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Evil Lawmaking: License Suspension

Continuing my series of articles on bad, sloppy, or downright evil lawmaking, I’d like to talk a little bit about how much states love to suspend or revoke people’s driver’s licenses. A suspended license is a branch of a problem I mentioned earlier: Free Punishment. A suspended license is just a database entry and a […]

Jury Duty: The Prosecutor Speaks

A few months ago, I posted a followup to my Jury Duty series in which I expressed my curiosity about whatever happened to the defendant, whom I called “Jose.” I had been unable to find out what sentence he received. Well, one of the prosecutors (I think the one I referred to as the “blonde […]

Towards a More Transparent Government

This sounds like a good idea to me: Oath of Presidential Transparency For Open, Transparent, and Accountable Government I, __________________________, candidate for President of the United States, pledge to the American Public that, if elected President of the United States, my administration will be fully and robustly committed to open, transparent, and accountable government principles. […]

Wind and Rain!

In the time-honored journalistic tradition of running with a story because we’ve got pictures, here are a few shots I took on my 3-hour drive home after the storms we had yesterday. Update: John Ruberry got some good shots of the damage.

Have You Been Trying to Reach Me?

I upgraded to Microsoft Outlook 2003 a few weeks ago, and I just sort of assumed that if anything went wrong there’d be error messages or something. It turns out that Outlook and the Windypundit mail server aren’t talking to each other. I didn’t notice because I have about half a dozen email accounts coming […]

Who Should See Breathalyzer Source Code?

DUI lawyer Lawrence Taylor has been writing for a while about the resistance by breathalyzer manufacturers to various legal attempts by defense lawyers to get a peek at the source code for software that controls the machines. As a civil libertarian and software developer, I have mixed feelings about this. I can certainly understand why […]

More From the Model Shoot

As my way of apologizing to poor Ken Lammers, who visited here to see the pretty girls and found my plunger story instead, here are a couple more shots from last month’s model shoot. (I am way behind in processing these photos.)

Evil Lawmaking: Piling On

I remember back when I was a kid and I did something wrong, sometimes my parents would handle it separately, and I’d get yelled at or punished by both of them for the same misdeed. It seemed so unfair. Lawmakers do much the same thing. Only instead of doing it at the same time, they […]

Eight Crappy Photos Lost to History

By the way, for anyone tempted to be impressed by some of my photography, when I was getting the photo of the toilet and plunger for the previous item, I had to take nine shots to get a composition I liked with the correct exposure to show details in both the white and the black […]

A Disheartening Reminder of Human Depravity

Yesterday I was moving some boxes into my new rental storage locker. As I went to get a cart to haul the boxes, I once again saw all the signs asking us not to steal the carts. It’s a realistic concern. I’m moving out of my old storage locker because people stole all the carts […]

Forensic Testing and the Single Experimenter

In a post a few weeks ago, I pointed out that Mississippi dentist Dr. Michael West, a bite mark analyst who often gives expert testimony in criminal trials, isn’t much of a scientist. I based my conclusion on Radley Balko’s Reason article, which included this description of West’s methodology: But even in an already imprecise […]

Rudy Giuliani Explains Freedom

I think Rudy Giuliani may well be the most authoritarian of the mainstream presidential candidates. The man loves power too much. Here he is in a speech from 1994, before 9/11 made people forget what an ass he is: We look upon authority too often and focus over and over again, for 30 or 40 […]

Congratulations Mirriam and Drue!

Mirriam at Not Guilty finally gave birth to her twins—two baby boys! I don’t know the details, but I know she had a hard time getting pregnant and went through IVF hell to do it. Then, when it was time to get the babies out, she had to have a Caesarean section. It all sounds […]

Californication – A Review

When I saw that an advance copy of the new Showtime series Californication was availble on Netflix, I had mixed feelings. A comedy starring David Duchovny could be really good. He’s proven his comedic chops on The Larry Sanders Show and he brought some humor to his role on The X-Files as well. Plus, advanced […]

Traffic Enforcement Profiteering in Chicago

Yesterday I wrote about the moral perils of punishing people in a way that is profitable for the government. Today, the Gary Washburn of the Chicago Tribune gives me another example: Driving-related fines and fees provided the city treasury with more than $210 million last year. That represented about 4 percent of the 2006 budget, […]

Evil Lawmaking: Profitable Punishment

Yesterday I wrote about the evils of free punishment, which tempts lawmakers into punishing people just because they can. But free punishment is just the low endpoint of a much bigger problem: Profitable punishment, also known as fines. There’s nothing inherently evil about fining wrongdoers, but it carries the risk of turning law enforcement into […]

Evil Lawmaking: Free Punishment

About a month ago, Gideon at a public defender posted a poll for his fellow criminal defense lawyers to pick the “most evil legal principle“. Being lawyers, Gideon and his readers are concerned with real legal principles, like harmless error and reasonable suspicion. I’m more concerned with the principles used by legislatures when creating new […]

New Skyline Photo

Regular readers may notice that I’ve replaced the Chicago skyline photo at the top of the page. It’s an emerging tradition here at Windypundit that the banner photo is one of the few photos on the site that is not my original photography (mostly because I’m too lazy to trek to the lakefront). The previous […]

Sallie Mae is a Nightmare

Woman of the Law has a really good rant about a customer service nightmare with Sallie Mae, her student load provider. I’m hoping the links in this post will improve her search engine score for the phrase “nightmare with Sallie Mae“. Or maybe I should link to it with the more traditional “Sallie Mae sucks,” […]

Immigration Analogies

Over at the conservative blog Illinois Review, John Ruskin quotes with approval from an unnamed letter writer who has a few things to say about the recent protests against stronger immigration enforcement (elisions mine) : Certain people are angry that the US might protect its own borders, might make it harder to sneak into this […]

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