Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Over at lefttoright, one of the few blogs that links to this one,
Elizabeth Anderson has an interesting post discussing Hayek and Rawls and Nozick and game theory, called, so you want to live in a free society.
My comment:
Posted by: arbitrary aardvark

I want to complement EA on this post. It is an example of what this blog was to be about - constructive discussion between the left and the right.
It speaks to us in our language - Hayek, Nozick, Monopoly. It avoids obvious fallacies like strawpersons or assuming the conclusion. I'm not sure where she's headed; I'm suspicious, based on her earlier series of posts that didn't do justice to Hayek, but I'm open to seeing where this goes.
Rawls explored his theory of justice by positing a veil of ignorance, and asking what rules we would want to choose before playing the game of life.
EA is doing something similar here, by the analogy with Monopoly and Life.
Games are simulations. She can ask, for those of us who are pretty confident about our Theories of Justice, that we express it as a set of rules for a game.
Then we can run the game a few hundred times, and evaluate how we feel about the outcomes.
Then we bicker about whether the game didn't map the theory well enough...
still, it's a useful way of exploring these ideas.
Monopoly, of course, was invented by a Georgist single-tax philosopher in order to show how land rents create and leverage social inequality. So the idea of games as philosophical tools isn't new, but the ability to do computer based analysis of the results has come a long way, and that there are games like Life and Monopoly and Global Thermonuclear War that we are familar with as a shared cultural heritage, makes this a useful way to look at things.
So where do we go in part II?
Posted by: arbitrary aardvark | June 1, 2005 12:28 AM | Permalink

It was just what I was looking for; some give and take at the level of abstract theory, rather than say doing the laundry and cleaning the car and doing the shopping. (I need coffee and shampoo from the nearby store that's closed for the night.)

evil clown drawing generator: http://www.scottsmind.com/evil_clown.html

http://www.cyberparodies.com/ song parody files.

yet another webcomic: http://www.movie-comics.com/comic.php?strip_id=234
derivative of penny arcade, says filthy lies, but i've seen worse.


Supreme Court gets it right:
Arthur Anderson not guilty.
RLUPIA upheld in Cutter v Wilkinson, Ohio case about freedom of religion in jail.
Both of these were unanimous.
Cochran injunction lifted. 3 out of 3.

Ginsburg's opinion in Cutter is fairly straightforward. Allowing prisoners to practice their religions is not an unconstitutional establishment of religion.
Thomas, concurring, has doubts about whether RLPUI is commerce, but notes that the question hasn't been raised. One vote for Raisch? Thomas repeats his claim that the establishment clause is a federalism provision which should not be incorporated to the states. So viewed, ..well, he thinks this makes the easy case even easier.

I'm not sure why my blogads are currently featuring airplane hangars.
And now (wednesday), internet filters.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Orin Kerr spars with Keiran Healy over the true meaning of memorial day.

Memorial Day is not a time to separate out which of the dead served and died for good reasons or bad; to second-guess which decisions to declare war, launch a campaign or charge a hill were justified or not;

Couldn't disagree more.
Kerr writes further, From Critical Theory to Abu Graib: Akhil Amar, Paris Hilton, and the Reconstruction of Due Process in Cyberspace. but it turns out that's a joke. I'm gullible when posting while drunk.
update: catallarchy disagrees too. too early in the morning for me to go find the link.

Googling to find out what a catallarchy is, i find out hot abercrombie chick is really a man? Oh well.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Amusing department:
LAKE GENEVA, Wis. (AP) - Kerry Lofy had no qualms about wearing a black, spaghetti-strap dress to his high school prom -- he thought it would be funny. Turns out, his school didn't. [5/12/05]

Less amusing:
New York's highest court rules that New Paltz Mayor Jason West, who married same-sex couples in violation of the law, must face trial on 24 misdemeanor counts. West's attorney: "Mayor West made a judgment that denying same-sex couples the right to marry was unconstitutional. If he is wrong about that judgment, of course he will stand trial and we'll pay whatever penalty and he's prepared to do so. I just urged the courts before they send a popular mayor to trial that they should decide if he was right or wrong."

Lingle v Chevron pdf.
I'd missed this case in the hoopla over Beef.
Court eviscerates takings clause again.
O'Connor, slightly out of context, "fundamentally arbitrary and irrational."

So I guess I cite that as
"arbitrary", Lingle v Chevron, 544 U.S. __ (2005)

And ""arbitrary", Lingle v Chevron, 544 U.S. __ (2005), Kennedy, J. concurring.

• Homeowners' World Is Not For Sale http://www.latimes.com/

Blogger BlogThis! on Mozilla Firefox
Source: Lawpundit - Sun, May 29, 2005 - GO TO THIS WEBLOG »

If you have shifted from IE to Firefox and miss the Blogger "Blog This!" icon on the Google toolbar in IE, you can add a BlogThis! button to your link bar as follows: Right-click with your mouse on the top menu line containing "file edit view go" etc. and then choose the option "customize" (you may have to click here and there in the toolbars to get this). When you do that a dialogue box will open into which you should drag and drop the white space which is to the left of the circular 8-pointed star to the far right of the menu bar on the same lines as "file edit view go". The "white space" is just that, a white rectangle which takes up room. When you have dragged and dropped this into the dialogue box, the circular 8-pointed star will shift left right next to the word "Help" on the menu bar. The entire right side of that bar can now be used for important bookmark links including "What's This". The unofficial Googlebar for Firefox also allows inclusion of the Blogger "What's This!" function and icon - go to options and then "special searches"..

Andis Kaulins Sun, May 29, 2005 BLOG

Friday, May 27, 2005

E3 booth babes.
which made me think of penny arcade. over at the forum there, a question was posed, which i've grabbed for today's quiz:
Lasanta said the administration has no policy against hiring married couples so long as the hiring doesn't constitute nepotism.
No that wasn't it.
The question was, is there a japanese word for non-tentacle rape hentai?

Despite the tentacle/other rape stereotype, most hentai does not actually involve such subjects; just as not all Western live-action porn consists of two black guys banging a white chick.
Here are a few of the terms that get used:

* Yaoi = m/m sex
* Yuri = f/f sex
* Guro = mutilation, scat, puke etc...
* Bukkake = semen fetish
* Dickgirl / newhalf (nyuuhaafu) = hermaphrodites and shemales/transsexuals
* Lolicon = underage anime girls
* Shotacon = underage anime boys

* Ecchi = "soft" hentai, usually without any actual sex; also used to describe "low-brow" comedies like Love Hina
* Shounen-ai = romantic love between two (usually adolescent) males, may or may not contain sex
* Shoujo-ai = romantic love between two (usually adolescent) females, may or may not contain sex

* Doujinshi = fan-made manga, usually based on non-erotic anime & manga, but often containing erotic themes

Best answer so far: kemono, furry-thing.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

50 book challenge department:
Ladies and Gentlemen Lenny Bruce! is starting to get pretty good.
A couple years ago I wrote here about a book about disraeli, which dragged on and on, until finally around p 400 there was this scene where disraeli, as prime minister, makes a long speech about the budget, and 4 hours into the speech gladstone stands up and takes him on - and from there the book was high drama, and unputdownable.
The Bruce book got a little better after that first chapter, but has been slow going. I havent read the system of the world trilogy for those sorts of reasons.
p. 468 I laughed out loud.
It took a long time to check 300 ID's. The cops got irritable about this dumb job. When the last guy in line said he "didn't believe in identification" one of the blues grabbed him by the back of the neck and the seat of the pants and hustled him down the stairs and into the patrol car..."Whatta hell are -you- doin here?" cried Lenny when George Carlin was pushed inside... carlin quote about bruce, and albums for sale.
The next chapter, trials and errors, is courtroom drama and a good read. The inside front and back covers of the book feature lenny's mug shot, which I have here somewhere. So it ends up being not just a book about annoying jewish junkie, but a fight for free speech and against the conformity of the 50s, dropping names, naming names, a history of the times as well as the man. So it's getting better.

In the bath just now - which is where i do my reading, and in bed - I mentally composed a paragraph which I won't be able to transcribe.
But it went like this.
I recently read an article, maybe in wired, about george lucas as a film school rebel. His influences included this one guy, canadian and crazy, now dead, who made colleges out of bits of film. No no, not colleges, collages. Bruce, too, was an experimental filmmaker. Bad movies, but making bad movies helped him make his comedy albums.
His live stuff was bits from the albums, stuff that had happened to him that day,
bits being worked up for future albums, and he'd splice it together, sampling himself. The author several times goes into this metaphor about Lenny's show as being like little bits of film spliced together. So if somebody wanted to push this further, Lenny Bruce could be a precursor of George Lucas.

Somehow I spent all day online again. It's what I usually do. Haven't so much as put away the groceries, much less say wash the dishes. The alarm is set for a thing tomorrow. A bit more time to read in bed.
- which means, read all night, fall asleep a few minutes before the alarm rings,
try to swill first cup of coffee without tripping over the cat.
Aha a plan. I'll bring the book to the thing. Thing = continuing legal education class. I have to be there in flesh but not in spirit.
So far I'm over an hour late, alhough I don't need all 6 hours of credits.

The supreme court met tuesday, and meets again next tuesday.
Updating this post from last week, the Court has now decided 45 argued cases and has 29 remaining.
Significant cases this week included Clingman v Beaver, and the Beef marketing tax case. In Clingman, the court moved away from its Anderson v Celebrezze test.
But there was a concurrence that limited the damage, and the merits weren't that important anyway, it was more about process, and while it wasn't a win, it could have been worse.
The beef case, which taxes each cow $1 to pay for the propaganda that results in many Americans torturing her just to eat her mutilated corpse, was more disappointing, and I haven't actually read it yet. In short, it says the government can tax us to death to pay for lying to us. Court-watchers had hoped for more constraints on when the government can extort such payments. Sigh.
There are two different questions. Is it constitutional? Is it good policy?
The beef act is bad policy, and troublesome from a constitutional standpoint,
but I should read the opinions before saying they are wrong.
That, at least, gives me something to do today -I've been at a loss. Sleeplessness leads to not being able to plan a day, and, not having anything planned, I didn't do anything. Made one phone call.
Johanns v Livestock Marketing.
"America's Beef Producers" is a question on which the trial record is altogether silent. We have only the funding tagline itself, a trademarked term10 that, standing alone, is not sufficiently specific to convince a reasonable factfinder that any particular beef producer, or all beef producers, would be tarred with the content of each trademarked ad.11
Scalia for the majority. I don't like it. Quibble: can the government get trademarks?
Good discussion of compelled speech cases.
Good Thomas concurrence:
I continue to believe that "[a]ny regulation that compels the funding of advertising must be subjected to the most stringent First Amendment scrutiny." Woulda been sweet if he'd done a Lawrence-like statement saying just because it's constitutional doesn't mean it's not stupid.
Breyer says it's economic regulation so regulate the hell out of it.
Ginsburg agrees but gets in a zinger, quoting government publications which explain that eating dead cows is bad for your health.
Kennedy Souter and Stevens get it right in dissent - but I'm saying only that I agree with them, share their preferences. I'm not making the case that Scalia is objectively wrong or has argued using fallacies. It's a possible interpretation of the constitution. It supports the Chief's bias of always upholding the federal government. (He doesn't always vote that way, but I claim he always has the bias.)
It supports Scalia's view that a plaintiff should be able to point textually to a clause in the constitution that clearly makes her the winner - none of those emanations or penumbras. The "freedom of speech" protected by the constitution probably doesn't prevent the king from speaking, or even in laying taxes to support the king's newspapers, websites, and tv stations. Here the speech is unfair, but the constitution doesn't have a rule that the king always be fair. A substantive due process fairness argument probably wouldn't have gotten far, although, see Lockner, the regulation is arbitrary and capricious, but aren't they all? Close enough for government work?
I would start, I think, with Thomas's strict scrutiny, and see where that leads.

So what did we learn today kids? That the government can't tax mushrooms, but can tax moocows. It's the kind of narrow hairsplitting that keeps lawyers employed.
That when the courts tell the government to stop oppressing the people, the government can just hire more lawyers to find more loopholes, and come back with a new plan to oppress the people. Yippee.
That's exactly what happens in the campaign speech censorship movement (aka "reform".) The forces for censorship of the little guy can't and won't be stopped by recourse to the courts. The ability to make unconstitutional rules and practices overwhelms the court's ability to tell them to stop, even when the court is itself sure what the answers are.
At the time I had read a law review article arguing that the mushroom ads were unconstitutional. How must it feel to be that author, to see your research vindicated
with a stunning victory, only to now see that victory swallowed up by the unstoppable tide of government litigating away its own checks and balances.
Not sure, at this exact moment, what to do about all this.
I guess I feel like Cicero, except less eloquent, watching as his republic dissolves into empire and corruption.

Something weird going on where new windows are slightly larger than the screen, so I can't close or re-size them in the usual way. Rebooting should work. It did.

quoteable from atrios:

Blowout government [update: bustout is the slightly more common name for this scam]

At the newly merged Electrolite/Making Light from Patrick Nielsen Hayden and Teresa Nielsen Hayden, there's a hot thread about the filibuster deal by Patrick in which Teresa leaves this comment:

Huh. I've suddenly realized that I know the form of this scam: it's a blowout.

Here's the deal: Your basic blowout starts when crooks take control of a legitimate business that has a good credit rating, most often by entering into an agreement to buy it from its original owners, and possibly making a token initial payment.

In the next phase, the crooks start placing large orders for easily liquidated merchandise with the business's regular suppliers, and also with new suppliers who think they've acquired a valuable new customer. And since the orders are coming from an established business with a good credit rating, the suppliers don't ask for payment up front.

Meanwhile, the goods are being resold as fast as they come in, often at a fraction of their value. It's hugely wasteful, but the crooks don't care. Essentially, they're selling off other people's stuff and keeping the money, so anything they make off the deal is pure profit for them.

The suppliers send in their bills in due course, and meet with delays in payment. That's not an uncommon thing; and in the meantime, nobody wants to lose a customer that's obviously doing so much business. It takes some time for suppliers to start balking, and more time for them to start aggressive collection procedures.

At that point the business's new owners vanish, and all the money vanishes with them. Since they've never actually paid the agreed-upon price for the business, it reverts to the original owners. Unfortunately, what they get back is a plundered company that's deeply in debt to its suppliers and has a wrecked credit rating.

(Er, I should have been more clear that the really fascinating thread you might want to read all of broadened to include a discussion of the entire picture of everything the Republicans are doing.)
-Avedon 3:30 PM

Comment (1) Trackback (0)
I'm a big fan of using con man/organized crime lingo to explain political theory.
There was at one time a "chicago school" of anthropologists who did that.
Our local gas utility was caught up in a blowout - sold in a stock trade, and within a year the other stock was worthless.
It's the core of my take on why government can't be trusted to run retirement funds - it attacts the kind of people who run these scams.

I'm not sure why I haven't felt motivated to blog for a week.
It's not like I do anything else.
But here's a story that would be hard to pass up.
I live in america's biggest town, indianapolis.
Periodicly the local red state government, fundy republicans,
do something that makes us a laughingstock in the blue states.
Exxon-Coats, an early attempt to ban the internet? Ours.
Dan Quayle. Hudnutt v Booksellers, trying to ban porn, ours.
Today's outrage is about a judge telling parents they can't raise their son in their religion.
Actually it's more muddled than that. The parents are wiccan. The judge's order prohibits exposure to non-mainstream religion. Wicca is about as mainstream as it gets - yule, groundhog's day, mayday, easter, halloween, are in the mainstream of our cultural heritage.
The iclu (recently added to left margin blogroll) is on the case.
And the blogosphere is all over it. Volokh, this guy, and hundreds of comments at eschaton.
Masson's an indiana news blog, has the most in-depth coverage.

More thoughts, a bit later, but still before my first cup of coffee.
Where did this story come from?
None of the bloggers or media say, but I'd guess the ACLU put out a press release.
The ICLU gets between 100 and 1000 requests for help for every case it takes.
Those cases it takes, tend to get publicity.
It's the 99 to 999 cases we never hear about, except via the grapevine of soemone's personal experience, which are the day to day work of the law.
This case is a travesty, yes, but it's not unusual, except that it is getting press, and an appeal by a group with deep pockets. Pagans aren't usually rich. Divorce is hard enough. So if this had happened to most people, they would have just gone along with having their rights violated. There are few, sometimes no, checks and balances to keep the system from failing. So the story in the media, over and over, is that justice will prevail on appeal, or not. But the media's presentation, by ignoring the day to day injustice where no law firm sends out a press release, is a false presentation, a myth of justice that I largely bought into.
Justice occasionally prevails. Whether it's worth my efforts to get up and fight for justice, is debatable. Is it futile, so that every victory just sets up another equal and opposite defeat? I can't tell.
Which is part of why my legal career is mostly on hold right now.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Revenge of the Smith department:
Come, seeling night, Scarf up the tender eye of pitiful day And with thy bloody and invisible hand Cancel and tear to pieces that great bond Which keeps me pale. Adam Smith got "invisible hand" from the Scottish play. http://www.scotusblog.com/movabletype/archives/2005/05/kelo_public_use.html#comments

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

50 book challenge department:
Book 30. I picked up a book today. Literally; it had been set out for the trash.
Andrew Young, An Easy Burden: the civil rights movement and the transformation of america. I'm only a few pages into it, out of 500+, so review later. So far I like it, where he is describing his black middle class background family values; it seems a lot like my own family's experience. I realize there are middle class blacks today who share those values; I'm thinking of some of the people I went to law school with.
And there were disfunctional black families back then. But one can mourn the passing of those values, the descent into decadence, inner cities that look like haiti or rwanda.
The lenny bruce bio, which i'm still working on, documents a slice of this period. Lenny's father was hard working and wanted a better life for his son. Lenny stole, swindled, did hard drugs that killed him, had wild orgies, numerous abortions, was crass and vulgar and disgusting, and, from what I've read so far, wasn't all that funny. Before this book, I'd considered him a bit of a hero, certainly a free speech activist in the tradition i'm working in.
My parents seemed to wish life was still 1940s Kansas City, and I spent years and energy rebelling against some parts of that. But there needs to be more than just tearing things down. Is there a way to keep, to conserve, the good stuff in our heritage, while trying to make changes for the better? Tough questions, stuff to think about. The Andrew Young book will give yet another perspective on the Kennedy/Johnson research I've been doing.
In the last ten pages I just read in the tub, Bruce frames his wife on a drug possession charge, kidnaps their baby, gets a divorce. She does time while he works his way up the club scene.
Back to Andrew Young.
On page 9, I underlined a line, which I almost never do.
"In my family, faith and a good education were intertwined with the commission to serve others. To that end I was raised on Luke 12:48: "With great power, comes great responsibility."
Ok, I've taken a bit of liberty with the original aramaic (greek?) but that's the sense of it.
KJV: But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required.
ISV: Much will be required from everyone to whom much has been given.

National Anathema:
Volokh reports that in Michigan it's illegal to sample or improvise or abridge the star spangled banner. "..land of the free, not counting Michigan, and the home of the brave." Maybe they haven't heard the Jimmy Hendrix version. Possible download.Doesn't work for me. Star mangled banner link.

Instead of getting ready for a meeting later today, I'm reading Pressler v Illinois.
Got there by the usual free association clicking > volokh > bill of rights organization > landmark cases.
A recent 2nd circuit case had upheld denial of a gun permit to a guy who visits his parents in New York. New York bans handguns. The opinion relied in part of Pressler,
so I thought it might be interesting to read the case itself.
It is undoubtedly true that all citizens capable of bearing arms constitute the reserved military force or reserve militia of the United States as well as of the states, and, in view of this prerogative of the general government, as well as of its general powers, the states cannot, even laying the constitutional provision in question out of view, prohibit the people from keeping and bearing arms, so as to deprive the United States of their rightful resource for maintaining the public security, and disable the people from performing their duty to the general government. bold added.
This is somewhat out of context; the rest of the decision is not helpful.
Strangely, it doesn't consider whether or not bearing arms is a privilege or immunity under the 14th, although it does discuss assembly as a p&i. It construes assembly narrowly, saying there must be both peaceable assembly and "petition for redress of grievances"; here there was no petition. I doubt modern cases on the assembly clause are limited in that way - not sure.
Again, very much out of context, but a useful quote:
The rights of life and personal liberty are natural rights of man. 'To secure these rights,' says the Declaration of Independence, 'governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.' The very highest duty of the States, when they entered into the Union under the Constitution, was to protect all persons within their boundaries in the enjoyment of these 'unalienable rights with which they were endowed by their Creator.' Cruikshank held thar peaceable assembly and bearing arms are rights subject to state jurisdiction, and only peaceable assembly to petition the federal government is a federal P&I. Thus it's a pre-incorporation case, subsequently overruled.

This just in from instapundit:
May 17, 2005



Flat Earth theory:
I've never had trouble believing the earth is flat, for a sufficently flexible definition of flat.
I live in places like Delaware and Indiana. In Delaware the highest point, Mount Cuba, towers 600 ft about sea level.
But I noticed earlier today (in the the sense of yesterday, since it's 4:20 am)
that somebody has written a book about the flat earth, and it's #3 on amazon, having displaced freakonomics. (see baude, cowan.)
And then Volokh (who sent me some nice mail today) points out Justice Kennedy is reading the flat earth book too.
By flat, the author means 'global', or 'connected.'

And this ties right in to one of my long-standing rants.
Liberals, ranging from Marxists to Galbraithians, like to tease conservatives,
because the microeconomic model of neoclassical economics doesn't completely map reality.
I have two standard comebacks to that:
First, we aren't classical economists, we are austrians.
Space and time and drunkness prohibits a complete explnation of austrian models at this time; look it up.
2nd, it, the neoclassical was never intended to fully capture the territory; it is a model which is useful because it oversimplifies things.
The neoclassical model posits perfect competition, zero information costs, zero transaction costs, and um some fourth factor, maybe geography.
The austrian model, on the other hand, is all about information costs, is aware that transaction costs are non-zero, that transactions take place in real space, and that there are a finite number of competitors.

What flat earth theory shows is that the real world is coming to resemble the neoclassical model more and more.
Information is not free, but we have google.
Geography separates buyers from sellers, but we have ebay and ups.
Given google and ebay, buyers and sellers can find 100s of players for fungible goods, and are not stuck with monopoly or monosopy.
The neoclassical model is a like a map which doesn't show topography, because it's a road map, and is trying to keep it simple.
If the world is becoming flatter, a non-topographical map is now a better model of the real world.
So if, for example, you are a graduate student, and your professors, 93% registered democrats, go on and on about market failure and monopoloistic exploitation,
remember they are dinosaurs, that they will become extinct, replaced by a new generation with a different world-view. Ok that was it. Off to bed now.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

I'd heard a lot about fox news as being too right wing, annoying liberals, but since i tend not to watch tv, i hadn't experienced this myself. i found some hardware and tried, failed rather, to hook up the somewhat broken tv to the cable that feeds the computer, so i had fox on. from about 7 pm to 10, it was one right wing news show after another, even repeating at times. if i turn on a tv, i expect sitcoms, maybe a movie or reality show, but there was nothing but this stuff on fox. if the other stations had been coming in i guess they are headed the same direction, with the csi channel up against the law n order channel. i guess the networks have given up, and assume that everyone has cable. so i turned to a local college station showing Jaws, but i'm not watching it; I'd rather read ebert reviews.

today was useless. i mailed some bills, made a phone call, did some shopping and cooking, but that was it. last night was fun though. tried and failed to get a ride or tow truck out to where my car is still stuck in the mud, if it hasn't been towed off.
50 visitors to the blog today, a new record since i started tracking it a week ago.

My neighbor jo padgett has a blog and a podcast. International news from an antiauthoritarian perspective.
Here's the same blog in a fram with podcasting tools and links.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Institute for Justice wins a battle: internet wine sales ok'd 5-4. story at scotusblog.

And yet, the lineup is odd, and the dissents have some persuasiveness.
Thomas dissents, joined by the CJ, O'Connor, and Stevens. Is that unique?
Stevens dissents, joined by O'Connor.

The issues are A)whether two obscure and ambiguous pieces of legislation by congress allow states to discriminate in commerce, and B) whether the 21st Amendment allows states to discriminate. A) could be fixed by better legislation, either for or against.
B) is trickier. It is a circular argument either way. The 21st allows states to regulate by law. A regulation which banned speech or required racial discrimination would not be law, because it would be unconstitutional. A regulation that discriminates against other states is either constitutional, and thus textually allowed by the 21st, or unconstitutional, and thus not covered by the 21st.
Either result can be obtained by assuming its conclusion.
The acts of congress can be criticized by saying they should be more explicit.
But a constitutional provision is supposed to be short and to the point, fleshed out later by the courts. So I can see how this could go either way.
If the 21st allows the states to withdraw from a national common market, congress can't fix that, and the states have little motive to, outside of reciprocity horsetrading.
Am I letting my policy preferences get in the way of good constitutional interpretation? I can't tell. So all in all I'm pleased, but with reservations.
Another bit of trivia: the 21st was ratified by state conventions, whereas the other amendments were ratified by state legislatures. Didn't know that.

When I began this post, Professor Bainbridge had not yet posted. Now he has.

Oh, and cres-cat Will Baude finds, veni, vino, vinci, vindication - his father had lost a 7th circuit case on the same issue, briderbaugh v freeman-wilson. I've done battle with freeman-wilson myself a time or two.

update: roger ebert review of mondovino, a movie which argues wine is being dumbed down. is the decision good or bad for wine? the usual answer is that trade is good and protectionism is bad, but let's see how this shakes out. ebert's review of revenge of the sith quoted woolcott gibbs. i think the line is from "bed of neuroses" which i have around here somewhere.
gibbs wrote for the new yorker, back in the day, and is unknown to 99.44% of star wars audiences. ebert's reviews, like gibbs' column, stand on their own; you don't need to see the movie.

http://joshreads.com/ Comics curmudgeon.
It's like websnark, but for newspaper comics. comics.com
I enjoyed the haiku contest.
Pushed out by the tide.
Oh no, Sharks. That’s all I need!
I’ll try to stay calm.

Also, someone sent me a secret message via the search engines: “how are you today josh? read any good comics?” Very well, thanks, but no, I haven’t today. Now that's funny. If you know someone reads their search logs, you can send them messages that way.
Still trying to read the lenny bruce bio. Haven't laughed once.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Word is some of these blocked jurists think the famous (overruled) Lochner case was rightly decided. Another one opposes zoning laws. Another one eats children – but only poor ones. catallarchy

Doesn't count as book 30, but i seem to have spent most of today reading varleyyarns.
Somebody mentioned something on slashdot that reminded me of Varley so i looked him up.
His books are some of the best cutting edge SF out there. His homepage, not bad,
of the crotchety cantankerous sort, like a retired college professor who alternates between griping about republicans and visiting aged relatives, which involves long drives in the desert and stopping at the little touristy places.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Pretty cute for a fridge demon. Go sandra.

something to read next.
j m barrie, the butler who would be king, a study in role reversal, recommended just now by a friend, whose late uncle, also a friend, was a great british butler.
provisionally, because I might or might not get around to reading it, let's call that book 30.
I just started book 29, Ladies and Gentlemen, Lenny Bruce!. I'm liking it less than expected. It has the same stuff I didn't like about Naked Lunch, heroin chic circa 1960.
It's by Al Goldman. For a second, picking it up for 50 cents, I thought it was by Al Goldstein, which would have been a different book. It's written in hipster and yiddish and english, so now and then there are words I don't know. It's a reminder of why my parents were prim and proper and lived in the suburbs - Lenny's New York is ugly and vulgar and dirty and dangerous. Will I keep reading? Probably. Books are my junk.
Meanwhile, back to Guido Calabresi of the Second Circus, concurring pdf in denial of rehearing in Landell v Sorrell.

Article by amanda on being united methodist and under 70.
I might add some thoughts later.
Letter from W.T. to Financial Times about the pope as CEO was laugh out loud funny,
at least for the sort of people who can follow what Bainbridge talks about.
Will writes about paprika, a spice i am suspicious of and don't use much, and about salt. I guess my reaction to both is somewhat similar. I don't know much about the different kinds of paprika; I've thought of it as fungible, but he's right the Hungarian kind is less bland (and thus easier to get wrong.) I can see that sea salt is preferable to machine-made salt (if such existed) because it has more of the trace minerals and such, but still, except for particle size, salt is salt, no?
I am a child of the 70s and use a lot less salt than most americans. A little soy sauce now and then, fair amounts of garlic salt when im not using garlic.
As to obscene amounts of rosemary, I tried some rosemary and olive oil triscuits recently. Obscene. Horrid. Way way too much rosemary. No too much olive oil, though; the stuff literally had more salt than olive oil. The stores couldn't sell it so they gave it to the food pantry. The food pantry couldn't give it away, so it ended up with me - aardvarks have our sources. But if you see it on the shelf, stay away, or get some for the reason people look at train wrecks.
My recent spice aquisitions included cumin, although I still don't have a decent mortar and pestle to replace one that broke, and I forget what else from the indian market and Mr Lee's supermarket - I took a rare visit to the west side while looking for and not finding Otakurama. Today my car is stuck in a mud puddle, and here i am online instead of out finding a tow truck.

Update: cres-cat Heidi makes a case for good salt. I think she'll be a good lawyer - very persuasive.
It turns out I left my salt in Ann Arbor. It's okay -- I guess -- because the girl whose apartment I'm subletting left her salt here and said I could use it. The problem, of course, is that I have a lovely sel gris at home, and some finer fleur de sel to finish with, and she's got a big blue cylinder of Morton's. The salt you buy in bulk in the stores is, basically, sodium chloride and sodium iodide. Nothing more. Sea salt once; spoiled forever. The complexity of the flavor just gives you a fuller taste. Nothing will ever be the same.

OK, a rant against the methodist church, and its lack of appeal to anyone under 65.
Amanda makes a very interesting point about the stricter churches having more appeal, especially to the gullible. "Attend our church or burn in hell." Obviously a fallacy, but for those who fall for it, the benefits of not burning in hell outweigh the costs.

The methodists don't make this claim. It strikes me as social gospel. At a time when not going to church made one a pariah, the methodists offered church lite. Like east germany under the stasi, methodists pretend to believe in god, and go thru the motions.
In some areas, especially urban congregations, the methodists do get involved in their community and make a difference, and that counts. But that's relatively few congregations. A typical methodist church arranges funerals and weddings, child care, sunday school, visiting the sick, with maybe ties to a junior college or a nursing home or a hospital. A funeral parlor is at least more explicit about just being a business.
Particularly annoying are the young couples, who start going to church when they have children, and stop when the children go off to college.
Bad enough to be raised by foolish holy rollers, but hypocrisy is almost worse.
I am autistic; I don't like to be bullied or forced into things not of my choosing.
The made me go to government schools; I became an anarchist.
I was dragged to a methodist church every sunday, and grew up as an agnostic.
If the boy scouts had known i was agnostic, I could have been kicked out, and boy scouts was my chance to get out into the woods now and then. Being in the woods is for me the one true church; I gladly embraced wicca at 15, and have come to have an ecumenical appreciation for various forms of spirituality.
Ok, that's most of the rant. But then there's the music: greatest hits of 1648.
I would urge then to immediately scrap that stuff for something with more appeal, but then I've heard the so called christian rock stations, which are worse.
What the methodists don't seem to get is that once it became socially acceptable to not go to church, most of the reason for being methodist vanished.
Now, again, I am autistic; by nature I am paranoid and aloof. I'm also a bit tone-deaf, and may be missing something in the music that others experience.
Maybe the average methodist church is a vibrant community of believers celebrating the kingdom of heaven on earth. But that wasn't how it seemed.
At one time, the methodists, like the baptists, were radicals, mobilizing the working classes, fighting to make this a better planet. If they could get in touch with that again, younger people might see a reason to get involved.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Voting early and often at dartmouth:
Conspirator Todd Zywicki has won his race for Dartmouth trustee.
A total of 15,334 individuals, some 24.3 percent of Dartmouth's total alumni body, cast a total of 35,107 votes under the multiple-voting procedure of the nomination process. Robinson received 7,376 votes, and Zywicki received 6,844.
I blogged long ago about how the us is full of place names with forgotten meanings -
to a brit, dartmouth is the mouth of the dart, and the naval college there.

In god we trust,
upheld on courthouse door, reports howard.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Wil likes sploid, the new online tabloid from gawker. I haven't formed an opinion yet,
but it seems like the way to go. Zero overhead, lowest common denominator,...profit.
Extinct rodent rediscovered, tasted like chicken.
update from slashdot:
Yes, New Family/Genus/Species, total odd-ball (Score:5, Informative)
by billstewart (78916) Friend on Saturday May 14, @01:15AM (#12527240)
(http://idiom.com/~wcs | Last Journal: Thursday March 03, @12:08AM)
One of the articles quoted the guy saying, "we knew we had a really odd-ball rodent." Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] has already been updated to identify it as Family Laonastidae, Genus/Species "Laonastes aenigmamus". The Wikipedia author identifies the suborder as "Hystricognathi"; one of the news articles suggested that Timmons thinks that Laonstes may be an early ancestor of that suborder, but that's filtered through reporter-speak.
An article predating this discovery lists 29 Families of Rodentia [uvm.edu]. The Old-World Hystricognathi include old-world porcupines, mole rats, cane rats, and Dssie rats; the New World families are a lot broader.
"Rodents of Unusual Size? I don't think they exist!*
Bill Stewart

Bill Stewart has been creating rodents of unusual size since about 1965.
He made a stuffed mouse for my sister that I liked so much, the next year he made twins, one for her, one for me. It was my favorite stuffed animal, up until I met gtbear.
* princess bride quote.

http://sisu.typepad.com/sisu/ interesting stuff here i'll want to come back to when i have more time.

with amanda back at crescat, i finally remembered to add susan in kazakhstan to my blogroll, so that i will remember to read her. i have added a counter to be able to verify that noone reads this, but i find i use it as my own portal; those links over there are the ones i tend to click on, so i just open a window with the blog and am one click away from where i was going, usually.
Wow, 60 hits in 2 days. can't all be me. Might be slashdot folks.

Book 28, The Broker, John Grisham.
I'm spending today as I like to spend my days, in bed with a good book.
When i shop, i shop sensibly, opting for more cheap whole foods and less expensive junk food. But then in the car on the way home I'll start eating the junkiest of what I bought, rather than the best value. It's that way with books too.
Spending $22 at the used books store the other day, I came away with a sound diet of tomes on Kennedy for a project I'm doing, and a few items from the 50 cent rack, one of which was the latest Grisham. I've read, and or seen as a movie, almost all the others.
This one is thinner than usual but just as tasty.
I have a date tonight, a CLE tomorrow, plenty of stuff I should be doing, but a good book is its own reward. I am not acutely conscious of anything major I was supposed to do today, although it's possible. Yesterday I burned a pot of apples I was stewing, left them on the stove while I went to walmart.
Oh the book. Grisham novels have a bit of a 'ripped from the headlines" feel, where they sometimes parallel current affairs topics. Here we have a corrupt president selling pardons on his way out of the office, a scary old guy running the CIA,
some white house aides dying so that it looks like an accident, a plucky jounalist...
a lesser writer could botch this badly, but with Grisham it just flows. And since this one hasn't yet been made into a blockbuster starring (whatshisname), I'm able to visualize it myself.
Well, strangely, blogger isn't letting me post this, so I'll save it in the buffer and try again.

Update Friday: I went to the CLE. It was a dog and pony show, which worked hard at being entertaining as well as informative. The presenter, an italian new yorker who lives in new orleans, showed clips from the rainmaker to illustrate some points on how to take depositions. He talked about the real cases Grisham's books are based on. He used others movies as well so we saw jimmy stewart, joe pesci, john travolta.
He talked about being the technical advisor to my cousin vinny, as well as working with Richard Burton on broadway.
Note to self: tell cousin vinny story. Gotta go, my time at the library is up.

It was 1992, spring break. I had just seen My Cousin Vinny. Great flick, deserved the Oscar.
I'm unclear on the timing, but I think it was just after the Computers Privacy and Freedom conference, and just before a gay student conference at my alma mater, the U of Del, where I saw the flirtations. I was on rt 1, just after I crossed into Delaware from Maryland outside Ocean City. It was pre-season, and the beach and the town were deserted. I got a speeding ticket, and a ticket for not having my blue vehicle registration card. Missouri in those days didn't issue a vehichle registration card, so I didn't know what he was talking about. I put it off for awhile, and eventually reached a plea agreement, but the prosecutor tried to say I had to be there in person to make the plea. I wrote a motion to the judge, and the plea was accepted. It was my first case, and had strange parallels with My Cousin Vinny. During the time we were bickering about all this, my license was suspended, and the bar examiners committee, back in Missouri was not too happy I'd had a suspended license. One of the reasons I wound up practicing in Indiana instead.

400,000 list 'jedi' as religion in UK census.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

7) People who use their carhorn as though it were a doorbell. Perhaps they pick up their fellow carpooler everyday in the early morning and don't care if they wake up the neighbors by tooting the horn rather than getting out and knocking on the door. Anyone ramped up a campaign or sustained tactic for one of these people?
update: the article also has a few polish jokes:
Work slowdowns are methods commonly used by labor unions to apply pressure
without actually striking. During the Solidarity movement in Poland,
people expressed their disapproval of the government-run news media by
taking a walk with their hats on backward at exactly 6 p.m. when the state
news program started. When the government noticed the trend, it issued
curfews, but people then put their televisions in their windows facing
outward so that only the police walking the streets would see the broadcasts.

''You have to remember, in Poland during those years showing up drunk at
work was seen as a patriotic act because people hated the bosses so
much,'' Professor Scott said.

Second circuit rejects Second Amendment.
Bach v. Pataki raises the issue of whether the second amendment is a right of the people, or of the state. The court finds it is not a right of the people.
It then finds that, based on an 1880s case, the Second Amendment is not incorporated by the 14th, and not binding on the states.
It also rejects an article IV privileges and immunities claim - New York issues no handgun licences to out of state residents.
Plaintiff is a perfect candidate to raise these issues.
He is a seal and a lawyer for the navy. He wants to carry his handgun when he goes to visit his aging parents - he's heard New York can be dangerous.
If I've read the article right, he is both pro se and represented by counsel, a neat trick.
Next step, I assume, would be a motion for rehearing en banc, and then petition for cert. It would be great to see cert granted in the case, to resolve the Emerson split. I am not enough of an expert on article IV P&I to know how that should turn out, but it presents an alternative ground for decision.
There has been enough change in the incorporation doctrine over the last 120 years that it would be worthwhile to revisit Pressler v Illinois. My position is that the right to bear arms is both part of the bill of rights and "implicit in the concept of ordered liberty" and should be incorporated. My view is not universally held.
The solicitor general's brief on whether cert should be granted might make interesting reading.
In all the discussion of fillabusters and such, I haven't seen any discussion of whether the president, if there is a vacancy, will or should appoint someone who supports the second amendment.

Perhaps an amicus brief in support of cert would be a good project for the openlaw movement. I am calling for bloggers to publicize the case, and the potential project,
so that word gets out, so that people can come together online and work on a draft of a brief in support of cert in this case. If a good brief is written, finding someone to file it would not be hard. Cert is a long shot - the point is to build momentum for scholaship and activism and litigation.

At Volokh, a Non-Volokh is criticizing a WaPo piece on the judicial nominations process. I think he is off-base in much of his criticism.
The article (editorial?) claims that the fillibuster suports judicial impartiality.
That could be true if by impartial we mean bland middle of the road acceptable to both sides. It's possible to have partial (in the sense of biased) moderates, and impartial extremists, but it's fair to say there's some correlation. Close enough for WaPo work.
NonVolokh challenges the claim that the court has a middle and right wing, but no left wing. I disagree, with the exception of Ginsberg. Ginsberg, true, is liberal, feminist, female, Democratic, possibly a New Yorker. On the other hand it's a sort of classical liberalism, concerned that women and other receive equal rights under the law. That's a position that is considered reactionary among the women's studies crowd. She's probably less of a Marxist than the average college professor.
I would say Stevens Souter Breyer and Kennedy are moderates, while O'Connor bridges the conservative-moderate gap. The Chief, Scalia and Thomas are fairly described as conservatives.
I do not see Lawrence as a left-wing decision. For years moderates were troubled by
the disconnect between Roe and Bowers v Hardwick. That held that there is a right of privacy so strong that it covers killing babies, but so weak it doesn't cover making babies, doesn't cover privacy in the bedroom. Kennedy, a moderate with libertarian tendencies, solved this with a return to Lochner's substantive due process. Lawrence says that we have a limited government, with the people retaining some rights. That is the core belief of the conservativism.
Ashcroft v. Raisch presents another chance to advance conservative doctrine in the guise of a liberal holding. Might not happen, but the opportunity is there.
I think the comment that this court has no left wing is a fair one, unless one persona can be a wing. Indeed, in a world where thoughtful conservatism is in exile on the campuses and in the Republican Party, it lives on in the Court and among bloggers.

Monday, May 09, 2005

who pays the most taxes?
over at tehsoapbox.net, i have a several-years-ongoing debate with wilful, a liberal from oz, about fiscal policy. i'm looking for feedback on my numbers here, they may be wrong and they are incomplete - how much do people in other countries pay in taxes? results in dollars please.

wilful wrote:
Said it before, say it again. Americans have amongst the lowest taxes yet are the biggest whiners about them.

population 300 million.
ave income $38K/yr (gnp /people)
ave tax 44%.
so taxes per person around $16,700/yr. round down to $15K.
Which countries (excluding luxemburg, vatican city, brunei, etc.)
have taxes higher than $15k/yr?
(not rhetorical, i don't know.)
I'm guessing not india, china, any african country, most of europe.
probably japan and germany?
germany per capita gnp 28K
sweden $28,500
japan $29,500
uk, netherlands $29,500
mexico with $9,600 has a tax rate of 10%, not counting another 10% in bribes.

Recently my car, which had been vandalized, was seized by the city off my property.
I haven't yet discussed it with my lawyer. It's one of those cases that may be too small to be worth fighting, and might not even be winnable, although we recently did win a small claims case involving the same car.
So I was pleased to see this at 4th amendment com. On the other hand, I think it's distinguishable, and I don't have lexis. Still I'm making a note of it.
More cars are stolen each year by government than by everyone else combined,. Somebody should do something.

Qualified immunity denied to officer who seized derelict vehicles from plaintiff's property because he could not claim that he was no on notice that the ordinance was unconstitutional for denying all due process before seizure; even reliance on city attorney's advice was insufficient: Lawrence v Reed (2005, CA10 Wyo) 2005 US App Lexis 7911 (other parties to case had settled with plaintiff; no exception for discussing case with the city attorney who apparently was oblivious to constitutional requirements of due process and notice and entries to seize).
The fourth amendment website is not on my usual list of blogs to read; maybe it should be.

PA statute that gives Game Officers authority to stop and ask for identification any person without RS is unconstitutional under Hiibel; RS was foundation of Hiibel: Commonwealth v Ickes (2005, Pa) 2005 Pa Lexis 945.

That issue came up on slashdot yesterday, in a discussion of the real ID bill.
www.unrealid.com is bill scannell's latest effort.
Handcuffing and transporting to another location with PC states a claim for relief under § 1983: Roy v Town Of Newburgh (2005, SD Ind) 2005 US Dist Lexis 7086.*
The indiana law blog will be missed; it used to cover these local stories.

Ernie the attorney wants to write a book, about tech feng shui. So he has a new blog by that name. I started blogging in part as practice for writing a book. The book is no closer to being written, but it's gotten me in the habit of putting words on paper, which is a prerequisite to a book. I still have massive writer's block about writing the stuff I need to. Everything from the rent check to a deed to a memo for a hearing tomorrow.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Things I didn't know about Tyler Cowan:
The good ol' days
Tyler Cowen
I was pleased to see Auletta describe the 1971 McDonald's jingle, "You deserve a break today," as a "classic of manipulation," because I was the person who sang the jingle.

As I read further, though, it wasn't really Tyler who sang the jingle after all.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

You c*nt say that on television, or in a Minnesota high school:
Students fight back after threatened with explusion for vagina monolog pins.

update: here is a male version: testaclese banned from Roger Williams campus, students on probation.

I'm dead tired, not sure why. Think I slept ok. Could be eyestrain. Luckily a light evening planned - bath, go to a punk show, then a gay dance bar, then an all night party. Maybe it's because the lighter broke, I'm out of matches, couldn't light the stove, haven't had coffee all day.
So I made the cofee with hot tap water and now only feel 1/3 dead. PunkRockNight seems to have moved from Bubba's Bowling Alley, and I'm not going to drive to broad ripple. Maybe i'll take a nap.

A couple weeks ago the city towed away my car. Not the one I drive, the one that was up on blocks after theives stole the tires. Yesterday I got a warning the city is planning to steal my boat, which is at my other house. And later yesterday I found out the reason my female roommate hasn't come home for a few days is the city locked her up for public intox. She'll be back in a few months. We had had something special planned for the night she disappeared. It's this kind of day in day out persecution that drove me crazy a few years ago, when they towed off my cars, tore my house down, sued me 50 times. It gets old. Mostly I'm numb to it.

Barnett link and Positive Liberty link dialog about how and when governments become legitimate if at all.
My thoughts, as expressed in the comments section:
Good post.
I haven't read Barnett's book - I live in the post-scarcity world of only reading things that are free online.
My thoughts here are largely in response to Barnett's response to you - you have comments, he doesn't.
Spooner is right, but since some find him dated, let me also point to Robert Paul Wolff's "philosophical anarchism."
In that book, he argued government is an illusion, it lacks legitimacy; we are ruled, but not governed.
Government is the long con. It is men with guns and good PR, what the marxists call false consciousness.
Minor quibble for Barnett: schools are bad example of consent, given compulsory education for kids and the two milion adults involuntarily attending crime colleges.
Major quibble: In paragraph seven of his response, he says a law is legitimate if it respects your rights, even if it fails to respect the rights of others. I think this is plain error.
To have any shot at legitimacy, a law must respect the rights of all, not just a privileged class.
I'm somewhat agnostic about his claim that a government that respects rights is legitimate. At that point, it may be hard to sort out legitimacy from aquiescence.
When someone tries to rule me, do i, should i, flee, fight, or submit?
A ruler who respects my rights and the rights of others is one that I don't need to flee or fight.
Rulers respects the rights of the people out of self-interest; rights exist to protect the government from the people.
When governments lose sight of this and engage in actrocities, people fight or flee. hessian mercenaries in 1776, turks in saudi arabia in 1917,
hitler, stalin, idi amin, my local zoning department - failure to respect rights tends to lead to regime change.
Rule which is habitually rights-respecting has memetic fitness and a shot at long term sustainability. Over time people forget they merely aquiesce, and treat the rulers as having legitimacy, as though it were government.
This, wolff shows, is illusion.
arbitraryaardvark | Homepage | 05.07.05 - 1:19 pm | #

Unclear on the concept:
[Todd Zywicki, May 6, 2005 at 12:42pm]
Interesting Alabama Supreme Court Opinion:
I just came across an interesting concurring opinion by Justice Parker from the Alabama Supreme Court from just a couple of days abo [sic]. Justice Parker's opinion begins as follows:

“It is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is.” Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. (1 Cranch) 137, 177 (1803). In these words, which enshrined the principle of judicial review, Chief Justice John Marshall noted that constitutional interpretation is emphatically the responsibility of the judiciary. He did not say that constitutional interpretation is exclusively the responsibility of the judiciary.
Justice Parker then goes on to argue that each of the branches of government have an independent obligation to interpret the constitution,

Absolutely right! Crucial, and too often overlooked. But here's where it goes horribly wrong:

and that as a result, the court should defer to a longstanding constitutional interpretation by the legislature:

This is a view sometimes advocated by the Chief Justice and Scalia. See e.g. McIntyre. I call this the "living constitution", in which the meaning of the constitution is not set by the authors, or the ratifiers, or the people of the time,
but evolves based on what people in government can get away with.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Via boing-boing, a guy who had a magnet inserted in his finger, and now has a sixth sense of ability to detect magnetic fields. He's been a transhumanist since he discovered extropy institute at 13, and works at alcor. Cool.

Book 27. Naked Lunch, William Burroughs.
I picked this up while my computer was busy overwriting deleted file space, since I'd finished the Thurber. I'd started it once before and put it down; the writings of a junkie are only somewhat accessible, but this time it seems readable.
"As one judge said to another, be just, and if you can't be just, be arbitrary" p.4. P.4 is a ways into the book; first there is a forward about the case that tried to have the book declared obscene, and then there's a preface about how Burroughs wakes up one morning and finds that it's 15 years later and he'd been lost in addiction.
I've gotten to p 44 but not sure i'll get further.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

charged last spring with violating federal obscenity statutes. In pleading guilty, they joined a growing number of purveyors of pornography whom the Bush administration has pursued.
Since 2001, 40 people and businesses have been convicted and 20 additional indictments are pending
hat tip instapundit.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Instapundit: I don't have an ewok in this fight. Heh.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Well that was fun. First time I ever had moderator points on slashdot.

Cable goons v Brand X Internet stuff is a case about whether DSL is telecom, under a statute that regulates telecom. It seems to be a case that turns on a semantic quibble in a statute. That's all i got .. didn't read the whole thing. Scotusblog's Tom Goldstein argued some of the part I didn't read.

Via Howard, here is a very interesting article that says 90% of the time, the side that gets asked the most questions loses. This method works best for O'Connor, worst for Kennedy, and of course not at all for Thomas, who is usually quiet during oral argument.

In another Ohio case, two guys were given the death penalty for shooting a woman.
They were both there, but only one of them was the shooter. The guy who probably wasn't might not have been the shooter is arguing his death penalty sentence violates due process. Tricksy Scalia is pointing out things like, oh, but he shot at the husband, but the husband lived.
It's a case about how guilty do you have to be before the government may kill you with due process? My left-wing knee is jerking.

Ulysses Tory v Dead Johnny Cochran
I'm not Jeremy Blachman; I can't paraphrase Chereminsky's argument as a rap. He's pretty good though. The case is about, can speech be enjoined. There was a portion of the argument that was about a grammar quibble. Does "an injunction" mean any injunction, or this injunction? I remember this issue came up recently, perhaps at Volokh. It's an eats shoots and leaves kind of thing.

Dodd v US is about retroactivity of habeus actions, and interpreting an act of congress. I think it's safe to say this court doesn't take an expansive view of due process when it comes to habeuses.
Castle Rock is about whether a woman had a property interest in a protective order which the cops ignored.

Medillin v Texas Corrections Dept is procedurally tricky. Petitioner is asking for a stay, and they might not want to give it. It's the case about before Texas kills a Mexican, they have to check in with the consulate. But the issue the court is wrestling with is sovereignity. It's trying to make sure it remains the Supreme Court, and doesn't give up some of its power to international courts which look at treaty obligations. In other words, they are doing what the far right has been accusing them of not doing. That wasn't very clear. The right has been assailing Kennedy and others for paying too much attention to foreign courts and foreign legal trends, but here it is clear they are saying the buck still stops here.
For extra credit, review Missouri v Holland.

MGM v. Grokster.
Mostly it's about whether the Sony rule will hold - that's it's ok to build a machine, like a printing press, that can be used to infringe copyright, if it has significant non-infringing uses. There's also some confusion about what's left of the case if that happens, and an awareness that grokster is -mostly- infringing uses.
Can't predict how this one comes out. There was no discussion of the word grok itself; I'm hoping that will be a footnote. It's nearly midnight; I was able to avoid doing any useful work today.
David Post predicts an outcome here.

The main thing I did today was research on the Indiana Voter ID cases, after Hasen linked to my listserv post on the topic.

Matthew Hale update.
Well, I haven't actually blogged about him before, or did I, but I've been following the story a bit. He's been sent to a supermax in Colorado. Supermax, as we learned in the recent Ohio case heard by the Supreme Court, is a torture chamber.
He wanted to be sent to Pekin Illinois to be near his parents.
I'm convinced he's not guilty of the thing they put him in jail for 40 years for -
he did not solicit the murder of a federal judge.
He gave firey speeches, and somebody who listened to his rants went and killed some people. But I have no reason to think he was in on it.
Now I'm not saying I like the guy - he's some kind of neonazi.
But he's a political prisoner, being subjected to inhumane conditions.
If I were a better person, or better organized or something, I might try to do something, at least put the guy on my christmas card list. I'll probably do nothing, maybe an occasional blog entry. Another story.
His situation is that he's trying to do his appeal pro se, and being in supermax might keep him from having access to materials he needs to do his appeal, catch-22.
The transcriptsd from the ohio supermax case may be up by now; that would be a fun way to avoid useful work tonight.
Forgot I'd already read it last week. Must not have been that memorable, or I'm tired.

Rick Hasen has found the complaint in the Indiana Voter ID case, and has some thoughts and is looking for feedback. oops, wrong blog, more at ballots.blogspot.com

Monday, May 02, 2005

Book 26, James Thurber, My World and Welcome to it.
Collected short comic essays mostly from the new yorker 37-40s, and line drawings of dogs and bunnies. Just read one in which the American tourist thinks MacBeth is a murder mystery.

link Imagine/Walk on the wild side mashup, vocals by george bush. via boingboing.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

happy beltane.

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