How do you create a job?

Posted 7/24/2015

Use your time, talents and resources to offer something for which people will pay you more than it costs.

We've been driving a lot recently, to and from Karl's baseball tournaments, so we've seen a lot of farmland in Washington, Oregon, California and Nevada.  These farmers are using their resources, land together with a lot more, hoping to grow something they can sell for more than it costs.  They are creating their own jobs.  But if the government makes it more expensive to use those resources -- including water -- then those farmers will not be able to create jobs.

It's Black-letter Law!

Posted 7/24/2015

You have a right to record the police, says King County (elected) Sheriff John Urquhart.  Two of his deputies got into a dispute with a Metro Transit bus driver, and later filed written complaints that the driver yelled and used profanity at them.  What the deputies didn't know was that the driver was wearing glasses with a built-in camera which recorded the altercation (and evidently reflects the bus driver's version, that he didn't).  As to why the recording was legal, the Seattle Times quotes the good Sheriff:

Urquhart said Kirkpatrick’s recording fell within legal bounds because people are allowed to shoot video and audio of police officers on the job. “That’s black-letter law,” he said.

 That may be a little surprising to some lawyers, but I'm sure Glenn Reynolds will be happy!

Dylann Roof should not have been able to buy a gun

Posted 7/10/2015

Update: I still haven't been able to find online the actual copy of the indictment.  If it was for a violation of South Carolina code 44-53-370(b), such a violation is punishable by a sentence of more than one year (except for Schedule V drugs, which evidently was not the case with Roof's possession of Suboxone) and the indictment itself is sufficient to prohibit Roof from acquiring a firearm from a dealer, and the transaction should have been denied -- regardless of what the FBI director said.  But I see that mere possession of many drugs is a violation of 44-53-370(d), for which the sentence is not more than six months for all but some Schedule I and II drugs, and even a conviction for possession of Suboxone would not disqualify Roof from purchasing a firearm.

I still question what the FBI director said.  The arrest report indicates Roof acknowledged that he possessed Suboxone, but nothing indicates he acknowledged using it.  There may be something else where Roof made such an admission, but so far that's not available.

By the way, those in Washington State or Colorado who are "unlawful user[s]" of marihuana should be aware that it is still listed as a Schedule 1 drug (see Schedule I (c)(10) in 21 U.S.C. Sec. 812), and as the FBI director said, it's against the firearms statute for such a user to possess a firearm or any ammunition. 18 U.S.C. Sec. 922(g)(3).

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Birdwatcher hunters

Posted 4/18/2015

A friend sent me this story, knowing that I'm both a birdwatcher and someone who hunts birds.  Nothing is particularly new in the story -- a study of those interested in nature confirms common sense -- but the attitude of the writer exemplifies exactly what is wrong with those in positions of power today.  Asking how to "tap" birders for their interest, the first suggestion is to tax them.

Millions, billions, what difference does it make?

Posted 3/29/2015

John Hinderaker at Powerline comments that President Obama has been a failure, using his own economic predictions.  What I find interesting is that even a highly intelligent person makes a mistake about the size of the numbers involved in the US economy (and budget).  John writes about the Obama administrations prediction of US GDP:

Here they are, in millions of dollars, along with my calculation of the projected growth rate:

2012 16,203

2013 17,182 = 6%

Of course, that should be "billions" of dollars.  At some point, the numbers are simply too large for even highly intelligent people to comfortably comprehend.

This is why I'm not a libertarian

Posted 3/12/2015

"See, educated upper-middle-class people can get away with flouting bourgeois conventions, but lower class people tend not to do as well, and don’t have the reserves of financial and social capital to draw on when they get into trouble," comments Instapundit, on this article by David Brooks.

Do prosecuting attorneys have absolute immunity?

Posted 3/10/2015

Glenn Reynolds suggests that prosecuting attorneys have "absolute immunity" from being sued for damages caused by their misconduct.  The context involves a prosecuting attorney who inserted two lines into the transcript of the interrogation of a criminal defendant, and then provided the altered transcript to the defendant's attorney during plea negotiations.  The false lines were the only evidence supporting the prosecutor's threat to bring more serious charges, thus misleading the defendant's attorney into believing that worse results could happen to his client should the client not accept the prosecutor's offer.  The prosecutor did not acknowledge that he added the false evidence until much too late, and even argued to the trial judge that it was done as a "joke."

The California appellate court upheld the trial court's dismissing all charges based on the prosecutor's "outrageous government misconduct."

Actually, those of us here in the Pacific Northwest recall that the United States Supreme Court held in Kalina v. Fletcher, 522 U.S. 118 (1997) that the federal civil rights statute 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1983 "may create a damages remedy against a prosecutor for making false statements of fact in an affidavit supporting an application for an arrest warrant" where the prosecutor was acting as a complaining witness rather than a lawyer.  The local practice here was for the prosecuting attorney to swear under penalty of perjury as to the facts supporting the request for a judge to issue an arrest warrant, and in this case the supposedly truthful facts were not.  The King County prosecutor dropped the charges, but the defendant sued for damages.  The government argued the prosecutor was protected by "absolute" immunity, but the Ninth Circuit -- upheld by the Supreme Court -- ruled otherwise.  The prosecutor may still be protected by "qualified" immunity, but the immunity is not "absolute."

It is not clear to me whether the California prosecutor would be protected by absolute or merely qualified immunity, but it appears that by personally adding language to the transcript, and then providing that as factual evidence to the defendant, the prosecutor is acting far more like a witness than as an attorney.  This suggests that he would not be entitled to absolute immunity under Kalina.

A-10 Warthog

Posted 3/2/2015

Why don't we just transfer the A-10's from the Air Force to the Army?

It seems the Air Force doesn't appreciate the Case for the Warthog.  Perhaps 70+ years ago we decided the Air Force should fly planes, and the Army shouldn't.  But that policy has been chipped away with helicopters, and not adapting a policy that old seems a little foolish.

Greater White-fronted Goose

Posted 3/1/2015

Susan and I decided to visit Nisqually NWR this afternoon.  Best birds probably were these:

Greater White-fronted GooseGreater White-fronted Goose

How do you create a job?

Posted 2/12/2015

The first thing is that each person can create a job for himself or herself.  Using your own skills, and what resources you can get, then take the time to offer something that someone else will pay for.  The more someone will pay, compared to what it costs you, the better the job will be.


It makes sense to develop your skills, but only if someone else will pay you for what you learn to be able to offer.  The resources may be available, such as land for a farmer.  And of course time is important -- it's the one thing that each of us have in equal amounts each day, but have only so much of.  If it takes a lot of time to offer something, then you won't be able to do as many jobs, or get as much for one job.