David Hardy's Waco page...

Speaking of reforming the BATFE, David Hardy has a page up about Waco.  The events at the Branch Davidian compound are an enduring black mark against a government all too willing to kill over a matter as trivial as a missing $200 tax stamp... and to kill again, in full view of the media, to cover up their actions.

Sun Nov 27 10:40:36 CST 2005 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence...

Dafydd is doing the non-libertarian thing and suggesting that the Patriot Act be made permanent:
This should be a no-brainer: nobody has shown any violation of civil liberties from use of this act; the Patriot Act should simply be made permanent, all of it. Yet evidently, simplicity is not a virtue to these complex and nuanced senators. And shame on the three Republicans for aping the Left's habit of attacking the president instead of arguing their case before the Ameican people.
One of the major provisions of the Patriot Act is lack of notification.  Those who are investigated under its provisions are not notified while the investigation continues, and those who are served with subpeonas as part of the investigation aren't allowed to talk about it.  These provisions make it very, very difficult to show abuses of civil liberties, and impossible to claim that none have occurred simply because none have been reported.

While investigations of foreign intelligence assets need to remain highly secretive by their nature, and investigations of terrorists certainly fall under that same category, there must be effective oversight -- oversight that is not provided by a secret court rubberstamping national security letters on the basis of secret evidence.  We need to do better than that. 

Sat Nov 26 21:08:32 CST 2005 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

So what's the libertarian solution?

Dafydd, the Big Lizard, has what he calls a conservative solution for the death penalty (in response to an article from Patterico).  It involves executing people faster and more easily than presently allowed, with a small helping of caning for more minor crimes.  Sounds good to me; justice should be swift, relentless, and accurate.  (It's the third part that's important; if the death penalty is to be applied swiftly and relentlessly to certain cases, it must also be applied accurately).  

The way I see it, anyone convicted of premeditated murder or terrorism (that's real terrorism, not the FBI's "let's apply the Patriot Act to everything" terrorism), beyond a reasonable doubt, should be executed within a year of their conviction.  Give them the full-time services of a PI for that whole year, along with appropriate support from a crime lab, if they think they can prove their innocence; but once a jury has said that they are guilty, waiting is not appropriate.  It only dilutes the linkage between cause and effect.

Mistakes will be made.  Mistakes are inevitable.  Sometimes, new testing methods emerge  Nevertheless, the immediate aftermath of a crime is when the memories of witnesses are clearest and the politics of the death penalty have had the least chance to interfere. 

But in the tail end of his post, Dafydd mentions that he also has a libertarian solution.  I'd like to know what it is (hence this post); but I have my own libertarian solution, and it goes like this.

Everyone who wants to carries a handgun.   No permits, no licenses, open or concealed as desired.

It is very hard to have a case of mistaken identity when the person involved is trying to kill you.  And it is very hard to try to kill someone you know is armed, especially when you know that those around them are also armed, and you are likely to be shot trying to leave the scene even if you succeed.  And people will be very, very polite in public, because failure to control your emotions to the point of attacking someone else has serious, sudden, and dramatic consequences.

UPDATE: Turns out Dafydd's libertarian solution is the infamous Texan defense: "Your honor, I plead not guilty to murder; the man needed killin'."  He'd set it up as an affirmative defense; use it, and you have to go to trial, and prove that to a jury.  He notes that it would need some safeguards against racists and the like; I agree, and provided there were some safeguards against the obvious problems, I like the idea.

Sat Nov 26 19:47:06 CST 2005 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Auditting the ATF

David Hardy reports that an audit of the BATFE's handling of its duties may be in the works.  Assuming it is conducted honestly, it will likely produce a great deal of evidence which can be used to drive reforms.

Sat Nov 26 08:21:52 CST 2005 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

What might have been...

According to The Beagle Express, one of the victims of the Tacoma mall shooting was carrying a concealed firearm, and was shot after drawing his weapon and confronting the attacker.

This is what shall-issue concealed carry means.  Not that mall shootings happen and can't be stopped; they'll happen regardless of the concealed-carry laws.  What I'm referring to is what almost happened; the murdered was almost stopped four hours before the police could "negotiate" with him.

You may remember a somewhat recent (in the last year, I think) shooting in Texas.  A concealed-carry permit holder was on the scene, armed, and exchanged gunfire with the criminal, saving several lives at the cost of his own.

You don't hear about this aspect of these events in the media much, but it is happening with increasing frequency.  Do the math: there are 21 million people in Texas, and 223584 permits, so about 1% of the population is licensed to carry.  That means, if you are in a place with at least 100 people nearby, and you are in Texas, and you're not in a location where concealed firearms are forbidden, then someone around you is probably carrying.

To be honest, probably more than one -- not everyone carries legally, and there are legal ways to carry a firearm with you in your car without obtaining a license.

These people have indicated their willingness to do violence in order to protect themselves, and quite possibly to protect those around them.  They don't smell funny and they don't look any different.  But every single one represents the opportunity to stop a murderer in his tracks, cutting their rampage short.

But they'll smile and say hello and play with your kids safely.  They aren't dangerous, because they are guardians, not predators.  They are safe because their firearms handling skills are meticulous, due to experience, practice, and training.  After all, it's something they do for fun.  The real thing isn't fun, but similar skills apply.

The more people who take up the responsibility of bearing arms, the better off everyone will be, because there will always be more murderous psychotics... but the supply of guardians is all too limited.

UPDATE: Mr. Completely notes that there is a medical fund for Dan McKown, to which you can donate at any Bank of America branch.

Wed Nov 23 19:37:32 CST 2005 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Remember New Orleans!

Ravenwood has an article about the New Orleans gun seizures -- some people haven't gotten their guns back, despite a court order.  We will not forget this.

Fri Nov 18 21:21:37 CST 2005 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Kuwait gun prohibition..

It seems, according to Dave Kopel of the Volokh Conspiracy, that the Kuwaiti royal family does not sit easily upon their throne; they are insisting that the resistance (that is, the pro-Kuwaiti resistance who fought against Saddam Hussein after he invaded) give up their arms -- and they are enforcing this with house-to-house searches and stiff penalties. 

This suggests an interesting question to me:

Suppose a foreign nation... let's say Canada... decides to invade the United States.  They send in their army, armed with a variety of deadly weapons; everything from machine guns to tanks.  Suppose, in the typical Red Dawn scenario, our own military is busy somewhere else and it is left to the militia to repel the invasion.  Suppose further that the militia successfully routs the Canadian army before our own military can become a serious factor, and order is restored.

What happens to the captured Canadian firearms?  They are not legal in the United States -- being unregistered NFA weapons (machine guns).  While it wouldn't be too difficult to round up all the tanks, it would be completely impossible to collect all the machine guns, grenades, and so forth.  Inevitably, some of those weapons would end up in civilian hands.

How would the United States government respond to this situation?

Just an interesting thought experiment.

UPDATE: Thanks for the link, Alphecca.  I'd like to take a moment to clarify the conumdrum, in order to hopefully avoid further commenter confusion.  The problem I presented is this: the defeated Canadian army leaves behind thousands of captured military weapons (machine guns, primarily) in civilian hands.  Under current law, it is legal to own a registered machine gun with the appropriate permission slips, but it is impossible to register new machine guns.  The widespread scope of the invasion ensures that the government cannot simply recover all the weapons through a limited, aggressive policy against a few individuals. 

If the weapons are to be recovered, it would be house-to-house searches.  If they are left out there, suddenly there are thousands of people who probably do not even realize they are in possession of an "illegal" machine gun through no fault of their own.  Should they be charged?  What if they aren't discovered for decades?

Fri Nov 18 20:57:52 CST 2005 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Free speach for most is still a right denied

By way of the Geek with a .45, the FEC has determined after an extensive deliberation that bloggers are entitled to the same press exemptions granted to the old media.  That's good, because it means that bloggers won't be directly regulated with respect to their opinions.  It's bad because it admits the possibility that they could be regulated in the future.  Laws which violate the bill of rights are best responded to with a Supreme Court ruling rather than a regulatory finesse. 

Not that the Supreme Court has not fallen on its face on this law in the past; I'm just sayin'.

Fri Nov 18 18:54:24 CST 2005 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

BB guns, police shootings, and liability...

Alphecca notes a story where a police officer shot a young man with a bb gun, thinking that the gun was real and pointed at him, and asks whether there should be liability for the manufacturer (in making their product look very similar to a real firearm).

First, it's undisputed that the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act does not protect anything that isn't a firearm, and BB guns clearly do not qualify.  Alphecca notes that he considers them weapons regardless; I agree that some certainly qualify as weapons but I feel they are more closely categorized as something else.  While a bb gun can cause serious injury, if a BB happens to hit a vulnerable spot, wounds from one are rarely life-threatening.

Regardless of whether or not a bb gun is a weapon, however, there should be no liability for the manufacturer.   BB guns closely resembling real firearms have legitimate uses (training, for example).  If criminals use their resemblance to real firearms for intimidation, they have only themselves to blame when the police or an armed citizen don't bother to extend the benefit of the doubt.  And if an innocent kid wants to act like a criminal, using his BB gun, he needs to find better role models... or accept the potentially fatal consequences of his decision not to.

Indeed, the police officer in the case Alphecca describes might well have a case against the deceased for negligent actions leading to emotional distress, lost work, and required counseling.  After all, when you threaten a police officer with what he perceives (reasonably) to be a firearm, the result is entirely predictable.  I'm not that litigious, of course, but the case could be made -- and probably would be made, were it ever to be economically feasible to do so.

But under no circumstances should the manufacturer be liable.  Moreover, a smart manufacturer would be wise to avoid creating a similarity between their BB guns -- which are capable of causing serious injury -- and similar devices which are entirely toys, such as cap guns, which (at least when I was a kid) offered bright orange plastic barrel plugs so that it was obvious the "gun" was not real.  BB guns may not be weapons, in my opinion, but they are definitely potentially dangerous, and should be recognized as such.

Thu Nov 17 20:57:39 CST 2005 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Urge Congress not to renew the Patriot Act

The Gun Owners of America are urging you to contact Congress regarding the Patriot Act renewal legislation.  Here's why:
Capitol Hill sources have told GOA there is a provision in this bill (Section 215) which would allow the FBI to get a secret court order to seize ANY business records it believes would be relevant to an anti-terrorism investigation... without having to make the case that the gun records they're confiscating have any connection to a suspected terrorist.
Section 215 is the same provision that allows for seizure of library records (what you're reading about) and similar privacy threats.  While passing the Patriot Act in the wake of 9-11 could possibly be excused as an emergency situation, it has now been over 4 years since that event.  How many terrorists -- real terrorists, not prostitutes or drug users -- have been captured and convicted because of evidence obtained through section 215?

The answer seems clear: not enough to justify abrogating our Constitutional rights.

Thu Nov 17 18:08:25 CST 2005 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Propaganda indeed...

From a recent anti-gun newsletter (it's always good to keep an eye on them):

A terrorist armed with a .50-caliber sniper rifle and a scope could plunk away at a nuclear power plant without security personnel knowing what hit them or where the attack was coming from. By the time security officials could adequately respond to the sniper attack, it could be too late.

The only way to prevent this nightmare and other ".50-caliber terror" scenarios is for lawmakers to take action now and restrict these deadly weapons for use by the military and law enforcement officials  only.

It's not news that security is hard.  But asking us to believe that terrorists won't be able to get their hands on any small arm they want, regardless of a ban within the United States?  That's insane.

Thu Nov 17 17:31:25 CST 2005 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

National Ammo Day

November 19th is National Ammo Day.  Go out and buy ammunition; stock up, in fact.  Why?  So you'll have some if you ever need it -- and so If you're interested in participating in a market experiment, do so at a WalMart, at 3:30pm CST, and pick up a copy of the DVD Red Dawn at the same time you are picking up your ammunition.

Tue Nov 15 22:13:00 CST 2005 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

When winning isn't winning...

From an EFF alert:
The US Department of Justice (DOJ) has told the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) that it will not appeal a New York decision that forcefully rejected its request to track a cell phone user without first showing probable cause of a crime.  It also appears that DOJ will not appeal a similar opinion recently issued in Texas.   
Recently, the government lost a case where it had requested the ability to monitor a cell phone, including location data, without a warrant.  Normally, that would be cause for cheering; after all, the decision would stand and be counted as a victory.  Not here, though.  Without guidance from appellate courts, the government can simply choose judges inclined to grant such requests, in secret, and never face significant opposition to the practice: the government doesn't have to tell anyone and the person being monitored isn't told either.

Sun Nov 13 12:39:02 CST 2005 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Abuse of National Security Letters under the Patriot Act...

If this journalist's story is true, it's repulsive, and it's a clear sign that the government has gone too far.  It is not appropriate for the FBI to maintain dossiers on people who are not under suspicion of a crime.

Sun Nov 13 11:26:15 CST 2005 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

The prohibitionists are back...

I'm not really the drinking sort, but I'm not about to stand by idly while the prohibitionist movement edges closer and closer to a comeback.  They have learned to cloak their desire for prohibition with their concern for "the children" and to pretend their measures are aimed at reducing drunk driving -- when, in reality, they just want to make life difficult for anyone who chooses to drink alcohol, and propagandize children in order to shape their attitudes towards alcohol as adults.

And I say that as someone who drinks very rarely.

UPDATE: More on this topic here.

Sun Nov 13 11:02:16 CST 2005 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

That pesky fourth amendment...

Pointing to the rising number of shootings in Boston, Mayor Thomas M. Menino is calling for a "handgun summit" in New England and raised the possibility of random police searches of cars crossing into the state to intercept illegal weapons.
This is absolutely bizarre.  Do these politicians just not realize the restrictions that the Constitution places on their actions?

Sat Nov 12 11:45:49 CST 2005 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Minor paperwork in Parker v DC

It looks like we may not see the kind of lengthy and detailed briefing from the amicus curae in Parker v DC that we saw in Seegars.
It appearing that this case presents potential problems of duplicative briefing, it is ORDERED, on the court's own motion, that amici curiae show cause, within 30 days of the date of this order, why they should not be limited to one joint brief, not to
exceed 7,000 words, on the side of the party they support. See D.C. Cir. Rules 29(d), 32(a)(4).

The amici may suggest an alternative briefing format to reduce the number of pages submitted to the court. In so doing, amici should keep in mind that the court looks with extreme disfavor on repetitious submissions and will, where appropriate, require a joint brief of aligned entities with total words not to exceed the standard allotment for a single brief. The amici are directed to provide detailed justifications for any request to file separate briefs or to exceed in the aggregate the standard word allotment. Requests to exceed the standard word allotment must specify the word allotment necessary for each issue.
This is not a final decision, the various parties intending to file amicus briefs are being asked to limit both the length of their argument and to combine their responses.  That should make the arguments more managable; remember that Seegars saw multiple filings exceeding 50 pages from people not even parties to the case. 

While it's somewhat disappointing -- I like reading legal briefs on this issue, and there will be less red meat for me to report on -- it's should help distill the arguments into their shortest and clearest form.  And that should help the case move more quickly.

Sat Nov 12 09:59:03 CST 2005 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Sometimes, government just gets in the way.

?I wasn?t going to just write a check, and I didn?t want to go to New Orleans where all the celebrities were going (to grandstand). I wanted to go where no one was, and that?s why we went to Pascagoula.

?We took six million dollars of equipment and most of the guys from my company (Malone Properties). But when we got there, they (federal officials) told us that because we wanted to work for free, we had to go home. That we needed a government ID number or a contract to haul out debris.

?I said to them, ?bullsh??, we took 30 pieces of equipment and traveled nine hours and we?re going to clean up some lots before we leave. So I told them ?I?m getting on my truck, now try to get me off.? I had my security guys there and they tried to stop us but they couldn?t - and we cleared 115 houses.

Hat tip to SaysUncle.

Sat Nov 12 09:30:26 CST 2005 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Economics 101...

It seems the Texican Tattler is off on a rant about so-called price gouging by the oil companies.  He thinks that oil companies make "huge" profits because they are price gouging, and that that is automatically a bad thing.  Unfortunately, he's falling into the all-too-common trap laid by the media about economics in general.  There's a good take on the question at Pubcrawler, but it's really a simple issue.

In a free market, prices are dictated by the supply of a particular product compared with the demand for that product.  The demand for gasoline is high -- everyone needs it to get to work, heat their homes, produce electricity, ship their products to the market, and so on.  Some of that demand can be adjusted in the short term (consumers can choose to cut down on non-essential driving, put up with the heat, etc); some can be adjusted in the long term (buying more fuel-efficient cars).  The supply is also variable, sometimes significantly.

We should not be surprised to see rapid price spikes when there are supply problems.  The individual gas stations need to make enough money on their current inventory (ie, the gasoline in their underground tanks) to be able to replace it when they run out; that means they need to be ahead of the price curve, selling today's oil at tomorrow's prices.  If they don't do this, they will go out of business.  This doesn't mean they are making huge profits.

The recent spike in prices at the pump in the US can be laid partially at the feet of Katrina, which impacted much of our refining capacity, combined with the fact that we were already running pretty much at the limit of our refining capacity to begin with.  That combination means that we had to make up the shortfall somewhere -- by finding refined gasoline elsewhere and shipping it to the markets.  Doing that costs more than the usual procedure (otherwise, the usual procedure would not be the usual procedure).  So, when the cost of delivering a gallon of gasoline to the local gas station goes up, the supplier has to raise prices; the alternative is to go out of business.

We also should not be surprised to see large oil companies making big profits.  Consider; there are about 300 million people in America alone, and each adult probably spends at least $100 on gasoline for their car per month -- sometimes less, sometimes more.  That's completely ignoring business use and non-vehicle use, and it adds up to $360 billion per year for the US alone.  That's a huge industry.  Large absolute profits are meaningless; you have to compare that industry with other industries to see how the profit margins match up before you can even start to complain. 

Let's not forget that gasoline taxes often make up a huge portion of the price of gasoline.  That money is going to your local government, not your local oil company.

Here's a quote from the Tattler's post:
We are being led to believe that a 24 cent per gallon increase in 24 hours was a good thing. That somehow magically that prevented the country from running out of gas. Say what? Did the extra 24 cents per gallon prevent anyone from doing anything other than pay more at the pump?
Sure.  It prevented gas stations and their suppliers from going out of business.  There are sources of gasoline that they can get to the marketplace so long as people are willing to buy; but those sources cost more than the usual sources, so those additional costs have to be covered.  The oil companies could have chosen to keep prices at the same level, and simply not supplied oil to the market at all while the price was higher than some arbitrary point.  Would that have helped the situation at all?
This is not a Republican or Democrat thing. This is a consumer thing. As comsumers we need to get mad enough to care about what is going on. We need to start to hit back a little. We need to let the big oil companies we won't put up with this anymore. No one is saying don't make a profit. No one wants to say how much you can make. But not at the cost of gouging it's customers. That's why we have anti-price gouging laws. Try raising the price of plywood by 1000% during a hurricane and see what happens. Why is this being allowed with gas?
Because this is a free market.  Sellers set their prices and buyers choose to buy -- or not.  It's not something we want the government involved in "allowing".  As for raising the price of plywood during a hurricane -- no problem!  There's a limited supply of plywood.  Suppose you raise the cost by a factor of 10; that means you can then pay your suppliers that same additional factor to get more plywood.  If the roads are shut down or blocked by debris, it's going to cost more to deliver that plywood.  Maybe even ten times more, especially if you intend to pay someone to drive into a hurricane.

But really, there's a simple truth here.  If gasoline prices are too high for your taste, and you don't like the idea of oil companies making profits... you don't have to buy gas.  Really.  It's a voluntary transaction.  That you are willing to exchange two or three dollars for a gallon of fuel is a sign that the price is reasonable under the circumstances.  If you think it's unreasonable... don't pay it.  That's the sign of a healthy market at work.

UPDATE: Featured in the Carnival of Liberty.

Sat Nov 12 09:23:13 CST 2005 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Doctors against guns...

Sometimes, it's hard to give the proper response ("That's none of your business!") to a doctor who wants to abuse his position of authority to inquire about guns in your home.  Doctors do have a lot of status as an authority figure, and pediatricians in particular tap into the parental instinct to protect their children.  In order to make it easier to make your point, without getting into an argument that might distress your kids and offend your doctor, brings us the Firearms Safety Counseling Representation form.  Good work, guys.  Hat tip to The War on Guns for pointing it out.UPDATE: Fixed the link to War on Guns.  No idea how that got messed up; sorry.

Sat Nov 12 08:03:58 CST 2005 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

The Final Inspection

The soldier stood and faced God,
Which must always come to pass,
He hoped his shoes were shining,
Just as brightly as his brass.

"Step forward now, you soldier,
How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek?
To My Church have you been true?"

The soldier squared his shoulders and
said, "No, Lord, I guess I ain't,
Because those of us who carry guns,
Can't always be a saint.

I've had to work most Sundays,
And at times my talk was tough,
And sometimes I've been violent,
Because the world is awfully rough.

But, I never took a penny
That wasn't mine to keep...
Though I worked a lot of overtime
When the bills got just too steep,

And I never passed a cry for help,
Though at times I shook with fear,
And sometimes, God forgive me,
I've wept unmanly tears.

I know I don't deserve a place
Among the people here,
They never wanted me around,
Except to calm their fears.

If you've a place for me here, Lord,
It needn't be so grand,
I never expected or had too much,
But if you don't, I'll understand."

There was a silence all around the throne,
Where the saints had often trod,
As the soldier waited quietly,
For the judgment of his God.

"Step forward now, you soldier,
You've borne your burdens well,
Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,
You've done your time in Hell."
The above was posted at my place of employment, and google found me a copy here.  Though I am no follower of christ, every man's life is a trial, even if we only judge ourselves.  Those who risk their lives in defense of others deserve to be celebrated as heros.  To fight in defense of your community is the ultimate duty of citizenship.

I honor both those veteran's with us still, and those who are no longer with us.  I do not honor them today alone, but on every day.

Fri Nov 11 21:08:21 CST 2005 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

San Francisco's handgun ban passes...

Looks like San Francisco's handgun ban passed on Tuesday's ballot.  About 42% opposed the ban (according to NRA News).  This is not as bad as it sounds; California has a firearms preemption law, and the ban will most likely be struck down as violating it.  The Second Amendment Foundation and the NRA have filed lawsuits; Of Arms and the Law has more. 

UPDATE: The War on Guns says that attorney Gary Gorski is seeking plaintiffs, if you happen to live in San Francisco.

Fri Nov 11 20:15:13 CST 2005 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

From the mouthes of babes...

", Dad, what you're saying is, the inline muzzle-loading boom is an example of how government regulations distorted markets, produced unintended consequences, and codified an inferior, un-competitive technology that would have vanished long ago without the regulations that sustain it?"
Ain't that just the thing about government?

Fri Nov 11 18:07:48 CST 2005 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Abusing national security...

The Washington Post has the scoop on the scope of the government's expanding use of "National Security Letters", a warrantless demand for business records (up to, and including, library records):

The FBI now issues more than 30,000 national security letters a year, according to government sources, a hundredfold increase over historic norms. The letters -- one of which can be used to sweep up the records of many people -- are extending the bureau's reach as never before into the telephone calls, correspondence and financial lives of ordinary Americans.

Issued by FBI field supervisors, national security letters do not need the imprimatur of a prosecutor, grand jury or judge. They receive no review after the fact by the Justice Department or Congress. The executive branch maintains only statistics, which are incomplete and confined to classified reports. The Bush administration defeated legislation and a lawsuit to require a public accounting, and has offered no example in which the use of a national security letter helped disrupt a terrorist plot.

The burgeoning use of national security letters coincides with an unannounced decision to deposit all the information they yield into government data banks -- and to share those private records widely, in the federal government and beyond. In late 2003, the Bush administration reversed a long-standing policy requiring agents to destroy their files on innocent American citizens, companies and residents when investigations closed. Late last month, President Bush signed Executive Order 13388, expanding access to those files for "state, local and tribal" governments and for "appropriate private sector entities," which are not defined.

Hat tip to Reason for the story.  There is no question that we are facing a substantial threat from the decentralized counterpart of a foreign intelligence agency.  However, without oversight, abuses are inevitable.

Mon Nov 07 20:24:36 CST 2005 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Some journalists learning the right lessons from RatherGate

Lesson: Forget about trust, just be sure to verify.  It's too bad that most journalists didn't.  And of course, some are still intentionally choosing to misrepresent.

Mon Nov 07 18:50:21 CST 2005 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

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