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Happy Jack Mulraney, the Joker of the 19th century.

From the indispensable blog of Jess Nevins:

Still another Gopher of distinction was Happy Jack Mulraney, so called because he always appeared to be laughing. However, his smile was caused by a partial paralysis of the muscles of his face. In reality Happy Jack was a verjuiced person and very sensitive about his deformity; when his chieftains wished to enrage him against an enemy they told him that slighting remarks had been made about his permanent grin. Happy Jack was finally sent to prison for the murder of Paddy the Priest, who owned a saloon in Tenth avenue and was a staunch friend of Happy Jack’s until he asked the gangster why he did not laugh on the other side of his face. Happy Jack then shot him and for good measure robbed the till.

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Senate Bill Would Make Leaks a Felony

If the government does it, it can’t be a crime:

Legislation introduced in the Senate this week would broadly criminalize leaks of classified information.  The bill (S. 355) sponsored by Sen. Benjamin Cardin (D-MD) would make it a felony for a government employee or contractor who has authorized access to classified information to disclose such information to an unauthorized person in violation of his or her nondisclosure agreement.

Nixon would’ve been happy about this. Just declare your illegal activities classified and you’re safe. Who wants to get thrown in Federal prison for doing the right thing and snitching? Even if you’re right and you literally save the world from an illegal war you’ll be legally culpable.

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CNet: Lost iPhone prototype spurs police probe

Silicon Valley police are investigating what appears to be a lost Apple iPhone prototype purchased by a gadget blog, a transaction that may have violated criminal laws, a law enforcement official told CNET on Friday.

I believe the whole thing was a case of common theft and the sale of stolen goods. Looks like Apple is treating it just like that, at least externally.

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Bruce Schneier: Spy cameras won’t make us safer

I have long had a beef with the conventional wisdom that recording everyone all the time makes us safer:

There are exceptions, of course, and proponents of cameras can always cherry-pick examples to bolster their argument. These success stories are what convince us; our brains are wired to respond more strongly to anecdotes than to data. But the data are clear: CCTV cameras have minimal value in the fight against crime.