Category Archives: Law

The Dangerous and Irresponsible Video Game Diversion

Politics is the diversion of trivial men who, when they succeed at it, become important in the eyes of more trivial men.
                 – George Jean Nathan

Let’s begin with a word problem:  The United States has experienced 1,624 mass shootings in 1,870 days.  Over the years, many shootings took place in a school, resulting in 137 deaths since Columbine.  Overall, the largest body counts were in Las Vegas (59), Orlando (50), Newtown (28), Sutherland Springs (27), Parkland (17), San Bernardino (16), and Aurora (12).  Those are among 35 mass shootings that involved use of an AR-15 style rifle.  Many assailants were able to legally acquire their weapons, including the AR-15s, while displaying symptoms of mental unbalance.  Choose the most appropriate resolution to the problem:

  1. Prevent the sale of AR-15s and similar weapons, so that would-be mass shooters would not have access to them.
  2. Do nothing.
  3. Ban violent video games.

According to Arizona State Representative Mark Finchem and others, the correct answer is “C.” 


The Nunes Memo and Trump’s Greatest Fear

The Nunes memo was not just a “nothing burger,” it was a double-whopper nothing burger that drew derision and disdain.  It’s a pundit’s piñata, with commentators hammering the memo and its hyperventilating advocates.  MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program aired a video mashup comparing the hype over the memo to Geraldo Rivera’s “Al Capone’s vault” fiasco, featuring horse poop hucksters like Sean Hannity, who said the memo uncovered “the biggest abuse of power … in American history.”  That’s like conflating a sex fantasy with syphilis (Capone sub-reference intended).  But the memo might inadvertently suggest Donald Trump’s greatest fear.

The memo is not only insubstantial, it’s illogical.  Nunes claims the FBI submitted a misleading declaration to surveil Carter Page, a foreign policy advisor on Trump’s campaign team.  He alleges the FBI failed to disclose that some of the evidence in the declaration came from a source funded by the Clinton Campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC).  “I don’t believe that somebody like Mr. Page should be a target of the FBI,” Nunes told Trump News, “especially using salacious information paid for by a political campaign…”  The “salacious information” is in a dossier prepared by former MI6 agent Christopher Steele, who had been hired by research firm Fusion GPS to investigate Trump’s Russian connections. 


Devin Can’t Wait

Nowadays men lead lives of noisy desperation.
– James Thurber

Devin Nunes, a California Congressman with the I.Q. of a trilobite, is the scary clown in the Trump circus, tasked with undermining the investigation into Russian interference into the 2016 presidential election and possible collusion by Trump and/or his family members and staffers.  His mission:  to create the illusion that the investigation is an illegitimate political attack by the FBI, headed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller and facilitated by high-ranking officials of the Justice Department.  His method, according to the New York Times:  a secret memo, written by Nunes without the input of the Justice Department or F.B.I. and without Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee, which Nunes chairs.