Back to the Borderlands

I guess I’ve been too busy to blog. My day job has hit a busy period, and it’s been using up most of my mental energy. And when I do have time to goof off, I’ve been filling it by playing Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel. The original Borderlands was kind of a half-assed project build around […]

The First Rule of Everyone

Much has been written about the so-called First Rule of Law Enforcement, “go home alive.” But this line by ExCop-LawStudent gets it exactly right: I believe in the First Rule of Law Enforcement, but I also believe that our citizens have that same right to go home at the end of their day. That is […]

What If We Eliminated Plea Bargaining?

Scott Greenfield is complaining about people who propose simplistic solutions to the ills that infest the criminal justice system. This time it’s the Economist, and their solution is the ever-popular one of eliminating the problems of plea bargaining by eliminating plea bargaining. Scott’s not happy with that for the usual reason criminal defense lawyers aren’t […]

Greg Laden Illustrates the Case For a Carbon Tax

Science blogger Greg Laden is having trouble figuring out whether or not to install a solar electric power system in his home. I want to put a solar panel on my roof so that I am releasing less greenhouse gas into the environment. But then I hear that manufacturing solar panels causes the release of […]

A Monstrous New Constitution

Someone at @Popehat (no idea which one) pointed out that Andrew Burstein at Salon is calling for a new constitutional convention. I’m generally against the idea, because although I can think of a few things I’d like to change, I’d be worried that we’d lose way too many freedoms if we rewrote the Constitution in this […]

The Wrong Terminator

So there’s another Terminator film in the works, scheduled for next summer. I want it to be awesome, but I’m not expecting much. From what I gather, the impetus to make the film was that the company that made the last one went belly up and somebody ended up with the rights and figured they’d […]

Two Cheers for the Secret Service [Updated]

Am I the only one who thought the U.S. Secret Service did a pretty good job of handling the guy who jumped the fence and ran for the front door? I’m especially appalled at the suggestion that snipers should have shot him after he jumped the fence. It’s reported that the only weapon on him […]

An Awkward Moment in the Apple Encryption Debate

So a couple of days ago I was explaining why Orin Kerr was wrong about Apple’s new policy of rendering themselves unable to encrypt customers’ iPhones, and in passing I linked with some disdain to a piece by former FBI Assistant Director Ronald T. Hosko, who was claiming, of course, that the new policy would […]

The People’s Climate Change

I’ve been trying to explain to my science-oriented friends who complain about climate change denial that a lot of people who have doubts about global warming are not so much anti-science as they are suspicious of scientific claims coming from people with an ideological agenda. Imagine for a moment that your least favorite right-wing pundits […]

Orin Kerr’s Dangerous Thinking

Apple has announced that with the new iOS 8 release they are no longer able to comply with law enforcement warrants to decrypt the contents of iPhones and iPads. On devices running iOS 8, your personal data such as photos, messages (including attachments), email, contacts, call history, iTunes content, notes, and reminders is placed under the protection of […]

Scattershot: Dating, Cops Behaving Badly, NSA, and Some Lucky People

Random shots around the web: Alli Reed posts the worst dating profile ever on OkCupid and proves, as you might suspect, that horny men will hit anything. Stephen Foster thinks it should be illegal to take pictures of people if you plan to have dirty thoughts about them later, or something. Rob Hustle explains what […]

Step Back From the Line of Fire, Batman

Like, I think, most people, I first heard Junip’s mesmerizing song “Line of Fire” in the promo for the final episode of Breaking Bad: Sometime afterward, I decided to check YouTube to see if there was an official video for the song. I found it here, but along the way I also found something far […]

If Only the Paperwork

Over at Addicting Info, Jameson Parker complains that, as he puts it in the headline, “NRA Argues People Should Be Allowed To Lie On Gun Registration Forms, Defeating The Whole Purpose.” This arose out of a criminal case decided by the Supreme Court a few months ago, where Bruce Abramski bought a gun on behalf […]

Bargaining Power 101

Scott Greenfield posted a story a while back about a conversation he had with a biglaw lawyer who was trying to refer a client on a criminal matter. The biglaw guy apparently wanted Scott to commit to negotiating a deal for the client without going to trial. He didn’t even think it was necessary for […]

Sloppy Renewal Plans for Obamacare?

I used to work on healthcare insurance enrollment systems. This is a bad sign for the next Obamacare open enrollment period: People will be renewing at the same time that others are enrolling for the first time, starting a week and a half before Thanksgiving, on Nov. 15. To ensure that they have a new […]

The Extractive Economy of St. Louis County

Radley Balko finally published the story he was working on in St. Louis County. It’s an amazing piece of work, detailing numerous examples of the abusive relationship between the suburban communities and their residents. When the officer showed up, Bolden filled with dread. “He was really nice and polite at first,” Bolden says. “But once […]

A Note to All My Nude Readers

So, if I’m following the story right, it appears that someone managed to hack into a bunch of cell phones or iCloud accounts or something belonging to celebrities and find a bunch of nude photos, which they then apparently dumped on the internet. I haven’t looked at any of these photos because (1) I already […]

Undercover Colors Under Fire

Have you heard about the idea for nail polish called Undercover Colors that can be used to detect so-called “date rape drugs” in drinks? It seems to be just a concept for now, but the idea is that a woman having drinks with a date could discretely dip a fingernail into her drink, and the […]

WordPress Jetpack Comments — WTF?

WordPress’s Jetpack plugin is a nice collection of features for bloggers. I host my blog on a server I pay for instead of on the big WordPress.com cluster because I appreciate the extra flexibility, but by using Jetpack, I can also get some of the more powerful cluster-based features, like improved search and uptime monitoring. […]

Ferguson Fatigue

It seems fatigue has set in with the protests in Ferguson, Missouri, following the fatal shooting of Michael Brown by Officer Darren Wilson. I’ve been following the protests and the police response every night on Twitter since the shooting, and it’s been riveting. I keep telling myself to ignore it for a while, and for […]

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