Friday, October 24, 2014
Posted by William Occam at 7:03 PM
Homeland Security confiscates Royals underwear in Kansas City
Peregrine Honig says she just wanted to help celebrate the hometown team when she designed Lucky Royals boyshorts.
The panties, with “Take the Crown” and “KC” across the bottom, were set to be sold in Honig’s Birdies Panties shop Tuesday. But Homeland Security agents visited the Crossroads store and confiscated the few dozen pairs of underwear, printed in Kansas City by Lindquist Press.
“They came in and there were two guys” Honig said. “I asked one of them what size he needed and he showed me a badge and took me outside. They told me they were from Homeland Security and we were violating copyright laws.”
She thought that since the underwear featured her hand-drawn design that she was safe. But the officers explained that by connecting the “K” and the “C,” she infringed on major league baseball copyright. (The officials involved could not be immediately reached for comment.)
They placed the underwear in an official Homeland Security bag and had Honig sign a statement saying she wouldn’t use the logo.
“We just thought it was something funny we could do,” Honig says of the panties. “But it was so scary.”...I feel safer already
Posted by William Occam at 12:43 PM
Friday, October 17, 2014
In what must have been an awkward moment for everyone involved, President Barack Obama said his credit card was declined at a New York City restaurant last month.
“My credit card was rejected. It turned out I guess I don’t use it enough,” Mr. Obama said....WSJ
Posted by William Occam at 4:04 PM
Charlotte Parker, a teaching assistant who had a torrid 2-year affair with a 14-year-old male pupil, has avoided jail time.
Explaining his decision to issue a suspended sentence, Judge Austin Stotan stated that although the boy was underage, he was a 'willing' participant in the affair: "It seems the victim had explained that he had been seeing the defendant for a period of two years. He understood she was married.For more go here
Posted by William Occam at 1:05 PM
Given anything done by government costs at least twice as much as in the private sector New York City's achievement of spending twice the already stunning amount both LA and Chicago spend per prisoner is truly epic. Well played.
From the New York Times:
Even though the inmate population at Rikers Island has fallen to its lowest level in decades, the amount of money spent to run New York City jails soared to a record $1.1 billion in 2014, according to a new report by the city comptroller. And yet there appears to have been little improvement, with assaults by guards and inmate violence drastically worsening.
The report, which is to be released on Friday, found that the amount spent by the Correction Department per inmate in New York was nearly $100,000 in the city’s 2014 fiscal year, which ended in June. That is 42 percent higher than seven years ago and more than twice the amount spent per inmate by correction departments in other large cities like Chicago and Los Angeles.
During the same period, there was a 124 percent increase in assaults on the staff by inmates at city jails, and triple the number of allegations of use of physical force by guards. The number of city jail guards dropped to 8,922 in 2014, from 9,203 in 2007.Of course instead of spending the already obscene amount NYC takes from taxpayers more wisely DiBlasio et al will look to increase taxes even more as its only "fair".
“These numbers show very clearly that what the Correction Department is doing isn’t working,” the comptroller, Scott M. Stringer, said in an interview on Thursday. “We’re spending more money on inmates and we’re getting worse results.”...
Posted by William Occam at 12:23 PM
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
As per the Daily Mail:
As news helicopters swarmed over Dallas' Love Field this evening to watch the second U.S. nurse to contract Ebola board a private plane bound for Atlanta, one lone man stood out from the pack.
Holding a clipboard and directing the transfer, the unidentified man seemed to be the only person on the tarmac without protective clothing, wearing just a button down shirt and trousers...I'm thinking the NIH should spend less money investigating why 75% of lesbians are overweight and more money explaining to people that a clipboard is not an effective defense against highly contagious deadly diseases
Posted by William Occam at 9:29 PM
Obama thinks your daughter is four times more likely to get raped on campus than graduate summa cum laude
Yesterday 28 Harvard Law School professors expressed their view that Harvard's "sexual harassment policy departs dramatically from legal principles, jettisoning balance and fairness in the rush to appease certain federal administrative officials".
As per The New Republic it turns out Harvard is not alone. :
This August, Columbia University released a new policy for handling “gender-based” misconduct among students. Since April, universities around the country have been rewriting their guidelines after a White House task force urged them to do more to fight sexual assault. I was curious to know what a lawyer outside the university system would make of one of these codes. So I sent the document to Robin Steinberg, a public defender and a feminist.Given, according to Obama et al, your daughter is four times more likely to get raped on campus than graduate summa cum laude and your son has virtually no civil rights if he is accused of said rape its a wonder anyone voluntarily sends their kids to college anymore.
A few hours later, Steinberg wrote back in alarm. She had read the document with colleagues at the Bronx legal-aid center she runs. They were horrified, she said—not because Columbia still hadn’t sufficiently protected survivors of assault, as some critics charge, but because its procedures revealed a cavalier disregard for the civil rights of people accused of rape, assault, and other gender-based crimes. “We are never sending our boys to college,” she wrote...
Posted by William Occam at 2:45 PM
Posted by William Occam at 12:10 PM
28 professors at Harvard Law School have voiced their "strong objections to the Sexual Harassment Policy and Procedures imposed by the central university administration and the Corporation on all parts of the university, including the law school."
For more go here...We call on the university to withdraw this sexual harassment policy and begin the challenging project of carefully thinking through what substantive and procedural rules would best balance the complex issues involved in addressing sexual conduct and misconduct in our community.The goal must not be simply to go as far as possible in the direction of preventing anything that some might characterize as sexual harassment. The goal must instead be to fully address sexual harassment while at the same time protecting students against unfair and inappropriate discipline, honoring individual relationship autonomy, and maintaining the values of academic freedom. The law that the Supreme Court and lower federal courts have developed under Title IX and Title VII attempts to balance all these important interests. The university’s sexual harassment policy departs dramatically from these legal principles, jettisoning balance and fairness in the rush to appease certain federal administrative officials.We recognize that large amounts of federal funding may ultimately be at stake. But Harvard University is positioned as well as any academic institution in the country to stand up for principle in the face of funding threats. The issues at stake are vitally important to our students, faculties, and entire community...
Posted by William Occam at 11:54 AM
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Remember that whole "Obamacare" will reduce the defict" even though "we have to vote for it before we know what's in it" thingymajig?
Apparently that is not the case:
Analysis of Congressional Budget Office projections by the Senate Budget Committee finds that Obamacare will increase the deficit by more than $100 billion over the next decade.Reason
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has not actually scored the deficit impact of Obamacare since the summer of 2012.
At that time, it estimated that Obamacare would reduce deficits by $109 billion over a decade. But that was for the 2013-22 budgetary window. Using growth rates derived from that estimate, Senate Budget Committee (SBC) staff found that this $109 billion budgetary surplus for 2013-22 would have become a $180 billion budgetary surplus for 2015-24, if nothing had changed in the interim.
Posted by William Occam at 11:20 AM
In August, a troop of Turlock, California, Girl Scouts asked the city council to consider a ban on smoking in public parks. Months of sporadic—and occasionally heated—debate followed. The Scouts said they were seeking the ban, in part, to reduce childrens' exposure to secondhand smoke, though the girls also asked that e-cigarettes and smokeless tobacco be included in the ban.
Then, last week, Parks, Recreation & Public Facilities Superintendent Erik Schulze piped up. It turns out smoking in Turlock's public parks has been illegal for more than a decade...
Posted by William Occam at 9:34 AM
Monday, October 13, 2014
From the New York Times editorial board:
...Voter ID laws, as their supporters know, do only one thing very well: They keep otherwise eligible voters away from the polls. In most cases, this means voters who are poor, often minorities, and who don’t have the necessary documents or the money or time to get photo IDs...No word yet on whether the New York Times plans to continue requiring photo ID's from anyone wanting to enter their office buildings.
Posted by William Occam at 10:39 AM
Sunday, October 12, 2014
From the BBC:
University students are being urged to urinate in the shower in a bid to save water. The Go with the Flow campaign is the brainchild of students Debs Torr and Chris Dobson, from the University of East Anglia (UEA) in Norwich.
They want the university's 15,000 students to take their first wee of the day while having their morning shower.
Mr Dobson, 20, said the idea could "save enough water to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool 26 times"...
Posted by William Occam at 11:13 AM
The New York Times has published yet another editorial arguing that the minimum wage needs to be increased to reduce inequality - "the central economic challenge of our day".
At the same time the Times argues that the lack of wage growth results in prosperity becoming "increasingly concentrated at the top of the economic ladder" it blithely reports in its annual report that:
Over the last several years, we have significantly reduced operating costs by reducing staff and employee benefits and implementing general cost-control measures across the Company, and we plan to continue these cost management effortsThese mass firings and reductions in pay and benefits, of course, inure to the benefit of "the top of the economic ladder", including Carlos Slim, one of the world's richest men and the largest outside shareholder of the newspaper, and the Sulzberger family, descendants of the founder of the New York Times.
So lets get this straight. They plan to "continue to these cost cutting measures" by reducing staff and cutting compensation, but want other people to increase their operating costs.
Posted by William Occam at 10:47 AM
Saturday, October 11, 2014
...Only 20% realize that the federal government spends more money on Social Security than on foreign aid, transportation, and interest on the government debt. Some 33% believe that foreign aid is the biggest item on this list, even though it’s actually the smallest. It accounts for only 1% of the federal budget, compared to a whopping 17% for Social Security, which is one of the biggest federal outlays and has been for decades.
The Pew poll is consistent with numerous previous studies that reach similar results, consistently showing that the public massively overestimates foreign aid spending, and underestimates spending on big entitlement programs, such as Social Security and Medicare. British voters are misinformed about their own government’s budget in much the same way.
Ignorance on this point has a significant influence on politics and policy. A large percentage of voters implicitly assume that we can solve the federal budget crisis simply by cutting unpopular foreign aid programs, without raising taxes or touching entitlements. That makes it politically difficult to address our looming fiscal crisis (in which Social Security and other entitlements are major factors) in a realistic way...WaPo
Posted by William Occam at 12:06 PM
Friday, October 10, 2014
Franklin Foer, editor of the New Republic, has written an essay arguing that Amazon is a an evil monopolist, who despite admittedly providing excellent service, choice and prices to grateful consumers, needs to be reined in by government.
Yes. Foer's solution to the "problem" of Amazon providing a hugely successful and popular service is to insist that Government, not known for providing anything successfully, step in and save the day.
Foer would do well to read the works of Frederic Bastiat who in 1850 wrote:
"Treat all economic questions from the viewpoint of the consumer, for the interests of the consumer are the interests of the human race."Oh and not only is Foer's economic philosopy profoundly mis-guided, in a way only a progressive can self-righteously achieve, his grasp of economic terminology is also sadly lacking.
What he should be accusing Amazon of, not that they should be accused of anything, is monopsony:
The microeconomic theory of imperfect competition assumes the monopsonist can dictate terms to its suppliers, as the only purchaser of a good or service, much in the same manner that a monopolist is said to control the market for its buyers in a monopoly, in which only one seller faces many buyers.No word on whether Foer will follow up on his Amazon piece by calling for a break up of the public schools cartel. Given his views and the fact that public schools produce a terrible service, offer limited choice, and are extremely expensive (aka the exact opposite of Amazon) this should be a no-brainer.
Posted by William Occam at 8:11 PM
Thursday, October 9, 2014
...“You’ll never meet anyone who says, 'I want to be a millionaire. I think I’ll start a winery,’” owner Bill Smyth tells me from his small office over the tasting room of Westover Winery, nestled in the East Bay’s Palomares Canyon. Smyth has worked in a number of fields. He made some money. He bought the vineyard property when he was young. His ex-wife bought him a kit to make wine, and his labor of love turned into a small business.
Now, thanks to heavy-handed California regulators, he’s selling off his ports and boutique wines and turning his winery back into a home.
In July, state Department of Industrial Relations officials showed up at Westover Winery and slapped Smyth with $115,550 in fines, back wages and penalties. His bad: Like many other East Bay wineries, Westover benefits from the labor of volunteers to help with winemaking and pouring. Smyth offers a free course in winemaking; he says participants are free to help out or not. He has a legal form for volunteers. It reads: “I am donating my labor free by choice.”
We’re not talking about teens being pressed into grueling labor in hot fields. As one who enjoys the fruit and neighborhood feel of Livermore Valley wineries, I’ve met both volunteers and employees who started as volunteers. They tend to be middle-age professionals who want a piece of the oenology dream.
Meteorologist Phil Vogt volunteered at Westover for three years. “It was a fantastic thing,” he told me. He hoped to take up winemaking when he retired. He didn’t want to be paid; it wasn’t a job. He tried to return the check he received for back wages but that, too, was illegal.
“I was not doing it to make money,” Vogt added. “I have a day job that pays quite well. I was doing it to learn.” His hobby, it turns out, is against the law. Vogt is not sure what he’ll do next. Maybe he should take up robbing banks.
Smyth tells me investigators first visited Westover in July. On the spot, they handed him notices that he had violated the state’s minimum-wage law and wage-reporting requirements and had to pay fines to the state, as well as back wages. No official called him beforehand. The $115,550 came without warning for a business that grosses some $200,000 annually, nets $11,000 and is open to the public a mere 10 hours per week...
Posted by William Occam at 10:30 AM
The family of the man killed in a deputy involving shooting in Laurens County has released a statement about what they say happened the night of September 24th.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation says Laurens County Deputies told them they were executing a search warrant for drugs at a house on Highway 319 in Dublin.
Investigators say deputies shot and killed David Hooks when he pointed a shotgun at them and would not put it down. The GBI will determine if deputies followed proper procedure.
Teresa Hooks, David's wife released the following statement through her attorney:
We buried a great man yesterday. Our loss is devastating to our family and to our community. David was a loving and devoted husband, father, and grandfather who was a role model to his children, grandchildren, and numerous other friends and relatives...
...First, David Hooks was a successful businessman who owned two thriving businesses. His construction company worked on military bases, including Hunter Army Airfield and Fort Stewart. As such, he was vetted and underwent background checks by state and federal authorities including the Department of Homeland Security and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. Based on those background checks, he was granted a security clearance which allowed him to work on these military bases. He was not a drug user or distributor.
Second after taking over the scene at around 11:55 p.m. on the 24th of September the GBI conducted a thorough search of the property that lasted until approximately 8:00 p.m. Friday, September 26th. That search of some 44 hours conducted by numerous agents with the GBI resulted in not one item of contraband being found! This has been confirmed to the family by the GBI and is evidenced by the return of the original search warrant which was finally filed in court on September 29th and indicates that nothing was seized pursuant to the search warrant.
At this point here is what the evidence shows and we must stress that we are very early in the investigation. On Monday, September 22nd or the early morning hours of Tuesday, September 23rd, David and Teresa Hooks home was burglarized and several items were taken from the property including a Lincoln Aviator vehicle. The burglary was committed by Rodney Garrett a meth addict. David Hooks reported the burglary and the Laurens County Sheriff’s Department began an investigation into the same. After a brief investigation by the Laurens County Sheriff’s Department, a warrant was issued for Garrett’s arrest at 3:45 p.m. on September 23rd. Approximately 24 hours later at 3:45 p.m., Rodney Garrett was taken into custody and confessed to the burglary and theft of motor vehicle, as well as other offenses.
On Wednesday, September 24th at 9:56 p.m., drug task force agent Chris Brewer made application for a search warrant before Faith Snell a non-attorney Deputy Magistrate of the Laurens County Magistrate Court. The facts submitted to Deputy Magistrate Snell to convince her that probable cause existed to issue the warrant consisted of the statement by Rodney Garrett a confessed burglar, thief, and a meth addict who was under the influence at the time of his arrest that the approximately 20 grams of methamphetamine, a digital scale, and 2 firearms found on him at the time of arrest had been stolen by him out of another vehicle at the Hooks home. Investigator Brewer also stated information he claimed came from an investigation involving Jeff Frazier. That investigation was in August 2009 over 5 years ago. A search warrant was issued at 9:56 p.m. by Judge Snell. This search warrant is invalid on its face as it does not comport with the requirements of the Constitution of State of Georgia nor the United States Constitution. Armed with an invalid search warrant and with less than an hour of preparation, at approximately 10:55 p.m. several members of the Drug Task Force and the Laurens County Sheriff’s Response Team arrived at David and Teresa Hooks home unannounced by emergency lights or sirens. There is no question the Officers were aware the home had been burglarized only two nights earlier.
David and Teresa were under the impression that the burglars were back and that a home invasion was eminent. David armed himself to protect his wife and his home. Despite the fact that the illegal search warrant did not have a “no knock” clause the Drug Task Force and SRT members broke down the back door of the family’s home and entered firing in excess of 16 shots. These shots were from multiple firearms and from both 40 caliber handguns and assault rifles. Several shots were fired through a blind wall at David with the shooters not knowing who or what was on the other side of the wall. The trajectory of the shots, coupled with the number of shots infers a clear intent on behalf of the shooters to kill David Hooks.
David was hit multiple times and ultimately died from the gunshot wounds he suffered. There is no evidence whatsoever that David Hooks fired a weapon. I must repeat this happened inside his home...
Posted by William Occam at 9:38 AM