In Which the Florida Supreme Court Gets One Right

Police in Florida aren’t allowed to use a cellphone to track someone’s movements according to a sweeping new ruling from the Florida Supreme Court.

The court by a 5-2 vote ruled Thursday that authorities in Broward County had no right to stop and arrest Shawn Tracey for possession of more than 400 grams of cocaine.

The police had a warrant to tap his cell phone calls, but that warrant didn’t include authorization to use his cell phone to track him.

Leading from Behind

…and continuing the Obama administration meme of letting the “international community” dictate our foreign policy—and now our domestic policy, also.

A quarantine against travel from the Ebola-infected nations of western Africa to the United States, ideally as part of an international effort but plainly not dependent on it, is critical to mitigating the risk to the United States of the Ebola epidemic spreading to here. I’ve answered the CDC chief’s objections to a travel ban here and here. Others more knowledgeable than me also are calling for such a travel ban.

Here, though, is what Obama’s State Department—medical experts all—claim in all seriousness:

Another Excessive

…and a community responds.

An employee of a Mom and Pop hardware store in Cape Coral, FL, placed a half-dozen American flags where they could be seen on the hardware store’s property; the flags were to honor the man’s six relatives who were veterans of the United States military.

Foul. It turns out that the location was on city property—the right of way to the hardware store—and Cape Coral has an ordinance against planting signs and banners, including the American flag, on the city’s rights of way. The city ordered the man to move the flags.

Excessive

The Dearborn Heights District 7 Board of Education chose a less severe punishment for the honor student who was initially expelled after a pocketknife was found in her purse at a football game.

On Monday, after two hours of deliberation, the board voted 6-0 to allow [the high school senior] to take online classes. She then will be able to graduate with her class in 2015.

A lesser punishment than originally imposed? She still was punished, severely. Because zero tolerance. Because, the Board of Education persons claim, state law.

Yet Another Reason for Smaller Government

German factory orders fell 5.7% in August, real GDP is stagnant or falling in many European countries, Standard & Poor’s has downgraded France to AA from AA+….

There’s more.

[T]he 18 euro area countries had zero real growth in the volume of production during the second quarter of 2014. Euro area real GDP grew only 0.5% in 2013 after falling 1% in 2012. In other words, output was lower in mid-2014 than it was at the end of 2011.

And yet—or because:

Another Reason for Smaller Government

Even with lives at stake—lives in the middle of a budding pandemic—Big Government bureaucracies are more interested in protecting turf and responsibility ducking than they are in their fundamental task of protecting American citizens’ safety from foreign problems.

Worse, one of the bureaucracies involved in this cynical ego-based Federal road block has nothing to do with the medical questions involved. First, the experts, at least by training and experience, if not by smooth performance:

Who Pays for Political Campaign Travel?

In the case of some Democrats, like President Barack Obama, it looks like us taxpayers pay a significant fraction of the costs. As Mark Knoller of CBS News noted the other day,

Under Federal Election Commission (FEC) rules, the government must be reimbursed for parts of presidential political travel.

“When a trip is for political or unofficial purposes, those involved must pay for their own food and lodging and other related expenses, and they must also reimburse the government with the equivalent of the airfare that they would have paid had they used a commercial airline,” states the Congressional Research Service in a 2012 analysis of “Presidential Travel: Policy and Costs.”

Crony Capitalism and Big Government

California’s health insurance exchange has awarded $184 million in contracts without the competitive bidding and oversight that is standard practice across state government, including deals that sent millions of dollars to a firm whose employees have long-standing ties to the agency’s executive director.

Several of those contracts worth a total of $4.2 million went to a consulting firm, The Tori Group, whose founder has strong professional ties to agency Executive Director Peter Lee, while others were awarded to a subsidiary of a health care company he once headed.

Russian Aggression

…in eastern Ukraine, but not only there.

Russia plans to increase defense spending over 20 percent in 2015, with a lot of the additional money going to rebuilding Soviet era facilities in the newly acquired Crimea. This includes radar stations and naval facilities.

Naturally, all of this will support Russia’s continued occupation of partitioned Georgia, and it will facilitate Russia’s pending aggression against the Odessa Oblast of western Ukraine on the Sea of Azov, which stands between the Sea and Moldova, another Russian target as it seeks to restore the Soviet empire. It also eases Russian support for Vladimir Putin’s ally and BFF, Bashar al Assad in Syria.

Richard Feynman on Theory

Cross-posted from Ricochet. It’s behind the paywall, but Ricochet is well worth the subscription price; I heartily recommend it.

Richard Feynman was a theoretical physicist who taught at Cornell University, but he also was a just plain scientist.

He had a thought on theory.

You cannot prove a vague theory wrong. If the guess that you make is poorly expressed and the method you have for computing the consequences is a little vague then…you see that the theory is good as it can’t be proved wrong. If the process of computing the consequences is indefinite, then with a little skill any experimental result can be made to look like an expected consequence.