Not Quite the End of Big Oil

I stumbled across an amusing bit of scientific confusion at Addicting Info (“The Knowledge You Crave”) in an article titled “The U.S. Navy Just Announced The End Of Big Oil And No One Noticed.” The author, Justin “Filthy Liberal Scum” Rosario, says the U.S. Navy has “achieved the Holy Grail of energy independence – turning […]

Bioethicists Who Give Ethicists a Bad Name

I remember that when I first heard of Jack Marshall, who blogs at Ethics Alarms, my opinion of him was colored by the fact that he claimed to be a professional “ethicist.” I had a strong negative reaction to that word. It sounded to me like a self-aggrandizing title that someone would make up for […]

Game of Thrones – Season 4

The fourth season of Game of Thrones begins today, and I have a few predictions. I realize this is a fool’s game, since people who’ve been reading the books already know what happens next, but those of us who’ve skipped the reading might as well speculate. The story is too large for me to address […]

Lessons in Allocution and Acquitted Conduct

Apparently yesterday was sentencing hell day at Simple Justice. First up, Scott reminds us of the case of Antwuan Ball, Joseph Jones, and Desmond Thurston who were accused of engaging in a massive drug dealing conspiracy. The case went to a jury trial, and they beat all of the conspiracy charges. The jury only found […]

A Few Ways to Look At Criminal Lawyers

(This post started with a few ideas, and then got all long and rambling, but I don’t have time to make it shorter. Sorry.) A few years ago I had a toothache, and I made an emergency appointment with my dentist. Her diagnosis was that the tooth’s pulp was infected around the nerve, and her […]

The Forensic Geology Series – Review

When I don’t have any new novels from my favorite major authors, I like to browse the cheap e-books at Amazon to try to find new authors. Many of them turn out to be unappealing — not so much because they are badly written but because, like most indie art, they have a somewhat narrow […]

Scattershot 2014-02-28

Random shots around the web: What is it with Illinois and bizarre double jeopardy cases? In the 1990′s we had the Harry Aleman murder trial do-over which wiped out his earlier acquittal (a classic Chicago tale), and now the state is requesting to re-try Esteban Martinez after refusing to present its case in the first trial. […]

Why Helix Kinda Sucks

(Spoiler Alert for potentially all 8 Helix episodes to date.) I loved the Andromeda Strain, both the book and the movie, and so I’m always willing to give a good plague story a try, which is why I really wanted to like Helix, the new series on SyFy, about a CDC team sent to investigate […]

Paying For Prosecutions in Virginia?

Over at Crimlaw, Virginia prosecutor Ken Lammers writes about the state’s law allowing private prosecutions. It’s a fascinating concept, and Ken goes into a bit of detail, but it comes down to this: So, basically, if doubly approved by the judge and the public prosecutor, the hired gun prosecutor can take part in the case […]

Liberty Is Not Suicide

Over at Defending Dandelions, “nidefatt” isn’t happy with libertarians like myself and Scott Greenfield. (I don’t think Scott’s ever identified himself as a libertarian, but he sometimes sounds like one.) In an earlier post, he commented on Scott’s constitution-is-not-a-suicide-pact post, and more recently he responded to my own response to Scott’s post: [...] The ideas […]

Law Enforcement

Now here’s a Facebook meme that makes sense. It’s from Filming Cops, but the true adversary here is not the police officer: This isn’t some paranoid, whack-job, cop hating-nonsense. It’s an accurate description of how all criminal laws are enforced. Even a minor violation such as loitering can have a penalty of several hundred dollars, […]

The Constitution Is Not a Suicide Pact

“The Constitution is not a suicide pact.” The first time I heard that phrase, I thought it was a pretty good line, and I agreed with it. In a sense, I still do. That’s because the first time I heard it I interpreted it backwards from how most people do when they invoke it. I […]

An Unfortunate Message For Police

Radley Balko reports with some astonishment that a grand jury in Burleson County, Texas has refused to indict a man who shot and killed a police officer who was conducting a SWAT-style raid on his home: Last December 19th, nine of the 10 members of the Burleson County Sheriff’s Department staged a raid on the […]

I Have Got to Start Writing Shorter Posts

It just feels like way too many of my posts are really long, including several that are in the pipeline. I have got to start writing more short posts. That is all.

Sources and Credit

Scott Greenfield is a little peeved that reporters don’t give credit when they pick up stories from bloggers: For many years, mainstream media got a lot of juice as a result of links from the web, from blogs.  We would see a story and pick it up, run with it, comment on it, and people […]

Thane Rosenbaum Wants Us to Stop Being Mean…Or Else

Thane Rosenbaum has an opinion piece at the Daily Beast arguing that we should suppress the rights of Neo-Nazis and others to spout “hate speech.” That’s a common and well-meaning proposition, however misguided, but his reasoning for why we should have these laws is dangerously overbroad. Let me start, however, by pointing out that the […]

Scattershot 2014-02-01

Random shots around the web: Matt Brown has a lot more background information about the cop who shot a surrendering man in the back and about the leadership in Pinal County that make it likely he’ll get away with it. Norm DeGuerre has a very good essay describing the mismatch between how the justice system […]

More Photos of Beezle Growing Up

I was working on my comprehensive paragraph-by-paragraph commentary on President Obama’s State of the Union address, when suddenly it hit me: I should just post more pictures of Beezle growing up. Here he is on my home computer desk: This used to be one of his favorite spots: I never had a desk cat before, […]

A Modest Solution for Handling Multi-Format Legal Briefs

After reading Daniel Sockwell’s article about writing legal briefs that you expect a judge to read on an iPad, Scott Greenfield is a little bummed out over the suggestion to eliminate footnotes: Initially, Sockwell’s point about eliminating footnotes is a critical one, not just because they’re hard to read on a tablet but because that […]

Obamacare Meets Basic Economics

I recently received an email pitch for a petition: My name is “Sue,” and I work at Staples. I can’t tell you my full name because I’m afraid I’ll lose my job for what I’m about to tell you: Staples recently decided to cut part-time employees’ hours just so they won’t have to provide […]