- Thank you, Sens. Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, and Mike Lee, for getting Obama’s claim of warrantless domestic killing authority onto the media front burner — finally — through Sen. Paul’s filibuster last night. (More: Nick Gillespie, Conor Friedersdorf and background, Andrew Sullivan, Josh Blackman; Mediaite (Eric Holder sends letter, Rand Paul declares victory).
- Pending SCOTUS case of “Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl” is not the first Indian Child Welfare Act fiasco [Ann Althouse] More on ICWA [NYT Room for Debate]
- Has ABA now enlisted in the crusade against Stand Your Ground self-defense laws? [ABA Journal] Reminder #371 that the Martin-Zimmerman case is not likely to hinge on Florida’s SYG law [Jacob Sullum; Jeralyn Merritt with more detail on latest developments]
- “Transparency in Government: Finding Out How Much the Government’s Mistakes Are Costing Us” [Hans von Spakovsky, Heritage]
- “New York, to Stem Civil-Rights Suits, Is Now Reluctant to Settle” [NY Times]
- CPSC adopts sweeping CPSIA testing and certification rule [Nancy Nord] Should the CPSC be structured as a multi-member commission? [Commissioner Nord at Cato’s Regulation magazine, PDF, and “Conversations with Consumers“]
- Illinois: “Small Town to Lose Its Only Sledding Hill” [Free-Range Kids]
- “Word of the day: Mendicant” [New York Times education blog; I’m quoted in]
Lenore Skenazy of Free-Range Kids is the guest essayist at Cato Unbound. Excerpt:
..any time a politician, principal, or bureaucrat wants to score points, he or she lets us know that kids are even more precious—and endangered—than we thought….
How far has society gone in dreaming up new dangers to protect our children from? Until you take a step back and look at all the new laws and regulations, you probably have no idea….
Over the summer, according to the Manchester, Connnecticut Patch, a local mom was charged with “risk of injury to a minor and failure to appear after police say she allowed her seven-year and 11-year old children to walk down to Spruce Street to buy pizza unsupervised.” This was a walk of half a mile….
…in the “real world,” stranger abductions are so rare that if for some reason you actually WANTED your child to be kidnapped by a stranger, do you know how long you’d have to keep your child outside, unattended, so that statistically the abduction would be likely to happen?
The answer is about 750,000 years, according to author Warwick Cairns. And after the first 100,000 years or so, your kid isn’t even cute anymore. …
At the same time, there is a parallel process going on the regulatory world, with bureaucrats looking ever more intently for ever less likely dangers, on the grounds that kids can never be safe enough. This explains things like the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s recall of a line of children’s jackets last year because the elastic waistbands had toggles on it “that could become snagged or caught in small spaces or doorways, which poses an entrapment hazard to children.”
Yes, it’s true: Those toggles could snag. Does that make them inherently more dangerous than, say, pigtails that could get caught in a door, or a charm bracelet that could get snagged on an electric window? I’m just free-associating products and problems here, because that’s what it feels like the CPSC does, too.
In the discussion, Skenazy is joined by Anthony Green, James A. Swartz and Joel Best.
Urgent alert from the Consumer Product Safety Commission: fail to clean a kid’s bouncy seat and it can get, ew, gross [Free-Range Kids]
- L.A. County assessor, though in jail, will keep drawing $197K salary plus raise [LAT]
- IRS lowers the regulatory boom on tax preparers [Institute for Justice video, auto-plays]
- On Wal-Mart Mexico bribery, NYT has a bit of a blind eye of its own [Stoll; earlier here, here, etc.]
- Another painful CPSIA regulation: CPSC on testing “representative samples” [Nancy Nord]
- “Popcorn lung” couple “won a $20 million judgment. Now, they’re broke.” [ABC]
- From Todd Zywicki: Libertarianism, Law and Economics, and the Common Law [SSRN via Bainbridge]
- If the courts disapprove of throttling internet speeds, what do they think of throttling class action claims redemption rates? [Ted Frank]
- Patrick Basham on proposal to license smokers [Philadelphia Inquirer/Cato, earlier] New study confirms that rather than externalizing costs to the public treasury, smokers tend to cost social insurance programs less than nonsmokers do [Daniel Fisher, Forbes]
- Public health busybodies call on UK government to set minimum price for alcoholic drinks [Telegraph] Carrie Nation never thought of this: anti-booze campaigners target its calorie count [Baylen Linnekin] New York state plans anti-alcohol campaign [NY Post]
- “Will Litigation over Playground Injuries Create a Generation of Neurotics?” [WSJ via ABA Journal]
- Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick reassigns his exceedingly accident-prone state highway director [Boston Globe, Ilya Somin]
- “Magnet spheres may soon be harder to acquire than ammunition in the U.S.” as Buckyballs gives up [Anthony Fisher/Reason, earlier] And from Twitter: “Those 0.0 deaths per year were not in vain.” [@TPCarney modifying @bigtimcavanaugh]
- “Mary Cain wants $3000 damages from the street car company for a ‘sudden jerk.’ MO1917” [@tweetsofold]
- “No Liquid Soap Allowed in Pre-School Bathroom: Children Might Drink It” [Free-Range Kids]
And finally, the catchy, unsettling safety promotion video that’s been everywhere the last week or two, from the Melbourne transit authority:
- Car dealers sue Tesla for selling direct to customers [NPR via @petewarden]
- Had the measure been “fatalities per 100,000 miles driven above urban speeds” this story might have been a good bit less “amazing” [Fair Warning]
- No GOPers want to take away anyone’s contraception? Maybe Sen.-elect Cruz means no elected GOP officials [my new Secular Right post]
- Trial lawyers, FDA, New York Times continue hot on trail of caffeinated energy drinks [Jacob Sullum, Abnormal Use, earlier]
- Lawsuit aims to strike down SEC’s resource extraction disclosure rules [Prof. Bainbridge]
- Quebec language muscle: “After series of fire-bombings, Second Cup coffee shops added the words ‘les cafes’ to signs” [Canadian Press]
- The CPSIA effect, cont’d: more makers of kids’ apparel drop out rather than cope with CPSC rules [Nancy Nord] More: Katherine Mangu-Ward, Reason.
“[An] unnamed company … had filed a suit, under seal, to challenge aspects of the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s new public database. The federal district court found for the company earlier this week, ruling that the agency’s attempt to publish an incident report on the database about the company’s product was arbitrary and capricious, and an abuse of discretion. See Company Doe v. Tenenbaum, No. 8:11-cv-02958 (D. Md.10/9/12).” [Sean Wajert] I covered the CPSC’s problematic safety-complaints database last year in a Cato post and in Overlawyered posts here, here, etc.