Thursday, July 29, 2004

will will will,
and the heinous contranyms.
my roommate (i've moved) said something was heinous. i lifted an eyebrow and asked, is that good or bad? I could have asked, is that phat, or stoopid? Wicked? Hot? This teen slang (he's 40something) seems to contain many contronyms. War is peace, freedom is slavery, work is freedom. Will's been writing about contronyms, with good examples. I'm just pointing out that they are more common than i thought. I think the one's will writes about are the ones that aren't used for ironic coolness, but just happen to mean their own opposite.
Wil wrote,
terms of Gershwin's will specify that English-speaking countries may only produce Porgy and Bess with all-black casts.
and i was thrown for a moment until i sorted out 'will' was being used as a noun, not a verb, or tense modifier, or whatever you call those.
Franklin Institute, isn't that the case of a philadelphia foundation for white students, and they modified to take out the white part? Can the all black casters be sued for racial discrimination; can the estate? Will it be a hate crime to produce porgy and bess? I see the problem, I have no answer. In theory, I support freedom of choice for private agents to discriminate, because of the few examples like this one where discrimination seems to make some sense. In theory, theory and practice come out the same. In practice, they don't. I support the right of lesbian bartenders to exclude me if they wish, although it hurts my feelings if they do. 

Baude writes:
6) a large, three-dimensional winged banana with orange stripes.
Read the whole thing.
I've been depressed a bit lately, and I've discovered why. In moving, my monitor bit the dust,
and this interfered in my ability to get online as much as I want, so I wasn't getting my minimum daily requirements of crescaty goodness. New monitor, still don't have the network hub set up, but one bottleneck removed. I have a job interview this morning for a month of contract work for (large multinational.) A main point will to be to find out if I would be able to get online during that time. I'll have to take the job either way if they offer it, but if I can be online, it works, and if not I'll suffer a bit.

  This connects back to a point baude makes about work, while discussing norweigan sick leave policies. He says, that in the main, we work in order to get stuff, and put up with the work part, but would skip it if possible.
And he's right, given the qualifier. But EE Schumacher, in Small is Beautiful, sets out a buddhist view of work. Let's call it work as play. In this view, one gets stuff in order to be able to work.
Your task is to find the work you most want to do. Writers, those who make a living off it, talk about this a fair amount. It's not that writing beats flipping burgers. It's that writing is a drug, something they are called to do. When one has meaningful work, they take off sick days when they are sick, or when a family member is sick, or when the .. i was going to say when the clash has a reuinion concert, only joe's dead, and every other such band i could think of, some key person is dead. I digress. Work, and why I'm not doing it.
See, when i was offline most of the time the past couple weeks, it interfered with my ability to do work, and that was depressing. I'm not a good example - my meaningful work hasn't been paying the bills and it's time to go back to thinking of it as an expensive hobby, and get a job job to support my hobby. But the plan was to make a living doing the thing I do.
Which involves speaking truth to power. I thought this was going to be a much shorter post.

This is sort of a "morning pages" exercize, as advocated in the Artist's Way, a good book about unblocking writer's block. Get up, write three pages, and you'll find it liberates you to go on and do the stuff you've been putting off. But I had a point, and I can get back to it. Something about work. Oh, right. Now, I mentioned being depressed. one of the symptoms is that my expression of thoughts becomes, even more than usual, disjointed, leaping from point A to point Q, in a way others may find hard to follow. A large three-dimentional winged banana with orange stripes. 
Makes sense to me, and I write for the sort of audience that gets this stuff, I'm not looking for USA today-style clarity. On to my point, anytime soon.

Last night, while not sleeping, I thought a lot about this problem I'm having. My work is important to me. Short version, I'm working to build legal precedents to protect anonymous political speech on the internet. But I'm not very good at it, and it gets frustrating, and the frustration contributes to my depression. The more depressed I am, the more I am challenged to maintain my professional competency. I have an obligation not to take cases if I can't handle them well. In the past, what has worked is to partner with older, more experienced lawyers with good case management skills. I made a mistake a few years ago in choosing a partner for my public interest law firm. It turned out neither one of us had good case management skills,
and things didn't work out as planned, and it was frustrating. Frustration lead to depression, depression lead to incivility, and the partnership deteriorated. I tried continuing as a solo,
with limited success, and than ran into another crisis a few months ago.
This resulted in, among other things, my missing a deadline by one day on a petition for cert, in an important case I'd worked on for 7 years. http://majors.blogspot.com.
That's one example, among others, of how I'm having a hard time maintaining my competence and professionalism, so I have a quandary about what to do with my existing case load (small, but non-zero) and what to do about new projects that would make good cases.
What I need to do is search for partners who are willing to risk associating with me, so that the meaningful work can continue. I was sent a smoking gun letter by florida, so there's a case there, but it's not a case I can open until I resolve these concerns.
 If anyone out there is, say, a new solo looking for work, or a public interest law firm, or the pro bono department of BigLaw, I have a project I'd like to work together on. Much pre-negotiation would be required so we both understand the expectations and limits of the arrangment.
But it's potentially lucrative, fee-generating work, with important implications for the future of the net, and democracy in general. While I'm damaged goods, I have seven years of narrowly focusing on this topic and have developed significant expertise.
I think I could re-write this and post a version of it to my work blogs. This blog is more for play, but is public. I have a cascade of blogs. majors.blogspot.com is about this anonymous speech litigation project. ballots.blogspot.com is about election law generally. vark.blogspot.com is my public rambles on memes circulating in the blogosphere, often those of volokh or crescat.
And I have other blogs that are private, where i try to organize my thoughts, or keep laundry lists, or rough drafts. I digress again, like the twain story about jim blaine's grandfather's ram.
I'm going to conclude this here, I think I'm done.


Wednesday, July 28, 2004

This post is three things.
It's a review and a link to a free useful book about linux.
No too shabby eh?
But, 2, it's a short prose piece by one of my new favorite writers, Jon Horvath.
If twain blew away fenimore cooper by writing plain clear funny text,
here you have a guy who writes code, does a good job of documenting code, and uses that techie approach to go off into a brand of fiction or narrative or whatever it is, that's.. i was going to say cyberpunk, but that's not quite it. but it reminds of of the cyberpubnks, neal stephenson, bruce sterling, and i'd throw in eric s raymond, maybe a bit of l neil smith.
But 3, this guy, Horvath, is the personal biographer of sid, of sid's music server.
Sid and I were roommates once, and his was my first case in federal court, so when he got the cease and desist letter from the music industry goons, i dropped a few subtle hints i'd be willing to take his case
 and take on the music industry. Too subtle, he didn't understand what i was offering, and we didn't fight it.
That was, i think, 1996. No probably 95. Here it is 2004, and because we didn't stop them back then, they've come and shut down berry's music. I have a plan to fight back. But i have so many damn plans.
I have a hard time getting or staying focused. 13 blogs, none of them up to date.
I have an early appointment, trying to get a job with lilly as a lab rat. Not a tech, i just don't know how to spell guinea pig. anyway, here' jon, reviewing a linux cookbook.
The Linux Cookbook: Tips and Techniques for Everyday Use by Michael StutzEdition: Paperback
Price: $20.37

Availability: Usually ships in 24 hours
6 used from $9.88

31 of 32 people found the following review helpful:A Linux book you can actually use to do stuff., August 13, 2001Linux may be cool, but the documentation is horrible. There are tons of inconsistent HOWTO files, out of date FAQs, and a bunch of programmers that don't really see the problem. Whenever you want to do anything with Linux, you usually have to read every piece of documentation out there, and basically reverse-engineer a solution.
Most commercial Linux books for beginners (or at least for people who don't dig through C++ on a daily basis) are not well laid out. I should know - I wrote several chapters in one a few years back. They are usually organized by major system - a chapter on installation, one for video, one for sound, one for networking, and so on. But what if you want to write a book? Or record an album? Unless you can dig around on the web to find someone else doing the same thing, you are out of luck.
I'm glad that a book like this is out there. First, it is much more theoretical and philisophical than most approaches. That means it doesn't matter if you have RedHat 7.0 or 7.1 or whatever. It's just like if you are using a cookbook to make food - it doesn't matter if you use fresh-squeezed orange juice or Minute Maid orange juice, other than the difference in taste and texture - the basic lessons still apply.
I haven't seen other No Starch books, so I don't know if the look and feel is specific or part of the series, but it works. It's not a glossy, corporate taste - it's easy to flip through and fun to use. After reading a few pages to solve a problem, you're suddenly reading for hours and realizing that there are a lot of other things you could be doing with Linux - and that's the point. People don't need to be programmers to use a computer, and people can use their computer for more than email, web browsing and minesweeper. It's like you wanted a recipe to make some hamburgers, and you find a dozen new dishes you'll want to try for the next few weeks.
Great approach overall, and it's also very cool that you can download the entire thing for free at dsl.org, if you want to check it out first, or just have a copy on your local hard drive. I wish more books did this.
Overall, very excellent! Now I just need some more time to try out all of the things I've seen in here...

Sunday, July 25, 2004

milbarge at crescat on blog crushes, worth reading.

 I have forgotten which of my blogs my lbj notes have gone in, but i thought i'd mention what i'm reading. A bio of jfk (the orginal, not the re-run) focusing on his pre-presidential years.
Stuff I didn't know:
Major health problems affected his drive and personality, in a way that invites comparison to fdr. wonder if anyone has written a book about the medical status of presidents. i know there are issues with lincoln, fdr, jfk, lbj, nixon, regan, bush one and bush two.
he had, from birth, a bad back, which he made worse by not taking it easy. stomach trouble.
physical abuse from older brother. domineering father who he spent his life trying to live up to.
strong family support for each other. retarded sister kept secret. public perception of family manipulated - they had their own pr guy (flack) on staff. e.g. jfk did not attend london school of economics as resume says - he wanted to but was sick that year. traveled to berlin and italy, confrontations with nazis.  he worked for naval intelligence and missed pearl harbor - no direct support for idea he was in the secret. on the other hand they knew the negotiations were fake and war as coming. he used family connections to get drafted, in spite of medical condition. reverse of bush-type allegations.  he was actively pro-draft, although he himself waited till classes were over after being called up. took a political science class at harvard, learned to
analyse congresscritters - how do they vote, what bills do they pass, what speaches they make, etc. from that class, he learned the basics of vote counting, if not to the extent that lbj learned at his daddy's knee.* so he has an eastern establishment scholarly approach to the game. it was his mother's father who mayor of boston, not father's father. father's father was an alderman type.
after pearl harbor, he got the pt boat gig, that's as far as i've gotten.
*we are not told if lbj was one of those studied.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Night of the lupus:

Once upon a time in college i went to a 24 hour bad science fiction movie festival. Some were good bad science fiction movies, like the fly, but one was "night of the lupus" about giant flesh-eating bunnies. i'm sure rottentomatoes.com has an entry that i'm not motivated to go look up.
but this link is to a picture of a giant bunny, about 4 feet long. it's a bad picture, nothing shows the scale so it just looks like a picture of a bunny, but take my word for it. hatt tip jason, a warblogger who noted with approval my posting a link to a free download of F 9/11 on volokh.
I might drive some traffic here if i'd remember to put in the http:// before http://vark.blogspot.com.

Roommate's work is cancelled for today so my computer time is short; we have not yet set up the network for multiple computers. I depend on the kindness of strangers when it comes to technical support of that sort. Which works but slowly. It's like hitchhiking - i'm not against the concept, a sort of open source transportation system, i just don't have the patience anymore, so i drive or greyhound. Haven't flown since 9/11, mostly due to an austerity budget.
Even more than usual, my thoughts and writing tends to jump from topic to topic in a way that's hard to follow. Giant rabbits. I've made some appointments to get my meds adjusted.
Between distractions in real life and distractions online, I'm not getting alot of work done.
I had a stressful experience a month ago that caused a relapse of some mental health issues I faced several years ago, and the symptoms are familiar. I'm fine when I have a quiet place to work and meaningful work to do, but when my calm is interupted and I'm subjected to way too much stress, I'm at risk of nervous collapse and have to do what I need to do to get away from the sources of stress. It turns out that the legal profession is a high risk one for people with issues of depression - that wasn't in the admissions packet. I'm very upset with myself at the moment for having missed a deadline by one day and having my cert petition not accepted by the supreme court, but I also recognize a partial cause of that happening was the stressful thing that happened, which on advice of counsel I'm not talking about here yet.
  There are two ways I can go - hang up the law practice for now, get myself free to go back to earning a living working in a warehouse or some such honorable task, or locate some funding and  run the next two cases through the system. Details will be posted at majors.blogspot.com;
right now I'm just writing about my emotional state, what's on my mind this morning, but mostly, Giant Rabbits.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Jul 1, 2004 10:17 PM_+++______________________________ _+88_______________________________ _+880_____________________________ _++88_____________________________ _++88_____________________________ __+880_________________________++_ __+888________________________+88_ __++880______________________+88__ __++888_____+++88__________+++8__ __++8888__+++8880++88____+++88___ __+++8888+++8880++8888__++888____ ___++888++8888+++888888++888_____ ___++88++8888++8888888++888______ ___++++++888888888888888888______ ____++++++88888888888888888______ ____++++++++000888888888888______ _____+++++++000088888888888______ ______+++++++00088888888888______ _______+++++++088888888888_______ _______+++++++088888888888_______ ________+++++++8888888888________ ________+++++++0088888888________ ________++++++0088888888_________ ________+++++0008888888__________
positive goat flow for www.spacenerd.com


Monday, July 19, 2004

preface: this must not be a very interesting blog.
was it ever? i used to try harder.
i have less time lately for blogging at all,
less access to computers,
and other blogs taking up a larger share.
topic: note to self about blood policy work.
May 3:  Susan E. Lederer, Ph.D., Associate Professor, History of Medicine, Yale Medical School and Bill Reed, Vice President of Operations, Indiana Blood Center.  "Blood and Organ Donation Policy: Comparative Historical Perspectives: England and the U.S."  [Health Related Philanthropy Study Group]  4:00-5:30 p.m.  Research Institute #2 (R2) Building, Room 101, 950 West Walnut Street, (IUPUI campus), Indianapolis, IN.  For additional information, please contact Elizabeth Garman at egarman@indiana.edu
May 5:  James G. Wolf, Director, Indiana University Public Opinion Lab.  "Discussion of National Survey Results." 

see, my first professional-quality policy-wonking paper was 'rights and the market in blood',
an unpublished 1979 graduate-level paper for the director of the center for the study of values at unidel. an academic excercise. that was before the net and self-publishing, and it wasn't likely a mad 19 year old would get published through the traditional routes, so i put it away and lost it. maybe the paper wasn't as good as i remember. but the trouble was, my policy recommendations were not adopted, and every year since then thousands of people die unnecessarily because market transactions in blood are illegal. since the 70's, there's been a new respect for markets as a way of getting things done and as a theoretically elegant solution.
except when it comes to certain things, like sex, or drugs, or organs, or in this case blood.
squeanishness about commodifiation allows economic processes to be replacd with political ones, with the usual results - people die. collective farming killed millions during the twentieth century. food for people, not for profit, leads to famine. this is generally understood.
-continue later, someone walked in stuff to do.

Friday, July 16, 2004

i'm supposed to be moving, getting chores done.
instead i'm at project gutenburg, a treasure trove of the world's knowledge.
i started with some zenophon and a lesser dialog of plato, about parmenades and his boyfriend zeno, and a discussion they had with socrates when socrates was young.
this of course led directly to tom swift and his electric locomotive by victor appleton.
another great dialog 'content structure and webbiness.' on online satire.

just because you're paranoid
doesn't mean they aren't out to get you.
Bobby Fischer-- found
Will Baude at 12:04 PM
Chess champ and nutcase Bobby Fischer is now in custody-- it is still unclear whether he will be extradited to the U.S. to face the federal charges pending against him.Fischer certainly seems to be a rather strange guy, possibly in need of serious help, but I'd just like to remind readers that the federal charges Fischer faces are for playing an illegal chess game! Sadly, the freedom of chess is not yet protected by the Constitution.
the everyday use of paranoid suggests one perceives farfetched, implausible, imaginary threats.
for example, of course everyone knows there is no vast jewish conspiracy to silence and oppress mr. fischer. i once had a conversation with a doctor from india who has a different perspective.
he says what these people have is a heightened sensitivity to threats. sometimes the threats are real. one of the things that makes a good chess player is being able to spot threats coming many moves ahead, where they wouldn't be obvious to mundanes. my game is pretty good, but only in an amateur way, i suspect baude will beat me if we ever happen to meet. (randomly, at noon, on the shore of lake michican behind the art museum, say, on the night of january 16th.)
They are, of course, anglo saxon.
Intellegence and madness often go hand in hand, and maybe that has something to do with it.
the very smart see threats others miss, and their anxiety sets them apart - as evolved monkeys sensistive to threat signals, we aren't comfortable being around monkeys who panic when there is no tiger.
The dog on the moor that didn't bark at midnight, the sumatran tiger that wasn't there because it was extinct, these are nuanced threats some of the monkeys don't grasp. 
I'm one of those monkeys that make the other monkeys uncomfortable, so I'm being driven out of the tribe. National merit scholar, post-doctorate, policy wonk, ecologist, political philosopher, i see threats others don't, and that makes me a threat, and i'm  aware of the irony. poor cassandra. poor chickens. John Nash, Bobby Fischer, Isaac Newton, me, most of my girlfirends, handicapped by superior intelligence. Not in the intel sense, just abstract useless book smarts.
I've been having a depressive episode today. Went to the shrink's office. couldn't call, no phone. Office was closed. Get back, there's a notice the phone guy was here but left cuz i wasn't home.
Remember the guy who woke up one day and had turned into a giant cockroach? I think maybe my next door neighbor woke up ome day and had turned into a million little cockroaches.
Or there may be some more scientific explanation.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

if i can find the link, the indy star mcpaper had a good article
"the ballad of wes montgomery." wes was a local jazz great.
his grandson anthony montgomery of star trek: the next spinoff fame wants to make a documentary. i've met anthony. funny, smart, young, black, went from poverty to college to hollywood to, it looks like, success. i'm trying to put him together with wil (wwdn), unlikely but worth a shot.

ok, it's been forever (10 days) since i last blogged.
(forgive me father i have sinned, it's been 43 years since my last confession...)
so my illusion of having a reader disappates; if i had had one, they would have left by now. on the other hand, i may have semi-readers who stop in now and then, or check it out at least once.

my access to a computer has been severely limited. the access i do have - when current roomate is asleep or, praise be, back to work now, has gone into other windows such as work (franticly emailing to find cocounsel or a sponsor to print the petition for cert in majors, my "is it legal to write 'vote for smith'?" case, with some interesting nibbles so far from the right people)(this risks becoming one of those jeffersonian run on and on forever with lots of commas sentences, doesn't it) and a local board, where there's the opportunity to actually run into people one talks to online, and yet another blog (making 14?) at myspace.com.

myspace, and i'm late to the party here, because i guess that's why people were excited about friendster, is a tool for spontaneously arising community.
everybody gets to put up a few photos, have a blog with a few bells and whistles (i haven't found the link button but it must be there?) input a zip code, input data on one's tastes and interests, and then there's a search function (primitive but workable) so you can find like minded, or anyway cute, people nearby, and link them as friends if they approve, and based on who their friends are you meet more people.

i, a hermit who lives deep in the urban woods and can't deal with people, have 30 new "friends" and at least in a couple cases there's been suggestion of actually doing something someday. there are bullitens that are messages you send to your friends, and there's instant messaging which i've opted out of so far, so it really has the tools to quickly painlessly build some online community.

i've been blogging over there in a diary style. if there are three kinds of blogs, thinkers, linkers, and diarists,
the open diary style makes more sense when other people might be reading it to see if they are mentioned. disraeli wrote novels of that sort, thinly disguised portraits of people in society, so the books sold, and later he took over the world, or at least became prime minister.

i do not link to it. i am not an anonymous aardvark, but what or who i had for breakfast is not the focus of this blog, which is more about my take on ideas circulating in other blogs (where by other blogs i usually mean crescat or volokh, which have a sort of a monopoly power in the market niche of liberty law and culture blogging.

between myspace and the local scene board, and the activist community it connects to, i've been getting out and doing stuff more, and have finally found ways of interacting in my community that aren't just commercial transactions.

and i'm juggling crises. moved, because i had to, and the new place is somewhat lacking in amenities and has vermin and, as i discovered at 3 am, train noises. by vermin i did not mean the two dogs; we're getting along swimmingly given that i'm not a dog person. i've just heated enough water for a bath and have to run do that before it cools, so i hit publish now, and hope to have more time for this thing - someday. my blogging time may get cut back, because i've been thinking about going back to work. luckily, my papers aren't in order, and i'm hard core unemployable, and the recession isn't exactly over, so that threat may not materialize. but the few sheckels left in what used to be the retirement fund are dwindling, and the chances of ever seeing a nickel from the law practice/expensive hobby seem ever more remote. there's about a ten percent chance the supreme court will take my case, if i can get the printed copy in, and that would make life interesting again, but still 90% chance of no luck, just the little "cert denied" in the string cite.
if i had a modicum of financial backing i could keep building the string cite (stewart v taylor, anonymous v delaware, majors v abell) but that isn't likely to materialize.
and that bath is getting cold.

it was lukewarm, but fresh clean clothes, coffee, a sensible breakfast of leftovers, and i'm cheerfully ready to start a brand new day, except for the part about the train waking me up at 3 am, so i'll probably crash from exhaustion before the day is through. short term i get to play online for a little longer, might go read volokh or even drudge.

Friday, July 02, 2004

kissing day update:

i kissed a girl list: lesbian lust films at, hmm, amazonamazon
for those who have seen volokh's age-of-consent post, i have an ethical dilemma. the best response i've gotten on the local punk/anarchist list was from a girl who wants to be kissed, but she's 16. what is, or should be, the age of consent for stuff besides sex? kisses, hugs, spanking, videotaping, boxing, soccer, is there a set of moral or legal rules that generates knowable behavioral guidelines? i assume that, to be on the safe side, i don't try to kiss the girl, but might ask her to coffee (root beer?) if she has a note from her mother
jill souble article
flash movie of jill, i think

Genny came over and told me about Brad
He's such a hairy behemoth she said
And dumb as a box of hammers
But he's such a handsome guy
And I opened up and told her about Larry
And yesterday how he asked me to marry
I'm not giving him an answer yet
I think I can do better
So we laughed, compared notes
We had a drink, we had a smoke
She took off her overcoat
I kissed a girl
I kissed a girl
So she called home to say she'd be late
He said, he worried but now he'd feel safe
I'm glad you're with your girlfriend,
Tell her "Hi" for me
So I looked at you, you had guilt in your eyes
But it only lasted a little while
And then I felt your hand upon my knee

And we laughed at the world
They can have their diamonds
And we'll have our pearls
I kissed a girl
I kissed a girl

I kissed a girl, her lips were sweet
She was just like kissing me
I kissed a girl, won't change the world
But I'm so glad
I kissed a girl
And we laughed at the world
They can have their diamonds
And we'll have our pearls
I kissed a girl (for the first time)
I kissed a girl (and I may do it again)
I kissed a girl
I kissed a girl

I kissed a girl, her lips were sweet
She was just like kissing me (but better)
I kissed a girl

I kissed a girl, won't change the world
But I'm so glad
I kissed a girl (for the first time)
I kissed a girl (won't be the last time)
I kissed a girl
I kissed a girl

Thursday, July 01, 2004

steal this meme:
Here's a free online copy for review purposes only of farenheit 9-11. Er, not quite free. You owe me a kiss,
or if not me, boifromtroy, who gave me the link, or amber,
whose promotion of kissing day july 6 started the thread that led to the link.

to donald at crescat, two things.
1] jeopardy.
2] sadaam and jurisdiction.

1] the guy who wrote the book that got me into law school,
Dr x 40 John Bear, lost on Jeopardy. Wierd Al has a song about that.
Dr x 40 is not like jennifer 8 lee; the guy has 40 doctorates, most of them from diploma mills he picked researching "Bear's guide to alternative degree programs."
He also wrote "effective complaining", i should put that on my wishlist. Bear's advice was, yes, you can get a legitimate degree through the mail. I picked one that was close and cheap, Western Illinois U. It took me a year, a grand, and I graduated with a 4.0. I already had the credits, having flunked out of college 4 times. Therest of his advice was, don't go to lawschool through the mail; you won't pass the bar. So I went to mizzou, although I had to apply twice and effectively complain the second time.

I lost on jeopardy, baby, ooo-oo-oo-ooo.

2] One of the things they teach in Patriot School 101 is to challenge the jurisdiction of the court. That's also the first half of civil procedure, and was the first question on the Indiana bar exam. In CivPro I mostly thought it was a meaningless formality, but it turns out in the real world
many cases do hinge on jurisdiction, about 1/2. So don't ask just,'was i going over the posted limit', ask, what court am i in, why am i -here- rather than -there-.
We are highly trained professional though; trying this at home can really piss off the judge - thus setting up your appeal.

Based on what I read at CNN, [i don't have a tv] Saddam did very well pro se.
He's in his element here, the guy might be crazy, but he's not stupid. My favorite thurber cartoon, the guy is in the courtroom, and the prosecutor is asking, 'does -this- refresh your memory?', pointing to a Kangaroo.

Remember the gore/unabomber game? Each turn of play, you are given a quote, and have to guess does it come from Gore's book, or the Unabomber manifesto.
Just for fun, try this. Replace Saddam with Bush in the CNN article. Make a few other changes as needed for context, like have the trial in Canada or before the UN.
What exactly makes Bush's invasion of Kuwait ok, and saddam's not? What is the burden of proof, is it reasonable doubt? Does he have a right to a jury trial? If so, who are his peers? If not, can capital punishment be an option?
There are some pretty good arguments that kuwait is part of persia, and was stolen by the british. There's a very bad movie with Ralph ['rafe'] Fiennes as Lawrence.
By 'very good' i mean, creating reasonable doubt, not meeting a preponderence of the evidence. The bad movie also has somebody who has to be Dr. Bashir as Prince Feisal.
Anyway, Saddam could win, if he is overcharged, and embarras thewar effort, or could lose, and become a glorious martyr. I saw a banner today that said 'help al-kieda grow - vote bush/cheney '04.'
After Bush v. Gore, we saw some of the worst possible outcomes of a bush presidency - senseless wars at home and abroad, comstockery, economic collapse. What we didn't get to see is the just as bad, but different, things Gore would have done.
Right now the polls show Bush losing to anyone, even Kerry.
It's time to ask, what is the worst case scenario under Kerry? What is it about kerry that will leave us longing for the good old days of Clinton and Bush?

3] those people are very very smart. in eugene's case, it's a managed perception - he makes a point of only posting on topics he knows a lot about. solem uses academic speak, and is so over my head i don't try. the clerk is very very smart, especially when he's wrong. i'm smart like rainman, an idiot-savant. crescat is smart, in a the smart set kind of way, because it is organized in a way that lets everyone's best shine through, instead of a committee-like lowest common denominator kind of way. as to baude, sometimes i think, i like this guy, meaning, he agrees with me but puts it better. sometimes, though, i think he's way smarter than me, and i'm humbled.
at www.wilwheaton.com, there's a word that the filters translate as "people smarter than me."

juneteenth: this article at counterpunch coonects the magna charta with the soweto uprising, both june 16th. ok, it's july, i missed it till now. tomorrow july 2nd signing of declaration of independence.

it's two to three hours after my last post. i had the painful molar pulled, everything came out all right.
the student dentist was cute,but i have a rule about not hitting on people at their jobs. he had bedside manner.

i decided coming home to rest and play online was my safest course of action. i did stop at a used bookstore to see if the books i'd picked out were still there. most of them weren't but i came home with some kennedy and adali stevenson material, like a copy of the warren report. i'm reluctantly becoming on of those kennedy-assassination nuts. not the killing itself, but i'm working on a bio of lbj, since i don't have the patience to wait for volume 4 of caro's life of johnson. volume 3, monster of the senate, rocked.

this odd personal anecdote leads up to the topic of this entry, the films of mel gibson as moral philosophy.

my ex-wife [hereinafter X] first turned me on to mel, and director peter weir. i grew up in a house where we didn't go to movies.
a few disney things. in college karen and i would go to the free foreign films on sundays sometimes for a cheap date, stuff like the tin drum or the seduction of mimi.
But it was X who introduced me to the idea that, frugal or not, with most of our dishwasher-and-maid's pay going to rent, we could still see a movie now and then.

picnic at hanging rock [i'm not sure he was even in that one], galipoli, mad max, and especially the year of living dangerously. i didn't see "tim" till years later, but she'd seen it and understood how it fit in mad max-beyond thunderdome.

after that gibson went kind of mainstream, and i lost interest, and i did not rush out to see lethal weapon one through five, or bird on a wire. "nobody goes there anymore, it's too crowded."

but gibson continued to make films that weren't just entertaining and box office, they were something more,
like clint eastwood has done.

conspiracy theory, braveheart, payback, the patriot,
each was solid box office and serious art. i forget when the stories about his father became loud enough i noticed. probabably in reference to passion of the christ, his most controversial so far. but in thinking about these movies as a group, it's easier to see a pattern emerging.

the pattern plays into well-established cowboy movie cliches, so it takes a bit of focus to see what gibson does with it. clint eastwood, for example, was not the first actor/director to make movies about a lone hero standing up for virtue in the face of a dangerous gang. on the waterfront wasn't the first either. a variation is the buddy movie, a lone ranger and his ethnic sidekick, standing up for virtue. [feel free to insert links to pics of bush and condi, i was thinking jay silverheels.]
as a great man once said, you are serious about music if you can listen to the william tell overture without thinking of the lone ranger. william tell, by the way, is a great movie and great story. it's about a lone hero, and sidekick son, standing up for virtue in the face of a dangerous gang.
conspiracy theory. julia roberts the damsel in distress, patrick stewart the evil villain who gets his nose bitten. it reminded me of enemy of the state.
payback. mel's character, from a series of action adventure books i haven't read, just wants his $75,000 back.
He has the strength of 10 because his heart is pure. It's your basic jackie chan plot.
braveheart is a midievil [sp?] "dude, where's my county?"
telling the story of my kinsman robert the bruce, whose daughter married hugh fitzallen and started the stewart monarchy. it reminded me of rob roy, starring another actor who works with this theme. the good mother, michael collins, darkman, star wars, liam neeson.
braveheart is also blatantly ripped off in "the new kid" starring the adorable dj qualls.
you know the drill by now. a lone hero stands up for virtue against a corrupt king and his brutal henchpersons.
joseph campbell's hero's quest, frasier's golden bough, jung's archetypes.
passion of the christ - well, you know the drill by now.
let's say it together.
a lone hero
stands up for virtue
against an evil empire.
with that out of the way, i want to talk about the patriot, a movie i haven't seen.
it reminded me of the postman, kevin costner and tom petty. i'm the only one who liked the postman.
it's about a lone hero,
standing up for the evil empire,
in a post-apocolypse north america,
against a corrupt warlord and his henchbuddies.
[i'm currently in a bit of a rumble with the post office.
they've arbitrarily turned off my mail, without telling me, when i've written them before asking them not to do this again. i digress.]
i come now to the patriot.
when i was a kid, i read some books by leonard wibberly that had a big effect on me. john tregates musket, peter tregate'swar, and a sequel. tells the story of bunker hill, the battle of trenton, the shift of the war to the south, the battles of kings mountain, the bullpens, leading up to yorktown.
i was a weird kid, at 10 i insisted on taking this book with me to summer camp. camp was cool, especially the trip in the war canoes on the chesapeake, where we went skinnydipping and sang county joe's fixing to die rag around a campfire. on rainy days we watched westerns in the nature lodge and i learned how to safely handle a rifle.
the counselor, a neighbor of mine, became a friend and is someone i've always looked up to, one of a handful of positive male role models.
but i was a weird kid, didn't quite fit in, and there were times i wanted to be left alone at my bunk to read my book.
back home, i was called to dinner, but was sent from the table for being barefoot. while putting on socks and shoes in the living room, i picked up the book and forgot all about dinner. i got beaten for that.
in high school, which i completed in 3 years, with time off for good behavior, i was a b student, showing up but not showing off.
but the exam question in american history was "describe the events leading up to the battle of yorktown." I got an A, and i think confused the teacher, since i seemed to know more about it than he did.
The Patriot is that story.
I live in marion county. 99% of the people here have no idea why it's called marion county, or who the heck francis marion was, or why it matters.
They don't know we have a state bill of rights, or the story of how we fought for those rights, or why a few, very few, are still fighting today.
One of those guys is Andy Horning, republican candidate for congress in the district that mostly makes up marion county.
A few years back, he invited me to a screening of the patriot at hollywood bar and filmworks. It was a fundraiser, and i'm broke, so i didn't go, and i still haven't seen the movie. But it turns out gibson's character is loosely based on francis marion.
It's a film.. about a lone hero.. who stands up for virtue... against an evil empire.
Andy's kind of like that too.
On my election law blog, at http://ballots.blogspot.com,
I have a subheader that reads "Andy Horning for Congress"
Since there's no disclaimer, pursuant to McCain-Feingold,
this is considered illegal by the FEC's regulations.
But you know the drill.
I'm just a guy,
standing up for what i believe in,
against the assembled forces of the united states of america.
I have them outnumbered.
Vote for Andy this November.
If they ask, tell them the swamp fox sent you.

crescat groupiness:
is there a better blog out there than crescat sententia?
granted, it caters to certain of my biases.
law related, interactive, metrosexual, which i am not, not that there's anything wrong with that, libertarian flavored without being dogmatic.
it combines aspects of volokh [heavy on law, with a little poetry] and wwdn [heavy on introspection, geek pride, with a little public policy] and links to the essential blogs
[although essential ends to mean the ones linked at crescat - i make no claim to have explored thewhole blogoverse.]
it's not as link-heavy as boing-boing, but doesn't need to be. someone, eric s raymond or maybe l neil smith, said there are three kinds of blogs, linkers, thinkers, and diarists. crescat combines the three nicely, nicely.
if only it had comments. i should learn how that track-back thing works. as someone who has been around computers since 1974, i don't know much about how they work.

this was going to be just a lead-in to praise of kissing poetry and a critique of judicial infringement of the jury nullification rights of cross-wearers, but i have to run to the dentist. apparently my physical and mental health could improve if i get some of these bad teeth pulled, and we reached an acceptable compromise on the your-money-or-your-life problem. i'm thinking, i'm linking, i'm diary-ing. more later.

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