Indian Women's New Toy: Guns Not Boys

I have just returned from India where it is always two steps
forward and one step backward for liberty. But in the Shabanaforward direction is this
story
from the Times of India:

Giving more power to women to defend themselves and as a tribute
to December 2012 gangrape victim Nirbhaya [meaning, fearless], the
Indian Ordnance Factory, Kanpur, has manufactured Nirbheek, a .32
bore light weight revolver, India’s first firearm designed for
women.

Priced at Rs.1,22,360, Nirbheek
was launched on January 6 and has already received around 80 formal
enquiries and over 20 bookings. “At least 80% bookings are from
women licensees,” says Abdul Hameed, general manager of IOF.
Described by arms experts as an Indian hybrid of a Webley &
Scott and Smith & Wesson, for its simple mechanism and light
frame, it is the smallest revolver made in India — an ideal to fit
a purse or a small handbag.

Rs. 1,22,360 works out to about $2,000 — not exactly chump
change even in America let alone in a country where average per
capita income (adjusted for purchasing power parity) is about
$3,650. Hence, it is unlikely that too many women of Nirbhaya’s
social standing — her father was a loader for an airline company —
will rush to the gun store to arm themselves.

But, odds are, gun prices will fall far faster than the
country’s abysmal court system will start delivering justice to
rape victims. After all, India is a country where until recently
the police subjected victims to the degrading
two-finger test
to determine their level of sexual activity
(because, you know, more sexually women can’t be raped) — and where
the wheels of the newly-minted fast-track rape courts grind even

more slowly
than the snail-paced regular courts.

Private gun ownership might be the only viable option for women
in countries whose justice system fails to protect them. So when
anti-gun-nuts run NRA out of U.S., maybe it can set up shop in
India. All it’ll need to popularize its cause is get a Bollywood
actriess to vanquish her attacker with her shiny Nirbheek on
screen. For Thom Hartmann, NRA is a
terrorist organization
. But, as they say, one (wo)man’s
terrorist is another (wo)man’s hero.

H/T Neera Badhwar

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2014/01/10/guns-to-the-rescue-of-indian-women
via IFTTT

Steven Greenhut: Redevelopment Ghosts Haunt the New Year

California’s 1940s-era urban-renewal program,
known as “redevelopment,” died an unexpected death in June 2011
when Gov. Jerry Brown signed a law killing the agencies.
But redevelopment’s longtime critics have had a hard time
celebrating their victory, writess Steven Greenhut, given the
endless efforts to reanimate it.

View this article.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2014/01/10/steven-greenhut-redevelopment-ghosts-hau
via IFTTT

Jacob Sullum in Forbes: How Rumors of a 'Flesh-Eating Zombie Drug' Swept the Nation

By now you probably have heard
that krokodil, a nasty homemade version of the
narcotic painkiller desomorphine, is starting to catch on in the
United States. Having eaten its way through the flesh of myriad
Russian opiate addicts, the caustic concoction—notorious for the
ghastly side effects caused by its corrosive contaminants,
including abscesses and gangrene—is reportedly burning its way
through Arizona, Texas, Utah, Oklahoma, Colorado, Illinois,
Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts. “The monster has
crossed the ocean,” Time declared last
month.

Like most monster stories, says Jacob Sullum in his latest
Forbes column, this one is not true. Yet it will not die,
perpetuating itself by encouraging reckless claims that become the
basis for the next round of sensational coverage.


Read the article

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2014/01/10/jacob-sullum-in-forbes-how-rumors-of-a-f
via IFTTT

Jacob Sullum in Forbes: How Rumors of a ‘Flesh-Eating Zombie Drug’ Swept the Nation

By now you probably have heard
that krokodil, a nasty homemade version of the
narcotic painkiller desomorphine, is starting to catch on in the
United States. Having eaten its way through the flesh of myriad
Russian opiate addicts, the caustic concoction—notorious for the
ghastly side effects caused by its corrosive contaminants,
including abscesses and gangrene—is reportedly burning its way
through Arizona, Texas, Utah, Oklahoma, Colorado, Illinois,
Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts. “The monster has
crossed the ocean,” Time declared last
month.

Like most monster stories, says Jacob Sullum in his latest
Forbes column, this one is not true. Yet it will not die,
perpetuating itself by encouraging reckless claims that become the
basis for the next round of sensational coverage.


Read the article

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2014/01/10/jacob-sullum-in-forbes-how-rumors-of-a-f
via IFTTT

The People's Work Is Profitable

If you were concerned that the country’s economic doldrums might
be injuring the incomes of the people’s representatives, fear no
longer. The Center for Responsive Politics
reports
that

Nice work if you can get it.For the first time in history, most members of
Congress are millionaires, according to a new analysis of personal
financial disclosure data by the Center for Responsive
Politics.

Of 534 current members of Congress, at least 268 had an average net
worth of $1 million or more in 2012, according to disclosures filed
last year by all members of Congress and candidates. The median net
worth for the 530 current lawmakers who were in Congress as of the
May filing deadline was $1,008,767 — an increase from the previous
year when it was $966,000. In addition, at least one of the members
elected since then, Rep. Katherine Clark (D-Mass.), is a
millionaire, according to forms she filed as a candidate….

[C]ongressional Democrats had a median net worth of $1.04 million,
while congressional Republicans had a median net worth of almost
exactly $1 million. In both cases, the figures are up from last
year, when the numbers were $990,000 and $907,000,
respectively.

Welcome to the Senate.The median net worth for all House members was
$896,000 — that’s up from $856,000 in 2011 — with House Democrats
(median net worth: $929,000) holding an edge over House Republicans
(median net worth: $884,000). The median net worth for both House
Republicans and Democrats was higher than in 2011.

Similarly, the median net worth for all senators increased to $2.7
million from $2.5 million, but in that body it was the Republicans
who were better-off. Senate Democrats reported a median net worth
of $1.7 million (a decline from 2011’s $2.4 million), compared to
Senate Republicans, at $2.9 million (an increase from $2.5
million).

The broader Washington area is doing
pretty well
too. Or at least the parts are that contain the
people who run the country and the people who lobby or contract
with them.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2014/01/10/the-peoples-work-is-profitable
via IFTTT

The People’s Work Is Profitable

If you were concerned that the country’s economic doldrums might
be injuring the incomes of the people’s representatives, fear no
longer. The Center for Responsive Politics
reports
that

Nice work if you can get it.For the first time in history, most members of
Congress are millionaires, according to a new analysis of personal
financial disclosure data by the Center for Responsive
Politics.

Of 534 current members of Congress, at least 268 had an average net
worth of $1 million or more in 2012, according to disclosures filed
last year by all members of Congress and candidates. The median net
worth for the 530 current lawmakers who were in Congress as of the
May filing deadline was $1,008,767 — an increase from the previous
year when it was $966,000. In addition, at least one of the members
elected since then, Rep. Katherine Clark (D-Mass.), is a
millionaire, according to forms she filed as a candidate….

[C]ongressional Democrats had a median net worth of $1.04 million,
while congressional Republicans had a median net worth of almost
exactly $1 million. In both cases, the figures are up from last
year, when the numbers were $990,000 and $907,000,
respectively.

Welcome to the Senate.The median net worth for all House members was
$896,000 — that’s up from $856,000 in 2011 — with House Democrats
(median net worth: $929,000) holding an edge over House Republicans
(median net worth: $884,000). The median net worth for both House
Republicans and Democrats was higher than in 2011.

Similarly, the median net worth for all senators increased to $2.7
million from $2.5 million, but in that body it was the Republicans
who were better-off. Senate Democrats reported a median net worth
of $1.7 million (a decline from 2011’s $2.4 million), compared to
Senate Republicans, at $2.9 million (an increase from $2.5
million).

The broader Washington area is doing
pretty well
too. Or at least the parts are that contain the
people who run the country and the people who lobby or contract
with them.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2014/01/10/the-peoples-work-is-profitable
via IFTTT

FBI Finally Contacts Tea Party Groups Targeted by IRS

Maybe I should stop claiming my dog as a dependent.Why, it seems like it was about
seven scandals ago when last we heard about the IRS targeting Tea
Party nonprofit groups for extra-special possibly politically
motivated scrutiny. While I’m sure some people figured it was all
water under the bridge by now, the FBI has finally gotten around to
actually contacting people at these groups for their investigation.
The Washington Times has heard from a lawyer
representing some of them. However, there’s now a new cause for
concern: The DOJ lawyer overseeing the investigation is a donor to
President Barack Obama. That certainly makes things a
bit awkward
:

The progress was revealed a day after The Times reported that
the Justice Department lawyer who is leading the investigation into
the IRS, Barbara Kay Bosserman, has donated more than $6,000 to
President Obama’s presidential campaigns — a move that, for many
Republicans, has called into question the entire investigation.

“They say the fox isn’t good to guard the henhouse; the fox is
probably not good to investigate the henhouse, either,” said Sen.
Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican. “I think these investigations need
to be done by independent people outside of the
administration.”

Mr. Holder ordered an FBI investigation in the days immediately
after the internal auditor of the IRS revealed that the agency had
been inappropriately targeting tea party groups for intrusive
scrutiny and wrongly delayed the approval of hundreds of
conservative groups’ applications for tax-exempt status.

Little has been heard about the progress of the investigation in
the eight months since, and House Oversight and Government Reform
Committee Chairman Darrell E. Issa began his own investigation into
the FBI’s efforts.

Given the nature of government, I do have to wonder if there’s a
major DOJ attorney capable of leading the investigation who
hasn’t made donations to major political figures (imagine
who would be complaining if she had donated to Mitt Romney). Not
terribly long after the scandal broke, it appeared that the
executive branch was
treating the matter seriously
and acknowledged that what
happened was absolutely unacceptable. But then at a press
conference later White House spokesman Jay Carney derided the
scandal as
“phony”
partisan outrage. It was a bizarre approach, given that
partisanship is arguably the source of the scandal in the first
place. By any reasonable definition, this is a partisan
scandal.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2014/01/10/fbi-finally-contacts-tea-party-groups-ta
via IFTTT

Peter Suderman on Healthcare After Obamacare

On
January 19, 2011, in one of their very first actions after retaking
majority control of the House of Representatives, Republicans voted
to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a.k.a.
Obamacare. The vote was largely symbolic, but for the House GOP,
the repeal vote was the necessary fulfillment of the core campaign
promise that helped sweep them back into power. That promise,
however, was only half fulfilled. Republicans had not merely vowed
to remove Obamacare; they also said they would pass a program of
their own in its stead. Peter Suderman details the party’s struggle
to find such a program.

View this article.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2014/01/10/peter-suderman-on-healthcare-after-obama
via IFTTT

Don’t Miss “2014 New Year’s Policy Resolutions” at Reason’s DC HQ on Tuesday, 1/14 at 6:30 p.m.!

AFFWhat should the liberty
movement’s priorities be this year? Find out at America’s Future Foundation‘s
upcoming panel
discussion and debate
, which will be held at Reason’s DC HQ on
the evening of Tuesday, January 14.

Featuring:

Moderated by Thomas
Clougherty
, Managing Editor, Reason Foundation

There will be a reception with light refreshments starting at
6:30 p.m. The panel will begin at 7:00 p.m.

This is event free for Hit & Run readers (use promo
code reason2014
) and AFF members. $5.00 admission for the
general public.

Register: https://americasfuturefoundation.kimbia.com/jan14rt

Reason is located at 1747 Connecticut Ave. NW, a few blocks
north of the Dupont Circle metro stop on the red line.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2014/01/10/dont-miss-2014-new-years-policy-resoluti
via IFTTT

Don't Miss "2014 New Year's Policy Resolutions" at Reason's DC HQ on Tuesday, 1/14 at 6:30 p.m.!

AFFWhat should the liberty
movement’s priorities be this year? Find out at America’s Future Foundation‘s
upcoming panel
discussion and debate
, which will be held at Reason’s DC HQ on
the evening of Tuesday, January 14.

Featuring:

Moderated by Thomas
Clougherty
, Managing Editor, Reason Foundation

There will be a reception with light refreshments starting at
6:30 p.m. The panel will begin at 7:00 p.m.

This is event free for Hit & Run readers (use promo
code reason2014
) and AFF members. $5.00 admission for the
general public.

Register: https://americasfuturefoundation.kimbia.com/jan14rt

Reason is located at 1747 Connecticut Ave. NW, a few blocks
north of the Dupont Circle metro stop on the red line.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2014/01/10/dont-miss-2014-new-years-policy-resoluti
via IFTTT