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 […]

Ferguson a Week Later

After a pretty good Thursday night, things got tense on Friday. Cops were guarding some stores, but they were attacked by a few of the protesters and several officers were injured. The police then retreated to a perimeter, which resulted in a situation eerily reminiscent of the 1992 L.A. riots, when the police withdrew from […]

Ferguson Turns On a Dime

I tried, I really did. When I first heard about the shooting of Michael Brown by a Ferguson, Missouri police officer, I tried to give them the benefit of the doubt. A lot of police shootings are perfectly legitimate, stopping bad people from doing bad things. Beyond that, there are cases where the victim didn’t […]

#Ferguson

The news out of Ferguson, Missouri has had me riveted to Twitter. St. Louis Alderman Antonio French has been tweeting and posting Vine videos from Ferguson for days, and Wesley Lowery from the Washington Post has been tweeting regularly and he’s got an article up. If you haven’t been following the story, Dara Lind at […]

Another Cop Shoots Another Black Kid

I hate this kind of story. Reportedly an as yet unnamed police officer in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri has shot and killed an unarmed 18-year-old black kid named Michael Brown. Area residents gathered in the street, there was shouting, police assembled to try to keep order, there was a bit of a […]

Is The Legal Field Ready for CSO?

A couple of days ago, Scott Greenfield was writing about some of the complexities of federal sentencing, when a commenter named Jake proposed a crazy solution: Was there ever a task in the courtroom more ripe for automation? Well, yes, there’s tons of administrative crap that can be, or has been, automated. However, Jake had […]

What Could Be Worse Than Raising the Minimum Wage?

I see that our mayor has proposed a city ordinance to raise Chicago’s minimum wage to $13 an hour. The current minimum wage in Illinois is $8.25/hour, a buck over the federal minimum, so that amounts to a 58% hike. This follows Seattle’s decision to increase their minimum wage to $15 a few months ago, […]

What Democracy’s All About?

NYPD Police Commissioner Bill Bratton has been taking a lot of crap, deservedly so, for his comments after Eric Garner died while being arrested for selling untaxed cigarettes on the street. In a news conference, with mayor Bill de Blasio standing at his side, Bratton came out full-authoritarian: According to Mayor de Blasio and Police […]

Scattershot: Leaving Cops in the Dust, Shock Doctrine, and CSI: Gallifrey.

Random shots around the web: Yet another case of judges saying you can drive away from the cops. Well, not that you can actually do that, but if you open your window because a cop pulled up behind you, got out of his car, and knocked on your window, you are totally doing that voluntarily […]

Why Obamacare Means Insurance Refunds

At the reliably hyper Addicting Info, Wendy Gittleson is excited over upcoming insurance refunds due to the Affordable Care Act: In a story that’s bound to send Republicans straight into the spin cycle, it was announced on Thursday that insurance companies will be refunding Americans $332 million because they’ve been overcharging them for healthcare. That’s […]

I’m Sure That Goes Both Ways

Here’s how I imagine my traffic stop going: Officer: License and proof of insurance. Me: Here you go. Officer: Do you know why I pulled you over? Me: Uh, no I don’t, officer. Officer: You were doing 75 in a school zone. Me: I’m sorry to hear you experienced that. I place the highest priority […]

Maggie McNeill at Liberty On the Rocks

So last weekend I had a conversation with my wife that went something like this: Me: I’ve got some busy evenings this week. On Tuesday…um, this is going to be one of those awkward conversations… Her: As long as you’re not seeing any hookers. (silence for a few seconds) Me: How about a retired hooker? […]

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