Friday, March 26, 2004

2d amendment, 10th circuit, don't mix.
u.s. v. dale parker, my link doesn't work.
See Gillespie v. City of Indianapolis, 185 F.3d 693 (7th
Cir. 1999).
10th cir. rejects emerson.
now, the panel is right to hold that en banc review is required, but wrong to fail to urge such review.
i'll bet volokh already has this covered, off to go check.
ooh ooh! there's an interesting concurrence by kelly.
United States v. Baer, 235 F.3d 561,
564 (10th Cir. 2000), - the right to baer arms.
when i read "double barrell twelve gauge shotgun with a barrell length of less than 18 inches" instead of "gun", my ears perk up. is he going where i think he's going?
see also
United States v. Crawley, 837 F.2d 291, 292 (7th Cir. 1988).
yes...he mentions thomas decides on narrower grounds.
update: volokh posted on this and related cases, about a week after i emailed him. (I don't think my email affected his post.)
Maybe i'll go read vicesquad.

I'm studying posner this morning.
OK, posner writing about Spawn.

Thursday, March 25, 2004

what i'm reading:
conversations with kennedy, ben bradlee. $2 in 1975, $2 today.
tank of gas: $32. 1.61/gallon. I said "fill it up." Went to bloomington almost too late to hear Randy Barnett. Caught the last few minutes of comments, mostly people gushing about how cool Will Baude is.
I talked to paul hager, who has the gop nomination in house district
#60. he says the district has a gop edge. If that info can be confirmed,
might be a targetable race.
I ate green curry tofu at the dalai lama's sister-in-law's restaurant,
bought books, hung out, etc. stuff i didn't know: ted kennedy kicked out of harvard for cheating. joe had stroke around inauguration.
granpa fitz mayor of boston.
this is the Robert Caro style of history:
in order to tell us about lbj, he studies the opponents, and that starts with a 50 page bio of their grandfathers.

Friday, March 19, 2004

redux, duck duck recuse.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

majors is in.
see ballots.blogspot.com,

Monday, March 15, 2004


Sunday, March 14, 2004

more wind stuff
world installed wind generating capacity increased 25% last year.
8,100 megawatts added to 31 194 = 39,294.
That would mean a 4 year doubling time. If that = a shift from 1% to 2% of the annual energy supply, in 100 years = 4x 25 wind would be 25% of anual energy supply by 2100 if other factors remain equal.
other factors including demand.
wind: onshore
wind: offshore
photovoltaic: earthbased
However, if the installed generating capacity increases 25% each year, the doubling time would be less than 4 years. Say 3 1/2? But use 4. (1.25) to the 4th=? just over 3 years.
2000 - pre-start
2004 - start - 40,000 Megawatts x 1.
2008 x 2
2012 x 4
2016 x 8
2020 x16
2024 x32
2028 x64
2032 x128
2036 x256 - in 32 years, wind produces twice todays energy needs, if 25% anual increase continues.
So, if the reality is that the future of wind production will be not less than today's annual growth, but not more than today's annual rate of growth,
wind can provide 25 to 250% of current budgets in 30 to 100 years.
2004 - 40mw
2007 x2
2010 x4
2013 x8
2016 x16
2019 x32
2022 x64
2025 x128.
Now what about solar? Sharp has emerged as the clear market leader in solar power equipment with a sixfold increase in production since 1999, and it opened its first American assembly plant, in Memphis, last year. Worldwide, annual revenue from solar power equipment and installation, which reached $4.7 billion last year, will climb to $30.8 billion in 2013, according to a recent forecast from Clean Edge, a market research firm in San Francisco.
Wx6 every 10 years,
2013 30B
2023 180B
2033 1080B
Of course exponential increases don't continue indefinately. Limiting factors are encountered.

Globally the total amount of installed wind power has grown 500% since 1997, from 7,636 MW to 39,294 MW in 2003.

Growth of the wind sector is widely forecast to continue in the double digits into the next decade, even as the industry matures. A survey published by DEWI the German wind energy institute last week reported that the global market could reach 150,000 MW by 2012, worth an additional ý130 billion (159 billion).

Windy city
The global wind energy industry will meet for the first time on U.S. soil for the Global WINDPOWER 2004 Conference and Exhibition -- The future of wind energy, achieving the vision: An international perspective on the vision, goals, and challenges facing the wind industry (Chicago, Illinois, March 28-31).
More than 3,000 delegates will visit Chicago for the Global WINDPOWER2004 conference. AWEA, EWEA, and over 40 other wind energy associations worldwide are organizing the event, which will bring together the world's leading wind energy executives and policymakers to discuss the future of this clean, renewable 21st century energy source.
Perhaps they meet at noon on the art institute steps.
I would have chosen the shore behind the art institute.
GE bought a newark, de based solar power company for $15 million.

WASHINGTON (March 10) -- The global wind power industry installed 8,133 megawatts of capacity last year, The 8,133 megawatts of new capacity cost about $9 billion.
Mass Megawatts Wind Power, Inc. develops, builds, and operates state of the art wind energy power plants capitalizing on a new wind turbine design, the Multi-Axis Turbosystem (MAT). The MAT uses less material, costs less, and has smaller blades than traditional wind turbines producing clean, cost- effective wind generated power at 40 percent less than the competition. The MAT technology allows production of electricity at less than 2.5 cents per kWh in high wind areas of at least 16 miles per hour average annual wind speed recorded 100 feet above the ground.
For more information, the web site is www.massmegawatts.com or contacts the company at (508) 751-5432.
Vermont Governor Addresses Wind Power
From the 2/20/2004 Edition
Vermont Governor Jim Douglas announced that the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources has scheduled eight public meetings across the state to solicit public comment on whether state lands should be used to support wind energy development.
national solar energy conference july oregon

Ampersand has numbers.
I have heavily edited ampersand's post to remove words and keep numbers. Can anyone provide confirming data or other stats?

17 [U.S. workers] die - 16 of them male." In the comments to my post, Arbitrary Aardvark wrote:
In 2000, 440 men + 1247 women way, 30%. If 30% of the 1247 in 2001 were 374 housewives murdered.
2000 there were 5,471 male and 449 female workplace deaths. If we included 374 murdered housewives
5,471 male + 823 female workplace deaths in 2000.
Of course, that "374" 30% number is wrong. And girlfriends?
data even exists. In 2000, 6,495 fatal accidents female drivers + 15,323 involving male drivers). 1,949 housewives died while driving a car in 2000. 1,949 Still, what the heck. Let's add those 1,949 women to the workplace death total ( were 5,471 male and 2,772 female workplace deaths in 2000. Read the whole thing.

attn: starship troopers II propmaster: exoskeletons.

they have replicated and extended previous experimental results that indicated the occurrence of nuclear fusion using a novel approach for plasma confinement.
This approach, called
bubble fusion, and the new experimental results are being published in an extensively peer-reviewed article titled “Additional Evidence of Nuclear Emissions During Acoustic Cavitation,” Physical Review.

i may get a hit now.

How many housewives die on the job?
posted by ampersand
In an earlier post, criticizing a men's rights column by Glenn Sacks and Diana Thompson, I quoted the column's statement that "On average, every day 17 [U.S. workers] die - 16 of them male." In the comments to my post, Arbitrary Aardvark wrote:

I wanted to point out that i'm skeptical of the "16 of 17 work-related deaths are male." Was there a source for the stat? I'm guessing that doesn't include housewives killed by their husbands, and may be off in other aspects.

Saturday, March 13, 2004

Does anyone have figures showing prices per year in photovoltaic and wind power?

(partial answers: state chart on tax aspects)
The UK has an offshore wind potential equal to three times its electricity demand.

For example, the price of energy from Vindeby is 0.59DKK/kWh or about 5.14p/kWh.
This compares with 0.37DKK/kWh or about 3.22p/kWh from a Danish onshore windfarm.

To compare these costs, a new coal fired plant built now, assuming a 10% cost of capital, would cost between 4.6 - 5.1 p/kWh. New nuclear PWRs are 4.2 - 6.6p/kWh. New CCGT are 2.4 - 2.8 p/kWh. These figures do not include external costs associated with conventional generation, which have been estimated to add a further 0.42, 0.175 and 0.056 p/kWh to coal, nuclear and gas respectively.

Energy Balance of Offshore Wind Turbines
The Danish Wind Turbine Manufacturers Association have calculated that an offshore wind turbine can recover all the energy used in its manufacture, transport, installation, operation, maintenance over its lifetime and then decommissioning and recovery of materials about 3 months. They also calculate that during its lifetime the turbine will generate over 100 times the energy spent on it in these operations.

As late as 1850, 90% of the power used in Dutch industry came from the wind. In the United States 77 firms were manufacturing farm windmills in one form or another in the late 19th century. Catalogues of the day bristled with choices.
Today more than 1 million American farm windmills are still in use worldwide.
Though small wind turbines, such as the 10,000 micro turbines China churns out each year, produce little electricity in absolute terms, these machines furnish important services. One kilowatt-hour of electricity provides 10 times more services in India than it does in the state of Indiana. Two 10-kilowatt wind turbines, which would supply only two homes with electric heat in the United States, can pump safe drinking water for 4000 people in Morocco.
The installed price for new medium-sized wind turbines has plunged from US$4,000 per kilowatt in 1980 to US$1,250 today. The resulting cost of energy has slid from more than US$0.40 per kilowatt-hour in the early 1980s to as low as US$0.06 per kilowatt-hour today under ideal conditions--a price well within striking distance of conventional fuels.
throwing money at it:
gas cheaper
General Electric, Warren Buffett, Farmers Invest in Wind Power
Feb. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Corn and soybean farmer Roger Kas steps off his red Massey Ferguson combine and gazes over his 1,800 acres, focusing on his newest crop: windmills.

With corn prices 44 percent less than the 1996 peak, Kas would have to take out bigger loans to buy seeds without the $30,000 he earns from the two white metal poles topped with spinning blades that hum 20 stories overhead.

``We're looking at wind like just another cash crop,'' said Kas, a third-generation farmer in Pipestone, Minnesota. He sells as much as 1.5 megawatts of electricity -- enough to power about 1,200 homes -- from the two 750-kilowatt, NEG Micon A/S wind- power generators to local utility Xcel Energy Inc.

Farmers trying to make up for lower crop prices are joining such investors in wind power as Warren Buffett and General Electric Co., the biggest company by market value. Stocks of the three biggest publicly traded wind-turbine makers, NEG Micon and Vestas Wind Systems A/S of Denmark and Spain's Gamesa Corporacion Tecnologica SA, more than doubled on average in the past year as governments tightened emission rules.
Worldwide wind-turbine sales exceeded $7 billion in 2003 and may double in the next three years as U.S. government subsidies draw farmers and power companies, the American Wind Energy Association trade group said. The latest equipment generates about 10 times more energy than in the early 1990s, making wind the cheapest renewable power source.
Federal and state tax incentives trim the cost of wind power to about 3 cents per kilowatt-hour, while natural gas-fired generation has tripled to 5 cents per kilowatt-hour in the past 5 years. North American gas demand is set to surpass supplies as soon as 2006.
Sales Rise
``Wind has become less of a scientific project and more of an energy source,'' said Steve Zwolinski, president of GE Wind Energy. The unit of General Electric makes 1,000 turbines a year after buying Enron Corp.'s wind-generation business in 2002 for $328 million. ``We see a very strong market for the next decade'' as oil costs rise, he said.
Only about 14 percent of the contiguous U.S. has wind capable of making the turbines profitable, excluding unsuitable sites such as cities and national parks, the U.S. Energy Department said. Wind generates 0.7 percent of U.S. power. To provide 20 percent of the nation's electricity would require wind turbines covering about 0.6 percent of those 48 states. As a result, wind-power companies are turning to farmers for land.

You will not silence my message.
update: unless you are a kerry staffer.


Friday, March 12, 2004

As for Friedman fils, aka the Bad Seed... no, too long a story. And it involves Usenet, which automatically turns anything into a baroque and incoherent revenge fantasy anyway.
Posted by: Carlos | March 6, 2004 11:59 PM

And here's another view of Friedman.
Um, have you actually ever read any of David Friedman's longer works? In particular, have you read _The Machinery of Freedom_ or, even better, _Law's Order_?
The historical examples of private, profit-making enforcement mechanisms he's discussing are, in fact, real historical examples, and in those works where he has the space to do so (unlike the Reason Forum) he discusses them in some detail. He also discusses, at length, the reasons why such agencies might or might not come to resemble mafias, marauding rebel militias, etc., and the mechanisms by which they might be kept from doing so.
In short: Friedman's philosophical approach is the *antithesis* of wishful thinking. He claims it is plausible that we might eventually be able to have private rights enforcement because he's actually sat down and thought at length about how to do it, how to handle the hard problems involved, and what historical examples can teach us about same.
Many of _Reason's_ readers are likely familiar with his work, and so understand that he's making reference to that serious thought.
- Some guy

Those libertarians. They so silly.

Posted by: Russell Arben Fox | March 6, 2004 08:59 PM

Happy blogday Mr. Fox.

Grammar police doesn't seem to be about grammar,or police. But this was funny:
Rabid, Frothy, Tongue-Perched-on-Verge-of-Cheek Anti-Protestant Propaganda
The wonderful thing about Mel Gibson's movie is that is has no purpose. At the end of the day, The Passion amounts to little more than Braveheart II: But With Jesus and that's exactly how it'll go down in America....

Thursday, March 11, 2004

A-man-da Butler doesn't like "they."
In law school writing class, using gendered pronouns where the gender is unknown is not just a style error, it's a content error. So I was taught. Some say that's just PCness, but I agree with the rule. Similarly, "he or she" is patronizing and stilted; "she or he" while stilted, is acceptable. "They" usually works. Verb agreement can be tricky.
Hint for lawyers: avoid archiaic constructions, e.g. "aforesaid plaintiff" unless there is an utterly compelling necessity.
If a crescat is going to refer to a person of unknown gender, they should be careful to avoid content errors. "They"is formal and proper as Baude has shown; contractions are informal.
A person who doesn't like 'they" could always substitute "she or he", or do so 51% of the time, but they should usually go with the terser more natural sounding option.
I referred to my plaintiff "Anonymous" as "she." In the Indiana case, Anonymous was female, from Texas; in the Delaware case, Anonymous was male, from Vermont. Since his gender was undisclosed, I used "she" or "she or he" or, maybe, sometimes, "they."

california gay marriage on hold for now. court wants briefing on california constitution.
Volokh and Howard have the order.
covered by article 3, section 3.5 of the California Constitution:
An administrative agency, including an administrative agency created by the Constitution or an initiative statute, has no power:

(a) To declare a statute unenforceable, or refuse to enforce a statute, on the basis of it being unconstitutional unless an appellate court has made a determination that such statute is unconstitutional;

(b) To declare a statute unconstitutional;

(c) To declare a statute unenforceable, or to refuse to enforce a statute on the basis that federal law or federal regulations prohibit the enforcement of such statute unless an appellate court has made a determination that the enforcement of such statute is prohibited by federal law or federal regulations.

I agree with b) but I think c) is unconstitutional where it conflicts with the supremacy clause. State officials take an oath to support the constitution and laws of the united states - not to wait for a court to do so. c) calls for state officials to either commit a felony (where the unconstitutional law infringes on rights under 18 usc 241) or to resign. This violates public policy.
Now, in the SF gay marriage situation, the mayor is relying on the state rather than federal constitution, but still has standing to raise the unconstitutionality of c) on overbreadth grounds... maybe. It's also hard to find a bright line between genuine reservations about constitutionality, and flimsy pretense.
For example, if a california statute banned interracial marriages, and the clerk denied a marriage license on that basis, the clerk could be sued, charged, and perhaps removed from office on malfeasance - i'm unclear on how that's handled.
My view on this topic - that state officials who swear to uphold the constitution are obligated to do so - is a minority one. Most officials given a choice of an unconstitutional policy under a statute, or upholding the constitution, will go with the policy. At which point I sue them in their personal capacity, and they get upset.

update: here's what i blogged i mean commented at alas a blog:
Posted by arbitraryaardvark
As a lawyer I find the california constitutional question an interesting one.
Here's a quote from JFK during the 1960 WVa primary.
".. so when any man stands on the steps of the capitol and takes the oath of office as president, he is swearing to uphold the separation of church and state....and if he breaks his oath, he is not only committing a crime against the constitution, for which Congress can impeach him -and should impeach him -but he is committing a sin against god."
the making of the president 1960, p. 108.
I think this says something about the SFCA situation, although it could also be applied to clinton or ashcroft.
A county might or might not be an administrative agency; it would take a california expert to sort that one out. The california constitution is right when it says agencies don't decide constitutional questions. But it is dead on wrong, imo, when it says agencies should not refrain from unconstitutional behavior. That, to me, violates the supremacy clause, and therefor that part of the california constitution is void.
The mayor has standing to raise that issue, even though his equal protection argument is, i'm pretty sure, based on the state constitution, not the federal one. So it's my position that the mayor is not prohibited from finding the state statute banning gay mariage to be unconstitutional, and choosing to disregard it.
This is an argument, not a prediction of how the court will rule. It is what I would say in an amicus brief if I did one, but I'm unlikely to - just lazy and shiftless I guess. And easily distracted by shiny objects.

Occam's toothbrush - not the blog, the marketing plan.

I'm not ready to take a position on Scalia and Cheney. I don't have all the facts - who were they hunting?

Orson Scott Card at www.ornery.com has a rant against gay marriage, in which he predicts that gay marriage will lead to anarchy. Works for me. Don't read the whole thing. Waste of space. Unless maybe you want to find out more about how the silent majority of non-elites feels about this stuff.
Do read his books. The one guy I might actually marry, if he can put up with my slovinliness, is also a fan of Card's books. hat tip occam's toothbrush.

The barbarians think that if they grab hold of the trunk of the tree, they've caught the birds in the branches. But the birds can fly to another tree.

And I don't mean that civilized Americans will move. I mean that they'll simply stop regarding the authority of the government as having any legitimacy.

here's what i wrote in the toothbrush comments section:
And I don't mean that civilized Americans will move. I mean that they'll simply stop regarding the authority of the government as having any legitimacy.

I was expecting a rant about judicial activism, and instead got a rant on how gay marriage will destroy civilization. I liked the above quote; it's one more reason to support gay marriage.
Card, who had reputation capital from his books, spends alot of it here. False factual premises, fallacies in argument, and a lot of reliance on values I don't share. I hope that those who agree with his conclusion will not overlook the mis-steps he takes in getting there. I'll leave the fisking to others.

Not yet sure how i feel about occam's toothbrush. seems like a warblog, but cleverly so. and look at that blogroll,
it's an information explosion in a box. Note to self: less time blogging and reading blogs. more time doing laundry, thinking about looking for work, looking for spouse, that sort of thing.

Opening the body market
Beth Plocharczyk at 01:54 PM
Eugene Volokh comments on this AP article about bodies donated to science being used in land mine research by the military.

Professor Volokh doesn't see much of an ethical dilemma in bodies ....

Beth is right, there's a need for perestroika and glasnost when it comes to heath care and the death industry. But it is for us, the living that these reforms are most needed. 4,532 people died last year in the usa because of organ shortages caused by overregulation. Of course it isn't essential for we the living to change usa policy; Andora or San Marino would do as well. World travel is cheaper than usa healthcare, when life is at stake. The advantages of transnational anarchy.

Attn david B re this post.
(this is a test of the "see posts that link to this one" feature)
You don't need a broker's license to negotiate away the 3% commission.
If I learned one thing in law school it is that everything is negotiable.
I don't know VA licensing law (i've been licensed in colorado and missouri)
to know whether you have to take a class before you take the exam.
On the other hand; it's stuff worth knowing. I figure my real estate class from the university of colorado is why i got a 98 on first semester property at mizzou.

About Technorati
Technorati is a conversation engine. It tells you what's being said, right now, about every blog or site that has something to say -- and says it so well that others point to them. Search for the "cosmos" of any page, and Technorati lists every other page that has linked to it in the past 24 hours, ranked by freshness or authority. It shows the contextual text surrounding the inbound link, its age, and other helpful facts. There isn't another search engine like it.

We are also aware that Technorati is part of the conversation itself, and we're still defining exactly what this conversation engine does, and how to speak about it. Help us to figure it out - add your thoughts and input. We're always eager to get your feedback.
still not sure how that works.

Wheee! the living.
have i mentioned lately how much i love will baude?
he just let me know about a new heinlein.
it's one of those 1930's style stories where the professor's lovely daughter explains to the young man from the past all the newfangled gadgets.
i like didactic novels, like the fountainhead. i like utopian novels, especially libertarian/libertine ones. i like heinlein at his worst, say, 6th column.
I'm gonna love this. heinlein is one of the only authors i buy, and i'm not gonna rush right out and get this one, but knowing that it's out there, i'll find it.

Will Baude at 12:28 AM
A woman overheard complaining about her boyfriend:
He's just . . . insufficiently Libertarian.
I wish I heard that more often.

OK, Will, you are insufficently Libertarian.
Very disappointing test score, i mean, micha and i got 160/160.
Study hard and take it again.
And yes Will, there are Heinlein scholars. www.heinleinsociety.org
Does anyone know the backstory on the publication of the book at this time?
I'm thinking maybe ginny didn't allow it to be published while she lived, but the literary executors in new york went ahead. that's just a guess.
Robert James, Ph.D., Heinlein Society member and Heinlein scholar, had been researching Heinlein and his life, focusing on Heinlein's second wife Leslyn, when he came across a vague mention of an early novel, a copy of which one-time Heinlein biographer Leon Stover was supposed to have. Robert James went searching, and after serious hunting, finally located a forgotten copy in a box in a garage that had changed hands at least once since Heinlein himself had given it to a friend to be read. This copy had annotations written in the margin by Heinlein himself, with some in a second hand that was probably then-wife Leslyn's.
and a movie.

have i mentioned lately how much i love wil wheaton?
He writes today burbling cheerfully about how blogging is good for his self-esteem.
He's my blogfather, if that's the right term; I wouldn't be blogging if it weren't for wil.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Big new spam case filed, by the big ISPs, against someof the big spammers, under the new Can Spam Act. Too new for me to assess outcomes.
America Online, EarthLink, Microsoft, and Yahoo!, four of the largest US e-mail and Internet providers, announced Wednesday at a Washington press conference (recorded video to be available shortly here) that they had filed the first major industry lawsuits under new federal anti-spam legislation (the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing - CAN-SPAM - Act of 2003 [PDF], which came into force January 1) against hundreds of defendants, including some of the nation's biggest spammers. The suits will proceed in federal courts in California, Georgia, Virginia, and Washington State. Read a joint press release here, detailing the lawsuits. CNET has more. findlaw has the complaints. (to access links, click 'update.')
Early thoughts: If msn is involved, must be evil. Slightly torn - hate spam, love free speech.
Later thoughts after reading the complaint (in .pdfformat,which i hate)
- some of the counts look solid.
- some are iffy: trespass to chattels, conversion, unauthorized access, etc.
- some are bogus, and violate the speech and commerce rights of d's, so they can countersue, for 41 billion or whatever current net worth of msn.
Looks like Gate's dad's firm is counsel.

John Young quote.
one of the lists i'm on is cyberia-l. It's mostly, but not all, lawyers. My brother the genius programmer got me on it awhile back. (10 years ago? eek.) one of the guys who posts there is john young, an architect and activist. His cryptome.org site copies leaked government reports and suchlike. He has a distinctive prose style I've enjoyed, and thought I'd share with my imaginary readers here.
Date: Sat Mar 6, 2004 11:50am
Subject: Re: REP Senate staff hack DEM Senate computers -- redux

Coming late to this discussion, but it should be clear now,
after untold number of communications security breaches,
since Eve lured Adam (or so Adam exculpated), that
security rests with the party offering information (witting
or unwitting leaker), not with the service provider, system
administrator, law enforcement, or wishful thinkers, much
less glass-house rock-throwing moralizers.

The Senate Dems are as likely to be blaming the Reps
for ethical breach to hide their own malfeasance as do
cops and spooks and adulterers, much less kids and
parents, and priests and rabbis, you and you and you,

Technology producers and (national) security experts
are forever blaming users for lack of security even as
they peddle weak systems, made so to save on operating
costs (canard: sysadmins must have full access to data
for sysadminning), or to boost their careers, or to
accommodate law enforcement and natsec contract

If you wish there was someway to get truly secure
communications, then shut the fuck up, and stop
preening tumescences, ah, bragging of your intellectual
acuity, ah, eggo on your faceo.

Bang your noggin with a 2x4: unauthorized snooping is
as old as God, supreme panopticon. Pity those of
us who hope we're being surveilled benevolently, else
why else try so hard to be checked out while pretending
to be innocently unaware. As if anybody in the Capitol
is innocent of the vainglory of pretending to be unable
to run a sting, bait a honey trap, finger point, amicus

Constitutional amendment imposing flag worship in senate committee.
How often are there two rights-restricting amendments circulating at once?
hat tip jurist.law.pitt.edu

"The UN has black helicopters that swoop down and take your lawn furniture," Madeleine Albright said, in response to a question about why some Americans distrust the UN. - Heidi Bond.

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Breyer on Brandeis.
Discusses new ice house dissent. attn: david bernstein.
Favors judicial deference, what we could call judicial inactivism or judicial passivity.

I may be incurably lexiphanic -- but lexiphanicism for its own sake is not my style.
Bashman plays 20 questions with a judge.

update: two of the responses seem worth discussing further:
judicial salaries:
[howard] 19. Is the salary now paid to federal appellate judges too low? What should federal appellate judges be paid or, perhaps less controversially, how would one determine what the proper salary should be?

[judge] Surely, you jest. There is no question that federal judges are grossly underpaid. The proper salary should be to some extent commensurate with the market, but I don't think that private practice provides a relevant comparator. As a public servant, it would be unrealistic to expect to earn as much as a private-practice attorney. Academia, however, has many more similarities to judicial work. Accordingly, I favor the proposal made by many, most notably Justice Breyer, to raise salaries to a level roughly commensurate with, or even slightly below, those of deans or senior law professors at major law schools.

Short discourse on public choice theory.
When dealing with statements by public officials, and five year olds, we should look not only to the truth value of the statement, but also at the social function of the statement. Not just, is it true, but, who is this useful to, and why.

I have been reading numerous articles by lawyers and judges about why judicial pay is too low. Not much about lawyers' pay being too low. Lawyers set their fees based on economic considerations - what the market will bear. Judges salaries on the other hand, are set by a political rather than economic process.
There is a constituency for lobbying for higher judicial salaries. There is no constituency for lowering judge's salaries.
I could write a screed (rant) about why judicial salaries are way too high already.
Such a rant might have more truth value than the above cited argument, but so what?
What's in it for me, except for the fun ofspeaking truth to power?
If you can't beat 'em, join em. Why judicial salaries should be increased:
Rich old white men are better educated and thus better guardians of our folkways.
Lower salaries might dilute the process, letting in women, minorities, and graduates of non ivy league schools. If saving money were the goal, we could just outsource the work to India, so that we could get decisions in weeks instead of years.
Currently, it takes the taxes of 100 taxpayers (average taxpayer in my census district) to support the salary of one federal judge (not counting her expenses, just salary.)
If this were raised to 200 taxpayers, those taxpayers would have even fewer resources to change the system with.
One overpaid judge can do the work of three judges hired at market rates. Right?
I mean, look at Posner, or Brennan.
Here's an alternative: Open source judging: The parties put their briefs, etc., online.
Anyone can comment. A clerk goes thru the comments, sorting out the 10% quality responses from the spam or rants. Sometimes, consensus emerges. Other times, a case is shown to be more complex than first seems, so easy errors can be refuted.
This takes the amicus concept a step further.
A judge who makes only $100,000/yr (+ pension and benefits) may feel intimidated
by knowing 1% of the population makes more than they do.
By raising salaries, we can attract more of those who put personal avarice above public service. As a libertarian, there's something to be said for that.
(ok, i'm not good at that flavor of mockery)
As someone who has run for judge, I find that there is no shortage of people applying for vacant judgeships. There is an extreme shortage of people willing to run against a sitting judge, but this is mostly due to ballot access barriers- the only people eligible to run are those who risk professional suicide to do so. That seems to be the perception, whether or not it is the reality. When I recruit judicial candidates, I look for people who are retired or tenured or have outside income.
It appears my spacebar and n key were damaged in a recent move. The spacebar would be a coool name for a club for geeks.

17. I understand that your eyesight is particularly poor, and that you have difficulty reading text unless it is significantly magnified. What can you tell us about your ocular condition, is it likely to get better or worse over time, and how if at all does it impact your daily work as a federal appellate judge?

I have a number of eye problems, which have left me with no conventional reading vision and some limitations on my distance vision. By employing a variety of coping mechanisms -- enlarged text and video magnification are two -- I can perform all the duties essential to my work. My disability is something I have come to terms with but it sometimes puts unusual demands on my staff, my clerks, and my colleagues, which I regret but find unavoidable. My ocular condition is progressive, although the rate of degradation is unpredictable. Barring some scientific miracle, my vision is not likely to improve. I hope that as my vision ebbs, my capacity to cope with it will grow.

Someone close to me is in this boat. She taught me how to work a precinct, track a bill, lean on a committee chair. Now, with failing vision, she not only can't drive to the committee meetings, it's hard for her to read the fine print. And she's not an early adopter of computer-based solutions, rather the opposite.
So I'm frustrated, and feel i should do a better job of keeping up with these developments (in computing for the visually impaired.) Pointers and links welcome.

Monday, March 08, 2004

Some will complain that Hidalgo magically arrives on the scene whenever Hopkins whistles, but Hidalgo knows that if he could whistle, Hopkins would be right there for him, too. Ebert.

As falls Seneca, so falls Seneca Falls.
David Post, new volokhian conspirator,
writes about Seneca.

5 BC - 65 AD Seneca the Younger (Lucius Annaeus Seneca)
Roman dramatist, Stoic philosopher, & politician; suicide

www.sni.org is the Seneca nation, a false positive.
The Seneca Indians lived for centuries in the western third of New York State, being one of the Five Nations that formed the League of the Iroquois. Today about 1,000 Senecas live on two reservations in western New York—the Cattaraugus Reservation near the town of Irving, and the Allegany Reservation near Salamanca.
The Seneca language belongs to the Iroquoian family. The alphabet consists of only twelve letters of the English alphabet (a, c, e, h, i, k, n, s, t, u, w, y) plus the additional vowel œ.

Free Martha.

Sunday, March 07, 2004

Belle writes:
Damn. Now everyone thinks I hate on the libertarians. I don't, really. Libertarians have many principled, coherent arguments to offer in a piecemeal way. I even agree with quite a few: I don't think there should be subsidies or tariffs; I think people should be able to own guns; I think drugs should be decriminalized. Hell, I think that people ought to be able to practice gay polygamy. 'Do your own thing, man, as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else', as that one hippie guy in your undergraduate philosophy classes used to say. I'm perfectly willing to listen to arguments about how the state is performing some function badly and at a loss which someone else could perform better and at a profit. Up with private space exploration! Let's sell the moon to random technopreneurs!

Nonetheless, I also think it's fair to point out when people go off the rails. The proposed end-state of all this state-trimming can't just be no government at all. Minarchist libertarians, people who just wish the US government was 50% of its current size, (or 15%) -- fine. I'm sure we can have many fruitful arguments. Anarcho-libertarians are fruitcakes, though, and many of the things they believe seem to contradict some of the more compelling arguments for things libertarians hold dear. For example, I have been convinced that strong property rights are a good thing. Countries with weak property rights and a lack of contract enforcement languish economically and can't unleash their full potential -- people can't borrow against their farm land to buy fertilizer, commerce is restricted to trust-based, small scale operations. So, I'm afraid we need the government to enforce contracts and guard against violations of property rights, otherwise everything will go to hell.

Her argument is of the sort: Shoes are a good thing. Of course, only the government can provide shoes. Too few Americans have shoe insurance.

She is right that contracts and strong property rights are good things that enable markets. Failure to have strong property rights is called the tragedy of the commons.
Shoes are good things too.
It is a leap to assume only the government can create or enforce contracts or property rights.
Reputation capital is on the line when breach of contract is alleged.
The parties can duel, cease trading, report to credit agencies. Most trade occurs in ongoing transactions, a reiterated prisoners' dilemma.
The New York Stock Exchange is an example of a self-regulating non-governmental entity. Poker games are another example - who calls the cops? People self-regulate their play.

More about "and a pony."
The "and a pony " schtick implies that anarchocapitalism is a pipe dream.
Belle claims anarchocapitalists are fruitcakes.
I'll cheerfully represent the fruitcake faction of the LP.
Friedman and Barnette are moderates among my peer group.
Both have solid credentials within the movement, as well as within academia.
I need to go grab that quote about mafia, street gang, militia.

And a pony.

Who would have thunk a simple chat between barnett, epstein, and friedman,
would have led to today's new catchphrase, "and a pony."

Zoe wants a pony. So does John.
Luckily, we live in a post-scarcity world.
There are, now, or soon, open source ponies.
Can John and Zoe have the same pony?
If so, they will respectively have less shit to shovel and feed to buy.
We can have zoo-like institutions where people who want ponies timeshare.
Care to sponsor half a rhinocerous? It's doable.
Under anarchocapitalism, there's a pony for everyone who wants one.
(Wasn't there some story about posner adopting a baboon?)

Obligatory namedropping:
I've met Friedman and once rode on an elevator with Epstein.

The post below, that just says blink, links to penguicon. I couldn't get the link to work to the tux swats evil pic. Eric S Raymond, Steve Jackson, Gaiman, Wheaton. April, Michigan. $40.


Hot Abercrombie Grrl. Link to follow.

Posner word problems:
List 3 ways Posner is wrong here.
Gerstmann falters in places, as when he uses studies that show that married people live longer and are less promiscuous than unmarried people to argue that homosexuals would obtain comparable benefits if they were allowed to marry each other. All the studies are of heterosexual marriage. He also errs when he cites the estimate that eight to ten million American children are being raised by homosexuals. Homosexuals are at most 3 percent of the population; most of them are not raising children; and the under-eighteen American population is only about seventy million. So the estimate is off by at least an order of magnitude: if--and this, too, is undoubtedly an overestimate--one-third of homosexual Americans are raising children, then 1 percent of the nation's children are being raised by homosexuals, which comes to seven hundred thousand.

Hat tip: that's news to me via baude

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