Noncitizens voting in North Carolina

Immigration agents checking voter registration records last month found at least four cases of noncitizens in North Carolina who they say illegally registered to vote.
Three of the people have been arrested, and officials are looking for the fourth.

Agents recently added more public records -- including voter registration -- to the list of databases they routinely check during investigation. They only do this for people already flagged for investigation, including people suspected of being here illegally, as well as legal residents seeking citizenship. So far, about 50 people in 31 North Carolina counties have been looked into this way.

"It's a very personal charge to us," said Tom O'Connell, resident agent in charge of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency's Cary office. "It goes to the integrity of the entire democratic system when we have ... aliens registering to vote."

Registering to vote often requires a person to swear he or she is a U.S. citizen, and it's a federal crime for noncitizens to lie to officials about their legal status. . . .

No confidence in Global Warming: Democrats again threaten to silence those who disagree

This is from today's Opinion Journal's Political Journal.

Senators Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia and Olympia Snowe of Maine [wrote] to Rex Tillerson, the CEO of ExxonMobil. As the Journal reported on Monday, that letter is a veiled threat that ExxonMobil would be well advised by a "date certain" to "end its dangerous support of the [global warming] deniers" and instead start giving money to environmental groups. . . .

Several experts on Congressional ethics laws have contacted us noting that these two Senators may have run afoul of long-established rules. One former Senate legal counsel alerts us to Senate Rule 43, passed in the wake of the Keating Five scandal in the 1980s. Senate rule 43 reads: "The decision to provide assistance to petitioners may not be made on the basis of contributions or services to the member's political committee or entity in which the member has a political, personal, or financial interest."

In other words, Senators are not permitted to use their powers as lawmakers to do harm or benefit to individuals or companies on behalf of "political campaigns or causes." . . .

Conservatives also object to the censorship double standard here. "Can there be any doubt," asks Fred Smith of Competitive Enterprise Institute, that a giant media furor would ensue if "Republican Senators told corporations to stop giving money to the Sierra Club?" CEI was the one free-market group that the two Senators listed by name as a "climate change denier" organization. We hear that a number of free-market donors were so furious over the Rockefeller-Snowe gag order that they have increased their donations to CEI. . . .

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Jeane Kirkpatrick, Ex-Ambassador and very nice person, Dies


Attorneys for the District of Columbia argued 2nd Am only applies to militias

Bringing this case was a real gamble. I wish that they had waited until there was at least one more change on the Supreme Court. We will now just have to wait to see what happens.

WASHINGTON — In a case that could shape firearms laws nationwide, attorneys for the District of Columbia argued Thursday that the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms applies only to militias, not individuals.

The city defended as constitutional its long-standing ban on handguns, a law that some gun opponents have advocated elsewhere. Civil liberties groups and pro-gun organizations say the ban in unconstitutional.

At issue in the case before a federal appeals court is whether the 2nd Amendment right to "keep and bear arms" applies to all people or only to "a well regulated militia." The Bush administration has endorsed individual gun-ownership rights but the Supreme Court has never settled the issue.

If the dispute makes it to the high court, it would be the first case in nearly 70 years to address the amendment's scope. The court disappointed gun owner groups in 2003 when it refused to take up a challenge to California's ban on high-powered weapons.

In the Washington, D.C. case, a lower-court judge told six city residents in 2004 that they did not have a constitutional right to own handguns. The plaintiffs include residents of high-crime neighborhoods who want guns for protection.

. . .

Thanks to Robert Stevens for sending this link.

More Judges Carrying handguns

I wish that this got more coverage.

More Judges Packing Pistols in Courtrooms

By Amanda Bronstad
The National Law Journal
Despite increased security at courthouses following shootings in Chicago and Atlanta about one year ago, many judges are bringing their own guns into their courtrooms for protection. . . .

In Nevada, Oklahoma and Texas, incidences of violence in the past year have prompted new laws or solidified rules allowing judges to bring guns into courtrooms.

"Judges in our courthouse have been carrying guns almost all the time," said Cynthia Stevens Kent, a Texas judge in the 114th District Court, where a man in a family law case killed his ex-wife and son last year on the steps of a Tyler courthouse.

"We feel strongly about providing adequate security, but it comes down to personal responsibility. And you've got to take responsibility for your own safety," Kent said.

Security concerns were raised last year after a rape suspect grabbed a deputy's gun and killed an Atlanta judge and others. One month earlier, a litigant had killed the husband and mother of a Chicago federal judge who ruled against him. . . .

Now this might actually work: How to ensure that there will be fewer people who want to be politicians

Proposals by Indonesia's president to restrict the right of the country's public servants to practice polygamy have sparked an angry reaction.

Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono proposed extending a law banning the taking of multiple wives to all public servants.

Currently anyone not a civil servant in the predominantly Muslim country is allowed to marry up to four wives.

But a tightening of the law, which bans polygamy under the constitution, could also affect ordinary citizens.

The BBC's Lucy Williamson, in Jakarta, says that some of the loudest opposition to the president's plan has come from Indonesia's mainstream Muslim parties.

Rarely restricted

They argue that restricting the practice, which they say is sanctioned by the Koran, will lead to increased levels of adultery.

Muslim men who are not working as civil servants are currently allowed to marry up to four wives as defined by Islamic teaching.

Government spokesmen in Indonesia say that rule will be expanded to cover all lawmakers, ministers and other government officials. . . .


Robber with knife meets his match with a person with a permitted concealed handgun

WINDHAM, Maine (Dec 4, 2006): A would-be robber was foiled last weekend at the Quiznos sandwich shop in North Windham after pulling a knife and finding himself staring down the barrel of a Smith & Wesson.

Assistant Manager Michael Kry said he noticed a six-foot-tall black male with a thin build carefully checking the store's hours on the glass door after he closed up shop on Sunday, Dec. 3 and was filling out paperwork.

Kry said police told him the suspect was probably watching him to see what he was doing.

At about 9:20 p.m. Kry was exiting the store when the suspect attacked him, trying to pin him to the ground in order to steal the night's deposit out of his hand. According to police reports, a brief scuffle ensued and Kry elbowed his apparently unarmed assailant in the face.

The suspect stepped back and both men drew hidden weapons.

Kry, who was not harmed and did not fire his pistol, said the suspect fled on foot in the direction of Raymond. . . .


Zero Tolerance Policies Ineffective and possibly Counter Productive

Some sense from the American Psychological Association.

A review of the school discipline research shows that zero tolerance policies developed in the 1980s to stop drug use and curtail unruly and violent behavior in schools are not as successful as thought in creating safer environments to learn. These policies, which mandate that schools severely punish disruptive students regardless of the infraction or its rationale, can actually increase bad behavior and also lead to higher drop out rates, according to the American Psychological Association’s (APA) report. Based on these results, the APA today adopted a resolution recommending ways to target discipline more effectively in order to keep schools safe while also eliminating the need for a one-size-fits-all punishment for misbehavior.

APA’s governing body, the Council of Representatives, commissioned the Zero Tolerance Task Force to examine the research conducted to date on the effects zero tolerance policies have on children in schools. The task force reviewed the last 10 years of research to determine whether these policies have made schools safer without taking away students’ opportunity to learn; whether they incorporated children’s development as a factor in types of discipline administered; and whether educators referred juveniles to the justice system too often with costly consequences. Lastly, the review showed how families and communities are affected by these policies.

According to the report’s findings, schools are not any safer or more effective in disciplining children than before these zero tolerance policies were implemented in the mid 1980s. The research also shows that while school violence is a serious issue, violence in schools is “not out-of-control.”

Thanks very much to Harry for alerting me to this.


Talk on Abortion and Crime at the University of Western Ontario

I will be giving a talk this afternoon in the economics department at the University of Western Ontario on the link between abortion and crime. The talk is at 3:30 PM. Sorry about the lack of posts, but I was also here giving a talk yesterday on media bias.


New Book Out: Straight Shooting

I know that the release date a Amazon says October 30th, but this new collection of my writings will soon be officially released: Straight Shooting: Firearms, Economics and Public Policy The book is a collection of recent op-eds that I have written on a variety of topics, primarily gun control.

Media Bias in Cleveland on Guns?