Mike Hoeflich

Recent stories

Opinion: ‘Smart’ devices spur concern
January 22, 2014
Last week, the media carried a story that a computer security firm, Proofpoint, had announced that sometime in late December 2013 or early January 2014 hackers had launched a cyber attack that took over approximately 100,000 “smart” home appliances such as refrigerators and televisions that were connected to the Internet and used them to send out malicious emails. Recently, Target announced that hackers had stolen personal information of 70 million people who had shopped at the store around Thanksgiving 2013.
Opinion: Regents’ policy has a silver lining
January 8, 2014
Several weeks ago, the Kansas Board of Regents adopted a new “social media policy” that authorized university “CEOs” (note the use of a corporate term rather than the official titles of chancellor or president) to “terminate” (a somewhat frightening term evocative of spy thrillers) employees who used social media to communicate messages that fell with a broad spectrum including any message that disrupts “harmony among coworkers” or “adversely affects the university’s ability to efficiently provide services.” The policy was adopted without consultation with state university faculty or staff and over the objection of a number of university senior administrators, including the president of Kansas State University and the chancellor and provost at Kansas University.
Opinion: Conspicuous consumption
November 27, 2013
The art world has very much been in the news the past few weeks. First, German police found a cache of art obtained during the Nazi era in Germany. The art has been valued at over $1 billion. Second, Christie’s, the international auction giant, set a new record for a work of art when it sold Francis Bacon’s study of Lucian Freud for over $142 million and, at the same sale, sold a sculpture of a cartoon dog by Jeff Koons’ for over $58 million.
Opinion: Law degree opens doors
October 30, 2013
Over the past few years the media has been filled with articles about the “crash” of the legal profession since 2008. A few large law firms have disappeared, starting lawyers’ salaries have, for the most part, dropped from the stratospheric heights they had achieved in the mid-2000s, and applications to law school have fallen precipitously, so much so that many law schools (including the Kansas University School of Law) have reduced their class sizes dramatically. On casual reading of the media, it would seem that only a crazy person would go to law school these days.
Opinion: ACA ‘glitches’ inexcusable
October 16, 2013
The appalling mess that has faced people trying to sign up to obtain medical insurance under the new Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) is both inexcusable and dismaying. Regardless of what position one takes as to the wisdom of the new law, there can be no excuse for the unbelievable incompetence that seems to have resulted in  a “launch” for the new insurance exchanges that has already soured many Americans on the new legislation.
Opinion: Government should govern
October 2, 2013
It is Tuesday morning as I am writing this column, and the federal government has been shut down for approximately eight hours. It is hard for me to fathom the irresponsibility of Congress in allowing this to happen. Personally, I am sick to death of hearing each political party blame the other for what has happened. As for those in Congress who are glorying in the shutdown, all I can think is that they don’t belong in government.
Opinion: History offers new perspective
September 18, 2013
In most of the columns that I write for the Journal-World, I try to focus on contemporary issues of interest to readers. On occasion, though, I find something in my research into legal history that I think is worth sharing. Over the past year I have been doing research into the history of law in the Kansas Territory (from 1854 to 1861). This was an exceedingly important period in the development of Kansas law and politics, and there are rich sources to be found in the state archives at the Kansas State Historical Society in Topeka. Recently I came across some material that I think is both fascinating and important in understanding Kansas and American law and history.
Opinion: Ruling may not settle marriage ban
March 27, 2013
As I am writing this, the Supreme Court of the United States is preparing to hear arguments in the case of Hollingsworth v. Perry, the case arising from California’s Proposition 8. Proposition 8, approved by California voters, banned same-sex marriage in California. Mike Hoeflich
Opinion: Drone policy must be debated
March 13, 2013
The killing by drones in Yemen of American citizens Anwar al-Awlaki, in September 2011, and his son, Abdulrahman, a few weeks later has continued to be a major issue among lawyers and constitutional scholars, and a subject of discussion and debate since the deaths were announced. The legality of the killings became national news recently when Sen. Rand Paul mounted a 13-hour filibuster to delay the confirmation of John Brennan, President Obama’s former national security adviser, as the new director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Fuel was also added to this legal fire by the leak of a “summary white paper” of the legal opinion that justified the use of drones to kill American citizens who had not been tried or convicted of any crimes by an American court.
Opinion: Cyberattack is a real threat
February 13, 2013
The last few weeks have seen an increasing number of articles in the media about the dangers of cyberwar. In part, this increase in the volume may be due to the current confirmation hearings in Congress for the new director of the Central Intelligence Agency and, in part, because of a recent major conference on cybersecurity, the S4, held in Miami. But the truth is that the danger is all too real, as is the perception that the United States is not prepared for what appears to be inevitable: a major cyberattack on American interests.

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