Talking to the police after a lawful self-defense shooting

I was asked this question: Assuming that the defender has just needed to shoot an attacker in self defense, and the attacker is alive and talking, telling his side of the story to police, what are the issues influencing whether or not the armed defender should give a statement to police in order to counter the statement being given by the wounded attacker?

First of all, you will not likely hear what the attacker is saying to the police, at least not at that time. You will only find out what he said later when your lawyer gets discovery documents from the prosecutor’s office. This is because the police will almost certainly separate the two of you before quesioning. Of course you may hear the attacker blurt something out before the police have had a chance to separate you. You may also hear witness if they begin talking to the police right away, but that’s sort of rare unless the witnesses are comrades of the attacker.

The question really is whether you talk to the police at all. There is a Youtube video you make like to watch called Ten Reasons Why You Should Never Talk to the Police. It’s entertaining and I highly recommend it. I’ve watched it several times just because the lawyer, Mr. James Duane, is the fastest talker I’ve ever seen whom I can understand. He’s terrifc.

Here comes the “but.” It’s only good advice for criminals who do not want the police or prosecutor to learn the truth about what happened. Of course, they should not talk to the police because they are going to be lying and will probably not be believed.  Seen for the liars they are it will only make their case harder for their lawyer to offer whatever defense might be possible.

But if you are an honest law-abiding citizen who reasonably believed you would be killed or seriously injured unless you acted in your own defense, things are much different.
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Does Science Argue For or Against God?

One of the online courses offered by Prager University asks that question.  The answer is that science doesn’t argue one way or another on the existence of God.

One of the core freshman courses where I went to college was Philosphy of Religion.  The preposition “of” is important in the name of that course. Philosophy and Religion is a different course entirely, a better one I might add. The course I took centered on the philosophical arguments for the existence of God. Turns out there are seven in all, only the first five were covered in my class.

They are the Ontological Argument; The First Cause Argument, The Cosmological Argument From Contingency; the Design Argument or the Telological Argument (Lots of Immanuel Kant in that one); the Consciousness Argument which claims that consciousnes proves that immatriel entities exist; and the two new ones that try to use science instead of philosophy to prove the existence of God. One claims we are living in a computer simulation run by hacker gods, and finally that aliens are our gods. Note that these two, the ones that rely on some sort of science, seem not even to follow the idea of Monotheism, once considered to be an advancement in human civilization and theology.

Never mind getting into the details of each one of those arguments. If life is not already sufficiently confusing to you, then you can look them up and I guarantee you will never be without all the confusion you’ll ever want.  Thomas Aquinas and St. Anslem were great and smart men but they do get a little hard to follow at times.

Somehow I got an A in Philosophy of Religion. It was entirely due to an early ability to commit to memory the words and phrase used by the professor or read in the books that were assigned for the class. I guarantee my grade did not reflect any greater understanding of philosophy, religion or science. I had none of that to offer in the composition I wrote for the final exam.

Mixing religion and philosophy is confusing at least. It can be stimulating to the brain, no doubt.  It can also lead to a scrambling of the brain.

Philosophy goes beyond hard science because philosophers have a license to speculate. That makes philosophy and religion at least cousins. Science also allows speculation but it is a much different sort of speculation and it follows some strict rules. Philosophical speculation follows no rules other than those derived from other disciplines such as logic and reason. Even those rules often seem incapable of holding the speculation within any logical boundaries. Aliens as gods? Hacker gods? Whoa, horsey.

The rules of scientific speculation must either follow the rules of the Scientific Method or suffer blistering and ultimately defeating ridicule. Such speculation without rules is based solely on faith, not science.  Science done wrong in this fashion becomes religion, and not a very good religion at that, or pseudo-science. That is what has happened to the “science” of global warming. It a substitute for religion for those who have abandoned religion.  Religion is a lot like human nature, maybe even a necessary component of human nature. When it is pushed out the front door it sneaks in through the back door, in a different and less salutary form.

I like Prager University and I believe some of its free online courses in political science and economic theory are excellent. I urge it to drop the course on whether science argues for or against God. It does neither.  I’m tempted to call this course in an otherwise fine list of courses to be the quintessential turd in a punch bowl.

Benghazi Dump Day

The long-awaited report from the House Select Committee on Benghazi was released today. It confirms again much of what is already known but also some new revelations.  Hillary Clinton, her chief aid Cheryl Mills, and Barack Obama lied to America and everyone else. Hillary knew it was a terorrist attack from the get-go but lied to everyone except  her inner circle and her daughter Chelsea that it was a youtube video. They knew this was not true and they even jailed the guy who made the video to help propagate the lies.  Nice people, this bunch.

Hillary and Obama were trying to establish a permanent diplomatic post in Benghazi even though they knew it was too dangerous a place for that. Other countries were busy pulling their people out at the same time Hillary and Obama sent Ambassador Stevens and only a skeleton defense team into harms way.

Because Obama’s re-election rhetoric was telling the world that Islamic terrorism was on the decline because of the good things they had been doing they could not let the public believe that Stevens and three others had been killied in a terrorist attack.

There is much more in the report and here’s a bevy of news reports and opinion pieces on it:

Benghazi reports details Obama/Clinton failures before, during and after deadly attacks. Hillary Clinton should have know that an attack was imminent; Americans died because the Hillary/Obama team failed to deploy military assets; White House and Hillary Clinton pushed the youtube video lie for poltiical purposes.

Benghazi report charges Obama-Clinton did nothing to save lives. “Those in Washington decided that once the initial attack at the State compound had ended and our men moved to the Annex, the enemy had retreated as well. For those fighting for their lives in Benghazi that night, however, it was one long battle for survival. But the terrorists did not retreat. This view from Washington that the fight had ended is a lapse in judgment that may well haunt our nation for years to come. At the same time Secretary Clinton appears to have concluded that the attack was over, the men on the ground knew better. In the end, two men died from smoke inhalation at the State Department’s compound during an initial attack involving dozens of extremists. Two more died from mortar fire at the end of a continuous, hours-long siege by approximately a hundred heavily armed and highly trained fighters at the CIA Annex.” Clinton’s State Department was obsessed with issues other than saving its diplomats.

Mills’ influence tainted review board. Cheryl Mills, the longtime attorney, friend and former chief of staff for Hillary Clinton, influenced the findings of an internal State Department review of the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack, according to a draft of the final House Benghazi Committee report.

A section of the report obtained by POLITICO says the so-called Accountability Review Board did not act independently, as it was supposed to do, and was consistently influenced by Mills. Mills, the report says, helped select members of the panel, gave at least one other State Department official permission to talk to the reviewers, oversaw the production of some documents reviewed by the board and helped edit the final report.

“The decisions to deviate from longstanding processes raise questions about the board’s independence, thoroughness and therefore the fullness of their findings of accountability,”

5 big takeaways from the House Benghazi report. Obama/Clinton misled public immeditately and continually; Weak Banghazi security points to Hillary Clinton’s politrical considerations; Military never sent men or machines to help (Military wanted to, Obama wouldn’t let them); Terrorists were never brought to justice (not even in the court of public opinion); Obama White House did everything it could to obstruct the House investigation (Of course they did, it’s what they do)

This should be the final word on CO₂ caused global warming

Headlined The Most Comprehensive Assault on “Global Warming” Ever data analysis expert Mike Van Biezen explains that he first thought CO₂ was indeed a significant greenhouse gas until he saw that while CO₂ was steadily increasing between 1940 and 1980 global average temperatures were not only not increasing along with CO₂, but were slightly declining. To a data analyst this shift seemed to mean that there is no correlation between CO₂ and global temperature. We’ve all heard that “correlation is not causation”, and that’s an obvious truism. Two things can seem to occur simultaneously but it’s a logical fallacy to assume, without more, that one caused the other. It’s just as true that lack of correlation rules out any causal connection between different phenomena.

Van Biezen decided to look further into the matter. He starts by saying, “Before we begin, let’s establish what we know to be correct.” I like that. I always found that to be the best way to begin a closing argument to a jury. The goal is make sure the facts that are not in dispute don’t get lost, so the verdict bears some resemblance.

He goes on to list “10 of the many scientific problems [things we know to be correct] with the assumption human activity is causing ‘global warming’ or ‘climate change’”:

Since I have been binging on evidence that CO₂ is a very insignificant greenhouse gas, overtaken by water vapor, [See, e.g., How Much Does Carbon Dioxide Contribute to Global Warming?] I like his point number 7:

7. CO2 cannot, from a scientific perspective, be the cause of significant global temperature changes:

The CO2 molecule is a linear molecule and thus only has limited natural vibrational frequencies, which in turn give this molecule only limited capability of absorbing radiation that is radiated from the Earth’s surface. The three main wavelengths that can be absorbed by CO2 are 4.26 micrometers, 7.2 micrometers, and 15.0 micrometers. Of those 3, only the 15-micrometer is significant because it falls right in range of the infrared frequencies emitted by Earth. However, the H2O molecule which is much more prevalent in the Earth’s atmosphere, and which is a bend molecule, thus having many more vibrational modes, absorbs many more frequencies emitted by the Earth, including to some extent the radiation absorbed by CO2.

It turns out that between water vapor and CO2, nearly all of the radiation that can be absorbed by CO2 is already being absorbed. Thus increasing the CO2 levels should have very minimal impact on the atmosphere’s ability to retain heat radiated from the Earth. That explains why there appears to be a very weak correlation at best between CO2 levels and global temperatures and why after the CO2 levels have increased by 40% since the beginning of the industrial revolution the global average temperature has increased only 0.8 degrees centigrade, even if we want to contribute all of that increase to atmospheric CO2 increases and none of it to natural causes.

Since we know that in its history earth has warmed and cooled many times all due to natural causes we should never attribute any warming or cooling to anything else without solid proof. That would require empirical evidence, not just computer models that are subject to easy manipulation by fraudsters.

Van Biezen adds lots of scientific analysis to what I’ve said here, many times. Cool.

CO₂ is not the threat Climatistas claim

UPDATE: We all know that humans started agriculture about 13,000 years ago. We don’t know why that happened. The convential wisdom has always been there was no single factor, or combination of factors, that led people to take up farming in different parts of the world. Well, the conventional wisdom, like almost all conventional wisdom, just might be wrong. Watts Up With That has a story today that explains it all. Agriculture began at the moment CO2 reached levels high enough to sustain photosynthesis. Agriculture became possibe when it became possible for plants to grow.  This chart from WUWT shows it:

plant chart

Original Post from December 15, 2015:

Climatistas and their fellow travelers claim that higher carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere will cause unprecedented global warming and kill us all.  It’s nonsense that is believed by millions. I’ve written before about this: How Much Does Carbon Dioxide Contribute to Global Warming?

A Denver physician, Brian D. Joondeph, also questions the predictions of harm from an increase in CO2, even were it to occur which is itself highly questionable.

What’s so terrible about CO2 anyway? CO2 is one of several greenhouse gasses. Water vapor however is the largest contributor to the Earth’s greenhouse effect. CO2 is also plant food. Remember high school biology and photosynthesis? Water, CO2, and sunlight combine to produce carbohydrate and oxygen. The carbohydrate being the plant food.

CO2 is a relatively small percentage of air, 0.035% to be exact, less than one half of one percent of the air around us. CO2 levels can vary significantly, from less than 400 parts per million outdoors to over 1000 inside a crowded room. Crews of submarines can handle CO2 levels of up to 8000 parts per million without adverse health effects.

Although a minor player in our atmosphere, CO2 is essential for plant growth. A 100 percent increase in CO2 levels increases plant growth from 22-41 percent, depending on plant type. Aside from CO2, temperature also affects plant growth, warmer temperatures translate to higher growth rates, assuming the other photosynthesis ingredients are in place. Obviously within reason as nothing is growing on Venus, but a couple of degrees warmer (what the Paris attendees are fretting about) enhances plant growth.

Lastly plants have tiny holes on the underside of their leaves called stomata, through which plants ingest CO2. When the CO2 levels are higher, the stomata don’t need to open as wide to get the CO2 they need. Plants also lose water through these stomata (think of a plant ‘breathing’) so smaller stomata openings mean less water loss. The bottom line is that higher CO2 levels in the air means plants lose less, and therefore need less water to thrive, and can therefore grow in drier, previously unhospitable environments.

Putting this together, higher CO2 levels with slightly warmer temperatures, increases the productivity of most plants. This leads to a “greening of the planet”, combating the effects of fires, deforestation, pest outbreaks and other attacks on Earth’s vegetation. As the planet greens, dry climates become fertile, supporting plant life which in turn feeds both humans and animals.

Such “CO2 fertilization” correlated with an 11 percent increase in foliage cover from 1982-2010 across many arid regions of the world. Think of the resulting benefits, including the reduction of hunger, disease, and poverty in Africa and the Middle East. The opposite effect of Bernie Sander’s claim that global warming is causing more terrorism.

Dr. Joondeph says the hypocrites at the Paris Climate Conference may have a hidden agenda:

Instead the UN Climate Change Conference pushes in the opposite direction, promoting less atmospheric CO2 and cooler temperature which in effect will lead to a “browning” of the Earth. Funny how the UN charter includes among its goals, “To promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom.” How better to accomplish this than by fertilizing the planet with the cheapest and most effective plant food known to man, CO2.

Unless of course the climate change alarmists at the UN and elsewhere are less concerned about carbon footprints and global temperatures than they are about social engineering. The Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development, a consultant organization to the UN, gave a press conference in Paris claiming that, “If we are to address the climate crisis we need to challenge the structural causes of the crisis which lies on unequal distribution of wealth, of carbon, and of power.”

They let the cat out of the bag. “Unequal distribution of wealth.” One of Karl Marx’s pet peeves. If the global do-gooders were really concerned with the poor, they would embrace concepts, such as CO2 fertilization, that raise the standard of living of poorer countries. Instead the goal is to redistribute wealth and resources to the point that everyone is poor, except of course for those in charge.

Climate change scare tactics are the vehicle of choice for tyrants and bureaucrats who want to persuade us to acquiesce to their demands that we surrender our freedom and our money to them. For our own good, of course.


Liberal fail: Home ownership at 48-year low

The financial crisis of 2008 had several causes but a root cause that contributed to all the other causes was the government’s insistence that banks loan money to people who could never pay it back. This ill-advised strategy to increase home ownership in America began as far back as 1977 with the Carter administration and one of its signature pieces of legislation called the Community Reinvestment Act (“CRA”).

The CRA was aimed at the process of home lending and did little damage until it was amended during the Clinton years to focus more on outcomes.  This led to the govenrment pressuring and threatening financial institutions and banks to lower their lending standards and to make home loans to more people.

We all now know those policies led to other schemes to deal with the ill-effects of hundreds of thousands of mortgage foreclosures and finally the whole thing blew up and caused the so-called financial crises. The absolute best thing ever written about this mess is, in my view at least, Peter Wallison’s Hidden in Plain Sight: What Really Caused the World’s Worst Financial Crisis and Why It Could Happen Again.

The Obama administration has lately been taking a Mulligan on the same practices that Wallison writes about in his book, and is thereby laying the groundwork for it to happen again.

We can already see a harbinger of what will be the final result of all this government interference in the home loan and financial markets, American Nightmare: Home onwnership at 48-year low.

This is the classic example of left-wing policians implemeting a stupid policy that ultimately causes a huge problem and then offering more of the same as the cure.

Five Things Trump Must Do to Win in November

Michael Walsh has an op-ed in the New York Post outling five things Trump must do to win in November. They are all good things that Trump can do easily, he just has to keep them all in mind and pursue them vigoursly. Walsh is right on, if Trump does these things he will literally drive Hillary Clinton and her suck-ups in the media out of their minds. Republican voters will love it, I think.

Here’s No.1 of Walsh’s prescription:

First, keep pummeling Hillary. The only presidential candidate in history to run while under federal investigation, Clinton has benefited from chummy relationships with media pooh-bahs who have successfully shielded her for decades. But the former first lady has a thin skin and a glass jaw; she’s never faced sustained, fearless criticism before and doesn’t handle it well.

Her brazen defiance of federal regulations, State Department protocols, national-security concerns and espionage and bribery laws make her the tomato can of candidates. Heck, the guy who set up her private e-mail server just took the Fifth 125 times in a deposition. Think he’s got something to hide?

Read the whole thing for the other four.


The Obama effect on the Brexit vote

From Zero Hedge:

I wonder if this has anything to do with Obama’s remarks at a press conference on British televison with Prime Minister David Cameron back on April 22, 2016.

Here is what Obama said then:

ObamaUKQUEUE_largeOBAMA: I think it’s fair to say that maybe some point down the line there might be a UK-US trade agreement, but it’s not gonna happen any time soon because our focus is in negotiating with a big bloc of the European Union to get a trade agreement done. And the UK is gonna be in the back of the queue, not because we don’t have a special relationship, but because, given the heavy lift on any trade agreement, us having access to a big market with a lot of countries rather than trying to do piecemeal trade agreements is hugely inefficient.

Maybe it wasn’t such a hot idea to go over to the UK  and threaten them they were “gonna be in the back of the queue” if they voted to leave the EU.

Also, why is getting a trade agreement done have to be a “heavy lift.”  If you are going to have free trade couldn’t that be done on a single sheet of paper, or even a post card. It could just say, “We won’t make our people pay taxes on stuff they buy from you and you won’t tax your people on stuff they buy from us.”  It really could be that simple except for one thing. It’s not that “trying to do piecemeal trade agreements is hugely inefficient.” It’s that it wouldn’t provide sufficient opportunities for graft.

Militarization of Federal Bureaucracies Proceeds At An Alarming Rate

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal, Why Does the IRS Need Guns? and a blog post at Zero Hedge, If the Public Shouldn’t have Them, Why Does The IRS Need AR-15s?, have raised the alarm over the rapid militarization of Federal bureaucracies that run non-law enforcement Federal agencies. These stories point out that the number of non-Defense Department federal officers authorized to make arrests and carry firearms (200,000) now exceeds the number of U.S. Marines (182,000). This means that as the Obama administration cuts the budget and forces of the military and desperately tries to disarm law-abiding U.S. citizens it is at the same time madly arming up Federal bureaucrats. For what reason?, we should ask.

In its escalating arms and ammo stockpiling, this federal arms race is unlike anything in history. Over the last 20 years, the number of these federal officers with arrest-and-firearm authority has nearly tripled to over 200,000 today, from 74,500 in 1996.

What exactly is the Obama administration up to?

Castro envy, that’s what Obama is up to.

To Obama and his followers the real enemy is not ISIS, not Islamic Terrorism, nor any other foreign threat. No, to them Republicans are the real enemy. ISIS may kill a few Americans from time to time. But neither ISIS nor any other Islamic terrorist group is threatening Obama and the Democrats the way we are threatening them. We are the threat they fear most because we are trying to unseat them from power in the next election. ISIS and Islamic terror are not doing that. No member of the ruling class thinks they are going to be killed in a terrorist attack. Other people will be killed, hopefully conservatives and Republicans. But if it’s Gays in a nightclub, well you can’t win’em all. So terrorism is a minor problem to them.