1. It is time to end Civil Forfeiture →

  2. Do you know what power companies really hate? EPA mandates.

  3. Detailing Eminent Domain Abuse in New Jersey

    Yesterday I helped launch a case for the Institute for Justice involving an abusive land grab by a New Jersey casino agency. As part of it, I designed an interactive website detailing the case and the story behind it. 

    You can view it here

  4. Steve’s an Attorney

    Here was my invitation to his graduation party.

    Steven Seigel and James Wilson (hereafter “the couple”) welcome you to their home (hereafter the “premises”) from 7:30 pm to 11:00pm tomorrow (hereafter the “gathering”) provided the following:

    * This invitation constitutes a limited and revokable license, and is not an offer of residency under the DC Tenant and Landlord Act.
    * Guests must wash their hands before returning to the party.
    * You agree to consume overly-smoked BBQ and butter-containing sides at your own risk.
    * Peanuts and other tree nuts are consumed on the premises. 
    * All opinions are Steve’s; I have none. (In my opinion.)
    * The gathering is rated MA. It will likely contain references to the latest issue of the New Yorker and/or the New York Times, discussions of homosexual behaviors, suggestive language, adult themes, and, if we drink too much, nudity. 
    * Those engaging in indecent exposures will be prosecuted to the full extent of the laws of the District of Columbia.

    See you tomorrow (hereafter “May 22nd”).

  5. High Praise

  6. steveseigel:

Bald Knob. #ears (at White Grass Ski Touring Ctr)


    Bald Knob. #ears (at White Grass Ski Touring Ctr)

  7. Install MongoDB and Laravel

    I’ve been playing around with Laravel and MongoDB. I cut my teeth on Codeigniter and MySQL, but both seem to be losing popularity, so I figured it was worthwhile staying on the cutting edge (i know, I know, nothing written in PHP is on the cutting edge, but cut me some slack). 

    To get everything up and running, I fired up a Digital Ocean Droplet (can’t beat $5 a month!), and built this script to get everything up and running. 

    #Install SSH
    #yum -y install openssh
    #chkconfig sshd on
    #Disable IPtables - can reenable later
    /etc/init.d/iptables save
    /etc/init.d/iptables stop
    chkconfig iptables off
    #Install LAMP
    yum -y install httpd php-devel mysql-server php-mysql
    chkconfig httpd on
    chkconfig mysqld on
    #Set up Mongo Repository 
    #nano /etc/yum.repos.d/10gen-mongodb.repo
    	#name=10gen Repository
    ##printf “[mongodb] \n name=MongoDB Repository \n baseurl=http://downloads-distro.mongodb.org/repo/redhat/os/x86_64/ \n gpgcheck=0 \n enabled=1" | cat > /etc/yum.repos.d/10gen-mongodb.repo
    cat mongorepo.txt >  /etc/yum.repos.d/10gen-mongodb.repo
    #Install MongoDB
    yum -y install mongo-10gen mongo-10gen-server
    #Make any necessary config changes
    #nano /etc/mongod.conf
    #Start MongoDB
    service mongod start
    #Set to restart on reboot
    chkconfig mongod on
    #Check that the client works
    #Install Unzip
    yum -y install unzip
    yum -y install gcc
    #Install Mongo PHP Driver
    mkdir mongo-php-driver
    cd mongo-php-driver
    curl https://codeload.github.com/mongodb/mongo-php-driver/zip/master > mongo-php-driver-master.zip
    unzip mongo-php-driver-master.zip
    cd mongo-php-driver-master
    make all
    sudo make install
    #Include PHP Extension
    #nano /etc/php.d/mongo.ini
    	#; Enable mongo extension
    #printf “; Enable mongo extension \n extension=mongo.so” | cat > /etc/php.d/mongo.ini
     echo "extension=mongo.so" | cat > /etc/php.d/mongo.ini
    #Start Apache
    service httpd start
    ##Install EPEL Repo
    yum -y install wget
    wget http://dl.fedoraproject.org/pub/epel/6/x86_64/epel-release-6-8.noarch.rpm
    wget http://rpms.famillecollet.com/enterprise/remi-release-6.rpm
    sudo rpm -Uvh remi-release-6*.rpm epel-release-6*.rpm
    #Install Mcrypt
    yum -y install php-mcrypt
    #Install Composer
    curl -sS https://getcomposer.org/installer | php
    mv composer.phar /usr/local/bin/composer
    #Install Laravel
    cd /var/www/html/
    composer create-project laravel/laravel
    chmod -R 777 /var/www/html/laravel
    setsebool httpd_can_network_connect_db 1
    setsebool httpd_can_network_connect 1
    service httpd restart
    service mongod restart

  8. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4mlW0Ko-6lQ

  9. Just because something sounds scary doesn't mean it is →

    By J. Justin Wilson

    Last year alone, accidental exposure to large quantities of di-hydrogen monoxide (DHMO), a chemical found in practically everything we eat and drink, killed more than 3,500 Americans, including 700 children. According to theCenters for Disease Control and Prevention it ranks fifth among the leading causes of unintentional death.  Even consuming seemingly reasonable quantities of DHMO can lead to dilutional hyponatremia, a potentially fatal brain condition.

    DHMO is a colorless, odorless liquid that is used to cool nuclear power plants and is a key component in many pharmaceutical drugs. More troubling, the industry’s widespread use of DHMO has meant that it is even beginning to turn up in our lakes and rivers.

    The facts could not be clearer. DHMO is a public health threat, and consumers have a right know if it is in food. But the Food and Drug Administration, as well as the Oregon Health Authority have yet to require even a simple label telling consumers that, “This product may contain water.”

    "Di-hydrogen monoxide" is just a scary-sounding "chemical" way to say "water." And while people do drown or die of hyponatremia (water poisoning), the water we drink or use in foods is harmless.

    But my joke betrays a truth: Activists prey on the public’s confusion about scientific information to create unjustified fear about perfectly safe food ingredients, and even generate misinformation to support their agendas. Washington voters rejected one of those agendas this fall by defeating Initiative 522 (I-522), a measure to mandate special front-of-package labels on foods produced using modern scientific biotechnology. But radical environmentalists, anti-business activists, and the organic food industry continue to mislead the public. Activists say Oregon is the next stop on their campaign of deception and scaremongering. Expect radical activists to promote junk science about the essentially nonexistent risks of crop biotechnology in the hopes of hurting non-organic food producers while using a ballot initiative to promote the $30 billion organic food industry that’s trying to increase its market share.

    Biotech foods have been modified with the purpose of increasing crop yields; some even have added vitamins, such as the Vitamin A-containing golden rice. Biotechnology is not that different from cross-breeding plants to get certain traits — except modern technology allows scientists to do it in more precise ways.

    To organic activists, if it’s not “natural,” it must be bad. But while they are waging a long campaign against biotech foods, the evidence that such food is harmful tends to be scientifically pathetic. Take their new “gold standard,” a French study from last year that supposedly showed biotech corn caused cancer. That study was widely disseminated — and was repudiated by the European Food Safety Authority andsix French science academies.

    For all the sound and fury over biotechnology (called “genetic modification” or “GMOs” by critics), reputable scientific authorities find nothing wrong with the process. The World Health Organization advises that “no effects on human health have been shown as a result of the consumption of such foods by the general population.” TheAmerican Medical Association and American Association for the Advancement of Science reached similar conclusions.

    Ultimately, even supporters of “GMO labeling” acknowledge that their campaign is not about safety, science, or health. They couch the mandate in language of “acceptability” or a “having a right to know,” but in reality they want the government to advertise against their competitors. Certified organic food producers — who bankrolled the I-522 campaign — cannot knowingly use biotech crops, and they are exempt from I-522’s labeling requirements. The leading donors to the campaign in favor of I-522include a producer of organic soaps, an online retailer of organic foods and supplements, and an organic cereal company. As a reporter for the Seattle Timesnoted in his write-up on a legislative hearing on the Washington measure, it looked “like an organic-food industry effort to impose a label on its competitors.”

    Washington voters—just as Oregon voters did in 2002 when the Beaver State rejected these warning labels the first time activists put them to a vote—sent an important message with their votes this November on I-522. If activists try again, Oregonians should join the rest of the Pacific Coast in valuing honest science above scaremongering.

    J. Justin Wilson is a senior research analyst at the Center for Consumer Freedom, a nonprofit coalition supported by restaurants, food companies and consumers to promote personal responsibility and protect consumer choices.

  10. Published without comment.