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04 July 2013


Russ Steele

Ham Sandwich Nation: Due Process When Everything is a Crime

This often cited paper by Law Professor Glenn Reynolds explaines how we can be prosecuted for just being alive:

Though extensive due process protections apply to the investigation of crimes, and to criminal trials, perhaps the most important part of the criminal process -- the decision whether to charge a defendant, and with what -- is almost entirely discretionary. Given the plethora of criminal laws and regulations in today's society, this due process gap allows prosecutors to charge almost anyone they take a deep interest in. This Essay discusses the problem in the context of recent prosecutorial controversies involving the cases of Aaron Swartz and David Gregory, and offers some suggested remedies, along with a call for further discussion.

The full paper can be downloaded here:

Russ Steele


About the Declaration there is a finality that is exceedingly restful. It is often asserted that the world has made a great deal of progress since 1776, that we have had new thoughts and new experiences which have given us a great advance over the people of that day, and that we may therefore very well discard their conclusions for something more modern. But that reasoning can not be applied to this great charter. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction can not lay claim to progress. They are reactionary. Their ideas are not more modern, but more ancient, than those of the Revolutionary fathers.

Yes, the progressives among us are preaching regress.

H/T to Instapundit


Posted by: Russ Steele | 04 July 2013 at 03:35 PM

Nice try Russ, fortunately what those here you would label 'progressives' are preaching is equality, inalienable rights, and consent of the governed. I think the Fourth of July is indeed a good day for you to be stomping your feet and crying like a baby because your beliefs are in the minority. So here is to your inalienable right to free speech. The more you exercise it the smaller your minority will be. That's what I love about America today. The wisdom of the crowd, or what George would oh so democratically call the "Sheeple", is greater than the power of the reactionary minority you represent to sway culture.


A final thought, while you are quoting Calvin Coolidge, a man whose values I doubt most Americans could even identify today, I will quote Martin Luther KIng Jr., a man whose values almost every American would instantly recognize and identify with:

“The Arc of the Moral Universe Is Long, but It Bends Toward Justice”

God Bless America.

Russ Steele


If conservative are the minority, I am proud to join in those who are "extremely/very proud" to be an American.

In recognition of Independence Day, Gallup has released a poll on whether American citizens are still proud to be American.

Ninety-three percent (93%) of Republicans indicate that they are “extremely/very proud” to be American while only 85 percent of Democrats feel the same way.

Eighty-one percent (81%) of political Independents indicate they are “extremely/very proud.”

Likewise, 89 percent of poll respondents who identified themselves as conservative are “extremely/very proud,” to be American compared to 76 percent of liberals.

liberals = progressives


Well you can put me ion the "extremely/very proud" category as well; "extremely/very proud" does not mean one is blind to our opportunities for improvement, indeed I am "extremely/very proud" of the fact that Americans value improvement and have been at the forefront of positive change since our founding. The ideals of our Revolutionary founders were a state of future as well as present being.


...... The wisdom of the crowd

Ha! Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah!

Whew...thanks Steve....I can begin my day with a smile.


The so called 'Wisdom of the crowd' is all a majoritarian needs to justify whatever it is they want the power of government to do, and Steve knows how to 'facilitate' public meetings to steer the crowd into thinking it agrees with him, like the sessions he facilitated for NH2020. It works only as long as the crowd doesn't know they're being manipulated.

Equality is a word much misused. Equality under the law is a good thing, equality of opportunity is a good thing. Equality of results is a road to ruin.

Paul Emery

Actually the Information Awareness Office, which was was established in 2002, was strongly defended by the Bush Administration's Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz until overwhelming dissent from both parties emerged. Appointed by the administration to run the program was non other than John Poindexter of Iran-Contra fame. The all seeing eye on the IAO seal has an inscribed motto that reads in latin "scientia est potentia" – knowledge is power.

Most bizarre of all the proposals was the program called the Futures Markets Applied to Prediction (FutureMAP), which would have involved investors betting small amounts of money that a particular event -- a terrorist attack or assassination would occur at a certain date. The intent was to explore the feasibility of market-based trading mechanisms to predict political instability, threats to national security, and other major events in the near future.

Wolfowitz said in supporting the TAO in general that "The agency that does it is brilliantly imaginative in places where we want them to be imaginative." He later retreated on the Futures Markets proposal by saying "It sounds like maybe they got too imaginative in this area."

The project was scheduled to begin two days after the hearings that axed the plan.

Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, D-South Dakota, said on the Senate floor.

"I couldn't believe that we would actually commit $8 million to create a Web site that would encourage investors to bet on futures involving terrorist attacks and public assassinations," " ... I can't believe that anybody would seriously propose that we trade in death ... How long would it be before you saw traders investing in a way that would bring about the desired result?"


Fun tip: Ask a progressive to describe "equality" within their envy-based progressive tax system and watch them squirm. #hypocrites

George Rebane

PaulE 1015am - Thanks for the expansion. The 'trading in death' that Daschle abhorred is actually done on a daily basis in the world's equity and commodity markets, and in certain securities more than others. The prospects of death and destruction in a region or country are constantly reflected in the dynamics of prices. I guess we don't want to be too explicit in focusing market wisdom on macabre events, even though we do it on national elections which have proven to be macabre enough.


Posted by: Gregory | 05 July 2013 at 10:06 AM

As usual, Greg is ignorant.

I never facilitated a single public meeting during NH 2020. I did attend several, for a variety of reasons, including the fact that I am a long time Nevada County resident. Of course, as I have stated here before, I don't remember you attending any of those meetings.

If you, Greg, and Fish, and George want to continue to doubt the 'wisdom of the crowd' based on the idea that the crowd i.e. the public is stupid and easily manipulated, or that people are too uneducated to be meaningful participants in public processes or our democratic republic, be my guest. They will punish you for your hubris.

By the way, I was not the first to use the word 'equality' on this topic; it is embedded in the quote Russ provided from Calvin Coolidge. I suggest you take it up with "Silent Cal".


They will punish you for your hubris.

I'm tempted to ask you how I will be "punished" but I think I'd really rather be surprised.

That the public is stupid is so obvious it doesn't even merit discussion at this point.....the last 10 residents of the White House and all the legislation implemented during their respective tenures is more then sufficient to win the argument. But it's sort of a "free" country so go ahead and wallow in the delusion of your choice. After all it's your right an American.


They already punishing you for your hubris Fish, they are disempowering your ideas. One really can't call people stupid and expect them to vote for you. That's why I say, hurray, keep the "Sheeple' meme going.

By the way, would that mean that the last decent President was Eisenhower?

Eisenhower would be a Democrat today :)


I stand corrected; it was apparently Frisch's employees who "facilitated" the NH2020 meetings. Over at the FUE's echo chamber some time back Frisch quotes from a chapter in Koire's book that describes how to derail the facilitations and allow a true community meeting to take place, although Frisch termed that "disrupting a public meeting".

Account Deleted

Steven brings up a good point. If you are honest, you won't win elections. So what is more important? If you don't win, you can't implement your policy and if you lie, we all go downhill. The problem is not the political system, the problem is we that have (as a collective) an electorate that doesn't want to hear the truth. How will a more democratic system be better? Either we get a more sane society that will vote for honest politicians or we continue a downward spiral.

Paul Emery

Does anybody know anything bout DARPA?

Is it a government agency? Who funds it and who d they report to?

George Rebane

PaulE 1154am - DARPA is just what its name says. It's part of the DOD and does advanced research on (usually) classified projects, weapons, and combat systems. Most of its funding is visible as part of the Pentagon's budget. Some of its money sources are buried elsewhere. As a government contractor, I have also worked on DARPA projects.


I was designing ARPAnet equipment in the '80's, later given a name change to the internet. Some of it sold to private groups, some to educational institutions, post office and a three letter agency at Ft.Meade we just called "the customer". Paul, really, you've never heard of D/ARPA?


They already punishing you for your hubris Fish, they are disempowering your ideas.

What ideas would those be Steve? I'm certainly not a republican so my hubris costs me no votes in that regard.

And might be right...Eisenhower might be a democrat today if having looked around he saw that the whole country was lined up to steal from the future by sticking their snouts in the trough and thought, "Well what's one more? ".

I hope your team keeps winning elections I want to see how it all turns out.


Eisenhower would take one look at the IPCC and climate brigade firmly on the Democrat's side and refer to his farewell speech where he said,

"Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades. In this revolution, research has become central; it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government... the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity... The prospect of domination of the nation's scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present -- and is gravely to be regarded.

Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite."

No, there aren't any Democrats that are Like Ike anymore; "Scoop" Jackson might have been the last that was in the same ballpark. He'd be comfortable sitting with the GOP and, I suspect, not unwilling to have a beer and a chat with the likes of Ron and Rand Paul.

I see John Kerry has been out yachting during the crisis in Egypt. Do you think Ike would have tolerated his Sec'y of State playing hooky at such a time?


Do you think Ike would have tolerated his Sec'y of State playing hooky at such a time?

With Kerry as his Secretary of State I think he would have encouraged it.


I know! If LIncoln had heard of AGW he would have TOTALLY been on your side Greg!

And can you believe that that bastard Cordell Hull went to church on the same day Pearl Harbor was bombed?


Oh yeah, and how did we end up back on climate change again?


Oh yeah, and how did we end up back on climate change again?

Someone whined about needing " moar tax revenue" and voila.


We ended up back on climate change because of the part of Eisenhower's Farewell Address Frisch keeps forgetting, and his fantasy Ike would be allied with the likes of Reid, Pelosi and Obama were he alive now.

Fish, there's no chance a Kerry would be in a new Eisenhower administration doing anything.


I think one can tell a lot about the legacy of a leader by the leadership they leave behind, often in their own family. It is for that reason that I quote here Susan Eisenhower:

"I believe that Barack Obama has the energy, but more importantly, the temperament, to run this country and provide the leadership we need. He knows that we can either advance on the distant hills of hope– or retreat to the garrisons of fear. He can mobilize and inspire all of us to show up for duty. Discipline will be required; as will compromise, flexibility and quiet strength."

One can also tell a lot by how the progeny carry themselves when asked direct questions about that legacy.

I also note that Dwight D. Eisenhower's son John, a WWII veteran and retired US Army Brigadier General, endorsed John Kerry for President in 2004.

Please note my propensity for actually linking to the information I post so the dear reader can go directly to source material and judge authenticity for themselves :)

What a great country we live in!


I love that line, ".....retreat to the garrisons of fear." I think I may use it, since it is my basic contention that today the "garrison of fear" is exactly where many would have us dwell.

George Rebane

stevenfrisch 158pm - "garrison of fear"? Is that a fear like in being afraid to let freedom ring in the land, to let citizens dispose of their own property as they will, to trust them to lawfully carry concealed weapons, to fear the certainty of catastrophic AGW, to let people retain any remaining vestige of privacy, to shrink from allowing local jurisdictions to school their own youngsters, ... ??

It is quite common for the heirs of the accomplished who have made their name under one ideology to set their helm hard a lee, and sail with the prevailing wind. You left a couple of dangling dots unconnected, please do complete your 156pm argument.


Who is afraid to "let freedom ring?" I seek to extend freedom to the maximum number of people possible, to extend them the right to vote unmolested, to marry, to decide their own health, to come to America the land of opportunity to exercise their freedom proven by accomplishment. I do not fear the people and denigrate them by calling them sheep.

I don't fear their vote because in a democratic republic the more people who vote the more representative the government. I don't fear that extending equal rights to homosexuals will diminish or alter my sexuality, rather I want them to enjoy the same benefits of marriage that I have. I don't fear women making informed choices about their own health care as guaranteed be the constitution and confirmed by the Supreme Court. I don't fear immigrants, or begrudge the natural law that would move a man to come to a country to seek a better for his family; I only ask that they become American, as the English, French, Germans, Irish, Italians, and Estonians did. I don't call people I don't have personal experience with stupid, compare them to barnyard animals, and imply they should not be an equal part of our democracy.

As to the case that "it is common for the heirs of the set their helm hard on the lee", perhaps you should take a look at the accomplishment of both John and Susan Eisenhower; I think you would be hard pressed to show how they have moved to the far shore....their work speaks for itself.

Dangling dots unconnected indeed..........I don't think they are unconnected. I am stating pretty clearly that many fine minds and thoughtful people are leaving the conservative fold, because conservatives have become a parody, the Buck Turgidsons of the 21st century.

George Rebane

stevenfrisch 304pm - Well said Steve. But then why must you and yours pile ever higher the mountains of laws and rules that define and delimit the behaviors of a free people, constrain them to ever narrower corridors of commerce and countryside, and forcefully take a growing share of their produce?


Posted by: George Rebane | 06 July 2013 at 03:26 PM

I think you must have me confused with someone else.

I do support some new laws; but at the same time I strongly support the elimination of others. I think the true test of a law is "is it necessary"? You may recall that during the discussion of a California Constitutional Convention many years ago I supported [and still support] sunsetting government departments, commissions and programs, and most laws, with a requirement that they be evaluated for effectiveness and re-authorized or not based on that analysis.

I am generally against most laws that regulate behavior, but contend that when behavior creates external social costs that all must pay for, then reasonable regulation is warranted. My policies would free commerce, but require measurement of external costs and price and production policies that either minimize or pay for social costs. In some cases commercial activity that externalizes costs will be necessary, but that should be a conscious process.

I don't even know what the heck you are talking about when you say 'narrow corridors {of} countryside'.


Here's Dwight Eisenhower's Sec'y of State:

The anti-Kerry.

"I think one can tell a lot about the legacy of a leader by the leadership they leave behind, often in their own family."

Not really; kids and grandkids are independent beings, and often fall away from beliefs of their immediate ancestors. For example, does Frisch's avowed atheism really say very much about his parents' and grandparents' religion?

Frisch: "I also note that Dwight D. Eisenhower's son John, a WWII veteran and retired US Army Brigadier General, endorsed John Kerry for President in 2004.

Please note my propensity for actually linking to the information I post so the dear reader can go directly to source material and judge authenticity for themselves :)"

Frisch didn't check the authenticity; the wikipedia link provided is live, but the link it points to is dead. He just took the summary by the wiki volunteer as fact, but it was inaccurate.

When someone points to broken link, there's a good chance they didn't even bother trying to read it themselves. Not much of a reference, there, and not the first evidence of sloppy scholarship from SBC's CEO. Actually finding John E.'s statement (I'll let him find it himself), it was clear JE was voting for Kerry in '04 as the lesser of two evils, registering as an independent as a protest purely against the invasion of Iraq which he termed 'unilateral' despite the UK, Australia and, in total, about 40 governments cooperating with the coalition in some way.

His daughter, who supported Obama twice as an independent, not a Dem, was also married for a time to a Soviet scientist who was also a Hero of Soviet Labor. Not exactly the stuff of the right side of the aisle. Her current support of Obama's policies are also lukewarm at best.

In short, more empty rhetoric from Frisch that misses the point. None of that supports the claim Dwight Eisenhower would be a Democrat were he in politics today, or would want the likes of John Kerry as his Sec'y of State.


Actually Greg, I read the page, clicked on the link, noted it was dead, and then listened to Susan Eisenhower's interview, where she references her fathers support of John Kerry. I also of course REMEMBER IT IN REAL TIME from following the campaign in 2004. Your memory seems to constantly fail you.

I also base my observations about Dwight Eisenhower's political positioning vis a vis modern political philosophy from actually reading several biographies of Eisenhower and histories of his governance. I suggest you do the same.


Neither John E. or Susan E. registered as Democrats, and when you find John E's words supporting Kerry more than rejecting Bush, you let us know.

Your claim was that Dwight Eisenhower would be a Democrat were he around now, and you have yet to support that statement with any actual words of President Eisenhower, and a son and granddaughter voting once or twice for a DEM without holding their nose hard enough to actually register as DEM falls short.

I suggest you actually justify your claims, not send others on intellectual snipe hunts.


Seriously Greg, you need to read more history. I may have been being a little facetious when I said Ike would be a Democrat, but if one looks at his policies in depth, and his feud with the Goldwater wing of the Republican party, it is not much of a stretch to say that Eisenhower, Reagan and Bush I would have likely been drummed out of the modern party. I said this more to highlight the widening gap between moderation and political representation than anything else. I can think of many Democrats, like Scoop Jackson and Sam Nunn, who would be more likely found in the Republican party of yesteryear rather than the Democratic party if they were making that choice today.

In the end it highlights the ineffectiveness of modern political definitions to capture the nuance of American political thought. For example, I am pointed as a collectivist, progressive, socialist here, when in reality I am pretty firmly in the moderate center of American political thought.

But then I don't come here for nuance, do I?

Speaking of snipe hunts, why is it that when you make claims you almost never post corresponding links? I at least try to make things a little easier for readers, you seem to revel in obscurity.


And another thing, you state that Susan Eisenhower was once "married for a time to a Soviet scientist who was also a Hero of Soviet Labor", and that that was not exactly the stuff of, "the right side of aisle". What was your intent with that statement? Did you read the links to Ms. Eisenhower's policy statements and papers on her web page? Did you note the field of study she is in, and the positions her think tank takes? Do you think scientists should be judged on the political leanings of the nations of their origin? Not very consistent with your previously stated position here that science should be separated from politics. Under your new guilt by association world view George would be highly suspect as a source; after all he came from a country that under successive administrations allied it self with the Soviet Union and Third Reich and decamped northern Europe under a United Nations program. I for one don't doubt George's Americanism, but under your logic we should.

Michael Anderson

Just returned from several days in the blue state of Los Angeles and thought I would find some good comedy here at RR. As usual, I didn't have to read for very long before I achieved satisfaction.

Regarding whether Ike would be a Democrat or a Republican in the summer of 2013, I think the times are too different to compare. I would rather continue to dwell on the meltdown of the Republican Party, and if anyone here has a crystal ball on how that is going to turn out, I would love to hear it.


Posted by: Michael Anderson | 08 July 2013 at 12:31 AM

Yes Michael, as usual the signal, that hubris is killing the GOP, got lost in the noise of unrelated rhetoric.


Frisch, there was no hidden message, no code, in my mention of SE's marriage to a Hero of Soviet Labor. A simple concept; take all the marriages between Soviets and Americans while the Soviet Union existed: I expect the ratio of Republican to not Republican spouses would be vanishingly small, even during Glasnost. Do you disagree? No matter the chemistry, the clash of political foundations would be large.

Yes, Ms. Eisenhower has had an interesting career as the head of the Eisenhower Group and the Eisenhower Institute, not to mention various advisory roles, but I can't find any mention of her formal education; can you? I suspect her career path is not one that most could follow without the right silver spoon to start the digging.


"I may have been being [sic] a little facetious when I said Ike would be a Democrat" - Frisch

Yet when called on it you went off on a tangent, claiming John and Susan Eisenhower's politics (they became latter day independents two score years after Ike's passing) were indicators.

I'd argue Democrats' changes over the years are just as striking. I think it quite possible Scoop Jackson (who often got it right) and Sam Nunn would not only be in the Republican Party of yesteryears, but possibly the GOP of today when compared to the current DEMs. Gone are the clean Gene McCarthys, Daniel Patrick Moynihans, Walter Mondales. Can you imagine any of them voting for a bill that reforms a large fraction of the US economy just so everyone could find out what's in it?

For a party that is said to be imploding, they sure have interesting majorities in the House and Governor's offices, and I wouldn't bet against GOP gains in both the House and Senate in 2014.


Posted by: Gregory | 08 July 2013 at 07:38 AM

Then why did you identify Ms. Eisenhower's ex-husband as a "hero of soviet labor"? No code, just bullshit.

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