Is Eleanor Holmes Norton afraid of traveling into Virginia?

From The Hill Newspaper:

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) and gun control groups are concerned that some visitors attending President-elect Obama’s inauguration may try to pack heat because of a rule allowing concealed weapons in national parks.

The Bush administration recently altered federal regulations to allow people with permits to carry concealed firearms while in national parks if the park falls within a state or district that allows concealed weapons.

Washington D.C. does not allow concealed weapons, but Norton and other think confusion over the rule could lead visitors to bring guns to Obama’s Jan. 20 inauguration, which will be held on two miles of National Park land – the National Mall.
“It is truly frightening to think of what this could mean coming just a couple of weeks before the inauguration,” said Norton, who has long supported strict gun laws in D.C. . . . .

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In Bombay (Mumbai) India, Politicians and Film Stars get almost all the gun licenses

The Times of India reports:

Of the 1,393 licences granted, 546 were for pistols and 847 for rifles, said businessman and activist Chetan Kothari, who got the information through the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

Renewal of a licence for a year costs Rs 50 for a pistol and Rs 20 for a rifle.

Kothari in his RTI application had requested that the police department furnish details of how many politicians, filmstars, businessmen and builders had got arms licences in the last one year. The department mentioned that 20 builders and 12 businessmen were granted licences last year. However in its break-up on the total number of licences granted in 2007, the police refused to specify how many filmstars and politicians held the right to own a pistol or a rifle. . . . .

That is 32 out of 1,393 licenses went to businessmen or builders (about 2.3 percent). It would be nice to know of the remaining 98 percent how many went to politicians.

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Senator Schumer on the Fairness Doctrine

This pornography angle is a bizarre comparison to political free speech, but the claim that he makes about who supported restrictions on pornography is also wrong. The regulations on the internet pornography were primarily supported by Democrats, not Republicans.

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Retail sales fall a little

Under the headline that "Retail Sales Plummet," the WSJ has this:

When gasoline sales are excluded, the fall in overall retail sales is more modest: a 2.5% drop in November and a 4% decline in December. A 40% drop in gasoline prices over the year-earlier period contributed to the sharp decline in total sales. . . .

The holiday retail-sales decline was much worse than the already-dire picture painted by industry forecasts, which had predicted sales ranging from a 1% drop to a more optimistic increase of 2.2%. . . . .

An up to 1% drop is an already-dire prediction? The media is just crazy about these issues. I wonder if the media didn't have such an extreme reaction whether the decline in sales is related to such hysteria.



Attempt to increase Concealed Carry Permit Fee in Ohio Defeated

The current fee in Ohio is $55. The article can be found here.


Philly sends letter to concealed handgun permit holders demanding $6 or face permit revocation

Could you imagine a private company behaving this way? The Philadelphia Inquirer has this:

In 2005, when the legislature amended the law governing licenses to carry firearms, the fee for a five-year license was increased from $19 to $25. The increase, channeled into accounts for license "modernization" and "validation," is supposed to make it possible for even small municipalities to get state grants to buy cameras for making gun-permit photo IDs.

But Philadelphia has not been collecting the $6 increase, a fact brought home to permit-holders with a bracing letter this month from Lt. Lisa King, commander of the Police Department gun permits unit.

"This additional $6 fee was supposed to be collected from all gun-license applicants effective May 1, 2006, [and] is required . . . regardless of whether your application was approved or denied," King wrote. "We apologize for any inconvenience, but, regrettably, if payment is not received by [Jan. 31, 2009], this debt will be placed in collections and could affect your credit. . . . Failure to pay will also result in the immediate revocation of your current firearms license." . . .

The state gun law was amended in 1995, making it easier to get a permit. Before the amendment, about 5,000 people were licensed to walk Philadelphia streets packing heat. Three years after the law changed, that number jumped to about 26,000. Healy said it has stayed more or less at that level since. . . .

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A few defensive gun uses in Alabama

From the Huntsville Times:

Robbery suspect shot dead, alleged accomplice wounded
Posted by Associated Press December 25, 2008 7:30 PM
Categories: Crime
ANNISTON, Ala. - A would-be robber was shot dead overnight Wednesday and his alleged accomplice was wounded after they attempted to rob the owner of a gas station near Anniston.

Calhoun County Sheriff Larry Amerson said the gun-toting suspects and the owner got into a shootout around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Fuller's Oil Company on U.S. 431.

Amerson said 21-year-old Takeem Pope of Anniston appeared to have died of a single gunshot wound. The other man, 19-year-old Blake Jackson, also of Anniston, was shot in the arm.

Amerson declined to name the owner, but said he acted in self-defense. He was not injured. Authorities said charges are pending against Jackson, who was taken to UAB Hospital for treatment.

The Birmingham News:

Birmingham teen charged with capital murder in death of friend shot in robbery
Thursday, December 04, 2008
News staff writer
A Birmingham teen was charged Wednesday with capital murder in the death of his friend who was killed while the two were robbing someone Sunday, police said.

Malik Hameed, 17, was in the Jefferson County Jail in Birmingham Wednesday night without bond.

Police say Hameed and friend Patrick Cortez Levert, 26, were shot Sunday in the 100 block of Cotton Avenue Southwest while trying to rob a 39-year-old man at gunpoint.

The man pulled a gun and shot both, police said.

Levert, found on the sidewalk, was taken to UAB Hospital, where he died.

Someone drove Hameed to Princeton Baptist Medical Center, where he was treated and later taken into custody.

Birmingham police spokesman Lt. Henry Irby said though Hameed didn't shoot his friend, he is charged with capital murder because he was a co-conspirator in a crime that resulted in death.

Efforts to reach Hameed's family for comment were unsuccessful.

On Nov. 5, Levert, who went by the nickname Little Pat, was charged with robbery in Jefferson County District Court, according to court records. In 2004, Levert pleaded guilty to another robbery charge and was given a 17-year suspended sentence and three years of probation.

The Birmingham News:

Man shot in Homewood burglary attempt
Posted by Jeremy Gray -- The Birmingham News November 19, 2008 1:07 PM
Categories: Breaking News
A man was shot several times after he kicked in the door of a Homewood apartment in what appears to have been a burglary attempt, according to police.

The incident happened just before noon at the Overlook at Homewood apartment complex off Valley Avenue.

A man in his 20s was at home when someone attempted to break into his apartment, said Sgt. Kent Baker. The occupant then shot the intruder. Police did not release the names of those involved.

Baker said police do not expect to file any charges against the shooter. Baker said he did not know the condition of the injured man, but thinks he was taken to UAB Hospital for treatment.

Thanks to Robert Jordan for these links.


CIA uses drugs to get information out of Afghanistan Citizens

The horrors of this are covered on the front page of the Washington Post.

The Afghan chieftain looked older than his 60-odd years, and his bearded face bore the creases of a man burdened with duties as tribal patriarch and husband to four younger women. His visitor, a CIA officer, saw an opportunity, and reached into his bag for a small gift.

Four blue pills. Viagra.

"Take one of these. You'll love it," the officer said. Compliments of Uncle Sam.

The enticement worked. The officer, who described the encounter, returned four days later to an enthusiastic reception. The grinning chief offered up a bonanza of information about Taliban movements and supply routes -- followed by a request for more pills.

For U.S. intelligence officials, this is how some crucial battles in Afghanistan are fought and won. While the CIA has a long history of buying information with cash, the growing Taliban insurgency has prompted the use of novel incentives and creative bargaining to gain support in some of the country's roughest neighborhoods, according to officials directly involved in such operations.

In their efforts to win over notoriously fickle warlords and chieftains, the officials say, the agency's operatives have used a variety of personal services. These include pocketknives and tools, medicine or surgeries for ailing family members, toys and school equipment, tooth extractions, travel visas, and, occasionally, pharmaceutical enhancements for aging patriarchs with slumping libidos, the officials said.

"Whatever it takes to make friends and influence people -- whether it's building a school or handing out Viagra," said one longtime agency operative and veteran of several Afghanistan tours. Like other field officers interviewed for this article, he spoke on the condition of anonymity when describing tactics and operations that are largely classified. . . .

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Robber Killed in Street Robbery

A permit holder was able to defend himself against a robber.

An armed robber who held a West Park man at gunpoint outside his home early this morning was killed when his victim pulled out a gun and fired first, the Broward County Sheriff's Office said.

Brian Kelley, 22, was returning to his apartment in the 4100 block of Southwest 19th Street about 4:39 a.m. when he said Kenneth Nelson, 42, came up from behind him and put a gun to his head, according to sheriff’s office spokesman Mike Jachles.

Kelley pulled out his own handgun and fired, striking and killing Nelson, of Hollywood.

Homicides detectives questioned Kelley after the shooting but did not take him into custody. Kelley acted in self-defense, investigators believe, but the sheriff’s office will present the case to the Broward State Attorney's Office for review.

Thanks to Ed Kardauskas for this link.

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New Op-ed piece at the Wall Street Journal: Donor Disclosure Has Its Downsides Recount Bias

The Wall Street Journal piece co-authored with Bradley Smith starts off this way:

How would you like elections without secret ballots? To most people, this would be absurd.

We have secret balloting for obvious reasons. Politics frequently generates hot tempers. People can put up yard signs or wear political buttons if they want. But not everyone feels comfortable making his or her positions public -- many worry that their choice might offend or anger someone else. They fear losing their jobs or facing boycotts of their businesses.

And yet the mandatory public disclosure of financial donations to political campaigns in almost every state and at the federal level renders people's fears and vulnerability all too real. Proposition 8 -- California's recently passed constitutional amendment to outlaw gay marriage by ensuring that marriage in that state remains between a man and a woman -- is a dramatic case in point. Its passage has generated retaliation against those who supported it, once their financial support was made public and put online. . . .

Some commentary at Hotair, WSJ, FreeRepublic, and Lucianne.com. Here is an editorial in the Democrat Herald from Oregon where the editorial writers appear to have been effected by our piece.

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NY Times selling assets to cover losses

From the WSJ:

Seeking to fortify its core assets, New York Times Co. is actively shopping its stake in the holding company of the Boston Red Sox baseball club, according to two people familiar with the discussions.

Times Co., which faces a cash shortage accelerated by steep industrywide revenue declines, has been rumored for months to be open to selling noncore assets. Besides its flagship newspaper, Times Co. owns the Boston Globe, About.com and a 17.5% stake in New England Sports Ventures, which owns the Red Sox, their fabled ballpark Fenway Park and most of the cable network that airs the team's games.

Times Co. pushed discussions beyond the exploration phase early last month at a quarterly meeting of NESV's limited partners, at which the company indicated to the partnership its intention to sell. Since then Times Co. has been pursuing potential buyers, according to people familiar with the discussions. Barclays Capital has pegged the value of the investment at about $166 million. A spokeswoman for the company declined to comment.

Times Co. acquired its stake in NESV when it joined John Henry in the hedge-fund billionaire's $700 million purchase of the Red Sox in 2002. The company is the second-largest shareholder behind Mr. Henry, who created NESV. The stake was supposed to shore up the Globe's advertising position in New England by packaging the Globe with New England Sports Network, one of the most powerful television outlets in the region. But it wasn't enough to stop the decline in advertisers and readers. . . .


Merry Christmas!!!

Merry Christmas and a Happy Hanukkah to everyone!



MN Supreme Court will let possible Double Counted Votes be counted for now

From the Star Tribune:

The Minnesota Supreme Court today denied a bid by Republican Sen. Norm Coleman to force the state Canvassing Board to consider his campaign’s claim that some votes in strongholds of Democrat Al Franken were counted twice.

The court said the Coleman campaign’s challenges of ballots that it believes were double-counted are better resolved in a court hearing where evidence can be presented, rather than by the Canvassing Board.

In doing so, the court allowed those ballots to be counted, at least for now.

“We win in Supreme Court,” said the Franken campaign in a brief statement.

Coleman’s campaign did not react immediately to the ruling, which was written by Justice Alan Page.

It had argued that 130 to 150 votes, mostly in Democratic areas, may have been counted twice. . . .


PETA goes after Palin again

Politico has the story. The PETA link is here. The bizarre thing is that these animal nuts don't realize that hunting stabilizes animal populations and prevents the large animal starvations that occur in nature.

During the holiday season, PETA posted an online game that involves pelting the (moose-hunting) Alaska governor with snowballs, urging internet users to "help make the holidays safe for animals by fighting back against notorious animal abusers."

(In the game, we should mention, Palin is bikini-clad and wearing a fur coat.) . . .

Additional Note: Some of those making comments have pointed out that hunting also provides food, just as getting meat from a grocery store does. PETA obviously views both as bad. My point is solely that in terms of what I understand the logic of PETA to be -- if you want to reduce overall suffering to animals, hunting helps accomplish this.

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Next Census promises some changes in Congress

CNS News has the story here:

Southern and western states are poised to snatch more congressional seats from the rest of the country as Americans pursue open spaces and warmer climates.

The nation's migration west and south has slowed, according to new government population estimates. But states in the Northeast and Midwest are still projected to lose political clout in Washington after the 2010 census, when the nation apportions the 435 seats in the House of Representatives, based on population.

Texas stands to be the biggest winner, picking up as many as four seats, while Ohio could be the big loser, giving up as many as two seats, according to projections by two firms that specialize in political apportionment. California is in danger of losing a seat for the first time since it became a state, though experts disagree on the likelihood of that happening. . . .

GIven that Texas is still a Republican state and the Northeast is all Democrats, this will be a small pick up for Republicans.


Unintended impact of law passed in panic: Lead Law Eliminates Many Children's Products

This was passed in the wake of lead in toys from China:

Worries over lead paint in mass-market toys made the holidays a little brighter for handcrafted toy makers last year, but now the federal government's response to the scare has some workshops fearful that this Christmas might be their last.

Without changes to strict new safety rules, they say, mom-and-pop toy makers and retailers could be forced to conduct testing and labeling they can't afford, even if they use materials as benign as unfinished wood, organic cotton and beeswax.

"It's ironic that the companies who never violated the public trust, who have already operated with integrity, are the ones being threatened," said Julia Chen, owner of The Playstore in Palo Alto, which specializes in wooden and organic playthings. . . .



The Impossibility of getting information out of the Minnesota Secretary of State

I guess that I needed any evidence that the Minnesota Secretary of State is purely political is their unwillingness to respond to requests for information. Last week when I wanted information on the ballots before the Canvassing Board telephone calls were not returned. This week they will not respond to email or telephone requests for even a key for an excel spreadsheet that they have on their website. I have the very strong impression that they have no desire to provide information to anyone who might be critical of their actions. Yet, I have reason to believe that they work closely with liberal bloggers who are supportive of Franken.

UPDATE: I got an email from the SOS office today, but it didn't contain the information that I had asked about and they apparently had sent the email just as they were leaving their office. I sent an email that wasn't responded to and when I called they had obviously already left their office.

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Audio from Dennis Miller Show

I was on the Dennis Miller Show today (Tucker Carlson was substituting). Those interested can listen to the audio here.

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No matter the problem: remember it is always Global Warming's fault

Fox News has this interesting piece:

Global warming was blamed for everything from beasts gone wild to anorexic whales to the complete breakdown of human society this year -- showing that no matter what it is and where it happens, scientists, explorers, politicians and those who track the Loch Ness Monster are comfortable scapegoating the weather.

FOXNews.com takes a look back at 10 things that global warming allegedly caused — or will no doubt soon be responsible for — as reported in the news around the world in 2008.

1. Cannibalism . . .

2. The Death of the Loch Ness Monster . . .

3. Beer Gets More Expensive . . .

4. Pythons Take Over America . . .

5. Kidney Stones . . .

And more.

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Angry Commentators Get the Discussion of Minnesota Ballot Recount Wrong

My piece at Fox News yesterday on the inconsistent rules for counting ballots in Minnesota's Senate race has produced a lot of reaction. Nate Silver over at fivethirtyeight claims in the title of his post that my piece "blames liberal conspiracy." My piece didn't mention the words "liberal" or "conspiracy" (nor did it say that Democrats or Franken were involved in some secret conspiracy or use any similar synonyms). Nor did I say that people had made mistakes intentionally (unlike Nate, I don't claim to know what is going on in people's minds).

My point was simple: "The primary problem isn’t the rules. The real problem is the lack of consistency." Mistakes can be made simply because someone is dealing with so many ballots, but mistakes, even if they are not done on purpose, can effect the outcome of this race because it is so close. Silver doesn't address this concern at all in his write up. Instead, he focuses on the fact that the Star Tribune data base made a mistake in classifying one of the ballots and that I relied on that for one of my examples. The fact that my website had already noted this and corrected that one ballot example before his post was put up is never mentioned by Silver. He also incorrectly implied that I hadn't double checked that ballot, but he didn't make any telephone calls or check this point either. It is not surprising that he wouldn't try to check these points out before making his assertions. For those interested, you can see my original post on this website here.

Others have made similar posts. David Brauer with minnpost also focuses on the one ballot misclassified by the Star Tribune and ignores the issue of rules not being applied consistently. He also incorrectly asserts that I did not check on what the newspaper had, but, ironically, he did not bother to check and contact me before he made this claim.

Others have also latched on to me claiming conspiracy. Emily Kaiser at Citypages writes: "Will he still claim liberal conspiracy despite losing his best evidence? Of course." Again, Kaiser also repeated the claim that no additional checking had been done. Silver's claim about a conspiracy is just being repeated. Why is it so difficult to evaluate whether a mistake was made without having to declare that someone did it on purpose? Why don't these blogs look at the systematic errors made by the Canvassing Board?

The Huffington Post has gotten involved in the act and claimed that I was "Blam[ing] Liberal Conspiracy." For those interested in the sock puppet and identity theft history of those who run the Huffington Post please see this post here. The so-called "For the Sake of 'Science'" also talks about me "trying to blame a typo on a vast liberal conspiracy."

All this is actually pretty funny. One person makes a post after I have already pointed out the problem on this website. He obviously misstates what I wrote and uses terms such as "conspiracy" to inflame readers. All these other liberal bloggers repeat these claims without probably even reading what I wrote (it would be worse if they read my piece and still repeated what was in Nate Silver's post).

Again, the original posting and the correction can be seen here.

Update: The MN Secretary of State's Office has told me that they made multiple mistakes in their listing of ballot decisions. I should also point out that before I published the piece being discussed in this posting I had contacted the MN SOS office a couple of times to double check things but was unable to get any assistance from them.


Some perspective on the economy

King Banian has this useful perspective on GDP and per capita income.


Jonah Peretti is again up to his strange tactics

A few years ago Jonah Peretti set up a website where he pretended to be me. He also sent out a lot of emails under my name, which among other things lobbied for more gun control. I am not the only person who Peretti has stolen the identity of (he also did this to someone named Jeff Goldblatt). Apparently, Peretti is also the co-founder of the Huffington Post! Anyway, he is now in the news again for stealing the content from other websites.


How many car accidents occur because of this wacky environmental regulation

From the Seattle Times:

To hear the city's spin, Seattle's road crews are making "great progress" in clearing the ice-caked streets.

But it turns out "plowed streets" in Seattle actually means "snow-packed," as in there's snow and ice left on major arterials by design.

"We're trying to create a hard-packed surface," said Alex Wiggins, chief of staff for the Seattle Department of Transportation. "It doesn't look like anything you'd find in Chicago or New York."

The city's approach means crews clear the roads enough for all-wheel and four-wheel-drive vehicles, or those with front-wheel drive cars as long as they are using chains, Wiggins said.

The icy streets are the result of Seattle's refusal to use salt, an effective ice-buster used by the state Department of Transportation and cities accustomed to dealing with heavy winter snows.

"If we were using salt, you'd see patches of bare road because salt is very effective," Wiggins said. "We decided not to utilize salt because it's not a healthy addition to Puget Sound." . . .

The city's patrol cars are rear-wheel drive. And even with tire chains, officers are avoiding hills and responding on foot, according to a West Precinct officer. . . .

I wonder if:

1) Crime is going up or down? -- It is harder for the police, but it also might be harder for the criminals.
2) There are more accidents and fatalities?



2008 Stock Shorting Ban Created all sorts of problems

A new paper by Ekkehart Boehmer, Charles M. Jones, and Xiaoyan Zhang show that banning short selling increased volatility of stocks:

Stocks subject to the ban suffered a severe degradation in market quality, as measured by spreads, price impacts, and intraday volatility.

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So where did the bailout money go?

Note: My son Maxim helped work on this some.

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"What you need to know about Hanukkah"

Franklin Raff has an interesting piece here:

Hanukkah is a time for lighting the menorah, for playing games, giving gifts and celebrating G-d's historical blessings and miracles. But it is also a time for sober remembrance, a holiday that calls upon all of us to rededicate ourselves to Him, and to muster and redeploy our prayers, efforts, and assets in the fight against government tyranny, cultural assimilation and secularization.

At Hanukkah we celebrate the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem. It was desecrated by the forces of Antiochus IV Epiphanes, who was obsessed with de-Judaizing the Land of Israel (then part of his Greco-Syrian empire). . . .


New Op-ed piece at Fox News: The Minnesota Recount Bias

My previous pieces on the Minnesota Recount can be found here, here, and here. The new piece at Fox News starts this way (note some additional links are included here):

The Canvassing Board overseeing the vote recount for Minnesota’s tightly contested US Senate race isn’t quite done examining disputed ballots, but the board issued a projection Saturday night that Al Franken would pick up 270 votes when it finished examining the ballots. Currently the board is determining voter intent in disputed ballots. If the project proves correct, Franken will beat incumbent Senator Norm Coleman by 78 votes.

Vote totals have changed a lot since November 4th when Coleman lead Franken by 725 votes. Correcting typos cut Coleman’s margin to 215, and a recount by all the counties reduced it further to 192. Yet, the additional 270 votes picked up by Franken from the Canvassing Board’s decisions have been among the most controversial.

The vote pickup has occurred through two actions by the board – divining voter intent and determining what votes should be counted. While decisions to include missing or overlooked ballots has gotten the most attention, the process of determining intent has also been important in determining the outcome here.

The Canvassing Board faces a difficult task in divining voter intentions. It is very difficult to determine how a voter meant to vote simply by looking at what might be stray marks on the ballot. And whatever rules are adopted must be consistently used in evaluating all ballots. . . .

Note: There was a mistake in one ballot that I discussed in the original piece. The Star Tribune made a mistake on the ballot shown below and discussed in this link here (corrected the day after I fixed it). All the rest of the discussion is fine. I am not going to be publishing any comments that just repeat this point without them indicating that they have already read this note. For a response to some of those who have been attacking the piece, please see this.

The piece was mentioned on the Drudge Report.

My piece is the most read on the Fox News website:

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Concealed Handgun Holder protects woman and child from Criminal

This occurred last night in Indianapolis, Indiana:

December 22, 2008

Police: Employee kills robber at grocery store

A robber was shot and killed by a grocery store employee Sunday after the robber pointed a gun at a customer and her baby, police said.

The shooting happened at 8:50 p.m. at Tienda Suarez, 6240 W. 34th St.

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Sgt. Matthew Mount said the robber, brandishing a handgun, corralled all the customers into one part of the store. When the robber pointed the gun at a woman and her child, an employee shot him. The man was taken to Wishard Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Police would not identify the robbery suspect or the employee late Sunday. No charges had been filed against the employee, but Mount said the case would be reviewed by Marion County prosecutors to determine whether the shooting was justified.

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How to give Your Enemies speeding tickets

Some pretty imaginative students in Maryland:

As a prank, students from local high schools have been taking advantage of the county's Speed Camera Program in order to exact revenge on people who they believe have wronged them in the past, including other students and even teachers.
Students from Richard Montgomery High School dubbed the prank the Speed Camera "Pimping" game, according to a parent of a student enrolled at one of the high schools.

Originating from Wootton High School, the parent said, students duplicate the license plates by printing plate numbers on glossy photo paper, using fonts from certain websites that "mimic" those on Maryland license plates. They tape the duplicate plate over the existing plate on the back of their car and purposefully speed through a speed camera, the parent said. The victim then receives a citation in the mail days later.

Students are even obtaining vehicles from their friends that are similar or identical to the make and model of the car owned by the targeted victim, according to the parent.


Indianapolis Mayor advocating stricter gun laws?

I have talked about this "study" before. For example, California ranks number 6th on this list of top 10 states. Is it because they have lax or strict laws? Hardly. It is because they are a large state with a big population. Indeed, that helps explain most of the states on the top 10 list. Why is it that large states such as Pennsylvania, Florida, and Texas have weaker gun laws? I am not sure, but there are lots of other problems with this study. The Indianapolis Star discussion is here:

The bipartisan national group with the apt name Mayors Against Illegal Guns has won a major victory. For some states, including Indiana, there's more to lament than celebrate.
The coalition made up of more than 350 municipal chief executives -- 10 from Indiana, none from Central Indiana -- managed to persuade Congress to ease access to once-closely guarded "trace data," the federal records of traffic in firearms used in crimes.
And what did those records show?
That 10 states, Indiana included, were the source of 57 percent of the guns used in crimes outside those states.
That those states tended to have the weakest laws governing the sale and tracking of guns. . . .


Dennis Prager on Climate Change/Global Warming

As someone who has taught environmental regulation to MBAs and graduate students, I found this particular discussion by Dennis Prager amusing. The great quote is at the end of this short clip by an environmental activist.

While the previous segment might be amusing, this discussion by Prager is pretty scary. It shows how critical voices regarding Global Warming are sanitized in the media.

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Chandler, AZ Jewelry store owner stops armed robbery

From the Arizona Republic:

Store owner shoots, kills suspect during robbery
by Erin Zlomek - Dec. 20, 2008 09:42 PM
The Arizona Republic
One suspect is dead and the owner of a jewelry store is wounded following an attempted robbery in Chandler Saturday evening.

At around 6:45 p.m. two armed men entered family-owned Christopher Diamonds at 2560 W. Chandler Blvd. with the intent to rob the store, said Chandler Police Department Detective David Ramer.

The store owner, his wife and adult son were inside. The owner pulled out a gun and a gunbattle ensued. One suspect and the owner were shot.

The injured suspect fled, then jumped into a stolen truck and drove until he reached the Loop 101 and Broadway before pulling over. He later died from his wound.

The other suspect fled on foot to a northern neighborhood. A K-9 officer tracked him down and police made an arrest at around 8:15 p.m.

The owner was sent to a local hospital and is expected to recover from a gunshot wound to the face, Ramer said.

Thanks to Bill Bulgier for sending me this link.