clear: Have probable cause nailed down — or suffer the consequences in court. At issue is not whether one or both of the Ruizes were knowingly transporting heroin, but whether they were ever speeding in the first place.
The article goes on to detail how the dash cam and other evidence strongly suggests the Ruizes were not speeding, and that Daugherty pulled them over on little more than a hunch. He has also since changed his story, a couple times.
Critics of the Exclusionary Rule argue that it only protects the guilty. And sure enough, here you have the likely outcome that a couple drug runners—and the drug distributor they gave up—will go free.
But what about all the innocent, likely brown or black people Daugherty also pulled over on a hunch? I suppose it’s possible that every illegal stop Daugherty made solely on instinct turned up drug runners, but that seems unlikely. The fact that his dash cam was set to begin recording only after he turned on his lights—conveniently leaving out whatever traffic violation led to his decision to pull the motorist over in the first place—suggests that this wasn’t his first illegal stop. Most of the innocent people harassed by such stops aren’t likely to file a complaint, much less a lawsuit. Even if they have the inclination to sue, thanks to qualified immunity they aren’t likely to find an attorney to take their case. That’s because even in the unlikely event they can get past qualified immunity, it’s unlikely that a judgment for an illegal roadside search would win enough in damages to make a lawsuit worthwhile. It would take a group like the ACLU, amassing dozens of plaintiffs, to have any real effect. (The ACLU has filed and won such suits. But they certainly don’t have the resources to address this stuff everywhere it happens.)
So without the Exclusionary Rule (and frankly, even with it), there’s little to keep Tennessee cops from illegally pulling over and harassing innocent motorists. In fact, if you’ll remember back to that Nashville TV news investigation on asset forfeiture last month, there’s a strong financial incentive in favor of profiling motorists. I suppose we could fall back on internal discipline—that new police professionalism Justice Scalia is fond of bringing up. But how many police agencies are going to seriously discipline a cop for making pretext stops if every 10th or 20th such stop results in tens of thousands of dollars for his department?
The Exclusionary Rule certainly isn’t ideal. But it does at least serve as some check on Fourth Amendment violations. It’s really the only check. Daugherty’s career-making bust may now be a career-ending one, especially if he’s designated a “Brady cop.”
Yes, an unsavory character may duck charges in the process, but that’s what gets the public’s attention, which is what forces change. The bigger the fish that gets away, the more attention the Fourth Amendment violation that led to the arrest gets in the press, the more embarrassment subsequently cast on the law enforcement agency in question, the greater the likelihood that said agency will better train its cops in the future (or, if you’re cynical, change its unofficial policy). A cop the Nashville Scene says is one of the most high-profile narcos in the state is now fighting for his career. You can bet that the state’s drug cops now know that there’s a federal district court judge who’s growing suspicious of the way they operate. That means less harassment of innocent motorists.
(In less encouraging news, the Louisiana Supreme Court just went the other way, refusing to throw out evidence gathered after a search based on an police officer’s hunch and the old “furtive gesture” routine.)
- Mapp v. Ohio turns 50. I’d put more credibility in conservative objections to the Exclusionary Rule if they offered plausible alternative policies to prevent law enforcement from violating the Fourth Amendment.
- Connecticut decriminalizes marijuana.
- Texas police conduct search based on a tip from a psychic.
- Shame on you, Apple.
- The word total means they’re really, really serious this time.
- Tennessee posts a strong entry in the “most moronic law about the Internet” competition.
- Good op-ed by Cato’s David Rittgers on police militarization.
- Fun collection of on-set movie photos.
- This is a pretty remarkable decision. More, please.
- A nuclear catastrophe is looming in Japan.
- Connecticut considering tougher sanctions for using a cell phone while driving, including letting cops take your phone for 48 hours, suspending your license, and up to three months in prison.
- D.C. residents out thousands of dollars after city reneges on promise to reimburse them for installing solar panels.
- Judge keeps city of Portland on the hook in lawsuit against road raging off-duty cop.
- Via commenter John Jenkins, Etsy exposes its users’ purchases to the world. Article includes the unlikely phrase “artisan dildos”.
- Elderly NYC woman gets a $100 ticket for putting a newspaper in a public trash can.
- Amtrak police chief furious at TSA for train station searches.
- NY Times editorial board ignores its own reporting in playing down the effects of the new CPSIA regulations.
- Florida state senator want to make it a felony to . . . photograph farms.
- PR service hiring actors to call in to right-wing radio talk shows.
- Supreme Court bars a broad exemption government agencies have been using to deny FOIA requests.
- Interesting old Joan Didion essay on the history of HOV lanes.
- More evidence that lack of a sense of humor appears to be a requirement to become a public school administrator.
A memo discovered in Bell police files appears to outline a game in which police officers compete to issue tickets, impound cars and arrest motorists.
Titled the “Bell Police Department Baseball Game,” the memo assigns “singles,” “doubles,” “triples” and “home runs” to progressively more serious infractions, starting with parking tickets and moving on to vehicle impounds and felony arrests of drivers. “Non-performers,” the memo says, are “sent for minor league rehab stint.”
The discovery of the memo comes as the U.S. Department of Justice is investigating whether Bell police violated the civil rights of residents through aggressive towing of cars and code enforcement. Part of the investigation focuses on claims by some officers that the department had quotas for issuing tickets and impounding cars, which they said was done to raise revenue for the city. Some officers said they were reprimanded when they did not meet goals.
It’s the first document suggesting a concerted effort to have officers pull over more cars, though it’s unclear who wrote the memo and whether department brass condoned it.
At least two Bell police officials said they were familiar with the memo, which they said circulated a few years ago. Bell Police Capt. Anthony Miranda said he thought a few patrolmen wrote it “to challenge themselves” and when department leaders found out about it, they “squashed it.”
“I think guys created it on their own and when the administration heard about it, they put a stop to it,” added Lt. Ty Henshaw. Department leaders said “It’s cool and fun and we appreciate the motivation, but it’s not going to look good.”
I suppose it’s possible that this memo and the contemporaneous complaints of illegal towing, ticketing, and other harassment of motorists, coupled with the resulting revelation that Bell city officials were drawing massive salaries while the city went deep into the red . . . are entirely coincidental. Seems unlikely, though, doesn’t it?
Also, assuming Capt. Miranda (great name!) is telling the truth, isn’t it at least a little problematic that upon learning that some of their officers were making a game of due process, Bell police officials merely “squashed” the memo, instead of investigating and disciplining the officers responsible?
Here’s my favorite part of the memo:
Honor system in place and violation will result in one day suspension.
Well of course. In our game to deprive motorists of their rights in order to enrich grossly overpaid city officials, there’s no place for cheaters! Honor among thieves, and all that.
- Happy National Pancake Day! This is my second favorite holiday—after March 14th, of course.
- No Depression readers interview Agitator favorite Hayes Carll.
- Wired jumps on board with the “the people who are making your iPhone are killing themselves” hysteria.
- Amazing photo of Christchurch, New Zealand moments after last week’s earthquake.
- Iran sees a Jewish conspiracy in . . . London’s 2012 Olympics logo.
- Lawyer wants to sue town for racketeering for falsely threatening license suspensions if citizens don’t pay automated speeding tickets.
- This is either creepy or genius.
- Kid beats a speeding ticket with his smart phone.
- Former MADD chapter president arrested for DUI. Also, .239!
- Another illegal arrest for recording an on-duty police officer, this time in New Hampshire.
- An interview with Brian Aitken.
- Mitch Daniels’ disappearing felony.
- An invitation to this event arrived in my email. I think I’ll pass. A colonoscopy sounds like a more pleasant way to spend an evening.
- National Research Council study says the FBI overstated the science in its case against accused anthrax killer Bruce Ivins.
- Rick Santorum talks about his “Google problem”. I like that his defenders are appealing to civility. The guy thinks there should be laws preventing gay people from having sex in their own homes, and likens homosexuality to pedophilia and bestiality.
- I don’t know much about this case, but the summary has all the red flags of yet another bogus sex abuse prosecution. It also comes with natural suspicion of any case handled by Maricopa County DA Andrew Peyton Thomas.
- Scottish Deerhound wins Best in Show at Westminster. I like these dogs. They look like Muppets.
- In Baltimore, a police officer is supposed to review red light camera citations to match the license plate with the person who is issued the ticket. Somehow, 2,000 red light tickets were recently verified with the signature of a police officer who is dead.
- Slate looks at the new Frank Gehry building in Miami.
- Cops don’t like red light cameras either . . . because they aren’t capable of extending “professional courtesy.”
- Lead investigator for Atlanta PD unit that carried out the raid on the Atlanta Eagle gay bar is arrested on DUI, marijuana charges.
- I’m flummoxed that someone would even ask this question. Speaks volumes about where the debate is right now.
- Obama intervenes to keep a Yemeni journalist in jail.
- Another testament to the perils of foreign entanglements: Is a U.S. company assisting Egyptian surveillance?
- I’m cheering for you fellow Hoosiers, but I’m skeptical. Indiana’s new native-distilled whiskey, on the other hand, is quite good. I’ve had both the bourbon and the rye.
- Just bought the e-version of this book. Looks fascinating. (This one, too.)
A new study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says red light cameras save lives.
Red light cameras saved 159 lives in 2004-08 in 14 of the biggest US cities, a new analysis by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows. Had cameras been operating during that period in all large cities, a total of 815 deaths would have been prevented.
“The cities that have the courage to use red light cameras despite the political backlash are saving lives,” says Institute president Adrian Lund.
Those findings will be discomfiting to the scofflaws and libertarians who have long believed they have a God-given right to run red lights without the nuisance of risking a fine. They have felt put upon that the government is somehow invading their privacy by training cameras on intersections or “profiting” from the resulting fines. Never mind that in the great majority of cases, the real victims are not the drivers who ignore the red lights; rather, they are the pedestrians, cyclists and drivers of other vehicles who are run over, rammed, maimed and killed by the red-light runners.
The rationale for red-light cameras is firmly grounded in common sense. Police can’t be everywhere, and officers should not be diverted from high-crime areas to police every high-risk intersection. As practically anyone who travels in and around the District can see for themselves, drivers tend to decelerate and exercise caution in red-light and speed-camera zones – which are listed on the police department’s Web site. The result: slower-moving traffic and fewer fatal accidents.
Gnashing their teeth at Big Brother’s supposed intrusion, opponents of the cameras have argued that the cameras violate their privacy or that local governments use them simply to generate revenue. But there are plenty of examples of government levying fines to promote public safety – think of hunting violations, or unsafe job-site conditions – and there’s no greater reason to impugn officials’ motives in deploying the cameras than any in other areas of public safety administration.
Actually, the argument is that there’s good evidence showing that lengthening yellow times is a far better way to prevent intersection accidents than red light cameras. It’s more effective, and doesn’t come with the creepy surveillance state vibe. Somehow, that doesn’t seem as appealing a policy to city governments. Another reason we critics have impugned the motives of public officials is that several cities have been caught shortening yellow times at intersections after they’ve been outfitted with cameras. That would seem to be a pretty good indication of a government that values revenue more than safety.
There’s nothing in the IIHS study about how many lives would be saved if the cities surveyed had lengthened their yellows instead of installing cameras. And over at the National Motorists Association, James Baxter argues that study’s “lives saved” figures are also flawed.
The Nanny Statists take aim at jogging with your iPod:
The ubiquity of interactive devices has propelled the science of distraction — and now efforts to legislate against it — out of the car and into the exercise routine.
In New York, a bill is pending in the legislature’s transportation committee that would ban the use of mobile phones, iPods or other electronic devices while crossing streets — runners and other exercisers included. Legislation pending in Oregon would restrict bicyclists from using mobile phones and music players, and a Virginia bill would keep such riders from using a “hand-held communication device.”
In California, State Senator Joe Simitian, who led a successful fight to ban motorists from sending text messages and using hand-held phones, has reintroduced a bill that failed last year to fine bicyclists $20 for similar multitasking.
This is all reaction to a tiny increase (0.4 percent) in pedestrian fatalities over the first half of last year. Never mind that the increase came only after a 30-year free-fall during which pedestrian fatalities halved, or that said free-fall happened during a period when cell phones and personal music devices went from nonexistent to ubiquitous.
Politicians never let logic get in the way of banning stuff. We’ve seen the same dramatic fall in automobile fatalities over the same period, for example, but that hasn’t stopped Transportation Ray LaHood, aided by a hysterical media, from going bonkers over distracted driving.
- Town kills off red light cameras because . . . they weren’t making enough money for Redflex.
- Attorneys ask judge to remove himself from a case. Judge refers attorneys to U.S. Attorney for possible prosecution.
- And now: Four Loko stings.
- Florida police chief charged for attempting to undermine the rape case against his friend.
- Study suggests cell phone use may improve driving.
- Knight Kiplinger wants to make 401(k)s mandatory. Contributing to them, too. Really. Note the justification at the end. Hey, we can force people to purchase health care. So why not? The door has been thrown wide open. Expect more of this.
- I write about this stuff every day, yet sentences like this one never cease to blow my mind: “Tchachoua has the right to file charges in civil court and prove that he had the money legally, police said.”
- Egyptian Muslims offer themselves as human shields to protect Coptic Christians from extremists during a Christmas Eve mass.
- Nashville DUI arrests are down by about 35 percent in 2010 due to funding cutbacks. Effect on drunk driving fatalities: None.
- Here’s another fun Steven Hayne case. Hayne determined a woman died of stab wounds to the face and neck even though the body he examined had no head. Note his explanation, which refers to witness testimony. It’s a good example showing why a medical examiner shouldn’t be given that kind of information before he conducts an autopsy.
- Another state legislature wants to let local cops monitor what prescription drugs you’re taking.
- Harvey Silverglate on the folly of anti-bullying laws. Naming a proposed law after a dead person is a pretty reliable indicator that it’s going to be a crappy law.