Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Does the second amendment protect homegrown machinegunning while high on medical marijauna? United States v. Stewart. From the kazinski/kozinski department.

Blogger is acting up, not letting me post. maybe it knows i've been overblogging lately.
I'd forgoten how much fun anonymous lawyer is.
Howard isn't counsel in the Soloman case, he was counsel for an amicus.

posner blog - has no comments. no comment.
update: posner blog now does have comments. i think i should refrain.

i still don't have permalinks working.

The future of the court
Will Baude at 11:18 PM

The Arbitrary Aardvark endorses sometime co-blogger Heidi Bond for Chief Justice. Meanwhile, Heidi Bond endorses Will Baude for president. I'd rather have her job, even after watching 35 episodes of the West Wing.

Now, technically, it's more an illustrative example than an endorsement. I think Heidi is too much of a good liberal to be an acceptable choice for bush, although supreme court opinions would get more interesting, and she has libertarian leanings and common sense that had put her on my short list. Baude gets negative points for being in the white male demographic, bonus points for age, a reasonable alternative for volokh. Both are on my short list. Bush hasn't actually asked my opinion on this.


Monday, November 29, 2004

unlikely scenario:
rehnquist resigns. bush appoints somebody, confirmation by senate.
gonzales v raich case set for rehearing. say the new chief is janice brown, or, oh, say, heidi bond.
new chief pulls old trick - waits to see which way case goes, joins that side, assigns opinion. or, new chief is 5th member of majority, and assigns opinion to whoever's vote is needed.

lawn economics

Stevens: What is your view on the effect of the state law on the interstate market? Increase prices, no effect on prices, or decrease in prices?

Barnett: Can I choose trivial reduction of price?

Stevens: If you reduce demand, then you will reduce prices? Wouldn’t it increase prices?

Barnett: No, if you reduce demand, you reduce price.

Stevens: Are you sure?

Barnett: Yes.


recusal question:
plaintiff has cancer. chief justice has cancer. no one has suggested that that's grounds for recusal. i don't know what the standards and customs are.
a 4-4 split would make an ok resolution. another possibility is that the chief gets sicker and resigns before the case is decided. 4-4 is only a possibility.
It's a case that could go either way.
None of these guys can be called.
Wild ass guesses: stevens, ginsberg, results driven find for plaintiff.
breyer, souter, chief, tend to uphold regulatory meddling.
thomas, overrule wickard. scalia, who knows?
kennedy, occonnor, who knows.

update: will baude has similar thoughts but is more pessimistic. he says 6-3.
i'm a wild-eyed optimist in thinking this has a chance.
i was wrong about hiibert, but barnett and i were right about lawrence.
the "conservative" wing will have to decide which is more important, be good drug warriors, or get revenge on roosevelt.
perhaps they can write an opinion in which congress didn't have commerce power,
but we apply the drug exception to uphold the statute.
it's all within the margin of error, like trying to call the washington governor's race.
factors supporting my side (my side being, it could go either way)
1) in lopez and morrison, the court didn't like guns in schools or violence against women. they used these extreme examples to make a basic point about separation of powers.
2) questions in oral argument are tough. the media tends to assume that tips the hand. the toughest questions are reserved for the most respected arguments.
let's see what experienced courtwachers like linda greenhouse say over the next few days, and let's listen to solum saying this is too close to call.
but see scotusblog - 9-0 overrule prediction.

markets in everything: what are the odds? oops i forgot, i don't bet.
but if one could get good odds now, and hedge those odds later, it might be a play.
update: greenhouse, totenberg, major media concur, it doesn't look good.
maybe the most we get is one of those dissents that someday gets proved right.
look for -really- good odds now and then hedge later. better than 4-1, it becomes a play. at 2-1, it's a pass. not that i bet.

earlier today i couldn't find anybody liveblogging ashcroft - that's a search google doesn't do yet. about 2 pm media reports started trickling in. now the blogoverse has responded - crescat, volokh, howard, and especially solum who was there.

Vice Squad, continuing its coverage of extreme ashcroft, points to a pdf of paper by randy barnett at www.cato.org about lawrence v texas.
Extreme argues for dismissal based on Lawrence. Why bother? Well for one, it slows things down a bit, so that ashcroft will be out of the picture. For two, it plays well with those contributing to the legal defense fund. It reframes the issues as
oppressive government versus the little guy. It is a recent case with unclear boundaries. There's no possibility of sanctions; it's an argument that can be made in good faith. It sets up an appeal.

Most importantly, it promotes a meme that the defense wants to infect the jury pool with: these are americans, involved in free speech, liberty and pursuit of happiness.
Ashcroft has been engaged in a war on our traditional liberties, but has been stopped by the courts because he consistently exceeds what the copnstitution allows.
Extreme needs to make sure at least one of 12 jurors gets that. I get it, at least in theory. I haven't actually seen an Extreme video all the way though. And I'm not a typical juror; my kind would be excluded from any jury pool.

Update: Ok, now I've read the Barnett. It's brilliant, by which I mean it agrees with me. It sets forth a theory that relates to what he tried to do today in oral agument in Ashcroft v Raich. Extreme is dead on to rely on Lawrence. Traditional jurisprudence asks, is this smut within the freedom of speech? No, if it's obscenity.
But Lawrence asks, is this liberty? If so, the government has to justify its regulation. And maybe if Extreme gets to the Supreme, a justification will be found, creating a bookend with Lawrence (sodomy) on one end, Extreme (smut) on the other.

Meanwhile, Lizzie Borden and Bob Black can hope for a well hung jury, or stay out of prison as the case slowly goes through the appeal process. An outright aquittal might be too much to hope for at this point.

De Novo channels Posner:
Drawing some laughter, he called civil liberties "the religion of the liberal left." Posner says there is a religious, dogmatic, strongly emotional and unreasoned aspect to the advocacy for civil liberties, with the Constitution as sacred document, like the Bible, and Constitutional freedoms the articles of the faith.

Right. "endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights" - so i guess jefferson was a commie. If I were more motivated I'd also quote from the Indiana Bill of Rights,
by why not look up your own?

volokh's page isn't loading for me, apparently due to a problem with the law.com ad.
that's a problem i've long had with banner ads. sites supported by ad revenue - good.
ads at the top of the page that insist on loading first, and have fancy graphic stuff that loads slowly, bad. html should have a way to load the important content first and then fill in the ads.

2 pm gina holland AP story.

It seems that before the supreme court started today's arguments, they issued some denials of cert. Alberquerque v holmans struck down campaign spending limits in city elections. A boston case about gay marriage won't be heard. No word yet on whether any certs were granted. update: Dodd. it's a statute of limitations case i'm not too interested in.

It's another day of waking up arbitrarily at 5 am, being dead tired by 10 am, wanting to go back to bed, but knowing i woouldn't be able to get to sleep.
I'm windering if anybody's liveblogging Ashcroft v Raich.
Soon to be Gonzales v Raich.
I'm not aware of any way to search the blogosphere for most recent posts on a topic.
Patri Friedman is working on it.
I had planned to do a post about my friend peter who was killed for promoting medical marijuana.
He was depressed and paranoid about having cancer and aids and living in a society in which the government was trying to kill him. So he used marijuana. So they killed him.
peter mcwilliams.

Peter used pot so he could take his aids cocktail. He found as a side effect it let him manage his depression. He gave a speech at the 1998 lp convention which is on video at the above link. Then we went upstairs to the gay suite and got high.
He was singled out for prosecution for helping a canabis cooperative in the bay area, and jailed. As a condition of pre-trial release, they wouldn't let him use pot.
He didn't want to skip town for canada, because his parents had put up their house for bail. Unable to take his meds without pot, he died choking on his own vomit.
I'm currently in one of those phases of not using pot, because it's illegal and I'm being closely watched, so I'm unable to manage my depression, so I haven't been able to work or function. But I've been taking a rest cure, just giving myself some time off and some peace and quiet, writing online for therapy, and am doing a little better.

I think it's noon on the east coast, so the press conference should be going on now.
WASHINGTON, Nov. 23 (AScribe Newswire) -- Angel Raich, the plaintiff in the closely watched medical cannabis case before the Supreme Court and her legal team will speak briefly on the Court steps immediately following the hearing on her case on November 29, followed by a more in-depth press conference directly across the street from the Court.
Note: This event is not open to the public; press are asked to RSVP or present credentials. Refreshments will be served.
WHO: Rob Kampia, Executive Director, Marijuana Policy Project Randy E. Barnett,

I've met Rob and Randy briefly. They do good work. www.mpp.org to get on Rob's email list, volokh.com for lots of barnett.

splitting the baby:
Law schools like to help students get jobs.
Except with bigots.
So the Solomon amendment was about cutting off federal funds to
schools that don't cooperate with bigoted employers.
Specificly the US military, which has policies of gender and gender-preference discrimination.
A district court denied a prelim injunction.
That decision was overturned by the 3rd circuit.
The case, when it gets there, will likely be heard by the supreme court.
It's one of those unconstitutional conditions cases, Pico, Rust, etc.
All clear now?
It's a big story, but bigger still when you read the opinion:
Plaintiffs attorney is one Howard Bashman. How appealing.
(posting date moved back a day for obscure reasons)
how appealing links to discussion at powerline

allow me to propose a simple solution:
cut off federal funding for yale, and for all law schools, so they won't be tempted to compromise their principles.
i live in a census tract where the average household income is $13K.
We'd rather not be taxed to subsidize yale.
Federal income tax isn't that high for those with average household income of $13K,
but the overall tax load is high -ss tax, property tax, sales tax, misc. fees and fines, it adds up, especially as a ratio to disposable income.

while i'm doling out simple solutions, let's cure abortion:
women can still have abortions if they want. but the father has to pay the same amount in child support as if the baby had lived. it goes to an orphanage or taxes or whatever. this result doesn't penalize the woman (at least directly) but gives guys a powerful new motive to avoid unplanned pregnancy.
i didn't say it would be an easy solution, just a simple one.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

free language classes online.
i'm very excited about the open source revolution bringing free education to the masses. i've posted recently about free math books online,and places like gutenberg and bartleby that have classics and other public domain works.
i have not yet found one central clearing house for free online education.
if there is not one yet, there will be.
and with ebooks and pdas and wireless networks and smarter phones and moore's law and ubiquitous computing, the hardware to go with it will come along as well.
this not only feeds the transition to the post-scarcity economy, it also brings on the singularity. 6 billion people having access to free kindergarten-to-phd education, if they want it, is going to change the costs of basic research. millions of eyeballs, networks of supercomputers, mean that for a given problem, from fermat's theory to preventing cancer to encouraging bush and castro to retire, a great deal of intellegence can be focused on the problem at low cost. the net is not allknowing, allpresent, or allpowerful, but it is more knowing, more present, more powerful, than before. the classical model of economics assumed perfect comptetion, costless complete information, zero transaction costs.
these were simplifying assumptions used in model-building, with no claim to represent the real world. but the net is making the real world look more like the model.

Abenaki Ainu Albanian Arabic Aramaic Armenian Asturian
Basque Bengali Bosnian Breton Bulgarian Burmese Catalan
Cebuano Chamorro Cherokee Chichewa Chinese Chinook Cornish
Cree Creole Croatian Czech Dakota Danish Dutch
English Esperanto Estonian Finnish French Frisian Gaelic
Galician German Greek Gujarati Haida Hawaiian Hebrew
Hiligaynon Hindi Hmong Hungarian Icelandic Indonesian Italian
Ivatan Japanese Kapampangan Khmer Kiribati Korean Kurdish
Lao Latin Latvian Lezgian Lithuanian Luganda Malay
Malayalam Maltese Mandinka Marathi Mingo Mon Norwegian
Pali Papiamentu Persian Polish Portuguese Punjabi Quechua
Romanian Rotuman Russian Samoan Sanskrit Sesotho Serbian
Sicilian Sinhala Somali Spanish Swahili Swedish Tagalog
Tahitian Tamil Telugu Thai Tibetan Turkish Tzotzil
Ukrainian Urdu Vietnamese Welsh Wollof Xhosa -

Election results disputed. Protestors take to the streets. Official results not in yet.
Eastern, western territories consider seccession or autonomy. International and nonpartisan organizations raise concerns about procedures and fairness. Legislative and judicial branches call for investigations. Currency nosedives as investors panic. Recounts under way in central province.
And if you think it's bad here, check out what's going on in Ukrania.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Today's Top News Stories
• FARC said to call for attack on Bush - 7:03 PM
• Accidental strafing divides N.J. region - 6:23 PM
• Ukraine parliament calls election invalid - 6:13 PM

FARC said to call for attack on Bush
BOGOTA, Colombia (AP)


warblogging at catalarchy.
If i haven't said so here before, I call for the separation of sports and state.
I do not, of course support prohibition of sports. That never works.
But let's face it, America has a sports problem. Sports-related injuries fill our hospitals and graveyards. Our prisons are full of young men whose sports habits began young and led to worse. Statesmen corrupted by sports range from JFK to GWB. Nixon was a sports fiend, as documented by Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, but he rarely let it interfere with his work. Some readers may think I kid. No. Granted, I'm bitter, i was the kid picked last for kickball, scraped by in college fencing, flunked tai chi in grad school. And I don't mean to lump in the asian martial arts with my sports critique.

a lawyer with ADD has a blog.
law in hyperspeed.
via ernie the attorney.
we live in a world of information explosion.
although i have no life, and just sit here at the computer all day,
there are too many blogs to keep up with,
so now there's one more.
ernie's is a good lawblog i don't read.
ADD may not be exactly what I have, but when my nephew was diagnosed with ADD my sister gave me "driven to distraction" and it rang all kinds of bells.
I describe my condition as "something in the autism spectrum", plus the depression that and anxiety that go with that kind of lifestyle.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

abortion problem solved.
thanks you mr angry economist.
markets in everything.
i don't this one will play in peoria.

thanks sudeep.

happy holidays all. had our first snow here.

This is a draft of a post i'm not to happy with - it should be shorter, less whining, more to the point. But i don't often do alot of revision of my posts, just go on to the next one, so here it is in current form.

Catalarchy, responding to an argument by some Will Baude, asks whether people should follow their own advice, or whether we should listen to people who don't, and gives the example of Peter Singer. The entry is called tu quoque, greek for 'so's yer mom.'
Singer urges people to give what they don't need to feed the hungry, but himself only gives 20% of his income to famine relief. They point to a Reason article that explores this. (oh! the article is from 4 years ago, i'd missed that.)

Now I'm a huge fan of Singer in general - he helped revitalize philosophy as something that mattered, was about what should we do next, instead of just yammering about the meaning of meaning. I think he has been widely misunderstood who know him only as someone who writes about animals or about abortion, etc. I've seen him as someone who asks, what do we believe is right? What are the consequences of that belief? What then, should we go do next; how is our behavior inconsistent with what we claim to believe?
Aside: At a time when he was known mostly for his work about animals, some found it funny that he doesn't like cats. Anyway, all this leads up to the following paragraph.

Reason: Both Japan and Britain have to import from the United States about half their blood plasma because they don't get enough from donations. The reason the United States is the world's largest exporter of human plasma is that we have commercial blood collection centers. So in a certain sense, if it's a good thing to do, to have these supplies, why not commercialize it?

Singer: There's at least an argument to say that the opportunity to give altruistically is something that fosters a sense of community, a sense of community ties. It is not entirely a coincidence that the United States has more commercial ways of doing these things. Maybe they do produce more plasma, but on most accounts the United States is also a society which has weaker social ties. Individuals tend to be isolated more easily and so on; perhaps this has some broader social costs as well.

At first this seems like a non-answer, a bait and switch. Because it is.
It's not in any way a justification for prohibiting plasma sales.
But it's a point worth discussing in its own right. What the US does well, or at least semi-well, is markets in everything (except blood, sex, drugs, etc etc.)
We have a society with high economic efficiency, high productivity, in which people are miserable, either in often-abusive nuclear families or living alone. I'm one of those. I live alone. There's a guy staying here, but just so we can split the rent.
I have a little contact with a couple family members and an ex, but otherwise I'm cut off from human contact except my online friends and market transactions - I go somewhere, I buy something. Without much disposable income, I end up with nowhere to go nothing to buy. And this is costly. I've been unhappy. Most of my unhappiness is because the government keeps fucking with me, but the loneliness is a big factor too.
I alsways assumed I'd be joining a commune when I grew up, and then the communes were gone, except that one in maryland where you have to be a flavor of christian that isn't quite my flavor. Maybe I just need to look harder, but the commune movement died out, and instead we tend to live alone in apart-ments, and they won't even let us get married, not that I see nuclear marriage as much of a plus.
If Singer is right that this dreadful loneliness is a consequence of markets in everything, that needs attention.

But now back to blood. There's two kinds of blood sales, plasma and whole blood.
Whole blood can be given (or in theory sold) about twice a year, plasma twice a week.
Plasma sellers are called "donors" which is a mislabel.
For ideological reasons driven by a flimflam artist named R.M.Titmuss, whole blood sales were banned in order to encourage altruism, with the result that there's been a constant blood shortage (except the week after 9-11) ever since.
The reason article tells me in Europe it goes further, banning even plasma sales, with the result that shortages occur, made up by the united states.

If this were a longer essay, I'd talk about my experiences as a plasma donor, and my observations about how the black community in town has less income but invests more in the kind of social networks Singer is pointing to. I no longer do it; it's icky and I prefer to do without the income than to go through it. $200/mo would make a huge difference in my standard of living. If I needed disposable income that badly, I could probably get a job.

So anyway back to my main point. When I was 19, in the 1970's, I wrote a paper for a class about "Rights and the Market in Blood" in which I pointed out the evils in banning blood sales. It got an A, I've lost my copy long ago; this was before the internet. I never looked into publishing it. And every year since then, there's been a blood shortage, and people die, and now and then I notice that and feel guilty that I haven't done more to fight to legalize blood sales. The altruistic thing to do is not to donate blood, but to refuse to until the sale of blood is legalized.
Now I think the quality of blood produced by sale is probably lower, and what with aids and such that's an important factor. There's probably been a lot of empirical research done on the topic, which I haven't followed, because I don't read medical journals. I don't even keep up with "Ethics" or the kind of journals where Singer publishes. Or their online equivalents. I spent the 80s being poor, the 90s becoming a lawyer, the 00's being crazy and depressed. The "become a lawyer" strategy was an attempt to get back into being an applied ethicist and policy wonk, but it was a failed strategy because of the crazy and depressed part.
This is ending up being alot of personal whining, when what I wanted to do was make a point about how Reason seems to get the point about banning blood sales to encourage altruism isn't altruistic at all; that the altrusitic thing to do is enable markets.
So if I still had the paper, which I don't, I could send it to them. Am i motivated enough to reconstruct the paper, or at least the argument? Probaby not.
Depression results in lack of motivation resulting in guilt resulting in more depression. I'm trying to learn to channel my limited motivation into less altruistic endeavors, like I should do my laundry and get a job, but not today, because it's a holiday.
(Depression-wise, I've recovered to the point where I feel fine most of the time,
as long as I don't try to do aything. Doing stuff, I get anxiety. Some day I'll get back to being able to balance that enough to do more. Not quite yet tho.)

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

(i am returning from a several hours journey of netsurfing.
it was one of those jaunts that included a page of free math books,
one which i sent to jay manifold at a voyage to arcturus which has new stuff on titan
and somehow i ended up in a discussion of polynesian island coming of age rituals...
the net is a dangerous place for those with attention deficit personality types.)

marginal revolution on the true meaning of thanksgiving.
my mom keeps suggesting i join the mayflower society. maybe this will be the year, i certainly need -some sort- of new social life.
she took the grandkids to see plymouth last year and had a good time.
i know bits and pieces of the story but not most of the details.
my family has carefully preserved its puritan heritage. things are loosening up a little what with rising prosperity generally.

I write this stuff because i'd be going even crazier if I didn't. It's why some people paint. I don't usually even read my own blog once it's written. I think I have 3 known readers. So if you are, somehow, a fan out there, dilegently reading these things, feel free to drop a line and shock me. Or just say i mispelled dilegent. hey tyhe spellchecker works this time. it usually doesn't. diligent.

possible aplication of the 9th circuit overrule rule:
san diego v roe.
issue: does the first amendment protect a police officer masturbating while in uniform?
not that there's anything wrong with that...

shepard v united states.
it's not the illinois one about the drug sniffing dog.
and i'm pretty sure plaintiff's lawyer isn't that linda thompson.
it's the when is a burglary not a burglary, for habitual criminal sentencing.
i'm not going to read the rest of it.

Cherokee People, Cherokee Tribe, v tom-tom son, or,
cowboys v indians.
lloyd miller for the tribe, sri srinivasan for the united states/tommy tompson
it's the age old question of can the government screw the indians by breaking a promise?

pasquantino v U S (pdf)-
P. busted under wire fraud statute for avoiding foreign taxes. similar to the conviction-in-japan gun case - not intended to apply to other countries.
i would construe the statute to not apply and summarily reverse. next?

i didn't realize scaliablogging was going to be addictive.
ginsberg to nino: why do i always have to ride in the back of the elephant?
haymarket blog might be worth coming back to some day.

alford's plea
scotusblog lists several new oral argument transcripts up.
alford was a suspicious looking character with flashing light on his car, a ham radio, handcuffs, and a tape recorder. he stopped to help some motorists change a tire, and gave them a flashlight. real cops showed up, he left, they chased, and arrested him for taping their conversation, rodney king style.
my brother has a story about some new jersey cops who took his camera when he tried to document a crime scene. my brother didn't sue, but wasn't arrested either, they just took the camera.
alford sued for false arrest - he had shown the cops the court case saying it was legal to tape a cop. the jury awards nothing. i -think- the case is about jury instructions, although they were unobjected to at the time.
cops argued they could have probable cause to arrest him for something else,and sought qualified immunity under the bad faith rule of saucier. very roughly, cases like saucier and fitzgerald hold that even when this cop is acting in bad faith, if some reasonable cop somewhere could have acted that way, cop gets off.
ninth circuit reverses, says, the "something else" for which he could have been arrested has to be pretty close to what they said they were arresting him for.
5 other circuits agree.
some of the justices want to apply the 9th circuit overrule rule and automaticly reverse. they think this would just teach cops not to tell people why they are being arrested.
this -isn't- a case seeking a rule that cops have to tell you why you are being arrested. such rules are statutory where they exist, or possibly are under state constitutions. but without such a rule, it's harder to follow the argument in this case, or the reason for the closely related rule.
now, i think alford should win, normatively.
I'm not sure he has five votes on this court, or even four.
I'm less clear about the jury issue - he's had one bite at the apple already and lost, and i'm rationally ignorant of exactly what happened procedurally.
I think the closely related rule should be upheld.
One thing they could do would be to dismiss as cert improvidently granted -
the state's argument was a lot weaker on the facts than the court expected.
If the overrule, they could remand for further proceedings in which Alford could still win.
They could decide that due process requires arrested people be told why they are being arrested. That's how I would vote. But I not expect this outcome - maybe it'll get mentioned in a concurrance or dissent, e.g. Stevens.
This case, of course, has nothing to do with an Alford plea. That's where you plead, ok it looks like i'm guilty, so i won't contest the charges, but i didn't really do it.

So why I am bothering to read this stuff and write about it? It's raining. I had few other plans. It's part of gradually ramping up to be productive again some day.
I've been doing nothing for while. I'm beginning to get out more socially, where more is anything greater than zero. I'm still not really getting any work done.
This is sort of work-like behavior, briefing cases,so when it comes time to sit down and write some memos I need to write the process will be familar.

more scalia blogging:
i wrote last night about scalia discussing McIntyre v Ohio Elections Commission, at my soapbox blog.
the next question was about the orginal intent of the second amendment:
In thinking about the prologue of the 2nd Amendment, “You should realize that what they meant by the militia in 1791 was the entire citizenry .. so it wasn’t quite the same as the National Guard.”

That's a good sign. There's been a lot of focus on how a bush nominee might be willing to repeal roe v wade, but i haven't seen any discussion of what would happen if bush appointed a (chief) justice who would enforce the second amendment. Thomas would go along with that, and from the above, maybe scalia, although there is evidence to the contrary elsewhere.

Scalia didn't say, at the red mass outside chicago, "We are fools, for christ's sake." He said, "We are fools for christ's sake." No word yet on what he didn't say at the black mass. That's probably it for me scaliawise for awhile, see ninomania for all you eat.Or Scalia shrine
Alternatively, there's the Justice Thomas page.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

i'm not sure why it took me so long to check out catalarchy, but i'm becoming a fan.
libertarian group blog with comments. i already knew (of) micha and patri, but the rest of the crew ranges from a rocket scientist to.. well i'm not sure yet.
here's a post on a mad scientist selling low budget cruise missles. he's the good guy in the story.

Monday, November 22, 2004

dangerous game:
people hunting season doesn't open til next week. deer hunter over the limit.

cory at boing-boing (linked at howard) reviews system of the world, 3rd in neal stevenson's baroque cycle.

oops let me try that again without the octopus.

cory at boing-boing (linked at howard) reviews system of the world, 3rd in neal stevenson's baroque cycle.

i haven't read the baroque cycle, the first chapter was too.. baroque... for my tastes.

taxes too high, says blogger.

And no, not all westerns are that good, high noon should be on anybody's top ten list.
Do not forsake it. Grace Kelly as a Quaker American princess? She was from Philly.
I haven't seen high society, but philadelphia story is one of the best movies ever.
High noon, high society, rock and roll high school.

Although I'm vegan, I'm not sure I approve of the war on cheese.

why we can't win.
("We" here does not include me; I'm not at war with Iraq)
Ordinarily I brush off anything from lew rockwell dot com as crankism - i found the link at "a crank's progress."
But here, a soldier in iraq makes a good case that the way in which the war is being fought produces a guerilla stuggle against the foreign invaders (reign by foes)and that the more iraqi patriots Bush kills, the more take their place.
It's red dawn with farsi subtitles. It's the seven pillars of wisdom with Bush as Turkey. Happy Thanksgiving. Allahu Akbar.
Oh this is cool.
The seven pillars of wisdom is now free online.
This is the book that became "Lawrence of Arabia".
I have recently reread Lawrence's "Revolt in the Desert", and I am somewhat unclear on the connection between the two books; they overlap and are two tellings of the same story. Maybe I'll get that sorted out. (pillars, 1922, revolt, 1927, pillars a little more philosophical, still, unclear.) Revolt is available as e-book but not free online as far as I can google.
In the March 1, 2004 London Times there are actually two different articles addressing the vital relevance of Seven Pillars of Wisdom for those fighting Arab guerrillas in Irag today.
The seven pillars is must reading for anyone who thinks persia can held indefinately by non persians. The first Bush crusade of 91 was brilliant in comparison. - get in, get out, declare victory and go home.
It's also a rollicking good read. Not recommended for law students - once begun, you can't put it down.
if i have it right lawrence died in 35 so his stuff becomes public domain 1/1/06,
while pills is from 1922 and public domaon, while revolt is 1927 so after the cutoff.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

my former client scott wins a case in the 2nd circuit.

another blogger glitch, wouldn't let me post this.
media law blog reports:
Monday, October 25, 2004
Reporting facts from court proceedings privileged
An accurate report of facts from a court proceeding on a matter of public importance may not be the basis of a libel judgement, the Supreme Court of North Dakota ruled last week, according to the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. A state statute provides a privilege for fairly reporting of such facts, the court ruled, dismissing a libel claim brought by Libertarian Party candidate for North Dakota governor, Roland C. Riemers, against the Grand Forks Herald. While Riemers was running for U.S. Senate in 2002, the Herald published a story that cited court findings in Riemers' 2001 divorce that he had beaten his wife and lied about his finances.

posted by Robert Ambrogi at 7:40 PM 0 comments
Report: Indiana officials routinely violate records law
Public officials in Indiana routinely violate the state's public records law, according to this report produced by eight Indiana newspapers: "Government officials routinely broke or skirted Indiana's open records law during a statewide test by eight newspapers," the report said. It went on:
Journalists presenting themselves as citizens visited government offices in all 92 counties to see how readily officials turned over documents that are supposed to be available to anyone.
While some journalists easily obtained the records, others were intimidated, questioned repeatedly, put off for days, or wrongly told they needed a court order or subpoena. One county worker said it would take 'an act of God' for him to turn over the public document.
The denial of records demonstrates the uphill fight citizens face in obtaining even the most basic government information paid for with their tax dollars.

has he stopped beating his wife yet?
this suit is an example of what i see as a problem with the libertarian's litigation strategy - lack of central planning. i doubt this suit was authorized by the home office.
the beaver case is a less egregious example of the genre, but i have my doubts about whether it will win.

strange. due to a blogger glitch, i can't get into my "soapbox" blog.
so i'll draft a post here and move it later. working ok now.

In san diego, a run-off election between the top two vote getters for mayor
(both gop) has been disrupted by a write-in campaign by a woman (who i'd guess is a democrat?) The incumbent mayor will be declared elected unless some lawsuits win.

Issues include whether certain write-in votes should be counted, where the intent of the voter is clear but they didn't jump thru the three flaming hoops in the right order - they didn't darken the oval.
whether laches bars suit. (laches is legalese for delay; coulda sued sooner.)
whether there can be write-ins in a run off.

We know in Florida, for example, that ballots where a voter both punched (or bubbled) a vote for Gore and wrote in Gore were not counted. Few argued that they should be. If the instructions are clear (but see point 1), there's a stronger fairness argument

I didn't know this about florida. Count me among the few.
Intent of the voter is the standard. Voting is a fundamental right, explicit in the florida and california constitutions. I disagree with Rick that the legislature is free to take that away when it feels like. Yes, it can require voter registration.
What is the standard of review? That gets tricky. I'm no fan of Burdick v Takushi;
the Anderson standard would seem to fit.
Here I agree with the League of Women Voters, that votes should be counted. Possibly their stance in this case is just that a democrat would be helped by the suit,
but my concern is for the integrity of the election process.

video toaster case mod at a site that's about as hip as one can get.
i dunno if they make money, but it's art.

dick tracy wrist radio from swatch. well not exactly.

It's a watch with news and weather and sports scores and such, msn instant messaging incoming but not outgoing, relatively cheap at $150. I think this is relatively useless for most geeks. Where I could see this having an application is for your boss to make you wear one. It would be a like a brand (in the sense of product loyalty, not scarring disfigurement.) With everybody in a workgroup using them, there would develop a culture of use, lowering the learning curve. At one of my jobs we carried an alphanumeric pager, which I of course lost. Harder to lose a watch although I look at my wrist and notice I'm not wearing one. I guess I need one that only costs $5 but you can take in the shower. I have certain anti-geek tendencies. Along with the wireless pda and the solar backpack, a few gadgets like this will ease the transition into becoming a gargoyle (a person with wearable computing.) I guess my main objection is that it's a gadget rather than being an actual wrist computer, and that it doesn't talk. A talking wrist computer, which should be doable, will tear up the niche for these. Probably all ready out there, i don't follow this geek stuff,
especially since wired lost my address.

electric racecar.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

britain to bring back star chamber.

Friday, November 19, 2004

If the people ever let command of the war power fall into irresponsible and unscrupulous hands, the courts wield no power equal to its restraint.
korematsu mentions but never really discusses the standard of review.

korematsu notes.
this case is significant to my obsession with majors v abell, because it is an example of a case of passing strict scrutiny, the kiss of death standard.
it's from 60 years ago, during wartime, and has been much criticized.

It should be noted, to begin with, that all legal restrictions which curtail the civil rights of a single racial group are immediately suspect. That is not to say that all such restrictions are unconstitutional. It is to say that courts must subject them to the most rigid scrutiny. Pressing public necessity may sometimes justify the existence of such restrictions; racial antagonism never can.
In Kiyoshi Hirabayashi v. United States, 320 U.S. 81, 63 S.Ct. 1375, we sustained a conviction obtained for violation of the curfew order.
gravest imminent danger to the public safety ...
definite and close relationship ...
Approximately five thousand American citizens of Japanese ancestry refused to swear unqualified allegiance to the United States and to renounce allegiance to the Japanese Emperor, and several thousand evacuees requested repatriation to Japan....
roberts dissenting:
The orders required that if any person of Japanese, German or Italian ancestry residing in Area No. 1 desired to change his habitual residence he must execute and deliver to the authorities a Change of Residence Notice. ...
The earlier of those orders made him a criminal if he left the zone in which he resided; the later made him a criminal if he did not leave.
Again it is a new doctrine of constitutional law that one indicted for disobedience to an unconstitutional statute may not defend on the ground of the invalidity of the statute but must obey it though he knows it is no law and, after he has suffered the disgrace of conviction and lost his liberty by sentence, then, and not before, seek, from within prison walls, to test the validity of the law.
[it's one thing to exclude, but another order ordered tose excluded to report to concentration camps. facts matter.]
murphy dissenting

Such exclusion goes over 'the very brink of constitutional power' and falls into the ugly abyss of racism.... Individuals of Japanese ancestry are condemned because they are said to be 'a large, unassimilated, tightly knit racial group, bound to an enemy nation by strong ties of race, culture, custom and religion.' 4 They are claimed to be given to 'emperor worshipping ceremonies'5 and to 'dual citizenship.'
Moreover, this inference, which is at the very heart of the evacuation orders, has been used in support of the abhorrent and despicable treatment of minority groups by the dictatorial tyrannies which this nation is now pledged to destroy. To give constitutional sanction to that inference in this case, however well- intentioned may have been the military command on the Pacific Coast, is to adopt one of the cruelest of the rationales used by our enemies to destroy the dignity of the individual and to encourage and open the door to discriminatory actions against other minority groups in the passions of tomorrow....They must accordingly be treated at all times as the heirs of the American experiment and as entitled to all the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution.
Jackson dissenting (and i have 9 minutes before the library closes)

florida v nixon.
been reading transcripts.
nixon, this one, is a nutjob, a killer-arsonist. he refuses to attend his trial, get naked, rants and raves about he's being set up. his lawyer goes and says look, this guy's guilty - the issue for the jury is do you kill him or not?
(i'm guessing they said yes, although i don't see that spelled out)
florida supreme court reverses, says you need consent to have functional equivalent of guilty plea. i think the supremes disagree.
it's a close and tricky case, but here, no rights are being waived under strickland,
so it's not really a plea after all. there's a trial, even tho guilt isn't contested.
now there are some facts here that could support not just lack of consent but repudiation. i havent read the lower court opinions, and sometimes the facts aren't clear.
so i think they uphold the conviction, and kill the guy. stevens will dissent.
of course you can't always tell fronm the transcripts.
i think they will find adequate representation, and no repudiation.
my point, in blogging about this, is obscured, because it's another pdf.
but there's a paragraph where scalia gets it wrong. he says, if this is federal,
the legislature can't change it, but if it is a state court rule, the legislature can change it. and ok that's right but he misses a step. the state court rule could be based on the state constitution.
so this is a case where ignoring state constitutional law becomes literally a life or death matter. at least possibly.
i need to get dressed and go out. it's another day when i didn't get enough sleep. part of that is drunken roommate troubles, so i'll need to deal with that. yes, i've noticed personal stuff is slipping intio the blog here which i try not to do. except when it's germane and helpful, which this isn't.

congrats to the volokh conspiracy, which has a new home and new sponsor at law.com which means they will make money.. dunno how much... but it's nice to know it can happen.

space.com reports that next year the first lightsail spaceship wil be launched. privately funded with russian technology. http://www.technovelgy.com where science meets fiction.

who was that masked man?

google's new search thingy is at google. maybe it's been there but i noticed it today.

ok you need a hint? it's that seasteading guy.

word for the day: blogasm. wonkette.

so far today i've finished reading ashcroft v aclu (2004) which somehow i'd missed in june. i was pretty busy in june. ann beeson on the briefs again. yesterday was one of those lie around the house in my pajamas days when i ended up getting more done while doing nothing than when i try hard. biggest client called eager to throw more money at me. tonight i have a networking meeting with a law student from india, then i've been invited to the slurs album release party. i guess now it becomes rice v aclu. that is, i assume the 2002 and 2004 decisions stay known as ashcroft v aclu but the case, still alive at the district court, will become rice v aclu.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

local blog article in indystar mentions but doesn't link to josh claypool and hoosier review.
meanwhile britain bans fox hunting.

nice photo essays here.

The deal netted Stern a five-year, $500 million contract.

A small case for the supreme court.
What does "any court" mean, when it comes to depriving a convict of the right to keep and bear bazookas? Does it include courts in swaziland, or the courts you and the gang had in the tree fort? Or does it mean any state or federal court, as congress probably intended?
Oral argument was held november 3, while you were sleeping after bush was elected.*1
*1 see "fruit of the poisonous tree" if you didn't like Bush v Gore.
Scotusblog reports that transcripts are up.
Reading the transcript, I find a fun discussion of FOPA and decide to blog about it.
Easier said that done. It's a pdf, so i google on "adobe conversion page" and feed in the url and get an unpacked text i can cut and paste from. I hate pdf. This is one reason why.

5 In fact, in the preliminary findings of the

Alderson Reporting Company 1111 14th Street NW, Suite 400 Washington, DC 20005 24
24 Page 25 26
1 statute, the --the Congress said --and this
2 doesn' t have to decide and I' m not asking the Court
3 decide the Second Amendment issue, but Congress found
4 Second Amendment was a fundamental constitutional right.
5 And the name of the statute is the Firearms Owners'
6 Protection Act. Congress had in mind protecting
7 owners of firearms when necessary, and -­
8 JUSTICE SCALIA: You call that FOPA? That' s
9 name of the statute?
10 ( Laughter. )
11 JUSTICE SCALIA: It' s an unfortunate acronym,
12 isn' t it?
13 ( Laughter. )
14 MR. BOAS: That' s right. The spelling is
15 little bit different, Justice Scalia.
16 But Congress --the --the name of the
17 tells you something about Congress' intent. The
18 licit and blameless activity of possessing a firearm isn'
19 the equivalent of selling drugs. Now, maybe if you have
20 prior drug offense and you' re a drug dealer, under 802
21 21, Congress said you get your sentence doubled
22 it' s a State, Federal, or foreign conviction, but
23 924( e) for a conviction under a court defined
24 922( g) ( 1) , the prior only ups your sentence if it' s
25 State or Federal conviction. We can' t ignore the

Alderson Reporting Company 1111 14th Street NW, Suite 400 Washington, DC 20005 25
25 Page 26 27
1 statutory scheme here, which time and time again refers
2 domestic matters.

I found this exchange interesting because you get the supreme court discussing the right to bear arms as a fundamental right, and you also get a scalia joke,
Scalia bloggers of course have already read Heidi Bond's liveblogging in which she gets to crossexamine Scalia on equal protection.
I almost emailed scotusblog a link to Bond, but then didn't, and shortly thereafter she was volokh-alanched.
:a brief interlude in which a blogger goes to turn down the garbonzos in the pressure cooker:

4 JUSTICE STEVENS: --this colloquy to
25 another question, if I may? Would you concede that

Alderson Reporting Company 1111 14th Street NW, Suite 400 Washington, DC 20005 39
39 Page 40 41
1 are some tribunals in the world that are comparable to
2 what you might call a kangaroo court that Congress would
3 not have intended to include within the term court?

My favorite thurber cartoon is a courtroom scene where the lawyer asks the witness
"does this refresh your memory?" pointing to a kangaroo.
8 JUSTICE KENNEDY: Well, I mean, it doesn' t -­
9 it' s --it' s not a tennis court or an inner court.
10 ( Laughter. )

"so blindingly obvious that Substantive Due Process is ridiculous" (description of SDP) because "Substantive Process" is an oxymoron. Close your eyes and imagine it. "It's the opposite of Procedural Substance, if that helps." B/c it's absurd, and people make fun of it (including, he says, himself), people use the 9th Amendment. Basis for inventing a buncha other rights! Yay!
Scalia at michigan. Unfortunately, no questions about chickens.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

New vehicle from sweden. It's small, cheap, easy to park, gets great milege,
uses new technology. An ion drive, so it gets 5 million miles to the gallon.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

the movie's cool too.

As I may have mentioned, I'm not very functional these days. I'm not doing the stuff
I should be doing, the laundry, call mom, pay the electric bill, get a job, sell the house stuff like that. What I do instead is operate at a more abstract level where I feel less personally threatened. Absent minded professor* type stuff.
Mostly lately that's been books about politics. And politics about books.
Yesterday, tho, a little further out there:
patri friedman's 2002 books about seasteading.
there's nothing new about this idea, at least for someone like me who grew up on tales of the minerva project and knows filthy pierre and his loompanics book "how to start your own country." But it's a competent and enthusiastic work-up of the idea, by someone who might be able to make it happen. Patri has a job now, at google, and that tends to slow down most people's new country building energy, but energy is something he has a fair amount of, and maybe he'll rub shoulders with a lot of new google millionares and get financing for some of his next small steps.

I was deleting some hotmail. Prompted by comptetion from google/gmail, hotmail
is now giving away the decent sized storage it used to try to charge for,
and seems to have solved its spam problem. It's still not a primary account,
but i'm still subscribed to few things there, one of them having to do with space colonization.
Which got me to today's project.
I was thinking, ok, they now know of 140 planets.
But which ones are close enough to be interesting?
I have little interest in science for science's sake; I want results.
Some of the books I'm reading about Quayle and LBJ deal with the space progam,
and there's been some stuff in the news lately, what with the hubble and the mars rovers and the saturn cassini deal and northern lights and a meteor shower and global warming.
carol moore has a whole history as a consequence of sunspots theory.
carol is a friend and a libertarian wingnut like me.
So it turns out that two of the new planets are in the 15 light year range, and the others are mostly 50-100 light years away or more.
So I'm thinking, with current off the shelf technology, what can you do with a planet 15 light years away?
Related question, what reasonable extrapolations of current technology can be applied to the problem?
Because anything done is going to take time, and technology won't stand still at 2004 levels, but handwaving and saying "the singularity will be here by 2012 so we might as well wait till then" is counterproductive to my current purposes.
Me, i'm old. But say you are a kid, or have a kid, not more than 20 now, likely to live to be 80 or 100 conservatively thinking. So that's a 60 year time frame.
In the lifetime of people now living, what can be done with this extra-solar planet?
We'll go back and forth between "squander all possible resources to do the task" and
"use market based solutions to do the job for an order of magnitude or two less cost". Building the hubble has had both costs and benefits.
Benefits include now knowing these these two relatively close close systems with planets. Subjovian gas giants, 1 in one system, 2 in the other, about the size of saturn.
So one next step would be, build 5 hubbles, deploy them in a relay out past the orbit of jupiter, where there is less noise from the sun. That would get improved data on these systems. How much improved, i don't know exactly, but lets say good enough to tell if there are earth-type planets there. Earth type used loosely; mars or venus would count as earth type.
Now, by 'building 5 hubbles' I don't mean they have to cost 10 billion each like the hubble did. Mass-produced korean knockoffs would suit me fine.
I'm looking for gadgets with the abilites of a hubble, but that might be doable on the cheap, and at least wouldn't cost what the first one did, because the design work has been done and the technology proven.
Obviously again, looking at these two extrasolar systems isn't all these would do;
the hubble made pretty pictures and origin of the universe type stuff and star mapping. A group of hubblettes could turn up some useful data on our solar system as well.
And be in place to be the receivers for messages sent back from robot probes headed off toward these stars.
Because that's one of the things I don't know yet. Given today's tech, how far can a spaceship go before it gets out of communication range?
Because that's one of the other things that can be done in the lifetime of someone now living. The x prize was an boost to the spacebased economy.
There's a need to develop better within-the-solar-system transport. One way to test those technologies is to plan and build and launch spacecraft to nearby stars.
I'm talking about robot probes, small payload, brains, sensors, communications device, propulsion system. Propulsion system along the lines of a solar sail or magnetic field pushed by solar wind and or laser type thing, possibly with an ion drive second stage and rocket first stage.
Let's call that the z prize. I'm not going to fund it, just describe it.
The z prize, let's make it for a billion dollars, 2004 dollars, has to reach a nearby star and signal back, by 2084, with information about what planets are in that system.
Maybe lesser prizes for the one that gets the farthest.
How much would an insurance company charge to write the policy to fund the prize?
Less than a billion. It's not clear anyone would win, and they get some float on the money.
So the prize could be funded for about the price of kevin costner's "waterworld".
Entries for the prize could be sponsored by advertizers. The sony lightsailor,
the viacom enterprise, the vatican santa maria, the brazil "nut", all pay for themselves out of publicity and r&d payback.
Now, this may be mostly wasted effort, like nfl football; so far there's no direct payback.
But let's look at what's happening as the ship travels. Telescope technology is getting better. Deployed space resources are growing. So by the time it gets there, we have a better idea what it will find. Assuming it's able to maintain communication during the trip (let's assume that - if for no other reason that commercials for the sponsor) it can at least reprogram itself with new software developments, and maybe it has nannites that can build a hyperdrive when such a thing is discovered.
This first version is just exploratory, it doesn't have the dna bank for colonization, that comes later.
This feeds on itself - if better telescopes find out there's something earthlike, or at least something potentially humanhabitable, that's instant motivation to build the next generation of even better telescopes.
The first ones sent out will be slower, almost by definition, than later quicker generations that start later but get there sooner. The prize could accomodate that, compenating both first launched and first arrived.
With telescopes saying there's something interesting there, and a ship on the way,
that's powerful incentive to launch a second better ship to try to get there sooner, or to get there with more payload. If there are multiple entries at various speeds and distances, they might be able to relay signals for each other.
If it turns out that there's nothing there, that's ok. What we got, for a small price, was practice leaving the nest, r&d work for tools we need anyway, and 10 billion people with a new reason to look up to the stars at night.
All of this is, by the way, doable with no tax dollars. Except for those nutty brazilans, but the system doesn't depend on them.
I'm not the guy who's gonna build the ship. I'm not even going to write the novel or
the screenplay or the business plan. And I didn't come up with any of these ideas; these are varations on a theme. I'm just trying to spread the meme a little further.
I called mom, but I haven't done the laundry. This was more fun.
I'm sitting on the floor in a small house in indianapolis. I'm having curried lentils with rice, way too much coffee, and will go take a few more aspirin. It's 2004, november, getting cold. There are some 100 million people with the ability to read my blog, find this meme, run with it. Most of them won't. maybe 3 or 4 will.
Currently i have no grandchildren, but that could change. I plan to be alive in 2084, when the star probe sends back its data and wins the prize.
It won't have happened quite the way I wrote it, but close enough I'll be able to brag that it was my idea.
Ok, sure, the data the probe sends back will be fake, part of an elaborate scam that was part of the game from the beginning. But in order to prove that, you have to go and check it out. And if you do that, it worked.
-arbitrary aardvark. piece may be used in its entirety if this line is kept in. -

*"Trouble rather the tiger in his lair than the sage among his books. For to you Kingdoms and their armies are things mighty and enduring, but to him they are but toys of the moment, to be overturned with the flick of a finger."
- Anonymous Chinese proverb

Saturday, November 13, 2004

i found some new arbitrary aardvark pics at a mexican woodcarving site.
site was linked at the no treason metablog which features patri friedman among others.
i think it's code for 'not reason.'

nyt: Reporting: 99.8%
Mitch Daniels, Rep 1,298,615 (53.3%)
Joe Kernan, Dem (i) 1,105,572 (45.4%)
Kenn Gividen, Lib 32,124 (1.3%)

last time i ran as a libertaian in indiana i only got 28,000 votes.
very different race dynamics tho.

Friday, November 12, 2004

ramones biopic
It was 1975 or 76. i forget why we had a high school trip to new york. We lived in the suburbs, had feathered dry-look hair, john denver hiking boots and goretex jackets.
And there on the sidewalk were these kids in black leather jackets, tattoos, earrings,
and spiked hair. We'd never seen anything like it. I didn't know it at the time, but my life changed that day. I got to play "end of the century" at one of my rare shifts at wxdr. Joey and DeeDee signed my jacket at a record store in jersey in, it might have been 81. I was never a full time punk, but the existance of punk culture created a lot of breathing room for those of us who were geeks back before geek was cool.

I need a copy of public domain * for dummies. I keep getting confused. Books, movies, audio, different rules? Mickey not public domain?
Something about 50 years after the death of the author before the berne convention was signed in 76, or the copyright act was amended in 86. So roughly 1922 for most books. And some stuff after that. And some movies. But obviously I don't know.

But here's an idea for the bono camp - go to a small island nation. Tonga's hungry these days. Get a law passed such that copyright is forever. Authorize bounty hunting, extradition by kidnapping, and penalties up to capital punishment. Then assert jurisdiction over the internet. It worked for tennessee.

Law - One Internet, Many Copyright Laws
"One Internet, Many Copyright Laws" is the headline to this economics column today in the NY Times. The length of time before copyrighted material moves into the public domain varies from country to country. A book posted on the web by a resident of a country where the book's copyright has expired may be viewed by readers in a country where the book's copyright period is longer. For instance:
PROJECT GUTENBERG, the volunteer effort to put the world's literature online, may be the latest victim in the Internet battle over copyright.
Earlier this year, the Australian affiliate of Project Gutenberg posted the 1936 novel "Gone With the Wind" on its Web site for downloading at no charge. Last week, after an e-mail message was sent to the site by the law firm representing the estate of the book's author, Margaret Mitchell, the hyperlink to the text turned into a "Page Not Found'' dead end.
At issue is the date when "Gone With the Wind" enters the public domain. In the United States, under an extension of copyright law, "Gone With the Wind'' will not enter the public domain until 2031, 95 years after its original publication.
But in Australia, as in a handful of other places, the book was free of copyright restrictions in 1999, 50 years after Mitchell's death.
The case is one more example of the Internet's inherent lack of respect for national borders or, from another view, the world's lack of reckoning for the international nature of the Internet, and it is also an example of the already complicated range of copyright laws.
The issue of national sovereignty over the Internet has not been firmly established, either by trade agreement or by court precedent, some legal experts say, and conflicts continue to be settled individually. But there are much bigger copyright battles looming as more material, including songs by Elvis Presley and the Beatles, approach public domain in countries around the world.
Posted by Marcia Oddi at November 8, 2004 08:17 PM

# The work was created and first published before January 1, 1923, or at least 95 years before January 1 of the current year, whichever is later.
# The last surviving author died at least 70 years before January 1 of the current year. so, dead by 1933 or written before 1923. so the trick is to figure out who died
in 1934 and 1935 and be prepared to rush their books to market in internet editions or cheapass shovelware, with january 2 as the release date.
Mickey and Peter Pan are public domain in canada and austrailia, but not online.

Published from 1923 - 63 When published with notice3 28 years + could be renewed for 47 years, now extended by 20 years for a total renewal of 67 years. If not so renewed, now in public domain

Now that's interesting! So lots of SF stuff may not have had copyright renewed, and could be republished. No idea how to sort out which is which. Not gonan buy the $100 manual that offers to tell more.

Is a dog sniff a search? Maybe not.
Is an unwarranted dog sniff an unreasonable search and seizure under the federal or illinois bill of rights? I would vote yes. I think 5 of the current court will vote no,
assuming the current chief justice participates.
I might vote differently if it were a beagle. I assume a german shepard was used.
The german shepard is the symbol of the nazi's gestapo. It's a war dog - 4000 were used in vietnam, and then killed when the war ended. Whether or not it's a search, it is a seizure. When the dog is there, you don't leave until the dog says it's ok.
I worked on a case which was later settled for $60,000, about a guy who was mauled by a police dog after a traffic stop. last time I saw my friend Mark Gann he was on crutches
after being mauled by a police dog. My roommate/tenant/client joell palmer was a plaintiff in an earlier supreme court dog sniff case, edmonds v indianapolis.
Carroll Towing is the case that create an exception to the warrant requirement for traffic stops. I don't think Carroll should extend to dog sniffs.
If a dog is ok, how about a wolf? A tiger?

The current state of affairs is certainly preferable to the days when we got all our news once in the morning from the metropolitan broadsheets and once at night from Peter Jennings. I place greater trust in the nearly instantaneous dissemination, evalutation, filtering, and redistribution of the blogosphere than in the hallowed halls of MSM. For the purposes of information clearing, dynamic, decentralized systems are preferable to slow-reacting, hierarchical, centralized systems.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

GLOBAL WARMING ON MARS: I blame Halliburton.
posted at 10:40 AM by Glenn Reynolds Permalink

Ok, here's the thing. Haliburton was an oil company once. Earle Haliburton was a hardworking texas sumbitch who believed in free enterprise and made it work.
He hated taxes and big government.
But the company now called Haliburton is the result of a merger between the oil field service company, Haliburton, and Brown and Root. H bought B&R, roughly equal sized companies, but serving totally different markets. It's probably fair to say the company today is "really" Brown and Root in sheep's clothing. Brown and Root made its first dollar in the public sector, building roads in Texas. It went on to build dams, johnson space center in houston, nuke plants, vietnam, somalia, bosnia, and now iraq.
No reason it couldn't be the biggest player in a nasa-funded mars gig.
The best investment the Brown brothers ever made was in Lyndon Johnson. Their invesment in W Bush isn't working out so bad either. It's not about oil. It's about looting taxpayers.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Novice lawyer nabs national notice by Nobel notables.
from the wine, supreme court, law and economics, mizzou department.
With oral arguments December 7th, this story is a nice little sidebar.
Maybe that's oral argument and tasting?

declan story

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

there's been some criticism of the notion that the gay marriage vote in ohio swung the election. i still haven't seen a work up of how the states without the referenda voted.

here's what i'm currently thinking about the election.
there's a certain ghetto mentality that exerts social pressure to vote a certain way
if you belong to a certain group. gay? then of course you will vote democrat.
black? then of course you will vote democrat. jewish? then of course...union? then of course...
so the typical voter asks themselves, am i gay? black? union? no? ok, i guess i don't have to vote democrat. so they don't. and as for those who are gay black and union, conformity isn't quite 100%, because some people don't like being told how they must behave.
if i'm right, and who knows, i'm wildly speculating here, the dems could lighten up on the assumption that they own anybody's vote. they could focus on trying to earn those votes instead of taking them for granted, encourage those voter blocks to think critically and vote for better candidate. this approach might reduce the backlash.

clever veal joke wanted.
ok i'm in a snarky morbid mood. it was a rough day.
Distraught over the re-election of President George W. Bush, a Georgia man traveled to New York City, went to Ground Zero and killed himself with a shotgun blast, police said yesterday.
No suicide note was found, but according to a Port Authority police source, family members said Veal, a registered Democrat, was despondent over Bush’s defeat of Sen. John Kerry. A second source said Veal, who lived in Athens, Ga., and worked for the University of Georgia, was also adamantly opposed to the war in Iraq.

entries: his corpse was charged with transporting a shotgun over state lines, and littering. vegans refused o eat him.

joe hill.
via tom tomorrow.

The first rule of the Patriot Act is: you do NOT talk about the Patriot Act.
Comment by: isildur at November 9, 2004 06:44 PM

Ashcroft out, says hit and run.
Before I go buy a bunch of extreme videos, who might his replacement be?
Bad news for second amendment, good news for first amendment.
As a going away present, the supreme court in haitian dude v ashcroft voted 9-0 for haitian dude, opinion by the chief.

arafat undead.

Todays' BMV episode was the worst yet.
I'm too miffed to type about it.

Monday, November 08, 2004

ebert: The movie, directed by Roger Michell, has been adapted by Joe Penhall from a novel by Ian McEwan; it begins with ethical issues and then gradually descends into thriller material. The character of Jed is nicely modulated by Rhys Ifans; in the early scenes, he's the kind of man you instinctively know you want to get away from, but you nod and are polite and agree in a perfunctory way to whatever they're saying, while edging away and hoping never to see them again. Such people take such small talk literally, and convince themselves you have made promises or, worse, sent them a coded message.
Sometimes I'm that guy. Or, in the fear that I'm that guy, I just end up avoiding people, perhaps people who didn't want to be avoided after all.
ebert writes some of the best prose in chicago. i love his last sentences:
How about just once, at the crucial moment, the killer gets squished under a ton of canned soup, and we never do find out who he was? saw, seen.

it was another gray day in which i didn't get out of bed. taught a friend how to view movie clips, outlined a screenplay with her. meanwhile my roommates are cleaning the refridgerator. last night we played monopoly.

man who folded himself department:
Note: Carruth wrote, directed and edited the movie, composed the score, and starred in it. The budget was reportedly around $7,000, but that was enough: The movie never looks cheap, because every shot looks as it must look. In a New York Times interview, Carruth said he filmed largely in his own garage, and at times he was no more sure what he was creating than his characters were. "Primer" won the award for best drama at Sundance 2004.

earlier, i was restless and bored, franticly avoiding anything like work. i'd read all the blogs i follow and some that i don't. then ebert to the rescue. i don't feel any need to actually go to those movies, I just like reading about them. in one day, he covers citizen kane, ray charles, jude law as michael caine's alfie, low budget sf, odd little movies that don't play in peoria, odd little movies with nicole kidman that will, and on and on until one steps away feeling full and it's gotten dark out.
i'm not going to the club tonight because i didn't do the chores i'd set myself.
so i'll stay in and read more dan quayle's standing firm - it's not an erotic thriller after all.

BMV saga update.
today is monday. under the newest rules, the bmv is closed mondays. and the thing i need to do, can't be done online for a $50 bribe er service fee.

what's shaking chiefy baby? - justice marshall's greeting to chief justice burger.
drudge hints bush likes thomas for chief if the chief retires. volokh conspiracy suggests volokh. neither is as far fetched as it sounds. i won't bet the farm on it.
thomas is young. i don't know much about his diet or blood pressure - as an african american male in DC, what's his life expectany? he's a bold orginal thinker who could take the court in new directions. if bush wants controversy, that would do it.
volokh to fill thomas's seat would be a balanced choice. janice brown?
kozinski would satify the volokhians.i expect the eventual nominee to be hispanic surnamed, which doesn't narrow the field that much. elevating o'connor would require a deal that she resign before bush leaves office, otherwise she's too old.
markets in everything - is it legal to bet on who gets nominated? that's if a vacancy occurs during bush the second's second term. scotusblog has more.er, but the link didn't copy.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

create your own superhero:

Super-HeroBlasterMale*arbitrary aardvark*Skin:4,75,0,0,0,0,100,75,0,0,0,0,100;Eyebrows:4,75,0,0,0,0,100,75,0,0,0,0,100;Eyes:4,75,0,0,0,0,100,75,0,0,0,0,100;Nose:13,75,0,0,0,0,100,75,0,0,0,0,100;Mouth:9,75,0,0,0,0,100,75,0,0,0,0,100;Beard:6,75,0,0,0,0,100,75,0,0,0,0,100;Hair:22,75,0,0,0,0,100,75,0,0,0,0,100;Mask:19,75,0,0,0,0,100,75,0,0,0,0,100;Helmet:1,75,0,0,0,0,100,75,0,0,0,0,100;Undershirt:20,75,0,0,0,0,100,75,0,0,0,0,100;Overshirt:8,75,0,0,0,0,100,75,0,0,0,0,100;Gloves:7,75,0,0,0,0,100,75,0,0,0,0,100;Insignia:13,75,0,0,0,0,100,75,0,0,0,0,100;Belt:5,75,0,0,0,0,100,75,0,0,0,0,100;Leggings:4,75,0,0,0,0,100,75,0,0,0,0,100;Overleggings:2,75,0,0,0,0,100,75,0,0,0,0,100;Pants:5,75,0,0,0,0,100,75,0,0,0,0,100;Footwear:6,75,0,0,0,0,100,75,0,0,0,0,100;Coat:4,75,0,0,0,0,100,75,0,0,0,0,100;Weapon-rt:22,75,0,0,0,0,100,75,0,0,0,0,100;Weapon-lft:12,75,0,0,0,0,100,75,0,0,0,0,100;Back:2,75,0,0,0,0,100,75,0,0,0,0,100;#

Saturday, November 06, 2004

"Oops - they did it again,'' Germany's left-leaning Tageszeitung newspaper said in a front-page English headline. via alas a blog, one of the only places i am blogrolled.

nostalgia from crooked timber:
Well, I know what 1960 was like. I was there. I’m Bill Bennett’s age.

So, let’s return to the golden days of yesteryear. Here’s some of cultural and legal milieu.
Your point of view on “morality issues” will determine what you think was good or bad.

In 1960:

Ike was president in his 2nd term. RMN was VP. JFK was about to run against RMN.

LSD was legal.

Abortion was illegal, but increasingly less prosecuted in some more liberal states. But Mexico was the usual option for most.

Asset forfeiture was not used in drug cases, and only rarely in any other cases.

You had to sign a “loyalty oath” to get some jobs, such as faculty at some universities.

You didn’t have to give your fingerprints to get a drivers license in most states.

Benzedrine inhalers were sold OTC. “Bennie” users could buy them and extract the contents.

“The Pill” didn’t yet exist as a widespread birth control method.

“Prophylactics” (condoms) were sold for $.50 in restroom vending machines “for prevention of disease only”.

De jure segregation no longer existed in schools, but integration was not complete either.

The Bible was not off limits in the classroom, but even in the south where I grew up, sane public school teachers didn’t preach about it.

Marijuana was so esoteric that mostly only big city police departments and Anslinger’s FBN knew anything much about it, so growing your own was not very risky if you were cool.

Interracial marriage (so called “miscegenation”) was illegal in several states, but legal in others. Loving_v._Commonwealth was decided in 1967.

Rock ‘n Roll was everywhere, and some preachers were holding “record burnings”.

Pregnant teenage girls either had children out of wedlock and typically for adoption, had “shotgun” weddings, or went to Mexico for an abortion.

Bishop Fulton J. Sheen was on nationwide TV weekly.

Jimmy Swaggart was on local TV out of Shreveport, La.

Swaggart’s cousin, Jerry Lee Lewis, sometimes played piano for Swaggart’s TV ministry.

Jerry Lee Lewis had been married to his third wife, his cousin Myra Gale Brown for a couple years. She was 15.

Father Coughlin was still pastor at the Shrine of the Little Flower, but his radio days were long over.

Wolfman Jack still hadn’t hit the airwaves.

J.D. Salinger’s Catcher_in_the_Rye was on every hip teen’s reading list.

Grace Metalious’ “scandalous” novel Peyton_Place was already a hit movie.

“Miranda rights” didn’t yet exist.

Russia’s Sputnik had long been launched, and education in engineering had become well supported, so more college scholarships were becoming available than before.

The VietNam war hadn’t really started.

Bill Bennett was still just a punk-ass neighborhood bully.

Advice from Thomas Jefferson via ed still's votelaw blog
[this is to remind me to write to my client john taylor re status of taylor v taylor]

Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1798, after the passage of the Sedition Act: A little patience, and we shall see the reign of witches pass over, their spells dissolve, and the people, recovering their true sight, restore their government to it's true principles. It is true that in the mean time we are suffering deeply in spirit, and incurring the horrors of a war & long oppressions of enormous public debt. ... If the game runs sometimes against us at home we must have patience till luck turns, & then we shall have an opportunity of winning back the principles we have lost, for this is a game where principles are the stake. Better luck, therefore, to us all; and health, happiness, & friendly salutations to yourself. -- T. Jefferson to John Taylor, 4 June 1798

OK, patience was good enough for Jefferson, but we've got to get back out there on the field and practice our principles. We've got to win the next one for truth, justice, and the American way.

Update: I found the source of the quotation and put the ampersands back in, the way TJ wrote it.
This entry was posted by Edward at 10:35 PM | Comments (1) | Mail This Entry to a Friend | TrackBack (0) | Categories: Other

in this corner:
And for those willing to pay serious money to watch a lunch hour debate, on Friday, November 19, 2004 in New York City (assuming no asteroid has destroyed Earth by then), Judge Posner will debate Ninth Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski on the topic of "Fair Use After Eldred." (Final two links courtesy of the blog "Underneath Their Robes.")
posted at 14:30 by Howard Bashman

Friday, November 05, 2004

hacking.. or was it?
Free Christopher Andrew Phillips!

"[Kilgore Trout, the science fiction writer] wrote a story one time
about an optimistic chimpanzee who became President of the United
States. He called it 'Hail to the Chief.' The chimpanzee wore a little
blue blazer with brass buttons, and with the seal of the President of
the United States sewed to the breast pocket....Everywhere he went,
bands would play 'Hail to the Chief.' The chimpanzee loved it. He would
bounce up and down." -- Kurt Vonnegut, _Breakfast of Champions_, 1973
hat tip randall head at the cyberia-l list.

BMV update:
How was my weekend, you didn't ask?
I shaved, put on a tie, went to the BMV before it closed, no line.
I presented the info they requested, my birth certificate, a major credit card,
some documents showing that I already had an Indiana drivers license, I'm just trying to replace the one that got lost or stolen.
Getting my birth cert had been a hassle. In order to get it from my home state,
you have to have a drivers license. And you can't get a driver's license without a birth certificate. Terrorism at work. I ended up having my lawyer get the birth cert,
which took a few months of paperwork back and forth.
The name on my birth cert is different from my legal name, because it was changed as a kid. It was not changed in a court - not required to be - and there is no paperwork existing anywhere that documents the change. This was today's excuse for denying me my right to a license.
I asked to see the requirement in writing, since no such requirement was listed on the written info they claimed to be relying on. I was given a number to call.
I called the number and after being on hold, talked to someone with an Indian accent who did not give her name. (It is department policy to refuse to give names.)
She would nopt provide a written statement of the policy, but said I could look it up at the library under BMV regulations. I went to the library. No such book, no such regulation in the state adminsitrative code. I found and printed off an affidavit of one and the same name and got it notarized, and I'll bring that with me on my next trip. The most important thing I need to do is go to a different branch - the virginia avenue branch goes out of its way to be (jerks.)
I let them know I was upset, without freaking out totally.
I drove home. I'm relatively calm. I'll give it another shot, and then meet with the lawyer again. OK, calm isn't quite the word. I'm vexed, annoyed. I'd seen this coming. But I'm coping ok. Making soup from leftovers, thinking about adding some curry to it. Some of the other things on my to do list depended on getting the ID.
I still might do another of the items on this list today.
I have to be pretty calm and in a good mood to even make the list; most of this week
I was stressing about the election, and didn't try to do much else.
Ended up being a good week anyway (aside from the election), new roommates, which was an excuse to clean and rearrange things. I try not to do a lot of personal whining on this blog, but I'm allowing myself some room to do so in this entry, as part of telling the BMV story. There should be a blog, a forum, for people to list their horror stories with the BMV and that sort of agency. Not everyone is as close to nervous collapse and paranoia and learned helplessness as I am, but the BMV is this way for lots and lots of people.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

via scotusblog, a miami herald article on this court's record in first amendment cases.
not so good lately, with democrat-nominated judges scoring worse in general that republican-nominated ones. no comment from tornillo.

Over at http://tehsoapbox.net greyhoundsrule has a couple links on how the gop and lobbyists play hardball on k street. intended as criticism, i see them more as a how-to piece. I used to think I would grow up to be one of those wheelers and dealers, a fixer. Hasn't worked out.


i'm not sure how i missed the liberty and power blog before. it's linked at volokh
and features jeff hummell, sheldon richman, and so forth.

This strategy was decisive for the Bush Electoral victory, the brainchild of Karl Rove, who, surprise, surprise, has a history of running gay-baiting campaigns, going all the way back to Bush's gubernatorial race in Texas. Interestingly, same-sex marriage bans were approved in 11 states. Two of these states (Michigan and Oregon) went to Kerry. But the other nine (Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Ohio, and Utah) went to Bush. Such ballot questions brought out the fundamentalist vote. One might say that they were designed to do so.

And in that crucial Ohio race—the state that is still technically in contention, but that will put the President over the top—the anti-gay marriage amendment was the most extreme proposed measure in the country. Not only does the approved amendment bar same-sex marriage; it bars even unions that "approximate marriage." The amendment passed in Ohio; exit polls show that 67% of those who voted to approve this ban also voted for George W. Bush. Those who cared most about the economy, by contrast, voted for Kerry.

I haven't looked at turnout in the gay-marriage-basing states as opposed to elsewhere, but this seems persuasive especially as to ohio. The attempt by the democrats to put together coalitions of blacks, gays, single women, union members,
welfare recipients, etc., inspires backlash among "just folks."
I don't think it's opposition to gay marriage per se that's the issue, as much as a sense that this is just one item on the gay agenda, which will include anti-discrimination laws maybe leading to affirmative action, quotas, pc anti-harrasment restrictions on speech, and so forth, the same sort of culture of entitlement that has contributed to tension between blacks and whites and between liberals and social conservatives. This probably sounds hopelessly redneck of me, so i'll point out that i'm urban, queer, and like tofu.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

voting went smoothly.
the usual unlawful posters within 50 feet of the polls.
no human electioneering goin on.
i split ticket, voting for the underdogs mostly.
the walk home, in nice gloomy rainy weather, was depressing -
i usually enjoy this sort of weather.
in other news, fruit flies cloned, us passports to be equiped with machine readable chips, www.wired.com reports.
so, in theory, a taxi picking you up at the airport could be reading your passport and know that you aren't home.. lots of public and private uses for that kind of data.

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