Friday, April 29, 2005

Time management for Anarchists: the movie. I should watch this, when i get around to it. Via boingboing.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Book 25, 50 book challenge.
Takedown, the pursuit and capture of Kevin Mitnick.
I'd picked this up for 50 cents at the thrift store awhile back, but not read it, because I'd heard it was overhyped, demonizing Mitnick. I'm part of the free kevin faction. But it turns out to be about about people like John Gilmore, who is one of my brother's [http://idiom.com/~wcs]friends, and Tom Jennings, who I got a crush on when I met him and John in 1992, so I'm enjoying the book. I have a statute of limitations running next week so I may need to put down the books and actually do some work for a change, but I think I'll finish this one first. Chapter 2, which I'm on now, is about coming of age as a computer geek. I can relate. I've never made it to the core of computergeekdom myself, but I'm a fellow traveler; that's my culture. I need to write up my own life story someday.

update: Takedown is coauthored by the nyt's john markoff. Today's (may 2) slashdot has a review of a new book by Markoff, about how some hippies in the bay area built the personal computer, way back when.

Book 24, 50 book challenge.
The Senator's Daughter, Victoria Gotti

the senator's daughter
arbi says:
(is the name of the book)
arbi says:
it's one of those where of the ten characters they are all either related or screwing or trying to kill each other, or more than one

It's not that bad for a first novel. Good characters, prose ok, it was just that it loses suspension of disbelief, when everybody, except the dog, is plotting against everybody else. It was what it was, a trashy novel when i couldn't sleep last night.

Revenge of the Smith: silent bob speaks.

crescat on arbitraryness and the death penalty.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

more blogging aardvarks...
on the other hand i have no idea what he's talking about. computer stuff.

Then I read the transcripts for Wilkinson v Austin, the Ohio Supermax case.
While it could go either way, it looked tough for plaintiffs. Plaintiffs have a facial challenge to an arbitrary process, which they proved at trial. But the state switched to a different arbitrary process, and there's a concern that that moots the facialness of the challenge, at least for some members of the class.
So there are several grounds on which the decision could be reversed, and I can't call how this will come out. Other aspects of the case were settled for 1.9 million in legal fees, and the new procedures are better than the old ones, but if the case is reversed, that will be a sign for business as usual in the privatized torture chamber industry.

This week the supreme court announced 4 decisions and granted cert in 5 more, but they are fairly boring and are not discussed further here. The major cases remain undecided.
I'm reading transcripts in Cutter v Wilkinson, an Ohio RayLupia case about religious accommodation for prisoners. I think these prisoners are satanists, which may not be the best choice of plaintiff tactically.
Page 19, line 6, "if he's killed in the line of duty there will be religious rights"
- they mean rites. Proofreading transcripts is always fun.
P 29 line 22. "Wonder bus" should be blunderbus.

Prediction: rlupia will be upheld as constitutional.
This is important, because it creates a way for some prisoners to have their human rights upheld some of the time. I'm involved with a case where a vegetarian was denied edible food for a month - rlupia provides a cause of action.

plaintiffs are Ohio prisoners who assert unconventional religious beliefs. Miller and other co-plaintiffs are followers of Asatru, a polytheistic religion that originated with the Vikings, and includes Thor as one of its gods. Gerhardt is an ordained minister of the Church of Jesus Christ Christian, a white supremacist group that espouses a belief that the races should be separated. Hampton is a Wiccan and practicing "witch," and co-plaintiff John Cutter is an avowed Satanist. All of them assert that Ohio prison regulations denying them access to religious literature and the opportunity to conduct religious services are violations of RLUIPA and the Ohio Constitution.

RLUIPA, signed by President Clinton in September 2000, bans government policies that substantially burden free exercise of religion by inmates and, in land-use cases, by a person or institution. The government, however, can gain an exemption if it can demonstrate it has a compelling interest and is using the least restrictive means to advance that interest
However, the warden’s liability under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) does not parallel his liability under § 1983 for a corresponding First Amendment violation and RLUIPA implicitly authorized respondeat superior and supervisory liability where there has been a violation of RLUIPA. By its terms, RLUIPA does not preclude an award of relief against a supervisory official based upon a subordinate’s actions, unless such relief is not “appropriate.” In this case, the warden’s deliberate avoidance of any involvement in review of plaintiff’s grievance established sufficient “fault” – an adequate causal nexus to plaintiff’s injury – to support a finding of liability against him under RLUIPA


Thursday, April 21, 2005

yikes. 1400 webcomics here.
including fuzzy knights http://www.kenzerco.com/periodicals/fuzzyknights/fkonline_current.php
Today I didn't read a book, and didn't do anything useful, so I've caught up on the usual places I read online and feel sort of ..lost. A few more days like this and i might start to get work done just to have something to do.

Life extension and life terms for popes and judges: instaundit points to this article.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

(I am parking this comment for catallarchy here while i see if it posted or not - it eventually did.)
Need an agent?
A book deal would be very doable for this blog.
The guy who got me blogging, wil wheaton,[www.wilwheaton.net] got a multi-book deal from his blog, notably Just a Geek.
OK, he's famous, but then, so are you. Jyoti Mishra suggested I write a book, on the basis of comments I'd made at wheaton's blog's forum [www.tehsoapbox.net.] Haven't written a book yet, but I started blogging as a way to ease into it. Wheaton and Mishra are both big on diy; wheaton was self-publishing before he was picked up by O'Reily. Today's he's in vegas researching the next book, of poker stories.
Self-publishing can be as simple as shoveling your blog archives onto a cd and selling it via e-bay, cafepress, and places like ThinkGeek.
Being a published author gives you some additional status in certain circles, whether you sell 12 copies or a million.

Anonymous Lawyer, aka cres-cat Jeremy Blachman, has a book deal, according to USAtoday.
USAtoday today, new york times yesterday. Via catallarchy.

Anti-jokes, from something awful, via boingboing.
J-list side blog, is it a blog or an ad for domu-kun tshirts? http://www.peterpayne.net Generally not work-safe.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

A group of engineers at NASA's Johnson Space Center came up with a unique design using plastic bags, cardboard and duct tape 35 years ago to save the three astronauts aboard Apollo 13. Instapundit.

At crescat, a brilliant post by waddling thunder aka raffi on the imperial presidency.
Little to add, but it reminds me of gap in my knowledge. In the US, the president is commander-in-chief, which seems to translate as warlord. But in the UK, or rather England, the commander in chief was somebody else, neither king nor prime minister, sort of a joint chief of staff. It's the details of how that works that I don't know.
And mabne I don't need to know - I'm still really vague on which Japanese court offical does what, what a lord chamberlin is, and suchlike. Grand poobahs and lesser poobahs.
Isn't 'raffi' the satantic uncle in Friendly Hostility?

Duras sisters case:
The Supreme Court unanimously revered the 9th circuit, again.
The opinion, drasticly oversimplified, says to win a securities case, one needs to show more than "i lost money".
Er, that's reversed, not revered.

Dissing Blackmun:
Not that i've read the article, but late Justice Blackmun is being criticized for having clerks that wrote opinions, had partisan views, thought about the long term consequences of decisions, and so forth. That's what I look for in a clerk.
I get to focus on the Court's constitutional law decisions, but they get a little of everything. It would be useful to be able to say to a clerk, go look at the legislative history of paragraph 4 of the lepidoptera act, and draft an opinion in the case.
The alternative is a court that gets bogged down by the caseload, and only issues 80 opinions a year.
There's no allegation the clerks dictated the outcome, or that the opinions weren't carefully read over before his name went on them.
This reminds me I need to go check scotusblog, there may have been an opinion issued today.

A volokh puzzle:
Consecutive Vowels:
A recent post led me to notice that "obsequious" has four consecutive vowels. What not very rare English word has five vowels in a row? It's not a really common word, but it yields hundreds of thousands of hits on google (unlike, say, "miaoued"), and it's not a proper noun.

The answer, of course, is EIEIO.
What? That's not it? Aaaaarrr, matey.

In the middle east, robots are replacing exploited third world children as camel jockeys. How soon will these show up as yuppie lawn ornaments?

Monday, April 18, 2005


Did you ever have one of those friends who you like a lot, but you can tell they did too much acid in college? I had a friend like that, and over the last several years he's been increasingly successful at sales jobs, to the point where he now employs a couple assistants, including a former client of mine. He called today and may have a buyer for a handful of lots I'm trying to get rid of. Sell the lots, sell the house to the tenant, wrap up a few existing court cases, and I'm outta here. Should take about a year.

From the 50 book challenge department:
23 Bless the Beasts and Children
One thing this set of books I found has in common is many of them were made into movies, which is what sells books these days. Trivia: the ranch in Beasts is modeled after Hidden Valley ranch, inventors of ranch dressing. Beasts is about a Joseph Campbell/Golden Bough type quest by some unhappy campers to save some buffalo from being murdered by the government. It sparked a big animal rights to-do, but the buffalo killings have continued.
I'm now out of books. Time to hit the library or the used bookstore. I think I'll be reading some Joseph Kennedy bios next. I've been compulsively reading as a form of escapism.
22 The Mermaids Singing
21. Circle of Friends.
Two books about women coming of age in Ireland. Amazon, Circle. Amazon, Mermaids.
I liked Circle better, although it might be less literary. Set in 1958, small town girls without much money deal with going to college and trying to make a life,
while dealing with narrowmindedness and preganancy. Mermaids was about that too, but swung back and forth in time between three generations, sort of like pulp fiction, which I finally saw recently.
After seeing pulp fiction, i've decided Bruce Willis doesn't necessarily ruin a movie for me, so I'd see sin city if I had a date, which I probably won't.
Circle was a hit for Chris O'Donnell and Minnie Driver in 1995.

20 Island of the Sequined Love Nun.
19 The first 20 million is the toughest
18 Ciderhouse Rules,
17 The Shadow of Albion,
16 The Day of the Locust, Nathaniel West
15 A Walk to Remember.
14 A Thousand Acres.
13 Digital fortress, Dan Brown.
12 http://scalzi.com/agent/
11 Norton introduction to literature.
10.3 Going Critical: How The Nuclear Energy Lobby Has Hidden The Dangerous Truth About Giant Rats in Nevada
10 To The Hilt Dick Francis
9 Paris Underground Etta Shiber 1944
8 Cause of Death Patrica Cornwell
7 Dude where's my country? Michael Moore.
7. 1L. (I seem to have two 7s.)
6 The Funnies. [edited anthology]
5 The Kennedeys, David Horowitz
4 Speaking Truth to Power, Kerry Kennedey [cuomo]
3 Personal History, Katharine Graham
2 American Gods, Neil Gaiman.
1 Pattern Recognition, William Gibson.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

In these years shortly before the singularity, slashdot is fun. At least once a week there's some kind of mindblowing earthshattering major development, we make a few jokes, and move on. Today's was that, using infared, a vast corpus of ancient greek writings are being uncovered. Aeshelus (sp), Hesiod, Euripides, maybe a few new books of what could go into the bible. Stay tuned; results will be trickling out over the next several months, and it will take years to get things sorted out.

More constitution in exile thoughts:
Aren't you just playing with definitions? Under your view, there are dozens if not hundreds of constitution-in-exile movements, right?

This is a placeholder for a response.

Think of it as vectors. Different groups, different agendas, various levels of effort of efficacy, but what they have in common is an attempt to enforce some aspect of constitutional rights not currently being enforced.
Add up these vectors into one big vector, and they show a trend.

I am not expert on movements, or on sociology, but there may be some critical mass to a movement, that some of these efforts would not have by themselves. Collectively, it's a movement. There can be errors in looking at things this way. In a glass of water subject to brownian motion (april 1905 paper by einstein observed sugar diffusing in a glass of tea, from which he derived the size of the sugar molecule, and soon thereafter discovered brownian motion.)
if we look at all the molecules moving up and to the left, and ignore those moving down or to the right, we see a movement where there is really just randomness.
But I hold that there is a movement to restore the lost constitution.
Next post will discuss restoring lost plays of Euripides et al.

Those of us who are lawyers or have been government employees take an oath to support the state and federal constitution.
My views on the obligation this entails are not widely held.
Most of my law school classmates probably think of that as meaningless cermonial mumbo-jumbo, not a pact or promise.
Others, somehow, have dumbed down the obligation to mean "except when following orders" or only applying when some judge specifically finds statute x is unconstitutional.
My view is that an oath to uphold the constitutions creates an obligation, unless one wishes to be known an an oathbreaker, to uphold the constitutions, all of it.
And that the constitution means what it says, to each reader. That is, a person who takes an oath to uphold the constitution is swearing to uphold what they think the constitution means.
Thus a cop, for example, unless they are a dirty crooked cop, would be obligated to to not try to enforce rules which infringe on the bearing of arms.
This might result in getting fired, but that's a risk one assumes upon taking the oath.
Those who fail to honor their oaths create an appearence, and a reality, of corruption. For example, congressman mike castle is an oathbreaker, and corrupt, by sponsoring a stand by your ad rule for the internet.

Now, I'm coming at all this from a strong libertarian POV. I'm interestd in restoring the constitution specificly because the document confers rights. I wouldn't particularly care about restoring the 16th or 17th amendments - those don't confer rights.
What I would really like to restore is the declaration of independence, which states that the only legitimate function of our government is to protect rights, that anything else is tyranny (and thus bad.)
Again, it's not as thought that document is magic for historical reasons - I'm, interested in it because it confers rights and limits government.
Unlimited government is the biggest threat to my life and the life of the planet.
During the 20th century, some 100 million people were killed by governments.
I'm not a fan.
I can put up with limited government; that would be acceptable.
I could put up with no government; that would be acceptable.
The declaration and the constitution and the state constitutional bills of rights are excellent examples of attempts to limit government to something that won't become a monster and kill us all. Seems worthwhile.
So when sophist lawyers and judges go around pretending tha tbig hunks of the constitution just aren't there, or don't mean what they say, or can be ignored by some level of scrutiny, I get upset.
I seek to restore the lost constitution, the constitution in exile.
I do not hearken back to some golden age - well ok I do, but it's the asimovian one - "the golden age of science fiction is twelve."
I am aware that there has never been a time when all of the constitution was enforced. I came of age in the brennan-marshall era, when it seemed like steady progress was being made in that direction. The Rehnquist court cut back on much of that trend of progress, but I'm still pleased at most of the outcome of most of the cases the Supreme Court handles. What I've come to be discouraged by is a growing realization that the Supreme Court is a sideshow - for every case it takes and gets right, 100 or a thousand fall between the cracks. The high court can't restore the constitution by itslf. The system only works if those who sear to uphold it actually do so, more often than not.

Several social engagements last night. At joell's party I ran into some guy who has a band and a myspace site for the band, and I'm trying to remember what it was. Not oracle, not oasis. I'm hoping it'll come to me later. Aha. Opiate. I looked it up at www.emersontheatre.com.
Anyway, on with the show. Opening band Opiate featured pulse-pounding
vocals, blasting away with Pantera stylings and Limp Bizkit slamming
guitars. Powerful screaming vocals, infused with anger and frustration and
rage. "The fuck you waiting for, get the fuck up to the front!" Oh, yes,
charismatic stage presence as well. Roaring anger and stunning slabs of
guitar power, the kind of energy you just can't keep up forever. But it
was long enough.

Not my scene, but he was cute, with the faded jeans and black eyeshadow, but that's probably just cuz he's a rock star.

My thoughts on constitution in exile at volokh.

Friday, April 15, 2005

In for a calf is not in for a cow.
What exactly Justice Ginsberg meant by this is in her concurrence in McInytre is not clear, but we've identified one area where disclosure is not required.
Justice Scalia, speaking at NYU, refused to answer whether he'd stopped sodomizing his wife yet.
I wish I knew what the question preceeding this question was; apparently they were discussing Lawrence v Texas.

What I'm wondering is whether the questioner may be subject to honor code violation issues. As a law student, I think he's bound by attorney ethics, and attorneys are supposed to show a certain amount of respect to the court. Yet also the first a. protects some degree of discussion of public issues. I don't have an answer to this, i'm just raising the question.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

I wasn't having a good day. I forgot to go to the one appointment I had today, and I was upset with myself about that. So I started going through my bookmarks to some web pages I like, and that cheered me up.
Sinfest (which links to Friendly Hostility and Filthy Lies)
Sexy Fandom.
Wil Wheaton.
You Damn Kid.
That was about as far as I got; catching up on commenting on catallarchy took up the block of time I had. Usually the routine includes volokh and slashdot.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Miscarriage of justice:
There's a judge Sanders on the Washington Supreme Court who I'm a fan of.
He was officially reprimanded recently for having toured a prison housing sex offenders.
This was bad. It's crucial that judges and anyone in the profession get to know the realities of what prisons are really like. Willful blindness leads to abu greib type situations. It's on appeal.
Matthew Hale was sentenced to 40 years for soliciting the murder of a judge - the same judge whose family members were killed by a disgruntled former plaintiff.
But based on the facts in the article, he did not solicit her murder, and stated that he himself was going to work within the system and what other people did was up to them. Hale is some kind of neonazi, and was linked to a guy who killed some people in Bloomington. He was also in the news when he was turned down for bar membership because of his political views. But that doesn't mean he should be framed and falsely convicted. He's also in trouble now for making a statement that he had nothing to do
with the lone gunman who killed the judge's family members - this was a true and reasonable statement. He's from east peoria, which is a rundown community where racial tensions simmer, and probably more young men graduate to prison than college.
I delivered phone books there one summer. I guess the link between the two men is that both are being targeted for having unpopular opinions, both are being denied due process and are being treated unfairly. I think that sort of thing is the norm rather than the exception.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

51%* is not a man-date.
Via baude, an article on the social awkwardness of the straight male.
I can relate. I'd been going to local bowling alley for punk shows. I met a guy, we slamdanced, it was fun. But then I'd see him there week after week, and we'd make a little small talk above the din, and I felt that awkwardness of not knowing how to interact with him. I assume he's straight. Schedule-wise, I haven't been back in awhile. Maybe I'm avoiding the issue. It would be nice to have a guy friend, but I've just forgotten how.
* wil wheaton gets hatemail.

Will Baude is on book 15 of the 50 books challenge, and so am I more or less.. i've lost count but it's between 10 and 20, 15ish. The difference is he's reading
the second volume of The Constitution in Congress: (The Jeffersonians), by Curry,
and I'm reading Island of the Sequined Love Nun.
I'm reading it not because of my interest in polynesian-western syncretism ala Pitcairn, Maugham or Hawaii, but because it looked like a fun read, more so than fear of flying or circle of friends or the deep end of the ocean or the others in the stack of coverless paperbacks I gleaned from the recycling bin at the Lesbian bookstore awhile back and put aside for a rainy day/month/indefinate period.
At the moment (p.102)our hero is in a capsized boat with a ladyboy navigator and a pet fruit bat, fending off sharks. Pretty good read, in the light escapist genre, which is what I want. Today I answered the phone, closed the sale of a lot for $1000, looked up the paperwork, and went back to bed. I do this about once a month. It beats working, and I can keep it up for a year or two until I run out of lots. Two more phone calls to make today. I don't like phones to begin with, and expect bad news and hassles, so I'm putting it off. Meanwhile I'm in an email dialog with a journalist in Illinois. I'm trying to get across the difference between a law and an unconstitutional statute.

A google ad on a wired article (about government suppression of a cure for heroin addiction) led to wesleyblog. It's an interesting voice - conservative and evangelical,
literate and tolerant, thoughful and thoughtprovoking. That's rare enough to be work a link.

Monday, April 11, 2005

I took a walk. Since we live in an age of post-scarcity, my neighbor was throwing away unneeded vinyl. Sinatra, Flatt & Scruggs, Elvis, the Big Bopper, that sort of thing. I scored.

Wil found this nifty text generator.
I did change one letter.
Mutley, you snickering, floppy eared hound. When courage is needed, you're never around. Those medals you wear on your moth-eaten chest should be there for bungling at which you are best. So, stop that pigeon, stop that pigeon, stop that pigeon, stop that pigeon, stop that pigeon, stop that pigeon, stop that pigeon. Howwww! Nab him, jab him, tab him, grab him, stop that pigeon now.

Top Cat! The most effectual Top Cat! Who's intellectual close friends get to call him T.C., providing it's with dignity. Top Cat! The indisputable leader of the gang. He's the boss, he's a pimp, he's the championship. He's the most tip top, Top Cat.

One for all and all for one, Muskehounds are always ready. One for all and all for one, helping everybody. One for all and all for one, it's a pretty story. Sharing everything with fun, that's the way to be. One for all and all for one, Muskehounds are always ready. One for all and all for one, helping everybody. One for all and all for one, can sound pretty corny. If you've got a problem chum, think how it could be.

50 book challenge dept.:
I read a book today, "the first 20 million is the toughest." If it was written in 1996,
published 97, it has a very contemporary feel, as though the author was a few years ahead of his time. Turns out the guy useta write for wired. This book could have inspired startup dot com, the screenplay. 5 plucky coders take on the big company,
gain and lose millions, and unleash their interoperable operating system into the public domain. An afterword explains that this really isn't about Microsoft. No, really.

oops, never mind, wrong blog.

Landell v Sorrell pdf is a case about expenditure limits in Vermont. The latest, from Hasen, is that more dissents have been issued. The case is certworthy. My limited and possibly wrong impression is that any time a dissent is issued, that restarts the 90 day clock for cert. I've been wrong before.
I had forgotten this is a case that involves both RtL, Vermont Right to Life, and the Vermonth Libertarian Party.
En banc review was denied. One of the 3-judge panel dissented, and 4 other judges dissented from denial of rehearing. So the split among the panel, among the circuit, and conflicting rulings from other circuits, make it a reasonable case for cert.
Previous cases involving the Libertarian Party or its members include Valeo, Grant v Meyer, ACLF, Chandler v Miller, Edmonds v Indianapolis, McConnell v FEC, Clingman v Beaver. Beaver may be handed down as soon as this month.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

No new sinfest comic since april 2.
Should we be worried? Sinfest is one of the top amateur webcomics -
it's no penny arcade, but it shows up in most people's top ten webcomics lists,
excluding those who don't even have such lists...
I haven't updated my webcomic in a while either... lethargy at work.

Sigh. I am a bad blogger.
1. The chief barrier is not the fact that many blogs are boring, inaccurate, and generally not worth reading. Would you say “I don’t read books, because most books are boring, inaccurate, and generally not worth reading”?

2. Rather, the barrier is finding those blogs that interest you and are accurate (just as it is for books).

In my own opinion, this blog is boring, inaccurate, and generally not worth reading.
I find the left-margin links handy, so I come here myself now and then. Fewer clicks than typing in slashdot or stripcreator.
It is spring. I got my car running. I've been going out, drinking, socializing, instead of sitting online all day, and the blog gets neglected. Oh, it was bad before, but for a different set of reasons. It's not enough to be right and clever; one still needs to have something to say. This post has nothing much to say, and is not up to my usual standards, but the previous post is a week old, is about an olsen twin, and is badly edited (which i will go fix) and is missing a link (which i probably won't fix.)
When i get around to it, i might blog a little on the continuing drama of blog regulations (san francisco, FEC, etc.), update on books i've been reading,
or find some cute photo to link to. But not now. It's in the upper 70s today,
and my body has shut down from the heat. I unplugged the heater and plugged in the fan. Coffee isn't helping.

Those books include Ciderhouse Rules, John Irving, and
The Shadow of Albion, Andre Norton/Rosemary Edghill.

Ciderhouse Rules is a familiar format to those who know irving's According to Garp or Hotel New Hampshire. Characters have long complex lives that interact.
I have not seen the movie, but know that Tobey Maguire stars in it, which affects my mental image of the events. It's a book about apples, and abortion.
Yesterday I was at a meeting about planning for some land we might buy outside bloomington, and we talked about apple orchards - I was not expecting such an immediate payback from the book. Yesterday I was talking to a friend.. no, no, I really can't tell that story here. Suffice it to say the book's familiarity with the tools of the abortionist also came in handy.
I had a strange upbringing. While most normal kids were learning the facts of life in the gutter, I was piecing things together from trips to the british museum and from science fiction novels. Irving's novels are the sort of things a teen could read and learn from without being bored. It was some 600 pages, so I'm guessing more will see the movie than read the book.
Shadow of Albion is an alternate worlds romance. That's a genre I tire of quickly . And it's coauthored; that rarely works well. I review it here because Norton died recently. When I was 11 or 12, I had outgrown the hardy boys and the elementary school books. The county library on concord pike had a section pitched at jr high/high school aged readers, where I found Andre Norton and Robert Heinlein. Those were my transition books, before, at 12, I started mainlining the science fiction shelf of the city library downtown. I have tended not to go back and read those of her 60 books I didn't read then, but they hold up ok. Heinlein has had a major and defining influence on me, what it means to be a man or a citizen. But norton's influence is non-trivial as well. More than tolkein or haggard or baum, she introduced me to the world of speculative fiction, a world of possibilities.
It was a safe place for me, in which I could be myself, and I'm grateful for that.

At some point when this is better organized - and right now this is trickle-of-consciousness, I hadn't planned a blog post when I began it -
I may explain why I happen to be reading ciderhouse rules and shadow of albion.
These are books I found or that found me - I wouldn't have gone out and bought these or gotten them from the library, but when they came to me, these were the ones I kept to maybe read someday, and this is the some day.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

ABSTRACT - Arts, Briefly column; actress Ashley Olsen files $40 million libel and invasion of privacy suit against National Enquirer for reporting she had been caught in drug scandal.
I had seen that isue in the grocery checkout and wondered how they were getting away with it. I expect to be filing a libel suit myself, against a tv station. It will be months or a year before I'll be ready to go public with the details on that.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Once upon a time there was a blogger.
he found a magic lamp and rubbed it three times and out jumped secretary of the treasury Snow.
"Ask me three questions!" he intoned. "If I like them I may answer one."
The blogger thought of three questions.
This was his third question, that he did not get to ask, because the secretary left after the first question.
Some medical researchers believe that the next few decades will bring a dramatic increase in lifespans, and that people will be active and productive well past the age of 100. If that happens, how will the Social Security retirement age need to be changed, and will it be politically possible to do it before we have another Social Security crisis?

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