Homeland Insecurity

Ah, La Stupidité, Elle Brûle!

"That's my question about these guys," said the talking head about the Charlie Hebdo attackers, in a discussion about police militarization and racial profiling. "[I]f they had ski masks on, do we even know what color they were, what the tone of…

TSA Confiscates Ray-Gun-Shaped Belt Buckle

As I've said before, we can't just assume everyone at the TSA is an idiot and/or a petty bureaucrat drunk on his or her semi-power. This story confirms that. It suggests that only 40 to 80 percent of them are….

Sheriff: We Need Armored Vehicles to Intimidate People

"People may not understand why," said Sheriff's Capt. Greg Bean, "but an armored vehicle is almost a necessity now." Here's why he says he needed one: Looks can be deceiving, though, and in any event the man, at least, certainly…

Did You Pack This Nobel Prize Yourself?

Brian Schmidt (along with two others) won the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics for discovering that the expansion rate of the universe is accelerating, which implies the existence of a huge amount of "dark" energy and matter that we can't…

A Fun Quiz on Military-Style Police Tactics

Today’s Quiz:

You should find this one more difficult than the previous quiz.

Police did not carry out an aggressive, military-style raid to accomplish which of the following purposes?

    (a) To find the source of a parody Twitter feed

    (b) To check a bar for underage drinkers

    (c) To recover a large number of overdue library books

    (d) To enforce copyright law against a DJ

    (e) To check whether barbers had valid barbering licenses

    (f) To apprehend Tibetan monks who overstayed their visas

    (g) They did that in all these cases

I think it is worth considering this one for a moment, so I’m going to put the answer and further discussion after the jump below.

BREAKING: Officers Do Not Kill Suspect

Okay, it's not "breaking," but it does seem worth commenting on two recent cases in which officers did not open fire on a suspect. Of course most police-citizen interactions do not end in death, but lately it has at least started…

Congress: Please Don’t Ask Us to Declare War; We Might Say No

[King George III has, among other things,] kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures. He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power. —Declaration of Independence…