There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch

“There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch” (alternatively, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch” or other variants) is a popular adage communicating the idea that it is impossible to get something for nothing. The acronyms “TNSTAFL,”” TANSTAAFL and TINSTAAFL are also used. Uses of the phrase dating back to the 1930s and 1940s have been found, but the phrase’s first appearance is unknown. The “free lunch” in the saying refers to the nineteenth century practice in American bars of offering a “free lunch” as a way to entice drinking customers. The phrase and the acronym are central to Robert Heinlein’s 1966 libertarian science fiction novel The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, which popularized it. The free-market economist Milton Friedman also popularized the phrase by using it as the title of a 1975 book, and it often appears in economics textbooks; Campbell McConnell writes that the idea is “at the core of economics”.


TX Voter ID law: People too lazy to go get an ID are “discriminated against”

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  • A panel of federal judges is reviewing the Texas voter ID law under the Voting Rights Act
  • The Justice Department rejected the law, noting 600,000 registered voters lack IDs
  • A lawmaker says the public expected legislation “to give them confidence in the system”

Washington (CNN) — Texas state officials went to federal court Monday to defend a controversial new voter identification law, dismissing suggestions the requirement would deny hundreds of thousands of people — many of them minorities — access to the ballot.

A weeklong trial kicked off in Washington before a special panel of three federal judges who will decide whether the law, known as SB 14, should be allowed to go into effect. It is one of several legal challenges to voter ID laws around the country.

A key enforcement provision of the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965 — known as Section 5 — gives the federal government open-ended oversight of states and localities with a history of voter discrimination. Any changes in voting laws and procedures in the covered areas must be “pre-cleared” with Washington. That provision was reauthorized in 2006 for another quarter-century.

Attorney General Holder pledges to protect the right to vote

Voter ID laws raise questions nationwide

The Justice Department in March rejected the Texas law, passed in 2011, using the state’s own statistics to show about 600,000 registered voters there lack a state-issued driver’s license or identification card. SB 14 amended an earlier voter identification law.

Texas is among eight states to require official photo identification in an effort to stop what officials say is voter fraud. Opponents of the laws say they disenfranchise poor, minority and disabled voters. Obama administration officials have concluded there is little evidence of voter fraud in Texas warranting the legislative changes.

“We note that the state’s submission did not include evidence of significant in-person voter impersonation not already addressed by the state’s existing laws,” Thomas Perez, assistant attorney general, said in March.

A key supporter of the law told the judicial panel Monday that having valid, government-issued photo identification is a reasonable, modern-day necessity.

Holder sent Brian Terry to his death armed with bean bags

Murdered Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry Was Defending Himself With Bean Bags

July 9, 2012 | Filed under Fast and Furious | Posted by 

In the Justice Department indictment against five individuals alleged to be involved in the death of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry’s death, there’s a shocking detail. While the drug cartel was using guns walked to them by U.S. government, Terry and other agents were using gear more useful for riot control. Fox News has the details.

For the first time, federal officials also revealed that Terry and an elite squad of federal agents initially fired bean bags — not bullets — at a heavily armed drug cartel crew in the mountains south of Tucson in December 2011. During the exchange, Terry was shot and killed.

The 11-count indictment, originally handed up by a grand jury in November 2011, implicates five defendants in the killing. A sixth suspect has also been charged in a related incident.

The two men in custody are Manuel Osario Arellanes — who was wounded in the foot the night of the firefight — and his brother Rito. Rito, who was arrested two nights before the Terry shooting, allegedly helped provide weapons to the criminal gang used in the shooting. All six men named in the indictment are either related or friends.

We’re still looking for a copy of the indictment to see why these agents brought bean bags to a gun fight.

Bean Bags versus Drug Cartel

DOJ Fast and Furious indictment released, agents used bean-bag guns



After 18 months of stonewalling, hem-hawing, national headlines and a contempt charge for Attorney General Eric Holder, the U.S. government finally unsealed its grand jury indictment case against those involved with the murder of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry today.

Little new information was revealed, but the Department of Justice (DOJ) provided media with confirmation that Border Patrol agents, using guns that fired bean-bags, not bullets, were used stop a dangerous, well-armed rip crew outfitted with U.S. Operation “Fast and Furious” AK-47s.

The botched Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) gunwalking program allowed more than 2,000 firearms to “walk” across the U.S./Mexican border into the hands of ruthless drug cartels. Not only did a Fast and Furious gun kill agent Terry, but also there have been numerous reports that tie the failed ATF program to murdered ICE Agent Jamie Zapata. Also, Mexican law enforcement officials have said hundreds of their citizens have been murdered with Fast and Furious guns.

The unsealed indictment charged five other individuals for the December 14, 2010 murder of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.

According to the indictment, Manuel Osorio-Arellanes, Jesus Rosario Favela-Astorga, Ivan Soto-Barraza, Heraclio Osorio-Arellanes and Lionel Portillo-Meza are charged with crimes including first degree murder, second degree murder, conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery, attempted interference with commerce by robbery, use and carrying a firearm during a crime of violence, assault on a federal officer and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. A sixth defendant, Rito Osorio-Arellanes, is charged only with conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery and remains in custody.

The government’s indictment alleges the defendants illegally entered America from Mexico with the intent to rob drug traffickers of their illicit drugs and cash.

“The indictment unsealed today reflects the progress our dedicated law enforcement team has made piecing together this complex murder case,” said U.S. Attorney Laura E. Duffy. “But there is more work to be done and we will not rest until we bring justice to the family of Brian Terry.”

The U.S. government also said they are working with their Mexican counterparts to apprehend four other Mexican nationals wanted for the murder of Agent Terry. In additional news, the FBI revealed they are offering a $1 million reward for any information resulting in the apprehension of the remaining suspects.

The Terry family, who remain critical of the Obama Administration’s handling of their son’s murder investigation, released a statement regarding today’s news.

“It has been a difficult 18 months for the family since Brian Terry was murdered in December of 2010 and today’s announcement provides hope that justice will eventually be served,” said Robert Heyer, Chairman of the Brian Terry Foundation and cousin to Brian Terry. “The Terry family would like to thank U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy and her team of prosecutors along with the special agents of the FBI’s Tucson Office and the Mexico City Legal Attaché who have continued to pursue leads in the murder case that ultimately led to the additional indictments of the four fugitive defendants. The Terry family would also like to thank the government of Mexico for their assistance in the investigation. It is the family’s hope that the unsealing of details in the case, the identification of the four fugitives and the issuance of reward monies will lead to the eventual capture of all individuals responsible for the murder of Agent Terry.”

“Today’s developments certainly mean that the criminal prosecution of Brian Terry’s killers is moving forward,” said Patrick McGroder, the Terry family attorney. “However, the accountability aspect of Operation Fast and Furious, the flawed ATF/DOJ gun trafficking investigation that put weapons into the hands of the men that killed Brian Terry, remains stalled. The Terry family once again asks that the Attorney General and the Department of Justice comply with the request for documents made by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee so that all Americans can know who approved of the operation in order that those individuals can be held accountable for their decisions. Agent Terry died as a hero protecting this country; he and his family rightly deserve a full and thorough explanation of how Operation Fast and Furious came to be.”

Anyone with information concerning the whereabouts of the fugitives should contact the FBI’s Phoenix field office at (623) 466-1999 or any local FBI, American Embassy or Consulate.

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© Copyright 2012 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

Luxury yacht sinks at Lake Tahoe

Luxury yacht sinks at Lake Tahoe

8:35 PM, Jul 9, 2012   |
The Sierra Rose on Monday.

The Sierra Rose on Monday. / Emerson Marcus/RGJ photo


SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — Lake Tahoe’s largest noncommercial yacht sank to the bottom of the Tahoe Keys Marina on Monday morning.

The Sierra Rose was 85.7 feet and 222 gross tons.

Noises of the boat’s sinking started at about 3 a.m. Monday, said Tony Michalak, who lives in a townhouse about 50 yards from where the boat was docked.

By 7 a.m. when he woke, the boat had hit bottom, he said.

Other neighbors said they heard screeching noises late-Sunday evening.

The mere size of the vessel kept it from completely sinking. Its third floor remained above water Monday. A big screen TV, leather couches and floating slices of bread could be seen inside the luxury liner that included three bedrooms, three bathrooms, a salon and a helicopter pad on top.

“It’s the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen,” Tahoe Keys Property Association front desk clerk Ron Parker said. “My idea is it was so ugly someone had to sink it.”

Placer County Environmental Health Services, Lake Tahoe Office investigated the sinking. Its officials did not return calls Monday.

The Tahoe Keys Marina Yacht Club also declined to comment.

Several homeowners in the area seconded Parker’s distaste for the three-story yacht. Most complained its size blocked views.

In 2008, the Sierra Rose sold at auction for $3.2 million, according to news reports at the time. The buyer was not identified. The unidentified Nevadan outbid more than 40 other potential investors, the news accounts said.

The Sierra Rose by the numbers

85.7 feet long

222 gross tons

7.5 knot cruising speed

2 engines

6 cylinders