Posts Tagged ‘Canada’

Gotta regulate ’em all, cont’d: more on the law of Pokémon Go

Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, has “fired off a letter along with two Democratic colleagues demanding Pokémon Go explain what it does about how much data its users use playing the game.” [Ed Krayewski, Reason] “The Tax Aspects Of Pokémon Go” [Adam Thimmesch via Caron/TaxProf]. “How Pokémon GO Players Could Run Into Real-Life Legal Problems” [Brian Wassom, Hollywood Reporter] The U.S. Border Patrol briefly detained two teenagers from Alberta, Canada, who inadvertently crossed over into Montana in search of the imaginary creatures [AP/CTV]. Earlier on the Pokémon Go craze here; way back when we covered controversies involving Pokemon trading cards (class action lawyers sue claiming the cards constitute “gambling”; language minister of Quebec threatens maker for allowing cards to be sold in the province without French-language packaging and instructions).

Black Lives Matter “shuts down” Toronto’s Pride parade

I’ve posted previously this year about the growing trend toward disrupting and shouting down political opponents’ rallies and events. It’s worth mentioning that much of the disruption, notably from activists claiming to speak in the name of the group Black Lives Matter, is actually more against political allies than against opponents. On Sunday BLM’s local chapter disrupted Toronto’s annual gay pride celebration — which trustingly had invited BLM to lead the celebration — with a list of demands including no longer allowing law enforcement to have floats in the parade. I’ve compiled a new Storify telling what happened next. More: Jamie Kirchick, L.A. Times.

July 6 roundup

  • Lawyers try contortions to fit Sandy Hook gun suit into “negligent entrustment” mold [Daniel Fisher, more, earlier]
  • Judge Gonzalo Curiel, lately in news, tosses class action claiming MillerCoors misrepresented Blue Moon beer as “craft” [Reuters]
  • Orlando murderer’s father: The nightclub’s sort of at fault here too, you know [AllahPundit]
  • “The long, strange saga of Harry Reid and the exercise band” [Amber Phillips, Washington Post/San Luis Obispo Tribune]
  • “Prominent Toronto lawyer ordered to pay $114K for role in pursuing ‘unreasonable’ lawsuits” [National Post]
  • That fabled transparency: U.S. Dept. of Justice doesn’t seem to welcome outside scrutiny of its FCPA enforcement [Mike Koehler, FCPA Professor]

May 18 roundup

  • Do behavioral economists acknowledge policymakers’ own foibles? Not often it seems [Niclas Berggren via Bryan Caplan]
  • China, not unlike our own attorney general-environmentalist alliance, is cracking down on the work of what it deems ideologically harmful nonprofits [ABA Journal]
  • Barking mad: new ABA ethics proposal would deem it professional misconduct for lawyers to discriminate on various grounds, including “socioeconomic status,” in choosing partners, employees and experts [Eugene Volokh, Sara Randazzo/WSJ Law Blog]
  • Virginia still has a law requiring annual safety inspection of your car, and it’s still a bad idea [Alex Tabarrok]
  • Court in Canadian province of New Brunswick rules against honoring will that left estate to racist group [CBC]
  • From the left, Paul Bland sees Monday’s Supreme Court decision in Spokeo v. Robins as a big loss for business defendants [Public Justice, earlier] Contra: Andrew Pincus, plus more from WLF.

Crime and punishment roundup

  • Judges generally aren’t supposed to jail defendants over petty fines and fees they’re unable to pay, but many do anyway. How one Texas judge resists [Ed Spillane, Washington Post]
  • Maryland legislature passes amended version of asset forfeiture bill I spoke favorably of at Annapolis press event in January [Tenth Amendment Center, background]
  • Child services hair-sample forensics: “This Canadian Lab Spent 20 Years Ruining Lives” [Tess Owen, Vice]
  • Cato’s 1995 Handbook for Congress urged repeal of Clinton crime bill, but Congress didn’t listen [Tim Lynch, Newsweek and more]
  • “The main thing going through my head was, ‘I’m never going to get a job again.’” Public shaming as punishment [Suzy Khimm, The New Republic]
  • Judge Alex Kozinski publicly names prosecutors in Washington state he thinks may have violated a defendant’s rights [Matt Ferner, HuffPo]

“Judge blasts warring parents who squandered $500K on custody battle”

Canada: An “outspoken Hamilton judge blasted warring parents for squandering $500,000 on their bitter child custody battle. ‘How did this happen?’ asked exasperated Ontario Superior Court Justice Alex Pazaratz. ‘How does this keep happening? What will it take to convince angry parents that nasty and aggressive litigation never turns out well?'” [Toronto Sun]

Environment roundup

  • Remembering William Tucker, author of books on many subjects including the 1982 classic on environmentalism, Progress and Privilege, and a valued friend of long standing [RealClearEnergy, where he was founding editor]
  • Scalia took lead in defending property rights vs. regulatory takings, but mostly not by deploying originalist analysis. A missed opportunity, thinks Ilya Somin;
  • What? Children in parts of Saginaw, Grand Rapids, Muskegon, etc. have higher blood lead levels than in Flint [Detroit News] Flint water department didn’t use standard $150/day neutralizing treatment. Why not? [Nolan Finley, Detroit News] Children in Michigan generally ten years ago had higher prevalence of lead in blood at concern thresholds than children in Flint today [David Mastio, USA Today] Earlier here and here;
  • On eminent domain, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz seem to be “talking past each other, about two different things” [Gideon Kanner]
  • Saboteurs going after Canadian pipelines [CBC]
  • “Mission or Craftsman style” was insisted on, but the resulting vacant lot doesn’t seem to be either: south L.A. grocery scheme dies after decade-long urban-planning fight [Los Angeles Times]
  • As prices plunge: “Where Have All the Peak Oilers Gone?” [Ronald Bailey, Reason]

Toronto cab scam and the risks of regulation

Canada’s National Post reports that what police consider to be probably a “network of a few people” at more than one cab company have been victimizing unwary riders by sliding their bank cards through an unauthorized point-of-sale machine and handing a replica card back to them. The card is then used to drain the victim’s bank account. TD Bank alone says it is handling 65 claims following this pattern. The online payment mechanism used in ridesharing services appears to be more secure against scams of this sort, but the operations manager for one of the taxi companies is touchy on that point: “To suggest that this has anything to do with taxis vs. Uber is ludicrous,” she tells the NP.

Which raises the question: if Uber and Lyft were the older technology, would cities following the Precautionary Principle legalize taxis for hail? Of course, to those of us who elevate principles of liberty over the regulatory precautionary principle, the answer is clear: legalize both kinds of service, and let consumers decide for themselves which risks they are willing to run. But wouldn’t it be absurd to ban the safer service and thus force people to use the riskier?