Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Legalize Dope, Annex Mexico

An excellent article by George Friedman...

This leaves the option of treating the issue as a military rather than police action. That would mean attacking the cartels as if they were a military force rather than a criminal group. It would mean that procedural rules would not be in place, and that the cartels would be treated as an enemy army. Leaving aside the complexities of U.S.-Mexican relations, cartels flourish by being hard to distinguish from the general population. This strategy not only would turn the cartels into a guerrilla force, it would treat northern Mexico as hostile occupied territory. Don’t even think of that possibility, absent a draft under which college-age Americans from upper-middle-class families would be sent to patrol Mexico — and be killed and wounded. The United States does not need a Gaza Strip on its southern border, so this won’t happen.

...

The likely course is a multigenerational pattern of instability along the border. More important, there will be a substantial transfer of wealth from the United States to Mexico in return for an intrinsically low-cost consumable product — drugs. This will be one of the sources of capital that will build the Mexican economy, which today is 14th largest in the world. The accumulation of drug money is and will continue finding its way into the Mexican economy, creating a pool of investment capital. The children and grandchildren of the Zetas will be running banks, running for president, building art museums and telling amusing anecdotes about how grandpa made his money running blow into Nuevo Laredo.

It will also destabilize the U.S. Southwest while grandpa makes his pile. As is frequently the case, it is a problem for which there are no good solutions, or for which the solution is one without real support.


.. confirms what I said before.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Did Dozier Internet Law misrepresent a federal judge?

Brendan of I Hate Linux emailed in this disturbing story: Dozier Internet Law got a judge to agree one can copyright a cease-and-desist letter...

... or, maybe not: According to Public Citizen:

The hearing transcript is not online, so we cannot be sure exactly what arguments were conceded, but there is every reason to believe that the judge did NOT reject either the First Amendment or the fair use arguments – he seems to have avoided them by ruling for the one party on whose behalf they were still being pressed by the end of the hearing. Nothing supports Dozier’s claim that the case stands for the proposition that a cease and desist letter is copyrightable, not to speak of the propositions that posting of such letters is neither fair use nor protected by the First Amendment.


I will try to read the PDF of the original decision, and come to my own conclusion.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Practical Eugenics

Gideon, writing at a public defender, criticizes castration of violent felons because those violent felons may be rehabilitated:

Prof. Berman asks whether chemical castration (if proven to work) should be employed (actually, why shouldn’t it be). As readers might guess, I am uneasy with this proposition. There are several assumptions here: That we know that “high-risk” offenders will re-offend; that all “high-risk” offenders will re-offend. This does dip into some “Minority Report” territory. I’m quite uneasy by the idea that we will assume that all high-risk offenders are going to re-offend and we need to stop that by subduing the sexual urge by reducing levels of testosterone.

Those are some mighty assumptions and I’m uncomfortable with that. There are (have to be) better alternatives to this. What if we have an offender that, despite being “high-risk” is rehabilitated and wishes to live a normal life?


However, to a large extent, speaking about rehabilitation of violent felons misses the point.

Consider: violent crime is heritable:

Estimates of heritability for antisocial behaviour from recent research in quantitative genetics cluster around 0.50. The most reliable estimates come from contemporary studies in the Netherlands, Britain, Norway, Sweden, Australia and the US, because these studies examine large, representative samples using sophisticated quantitative modelling techniques. A complementary meta-analysis of 51 twin and adoption studies yielded an estimate of heritability of 0.41 for the genetic influence on antisocial behaviour. Estimates of heritability below 0.20 tend to emerge from studies with unusual design features; for example, observational measures, small sample sizes, very wide age ranges, small groups of girls, or adults being asked to report childhood symptoms retrospectively. Similarly, some, but not all, studies yielding estimates above 0.70 have non-optimal designs, such as small sample sizes or adults being asked to report their childhood symptoms retrospectively....

The largest estimates of heritability tend to emerge from studies using measures able to array individuals along a continuum from non-antisocial to severely and persistently antisocial. These are studies using other-reported delinquent or aggressive behaviours (such as the Child Behaviour Check List (CBCL) externalizing scale), and self-reported personality traits (such as the MPQ aggression scale). These studies tend to include a very large number of items inquiring about a variety of antisocial attitudes and behaviours. Some of these items, such as robbery, are exhibited rarely by people, but others, such as enjoying violent films, are exhibited commonly. As a result, the instruments are sensitive to population variation in the severity of antisocial behavior. Overall, the distribution of more than 100 estimates of heritability from recent papers approximates a bell-shaped normal curve. This distribution is to be expected from a sample of more than 100 imperfect estimates of a true effect that equals 50% in nature.


Further, we are currently undergoing dysgenics as the most violent mate with each other:

As well as the possibility that genes influence antisocial behaviour, it is also possible that antisocial experience can influence how genes are distributed in the population. This is an implication of the finding that men and women mate on the basis of similarity between the partners’ antisocial behaviour (this is called assortative mating), and that couples in which both people exhibit antisocial behaviour tend to have more children than the norm. Assortative mating on a genetically-influenced phenotype, such as antisocial behaviour has consequences for genetic variation in the population. Because people form unions with other people like themselves, the result is that families differ more from each other on average than they would if people mated randomly. If successive generations mate assortatively, genes relevant to the phenotype will become concentrated within families. Consider height as an example. Whole families clearly differ from other families in terms of height, yet families are made up of persons who are similar in height. Part of the explanation for this phenomenon is likely to lie in the positive assortative mating that occurs for this trait.


Castration of violent criminals, besides reducing the likelihood of a particular criminal breaking the law again (and quite possibly inflicting a punishment seen as worse than a 20 year sentence), does even more good to future generations. Violent criminal parents tend to have violent criminal children, so unless we want future generations to experience violent crime, we need to fight the causes of violent crime.

And part of the solution is eugenics.

On the web: Genetics and Human Behavior: The Ethical Context: Current findings: Quantitative Genetics.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Selling Permanent Residency

Harriman, P. (2008). "Investors trade millions for visas: Little-known program encourages foreign investment in S. Dakota dairy expansion," Argus Leader, 13 January 2008. Available online: http://argusleader.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080113/NEWS/801130309.

This is a very good idea, and solves two of the major problems associated with immigration in the current debate: that immigration increases crime and that immigration depresses low-skill wages. I did not know this existed, but it's easy to see how this is good for America and society. A news article about the "EB-5 'cash-for-green-cards' Visa:

When Rodney Elliott and his 20 employees milk the 1,700 cows at Drumgoon Dairy near Lake Norden, they complete a unique international financial hookup.

It worked like this: Four South Korean investors each put up $500,000 for the right to gain permanent residency in the United States for themselves and their families. That investment helped finance the Drumgoon Dairy and gave Elliott of Northern Ireland the chance to milk cows in South Dakota.

Elliott and his Korean partners were linked under a federal program designed to encourage investments in rural areas and other regions with high unemployment.

South Dakota was one of the first states to take advantage of the revised U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services EB-5 program that provides 10,000 visas annually for foreign investors.

Half are reserved for those who put at least $500,000 into rural areas such as South Dakota to create at least five jobs. Since 2005, the EB-5 investment/visa program has directly contributed $30 million that leveraged a $90 million expansion of the South Dakota dairy industry, according to Joop Bollen, head of the South Dakota International Business Institute that oversees the state's effort to recruit foreign investment.


This is good, both nationally and socially. Nationally, linking permanent residency to proof of prior success has a similar effect to linking college application to the ACT or SAT. Further, my increasing the supply of high-income/high-wealth workers, it depresses wages at the upper end (all other things being equal) or leads to further economic growth (with a greater supply of high-income/high-wealth laborers).

Interestingly, the EB-5 program was created under Bush 41, lapsed under Clinton and was resumed under Bush 43:

EB-5 was established by Congress in the early 1990s largely as a way to counter efforts by Canada in the 1980s to attract foreign investors, especially from Hong Kong where as much as $1 trillion left the country after Britain returned it to China, according to U.S. Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Cal.

The program was suspended in the late 1990s. Congress retooled it to clarify investment goals and to ensure investors followed through on investment commitments and job creation. It was resumed in 2003.


More information on "EB-5: Immigration through Investment" is available from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Race Wars

Robert Paterson reports on the horror-show violence in Kenya. Among other problems, Kenya is undergoing a ethnic/race-war between the Kikuyu, the Luo, and their affiliates.


The Master Race?


Racial violence is relatively rare in the Core, but occurs in microgaps, such as parts of Los Angeles and federal prisons.

Racial/ethnic violence is a form of insurgency, attempting to replace the State with "primary loyalties." Race warriors should therefore be classified as insurgents, and (except for those who wear racial/gang insignia) unlawful combatants, as well.

Hate crime laws are probably a good idea, but msinamed, as they fight not crime, but war.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Animal Rights

AFP: Uganda chimps at forefront of pharmaceutical research

Ugandan and French scientists have for months been observing the behaviour of a group of chimpanzees whose uncanny aptitude for self-medication could help their human cousins discover new drugs.


E-Wire: Congress guarantees sanctury for retired medical research chimps

The Jane Goodall Institute hailed Wednesday's signing into law of the Chimp Haven is Home Act, a bill that will ensure chimpanzees living in sanctuary after years of medical research in government-funded facilities will not be returned to the labs. The bill was passed in the final days of the session before Congress adjourned for the holiday recess.


Reuters: Chimps calculate as well as some uni students

Both chimps and humans typically answered within one second and with a similar level of accuracy.

The research follows the finding by Japanese researchers earlier this month that young chimpanzees performed better than human adults at a memory game.


Would it be fair to saw that chimps are not so much beasts as really, really stupid and really, really immature (and perhaps soulless)?

Friday, December 28, 2007

Quality of Service and the Monopoly of Violence

First, some agitation-propaganda relating to the idea that the police are there to protect you:


Caged behind a deep moat and six-metre walls but tiger escaped to kill zoo visitor


Police were called to the zoo early yesterday after the animal, a four-year-old female Siberian tiger named Tatiana, went missing from her pen. Four officers came across the body of the dead man, who is thought to have been in his 20s, in the darkness outside the tiger's enclosure. Three hundred yards away, they spotted another man slumped on the ground outside the zoo's cafe, with blood pouring from gashes in his head. Beside him sat the tiger.

When the animal resumed its attack on the man, the officers crept closer. Their movement caught the tiger's eye, and she began to move towards them. All four officers opened fire with their handguns, hitting the cat several times and killing it. It was then that they noticed a third man had been mauled.


Police see a wild beast attack a human. They watch the beast. Police see a wild beast move towards them. They kill the beast.

Now, of course wild beast attacks are relatively rare (as opposed to wild human attacks, which are depressingly common). However the broader point remains: the police (just like everyone else) love their family, their jobs, and themselves more than they love you.

In the case of the San Francisco zoo horror, making sure they would not get in trouble for destroying lie property mattered more than preventing possibly fatal injury to a would-be tiger-snack. But similar QOS (quality of service) problems happens in any market where there is one major service provider.

Thus, I have trouble imagining why people who talk about a "monopoly of violence" think what they do. The idea is inherently anti-American, a rejection on the P2P security network enshrined by the 2nd amendment.

Secure neighborhoods are armed neighborhoods. Many of those who speak of a "monopoly of violence" are wealthy enough to live in the petite bourgeois neighborhoods that the police were raised to protect. Good for them. But for those who do not live in such neighborhoods -- either because they are too poor, or unfortunate, or because the police administration of their neighborhood is run by leftists, a security provider other than the monopoly is needed.

That's why you need a 2nd Amendment. And that's why a "monopoly of violence" is as dangerous as a tiger on the loose.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Martyrdom in Colorado

"Speaking of hate crimes"...

The man who shot up a training center for missionaries and a church in suburban Denver, killing four people and wounding a number of others, has been identified:

A law enforcement official says the deadly rampages at a megachurch and a missionary training school were believed to have been carried out by the same person—Matthew Murray, a 24-year-old suburban Denver man who "hated Christians."


It is perhaps worth noting that the toll in Sunday's shootings exceeded the combined total in all "hate crimes" against Muslims in the six years since September 11.


The heroine who stopped the anti-Christian was from Sioux Falls.

Monday, October 29, 2007

The origins of Dozier Internet Law's "intellectual property" Part 1: Javascript Code

My thanks to Freesome to demonstrating how one can view Dozier Internet Law, PC's source code without violating the terms of use. I had been relying on Slashdot's reporting, but I'll use Freesome from now on.

Because Dozier has issues with intellectual honesty, I was curious how much of the javascript (the code that is executed on your computer) is original, and thus can rightfully be copyright by Dozier. In particular, there are four javascript functions defined on the page:

function CSClickReturn
function CSAction(array)
function CSAction2(fct, array)
function MPOpenPopupLite(action)


a quick trip to Google Code Search reveals numerous pages with the first three function. For instance, they are included in this "netscape bugfix code. Dozier does not acknowledge this lifting, however.

The law firm is a bit more honest with "MPOpenPopupLite," where they provide this acknowledgement:

OpenPopUpLite 2.0.1 action by Nate Baldwin, www.mindpalette.com, copyright 2004


On a standard website, of course, this would be no big deal. But Dozier's pecular terms of use (see a description over at Public Citizen) apperas to claim exclusive rights over other people's work.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Turkewitz SLAPP'd? (Or is it a reasonable request?)

Eric Turkewitz's post "More on Dozier v. Public Citizen" ranks #8 in the Dozier Internet Law Top 25 Poll - Week 2. His work exposing corrupt lawyers online speaks well of his public mindedness. Further, as Mr. Turkewitz is himself a lawyer, he is able to inject legal knowledge into the discussion like few others can.

On an unrelated post about car rental immunity, he posted the AVIS logo alongside the Hertz logo, as both companies are effected by the ruling. AVIS asked him to stop. Now Turkewitz is asking other bloggers what they know about trademark law.

07:53 Posted in Law | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: turkewitz, copyright, avis

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