#4 most popular Cranach post of the year

From January 24, 2014, the fourth most-viewed post on this blog for the year:

Ranking states by how corrupt they are.

Two cops murdered as protest

The protests against the killings of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO, and Eric Garner in New York City have led to what a New Jersey police union official  describes as a “fever pitch of anti-police sentiment.”  Across the country, routine police actions have become fraught with tension and the rhetoric of the protesters is sometimes advocating violence against the police.  Now two New York City police officers have been assassinated as retaliation. [Read more...]

North Korean hackers win

We blogged about  the hack of Sony pictures, apparently by North Koreans angry about “The Interview,” a comedy about an attempt to assassinate that country’s dear leader, Kim Jong-un.  The organization that broke into the company’s data released vast amounts of embarrassing information online, including racially charged remarks about President Obama from chief executives, insulting information about how the studio viewed certain stars, and financial details about who makes more than who.  Not to mention entire movies that can now be pirated before their release.

But then the hackers had this to say about the release of the movie on Christmas day:  “The world will be full of fear.  “Remember the 11th of September 2001. We recommend you to keep yourself distant from the places at that time. (If your house is nearby, you’d better leave.)”

With this dirrect threat,  many theater chains and distributors cancelled the showings.  Whereupon Sony has killed the movie completely. [Read more...]


It has been estimated that 70% of Americans have inadvertently done something that would send them to prison.  Another estimate is that the average professional commits three felonies a day. The problem is that government, so eager to regulate the populace for its own good, has passed too many laws and issues too many regulations with the force of law, and violations are going to be punished.

George Will, discussing the case of Eric Garner, who was killed by police enforcing the law against black market cigarettes, discusses the problem of “overcriminalization” by reviewing two books on the subject written a few years ago:  Douglas Husak, Overcriminalization: The Limits of the Criminal Law and Harvey Silverglate, Three Felonies A Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent. [Read more...]

Cops kill a man for violating the cigarette tax

We’ve talked a great deal about the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, at the hands of a police officer, whom a grand jury refused to indict after discovering facts not included in the earlier media reports.  Now in New York City, a grand jury has refused to indict a police officer for killing Eric Garner, putting a lethal chokehold on him for the crime of selling untaxed loose cigarettes! 

Some call this another act of police racism.  But many conservatives are condemning the police action for other reasons, including the heavy-handed way state power is used to enforce foolish tax laws.  What do you think about this case? [Read more...]

In Defense of Looting

Willie Osterweil (a white punk rocker) has written a defense of the looting in Ferguson, Missouri.  Read it, excerpted and linked to after the jump.  You might also take a look at Time‘s article “In Defense of Rioting.”  How would you answer these arguments? [Read more...]