U.S. News

ATF badgeThe Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (still known as ATF) is considering a pilot program that would require gun dealers in the borders states of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California to report each sale of two or more rifles. Jim Pruett of Jim Pruett’s Guns and Ammo in Houston considers such a move simply a back door to gun registration. “It [would go] on record with the ATF forever,” Pruett says of the reported sales. “There’s no mention of purging the system.  So what you basically have is ad-hoc gun registration.”

police carThe capitol city of Texas has added another dimension to the town motto "Keep Austin Weird" with a bizarre crusade against speed traps. After launching his website, SpeedTrapAhead.org three years ago, Lance Mitchell became a burr under the saddle of officials in fast-growing Lakeway, a toney community northwest of Austin, by warning drivers of — well, speed traps ahead. But Mitchell’s persistent crusade has now earned him an arrest and jail time for allegedly violating city signage laws, according to the Dec. 25 Austin American Statesman.

TSA

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA), notorious for groping and ogling naked passengers at checkpoints, has long claimed that its “mission” is “protect[ing] the Nation’s transportation systems to ensure freedom of movement for people and commerce.” You may ask how delaying travelers in enormously long lines “ensure[s] freedom of movement”; recall that these same jokers contend as well that their sexual assaults protect us. At least their double-speak and Orwellian “logic” are consistent.

TSA pat-down protestOn Wednesday, Dec. 22, an Austin, Texas woman hoping to spend Christmas with California friends, collided with the TSA and was arrested for refusing the security pat-down, then banned from the Austin airport for at least six months.

Stephen BreyerAn oft-quoted maxim attributed (dubiously) to Mark Twain instructs writers: “Never let the truth get in the way of a good story.” Perhaps Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer has been reading the recently published diaries of Twain and has been inspired to weave a little yarn of his own — a story strong on emotion but woefully light on facts.

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