Supreme Court Allows Arizona to Have Photo IDs for Voting

With Arizona and Indiana both allowing photo IDs this fall, you are starting to get in the range were serious empirical work can be done on the impact that Photo ID rules have on voter turnout. This could be a big decision. With enough data, the claim that voters are being discouraged from voting will be shown to be incorrect. I am sure that this is the last thing that those opposed to photo ID hoped would happen.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Friday that Arizona may require voters to present proof of citizenship when registering to vote and identification when they cast their ballots in the November 7 elections.

"Given the imminence of the election and the inadequate time to resolve the factual disputes, our action today shall of necessity allow the election to proceed without any injunction suspending the voter identification rules," the court said.

The justices said they were expressing no opinion on the ultimate disposition of the challenges to the law.

In 2004, Arizona voters approved Proposition 200, a measure designed to prevent illegal immigrants from voting. It required people to produce proof of citizenship, such as a passport, to register to vote, and picture ID, such as a driver's license, or two pieces of a nonphoto ID, in order to cast a ballot.

Last month, in a move also aimed at illegal immigrants, the House of Representatives approved a bill to require proof of U.S. citizenship to vote in federal elections.

Opponents of the Arizona law said it discriminated against minorities and the poor, who might not have funds to obtain the necessary proof of identification.

A federal judge ruled the state could enforce the law, but a U.S. appeals court issued an injunction blocking its enforcement. The Supreme Court set aside the appeals court's order, allowing the law to be in effect for the election and handing a victory to the state.

Did Ed Rendell order union violence against Clinton Protesters?

There is almost no news coverage of this explosive charge.

1) Evening Bulletin:
Philadelphia - A special three-judge panel of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals convened Wednesday to hear arguments on whether a Federal Civil Rights suit may proceed against Gov. Ed Rendell and overturn a 2003 lower court ruling that there was insufficient evidence. Rendell is charged with conspiring to suppress the First Amendment rights of protesters by having Teamsters Local 115 beat them while they demonstrated outside Philadelphia's City Hall during a Democratic fundraiser featuring President Bill Clinton.

Rendell, who was mayor of Philadelphia at the time, admitted in a deposition following the Oct. 2, 1998 beatings to personally inviting Teamsters Local 115 Secretary-Treasurer John Morris and instructing the union to "drown-out" the Clinton protesters.

"I specifically said I didn't want any interaction with the demonstrators. I wanted this to be extremely peaceful and extremely positive," Rendell also claimed in the deposition, which was taken two years after the fact.

Morris was caught on video by local media placing a fedora over protester Don Adams' head, signaling the Teamsters to knock him to the ground and assault him. Adams was treated at a nearby hospital for a concussion, lacerations and multiple bruises. His sister, Teri, sustained minor injuries.

Testimony from Morris' chief of staff revealed that, after the beatings, Rendell called Morris about the Teamsters who participated in the attack and said, "nothing is going to happen to these guys," and "I know how these things go." He then suggested that Morris and the Teamsters file a criminal complaint against Adams, which they did two days later on Oct. 4, 1998, alleging that he struck a woman in their group.

Even though there was no police reports supporting the Teamster's claim, the incident was caught on video, and the District Attorney's Office pursued trial against Adams, who filed suit against the Teamsters and Rendell several months later.
At one point, the Teamsters offered to drop their charges against him if he dropped his case. During that time, they launched a media campaign and accused Adams of being a woman-beater. Adams rejected the deal and was found not guilty on July 8, 1999. Five teamsters then pled guilty to various charges of assault and were granted probation, and Morris died in 2001. . . .

2) Philadelphia Inquirer really down plays the story and gives a completely different take on the evidence, though at least it covers it. It is hard to believe that both reporters were in the same courtroom:
Gov. Rendell has not been Mayor Rendell since 1999, and legendary Teamsters boss John "Johnny" Morris has been dead four years.

But yesterday the content of two conversations between the men eight years ago continued to fuel a civil-rights lawsuit filed by Cheltenham siblings who contend that their free-speech rights were violated when they were beaten by Teamsters for heckling President Bill Clinton at an Oct. 2, 1998, appearance in Center City.

At issue before a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit yesterday was whether a federal judge properly dismissed the suit by Don and Teri Adams.

Don Adams, 46, and sister Teri, 47, contend that members of Teamsters Local 115 ended their anti-Clinton demonstration with a beating because Rendell had earlier called Morris, asked for a union presence at Clinton's appearance, and said the Teamsters should "drown out" anti-Clinton protesters. . . .



On teaching Republicans a lesson, not

Tony Blankley has an amusing take on Republicans who aren't going to vote to teach Republicans a lesson:

. . . . Apparently, these anticipated conservative non-voters are annoyed with Republican imperfection. They are disheartened, disappointed, disillusioned, distempered, dismal -- and thus plan to dis the party that better advances conservative principles in government.
They appear to have fallen victim to the false syllogism: 1) Something must be done; 2) not voting is something; therefore, 3) I will not vote.
Of course the fallacy of the syllogism is that the second category could be anything. For example, number two could as well read "eating dog excrement is something." I rather suspect that they will feel about the same afterward, whether they chose the non-voting option or the scatological one. They are both equally illogical -- and repulsive -- and would deserve the moniker, "Stupid."
Here are some tell-tale signs of the sort of person who would vote (or not vote) to cause the election of a party which would act to defeat every value and interest he holds dear (merely because the party that will at least try to advance most of those issues has not done as well as he might have hoped):
1) When offered by a car dealer 25 percent off on a car, he insists on paying the full factory recommended retail sticker price -- because he is damned if he will accept 25 percent when he deserves 30 percent off.
2) When the prettiest cheerleader asks the nerd to take her to the prom, he turns her down -- just because he can.
3) When stopped for doing 70 in a 65 zone, he tells the trooper that's not possible because he had the cruise control set on 90 -- he just resents being falsely charged.
4) When diagnosed with a serious illness, he promptly cancels his medical insurance -- in order to save the cost of premium payments to help pay for the upcoming hospital stay.
A conservative would have to be just that stupid to stay home on Nov. 7. . . .

The funny thing is that conservatives who are upset with the Republicans in congress will get even less of what they want if the Democrats win.

A difference between leftists and capitalists

My third son, Roger, is taking philosophy this semester. He and I were talking and he mentioned how his professor was criticizing how people were buying products such as SUVs or other products because they "really didn't need them." For SUVs, the teacher claimed that they were a waste because very few people who buy them actually use them off road. My response was that he probably had no idea why people may be buying them (e.g., for safety or style or size). If I had extra money, I might buy all my kids SUVs to drive simply because I think that they are safer. Does this teacher mind what color car people buy? Is a red car bought to be showy? In any case, the bottom line is that leftists care about whether other people are making the right decision by the leftists values. A capitalist doesn't care why someone is buying a particular car. Leftists feel that they should make decisions for others. Capitalists don't.


Democrats are having some problems raising money

Army Staff Sgt. Jim Gilliland learned how to shoot at age 5

RAMADI, Iraq -- Gazing through the telescopic sight of his M-24 rifle, Army Staff Sgt. Jim Gilliland, leader of Shadow sniper team, fixed his eye on the Iraqi insurgent who had just killed an American soldier.

His quarry stood nonchalantly in the fourth-floor bay window of a hospital in battle-torn Ramadi, still clasping a long-barreled Kalashnikov. Instinctively allowing for wind speed and bullet drop, Shadow's commander aimed 12 feet high.

A single shot hit the Iraqi in the chest and killed him instantly. It had been fired from a range of more than three-quarters of a mile, well beyond the capacity of the powerful Leupold sight, accurate to 3,300 feet.

"I believe it is the longest confirmed kill in Iraq with a 7.62mm rifle," said Sgt. Gilliland, 28, who hunted squirrels in Double Springs, Ala., from the age of 5 before progressing to deer -- and then to insurgents and terrorists.

"He was visible only from the waist up. It was a one-in-a-million shot. I could probably shoot a whole box of ammunition and never hit him again."

Later that day, Sgt. Gilliland found out that the American soldier who had been killed by the Iraqi was Staff Sgt. Jason Benford, 30, a good friend. . . .


Murder and other violent crimes after Katrina

Big drop in murder and robbery rates in Louisiana after Katrina.

. . . . . . . Murder . . Rape . . . . .Robbery . . Agg Assault
2003 . . . .13.0 . . . . 35.6 . . . . 156.0 . . . . 432.4
2004 . . . .12.7 . . . . 35.8 . . . . 145.4 . . . . 444.9
2005 . . . . 9.9 . . . . 34 . . . . . . 118.0 . . . . 435.1

Hillary finally concedes that she wasn't named after Sir Edmund Hillary

LA Destroys the Life of Victim of Attack


Selectively enforced gun control laws

Interesting piece today by Stu Bykofsky:

THE KNEE-JERK response by some to Philly's soaring murder rate is to demand More Laws.

Others respond by asking: Why don't we enforce the 20,000 gun laws currently on the books across the nation?

The current buzz is about "straw buyers" and "straw sellers" and how to stop them. "Straw buyers" and "sellers" are people with clean records who buy guns legally, then pirouette to sell them - illegally. Those illegal guns create much of the chaos on our streets.

"The only way you can legally transfer a firearm in the state of Pennsylvania," says attorney Jon Mirowitz, a recognized authority on gun laws, "is to go through a licensed dealer, and it's been that way since the 1930s."

Enforcement of that law should be mandatory. But that cries for common sense, which we know is rare as a game-show host's sincerity.

I'll illustrate with a case from the past. . . . .

What follows in the piece are some great examples of how the gun control laws are selectively enforced.

Push to ban guns in Canada

Please read this entire piece by Lorne Gunter:

Almost a week after last month's tragic shooting at Montreal's Dawson College, the National Post ran a guest column by the mother of a Dawson student.

Beverly Akerman suggested a "simple" response to the crime: "no more guns. Because no one can accurately predict who among us will become unhinged enough to commit bloody slaughter, I believe guns shouldn't be available to the public."
We dubbed this a "mother's radical solution for gun crime."

But suggesting a ban on guns is hardly radical. Every time there is a Dawson-like tragedy, a chorus calls for a ban on guns.
Allan Rock, the former Liberal justice minister who was the legislative father of our current gun registry, admitted he came to office in Ottawa believing "only the police and the military should have firearms."

Since Ms. Akerman's commentary, this paper has run half a dozen letters (and received perhaps a dozen more) from professors, psychologists, health care workers and gun control advocates all calling for a gun ban, or at least wondering aloud why ordinary people should be permitted to own such destructive objects.

Banning guns is one of the most common solutions offered by urban professionals, bureaucrats and special interests in the face of each new high-profile shooting.. . . .

Courts taking away people's ability to make law

John Fund has an interesting piece up today:

. . . But the biggest threat to initiatives comes from the courts, which are striking measures from the ballot with abandon. The Florida Supreme Court, infamous for its creative rulings in the 2000 recount, has removed a proposed measure creating a nonpartisan commission to redraw the state's gerrymandered legislative districts on the grounds it deals with more than one subject.

In Oklahoma and Nevada, measures restricting government's powers of eminent domain and restricting land use were either removed or gutted on single-subject grounds. In Montana, an initiative limiting growth in the state's budget to increases in population and inflation was declared invalid because it authorized judges to modify the spending cap. A district judge ruled that provision represented a second subject.

In June the Colorado Supreme Court used a similar interpretation to remove an initiative denying most state services to illegal immigrants. The court bizarrely ruled that the initiative fell afoul of that requirement because it reduced taxpayer funding of services to illegal immigrants while it also denied services to that group. This puzzled legal scholars, who noted that the decision directly contradicted a previous ruling by the same court on a gun-show initiative, which concluded: "The mere fact that the initiative contains detailed provisions for its implementation does not mean that it contains multiple subjects." The Denver Post, which opposed the anti-immigrant services measure as "mean-spirited," nonetheless accused the court of applying "logic that pretty much escaped the rest of us" and urged that it reconsider and restore the initiative to the ballot.

"State courts are aggressively wielding the single-subject requirement to deny voters the ability to vote on important public policy issues," says Elizabeth Garrett, a University of Southern California professor who worked in the office of Sen. David Boren, an Oklahoma Democrat. . . ..


The Police Executive Research Forum Going Political

The Police Executive Research Forum's analysis of violent crime trends has already gotten significant newscoverage and may get more tomorrow when they meet in Boston during the afternoon. The theme of their report is that violent crime is rising again. Their first figure (Box 1) summarizes their concern by showing the number of violent crimes, murders, rapes robberies and aggravated assaults over the last 19 years. As soon as one sees their numbers, you know that there is a problem because they are reporting the number of crimes, not the crime rate. Given that population is growing at about 1 percent per year, this is of some importance. If they had used the violent crime rate, it would have been hard to argue that violent crime is increasing because while the rate did go up slightly in 2005, it had fallen EVERY SINGLE PREVIOUS YEAR since 1991. How can they claim that violent crime is out of control when it has fallen for 13 straight years before rising by 1.3 percent for just one year?

For robbery, something that they point to as particularly significant ("Sounding the Alarm on Robbery"), it had fallen for 12 of the previous 13 years and in this one year had risen by 2.9 percent.

In addition, they some how manage to exclude even the absolute number of rapes from their list of violent crimes, possibly because it falls in 2005 from 2004.

Their call for more gun control is not based on any evidence that this will reduce crime.

I agree with them that the "decrease in police department staffing levels" is important, though I don't think that they are overall on point.

Thanks to Rich for sending me the link to the report.

Foor a detailed discussion see this.


More on 14-year-old who shot attacker

Follow up from previous story about 14 year old boy who shot man who had attacked his family.

A 57-year-old man who was shot and killed by his 14-year-old hostage Monday at a home on Ocean Drive had been released from jail Friday and had committed several other burglaries, including a similar home invasion, according to police and court records.

Capt. John Houston said the man, who police identified through fingerprinting Tuesday as James Slaughter, had been involved in criminal activities since 1967 and was in and out of the prison system on several occasions.

"His (method of operation) was to break into homes. If someone was there, he'd tie them up," Houston said.

Police said they received a call from Rose Ann Kozlowski from her home in the 4200 block of Ocean Drive at 12:55 p.m. Monday reporting that a man had bound her and her son Michael and held them at knifepoint.

Houston said Rose Ann Kozlowski made the call after she freed herself and before Slaughter was shot but investigators were still trying to piece together a detailed timeline of the events late Tuesday.

An attorney for the Kozlowski family said he is certain Michael, a ninth-grade student at Incarnate Word Academy, acted purely out of self-defense.

"The truth is it was absolutely justified," said attorney Jimmy Granberry. "They'd all like to get back to the life they had, but they probably won't be able to." . . .

More on teachers and guns

More than a dozen teachers and public school employees will spend part of their UEA weekend in a classroom — learning how to use a gun.

Clark Aposhian is offering a free class today to public school employees seeking to get their concealed- weapons permit.

"It is self-defense," he told the Deseret Morning News on Thursday. "But because teachers and school administrators and custodians are typically surrounded by students all day, any threat to any individual with a firearm would also be a threat to those students."

The concealed-weapons instructor's offer was met with opposition from some teachers and union representatives at the Utah Education Association's conference in Salt Lake City. . . .

But Utah law now makes clear schools can't prevent people with concealed-weapons permits from carrying firearms on campuses. Granite School District's policy, for example, allows permit holders to keep their gun "readily accessible for immediate use," but bans teachers from leaving their weapons in a desk drawer or coat closet.

Law enforcement officers never have to give up their guns at the school house door.

Aposhian said he does not want teachers to suddenly become "heroes" in the event of a school shooting. In fact, he said, they should continue to follow school lockdown procedures, which include teachers locking doors and remaining in classrooms. . . .