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Obama at 100 Days: Meet the New Boss…

Shortly before President Obama took office, I posted a freedom scorecard by which I could judge his presidency. Although it was hardly a formal assessment document, it’s a nice framework for a post reviewing Obama’s first 100 days. I started with a list of some discrete things Obama could do to make us more free: […]

How Much Government Should We Have?

Jamie Spencer has a question about the size of government: But the big “L” libertarians often use a certain phrase that I just don’t understand. For example, my friend and Dallas criminal defense lawyer Robert Guest uses it in a post about tea parties: As a libertarian I’m for anything that reduces the size and […]

Subpoena of an Encrypted Hard Drive

Jon Katz writes about the Boucher case, where the government is trying to get a look at the contents of Boucher’s encrypted hard drive: , who talked of the Fifth Amendment right not to reveal one’s computer password. On appeal to District Court Judge Sessions, the prosecution fashioned its argument as not seeking a password […]

Conservatives, Carry Permits, and Secular Liberal Evangelism

Hi there. My name’s Joel, and I’ll be your occasional Second Amendment issues blogger here. This particular essay is posted both at True North and at Windypundit, the latter of which is set up to handle comments. Why a Minnesota radical moderate is posting a blog entry about conservatives and liberals on a Chicago area […]


My mother used to take care of my father, who has a lot of medical problems. Five weeks ago, when she got sick, I moved in with my dad to take care of him. The plan was that I’d stay with him until mom got back, and we’d see what happens then, but instead my […]

Coming Soon: How to Cross-Examine Witnesses

I’ve just started a new project that I’m really excited about. I’m about to start a 12-part series explaining the best techniques for lawyers to use when cross examining witnesses. Among the topics I’ll be addressing: Civil Trials and Criminal Trials: What’s the Difference? How to Sneak Your Theory of the Case Into Your Questions […]

Happy Birthday, Ginny.

Today is Virginia Heinlein‘s birthday.  That’s her, with her husband.  You may have heard of him.  If the world was a fairer place, Mrs. Heinlein would be 93, today, and in good health.  A very nice woman. Which reminds me of a story.  So, there I was, pounding away at the keyboard, when the phone […]

Videoblog: Looking for Lawyers in All the Wrong Places

(Alternate title: The Return of Mumbles) I’m taking another shot at videoblogging. This is just a random story about some legal stuff on the web. (This was supposed to go up yesterday morning, but I had technical difficulties.) Here are some of the links mentioned: Gary’s review of Dollhouse. Joel’s story about his daughter. Million-dollar […]

Fourth Amendment Crazy Talk…Not

I just caught a video of a crazy Fox News guy ranting about the government. The sad thing is that he’s Judge Andrew Napolitano, and we need more crazy judges like him. He was speaking at a Reason conference and his speech is a good review of the decline and fall of the Fourth Amendment. […]

A Teaching Moment, at a Public High School

. . . which this reminded me of. It was about seven in the evening, the end of a nice spring day, and my older kid, then a junior at Washburn High in Minneapolis (a school so badly run that they had to fire all the staff, including some of the best teachers, and start […]

Scattershot 2009-04-20

Some random shots around the web: I don’t know what this blog is all about, but The Broadview Blog has some cool art. Obama on Warrentless Wiretaping: Worse Than Bush? I can’t remember the movie Warning From Space, but I know I must have seen it because I remember the freaky starfish aliens. This reads […]

Texas Secessionism

(I’m not sure “secessionism” is really a word.) God, I hate partisan ranting.  I’ve been listening to a lot of MSNBC lately, and the very liberal commentators are going nuts over Texas Governor Rick Perry’s talk of secession: Perry suggested Texans might at some point get so fed up they would want to secede from […]

Extortion and Lies in Melrose Park

About 20 years ago I was driving down Cermak Road in Cicero, Illinois, when I passed a Cicero police car that had pulled someone over for a traffic violation, and I thought, “Man, that’s got to suck!” Just imagine being that motorist: Cicero had been mobbed up since Al Capone took over and made it his […]

Dollhouse – A Late Review

An organization that provides people whose personalities can be “wiped” and replaced with whatever a paying client needs/wants. When I first heard the premise of Dollhouse, I thought that it would play itself out pretty quickly and get boring and predictable – that it would be some sci-fi version of a soft porn Fantasy. Boy […]

Scattershot 2009-04-15

Things I’d probably tweet about if yada yada yada: I know it doesn’t make sense, but I think I resent the costs of tax compliance—Quickbooks, organizational fees, Turbo Tax, filing fees, audit defense—more than the taxes themselves. Teabagging. I don’t get it. Yeah, Boston. Yeah, it’s slang. I still don’t get it. Is Joe the […]


I just filed my taxes. In addition to the paperwork (filed electronically) I just sent the United States Government a depressingly large amount of money. I figured I would owe them a bit this year, but I must have goofed figuring out my withholding because it was a lot more than I thought. Last night, […]

Samuelson’s Complaint

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve done any long-form blogging, but the normally sensible Reason website just linked approvingly to a Washington Post op-ed by Robert J. Samuelson that cries out for a response. He’s talking about Obama’s “green” energy plans and how we improve our economy: Since the dawn of the Industrial Age, this […]

Thank You

There are many people who helped out over the last few weeks. I want to thank the nursing staff of Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital, including especially Barb, Malou(?), Soon, Rose, and several more whose names escape me but who were no less helpful. I appreciate all the time you spent taking care of my mother […]

Scattershot 2009-04-10

Things I’d probably tweet about if I could get Tweetdeck working on my computer: I don’t normally have much patience for conservative whining about crap like Obama not wearing a flag pin, but it really bothers me that he bowed to the King of Saudi Arabia. President Barack Obama is the elected representative of 300 […]

Scattershot 2009-04-08

Stuff I’d have tweeted about if I gave a damn about Twitter: Everybody else has already commented on this bullshit from the TSA. Everyone else has also commented on these cops who raided a blogger who’s critical of cops, but I’ll link to it anyway to help give it the publicity it deserves. “Woman calls […]