Tag: Corruption
Police Take More Property from People than Burglars

Most readers of The Beacon are probably familiar with the rise in civil asset forfeiture, which gives police the power to seize property they claim was used in criminal activity, often without accusing the property owner of a crime. They don’t have to. It’s up to property owners to prove they are innocent to...
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Right Problem; Wrong Solution. Obama’s Push for Reduced Prison Sentences

President Obama is pushing for reductions in prison sentences for non-violent drug offenders. As this article notes, the federal prison population is more than eight times higher today than in 1980, before the Reagan administration’s War on Drugs. The United States has a larger share of its population behind bars than any other nation...
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Patent Trolls Still Alive and Kicking

Over at Techdirt, there is a good story up on how a patent troll attacked a startup and the litigation costs so distressed the startup that it was forced to sell out to another patent troll. Peter Braxton created Jump Rope Inc., and developed an app that allows users to pay a fee to...
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Campaign Finance Reform—After I’m Elected

Who knew that the New York Times had embraced irony? In a news piece—not its opinion page—”Clinton Fundraisers Show Scope of Family Network“: WASHINGTON—Hillary Rodham Clinton is tapping some of the biggest donors to her family’s philanthropy for her presidential campaign, even as the charity is under scrutiny over its own fundraising practices. Starting...
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Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Don’t Worry, They’ll Guard Themselves!

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Who will guard the guards themselves? Do not fret, mis amigos. Our guardians have already made ample provision for guarding themselves. They have, among other upstanding actions, appointed ombudsmen, established offices of inspector generals, enacted the Administrative Procedure Act, and created internal affairs divisions in police departments. So, as anyone...
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New Study Links Patent Trolls to Decline in R&D Spending and Other Ills

A new paper (“Patent Trolls: Evidence from Targeted Firms”) written by researchers from Harvard University and the University of Texas offers more evidence of the harm that patent trolls cause to the American economy. The data show that (1) trolls target companies flush with cash, (2) seek targets likely to settle rather than litigate, and (3)...
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California Senate Arrest Rate Higher Than Any Large California City

Three California state senators have been arrested this year. In February, State Sen. Ron Calderon was arrested for accepting bribes, wire fraud, money laundering, and falsification of tax returns. In March, State Sen. Leland Yee was arrested for gun trafficking and taking bribes. In August, State Sen. Ben Hueso was arrested for driving drunk....
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Your Tax Dollars at Work at the Ex-Im Bank

Following up on my nationally syndicated column on the pending re-authorization of the Export-Import Bank (“Let the Ex-Im Bank Fail”), the Financial Services Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives issued a press release on July 21, 2014, stating that “Two of the four Russian firms targeted with new sanctions announced last week by...
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Who’s Behind IRS Targeting? Don’t Ask NPR

As I’ve mentioned before, “All the President’s Men” is one of my all-time favorite movies, depicting the heroic efforts of two cub reporters relentlessly pursuing a story of little interest to others until their efforts eventually resulted in bringing down the entire Nixon administration. When it was discovered in the course of the Congressional...
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Shining Light on Big Brother

“Will the digital age usher in the individual liberation and political freedoms that the Internet is uniquely capable of unleashing? Or will it bring about a system of omniscient monitoring and control, beyond the dreams of even the greatest tyrants of the past? Right now, either path is possible. Our actions will determine where...
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